Mario shows off his sportsmanship once again, this time on the soccer field (or soccer field if you want to be British) in Mario Strikers: Battle League for Switch.
The game, which we called “the best sports game on the Switch” in our raving 9/10 review, offers a surprisingly strategic and undeniably brutal take on a great game (as the “Combat” in the title suggests), with ample room to use different tactics and play as deep as you like, playing alone or with friends online or locally.
In this Mario Strikers: Battle League guide, we provide ten essential tips to help you achieve victory and glory on the field.
Mario Strikers: Battle League Guide – Tips & Tricks
Below you will find our tips for getting started in Mario Strikers: Battle League. We have divided them into two parts to help you find what you need.
Don’t forget to watch Felix’s great video at the top of the page if you want to see any of these on-field tips and tricks.
Let’s start with a few tips to keep in mind before the referee blows the first whistle…
Before the game starts
Always choose “Auto” in single player.
When it comes to switching between players on your team, “Auto” is usually easier for singleplayer – make sure you select this option (rather than “Manual”). If you’re passing the ball, you almost always want to control the receiver, so auto-switching between players on your team makes sense.
Manual mode is best suited for 2v2 games and up when you need to decide which one of you will control the character about to get the ball.
Sometimes no equipment is better than equipment
When you add equipment to your character, you simply redistribute the statistics – take points from one and move on to another. There is always a trade-off, so sometimes the default layout is better. Simply adding more gear isn’t always the solution, so keep an eye on those stats.
Balance your team
Have characters with different characteristics. Some players may prefer four toads or four yoshi, but we recommend diversifying your squad. Mixing things up will open up a wider range of tactical options to use against the other team.
If you find that only heavy hitters are for you, for example, go for it. However, in our experience, having a well-balanced team gives you options – what you’ll need if you want to take on the toughest opponents.
Make sure you know which end you’re starting from
Sounds obvious because, well, it’s is obviously, but in singleplayer you always start on one side; in multiplayer or online, you can start on the right side of the field, and this can momentarily distract you from concentration if you are not paying attention.
Just one moment is all it takes for a smart opponent to score one of your goals in the first seconds! So, just double check if you start on the left or on the right to save yourself the embarrassment at the beginning of the game, which can confuse you until the end of the match.
During the game
Dodge is key and you can also use the right analog stick.
The ability to dodge can be the deciding factor when it comes to winning or losing, so learning this technique is very important if you want to avoid the latter.
The manual says you need to use the “R” button on your shoulder to dodge and use the left analog stick to move in the right direction, but we recommend using the right analog stick instead. This allows you to dodge without disturbing the direction of movement on the left stick, helping to maintain a smooth ride for more advanced players, especially when the field becomes increasingly hectic.
Make yourself more unpredictable
After a while, it’s easy to predict what your opponent will do if they use the same tactics over and over again, so by changing your approach and being as unpredictable as possible, you’ll be harder to beat.
Cancellation of charged shots and slides is a good way to throw opponents off the trail – do this by activating dodge with the “R” key or simply by pressing “B”. A quick pass in position where you would normally use an offensive throw is another good way to keep your opponents guessing.
Changing how and when you place items is another way to keep opponents on their toes.
If you don’t have time to charge up your Hyper Strike, blast away
If an enemy is approaching while you are charging Hyper Strike, you can speed up the process (slightly) by simply pressing the “A” button instead of trying to time it normally.
By tapping quickly rather than timing the hit on the counter, your Hyper Strike will be significantly weaker, but it’s probably better to land a weak Hyper Strike than not use Hyper Strike at all. Be prepared to strike quickly on the rebound as well.
Don’t forget to use your items
Pretty obvious, but also easy to forget when you’re in the thick of things. Items can completely make a difference in a match if you use them at the right time. Wait for the right opportunity and you can almost guarantee an easy target using the Star, for example. The mushroom, along with the grapple, is perhaps a powerful move that allows you to cover long distances, but it is definitely something worth using.
However, be careful when using certain items, as they can hit your teammates as well – such as banana peels and green shells.
Remember that tackling players without the ball gives your opponent items.
Refers to the advice above. Considering how useful items can be, you should avoid giving your opponent free gifts. Items appear on the field randomly, but capture the one who not having the ball causes the opponent to get items, so keep that in mind.
Sometimes it may be necessary to tackle someone without the ball – for example, to prevent him from taking possession of the ball. Just remember that playing dirty has consequences!
Target is more from the center than to the side
Finally, it’s easy to forget this as you roam the field looking for any possible opening, but your goal is obviously the greater the closer you are to the center as you approach it.
Heading towards the gate “above” or “below” the field (from your vantage point, of course), you will shoot at a sharper angle and decrease the relative size of your target. And if there is a large character in a defensive position between you and the gate, this further reduces your chances.
Obviously, maneuvering perfect shooting position is not always possible, but if you want your shot to hit the net, try to get into the center of the field before kicking the ball to the goalkeeper.
That’s all for our top tips for playing Mario Strikers: Battle League – we hope you’ve found them helpful. Feel free to share your own in the comments below and we’ll see you online for a nice game or two.