Super Mario Odyssey is arguably the most anticipated Mario game in over a decade. Right from the start, Nintendo has promoted it as something of a true successor to the revolutionary Super Mario 64. We were promised a Mario game that encourages the exploration of large worlds through creative platforming, clever level design, and a ton of collectibles.
Now that Super Mario Odyssey is here, we can confirm that Nintendo has delivered on all of its promises. Super Mario Odyssey is an impossibly charming game that is brimming with details and things to do. Just aimlessly wandering around the game's various kingdoms provides the kind of childlike joy that we've come to expect from Mario games. What is a little more unexpected is just how much there really is to do once you decide to get down to it.
We're willing to bet that most Super Mario Odyssey players will end up feeling just a bit overwhelmed by how much freedom the game offers. They might actually miss out on some of the game's biggest features and best secrets. Thankfully, we're here to help cut through the colorful clutter this game offers by showing you some of the Super Mario Odyssey features you may not have known about.
These are the 15 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Super Mario Odyssey.
15 Use Motion Controls For Unique Moves
The Nintendo Switch may not be as dependent on motion controls as the Wii was, but most games still utilize them in some way. Few games, however, get as much out of motion controls as Super Mario Odyssey.
There are several moves in Odyssey that can either only be performed via motion controls or are most easily performed via motion controls. Moves like the upward and downward throws as well as the Homing Cap Throw can only be performed by shaking the Switch’s Joy-Cons at the right time. Others, like the Spin Throw, can be executed with the joystick, but require you to combine several moves to pull it off.
The full list of motion-control moves can be found in the game’s Action Guide menu. Just know that players are still finding new ways to pull off “motion-only” moves.
14 Re-Visit Super Mario 64
Mario Odyssey is considered by many to be the true successor to the beloved Super Mario 64. Both games encourage exploration of large worlds, both feature a ton of collectibles used to progress the story, and both even utilize similar moves.
There is even one area of Odyssey that is basically just Super Mario 64 on Nintendo Switch.
After completing Odyssey’s main story, you’ll be allowed to access a new area known as Mushroom Kingdom. This legendary kingdom has been part of Mario’s world for years now, but this particular take on the Kingdom is modeled after Super Mario 64’s world. Peach’s Castle is basically a pixel-perfect recreation of the 64 version.
If you really want to complete the illusion, be sure to purchase the Mario 64 Cap and Suit available from the Mushroom Kingdom store.
13 Play as Yoshi
Some of you may remember that one of Super Mario 64’s biggest secrets involved finding Yoshi. If you managed to get all 120 stars in Super Mario 64, a cannon unlocks on the edge of the castle grounds. That cannon can be used to shoot to the top of Peach’s Castle. Manage to get there, and you will find Yoshi waiting for you.
As it turns out, everyone’s favorite dinosaur is still hanging out on top of that roof all these years later.
To find Yoshi in Odyssey, you’ll have to first unlock Mushroom Kingdom. Once there, go to the right side of Peach’s castle and throw your hat on the nearby scarecrow. That scarecrow can be used to access the stairs that will soon appear. Climb to the top of those stairs, throw your hat on the egg you find, and Yoshi will hatch.
You can’t ride Yoshi in this game, but you can use your hat to take control of him.
12 You Can Go Out of Bounds (And Get Rewarded For Doing So)
It’s become something of a tradition to “break” Mario games by getting into areas that you are not supposed to technically be able to access. Typically, these areas are reached by combining Mario’s moveset with some questionable programming decisions.
You can still get to those out-of-bound areas in Odyssey, but this time around, Nintendo is expecting you to find them.
Pretty much every level in Odyssey features at least one out of bounds area that is actually accessible. More often than not, players can find a small stash of coins at these locations. If you’re wondering how to find these areas, try to look for a ceiling that’s just a little too high or a platform that seems just out of reach. Most of the time, you’ll be able to access them through a combination of moves.
11 Find Hidden Toads Throughout Each Kingdom
Toad has been with the Mario series since Super Mario Bros. for the NES, but it wasn’t until later installments that we learned that there is an entire race of Toad-like creatures. As it turns out, many of them can be found throughout Super Mario Odyssey.
Many of the game’s kingdoms feature hidden Toads. Some of these Toads are just big music fans who will give you vague hints as to the song they want to hear. Manage to play them the right song, and they’ll surrender a moon.
You can also find Captain Toads hidden in the most remote corners of many kingdoms. If you are able to find their well-hidden nesting spots, they will also give up one of those sweet, sweet moons.
Unfortunately, knowing these Toads exist doesn’t make it that much easier to find them.
10 Beat the Game in an Hour and A Half
Mario has always been a favorite franchise of the speedrunning community. While Sonic may be better known for his lightning quick moves, the structure, and challenge of Mario games have attracted a greater number of speedrunners who want to see if they can best Mario’s adventures in a pocketful of minutes.
For instance, someone has already discovered that you can beat Mario Odyssey in about 90 minutes.
The method for achieving this is quite complicated - it requires you to use pixel perfect tricks to skip large areas - but players are already finding new ways to get through Super Mario Odyssey as quickly as possible. The current record stands at about 1 hour and 24 minutes, though we fully expect that someone is going to be able to beat the game in about an hour by the end of the year.
9 Use Controller Vibrations to Find Hidden Treasures
Here’s a neat trick that the game doesn’t make very clear upon your first playthrough.
You may occasionally notice that your controllers vibrate when playing Super Mario Odyssey. Most of the time, these vibrations can be attributed to some kind of environmental element or an enemy doing damage to you. Other times, though, they’ll seem completely random.
They are not random, though. If you ever feel your controller forcibly shake while wandering around, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re near a treasure. It then becomes your job to check every nearby nook and cranny for what your controller is trying to lead you to.
Most of the time, these treasures - usually moons - can be unlocked by pounding the ground you’re standing on. Sometimes, though, they do require you to get more creative.
8 Take a Nap
It wouldn’t be a Nintendo game if there wasn’t at least a few features, Easter eggs, characters, and levels that just make you go “Aww…”
Odyssey is packed full of such charm, but there’s something special about Mario’s ability to take a little nap.
Yes, by putting your controller down and letting Mario stand still for awhile, you can prompt him to doze off for a spell. What’s really interesting about this seemingly useless mechanic is that Nintendo went to the trouble to add a little animal companion to each world that will join Mario for a nap if he lies there long enough.
As a bonus, be sure to let Mario go idle on top of the bed inside his ship. That makes him go to sleep especially fast.
7 Decorate Your Ship
There’s actually quite a bit you can do in Mario’s ship besides doze off. The Odyssey is not just a fully-functional inter-dimensional traveling machine, it’s also a bit of a hub for a variety of Nintendo’s most enjoyable design elements.
If you really want to get the most out of the Odyssey, be sure to decorate it. Yes, you can buy decorations for your ship at any Crazy Cap game in the store and customize the design of the Odyssey to your heart’s content.
While said decorations include various stickers and souvenirs specific to the various worlds, the game, unfortunately, doesn’t let you place these stickers and souvenirs wherever you want. Still, they go a long way toward improving the looks of your ship.
6 Play the Game With Two Players
Nintendo actually confirmed this feature prior to Odyssey’s release, but it went overlooked by many. Nevertheless, it is actually possible to play Odyssey with two players.
The considerable downside of this feature is that it’s rather limited. You’re not going to get to run around as Luigi and Mario. However, one player will get to control Mario while the other takes control of Mario’s new companion, Cappy.
Basically, the player controlling Mario gets to control the bulk of the game’s standard actions. However, Cappy is now controlled by another player can act independently of Mario.
This leads to some rather unique opportunities that a highly-skilled duo can pull off, but most people will find it fun enough to simply explore worlds and collect items together.
5 Play With (and Possibly Adopt) A Dog
Yes, Mario has a pet dog in Odyssey. We’re not sure why it took so long for him to get a pet dog, but the important thing is that the very, very good boy is in the game now.
The dog in question is a Shiba Inu rocking what appears to be some kind of Fedora (though there is debate regarding the exact style of the hat). You can find him wandering around the Sand Kingdom. Throw your hat near the dog, and he’ll try to fetch it. Wander around long enough, and he may find some treasure for you.
Here’s where things get really interesting. Some people have shown that it is possible to have the dog ride around with you on your ship. The weird thing is that nobody is entirely sure why this happens. It seems to be related to collecting stars and beating the game.
4 Get Extra Health From Flowers and Graffiti
Super Mario Odyssey isn’t an especially difficult game, but it does feature some surprisingly tricky moments. Those moments are made all the more complicated by the fact that the game isn’t in a hurry to dole out health
There are a couple of sneaky ways to gain some extra hearts, however. The one that most players find involves the game’s flowers. Perform a spin move in a circle of flowers, and you’ll soon be rewarded with a heart.
The hidden method of health regeneration involves graffiti. Throughout most kingdoms in the game are pieces of graffiti featuring major Mario characters. If you manage to find one that looks like Mario in a pink cat outfit, be sure to throw your cap at it. Doing so will earn you some health.
3 Beating Every Level Completely Changes Their Design
Here’s a non-obvious feature that completely changes the way that you’ll approach Super Mario Odyssey.
See, every kingdom in Odyssey contains a number of hidden moons. You’ll need a certain number of moons to progress, and most of those moons are tied to the most obvious of missions. The rest are optional.
However, many of those optional moons don’t become available until after you’ve beaten the area boss. When that happens, it usually triggers some kind of event that will open a large chunk of the kingdom that was previously inaccessible. For instance, the desert level features an ice area that melts when you beat it.
That means that it’s not actually possible to collect every moon in the game until you’ve done the main story missions first.
2 Unlock The Dark (and Darker) Side of the Moon
Most Mario games reward you in some way for going above and beyond to collect every major item in the game. Super Mario Odyssey is no different.
The first major unlock in Odyssey occurs when you manage to collect 250 of the game’s moons. At that point, you’ll unlock a new area called Dark Side of the Moon. Here, you’ll have to participate in a series of repeat boss battles from the main game. Completing them is actually quite difficult.
However, that’s nothing compared to what awaits you if you manage to collect 500 moons. At that point, you will unlock a new area called Darker Side of the Moon. This section of the game features a series of incredibly intense platforming challenges that are significantly more difficult than any in the main game.
1 Play a Modern Version of Old-School Donkey Kong
Right from the start, Mario fans couldn’t stop gawking over Odyssey’s “New Donk City” kingdom. Aside from its strange name, this area also so happens to be the only area in the Mario franchise that allows Mario to interact with actual humans.
One of those humans, Mayor Pauline, actually invites Mario to a big celebration after he completes the area’s final mission. If you go to this party, you’ll be able to access an incredible recreation of the original Donkey Kong arcade game (the title that gave Mario his first big break).
While there are many, many nods to Mario’s past peppered throughout Odyssey, this is one of the best for the simple reason that it effectively manages to update an arcade classic by incorporating a sweet soundtrack, some fantastic fireworks, and surprisingly solid gameplay.
Do you have any other Super Mario Odyssey tips? Share them in the comments!