Super Mario Party: Beginner's guide

It's finally here, folks! A new Mario Party game is among us in the form of Super Mario Party. That's right, it's been three years since the last Mario Party game (Mario Party 10 on the Wii U).

Super Mario Party is a, well, party game that's designed for up to four players. It features a board game with a ton of mini-games to participate in, all while trying to collect Stars and Coins to get ahead of the competition. It's the way to settle things with friends, at least until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate comes out, anyway.

Whether you're a long time fan or a newbie to the world of Mario Party games, we're here to point you in the right direction and give you the competitive edge!

Check out everything Party Plaza offers

Unlike previous Mario Party games, Super Mario Party offers more than just the traditional board game for all players. Instead, you'll find a plaza that you can freely roam around in, and there are several different ways to play, including the classic Mario Party.

With Party Plaza, you'll find; Mario Party, Parter Party, River Survival, Sound Stage, Minigames, Online Mariothon, and Toad's Rec Room. You can walk around and go up to each game option to play it, or access it from the Party Pad to quickly get started with your selected game mode if you've played it already.

Super Mario Party tells you what each mode is before you start, so you know what you're getting yourself into.

River Survival requires cooperative teamwork as your party makes their way down a raging river, popping balloons along the way for mini-games and extra time.

Partner Party is like Mario Party, but where everyone's split up into teams and share dice rolls, Stars, and coins.

Sound Stage pits players against each other by seeing who can nail every beat flawlessly to become the ultimate performer.

Minigames let you play the huge variety of mini-games directly by themselves, or as part of a special territory-stealing game. Online Mariothon allows you to play the mini-games with players from all over the world (as long as you have Nintendo Switch Online).

Toad's Rec Room is the most unique because it's a mode that gives you a bunch of mini-games that utilize the system itself in many different configurations. Variety is the spice of life, you know?

Always practice the mini-games first

Before you enter a mini-game, it's recommended to practice it first before diving in, since you only get one chance at the real thing.

Instructions are displayed on the screen for each mini-game before you start. However, prior to pushing the buttons and getting started, you'll see a mini rendition of the mini-game on the left side of the screen.

Look at the instructions to know what to do, and take a moment to push those buttons–you'll see your character move on the left. This is your opportunity to understand how the mini-game works, learn and master the controls, and see what you need to do to one-up your opponents.

Understand unique character dice

In Mario Party and Partner Party, you'll be rolling dice to determine how many spaces to move on the board. While everyone can roll the normal dice, you can also choose a die that is unique to each character.

It's important to understand each of these different dice because they determine the maximum number of spaces you can move or can give or take coins.

For example, Rosalina can roll up to an eight, versus the standard six that the normal dice uses. She can also get zero but gain two coins instead. Waluigi's dice has the negative effect of possibly losing three coins. So you want to pay attention to each character's dice abilities because they affect how you roll.

Make some allies

On the Mario Party boards, there are spaces where you can gain an ally character. When you have an ally, you'll gain access to their character die, so it becomes one of the options you can choose from at the start of your turn.

Additionally, having an ally boosts your own rolls too, regardless of whether or not you use their dice. After you roll your dice, your ally throws in a dice too, which adds one or two to your roll. You then move the total number of spaces from you and your ally's rolls.

Pay attention to the board

Each board in Mario Party mode has a lot of spaces for you and your opponents to move around on. However, you'll want to pay attention to the color or symbol on each space too.

Red spaces are the ones to avoid, as they'll deduct coins from your character if you land on them. Regular spaces give you a few coins at the end of the turn, so it's preferred over the red spaces. Exclamation marks trigger special events on the board, such as traps or open up passages. The shop is somewhere on the board, but you need to look for it and make sure you pass it along the way to buy from it.

As the number of turns winds down to the home stretch, "Bad Luck" spaces appear too, which are marked with "?!" symbols. It's best to avoid these because, you know, who wants to be burdened with unfortunate events?

Stars are incredibly important because they'll help you win. Toadette places one Star on the board at a time, and whoever gets to it first, and has the coin to pay for it (10 coins), nabs it. Then she will move on to another random spot on the board for the next Star.

Coins are important but not as important as Stars

Coins are pretty easy to obtain in Mario Party. You get some coins for landing on normal spaces, some character dice give you free coins, and you'll earn coins from all of the mini-games if you don't do terribly.

You need those precious gold coins for a variety of reasons too, so you'll want to get as rich as you can. Coins are spent on obtaining Stars, buying items from the shop, getting help with stealing coins or stars from opponents, and more. And the more coins you have, the higher your ranking is.

However, while having a lot of coins gives you an edge over your rivals, it's not the only thing. Stars take precedence over Coins, so if you want to win the game, you'll need to obtain as many Stars as you can. Whether it's buying them from Toadette or stealing them when given the chance to, you'll want to stop at nothing to get those Stars.

At the end of the game, there are also bonus Stars given out for things like being the "richest player" or "slowest player," before everything is tallied up and a winner gets announced.

Items, items, items

There are a lot of opportunities to get items on the board. Whether it's from the shops or item spaces, you'll have items. Make sure to use them whenever you have a chance to, before rolling your dice.

You're only able to use one item per turn, but you can stockpile up to four items at once. If you get more items, you'll need to discard an existing one.

Also, as the turn count winds down, it's best to start using all of the items you have at your disposal. You'll want to get ahead of your opponents to get those Stars, no matter what.

High-five for bonus coins

After the mini-games, if you were paired up with another rival or had to cooperate together as a team, you'll have an opportunity to high-five the others.

While this is may not seem like a big deal, it's a chance to pick up some extra coin. If you time the notion right, then everyone gets two or three more coins. It may not seem like much, but those few coins can be the difference between getting a Star or not.

Discover secrets on each board

While you can set the number of turns on Mario Party mode to 10, sometimes you may want to have longer matches. Of course, you'll need the set aside more time to do the full 20 turns, but it's worth it!

Why? Not only do the longer matches mean more possibilities of who comes out victorious, but there are plenty of hidden secrets on every board. These secrets range from things like trying to melt ice cream cones, ticking Bob-ombs that can change the board entirely, or random visits from Mario baddies.

The more time there is, the more the board can change, and it can really be anyone's game at that point. It's perfect for fun gatherings with friends.

It's a Mario Party!

Now that you know the basics of Super Mario Party, it's time to get your best friends together for a night of fun mayhem on the Switch. Super Mario Party brings back the classic Mario Party gameplay that we all know and love while bringing some fresh new twists. It's definitely going to be a good time with Super Mario Party.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.