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Super Mario 3D World beginner’s guide

At first glance, Super Mario 3D World looks like a regular, fairly simple Mario game. However, once you start, you’ll realize how wrong you were. Super Mario 3D World is deceptively difficult. You’ll need to use some of your best gaming skills and instincts in order to get to the end.

Players who plan on getting 100% completion will have their work cut out for them. For those who are just starting and realizing how difficult the game is, we have some beginner tips and tricks to help you get to the end!

Further reading

Characters in Super Mario 3D World

super mario 3d world
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You can try playing alone or with a friend. Honestly, whatever you choose, the difficulty is pretty much the same. The game has five characters to choose from. Each character will have their own special set of strengths and weaknesses, so picking the right character is key in finding your grove in the game.

As usual, Mario is the most balanced character. He’s not particularly good in one aspect or another and Super Mario 3D World was set up around his skill-set. He’s probably the best character to start with, especially if you find yourself struggling.

Luigi has the advantage in jumps. His long legs will help you spring to higher places than any other character in the game.

Although Princess Peach is the slowest character, she can hover for a second or two after a jump. She’s the ideal character for when you find yourself on a perilous ledge or on a level with giant leaps.

Let’s face it, Toad isn’t known for his mad hops. The character cannot jump very high, but he makes up for it with speed. He’s definitely the fastest of the batch.

Rosalina has the advantage on attacks. She has a spin attack that she can use while jumping, standing still, or moving.

When playing with other players, if you find yourself falling behind, you can simply bubble yourself. Bubbling yourself gives your character an opportunity to catch up before you fall too far behind and accidentally die. By pressing either L or R, you’ll find yourself in an invisible bubble. Unfortunately, the only way to get out is by having another player touch you. So be careful when you pop your friend’s bubbles!

Being part of a team also means you have a little more strength. If you and your teammates time things just right, you should be able to perform a Synchro Ground Pound. This ability gives off a shock wave that will destroy enemies. But timing and unity are important. If you time this incorrectly, you could end up stunning a friend at a bad time.

It’s worth mentioning that you can switch out characters anytime you’d like. Just before selecting a level at the Course Start Screen, you can press the B button and use the left analog stick or D-pad to select a different character. When you find your ideal character for each level, hit B again to select them.

Power ups

Ever play a Mario game and they just hand you power ups like candy? Then, when you actually need one, it seems impossible to find one? Well, in Super Mario 3D World, you’re actually able to store up to two Power-Ups per level. You’ll be able to use the one you have plus one stored, which is visible in the lower-left corner of the screen. To swap between them, press the (-) button.

This is important to remember because of the various obstacles in the way in each level. You could be required to climb a wall as a cat version of your character, then immediately switch to attack enemies. By pressing the (-) button, you’ll be able to quickly switch between these items to ensure you make it to the end of the level.

Additionally, if you die five consecutive times, the Super Leaf box will appear. This gives you a chance to hit the box and become invincible throughout an entire level. The only real downside is that, at the end of the level, you won’t get the star that normally sits on top of the flagpole. You’ll need to replay the stage without the Super Leaf to get the star.

Getting 100% completion

Super Mario 3D World
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Getting a 100% completion for this game is an accomplishment in and of itself. In order to snag this coveted title, you’ll need to track down all of the green stars, find the stamp, and reach the top of the goal post. On the surface, it seems easy. But the players who have dipped their toes into the game know it’s not so simple. There are a few things to remember when trying to get the 100% completion rate.

Reaching the top of the goal post seems simple, but it’s actually just as hard as it was in the original Mario games. One of the best ways to reach the top is by using the Super Bell. The Cat version of your character will have better luck climbing to the top than any other normal character. That’s the advantage of being a cat, right?

Don’t be shy about climbing trees. There are plenty of coins and power-ups to be found throughout the game. Try climbing trees to find these hidden items. This can be especially helpful when you find either the Red, Blue, or Green coins. When you find the Star Ring of the same color, be sure to collect all the coins of that color before time runs out. This usually leads to a Green Star. So be sure to check every tree! Oh, and remember to run through bushes for the same reason as well.

Every time you activate a checkpoint, you’ll get a mushroom. The checkpoints are important, especially if you’ve found a Green Star earlier in the level. If you die in the second half of the level, the game will let you keep your Green Star. You can also double back on some levels to hit the checkpoint. This means you’ll be able to run ahead, find a Green Star, then come back for the checkpoint. This allows you to keep both stars in the unfortunate event that you die before reaching the end.

Every world has at least three Green stars hidden throughout. Be sure to explore everything to find the world’s secrets. Sometimes there’s a false wall, sometimes a hidden warp pipe will take you to where it’s hidden. Either way, be sure to look around carefully to find all of the secrets the level has to offer.

Enemies in this game can be particularly difficult. Some of them are a little newer, so it can be tricky on figuring out how to approach them. The Conkdor bird, for example, comes at you full force with its beak. However, you can attack it from behind which will definitely take it down. It’s also worth mentioning that enemies are not invincible. They are just as affected by spiked rollers and projectiles as you are, so use that to your advantage. Additionally, fireballs will bounce off of walls and other objects. If you find yourself running down a hall with them coming at you, be sure to keep an eye out for any that are coming back suddenly.

Most importantly, try to not get too mad at the game. It’s incredibly frustrating. Super Mario 3D World is weirdly hard for a Mario game. But keep your cool and try to enjoy it. It’s a fun story and can be a fun multiplayer game.

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Leijah Petelka
Leijah Petelka is a freelance gaming guides writer for Digital Trends. She covers a variety of game types, but she does love…
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