In Battle mode, there are a total of six battle courses to choose from, however only four are playable at the start.
There are also two secret battle courses that must be unlocked in order to play them. To unlock them, you will need to race in the Grand Prix mode.
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Balloon Battle is a 2 to 4 player Battle game that has each player starting off with three balloons. The objective of the game is to be the last player with balloons after a fierce battle using any items you manage to get your hands on. Every time your character takes a hit, you lose a balloon. Pop all of your opponent's balloons to win the match.
The best strategy is to keep taking items to hit your opponent with, hopefully red shells. Obstacles such as fake item blocks or bananas can also be helpful, as long as you make sure you do not crash into them yourself. If you ever run low on balloons, use a mushroom to ram into your opponent. Their balloon will literally be stolen from them. You will end up with a balloon of your opponent's color. For example, if you used a mushroom to steal your opponent's green balloon, and you were red, you would end up with a green balloon and however many red balloons you had left. The balloon that you stole will count as an extra hit that you can take.
You may only have up to three balloons at one time.
Starman can also steal your opponent's balloons in the same manner.
In Double Dash, you cannot spawn your own balloons. you only have three at the beginning of each battle, and the only way you can get more is by stealing.
In Shine Thief, a Shine Sprite will fall in the middle of the battle track. When an opponent gets the Shine Sprite, a timer will start. Everyone else will then have 60 seconds to get it. If the opponent hits or gets hit with any item, they will drop the Shine Sprite and the timer will stop and add more time to itself. The person who can hold on to the Shine Sprite until the timer runs out wins. An arrow tracks the location and movement of the Shine Sprite at all times. All special items can be used by all characters in this battle mode.
- Try to avoid corners when having the Shine Sprite. This can lead to getting trapped.
- Keep an item on-hand to block an incoming shell.
- Watch out for anyone using an Bob-omb, Bowser's Shell, Mushroom, or Star. Those items are difficult to avoid.
In Bob-omb Blast, each opponent must blast each other with a Bob-omb. Each time an opponent is caught in a blast, whoever threw that bomb gets a point. If an opponent has a point and gets involved in an explosion, that point gets transferred to the bomb-thrower. If two opponents are involved, the first to three points wins. If three or four opponents are involved, the first to four points wins.
All bomb are color-coded for an opponent. Opponent 1 gets red Bob-ombs , 2 gets blue Bob-ombs , 3 gets green Bob-ombs , and 4 gets yellow Bob-ombs. Bob-ombs are the only items available in this battle mode. Up to five can be held by a character at a time, meaning 10 Bob-ombs is the most anyone can hold at a time.
Although there a six stages to select from, Block City and Luigi's Mansion are the best suited for Bob-omb Blast. The extensive ricochet possibilities of Block City make it a great option for games with any amount of players. The large size of Luigi's Mansion makes it perfectly suited for games with three or four players.
- Drop: This drops a bomb behind you, which then explodes upon contact or when the fuse runs out. This move can be executed by hitting or and pressing .
- Throw: This throws a bomb the normal distance in front of you. This move can be executed by driving and hitting or or by staying still and not pressing .
- Hurl: This throws a bomb a far distance in front of you. This move can be executed by either backing up or staying still, and pressing or while pressing .
- Super Lob: This throws a bomb extremely high and far. It is executed by holding while moving forward and hurling it.
- Screen Watching: By watching the screen of your opponents, you can anticipate their moves. This strategy is extremely effective and advanced players often watch their opponents' screens more than their own.
- The Line: The Line is executed by dropping several bombs quickly across the path of your opponent. This leaves your opponent with little way to avoid your bombs. This is very useful while driving on narrow roads, such as the hallways in Luigi's Mansion. To avoid the Line, try using Screen Watching.
- Ricocheting: By using the Throw, Hurl and Super Lob, it is possible to ricochet bombs off walls. This technique can become extremely effective when coupled with Screen Watching.
- Backing Up: Although slow, Backing Up can be useful to execute the Hurl or to avoid the Line.
- Avoid the Blue: In the Block City stage, as a general rule, it is a good idea to avoid the blue colored area. While filled with bombs, its lower elevation makes it easy to throw bombs into. Also, it is very difficult to throw bombs out of.
- Cyclone of Terror: To execute this move, throw several bombs while using the Spin Turn. In small areas with walls, Ricocheting coupled with this move can produce damaging results.
- Character Selection: Since all characters throw the same distance, it is prudent to select smaller characters, as they are harder to hit.