Game Guides

Super Mario 3D All-Stars – How to Save in 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy

Save all your progress on the path to 120 stars or shines

by Kyle Hanson


One of the first questions any gamer asks when starting a new game is how to save their progress. As games have gotten longer and more complex, this has become even more important but also a lot easier. Most modern games feature auto-save functions that keep you up to the second no matter what you do. But older stuff, like the three games featured in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, can always be tricky, especially when they’re re-released. To help, here’s a breakdown of how to save in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, explaining the process for Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy.

How to Save in Super Mario 64

Let’s kick off with the toughest one in the bunch. Super Mario 64 is the oldest title in the 3D All-Stars collection, and Nintendo has not gone to great lengths in updating its feature set. Mostly the game is presented without major alterations, which includes the save system. There’s no auto-save function here, you need to rely on the same save mechanics as everyone did back in 1996 on Nintendo 64. This means to save any amount of progress you’ll need to get a star.

Completing a stage and getting a star sends you back to the main castle hub and offers a choice of save options. You can save and continue, save and quit, or skip the save altogether. 99% of the time you’ll want to save and continue, but the choices are presented each time. There’s not really much other progress you can actually make outside of netting a new star, so the system makes sense. Opening a door in the castle can be redone pretty quickly, but if you’re deep into a stage and need to stop, you’re going to have to rely on the Switch’s suspend and sleep feature.

How to Save in Super Mario Sunshine

Things improve quite a bit in the jump from N64 to Gamecube. You may lose one save file from the main menu, but the save system is much more robust in Super Mario Sunshine. It mirrors the Super Mario 64 setup of offering a choice after attaining each Shine, which replace Stars. However, on top of this you can press Plus and choose to save at any time in the game’s hub, but not while inside an actual level.

This is much more helpful as the Isle Delfino hub is more intricate and has more unlockable pieces than Peach’s Castle from the last game. You can’t fully suspend or create save states like many other re-releases have offered, but you can still keep the game running in the background for some apps and put the Switch to sleep, picking up right where you were later on. Just keep an eye on your battery and try to save first just in case.

How to Save in Super Mario Galaxy

Save files stick to a similar formula moving on to Super Mario Galaxy. Players have way more save files to choose in the main menu, but inside the game things go right back to normal. While in the game’s hub you can hit Plus and select Back to go back to the main menu. Before doing so the game will let you save, which is good since some things can be unlocked within the hub that don’t involve stars. For stages you must complete and collect the star to be sent back to the hub and offered a chance to save.

So that’s how to save in Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars. The games haven’t been changed much, but given how much was altered between each sequel, it can be tough to keep track.

- This article was updated on:September 18th, 2020

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