Revived on Nintendo Switch, Mario Tennis Aces is an addictingly fun game that surpasses its previous incarnations with its spectacular graphics, competitive matches, and exciting new features.
While it may look a lot like the original, Mario Tennis Aces boasts a bevy of new gameplay and character abilities that could make it a struggle for first-timers and veterans to the court, alike. Even I, a Mario Tennis 64 veteran, got whooped several times when I started playing Aces. I ended up spending an entire day playing the latest Nintendo game, getting better through each game until I ultimately won my first championship. That’s why I’ve decided to write this article to share my knowledge with all the gamers, chomping at the bit to play Mario Tennis Aces. I want to make sure that you all start your tennis season on the right foot, by winning every tournament you can enter.
The initial part of the campaign will ease you into the game, but hopefully by reading these tips and tricks, you can breeze through it all and get right to the heavy competition! Without further ado, here are my tips and tricks for Mario Tennis Aces!
Find the Right Character
One of, if not the most important part of Mario Tennis Aces, is choosing the right character to play as. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself picking your favorite character from the Mushroom Kingdom (Yoshi) and getting beat down because you don’t know how to use them. That’s not really the best approach, because each character has their own playstyle. For instance, the 6 vastly different playstyles are All-around, Technical, Speedy, Powerful, Defensive, and Tricky.
All-around is pretty self-explanatory, you’re good at about everything. Technical means you’re extremely accurate with your shots and can find tight corners to hit toward on your opponent’s side. Speedy just means you’re quick. Powerful players boast fast shots. Defensive players are harder to score on because of their ability to cover the court. Finally, Tricky characters have a slice that curves drastically, making it harder to hit.
The characters that fall into each category are as follows:
All-around = Mario, Luigi, and Daisy
Technical = Peach and Toadette
Speedy = Yoshi and Toad
Powerful = Bowser, Wario, Spike, Donkey Kong, and Chain Chomp
Defensive = Waluigi and Bowser Jr.
Tricky = Rosalina and Boo
As you might have noticed, Aces boasts more characters with the Powerful trait than anyone else. You’ll also find that A LOT of players like to play with these type of characters. While their power is enticing, they tend to give up a lot of speed and a bigger frame because of it. Meaning that they can’t clear shots as fast and they are prone to body shots. In fact, outside of the All-arounds, each character has a drawback, based on their playstyle. Technical, Powerful, and Tricky characters aren’t very fast and Defensive and Speedy don’t boast hard-hitting shots. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play with them, but it does mean you have to adjust the way you play. Certain characters play frontcourt and backcourt better than others. There will also be new unlockable characters, like Koopa Troopa (Speedy) and Blooper (Tricky) that will be part of free software updates in July (Koopa) and August (Blooper).
I suggest playing with Mario until you get the hang of things. It may not be the sexy pick, but it’s the one that will help you graduate to the rest of the field. In fact, using Mario won me my first tournament, against the likes of Bowser, Waluigi, Peach, and Chain Chomp.
Use All the Swings Strategically
When I first started playing Mario Tennis Aces, I was so eager to play the game, I didn’t put much time into practicing every shot during a match. Instead, I mained the Topspin (A) shot. This swing, with the red hue, creates a fast shot with a high bounce. It worked for a little bit, but I became too obvious. Then, I switched to the Flat (Y), a purple hued low-bounce fast shot, that practically everyone was using. It’s a good shot, faster than all the others, but only using that swing could still get you into trouble. That’s why it’s very important to remember the Slice (B), a blue hued slow shot with a low bounce and decent curve, the Lob (Left Analog Stick Up and X), a yellowish shot that if used right can bounce over your opponents head, making it hard to hit, and the Drop Shot (X), which in my opinion is the most dangerous one. With the Drop Shot, this white hued ball will pop over the net, and fall dead in the frontcourt, making it very hard to hit. Each shot has its place in the game, and using them at the precise moment, along with the new features, the Trick Shot, Zone Shot, and Special Shot will mean victory against all your opponents.
This brings me to my next point about Swings, CHARGE EVERY SWING. Charging is how you’re able to pull off the specialty shots. In fact, most of the opening part of the match is using different charged swings to build your Energy Meter so you can use gain the upper hand with special shots. To charge, simply hold the button you’re swinging with down and release when you need to hit it. That’ll send your meter surging, giving you a little bit of meter to work with. Additionally, charged shots hit better than normal swings. Another way to increase your meter is to use the risky, but beneficial Trick Shots (right analog stick) to jump from one end of the court to the other to make a save, curve the shot, and hopefully punish your opponent. If the timing is right, your meter will get a blast of energy, if it’s not, you could lose energy and return a wimpy shot. PSA: Avoid double-tapping X when you’re trying to do a Drop Shot or a Lob, it’ll send you into a Trick Shot and you will end up missing and losing.
Once you have a decent meter, you can use Zone Speed (right trigger) to slow down time, jump into a star and create what is called a Zone Shot, which allows you to aim the shot. You will lose energy, but you could wind up winning, unless your opponent hops into Zone Speed and blocks the shot. Blocking a shot is hard to do, though, and can cause a Racquet to break. Whoever loses two racquets, loses the game. Zone Speed can also be a vital defensive maneuver and can be used in serves too, so DON’T FORGET ABOUT ZONE SPEED.
Finally, the last shot is the Special Shot. Once the meter is completely full, and blue, a simple click of the left trigger will send you into a brief cinematic that ends with you aiming a powerful shot back at your opponent. During this time, your meter drains, but a well-placed Special Shot can earn a point or break an opponent’s racquet. It’s not an end-all-be-all shot, though. A savvy veteran can return it one of two ways, by jumping into Zone Speed, allowing the show to bounce and then returning it or using their own Special. That’s right, you can block a special with another special. It’s a really cool sequence that can catch your opponent with their pants down, so to speak.
One last note on Specials, some player’s strategy will be to knock out their opponent by destroying racquets. If you have 1 racquet left, and they use their special, simply run away. They’ll earn the point, but you’ll still be in the game.
Don’t Be Afraid to Play Closer to the Net
This was my problem for a long time. I got too comfortable playing in the backcourt, because I could see the ball in front of me, see it slower. However, the more you play, the more you’ll find that staying in the backcourt is not the most advantageous spot to be. Instead, moving up to the middle of your side, will allow you to get to the ball quicker and create quicker volleys. Sure, the game becomes more fast-paced and you may have to use more meter, but you’ll actually find that your meter grows faster when you’re in these constant volleys. Plus, you’ll get the drop on Drop Shots, something that’s harder to do in the backcourt.
Courts Can Make or Break You
Mario Tennis Aces boasts several beautiful, but dangerous, courts for players to enjoy. The danger of these courts comes from A. The environment it’s on and B. The Hazards they include. One example of a tough environment are the Bask Ruins, a court made up of sand. That means that shots will hardly bounce, so one well-placed Drop Shot could either win you the match or bury you. Meanwhile, an example of the hazardous courts is the tricky Mirage Mansion. If you fire the tennis ball into one of the floating mirrors, it’ll teleport into a second mirror on the other side, for your opponent to deal with. That’s why it’s important to know your surroundings, plan accordingly, and use them to your advantage. Not all courts will have these hazards and environmental issues, the main Marina Stadium will allow players’ skill to shine more with peak conditions.
Note: Hazards can be turned off outside of tournaments and story mode. (The picture above is supposed to have Piranha Plant hazards)
Practice, Practice, Practice
The biggest and best tip I can give is to practice. No matter how much you read, you’re not going to be an all-star, at first, but you’ll at least be more prepared than you were. Practicing against CPUs will help a little, but you really won’t become better until you’re playing opposite another player in PvP. In fact, that’s really where this game shines. When you’re in a 10 minute matching going shot for shot in an epic volley, you find yourself becoming somewhat fatigued, exasperated, and invigorated all at the same time. It become an addictingly fun experience for everyone involved.
My hope is that these tips and tricks help every player get better at Mario Tennis Aces quicker, so that way they can enjoy the game and not get beat down too early. This game is a grind for a bit, but hopefully these tips and practicing against tougher opponents will have you hoisting that trophy sooner than I did (about 16 hours). If you have tips of your own to add, feel free to tweet us @cinelinx or to me personally @movethejoystick! Thanks for reading and enjoy Mario Tennis Aces!