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Super Mario Odyssey tips and tricks

Super Mario Odyssey is one of the best games for the Nintendo Switch. The game is all about discovery, and the game’s large open worlds have more secrets to uncover than any other entry in Mario’s storied history. However, Super Mario Odyssey is distinctly different from the open world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Mario’s Nintendo Switch debut keeps in line with the series’ traditional storyline. You’re once again tasked with saving Princess Peach from Bowser’s treachery. However, the path to reaching the final showdown is full of excess fun asides and meaningful distractions. You’ll be able to find fun puzzles and power moons everywhere, which keeps you on your toes and on the lookout for the next puzzle. The more you pay attention to your surroundings, the more you’ll get out of the adventure.

Whether you’re donning Mario’s sentient cap for the first time or revisiting roads already traveled, these Super Mario Odyssey tips and tricks will help you unearth the most rewarding goodies.

Search high and low

Super Mario Odyssey
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An obvious one, sure, but you would be surprised at how many moons, world-specific coins, secret rooms, and other goodies you can find simply by getting in the proper vantage point. Try and find a high place to take look around in every section of each world. From a good vantage point, you notice things you may have missed just walking around. Another benefit of reaching higher ground — if you turn the camera and peer off over the end of the map, there is a good chance you will discover unexpected ledges with treasures just waiting to be taken.

Considering that there are close to 900 power moons hidden across more than a dozen worlds, scraping every inch of the terrain is advisable. If you go more than a few minutes without seeing a path to a power moon, chances are you want to circle back and check again. Getting up high is a great strategy for this, and if you see a pair of binoculars on the ground, make sure to throw Cappy at them to get your absolute best aerial view.

Master the hat throw double jump

Super Mario Odyssey
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Cappy brings a few new and useful tricks to Mario’s arsenal. For starters, you can throw your hat with Y, hold the button and run into the hat to perform a hat jump. The one Cappy move you should definitely utilize combines Mario’s dive and the cap toss. Jump and then press Y to throw your hat. Right after the hat extends and stops, press Y and ZL together to dive to it. You will springboard into the air again. You already performed a long, high jump but you can throw your hat once more, follow it up with a second dive, and really cover some distance. This is by far the most versatile move in Super Mario Odyssey as it allows you to jump both high and across long gaps to reach hard to get to places and moons. This neat trick is essential for obtaining a great number of the hardest to reach moons.

Mario’s new tricks are cool, but don’t forget the classics

Yes, Mario’s new pal Cappy gives him some ridiculously fun new moves, but don’t forget about the tricks Mario has held close since Super Mario 64. The three-hop triple jump is back, while the backward somersault lets you get up high when you have no room to run. You can either take a step forward, press B, and pull back to perform a backward jump, or crouch with ZL and press B. Mario’s long jump — performed by pressing B and ZR simultaneously — also works wonders for traveling horizontally.

The triple jump, backward somersault, and long jump are still incredibly useful in Super Mario Odyssey. Many power moons can be reached using one of these or a combination of these moves. Mario’s old tricks are especially important when you’re still getting used to the timing of hat throws and jumps.

Hint Toad and Amiibo helpers

Super Mario Odyssey
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After defeating the boss in each kingdom, Hint Toad will show up near your ship. The blue mushroom boy, reportedly researching the area, knows where to find every power moon. If you ask, he will mark the location of a moon on your map.

Next to Hint Toad, you find Uncle Amiibo, a small Roomba-like robot sporting the Amiibo logo. If you have any Amiibo figurines, talk to Uncle Amiibo and he will offer to send them out to look for power moons. When we say any Amiibo, we mean any one. It doesn’t matter if it’s the new Super Mario Odyssey wedding Mario or, say, Captain Falcon. After five minutes, talk to the robot again, and he will mark a set of power moon locations marked on your map. You can send up to three Amiibo out at a time.

We understand that you may be leery of spoiling the thrill of discovery, but these hints just give you a general location. Unless the moons are in plain sight, you have to “discover” them on your own. When you’re at a loss for finding the locations of the last few power moons in a kingdom, Hint Toad or Amiibo can really kick-start the process.

Scour for extra moons in puzzle rooms and 8-bit sections

Super Mario Odyssey
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When you locate a door with a hat emblazoned on the front, or a warp pipe, there is a good chance you’re about to enter a self-contained puzzle room. Regardless of the challenge inside, the reward for completing the puzzle is a power moon. More often than not, though, these areas feature an extra, hidden moon for you to find. Often times it’s up high, hidden beneath the ground, behind an object, or just out of the “natural path” of the level. Keep a close eye out as you’re moving through each puzzle room for elements that seem out of place — if there is an enemy or area that you don’t need to reach to complete the obvious objective, there is a good chance it has something to do with that second moon.

You should also get in the habit of searching for extra power moons when in the 8-bit retro Mario sections. There’s usually a power moon right before the exit pipe, but there’s often a second one hidden along the way. We definitely recommend running into the edges of 2D sections: There may be a secret room hidden by the section’s forced camera.

Capture, capture, capture

Super Mario Odyssey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The most striking new mechanic of Super Mario Odyssey is, of course, the ability to “capture” objects and enemies by hitting them with his sentient hat, Cappy. Throwing Cappy on any round, head-like object gives you the ability to possess it, which then gives Mario new abilities. As you move through the game, certain sections mandate that you capture a certain type of enemy, such as a flying Goomba or a high-hopping frog. While these situations will stare you right in the face, you should also be looking to capture enemies and objects even when it’s not necessary to make the story progress.

Always pay attention to what kinds of enemies are present in each level, as they will almost always help you find moons in some way or another. Flying enemies help you explore off of the terrain, Hammer Bros. can destroy walls and boxes you can’t break on your own, and Goombas have expert balance to help you walk narrow paths and slippery surfaces. Inanimate objects, such as light poles, nobs, and pillars, can also be possessed. If you hold the hat throw button (Y) when you capture them, they may spit out coins, or even moons.

Lastly, capturing scarecrows that appear throughout each level will always start a short, timed power moon challenge. Even once you’ve earned the moon, the challenges often create new paths that may help you explore hard-to-reach areas. After you capture something for the first time, you can check the action guide to see their move list (it will also appear on screen).

An extra heart a day keeps Mario from boss battle death

Super Mario Odyssey
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Is Super Mario Odyssey a challenging game? It really depends on who you ask. Some of the boss fights can get tricky, especially when you are feeling your way through it and only have three hearts. One way to give yourself a better chance of avoiding the “Game Over” screen is by going in with a Life-Up Heart. You can often find these in question mark blocks near boss fights if you look hard enough, but you can also grab one at your local Crazy Cap store for 50 coins.

Follow the sparkles and your feels

Super Mario Odyssey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

All across Super Mario Odyssey, you see shimmering spots on the ground, shiny blocks, and other objects that glisten. If you see sparkles emanating from something, go ground-pound or break it open by any means necessary. You will frequently find power moons or a bundle of coins. Be careful, though: These spots also occasionally hide a barrage of mini yellow Goombas instead — they don’t pose much of a threat unless they catch you by surprise.

You also want to pay attention whenever your controller starts vibrating. Certain moons are completely hidden, save for a guiding vibration in your controller. If your Joy-Cons or Pro Controller are vibrating excessively for no discernible reason, pound the ground or look around.

Hang with the locals

Super Mario Odyssey
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It’s quite startling to see real, human-sized people in a Mario game, huh? Well, you should talk to as many of them as possible in New Donk City, but also talk to all the Toads and random other friendly creatures you see over the course of your adventure. If they have an exclamation mark above their head, it means you can speak with them. Sometimes they will just give you a power moon. Other times, they give you a task to secure a power moon or give you hints.

On top of that, many planets have town areas — like Tostarena in the Sand Kingdom — with buildings for you to explore. Super Mario Odyssey is not an RPG: These buildings are not just there for flavor. Almost every room will feature some kind of minigame or puzzle you can play to win power moons. Even if you don’t get something great, the locals generally say weird and funny things.

Move on when you’re stuck, but make sure to go back

Super Mario Odyssey
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It’s tempting to explore every nook and cranny of each world your first go-around, but no matter how much ground you cover, you will need to come back. Each world gets populated with more moons after you beat the game. After defeating Bowser, the moon blocks — large gray cubes found in each world — start to glow. When punched, they disperse into tons of new power moons to find.

Since you technically have to go back to achieve total power moon domination on each world, don’t fret if you’re having trouble finding some moons on your first journey. When you return later on, chances are you will have new knowledge about how the game works to assist you in finding both the original power moons and the new ones that scatter across the already-traveled land.

We personally recommend exploring until you reach your power moon goal for each world, wander for a bit, then head off to the next kingdom. Perhaps this recommendation won’t garner extra points or increase efficiency, but exploring unknown worlds is an experience worth having in our opinion.

Save up your coins to get a headstart on the endgame

Super Mario Odyssey
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Coins are everywhere in Super Mario Odyssey. You streak through them on platforms, nab them from those signature question mark boxes, secure them from beating baddies, and more. Unlike other games in the Mario franchise, you aren’t gaining extra lives by accumulating coins, but instead, you will use coins to buy things. Each world has a Crazy Cap store you can visit to spend your coins. There, you can purchase items and new outfits for Mario. Each shop offers a power moon for 100 coins.

While there’s no shortage of coins out there that you’ll rack up quickly and effortlessly, you should make sure to stash as much currency as possible for future use. When you return to each world after completing the story, the Crazy Cap shops start selling many, many more moons. While buying moons isn’t as thrilling as earning them, trading coins for moons is a quick way to hit certain endgame power moon thresholds (250 and 500), which unlock new worlds. If you’re running a bit short and don’t want to go back and look around for more before seeing those extra worlds, you can simply visit a shop to inject that last bit of needed power moon fuel.

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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