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The crossover between the house Mario built and Ubisoft’s demented Rabbids is finally upon us, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a game unlike any other on the Switch to date. Before it was even so much as officially announced gamers were panning the title, saying it just didn’t make sense. Much to our delight, however, the end result is not only a good game, but one of the best offerings on the Switch to date.

It's quite a departure for the moustachioed hero, but don't let that throw you off. Here are some key tips to help you take your first steps to saving the Mushroom Kingdom.

Collect Coins, All the Coins

Coins may not mean much in the Mario series in this era of easily obtained lives, but they’re critically important in Mario + Rabbids. In this game they're currency - you’ll be buying every new weapon each party member uses and they aren’t exactly cheap, so make sure you grab ‘em when you see ‘em. Coins can be found scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom both in and out of battle. If you smash an enemy’s cover with a shot or get a golden shot, which happens at random when you take out an enemy, you’ll net yourself a few coins. During any character’s move phase you can sweep up those coins, even if they’re out of your character’s reach.

It's also worth noting that the better you do in battles the more bonus coins you get, so do your best?

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Don't Forget to Get New Gear

Unlike many RPGs just finding new weapons isn’t enough, you’ll also need to buy them. You do this - and spend Orbs as detailed further down - either by visiting the 'Battle HQ' at Peach's Castle or accessing the same area with the X button prior to a battle. When looking over weapons don't just focus on their shot power, but also consider their Super Effects and unique capabilities. When you have multiple weapons for each character you may find yourself swapping between them depending on the sorts of enemies you'll face.

There are two main ways of finding your new equipment in the world: chests that you discover in the world and more that are made available by taking out bosses. As you make your way around to your objectives, make sure to take the branching paths as much as possible.

The maps aren’t too convoluted to figure out, so make sure you hop in every rabbid pipe or follow anything off the beaten path. If you find a blue cannon, meanwhile, make sure to hop in it to be transported to a bonus stage in which you have to collect blue coins. If you manage to clear it you’ll always get a weapon.

Spend Those Orbs

There are no experience points or traditional levels to speak of in Mario + Rabbids, but there is a very traditional streak running through it in the form of a Skill Tree. To purchase new skills you’ll need purple orbs. Fortunately, each character has their own stock of orbs, so you don’t have to pick and choose which character gets upgrades. As a result the game encourages you to level them all up and, therefore, experiment with different team combinations; you'll be able to get the whole cast up to the same high levels. 

Battles can be quite tough, and some of the skills - such as Mario’s ability to stomp on enemies off a Team Jump - can make the difference between a battle lost or won.

Heal When You Can

This seems obvious, but healing is hard to come by. Rabbid Peach has a skill she can use early on to heal in battle, which we highly recommend investing in. Other in-battle options are thin on the ground, including a Team Jump move for Peach later in the game.

You get fully charged after clearing a chapter, but between battles within the same area your options are limited. Between battles in a chapter look around for big power mushrooms to give your entire party a small HP boost, and once your cast grows you can simply change up your team (apart from Mario) to put in those with more energy.

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Don’t Play Perfectly

Mario + Rabbids is precisely the kind of game that makes you want to get through each battle without taking so much as a single attack. Don’t do that. The game offers no reward for performing that well, so don’t let it hang you up too much. Instead, just keep all your characters alive and win in as few turns as possible; that's how you get the best ratings. You’ll get a ton of coins, and more importantly you’ll save yourself quite a bit of potential frustration.

Make Multiple Trips

You won’t be able to find everything in a single level, as certain paths will be blocked off until you can earn a new ability to deal with them. At the end of each world you’ll receive a new ability, such as the ability to push blocks, which will allow you to open the way to new chests with orbs and weapons. When it suits you, return to areas you’ve already completed and do some exploring with your new abilities; you’ll find some cool new loot!

Work Smart

When you’re in battle, make sure to make the most of each turn. You can dash through enemies to cause them a bit of damage then attack after, and you can also springboard off of your allies to reach parts of the map you might not be able to get to otherwise. Make sure to invest in skills that can increase the number of jumps and dashes you can do in order to lay the damage on thick.

These tips should be enough to get you started, but they’re just the beginning. We’ll have much more on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle here on Nintendo Life, so stay tuned.