Super Mario Run is a level-based automatic runner from Nintendo. In this game, players control iconic plumber Mario and his friends as they race through levels filled with coins, koopas, and promises of Princess Peach in a distant castle. Gamezebo’s Super Mario Run Tips, Cheats and Strategies will help you jump farther, squish goombas faster, and make it to the final flag without losing your mustache.
If you’re just starting with the game, you may want to check out our Super Mario Run Quick Start Guide. It covers the Super Mario Run basics, like standard controls and goals. This guide will go into more detail for players who’ve already mastered the fundamentals.
Master the Moves
Although Super Mario Run is a one-touch platformer, there are a surprising number of moves and techniques Mario and his pals can utilize via that single touch. If you want an in-game recap of the moves available to you, go to your Mushroom Kingdom, select “Menu,” then “Notebook” and “Tips and Tricks.” We’ve listed all of the moves included in the Notebook below for quick reference and added our own notes for each.
- Midair Spin: “Tap the screen while in the air to spin and slow your descent.” This will also take out some enemies, so use it if you’re floating through a dangerous zone.
- Spin Strike: “Tap the screen while in the air and near an enemy to spin and take it out!” This is basically just the Midair Spin near an enemy: hence what we said above—good for dispatching foes mid-flight.
- High Jump: “Touch the screen and hold to jump higher. If you play as Luigi, you can jump higher than anyone else!” Your characters have a range of jump mobility; it’s really not just “short jump or high jump.” The longer you hold, the higher you jump (to a maximum) while a very short tap will barely get you off the ground.
- Flutter Jump: “As Yoshi, touch and hold the screen to flutter in the air for a short time.” Classic Yoshi! This can be helpful to snag any coins that were just-out-of-reach for Mario. Yoshi’s flutter is a bit wild, though, so practice in enemy-free zones to get a feel for it.
- Floaty Jump: “As Peach, touch and hold the screen to float for a short time.” Peach is great for getting over gaps and clearing tall enemies. There are a number of desert and airship stages that are much easier with Peach’s float.
- Midair Stall: “You can stall your jump by touching the screen and sliding to the left.” This is a bit tricky but can come in handy if you’ve overshot something important. If pulled off correctly, Mario will stop and fall straight down, landing on whatever was just below him.
- Wall Jump: “Tap the screen just as you reach a wall, and you’ll jump in the opposite direction.” This is standard Mario, but it’s helpful to know that you can also slide down a wall and jump from a lower point if needed. Sometimes you’ll miss some coins or the prime spot for jumping-off: just lift your finger, let Mario slide down, then tap and he’ll wall-jump from his new location.
- Consecutive Wall Jumps: “Jumping back and forth between walls will really impress the Toads!” This is an audience pleaser in Toad Rally. If you want to gather more Toads to your cause and get them cheering, jump from wall to wall. It’s also important in normal play to reach higher areas and collect dangling coins.
- Vaulting: “You can vault over small enemies and obstacles without touching the screen.” If you don’t do anything, Mario will automatically jump over obstacles that are one block tall or enemies that are up to his same height (as long as they aren’t spiky). Without your intervention, however, he will not kill them—for enemies—or activate them—for buttons.
- Vaulting Jump: “Tap the screen while vaulting to pull off this jump. The Toads love it!” While Mario is auto-vaulting enemies or items, tap the screen to make him smoosh or activate them. So, this will squish a Goomba, knock a Koopa out of its shell, turn on a switch, etc. Jumping off an enemy will also give you a boost so you jump higher. This is another audience pleaser in Toad Rally.
- Landing Roll: “You’ll break a long fall by rolling without even having to touch the screen. You can even defeat some enemies!” This is basically just telling you there is no fall damage in this game, but it’s also good to know if you’re in a roll, you’ll auto-kill any enemies you roll over. Mario does not have to fall very far to enter a roll; even the short distance between the mushroom platforms in the image below will send him rolling.
- Rolling Jump: “Tap the screen while rolling to do a rolling leap. Toads really dig the energy!” While in a roll, tapping will send you in a long jump. This is an audience pleaser in Toad Rally.
- Edge Climbing: “You’ll pull yourself up over edges without having to tap the screen.” This is important to know for tight spaces where you don’t necessarily want to jump because an enemy or wall is in the way. Mario will automatically pull himself up when hanging from a ledge, but only if you don’t touch the screen for a couple seconds: if you do, he will jump over instead, which will send him farther up and over.
- Climbing Jump: “Tap the screen while climbing an edge to do a climbing leap. Toads will cheer for it!” As mentioned above, tapping while hanging from a ledge will do a leap instead. This is an audience pleaser in Toad Rally, but it’s sometimes better not to do if it will put you in a compromising position.
- Slope Slide: “You can slide down slopes, taking out enemies in your path.” Mario boot-thwomps anyone in his path while sliding.
- Consecutive Stomps: “If you stomp multiple enemies in a row, the Toads will cheer and you earn extra coins!” This is a great audience pleaser in Toad Rally if you can get a chain going. Airship levels are ideal for this because of all the cannonballs and enemies stacked near one another.
- Threading the Ring: “Pass safely through a castle’s rings of fire to excite the Toads!” This only comes up in specific castle levels, but fire rings need to be traversed carefully when entering and exiting: make sure you have enough clearance to get over the bottom of the ring on both sides. If you make it through, it’s an audience pleaser in Toad Rally.
- Enter Bubble: “Tap the bubble icon, and you’ll pop into a bubble and float backward.” You’ll enter a bubble automatically if you “die” (get hit while small or fall into a pit) and have bubbles left. You can also manually enter a bubble if you have bubbles available by tapping the icon at the top of the screen. This is most useful when you just missed something important, like pink/purple/black coins or a switch—float back and get the item you missed, but don’t float too far or you’ll run low on time retreading the same ground.
- Pause Block: “Step on a Pause Block and you’ll stop in your tracks, giving you time to plan your next move.” This is one of the few times Mario will stop moving in the game. Pause Blocks stop Mario and time, and they usually appear before a branching path, moving obstacle, or tricky enemy encounter. There are times you may prefer to jump over a Pause Block to maintain momentum, but usually they will come in handy.
- Press a Switch: “You can trigger a Switch by landing on it or jumping while vaulting over it.” As with enemies, if Mario is vaulting something and you tap the screen, he will squish it when jumping off. Most Switches stay on for a limited time, so be on the lookout for what the Switch did and how to make the most of it.
- Add Bubble: “If a bubble appears from a ? Block, you’ll have an extra bubble added to your total.” Bubbles don’t appear in ? Blocks very often, so you should still be careful how and when you use your Bubbles.
- Time Block: “Hit a Time Block and you’ll get +10 added to the timer.” Always, always hit Time Blocks. Those extra 10 seconds can mean the difference between finishing a level or not.
- Low Jump: “If you barely tap the screen, you’ll only jump a short distance up into the air.” Screen-tapping length and distance is something you’ll get a feel for from playing. Try different taps on early stages to learn the results.
- Coin Rush: “During Coin Rush in Toad Rally, you’ll get more coins than usual from blocks or defeated enemies.” You’ll reach Coin Rush by impressing the Toads and filling the Coin Rush meter at the top of the screen. When it’s reached, a blue star will appear and everything will have a rainbow hue. Coins will also just sort of spew out of random places, so you’ll basically be collecting coins nonstop during this time. If you die during Coin Rush, it ends immediately and the meter resets, so try your best to stay alive during those precious seconds.
- Enemy Leveling: “Defeating lots of enemies will level them up, making them drop even more coins in Toad Rally.” This really helps in the long run as you earn more Toads and need to get higher scores to beat your Rally opponents. You can essentially double your score just with higher level enemies. The enemies you defeat in Tour mode count towards these levels as well, so feel free to farm enemies in Tour before reaping the rewards in Rally. To see your current enemy levels, go to “Menu” from the Kingdom, then “Notebook,” then “Enemies.”
- Coin Types: “Depending on their color, the number of coins you receive at Results may vary.” Gold and red coins are worth 1, blue worth 2, and pink/purple/black coins worth 10. It’s also an audience pleaser when you collect pink/purple/black coins in Rally.
- Checkpoint Flag: “In Toad Rally, the first player to pass the Checkpoint Flag will receive 10 Coins.” This flag seems more important than it is: those 10 coins will not make or break a Rally run, so don’t sweat if you don’t reach it first.
How do I unlock characters other than Mario?
There are six playable characters in Super Mario Run. Mario is automatically unlocked when you begin the game. Luigi, Yoshi, and Toadette require that you build their personal houses in your Mushroom Kingdom. Their houses are available in the “Special” tab o the Shop menu. Luigi’s house requires you have 150 green Toads and 150 purple Toads in your Kingdom. For Yoshi’s house you need 30 red Toads and 30 yellow. And for Toadette’s house you need 200 of every Toad: red, blue, green, purple, and yellow (for 1,000 Toads total at a minimum!).
To unlock Princess Peach, complete all 24 levels of Tour mode.
And to unlock Toad, you need to connect your MyNintendo account to the game. You can do this by logging in to your MyNintendo account at the game’s launch when prompted, or tapping the “My Nintendo” icon on the Kingdom. After you’ve connected your MyNintendo account, go to the MyNintendo area of the Kingdom and tap on “Toad” under Rewards. Scroll down and tap “Redeem.” Then exit this menu and tap on the gift box on the right side of the Kingdom and collect your Toad reward.
To change to a character you’ve unlocked, open the character select menu—either from the Kingdom Menu > Notebook > Characters, or by tapping on the character icon at the bottom of the screen before starting a level in Rally or Tour.
Everything You Need to Know About Coins
- Non-Mario characters can’t collect mushrooms. Characters like Toad and Yoshi do not become “big” when they pick up mushrooms. They are one-hit death characters, which is the trade-off for their special power. Collecting mushrooms as these characters will simply award coins. This is a little confusing because they always look big; their sprites are the same size as “big” Mario. But they will enter the bubble if hit by just one enemy.
- My coin count seems off. When you’re running a level in Tour, any pink/purple/black coins you pick up will be added to your total at the end of the run. So if you’ve collected all five colored coins, your total will be 50 coins lower than it actually is until you reach the flag.
- What happened to the pink coins I collected? To complete the colored coin collections for the Tour stages, you have to pick up all five coins in a single run. This means if you miss one and finish the level, on the next run you’ll have to pick up the four you already got and the one you missed. The game will store your last completed run on the stage menu so you have an idea of which coin(s) you need to track down, but you’ll still need to get all five at once to actually complete the set.
- Colored coins can be knocked out of you. When Mario gets hit by an enemy or hazard, some coins fly out of him. If a pink/purple/black coin is one of the last ones you collected, it can be one of these coins that are knocked out. Hurry to pick it up again or it will be lost for good that run.
- Don’t flip out if you miss some colored coins. A lot of the coins are well hidden and merely finding them is half the battle. Use your first few runs of a level to learn the paths and simply notice where the coins are located. Try grabbing some and testing out what needs to be done to reach them. Then dedicate later runs to getting all five. You can replay a level as often and as many times as you want, so there’s no reason to stress over that one coin you are struggling with.
- Why even bother collecting all those colorful coins? Besides the joy of completionism, there are special items in the Kingdom that can only be built once you’ve collected all 120 of each coin color in Tour mode. These items will unlock a bonus level (so three bonus levels total) that we assume–since we have yet to unlock them–are amazingly difficult.
- Colored coins are generally spread out evenly throughout each stage. The best example of this is underground pipe stages: they are split into five sections separated by pipes, and one coin can be found in each section. Aboveground levels are not split like this, but the coins will be spaced similarly. If you just picked up a pink/purple/black coin, you probably have a short breather until the next one will appear. The exception to this rule are ghost houses, which are usually shorter stages with less space to cover: some of their colored coins will be right next to each other simply due to room limitations.
- Low on coins? Play underground levels or the last level in a world. Underground levels like 1-2 and 2-3 are packed with high-density coin rooms. And replaying the last stage of a world, specifically castles like on 1-4, 3-4 and 5-4, will reward you a bonus 100 coins per completion. You can also switch back to a lower colored coin challenge on any stage if you’re already completed it for easier-to-reach 10 coins: on the stage select screen, just tap the color of coin you want to collect (pink if you’re at purple level, pink or purple if you’re at black).
- Jump off enemies to get to out-of-reach spots. Coin too far above you? Just short of that ledge? Try vault-jumping off an enemy. You’ll get a slight boost to your jump when jumping off an enemy, which allows you to get slightly higher. This is a critical tactic for reaching certain colored coins and alternate paths.
- Walk over speed boosts to avoid them. Some levels contain speed-boosting arrows in the ground at certain spots. While these are helpful for jumping across gaps, you may sometimes want to go your normal speed to get to a nearby ledge. Simply let Mario walk over the boost and do not jump until he is clear of them; tapping/jumping is what activates the speed boost, and not tapping will just keep him at his normal pace.
- Ghost house tips: When trying to find the right door in a ghost house, pick the one that does not shake intermittently. Take a few seconds to watch the doors and notice which ones are shaking. This will save you time in the long run by not entering the wrong (shaking) doors.
- Also, ghosts will sometimes have keys or coins inside of them. To “kill” a ghost, jump over it backwards (by using a backwards arrow tile). The ghost will vanish and drop whatever it was carrying. If you’re struggling with 5-3: the key in the second room is inside the block at the top right. The key in the third room is inside one of the ghosts that chases you. (Another chasing ghost has a pink coin.)
- What are those red rings? The thick red rings (non-fire kind) that show up on certain levels will cause five red coins to appear when you jump through them. The red coins appear for a very short period of time, but if you collect all five before they vanish, you’ll receive an invincibility star.
- Invincibility stars are coin magnets. If you have a star active, any coins you come near will automatically be collected. The usefulness of this in both Tour and Rally cannot be overstated: you can use a star to get colored coins that are just out of reach in Tour and to collect a ton of coins in a short period of time in Rally.
Toad Rally Tips
- Toad Rally’s score is a combination of coins collected and Toads impressed. While these two factors are technically equal and should be pursued in tandem, it’s slightly more beneficial to impress Toads than it is to collect coins. This is because you will receive the number of Toads you impressed as new members of your Kingdom should you win. You’ll also receive the coins you collected, but coins are pretty easy to come by; Toads less so.
- Toads are impressed by the moves with thumbs-up in the Notebook (or noted above as audience pleasers) and by collecting colored coins.
- There’s no end to Toad Rally; races last for 60 seconds and then your scores are tallied. Don’t worry about reaching a certain point or racing past your opponent: often a player may be way ahead of you in the level but not collected many coins or impressed many Toads. Or, vice versa, you might race ahead but still end up losing. It’s best to just ignore what your opponent is doing as it has no effect on what matters: your score. The only benefit to your opponent’s ghost is seeing the “X” marks where they have died; this can provide a head’s up of a dangerous area just ahead that you’ll want to be cautious around.
- If you don’t like your current set of Rally opponents, return to Tour mode and play a level. (You can just enter a level and then quit.) When you return to Rally, you’ll have a new set of opponents to choose from. This can be helpful if all the Toad colors you need are assigned to higher level opponents or there’s no one near your level in the current list.
- Mario has one major advantage in Toad Rally: mushrooms. As mentioned above, non-Mario characters are always in “small” form and will die after one hit. In Toad Rally, bubbling and floating back a few paces upon dying wastes very precious time that could be spent accumulating points and applause. Mario gives you an extra buffer against this when in “big” form, so we usually stick with him for Rally races.
- If you lose a Rally race, you’ll be given the option to “rematch.” This costs another ticket and, for some reason, pits you against the same player with a different final score. So if you were really close to their score and think “I can beat that,” you should realize that their final score on a rematch might be higher. It usually won’t be ridiculously higher, but there’s no real benefit to a rematch over just finding another opponent except that you will be familiar with the stage you just ran.
- Stars and pink coins are extremely helpful in Rally. We go after stars—via red rings, rotating blocks, etc.—as often as possible. The same is true for pink coins, since they are worth 10 coins apiece and also earn you Toad applause.
- Finally, the number next to Rally opponents’ names is their current Toad total, not the score they will receive on the level. A really high number does indicate that they have won a lot of Toad Rally matches and are probably pretty good/difficult to beat, but it does not mean “score 1,000+” or whatever the number to win. Generally, challenging players with ranks close to your own or lower is a safe bet.
- Super Mario Run is an appreciably deep platformer with lots of tricks and strategies to learn and try out. This list is far from exhaustive. If you have any tips of your own to share with us and other players, please post them in the comments!