Super Mario Bros 35
Image: Nintendo, screenshot: Nintendo Life

Super Mario Bros. 35 is now available for free on the Nintendo Switch eShop, transforming Mario's classic platforming gameplay into a 35-player battle royale competition. It sounds pretty hectic on paper, and just like Tetris 99, it really is hectic when you reach the final stages.

If you're wondering how to win a round of Super Mario Bros. 35 or just looking for tips to beat other players, hopefully this guide will help you.

The Basics - How To Play Super Mario Bros. 35

Mario Bros. 35
Image: Nintendo, screenshot: Nintendo Life

The Aim Of The Game

Super Mario Bros. 35 doesn't actually explain the rules to you, so you'd be forgiven for being a little confused when you first jump into a game. Essentially, your goal is to be the last Mario standing.

This means that it's not a simple race to the flagpole – instead, your focus should be on staying alive and watching other players slowly but surely fall to their doom. There are plenty of things to consider and plenty of different tactics you could opt for, but the first thing you should do is make sure you have a solid grip of Mario's controls and an understanding of how to knock out each different enemy type.

The Controls

If you're familiar with Mario platformers, the controls should be familiar too. Here's a quick rundown:

  • B: Use B to jump. Mario can stay in the air longer when you hold the button down.
  • Y: Use Y to run. This lets Mario sprint – useful for long jumps and getting to the goal.
  • D-Pad: This one's simple. Mario can move left and right by using the D-Pad.
  • X: Pressing X lets you use a random item mid-game (more on this in this guide's Coin section).

Defeating Enemies Helps You, And Hinders Your Opponents

One of the most important parts of Super Mario Bros. 35 revolves around knocking out enemies. We're talking Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Cheep Cheeps – you name it.

The main reason for this is that defeating an enemy gives you extra time. You'll notice that each time you stomp a Goomba, precious seconds are added to your clock, helping you along to victory.

The way in which you defeat your opponents is also important. Stomping on a Goomba will give you more bonus seconds than taking it out with a Fire Flower, for example, and stomping on multiple Goombas in quick succession results in even more time being added. Play around and discover the best tactics.

Finally, any enemies you defeat are sent over to your targetted opponent (more on this later, too). If you notice any greyed out enemies on your screen, they've been sent over by your opponents. Keep defeating enemies to send them flying at your opponents and make their life just that bit tougher.

What Do Coins Do In Super Mario Bros. 35?

Mario Bros. 35
Image: Nintendo, screenshot: Nintendo Life

Collecting Coins might seem pretty counterproductive at first – especially considering that pesky timer forever counting down – but you'll want to collect as many as you can.

By spending 20 Coins, you're able to receive a random power-up like a Fire Flower or a Super Star from the Item Roulette (you can see this at the top-left of the screen in the image above – simply press the X button to activate it). This can be a huge help if enemies are littering the screen and Mario is weak – you might even get a POW Block which immediately knocks out every enemy on-screen.

Stock up on Coins as you play to ensure you have plenty of Item Roulette spins in hand for when things get stressful. Ensuring you always have a Fire Flower in play can go a long way.

Which Attack Mode Should You Choose In Super Mario Bros. 35?

There are four different attack modes to choose from at the top of the screen which can be selected by flicking the right control stick in the appropriate direction. Your choices are Random, Lowest Time, Most Coins, and Attackers.

Your choice here is important as it dictates which real-life opponent will end up having to deal with all of your defeated enemies.


Random does just what it says on the tin and targets any random player. It's not the smartest tactic, but if you're just getting to grips with things and don't want the extra distraction, it's not a bad starting point.

Lowest Time

Lowest Time targets the player that has the lowest time remaining, meaning you'll have a greater chance of contributing towards knocking someone out. If you want to weed out the weaker competition quickly, this is a good shout.

Most Coins

Most Coins is possibly the most useful option for experienced players. Here, you'll make life harder for those who have lots of Coins saved up, ready to be used on power-ups that would have kept them in the game. The best players tend to have lots of Coins, so why not get in there and disrupt their game?


Attackers targets players who are currently attacking you. Ironically, then, Attackers is actually a defensive option, hopefully putting enough pressure on those who are targeting you that they can no longer send more enemies your way.

Super Mario Bros. 35 Tips And Tricks

  • It's important to remember that surviving is the aim of the game here. Don't feel pressured into blitzing through each level to reach the goal – often a steadier pace, carefully collecting Coins and defeating all enemies, puts you in a stronger position in the latter stages.
  • Practice, practice, practice! From the Main Menu, you can actually jump into an option called 'Course Practice'. Here, you'll be able to check out the courses you've unlocked without any pressure – learning how each course is laid out is essential.
  • You can head into a battle with an item already equipped, so why wouldn't you? Just before diving into battle, you should spot a banner on the right-hand side of the screen that lets you spend Coins on items. This means you can jump right into World 1-1 with a Fire Flower or a Super Star – get in there and dominate from the off!

Hopefully this guide will help you edge ever closer to that Mario battle royale victory. If you have any other advice for players who might be reading, feel free to share your words of wisdom in our comment section below.

We also have a review of Super Mario Bros. 35 if you'd like to read our thoughts, although it's always easy to recommend a free Mario game!