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5 things to know before playing Mario Golf on Nintendo Switch Online

Mario Golf for the N64 is coming to Nintendo Switch Online, here are some things players need to know (Image via Nintendo)
Mario Golf for the N64 is coming to Nintendo Switch Online, here are some things players need to know (Image via Nintendo)
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Jason Parker

Mario Golf is truly one of the classic sports games on Nintendo 64 and will come to the Nintendo Switch Online system on April 15, 2022. It features 14 characters, 10 modes of play, and 18 holes to challenge. But what should players be aware of going into the game? Not everyone has played it, after all. Here’s what is coming fans' way on April 15.

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Mario Golf is a classic Nintendo 64 coming to Nintendo Switch Online

Reviewed highly back in its day, Mario Golf was released in June 1999, bringing Mario and his friends together to do battle on the golf courses of the Mushroom Kingdom. It was easy to learn and hard to master but could require a bit of grinding. Players had to get experience points to get to the next course, after all.

A smash hit for the N64, it’s natural to see it come to the Nintendo Switch Online service, as it will show just how far Mario sports games have come since then. Experience in previous golf games doesn’t matter, anyone can pick this up and have fun with their friends across a wide variety of modes.

What to know going into Mario Golf

  • 10 different modes to challenge
  • Each character is unique
  • Mario Golf is not as wacky as later Mario sports titles
  • Don’t be afraid to use the Taunt button

5) Mario Golf has 10 fun modes to tackle

The classic game has 10 fun modes for players to try (Image via Nintendo)
The classic game has 10 fun modes for players to try (Image via Nintendo)

Mario Golf has so many different ways to play, which is one of the best things about the game. Despite having a tournament mode that hosts 29 computer players and the player, there are only fourteen characters. There’s a mode to unlock characters, speedrun, or simply play regular, traditional golf.

Here are the modes players can try out

  • Tournament: 1 player and 29 CPUs across 18 holes of golf
  • Get Character: Play a match game against NPC, winning unlocks them
  • Ring Shot: Get the ball through the rings, at par or better
  • Speed Golf: Speedrun 18 holes
  • Stroke Play: Standard golf
  • Mini-Golf: Stroke play but with mini-golf courses, and a few changes to the rules
  • Training: Play any course and hole, change weather settings
  • Match Play: Similar to Get Character, but two players, and no unlocks
  • Skins Match: The winner of a hole gets a point, points carry over. Winner has the most
  • Club Slots: Similar to Skins Match, but randomized clubs (except putter). No CPU opponents

So there are so many ways to play, no matter what the player is after in their golf game.

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4) Each character has their own special powers and swing style

A swing in the game (Image via Nintendo)
A swing in the game (Image via Nintendo)

Each of the characters in Mario Golf has its own special power and swing style, making each character unlock exciting. All of the characters are viable and will surely fit all styles of players, but there are only a few ways to get more characters, and it might frustrate players.

This is because more powerful characters have higher drive distances, making them overall better characters. For example, Metal Mario has a 285 yards drive distance and is the hardest character to unlock. Bowser, the final character match unlock, has 280 yards.


3) Characters are unlocked in a specific order

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However, the best characters come significantly later in the game, and they have to be unlocked in order - for the most part.

Maple unlocks after collecting 50 Birdie Badges, Donkey Kong after collecting 30 Stars in Ring Shots, and Metal Mario unlocks after getting all 108 Birdie Badges. The other characters, such as Bowser, Mario, Wario, and Yoshi, show up in the character match mode. It’s definitely worth knowing that the best characters will, without a doubt, take some grinding.


2) Mario Golf is not as wacky as future sports games with Mario

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This isn’t saying that Mario Golf isn’t fun; far from it! But fans expecting the ridiculous, over-the-top powers and abilities that came in future sports games won’t find that much of it here. It’s still pretty and fun to play and holds up after all this time. But it’s a more serious golf game, for the most part. At the very least, it has a mini-golf option.


1) Don’t be afraid to use the Taunt button

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There’s one very useful feature in the grame, and that’s Taunt! Players can use cleverly-timed taunts to try and throw their opponents off. It has no in-game mechanical effect, but against other players, this can be a great way to distract them right before the ball is hit. They aren’t rude or ultra disrespectful, but it’s a fun way to try and get an edge on a friend while on the links.


Mario Golf is a classic N64 game, returning to the forefront again, thanks to Nintendo Switch Online. It will be playable via that service starting on April 15, 2022.


Edited by R. Elahi
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