Online and multiplayer modes in Super Mario Maker 2: Everything we know so far
Nintendo's highly anticipated sequel has several new online and multiplayer features that we're dying to play. Whether you're playing with a buddy in the same room or playing online with gamers from around the world, it's sure to be a fun experience. Especially given the new challenges and modes that weren't in the original game. Let's dive in and see what this sequel has to offer.
What's new with Super Mario Maker 2?
Update: June 11, 2019: A future update will allow you to play online multiplayer with friends
During the E3 2019 Nintendo Treehouse livestream, Super Mario Maker 2's producer Takashi Tezuka stated that an update is coming to the game that will allow you to search for and play with friends online. The ability to play with friends online won't be available at launch. We don't know when this release will come out, but we'll keep you posted.
Update: May 28, 2019: You cannot choose to play online multiplayer modes with friends
We've learned via Nintendo World Report that you'll only be able to play online multiplayer with randomly selected players. That applies to both co-op and competitive online modes. This means that the only way to go through levels with friends is by playing on the same Switch system or by having friends connect their systems together in local wireless play. According to a Nintendo Treehouse representative this decision was made to protect the integrity of competitive global leaderboard scores.
We're not super thrilled with this discovery. It's possible that the software could be changed to allow online friend play with a future update, but for now there are no plans to make that happen. We'll keep you updated if we learn anything more.
Couch Co-op: One of the coolest things about this level builder is that you and a buddy can build courses together on the same TV screen. Hand a controller to a friend and get building. Once the course has been created, up to four people can play against each other locally. This will provide hours of entertainment as you create difficult challenges and fun environments for others to explore. However, in order to submit your creations for others around the world to play or to play against other's online, you will need a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Network Play: This is split into two sections - Global Play and Nearby Play. In Global Play you can choose between Multiplayer Co-op and Multiplayer Versus. Basically you choose whether the goal of the course is a competitive race to the finish or a more laid back experience where you help each other defeat enemies and get to the end. You'll play against up to three others from around the world. Each person will randomly be designated a playable character and the course will be randomly selected for you.
Nearby Play: This is for people in the same vicinity that each have their own Nintendo Switch and their own copy of the game. One player makes a virtual room and the others join in on their own consoles. The internet connection is dependent on the host so you'll want to be in an area with strong Wi-Fi.
Everything that requires a Nintendo Switch Online membership
Whether you like it or not, to access Super Mario Maker 2's online features you must have a Nintendo Switch Online membership. All online features are accessed via Course World, an online hub where you can post your own levels or play other gamers' levels. You can also view Leaderboards and update your character profile. Here's everything you can do in Super Mario Maker 2 with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription:
- Multiplayer Co-op
- Multiplayer Versus
- Uploading your courses online for others to play
- Playing other players' courses online
- Download other creators' courses
- Leaving comments
- Updating your profile
- Versus Rating & Leaderboard Ranking
- Endless Challenge
More details about online offerings
Online Multiplayer Co-op: Work together with up to three other gamers across the world to overcome enemies and make your way through the course. As long as one person finishes, everyone wins. Gamers will be assigned a character while the course is randomly assigned. At the game's launch, you won't be able to choose who you play against since matchmaking will be random. However, Nintendo has confirmed that a future update will allow you to connect and play with friends online. At the moment we don't know when this update will release. We'll keep you posted.
Online Multiplayer Versus: This mode pits you against up to three other players in a race to the end. First one to finish wins. From what we can tell, it looks like you will randomly be assigned a character and the course will randomly get selected. How well you play affects your Versus Rating in your profile. Some levels will have specific challenges that need to be met in order for anyone to win. As with online co-op, players will randomly be matched. You won't be able to choose who you play against online until Nintendo releases a promised update allowing you to search for friends and play with them.
Profile: If other players like the courses you create then you'll earn points towards unlocking medals. You'll also be able to change your Mii character's clothing as you unlock items. Super Mario Maker 2 keeps track of your activity by allowing you to see which courses you've recently played or liked so you can always find your favorites. This is also where you go to see all of the courses you've uploaded.
Versus Rating: Playing multiplayer games online earns you a Versus Rating depending on how well you play against others. Check the Leaderboards to see how your Mario skills rank on a global scale.
Uploading your own creations: There's a lot of freedom and creativity that goes into creating your own course. More elements and features will be unlocked as you continue to play. Once you've perfected your level, you can use the above tags to help people find your creation easier. Upload your course to the Course World and others around the globe will be able to play. Another nice features is that you get to decide whether or not others can leave comments on your work.
Playing others' courses: This game allows you to sort other players' courses by Game Style, Course Theme, Difficulty, Region, Tag, Clear Rate, and Popularity. Category tags include things like Puzzle-solving, Speedrun, Autoscroll, Multiplayer Versus and more so you can find the kind of games you like best.
Leaving comments: You'll be able to leave comments on other players' courses (as long as the course creator has enabled comments). As with most Nintendo online interactions, the things you can say and post are pre-determined to keep the environment safe for players of all ages. The cool thing is, you can leave in-game comments for other players to see while they play the course.
Downloading courses: One of the best things about Super Mario Maker 2 is that you can download other creators' courses and play them even when you don't have an internet connection. This feature is perfect for road trips and traveling.
Endless Challenge: This mode allows you to play course after course until you get a game over. You'll select the difficulty level and then random courses will be set in the queue. This is great for competitive players since it allows you to see how well your scores stack up against the rest of the world on the Leaderboards.
If you build it, they will come
There are so many new and exciting modes coming with Super Mario Maker 2. We can't wait to play them. There's still plenty of information that we don't know about so we'll keep adding to this page as we learn more.
What do you think about the new online multiplayer modes? Is there one that you're really excited about? Tell us about it in the comments.
Updated June 18, 2019: Added update about how playing with friends online will be available in a future update.
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.