Super Mario Odyssey's Balloon World is a mini-game introduced as part of a free update to the game in February 2018.
With the help of Luigi, you can find and hide balloons around areas of the game, competing against players all over the world.
How to unlock Balloon World and find Luigi in Super Mario Odyssey
To unlock and play Balloon World, you must first complete the game's story. Second, make sure you're connected to the internet.
Then, find Luigi in any of the game's worlds. If you're struggling to find him, then use your map, and he'll be signposted with a telltale green letter 'L'.
On the first visit he'll explain the rules to you - as shown in the below embedded video - before allowing you to play at your heart's content.
How to play Hide It and Find It in Balloon World
Balloon World is a game of players hiding a balloon somewhere within any of the game's Kingdoms, and challenging other players to then find it.
If you are playing Hide It, then you simply find a location, press Right on the D-Pad to drop it where you stand (it cannot be in the air).
With Hide It, you just pop the balloon using the guidance of the arrow above your head, and once you find it, then either run into it or throw your cap to win.
There are some shared rules and things to note for both:
- You have up to 30 seconds to find or hide a balloon.
- One second of time added for every three Coins found.
- It costs at least 10 Coins for each Balloon attempt, with the entry fee and winnings changing depending on the difficulty to the balloon.
That's the essentials - but there's a lot of nuance in terms of where Balloons could be located, as well as how you get earnings.
Balloon World tips for getting better at Find It and Hide It
Here's some things that might help you improve at the balloon hiding and popping mini-game:
- The clock doesn't begin until you leave the starting area, so use that opportunity to orientate yourself properly before speeding off.
- In Find It, use the arrow to learn of the general direction. If you get lost, stand still for a few moments for the arrow to reappear again.
- As well as using a list of Balloons to find in the game, you can also share a nine-digit code for friends to play. (Note the following code has expired, but use it as example of how you might share codes with others!)
Right, I have hidden a balloon in Cascade Kingdom. Let me know if you find it! 003 89M 5JD pic.twitter.com/gFvflI7iI2— Matthew Reynolds @ EGX (@Crazyreyn) February 22, 2018
- It's worth starting with Find It before playing Hide It as a reminder of the area's layout, and common places others are putting their balloons. Use this to get an easy streak when you learn these reoccurring locations, then use that knowledge to try and find somewhere better to hide your balloon!
- You can replay a Balloon as many times as you like. This is useful if you think you were close but need a cleaner run to get another stab at it. The amount of coins you'll earn will easily outweigh what you spend to enter on a successful retry, so you may as well!
- You cannot leave balloons in bonus rooms or other places beyond the area you are in, so don't try!
- You have until the last possible moment to leave a balloon (if you run out of time, the game will ask you if you want to leave it where you stand). But remember others can pop it with their hat, so take that extra distance into consideration.
- Underwater areas are particularly devilish, especially since your movement speed is hampered and the lack of oxygen can lead to panic-inducing moments.
- Time is of the essence, so learning the moves that make Mario get around at pace - such as long jumps and hat throws - allow you to get to places quickly.
- You can capture things as part of your run, which can help you put the balloon in unusual places.
Need more help? Our Super Mario Odyssey guide and walkthrough goes through every objective in each Kingdom, while our Power Moon locations can help you track down the likes of Cascade Kingdom Power Moons, Sand Kingdom Power Moons, Metro Kingdom and New Donk City Power Moons and more collectables. We also have Purple Coin locations for each Kingdom, and if you want to know what to spend it on, we have a hats list, outfits list, stickers list, a souvenirs list as well as a music list to kit out the appearance of both Mario and the Odyssey. Once you've finished the game, check out the free Balloon World update, too.
How to earn more Coins in Balloon World
As well playing for the fun of it, it's worth knowing the various ways you can get coins in Balloon World, if you're looking to grind them out for some late game outfits.
How to earn Coins in Balloon World:
- You get a base amount of coins - 50 to begin with - for finding a Balloon, which increases the more people fail to find it.
- There are additional Coins up for grabs if you find it fast and earn a Time Bonus.
- A key aspect is the faster you find it - or hide it without a player then discovering it - the more bonus Coins you receive.
- You gain a bonus for a streak of wins. Finding balloons twice in a row earns you 10 additional Coins, for example.
- Particular Kingdoms will be highlighted to give you more Coins for a short amount of time, as indicated on the Stats screen and the corner of the screen during regular play.
- Each Rank up gives you a bonus set of 100 coins, too, which is another useful way of earning Coins.
Ways to increase your Balloon World ranking:
Find It rank bonuses:
- Coins earned
- Number of Balloons found
- Number found in a row
Hide It rank bonuses:
- Coins earned
- Others' Tries
Essentially, then, the more you play the higher your rank will improve, as even if you come up against a run of difficult balloons (or can't think of a good place to put them) only two of the five ways to level up are skill-related.