No one expected the first game to work, and yet the blending of three unlikely unions – Ubisoft and Nintendo, Mario and Rabbids, and Mario and a turn-based tactics game – resulted in one of the best Mario spin-off games for the Switch. Even those who had no love for Rabbids found the game a breath of fresh air for the franchise, as well as a perfect introduction to the tactics genre that is generally considered too punitive and complex.
With Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, the heroes of the Mushroom Kingdom, along with their Rabbid counterparts, are all back on a new quest to save the Sparks from the mysterious Cursa. Even if you played the first one, this sequel does a lot for the formula, both in and out of battle, to create another amazing adventure. Just because it’s a Mario game doesn’t mean this trip will be a walk in the park. It’s time to grab your blasters, plan your moves, and perform these tips and tricks when you’re just getting started in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.
Table of Contents
Understanding Your Hero Types
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope brings back the Mario Rabbids crew, with some new faces too. Unlike many other tactical games, each party member is a unique class that has their own specific combat skills and roles. Since you can only have a maximum of three characters in a normal battle (boss battles work differently), understanding how each hero works and how to synergize them to best suit your next objective is the first thing to do. to plan.
Here are all the heroes of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hopeas well as their combat types and a short description:
- Mario: The mustachioed plumber is back, and like he is in most sports and fighting games, he’s an All-Rounder type. He uses dual blaster pistols which make him perfect for hitting multiple enemies in a single round. He’s a solid choice for any situation without being great in one area or another.
- Louis: Our favorite creepy brother in green is your Sneak Attacker with his long range arc weapon. Keep him out of the heat of the moment and let him take high damaging shots from a distance for the best effect.
- The Peach: The princess herself is ready to support as Protector with her Boom-Brella weapon. She will come to the aid of enhancing and protecting other heroes from damage, allowing them to take more risks.
- Bowser: For the first time in the series, Bowser joins the fight. He is your Overseer and wields the massive Bowzooka which is great for AoE attacks, but he also calls on his loyal troops to fight and fight for him.
- Rabbit Mario: Similar to regular Mario, his counterpart Rabbid also wields two weapons, only this time it’s the close range Dukes. As a brawler, it’s best to dash and deal high damage at close range.
- Rabbi Luigi: Called the Pest, and for good reason, this hero uses his Discruptor primarily to cause trouble to enemies by nerfing the amount of damage they deal.
- Rabbit Rosalina: Another new face, Rabbid Rosalina looks a bit like Rabbid Luigi. She fulfills the role of Demotivator with her Kaboomer, but instead of directly nerfing enemies, she specializes in removing any buffs they may have, as well as immobilizing them for the team to finish.
- Edge: One look at this punk character, and you could probably guess his class was the Blade Master. Using the enormous Flying Blade weapon, she is fast and deadly, able to strike multiple enemies with each attack.
Explore and go back
While combat encounters will make up the bulk of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, exploring the world has improved as much as anything else. While you can bypass most of them, there are a ton of secrets and things to do in each world worth exploring, like solving puzzles, taking on side quests, and finding hidden treasures.
As you walk around, be sure to use Beep-O’s two skills to reveal hidden paths and destroy specific objects using the ZL and ZR buttons, respectively. As you explore early, you’ll reach places where you know there’s something to get but can’t yet. When this happens, just write it down, because you’ll soon unlock a new way to explore the outside world, probably in the next one or two worlds, which you can pick up from previous worlds to complete them completely.
Aside from things like weapon parts and skins, there are brand new Sparks and Planet parts to find this way, so it’s worth heading back to old worlds to clean them up.
Learn the new combat system
As much as the first game was a leap from normal turn-based tactical games, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is almost as different. Gone is the combat grid and ridged nature that brings, along with a host of new combat mechanics to learn and adapt. Again, it’s not a super complex game, but there are some strategies and nuances worth understanding early to help you get the most out of the system.
Movement is first and foremost. In addition to no longer being restricted to a grid, you are free to move your character to explore the battlefield and plan your movement without committing to anything until you use an action that costs a point of action. These include normal attacks, sparks, using an item, or special abilities.
You should also try to use your sparks first, especially since the majority of them grant AoE buffs to all teammates near the character using them. Since you’re all starting close together, this is a great time to pop those buffs before you reposition and spread out your team.
Another important tip is that while you can restart battles, you don’t always want or need to. Unlike more hardcore tactical games, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope will still grant all XP from a battle to a teammate even if they lost all HP before the end. Admittedly, it will be much harder to complete a mission with one less character, but if you’re one turn away, go for it.
Also, don’t feel like you have to beat every enemy in a mission if you don’t have to. Many missions have different objectives besides simply eliminating the opposing force, such as completing an objective or surviving for a certain amount of time. If so, as long as the objective is completed, don’t worry about risking your characters for more attacks.
If you need to try again, you can return to certain checkpoints during multi-stage missions rather than retrying the whole gauntlet. Just select Restart goal instead of Restart the battle to return to the nearest checkpoint.
Use team jumps, dashes and stomps
Team jumps, dashes, and stomps go hand-in-hand with combat and your movement step. These cost no action points and can help soften or finish off enemies, and easily get your heroes into advantageous positions.
Team jumps are done by hitting A next to an ally. This will launch your hero into the air and slowly slide down. You can use it to reposition, attack from above to get around cover (which will cost an action point), or stomp.
Stomps are low damage but chainable attacks. If you’re airborne and go directly over an enemy, you can stomp on them to bounce on them for a free kick, launching yourself back into the air. Some characters are able to stomp more than once, but anyone can stomp once and then attack to follow.
Finally, dashes are your ground equivalent to stomps. If you are within movement range of an enemy, run towards them and strike A to slide attack them and any enemy aligned with them as well. Like stomps, you can upgrade some characters to Dash more than once per turn.
All of these skills should be used first as they are free and able to instantly give you an edge.
Exploit enemy weaknesses
Enemies will usually have resistance and weakness to one element. You can check these by examining them during battle, so try to find out which enemies are weak and strong at certain elements, and build your team’s loadout to best serve the battle you’re about to start. If you find you’ve built a team with weapons that everything is resistant to, this might be the time to reboot and change your weapons.
Experiment with Sparks
Sparks are another new feature of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, and they play a huge part in the combat as well as the narrative. In combat, they effectively function as new abilities that characters can use. Each character can hold two Sparks which can be upgraded with Star Bits and Star Potions to increase their effects.
Each Spark has an active and passive skill, such as Regen and Healing Booster for the Regenesis Spark. This one, for example, would work great with your healer, like Peach, while an elemental spark like Pyrostar that grants burn damage and resistances would be better suited to your attackers.
Since anyone can hold two, find as many sparkles as you can and play around with different combinations on different characters to find out what you like.
Adjust the difficulty
You will be asked to choose the difficulty of the game very early in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, with three choices offered: Relaxed, Medium and Demanding. Each has a bit of flavor text but doesn’t explain exactly what’s going on.
- Relaxing: Enemies deal less damage and have less health, while your team’s HP is partially restored after each battle. Your hero skills are also added automatically after the battle.
- Medium: Enemies deal normal damage and have regular HP, and your team’s HP is only partially restored at the start of each new level. You must manually add hero skills.
- Demanding: Enemies will deal significantly more damage and have higher HP values, and your team will never automatically restore HP. Hero skills are still added manually.
In addition to these three general settings, there are also other ways to adjust the difficulty in the Gameplay part of the menu. Here you can switch between difficulties at any time, but also activate an invulnerability mode if you find a particular battle or boss too difficult and just want to get through it. Or, if you find it more fun, play the whole game without being able to take any damage. It’s up to you!