Super Mario Maker 2: Everything you need to know

Super Mario Maker 2 is easily one of Nintendo’s most anticipated releases this year. Set to release on June 28, we have heard almost nothing about it since its reveal. We gleamed a lot of details from screenshots and trailer footage, from slopes to the new Super Mario 3D World style, but Nintendo has been silent about official details.

Until now. Nintendo randomly announced (as they tend to do) a new Nintendo Direct a day before it went down. The subject du jour is Super Mario Maker 2, of course, and all the neat new things this sequel is bringing to the package. What’s up with Meowser? What’s up with the Mario Karts on the marketing poster? Will you really be able to play and design in multiplayer? Now is the time to find out.

The Basics

The presentation started out with a refresh of the basics of Super Mario Maker. For the most part, courses are designed the same way you designed them in the original. You can either use a controller, or in handheld mode you can use the touch screen to move around pieces. You can still test your creation at any time and Mario’s ghost path persists on the screen at all times so you can map out jumps and hazards.

Just as in the original, you will have access to a number of different ground and platforms to choose from. It appears as if cosmetic elements (like flowers and tufts of grass) are not selectable and still spawn randomly, however you will likely be able to spawn one and copy-paste it as per normal. You can also still layer pass through platforms.

You can still put anything you want in blocks, pipes, or other containers. Pipes can now be made in multiple colors and as usual they can be linked to sub areas.

The standard course themes make a return including basic ground, underground, underwater, castle, airship, and ghost house. Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros U. themes are interchangeable while Super Mario 3D World is not. More on that later.

It’s also worth noting that all the DLC and updates from the original Super Mario Maker will be included in Super Mario Maker 2, from red coins, to keys, and more.

Sub Menus

Many items, enemies, and course parts now have submenus that allow you to put them into different modes. For example, going into a buzzy beetle’s sub-menu allows you to adjust whether it starts in or out of its shell, its size, and whether it’s winged or has a parachute.

New Course Features

Most of the items and course features below are usable in any of the original Super Mario Maker level styles.

Slopes

We saw this in the first Super Mario Maker 2 trailer. Slopes can either be placed over graduated “ladder” like terrain, or created first and then filled in underneath.  Mario will be able to slide down slopes and defeat enemies as usual.

Angry Sun

The Angry Sun is an enemy that acts pretty much as you’d imagine it would from Super Mario 3. When Mario comes within range it will chase him throughout the level. The Angry Sun’s alternate mode is the Happy Moon, which unlocks nigh-time gimmicks (more on that later.)

Snake Block

You can choose the direction that snake blocks follow by freely drawing a path. It comes in green and blue varieties for fast and slow movement.

On and Off Switch, Red and Blue Blocks, Conveyer Belts, and Track Switches

All of these items are connected to each other. When the switch is turned off it turns blue and all blue blocks fill in while all red blocks become intangible. When it’s turned on, all red blocks fill in and all blue blocks turn intangible. It’s essentially a small localized version of a switch palace.

There are also track switches for moving stage features as well. You can put a track switch in two positions, one that items will follow when switch blocks are on, and one when they are off. This will let you recreate some of your favorite Super Mario World levels, but will also allow those with a mind for coding to make complex logic gates.

Finally, switch blocks can also be used to change the direction of conveyer belts. It’s also worth noting that conveyer belts can be made diagonal now too. Slopes for everyone!

Seesaw

Seesaws are another thing we saw in the original announcement trailer. They tilt left to right based on Mario’s weight. They tilt slower toward the axis and faster toward the edges and they can be made in multiple sizes.

Swinging Claw

Items and enemies can be grabbed by this stage hazard and will then dangle downward. If Mario is grabbed by this hazard, he can build momentum by swinging back and forth before jumping out. It appears as they will grab anything that comes close to them, but through using tracks and other logic tricks, you can make “crane game” style levels.

Water Level

In certain new course themes, like the Forest course them, you can freely set the water level and even cause the water to move up and down over time. You can even choose the speed at which the water moves (there are three different speeds to choose from). In the castle theme, you can do the same with lava. This will allow you to make vertical “escape the lava” auto-scrollers.

Custom Scroll

You can now auto-scroll levels in any direction you want. Unfortunately, vertical space is still limited in standard levels, but you can make up for this with some interesting level design. You can also alter the scroll speed in different parts of the level, causing it to speed up or slow down over time. You also appear to be able to scroll only small areas of the level if you like, allowing you to alter between traditional levels and auto-scrollers.

Vertical Levels

While the amount of level real-estate you have to work with remains the same, you appear to be able to flip sub-areas (and possibly main stages) into a “portrait” mode. This will give you a level with more vertical space than horizontal space, allowing you to make vertical auto scrollers or puzzle levels.

Scroll Stop

When Mario is fully encased in blocks (specifically non-destructible blocks) the horizontal scrolling will stop. This will allow you to create a ton of individual sub-area rooms without having to hide them with massive walls. This is extremely useful for hidden coin rooms.

Banzai Bill and Red Banzai Bill

Banzai Bills are fired from off screen unlike Bullet Bills. While the direct said you can fire them in four cardinal directions, you also appear to be able to fire them diagonally as well. Red Banzai Bills will attempt to home in on Mario’s location.

Dry Bones Shell

The Dry bones Shell is a new power-up introduced to Super Mario Maker 2. Jumping inside it makes Mario’s feet immune to hazards like Lava or Spikes. Ducking while wearing the Dry Bones Shell allows you to play dead, giving you temporary invulnerability (much like the Tanuki Suit of Super Mario Bros 3.)

Big Coins

You can now create big coins worth 10, 30, or 50 coins by accessing the coin sub-menu. You can also make them fly or attach them to a parachute.

New Sound Effects

Hooooo boy. It looks like there are many more ways to annoy players by littering your level with sound effects. In the direct we saw a lightning sound and visual effect, a “Samurai” themed visual effect which causes ninja to run across the screen, a couple more Japanese inspired music tracks, more screams, a pig, and a horror movie sting that makes the screen go black and white.

Co-Op Build

As theorized from the inclusion of Luigi on marketing materials, it appears as if you can build stages co-operatively with friends. Both players will have access to all the tools you have at your disposal though they appear to be limited to the same screen. It might be that this mode is only available in local co-op play and not in online play.

Alternate Clear Conditions

You can now clear levels by doing things other than hitting a goal post. The most basic of clear conditions allows you to clear a level after defeating a particular enemy, perfect for boss levels. However you can also make a level end after you collect enough coins, after you defeat enough normal enemies of a certain type, you can force someone to reach the goal in a power-up state, reach the goal without taking damage, reach the goal after jumping or not jumping, Reach the goal while in mid-air, reach the goal after collecting certain items, and more. Expect to see a lot more puzzle levels in the future.

Twisters

Twisters will cause any enemy, item, or player to hover in mid-air if they step into the whirlwind. Twisters can be static or they can be a moving hazard.

Icicle

Icicles work as sort of one-shot Thwomps. They fall when you get near them and disappear, although it appears as if they can move in directions other than down based on their interface.

Red Yoshis

Yoshi now has an alternate mode as Red Yoshi. Red Yoshi will spit his trademark three fireballs instead of eating enemies. It’s unclear whether Blue and Yellow Yoshi’s will also make an appearance.

Parachutes

Parachutes are a new item that can be attached to other enemies, items, and objects. It slows their falling speed and also seems to keep them in an actionless stasis. Enemies can attach to a parachute in mid-air to alter their falling trajectory.

Boom Boom

Boom Boom is a new boss enemy but he appears to use a very rudimentary A.I. He will just chase after you swinging his arms and legs, making him a little bit more like a Charging Chuck. He might follow other A.I. when given items like wings.

New Course Themes

On top of the returning original course themes, Super Mario Make r2 will have a desert theme, snow theme, forest theme, and sky theme. Some of these themes, like the Forest theme, will come with special gimmicks, like the ability to raise the water level. Each of these themes that were never featured in their respective style (such as an original SMB forest level) will have brand new music made by veteran Mario composer, Koji Kondo.

The Happy Moon and Night Themes

By putting the Angry Sun into its alternate mode, you’ll get the Happy Moon. It works the same as the sun, except if Mario touches it, it will kill all the enemies on screen instead of killing him.

More importantly, placing the moon switches a theme into its Night Theme. Night themes not only change the graphics of whatever theme you have selected but also come with a new control gimmick.

For example, nighttime underground reverses gravity causing Mario to fall up. Nighttime ghost houses are dark with only a small circle of light around Mario. Nightiime deserts will blow strong winds at Mario altering the trajectory of his jumps. The standard basic ground theme at night will cause enemies to float. The sky theme has low gravity at nighttime causing Mario to jump higher and fall slower. Nighttime snow levels will have ice physics applied to all of their platforms. Finally, nighttime forest levels will have poison water instead of swimmable water.

Certain items and enemies will change in nighttime themes as well. For example, the 1-up mushroom becomes the rotten mushroom, which acts like the poison mushroom from the Lost Levels.

Nighttime themes appear to be able to be unlocked in some way, allowing you to use them without placing the moon. The rest of the game will likely also have some sort of unlock scheme though what it is not yet clear.

Super Mario 3D World Style

Selecting the Super Mario 3D World style will clear your map. Unfortunately, maps created in this style are not convertible to any other style since its enemies, physics, and hazards are far too different from every other style. That being said, you will have a ton of new gimmicks to choose from if this is your style of choice.

It’s worth noting that Super Mario 3D World is listed as a special “extra” style, with different rules governing levels created in it. This means it’s theoretically possible that Nintendo could include other styles with unique rules like, say, Super Mario Bros. 2. There is a suspiciously empty space next to Super Mario 3D World on the menu after all.

The direct actually gave us a look at all the menus of 3D World and they seem to be laid out as such (I’ve included descriptions of new items):

Terrain 1

  • Ground
  • Slope
  • Gentle Slope
  • Pipe
  • Glass Pipe – Glass pipes can be bent and curved in whatever formation you like. Going in one end will automatically transport Mario to the other end, However enemies, enemy projectiles, and items can use them too.
  • Spike Block – Platform which juts out spikes every few seconds. Can be combined with the on/off switch to allow you to control when blue and red spike blocks trigger.
  • Background Platform – Has a “fence” variation that you can climb.

Terrain 2

  • Block
  • Question Block
  • Invisible Block
  • Invisible Question Block
  • Falling Block
  • Cloud Block
  • Ice Block

Items

  • Coin
  • Big Coin
  • Red Coin
  • Mushroom
  • Cat Bell – Turns Mario into Cat Mario allowing him to climb vertical surfaces, pounce dive, slide, and swipe with his claws. Will also turn enemies into cat versions of themselves. Cat Mario can also climb background and foreground elements as well as the goal post.
  • Fire Flower
  • Star
  • 1-Up Shroom

Enemies 1

  • Goomba
  • Koopa
  • Ant Trooper – Can walk on all surfaces including upside down surfaces. Has a spikey ant trooper variation.
  • Spiney
  • Blooper
  • Cheep Cheep

Enemies 2

  • Skipsqueak – Will attempt to mimic Mario’s jump. Comes in a spikey variety.
  • Stingby
  • Piranha Plant
  • Piranha Creeper – Will extend along a path you draw. Can be defeated by jumping on its head, while it’s vine does damage.
  • Thwomp
  • Hammer Bro
  • Hop-Chop – Will act as a trampoline if jumped on but will also try to chase Mario and damage him.

Enemies 3

  • Boo – Has a Peepa variation.
  • Lava Bubble
  • Bob-Omb
  • Dry Bones
  • Fish Bone
  • Magikoopa

Enemies 4

  • Meowser – Will chase you through a level and launch fireballs at you.
  • Boom Boom – Can be changed into Pom Pom, who attacks with ninja stars and ninja clones.
  • Charvaargh – Jumps out of the lava in a large arc. Can also jump from the foreground to the background and vice versa.
  • Bully
  • Porcupuffer
  • Kart Koopa – By defeating this enemy you will get the new Mario Kart power up. It will allow you to move through stages at high speed. Seems to make you go forward automatically.

Gizmos 1

  • Bill Blaster
  • Banzai Bill – Can be fired from the background into the foreground.
  • Icicle
  • Lakitu Cloud
  • Switch Block
  • Conveyer Belt
  • Crate – Floats on water, lava, and other liquid. Can be picked up and thrown. Useful for platforming puzzles.

Gizmos 2

  • Key
  • Door
  • Warp Box – Warps you to a new location when you hit it.
  • P-Switch
  • Pow Block
  • Trampoline
  • Arrow
  • Checkpoint

Gizmos 3

  • Cloud Lift
  • Exclamation Point Block – Expands in a pattern you define when hit. Hitting it once expands it one block length. Ground pounding expands it to its full length automatically.
  • Snake Blocks
  • Blinking Blocks – Blinking blocks phase in and out on a timer, swapping from red to blue after a couple beeps.
  • Track Block – Follows any path you draw. The blue variation won’t move until you come in contact with it.
  • Cat Tree – Can be climbed and can hold extra items at the top.
  • Mushroom Trampoline – Comes in two varieties. Bounces Mario when he lands on it. one variety launches him higher than the other.

Story Mode

In story mode, Mario will be rebuilding Princess Peach’s castle. This has you playing courses built by Nintendo designers. Doing so will reward you with coins which allows you to build up more of Peach’s castle and meet new characters with new jobs. Each of these levels is meant to show off different stage elements, so that you can understand how to use them yourself. There are more than 100 courses to play, making it longer than most standard Mario games.

Online

You will need a Nintendo Online subscription to upload, share, and play other creator’s courses.

Courses

You can browse courses by most popular, most played recently, new courses, or by a new detailed search. The detailed search will allow you to sort by clear rate or popularity and search by style, theme, difficulty, region, and most importantly tags. The tags include labels such as:

  • Standard
  • Puzzle
  • Speedrun
  • Autoscroller
  • Auto-Mario (thank god these get their own category)
  • Short
  • Multiplayer Versus (more on this later)
  • Themed
  • Music (for suto-scrolling music levels)

More tags may be added later of course.

Comments

While Miiverse may be gone, its spirit lived on in comments. You can leave a number of pictures, text, and other comments on any level that has comments enabled. It’s unclear whether you will be able to turn them off on the player end. You can also leave comments after finishing a level as well.

Download Courses

You can download courses for offline play and, presumably, to see how they were made in order to mimic their design.

Maker Profiles

Each creator has a maker profile which includes Maker Points, a measure of your success as a designer determined by how often other users like your courses, Medals, which are basically achievements, and a Versus Rating (once again more on that later.) It will also have a Mii style avatar, a link to all courses you played, liked, and uploaded,

Endless Challenge

Give yourself some lives, select a difficulty, and see how many courses you can clear before you get a game over. This is a different spin on the standard Course World challenges of the original. Success on Endless Challenge is ranked on Global Leaderboards

Network Multiplayer

You can play Super Mario Maker 2 levels with up to three other players. Players will take control of Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Toadette in this mode, though they all play the same. You can either play in Co-Op, in which a level is cleared as long as one player makes it to the finish, or Versus, which is a race to the finish. This is why you can tag your courses as multiplayer versus courses, as you can build them to include traps specifically meant to screw with other players. 

You can play in casual multiplayer mode using multiple switches, but it does not appear as if you can play multiplayer using only one switch and multiple controllers. Note, even when playing in local casual multiplayer the host will need a persistent online connection.

Super Mario Maker 2 + Online Bundle

Since the game basically requires Nintendo’s online service, Nintendo is offering a Nintendo Switch Online bundle. It will come with Super Mario Maker 2 and a year of Nintendo Switch Online and will retail for $69.99. Players who already have Nintendo Switch Online will have an extra year tacked on to their subscription if they buy this bundle.

Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers

Nintendo is also introducing new Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers. Basically you buy two of them by spending a $100 and each is worth a game. It essentially gives you two full priced games at a $10 discount as long as you commit your money to buying them. Note, the vouchers are only good for “eligible games” and you have to be a Nintendo Online subscriber to get them. They are valid for one year after purchase.

Super Mario Maker 2 Invitational 2019 tournament

Finally, a Super Mario Maker 2 tournament featuring speedrunners and notable members of the Maker community will go down on June 8th to show off the game.

Well what do you think? Are you excited for Super Mario Maker 2? What new features are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

Super Mario Maker 2 will launch on June 28th for the Nintendo Switch.