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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe tips and tricks

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has made the literal jump to Nintendo Switch, bringing 2D Mario platforming action to the console for the first time. Despite being a series of linear stages rather than the open-ended structure of Super Mario Odyssey, the game is still far from easy.

From clever techniques to reliable strategies, we’ve compiled a list tips and tricks that we wished we knew when we started our journey through the Mushroom Kingdom.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe tips and tricks

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe demands your complete attention and tasks you with getting past some very tricky obstacles, so you’ll need all the help you can get to reach Princess Peach and defeat Bowser. These are the best Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe tips and tricks.

Use the spin jump

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Spin Jump
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Available regardless of whether you’re “super” or have acquired a power-up, the most important move you’ll need to use in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the spin jump. It’s activated by jumping as you normally would and then pressing the R button or shaking your controller to make Mario to jump just a tiny bit higher and farther than he otherwise would.

The difference seems negligible at first, but there are certain blocks and platforms that are designed to only be accessible this way — unless you have a power-up. You can also use the spin jump at the very end of a level to reach the top of the flag and earn a 1-UP.

Sprint through danger

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Lava
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By holding down the Y button as you move in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, your character will sprint, which allows for you to jump longer distances or avoid hazards. It’s necessary for making some of the longer jumps in the game, but it can also allow you to access hard-to-reach areas.

If you spot a series of blocks and gaps where the two are each one space across, this means that you can sprint across to reach what’s on the other side. As long as you have gotten Mario up to full speed, you’ll run across the open gaps without falling through! Just ensure that nothing will slow you down, because doing so even for a split-second will send Mario to his doom.

Check for secrets

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Secrets
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More so than any Mario game in recent memory, New Super Maro Bros. U Deluxe absolutely loves putting secret areas in its courses. These areas appear to be blocked off by terrain, but you can run through them to receive extra coins or even Star Coins, the latter of which is needed to fully complete the game.

To spot secret areas as you’re moving through a stage, look for walls that have small notches on them that don’t appear to serve any purpose. This is a telltale sign that the wall is fake, and you’ll sometimes even find a pipe inside that will let you skip part of the stage.

Grab extra coins

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Coins
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Certain grass areas of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe feature small pinwheel flowers on the ground. These aren’t just for decoration! If you perform a twirl while standing on the flowers — use R like you’re doing a spin jump, but don’t jump first — you’ll send out coins. There will be one coin for each flower, and this can be enough to get you over the 100-coin limit and earn an extra life.

If you need to get extra lives, you can always go back and retry earlier stages — this is particularly important if you’re nearing the end of a world and are running low, as you can lose several courses worth of progress by getting a “game over.”

In a pinch? Switch characters

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Luigi
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One odd design choice that can work to your benefit in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is that every playable character has their own pool of extra lives. If you’re running out of lives with Mario, the characters you haven’t used yet will each have five lives available, and you can increase these totals separately from the total for your main character.

Mario, Toad, and Luigi don’t differ in terms of their abilities in New Super Mario Bros. U, but the two new characters do! Nabbit can only be hurt if he falls into a hazard or off the edge of a platform, though he can’t transform with power-up abilities. Toadette, meanwhile, can turn into Peachette by grabbing the Super Crown power-up, which gives her a floating ability much like Peach had in Super Mario Bros. 2. For newer players, it’s the perfect way to play with family members without immediately dying.

Use Yoshi in all his forms

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Map
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You’ll occasionally come across Yoshi eggs during the course of a level, which hatch into Yoshi creatures that you can ride. These use the classic Yoshi flutter-jump ability to reach higher areas, and if you hit the Y button, Yoshi will shoot out his tongue and eat whatever is in front of him. When facing several enemies, it’s an easy way to clear them out without taking damage.

The Baby Yoshi creatures you come across have unique moves as well, and the glowing Baby Yoshi is particularly useful. Grab Baby Yoshi by pressing Y and R at the same time, then use your twirl move to make Baby Yoshi glow. This is crucial for levels that take place in the dark, and for fending off Boo ghosts.

Nab Nabbit

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe nabbit
Mario Party Legacy/YouTube

Nabbit isn’t just a playable character in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe: He’s also an annoying rival. The character will randomly pop up on one of the courses you’ve completed, and if you retry the course and catch him within the 100-second time limit, your reward is a P-Acorn. The item functions similarly to the regular acorn item, but with unlimited wing flaps that make it much more effective.

If you fail to get Nabbit the first time you try to catch him, you can always do so again. You don’t have to complete the entire stage to get the reward, either, as the course will end as soon as Nabbit is caught.

Walk into hazards on the map

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Pipes
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This sounds counterproductive, but you can actually reap extra rewards if you walk into the enemies you’ll occasionally see hopping across the game map. If you see ghosts or Goombas moving into your way as you go to the next stage, try walking into them. This will trigger a little battle stage, and if you’re able to defeat all of the enemies, you’ll get an item as a bonus.

You do risk losing a life (and wasting time) if you fail, but the challenge in these stages is quite low, so you shouldn’t have any problem winning the majority of them. As you advance to harder levels the items you’ve accumulated in less challenging stages will help you take on more difficult tasks.

Save before quitting

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Save
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We’re not sure why Nintendo chose to make this necessary, but make sure you save your game before quitting New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe because there isn’t an auto-save system. This shouldn’t be taken lightly as neglecting to save your game could erase all the headway you’ve made in previous gameplay sessions.  

There’s no way you’ll overlook the opportunity to save because you’ll get an automated alert each time you finish a mid-world tower or castle that lets you save with a click. Just confirm your selection and your progress will be locked up to that point. If you haven’t beaten one of those stages, you can still save by opening the menu and selecting “quick save.” Doing this will send you back to the main menu and the quick save will be erased the next time you load up the game, so make sure you do this every time you exit.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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