Some Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope tips will do a lot to help ease you into the game, as there are many systems and strategies to keep in mind. Team builds, tactics for combat, using the various systems and abilities to your advantage – all of these are essential to surviving in Mario and Rabbids 2, and players without the basics internalised will find themselves struggling to squash a few Goombas, let alone the full force of Cursa. For that reason, we’ve listed some 9 tips to help you beat Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope below, with an emphasis on new players to help them really get to grips with the mechanics.
1. You should ALWAYS end a turn in cover
Being out of cover when your turn ends is a recipe for disaster – enemies tend to prioritise the foe they can most easily hit, so if your characters are standing out in the open, all the foes around you (at least those with guns) will make use of the advantage. This can mean getting shot multiple times with no chance of evasion, shredding a character’s health bar in an instant. Don’t let it happen! Before shooting or using your last action point, make sure you’re in cover, ideally a full block, with it positioned between you and your opponents (it won’t matter if they can just walk around it and shoot you).
2. Pick complementary teammates with objectives in mind
Not every encounter is focused on combat, and not all combat works the same way. When a fight starts, you’ll have a chance to survey your enemies, the arena, and pick your teammates accordingly based on what you see up ahead. Big, melee focused enemies? Grab a long-range fighter like Luigi. Hordes of low-level minions? It’s Rabbid Mario’s time to shine. Those Goombas with pots on their heads? Grab some Splash damage water attacks and characters who can dash multiple times.
Even if two characters pair well together, it won’t help much if they don’t fit the goal you’re aiming towards. Work out early on what you need to do and to accomplish it, and set up a team who can fulfil that role.
3. Manage health by swapping out allies and doing easy fights
Damage taken from a fight carries over, with only a small percentage of your team’s health bars restored when you win. That means if you take a lot of damage, you’ll still be hurt when you come out the other side – not good for the next fight you go into. However, considering all allies heal after a fight, whether they were in it or not, you should learn to bench certain heroes for a few battles if they’re badly hurt, giving them a chance to fix themselves. It means you have a solid alternative to spending coins or mushrooms on healing.
4. Remember that you can reassign skills – and you should
Admittedly it’s a little fiddly with Rabbid’s user interface, but the skills you buy with Skill Prisms for heroes can be refunded from the same menu for no penalty. This allows you to constantly rebuild your team’s abilities whenever out of combat – so not only can you lean into different builds and focus on different aspects, like with tip three, you can get a refund on any skills you bought that seem a bit underwhelming.
5. Do optional encounters whenever possible to stay powerful
While the difficulty of many encounters scales to your own level, some don’t, meaning you’ll want to do at least a few optional battles in the overworld and sidequests to make sure you’re not too weak for the mandatory boss fights ahead. More than that, you’ll also need to make sure you have a healthy supply of coins and sprites for upgrades – and battles are the best way to obtain both. Keep doing small-scales fights and you’ll be able to handle the bigger ones.
6. Plan your move completely in advance
Mario and Rabbids’ new combat system allows players to control all their teammates as part of the same turn, switching between them interchangeably until all their actions and attacks are used up. This means combos and collaborative efforts are a BIG part of Sparks of Hope; moving up as a group to use team jumps, special attacks, clearing debris or more.
However, so many more options means you have to think about what you’re doing in advance, or risk making bad mistakes that leave you vulnerable. Remember that once you attack you’re locked in place, and even then you only have two actions (plus dashes and team jumps). Calculate all the consequences of each character’s attacks and actions, then commit to it all in one go.
7. Dashes and team jumps are essential to success
Despite not doing as much damage as most attacks, dashes are a huge deal in combat. The fact that they don’t cost an action practically makes them free, and certain enemies – like the pot-wearing Goombas – need to be hit by them to be defeated.
Meanwhile, team jumps are a great way to close distance, extending a character’s reach within the turn. Certain characters, like Mario, can gain skills based around them, doing damage or healing allies when they land. Both dashes and team jumps should be used whenever possible, because they cost so little and provide so much.
8. Focus on objectives over combat – but don’t get overwhelmed
Not every battle requires you to kill enemies – some will require you to reach a certain location or simply survive a certain amount of turns, or even to destroy certain objects. In these cases, destroying enemies is incidental – so don’t divert too much attention to it. If you just fight the whole time, they’ll keep spawning in and chipping away at your health, with no progress being made no matter how many you mow down.
Of course, the opposite holds true too – don’t solely focus on the objective, especially if it’s a long term one. Otherwise foes will appear in numbers too big to handle, and you’ll lose not long afterwards. It’s generally a solid idea to have two characters focused on handling enemies, with a third working on the objectives – but of course, circumstances may change that.
9. Look for secret areas and New Sparks
Each of the game’s islands has at least one secret area to be found or unlocked, and these often hold prized possessions – including, if you’re lucky, Sparks! Sparks act as a mix of passive and active buffs, providing a unique stat boost while also adding a unique power that can be activated – igniting attacks, repelling enemies, increasing damage to allies, and so on. While any Spark can be helpful, the right Sparks can totally change the course of a battle, and should be chosen carefully before the fight. While completing the campaign will earn you a fair few Sparks, you’ll have to find secret areas and extra challenges to get all of them and complete your arsenal of bunny-faced star monsters.