The first full-on Mario game for iOS, Super Mario Run, came out yesterday, and it’s already way more fun than Pokemon GO — in part because the PvP-oriented Toad Rally mode is wildly addictive. You can download the full game right now if you’re on an iPhone or iPad, but Android users will have to wait until sometime next year. You have to go through the typical story structure of worlds and castles in an effort to save not only Princess Peach and other prizes from Bowser, like in traditional Mario games, but the multiplayer Toad Rally game mode is where the real action is at.

Toad Rally is pretty simple: You race against an opponent’s ghost run through a level in the hopes of stealing their Toads. But mastering its intricacies is a little difficult, so we’re here to offer up some helpful bits of advice to help you reel in those crowds of mushroom-topped fans so you can build up your kingdom and destroy that of your friends.

Only use Mario, at least initially

The face of a champion? Or a fungus that can't reach a damned thing?
The face of a champion? Or a fungus that can't reach a damned thing?

You can get Toad as a playable character very early on by linking your game to your My Nintendo account — and it’s absolutely free. While the little guy is the fastest in a straight dash, his stubby limbs, fat head, short reach, and poor jumping skills make him a liability in a game mode that favors the flexible and agile dashers looking to maximize coinage and grow their fungi fans. Stick to Mario, unless down the line somebody like Luigi suits your playstyle more.

Choose your opponents wisely

Not only do you get a peek at how many Toads opponents you currently have — which will also be a rough approximation of their difficulty — but you can also get a preview as to what color Toads you can stand to win under the “Expected crowd” section. Because of how new the game is, almost everyone will just have the standard Red, but as things progress, be sure to try and collect the different colors. That will allow you to build new buildings and unlock new characters — i.e., Green Toads will help you unlock your bro, Luigi.

It’s generally a good rule of thumb to either go up against players whose Toad count is below yours — if you want to have an easy go of it — or slightly higher than yours, if you want a greater challenge for greater rewards. Players with counts far above yours are almost certain to leave you trailing in their dust.

Just because you’re in the lead doesn’t mean you’re winning

I'm the shiny golden blur, and my nemesis is clearly ahead of me, but so about to lose.
I'm the shiny golden blur, and my nemesis is clearly ahead of me, but so about to lose.

Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forward and win. We know, that sounds crazy. But in Toad Rally, despite there being a time limit, the aim is not to reach the end of the course before your competitor. This game mode presents you both with the same, endless course. You get 60 seconds to collect as many coins as possible and get the Toads amped up. If you ever encounter an arrow that points backwards (like the ones featured above), jumping while running over them will launch you backwards.

Particularly if you hit the pattern above, learn this necessary maneuver: At the beginning, jump upwards in an arc, hitting all the higher coins, including the pink one, then jump while on the arrows to flip backwards and run straight across the bottom row. This will set you back distance-wise, but that doesn’t matter. More coins means a better chance of winning.

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Follow the arrows

"Just follow your arrow / Wherever it points, yeah"
"Just follow your arrow / Wherever it points, yeah"

By far, the most valuable thing you can do is follow the arrows that appear on the course. Running through one creates a stream of five stars that generally send you in an optimal direction towards more and more coins. Unless you’re powered up in some way, always pursue this before flipping off enemies. But while we’re talking flips…

Flip off crap as much as possible

Small Mario immortalized mid-backflip in the final moments of a Toad Rally run against a bearded, bespectacled stranger.
Small Mario immortalized mid-backflip in the final moments of a Toad Rally run against a bearded, bespectacled stranger.

You get bonus street cred, extra coinage, and more screaming fans for doing various acrobatics, especially doing fancy flips off of enemies like Goombas. Typically, you’ll get more coins by just following the coin lines, but if you find yourself running over an enemy, consider doing some jumps. The Toads love that crap. Running combos against walls and flipping backwards, or even spinning to drift a bit, both seem to drive the Toads nuts. Fancy footwork will also aid you in the pursuit of your most important goal …

Always go for the blocks to get Stars

The big, shiny, yellow stars are the most important object in every Mario game, other than the often-objectified Princess Peach, and Super Mario Run is no different. In Toad Rally, acquiring one not only rains down coins on every single thing you do, but it also renders you invincible and able to barrel-ass through any enemy, allowing you to wreak havoc and reel in more and more coins. Slaying Piranha Plants by running through them is particularly effective at making the fans go buck wild. Usually, the highest blocks in the level grant you these by jumping up into them, so you want to stay as big Mario so you can reach these.

Efficient movement will also get you a Blue Star for a Coin Rush awarded to you. While also pretty cool and a helpful boost, this one will fetch you less coins and not make you invulnerable, but it will passively suck in nearby coins very efficiently.

Follow these tips and you’re bound to come out on top in Toad Rally.

Photos via Polygon, Fantendo, Business Insider

Corey Plante is a multimedia journalist and copy editor living in Brooklyn, NY with his fiancee and two cats. He loves bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.