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Sonic Mania cheats: Level Select, Debug mode, Super Peel Out, and other secrets explained

How to get new modes, moves and other bonuses.

Sonic Mania unlockables give you more incentive to replay than the average Sonic game, ranging from new moves based on classic Sonic games to modes that change the way you play.

We'd recommend at least playing through some of Sonic Mania before reading on for spoiler purposes, and to read up on how to master Sonic Mania special stages to unlock and see everything on offer.

If you have purchased the Encore or Sonic Mania Plus upgrades, note the following is the same as the base version released in 2017.

On this page:

Cover image for YouTube videoSonic Mania: Retro vs Modern - The Complete Analysis
Sonic Mania: Retro vs Modern - The Complete Analysis

How to use Level Select in Sonic Mania

Activating Level Select differs slightly from platform to platform. First, unlock Debug Mode and enabled it. Then on the save selection screen of Mania Mode, highlight the No Save option on the far right, then press the following button combination:

  • Sonic Mania PS4 Level Select: Options, Triangle and Square. (Thanks to reader lanerobertlane for the tip.)
  • Sonic Mania Switch Level Select: Options, hold Y and start the game with the A button.
  • Sonic Mania Xbox One Level Select: Menu button, Y and X together. (Thanks to Viktormoros for the tip.)
  • Sonic Mania PC Level Select: Q and A keys together. (Thanks to Rainbow Seal on YouTube for the tip.)

Note of the above appears to work in 'Encore' mode.

If you were originally using the 'head to the title screen (back out of the main menu to reach it) press Y + B buttons together' method on Switch, that has been patched out since release:

How to unlock Debug Mode, Super Peel Out and activate other Sonic Mania cheats

Playing the main Mania mode will unlock a number of new moves and abilities. You unlock the following by collecting Blue Sphere medals:

  • Sonic CD move Super Peel-Out
  • Sonic 3 and K move Insta-Shield
  • Debug Mode
  • And Knuckles

To use cheats such as alternate modes, And Knuckles and Debug, you must go into Mania Mode and hover over the 'No Save' icon on the right. Next, press Triangle (or Y on Xbox, or X on Switch) to activate these options. Here is how you use each mode:

  • And Knuckles will add Knuckles as a second character, even to Knuckles!
  • Debug is activated by pressing Triangle (or Y on Xbox, or X on Switch), then the jump buttons to place and rotate through options.
  • Mania's move is a Drop Dash (hold jump in the air), Sonic CD's by holding Up then jump, and Sonic 3 and K Insta-Shield by pressing jump in the air.

Finally, since the release of Sonic Mania Plus, a new set of cheats has been revealed, thanks to CodenameGamma on Reddit (via Sonic Stadium). You need to use the Level Select cheat as described earlier, allowing you reach a screen where you can enter the sound test.

Next, enter the sounds in this following order to unlock the respective cheat. You'll know you are successful when you hear a sound effect.

  • 4126 - Unlock all emeralds
  • 6214 - Disable Super Music
  • 9001 - Unlock all Sonic moves (Dropdash, Super Peel Out, Insta-Shield)
  • 19790811 - Changes all animals into squirrels
  • 19890501 - Does nothing, or unlocks all Medals
  • 19921124 - Infinite Continues
  • 20170815 - Egg Reverie flying in any levels instead of Super Sonic
  • 20180623 - Force Encore Mode
Cover image for YouTube video25 Sonic Mania Easter Eggs You Might Have Missed

How to unlock new modes and Extra secrets in Sonic Mania

Upon completing the first stage of Sonic Mania, the following two options are unlocked on the main menu, which offer more stages the further into the Mania Mode you go:

  • Time Attack (speed run mode on individual zones)
  • Competition (split-screen local competition, based on Sonic 2)

Venturing into the Extras menu will show three additional unlockables. These, as hinted by the grid of 32 icons in the bottom right corner of the screen, are additional modes unlocked by playing the Blue Sphere special stages.

The good news is, you don't need to unlock any gold medals to get these (it's seemingly just to unlock an additional Achievement / Trophy). Get all 32 (at least) silver Medals to unlock:

  • Mean Bean (Puyo Puyo mini-game playable against the computer or another player)
  • Blue Spheres (mini-game in original and Mania modes)
  • D.A. Garden (sound test)

You don't have to unlock these Medals in a single playthrough - instead, they are accumulated across all sessions. That means you can restart the opening level over and over if you wish to unlock them faster.

Our special stages page explains the easiest way to find these special stages, including a trick involving the debug option.

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Sonic Mania

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

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About the Author
Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds


Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.