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The Best Mario Wonder Badges And Where To Find Them

Super Mario Wonder launched to an impressive-if-unsurprising 93 on Metacritic. It’s another Cape Feather in the Cappy for Miyamoto and company, who reminded the world once again that our favorite Italian plumber is often imitated but never duplicated (Sorry, Sonic). This latest Super Mario outing ratchets up the creativity thanks to the chaotic level design of its trippy, unpredictable Wonder Seeds, but the introduction of badges represents one of the series’ boldest changes to gameplay mechanics.

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Each of the 24 new badges has a level-specific effect ranging from skills to accessibility options to difficulty modifiers. You can only choose one per level, and this will change depending on your goals and your level of skill. Casual players have different needs than completionists or hardcore players. Here’s what’s best for each.

Best Mario Wonder Badges for Casual Players

Safety Bounce

This will literally save your butt. Safety bounce is the ultimate do-over for casual players trying to find their Mario bones again. One of the earliest badges in the game, you can acquire it from the Poplin Shop at Fluff Puff Peaks, just north of Petal Isles. As the name suggests, you get a safety bounce anytime you fall into a pit or pool of hazardous liquid. It can certainly be used strategically to get extra bounces in, but it’s mostly an insurance policy for novice/rusty/inebriated players.

Add ! Blocks

The famous ! Blocks made their first appearance in 1991’s Super Mario World for the SNES. The boxes generated by this badge retain some of the same design, but the function is different here. Instead of being able to unlock! Blocks by finding a corresponding color switch, these blocks appear throughout any level where the badge is turned on. Often placed strategically to make difficult jumps easier, the blocks can also contain coins or the occasional helpful item. You can get this one at the Poplin Shop in Petal Isles.

Parachute Cap

This is the very first badge you get in Super Mario Wonder, and it’s one of its best. By holding R in midair Mario fluffs his cap and catches the air, inflating it to comical proportions before gently gliding for a short distance. It’s great for traversal and can help you get to hard to reach areas. In fact, careful timing can even help you scale walls. It also serves as a bit of a mulligan on any ill-timed jumps by letting you turn around and drift back to where you were.

Wall-Climb Jump

There is a LOT of wall jumping in Super Mario Wonder. This badge may not be one of your default choices, but you will frequently encounter levels that task you with scrambling up vertical obstacles. Those are the moments you’ll be glad you have it. You’ll find it in a special challenge level near the end of Pipe-Rock Plateau, just before the palace.

Best Mario Wonder Badges for Completionists


Super Mario Wonder is a game full of lies and secrets. There are many things that are not what they appear to be, and the secrets get deeper the further into the game you go. That’s why the Sensor badge is the top choice for completionists who want to discover all the hidden Flower Coins and Wonder Seeds. It starts beeping rapidly as you approach an object (or pipe leading to a hidden object). You’ll get it as soon as you make it to World 5, the Fungi Mines.

Grappling Vine

It looks like Peter Parker isn’t the only one slinging around town lately. The grappling vine is a versatile traversal tool that lets Mario and his pals cross chasms and catapult towards walls and platforms. This makes it useful for exploring those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies that would otherwise require a carefully executed jump. It would make a great tool for casual players too, but you don’t get it until World 5. You’ll find it on a special challenge stage.

Boosting Spin Jump

What’s better than jumping? Jumping again! The boosting spin jump gives Mario a little more aerial oomph, effectively putting a double jump in your move set. Like the grappling vine and wall-climb jump, this badge is a huge help in uncovering hidden areas and goodies. It can also be useful in boss fights too since it helps you course correct mid flight if you misjudge the trajectory of a crucial head bonk.

Best Mario Wonder Badges for Hardcore Players


Think you’ve seen everything in Super Mario Wonder? Not until you’ve seen nothing. The Invisibility Badge is found on a challenge stage in World 4 after you pay 50 flower coins to repair the bridge (if you’re struggling with this stage, carry a pot so you can see where you are onscreen). There’s no Metal Gear Solid twist here that turns Super Mario Wonder into a stealth game, either. Outside of a few specific instances, this badge is mostly for the hardcore crowd who needs a little extra challenge. None of the other badges come close in terms of difficulty.

Jet Run

The key to success in any intense platformer is knowing when to slow down, take a breath, and focus. The Jet Run badge does away with that, instead forcing players to move at dashing speed at all times. It has some advantages though, namely you get a few steps to walk on air, and can even jump. Your momentum propels you higher and farther than normal, too. Still, this is a badge for people who trust their reflexes and put double-digit runs into a level. To find it you need to access a challenge stage via a secret exit at the end of Bulrush Express in World 1. You’ll need an elephant power-up to break through the bricks next to the warp pipe at the end of the stage, revealing a second pipe that will take you to a new part of the map.

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