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Super Mario Run Kingdom Builder guide

Buying things, building things, unlocking characters

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Super Mario Run is about more than running. Sometimes you have to slow down and take a break. Also, Bowser kind of destroyed everything and no one has anywhere to live. So let’s talk about rebuilding the kingdom.

How do I buy things?

You buy objects and buildings in the shop using the coins you collect in World Tour levels and Toad Rally races. The shop is the button on the right of the Kingdom Builder menu. It’s helpfully labeled "shop."

What types of things can I buy?

Items in the store are sorted into three categories: decorations, buildings and special.


Decorations are, well, decorative. They’re fun things you can scatter around to make your kingdom look nice. Decorative items are mostly landscaping.


Buildings are also decorative, but not landscaping. You can build things like color-coordinated houses for your toad fans, and you can erect to your own glory.


Special items are where things get interesting. Bonus houses let you play extra levels to earn some extra cash and rally tickets (once every eight hours). The various pipes also unlock bonus levels. Luigi, Yoshi and Toadette’s houses unlock those characters for you.

Why can’t I buy some things?

Some objects and buildings are only available after you’ve met certain conditions — usually how many colored toads you have in your kingdom.

You can see the requirements (and which requirements you’ve already met) below the object’s description in the store. If you haven’t met the requirements, there will be a red lock icon overlaid on the image of the object.

How do I get those not-red toads I need to buy this thing?

The color of the toads that become your fans (and then move to your kingdom) during Toad Rallies depend on which level you’re competing. You can check the expected crowd of a race by looking next to your opponent’s Mii or on the screen before you start the race.

You unlock additional levels by completing them in World Tour mode, so if you don’t see the color of toad that you want to move into your neighborhood, you probably haven’t completed World Tour mode yet. Do that.

I completely forgot the tutorial. How do I place things again?

After you purchase something, you’ll be prompted to place it. If you didn’t place it when you bought it or you got something as a gift (like you did after you purchased the full game), choose Place from the Kingdom Builder menu.

Scroll through your inventory — it’s broken down just like the store — and then tap on the yellow registration marks.

I put a thing in the wrong place or I don’t want to see it any more.

You have two options here. If you just want something to be somewhere else, tap Move from the main Kingdom Builder menu and then pick a new location for it (helpfully highlighted with yellow registration marks. It’s just that simple).

If you decide that the red hill no longer really ties the kingdom together, tap Put Away instead. This lets you (and we hope you’re taking notes) put things away. The things you can can put away have those yellow registration marks. Tap what you want to get rid of, and it’ll get put away into your inventory. You can place it somewhere else later.

So, what actually matters?

Bonus houses. Bonus houses are a way to get a chance at rally tickets, and they don’t require you to collect challenge coins.

If you’re into playing as other characters — say you’re a younger sibling and therefore aren’t comfortable unless you’re playing as Luigi — the character houses are what you’re looking for.

I’m out of room to build things. How do I expand my kingdom?

Pretty early in the rebuilding process, you’re going to run out of places to put things. This is where rainbow bridges come in.

You can purchase rainbow bridges from the special section of the Kingdom Builder shop. Each one you get requires more toads to unlock — for example, 20 toads of each color for the first. You don’t have a choice of where to place a rainbow bridge, but they expand your kingdom to an additional screen. Swiping on your kingdom moves you to these new areas.

How do I get rid of those thwomps?

Like Carl from two doors down who leaves his Christmas lights up until July, thwomps make terrible neighbors. They take up valuable real estate and are kind of an eyesore. Luckily, there’s a solution. And, like with most things in life, that solution is a hammer. [EDITOR’S NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT HIT YOUR NEIGHBOR CARL WITH A HAMMER.]

Completing all levels in a world earns you 10 Toad Rally tickets and a few hammers. In the Kingdom Builder menu, you can select these hammers, then tap on a thwomp to get rid of it.