Super Mario Odyssey changes the Mario formula in a variety of surprising ways, and it’s jam-packed with mechanics that aren’t exactly obvious.
Super Mario Odyssey might just be the grand culmination of Nintendo’s flagship franchise. There are so many new mechanics, the game barely pauses to tell you everything you need to know — so we’re dropping in to reveal 10 tips, tricks, and mechanics. That’s just the tip of the proverbial ice burg, and you’ll discover so much more while capturing dinosaurs and employing advanced combat moves with your trusty pal Cappy.
Like every modern 3D-era Mario, collectibles are the Mushroom Kingdom protector’s main goal — in Odyssey, you’ll be hunting Power Moons, and there are 800 or so total in the game. That’s an insane amount, and you’ll need all the help you can get finding them all. There are NPCs, maps, and amiibo you can use to keep track of all the moons you’ve missed, and there are a variety of special motion controls you can deploy to make life way easier. There’s even an added benefit to waiting around and doing nothing.
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Use Amiibo & NPCs To Find Moons You Missed
In Super Mario Odyssey, you’re always on the lookout for more Power Moons. The collectibles are practically everywhere, and you’ll earn tons of them just for completing the story and defeating all the bosses — three moons for each boss. Areas you’ve completed will also unlock more moon challenges when you go back for a return trip.
There are so many moons, it can get pretty tricky finding them all. Thankfully, there are three alternative ways to locate moons in Super Mario Odyssey.
- Use Amiibo — place any non-Super Mario Odyssey amiibo after holding left on your d-pad to send Uncle Amiibo out into the kingdom to find a moon.
- Talk to Talkatoo — the bird NPC will appear after you beat the major boss of the kingdom. He’ll give you a cryptic clue everytime to you to him.
- Pay Toad — Hint Toad appears after defeating the major boss of the kingdom, too. For 50 gold coins, he’ll place a marker on your map showing you a Power Moon location.
That’s three ways to get hints and literal locations, but you can also use your map to track your Power Moon progress.
You Can Use A Hidden List To Track Areas You Haven’t Explored
Every kingdom is so big, it has its own map. If you talk to Hint Toad, he’ll place markers on your map showing off new Moon locations, but if you don’t feel like forking over 50 gold coins every time, you can check your map and find all the areas you haven’t explored yet using a special, not-so-obvious in-game menu.
Open the map, then press [Y] to find the “Lists” menu. From here, you can see all the moons you’ve found so far — where you got them, and a list showing all the available moons in the kingdom. Missing moon entries are numbered, so you’ll know how many you haven’t picked up, and which big blank areas you probably should explore.
All The Advanced Cappy Moves Are Locked Behind Motion Controls
If you play with the Pro Controller, with the Joy-Cons in a dock, or with the Switch in mobile mode, you’re missing out on a ton of extra (and extra advanced) special moves Mario can perform with Cappy. All of Cappy’s best moves are motion control only, you simply can’t perform them if your Joy-Cons aren’t in each hand individually.
- Homing Cappy: Flick the Joy-Con to automatically home-in on the closest enemy, even if you missed your throw.
There are tons of other optional moves that are incredibly useful — tap [Y] for a longer Cappy throw, or roll Mario up in a Metroid-esque ball to gain extra momentum.
Chain Cappy & Mario Moves Together To Reach New Heights
Another advantage of motion controls is that you actually chain Mario’s jumps with Cappy’s abilities. There’s no better way to cross huge chasms or just travel around the environment, pulling off impossible jumps just for the heck of it. It is pretty tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice.
- For example: Use a long Cappy throw, then a Dive jump. -OR- Throw Cappy, jump on Cappy, throw Cappy again, then Dive jump off Cappy.
There are plenty of combinations you can create. Mastering these techniques won’t be especially easy, but you’ll want to remember to use Cappy to his fullest.
Find Hearts In Flowers & Walls To Stay Healthy
Here’s a quick tip — not only can you purchase hearts in the Crazy Cap stores, but you can also find them in secret spots around the environment. Look for red flowers with green stalks — if you use Mario and Cappy’s spin move, you can summon an extra heart. These flowers tend to always be in a circle, or a circular arrangement that makes them possible to hit with a spin-attack.
Be on the lookout for another healthy environment entity — pink cat Mario! The kingdoms of Super Mario Odyssey have plenty of graffiti, but you’ll want to find cat Mario and his bright pink costume. Throw Cappy at this particular wall art to gain hearts. Useful, right?
Don’t Know What You Can Capture? Idle For White Caps To Appear
Sometimes, it feels like there’s no end to the amount of STUFF Cappy can interact with in each Kingdom, but sometimes there are items, parts of the environment, enemies, or other stuff you haven’t even considered for capture. Thankfully, Nintendo is here to help — all you have to do is sit, wait, and let Mario idle.
It helps that Mario’s idle animations are super-cute and unique for each kingdom. But, if you wait and idle, little white ghostly hats will appear on anything Cappy can capture. Pretty useful, and you just might see something you never throught to throw Cappy at.
When Capturing, You Can Cancel (Or Escape) At Any Time
Another quick capturing tip — if you’ve tossed Cappy at the wrong critter, you can immediately back out. Just press a button; [ZL] to be precise! You’ll bounce back out of the capture and return Mario to his standard form. There’s no reason to stay in a Goomba or a Wiggler’s body forever, y’know.
Unlock Costumes To Access Secret Areas & Moons
Costumes aren’t just to make Mario look swanky. Each kingdom comes with unique costumes you can purchase at the vendors — either using gold coins or the special kingdon-specific currency.
Often, you’ll find that the special outfit in an area will actually allow Mario to access locations you can’t normally reach, or earn moons that are completely locked-out. Whenever you reach a new kingdom, try putting on the local fashion to see what new stuff you can find.
Locate Hidden NPCs For Even More Moons
On top of all the regular moons, Mario can also complete quests for NPCs after completing the game. Even if you haven’t finished the story, you’ll find lots of characters that’ll give you moons just for chatting them up — Captain Toad is usually located in some hidden spot, while Goombette (the lady Goomba) will give you a moon for bringing stacks of goombas to her location.
When the story is over, Princess Peach herself will go on a vacation, stopping by every single kingdom and rewarding Mario with a moon for finding her. She’s especially easy to locate, and she’ll give you a clue for every spot she’s in during each dialogue.
Take Fancy Pics With Photo Mode
Finally, there’s an additional mode you might miss. Mario has work to do in Super Mario Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean this vacation can’t be fun. Pause the game and press down on the D-Pad to start up Photo Mode. It’s accessible and available right from the start of the game, even if no one tells you it exists for a very long time.
Photo Mode includes all the filters, stickers, and options you’d want to take a striking screenshot of Mario to share with your friends — this is especially fun to play around with all of Mario’s new (and adorable) kingdom-specific idle animations.
Think we missed any awesome tips, tricks, and hidden mechanics? Drop us a comment and let us know what’s up!