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7 things to know before starting Super Mario RPG

Some beginner’s tips for those who’ve never played the original

Mario, Mallow, and Geno celebrate getting a green star in Super Mario RPG Image: ArtePiazza/Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Super Mario RPG has been remade for Nintendo Switch, and it’s beautiful while retaining all of its original charm.

The game can be tricky. Though the visuals have been brought forward to 2023, most of the in-game systems are the same simple ones from before, which can be surprising to new players. While there are quality-of-life changes in the remake, the game has a lot of old school stuff that can take getting used to.

Below, we list out some beginners tips we wish we knew when starting the Super Mario RPG.

This isn’t the Mario & Luigi or Paper Mario series, even if it feels similar

If you’ve played the other Mario RPGs a lot, you have a few habits to unlearn when it comes to Super Mario RPG. For one, enemies won’t take damage from getting preemptive strikes outside of battle, so don’t bother trying to jump on them. All of your characters will dodge and strike with the A button, too, which brings us to the next tip...

Keep your thumb on the A button during combat

You’ll need to react quickly to block incoming damage, so there’s no use in lollygagging around by taking your thumb off the A button. Since you’ll also be using the A button to nail down timing with attacks, you may as well leave it there.

(This might seem like a silly tip, but I personally had to unlearn swapping between A and B — a habit I picked up from Mario & Luigi.)

Don’t forget to use your Flower-increasing items

Flower Tabs and the like can only be used outside of battle and they increase your maximum Flower Points. Using these items will also restore your Flower Points to full, so you can use them strategically (out of battle, again) in a pinch.

Mario runs around Monstro Town with a menu open showing Flower Tabs Image: ArtePiazza/Nintendo via Polygon

Buy healing items, but keep item limits in mind

You should be stocked up on healing items, but keep in mind that you can only carry a certain number of each item. Extras will be sent to the chest in Mario’s house.

Yes, just buy the better equips at the shops

If you’re on the fence about upgrading your equips because you’re afraid that the incoming dungeon will have better equips inside, just buy the ones at the shop. Super Mario RPG doesn’t really make you outgrow your equips in a way that you need to budget your coins. You’ll have tons of coins and dungeons only reward a few different weapons, so you don’t have to worry too much about your new equipment going to waste quickly.

Keep practicing the Mario special jump

The best end-game equips for Mario involve landing consecutive Super Jumps. For the accessory, you’ll need to land 30 in a row, and for the armor, you’ll need a whopping 100 in a row. It’s better to start practicing that timing as soon as you can.

Mario jumps on a bee in Super Mario RPG Image: ArtePiazza/Nintendo via Polygon

Use the menu to fast travel rather than the world map (when you can)

Rather than using the overworld map to travel to previous locations, just open the menu and travel from that map instead. This map offers more specific locations to travel to. For example, rather than just placing you at the beginning of Land’s End, you have the option to head to the Land’s End entrance, the Tall Cliff, or Belome’s Temple. This will save you from having to backtrack through lengthy areas to get to where you’re trying to go.

For more Super Mario RPG guides, check out our party member unlock guide, Melody Bay music puzzle guide, or our list of all the hidden treasure locations.

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