Sonic Mania Guide: All Cheats, Unlockables, and Secrets
Sonic Mania may already be twice the length of the classic Genesis titles with its extra zones alone, but there's even more content stored away in this title. While most can be unlocked with simple dedication and practice, the team responsible for this callback to the past greatness of Sonic the Hedgehog made sure to pack in as much extra goodies as possible.
In this guide, we'll go over all the unlockables in Sonic Mania and how you can access every single one of them.
How to Unlock Stage Select and Debug Mode (Cheat)
Before we get to the legitimate ways to unlock bonuses in Sonic Mania, let's cover something a little more nostalgic. If you hold the B and Y button on the Nintendo Switch before the "Press Any Button" prompt appears at the bottom of the title screen, you will unlock the Stage Select mode. Once in Stage Select, you will be able to access any map in the game.
Pressing X while in a stage chosen through Stage Select will let you access Debug Mode. In this mode you can take the form of any item, object, or enemy and freely place them around the map. Changing the item you are is as simple as pressing the Y or A buttons to cycle through the list. You can also use it as a form of noclip mode, allowing you to explore the stage for the sake of exploration.
For PS4 and Xbox One Players
Debug Mode and Stage Select can still be unlocked on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 via collecting Silver or Gold medals from the Blue Spheres Bonus Stages. Afterward, go into the Secrets Menu to activate Debug Mode. Once activated, you can press Square and Options for PS4 or X and Menu on the Xbox One. This was likely done to avoid conflicts with the achievements systems on either console.
How to Unlock "& Knuckles" Mode
Your reward for completing each Blue Spheres stage is bonus lives. However, if you are dedicated enough to complete all of the Blue Spheres bonus stages with Gold Medals, you will unlock the elusive "& Knuckles" mode.
This mode functions much like the Sonic and Tails mode -- but instead of Tails, you get Knuckles following you around. Even while playing as Knuckles.
The memes are real, kids...
Mean Bean Machine Mode and Blue Spheres Extras
Can't get enough Mean Bean Machine or Blue Spheres? By collecting Gold and Silver medals from the regular Blue Spheres Bonus Stages, you can unlock extra stages for Blue Spheres in a dedicated mode or a full version of Doctor Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine -- which is effectively just a mini-arcade version of Puyo Puyo.
The Mean Bean Machine substitute can even be played with a friend. So if you're really dying to get your hands on some knockoff Puyo Puyo, start finding those medals!
Wind Attack and Super Peel Out Abilities
Sonic's Wind Attack from Sonic 3 -- otherwise known as the Insta-Shield and Twin-Spin Attack -- as well as the Super Peel Out ability from Sonic CD are available in Sonic Mania as unlockable skill sets. Each is unlocked by gathering either the Silver or Gold medals from the Blue Spheres Bonus Stages. And unfortunately, these abilities can only be used in No Save mode.
To access them after unlocking them, simply press Y or Triangle to open up the bonuses menu, change Sonic's abilities to the mode you want, and then start a No Save game.
What is the Wind Attack?
For those who don't know what the Wind Attack is, in Sonic 3 and Sonic Advance you could press the jump button to create a split-second barrier that will destroy enemies just out of range of your spin jump. It's just a few pixels wider than your regular jump attack, but it is particularly useful for beating basic enemies that are a little more defensive.
Super Peel Out?
On the other hand, Super Peel Out from Sonic CD lets you hold up on the D-Pad or Control Stick while pressing the jump button to wind up your running speed. This lets Sonic run at full speed without having to use the Spin Dash ability. While this seems like a straight downgrade to the Spin Dash, the Super Peel Out ability is much better at keeping its momentum than being in ball form.
That's all for now!
These extra features in Sonic Mania really show how dedicated the developers were to making a true Sonic the Hedgehog title for the fans. Remember, these are just the unlockables, so be sure to turn on that debug mode and see if you can find any Easter Eggs hidden throughout the stages! As always, stay tuned to for more on Sonic Mania guides.