Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a cover-based, turn-based strategy, fever dream of a game starring remixed versions of familiar Nintendo and Ubisoft characters. It's like D&D meets Risk meets Super Mario Galaxy all on a sugar high (because rabbids). It’s not like any Mario game you’ve played before. That’s why we wrote this primer to get you started.
It took us days of playing and practicing and ruminating before we felt like we understood how to play Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. We’ve condensed what we learned below to help you along that learning curve. We break down some of the big, obvious questions first, then give you a bunch of tips to improve your chances in battle below.
How do I level up my party and weapons?
Selecting your party and keeping its members healthy is an important part of what you’ll do. In this section, we’ll discuss creating a party, leaving your characters as well as how to find and use weapons.
Party selection and leveling
There are two kinds of “leveling up” that your team can get. The first is “Team Rank Up!” You’ll get this automatically as you clear worlds and defeat bosses. This just increases your heroes’ base health (and unlocks new weapons).
The other way to improve your party is through the skill tree in Battle HQ. Here, you’ll spend the power orbs you’ve collected when defeating certain bosses or opening treasure chests to unlock new abilities in your skill trees.
Finding and using weapons
You can’t improve your weapons, but you can just buy better ones. You’ll unlock new weapons to purchase at Battle HQ a you play through the game and when you find them in treasure chests. Once they’re unlocked, you spend the coins you’ve collected to purchase them.
How do I heal?
There’s no avoiding it: You’re going to take damage in your fights in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. That damage will carry over into the next fight, until you reach the end of a chapter — at which point all of your heroes are restored to full health.
The most useful, but least common, way to heal is by finding a mushroom in the overworld. These restore a number of hit points to the three heroes in your party. You can increase the amount of mushroom healing with a skill in each character’s skill tree.
Certain characters have healing abilities that you can trigger during fights. Rabbid Peach has a heal technique that will restore hit points to any heroes in range. (Regular) Peach has a skill that causes her to heal anyone in a small area around her when she lands after a team jump.
There’s one more way to heal, but it’s kind of a nuclear option. From the pause menu, you can choose to return to Peach’s castle. This will reset your progress in the current chapter — meaning you have to run through the fights again — but it lets you start with full health so you can, hopefully, do better next time.
So how do I get more coins and power orbs?
You’ll earn coins and power orbs as you play, and in this section we’ll tell you how to find them and what you can do with them.
Coins are the currency for buying new weapons. Some of them will be right there on the path as you make your way from battle to battle in the overworld(s). Others will pop up in handy groups in some out-of-the-way places. During battles, you’ll get a coin or two for blocks that get destroyed and you’ll get a few coins for golden shots (which you’ll get sometimes when killing enemies).
You’ll make the most coins at the end of a chapter. Your performance in a battle — how many turns it took you to win and how many of your team members are still on their feet — will determine your rating. Your combined ratings across the chapter — usually two battles — determines which trophy you get. Each level of trophy will earn you a bunch of coins — the first trophy earns you 1x reward, the second gets you 2x, and so on.
Power orbs are what you’ll use to level up your characters’ skill trees. You’ll find a few power orbs hidden in treasure chests scattered around the overworld, and you’ll receive a lot more by defeating bosses as you progress through the game.
Tips and tricks
We’ve organized our tips into a few sections. These are the kinds of tips that would dawn on you after several hours of playing Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but why wait?
- You’re not going to find (or be able to find) everything on your first pass. And that’s OK. Some game functions (and structures and optional challenges) don’t unlock until after the end of World 1, the Ancient Gardens. Be patient, and try to contain your perfectionist or completionist tendencies until later.
- Move the camera around. It’s easy to miss a treasure chest behind or under a tree if you’re locked into one perspective.
- But don’t move the camera around wildly. Keep track of how you’re moving the camera. It’s very, very (no, seriously, very) easy to get disoriented while rotating the camera around.
- In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, it literally pays to explore. Don’t rush straight to your next objective. Look around. Explore the world. Odds are, you’ll find some coins or treasure chests.
- You’re going to take damage. Deal with it. Chances are very slim that you’re going to make it through any given fight unscathed. That’s just how the game works, so don’t get frustrated or waste your time trying to be perfect. There’s not even a reward for taking zero damage. Your only real goal is win a battle as quickly as possible while keeping all of your heroes on their feet.
- Don’t hesitate to restart a fight or a chapter. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. Maybe you make a bad tactical decision or maybe you just hit the wrong button. The start menu gives you the option to restart the fight (or the chapter). Don’t be afraid to use it.
- Try not to leave team members out in the open. This one’s obvious, but if you’re rushing or not thinking ahead, it’s surprisingly easy to get caught out in the open. (It is, however, OK to end up in the open if it’s the end of a fight).
- As obvious as it sounds, don’t forget that your enemy has a turn, too. They can move and attack just like you can, so if you’re not careful, that 100 percent cover block you’re behind at the end of your turn can become a shooting gallery as soon as the enemy moves.
- You don’t have to use a technique on every turn. Sometimes it makes sense to save them for when your team is close together or when you’re just in a better position against the enemy.
- Don’t rush when confirming your movement. It’s really easy to end up in the wrong place with an errant or premature button-press, and then Mario’s just standing in the middle of a bunch of bad guys.
- Do use every (free) attack you can. The damage from dashes and jump stomps adds up fast and is invaluable.
- TactiCam is useful for planning ahead. At the very least, get in the habit of entering TactiCam mode at the beginning of fights just so you can look around the battlefield, spot your enemies and find some good cover. TactiCam seemed like an annoyance at first. Eventually, it became an essential tool for planning. If you rush in to fight, you die. If you stop to plan, you win.
- Whenever possible, move first, then shoot. Your primary weapon doesn’t necessarily have to be a fall-back option, but it should be close. You deal consistent and substantial with your dash attacks and, when your team works together to deal organized dash damage, you can win some fights without ever firing a shot.
Equipment and skills
- Party members share coins, but not power orbs. This means you can unlock abilities in the skill tree a lot faster than you can add new weapons to your arsenal. It also means you have to be careful and consciously equitable when purchasing weapons. If you just keep buying Mario the best weapon you can afford, your other team members are going to be underpowered. Likewise, if you keep buying everyone else shiny new toys, Mario’s going to be spending a lot of fights unconscious.
- Unlock the first tier of skills first. This opens up every ability available to your heroes and gives you a much better sense of what they can do.
- Then focus on skills that deal damage. Add extra targets to your dash attack (for Rabbid Peach) or add extra damage to your vamp dash (for Rabbid Luigi). It doesn’t take a lot of power orbs to make your movement-based attacks very, very powerful. After you’re comfortable with how much damage you’re dealing, you can start focusing on the other skills like extra movement or improving your techniques.
- You can completely reset any (or all) of your skill trees for free as many times as you want. Do this. Do this often. Each fight and challenge is unique, so you should tie yourself to a certain set of skills. Get comfortable rearranging your skill trees to overcome specific challenges.
- Do not ignore your secondary weapons. This is easily the most important thing we’ve learned while playing Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. It’s easy to think of secondary weapons as, well, secondary and therefore less important than your primary. But this is a big mistake. Secondary weapons tend to have better range, deal splash damage and even ignore cover. Spend some money on them and use them.