Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam – Beginner tips and tricks

Check this guide out for everything you need to know about Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam.

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam is the latest installment of Mario and Luigi and crosses over with the Paper Mario series. The tutorial phase is much quicker and most of it is optional, which is great for veteran players. There are some things that both new and old players could miss if they don’t look for it.

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I’m going to go over the basics to help you get started in the world of Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam.

This guide will go over all the basics in Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam including:

  • Status and Gear – What the different stats and gear do for your character.
  • Battle and World Info – How battles work, moving around the world, and controls.
  • amiibo Support – What you can do with amiibo.

Status and Gear

There are 6 different stats to watch for in this game:

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam Stats

  • HP – This is your health. When it reaches 0, the character will faint.
  • BP – This stands for Bros. Points. It is used for Bros. and Trio special attacks.
  • POW – This determines how much damage you deal with your attacks.
  • DEF – This determines how much damage you take from enemy attacks.
  • SPEED – This is how fast you can act. Higher numbers let you attack faster than enemies and more often.
  • STACHE – This determines your luck. The higher the number, the more lucky hits and items you get from enemies.

Each character can equip gear to increase stats or give special effects. You start with basic boots, hammer, and clothes, but get more as you progress through the game.

Battle and World Info

Battles in Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam are turn-base, but requires timing as well. When it is your turn, you choose a command block to make an action. Each character gets their own button, A for Mario, B for Luigi, and Y when you get Paper Mario.

Each command block does something different. For example, there is a boot command block that makes you jump on the enemy and a hammer command block to attack them with the hammer. You can also use items or run away from battle.

If you time your attacks correctly, you can deal bonus damage. Based on your timing you will get either OK, Good, Great, or Excellent. Excellent is the highest you can get and OK is the lowest.

When you win a battle, you get experience points. Get enough of these points to level up your character, making them stronger.

Dodge and Counter

You can dodge or counter pretty much every enemy attack in the game. When an enemy is about to attack, you’ll see a circle underneath one or all of your characters. If you time the button press right, you can dodge the attack completely or even counter it to deal damage to the attacking enemy.

Completing these challenges gives you points you can use to buy special gear. You can check these challenges at any time by going to the battle section in the guide menu, or by selecting the star icon on the bottom left of the touch screen during battle.

Bros. and Trio Attacks

You can use Bros. attacks with Mario and Luigi to deal a lot of damage. This causes both characters to use a combined attack that uses BP. 

Trio attacks are similar, but they use all 3 characters. All characters used in these attacks must not be fainted.

Expert Challenges

There are many Expert Challenges you can complete. These involve things like completing a match with only excellent Jump attacks, or taking out all enemies with Luigi in a single attack. 

Easy Mode and Easy Attack Mode

You can turn on Easy Mode my selecting the wrench icon in the menu. This mode makes your characters stronger than usual and the enemies weaker than usual. You also get access to unlimited Hint Blocks and Easy Attack Mode.

Hint Blocks give you hints on how to battle or details about a certain enemy. These appear when you play Easy Mode or when you lose a battle and need to restart. They don’t take a turn so you can use them as much as you want.

Easy Attack Mode slows down attacks and makes them easier to complete. They cost more BP when you do this, but it is useful if you are having trouble with a particular move. Press R when selecting an attack to enable Easy Attack Mode.


When you move around the world, all character automatically follow you. Each character can perform an action using their respective buttons, just like in battles. 

There is a shop for you to buy items to the right as you exit the throne room in Peach’s Castle. You can get gear from the far left Toad, items from the middle Toad, and cards when they are available from the far right Toad.

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam Toad Shop

You can use items like mushrooms and syrup to recover HP and BP even when outside of battle. It is a good idea to do this if you are low before you get into a fight so you don’t waste turns in battle.

You can also save using the save button on the touch screen, and look at the map. While moving around in the field, you can press R or L to switch between actions like jump or hammer.

amiibo Support

amiibo Character Cards

You can also use certain amiibo to make character cards if you have an NFC reader or New 3DS. Only Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Bowser, and Yoshi amiibo work. Each amiibo has its own effect.

Before you can use an amiibo, you must register it using the REGISTER amiibo from the in-game amiibo menu. You must delete any saved data on the amiibo before you can register it to Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam. You can do this from the amiibo setting from the Home menu of the 3DS.

To make the character card for the amiibo, you need a ? Card. You can get these cards from enemies or buy them from Toad at a card shop. There are 2 types, LV 1 and LV 2 cards. Lv 2 are stronger.

Select MAKE A CARD from the in-game amiibo menu once you’ve registered an amiibo and have a ? card. You can use the card in battle after you make it simply by tapping the amiibo and selecting the card.

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam amiibo support

Duo and Sparkle Cards

Two different compatible amiibo can be used together to make a Duo Card. After you tap the first one, a message appears that says, “Now’s your Chance!” Remove the first amiibo and tap a second one to make a Duo Card.

The second amiibo doesn’t need to be registered or set up with a character card because no data will be written on it. If the two are compatible, a rare Duo Card will be created.

Sparkle cards work in a similar way, but require two of the same amiibo. The second amiibo can be registered to a different system, but it must be set up with a character card. These cards are stronger than regular cards and you get Star Points for using them. You can only make 1 Sparkle Card per day.

There other non-amiibo cards called Battle Cards. Check out my detailed Battle Cards Guide for more info.

That’s everything you need to know to get started in Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam. Let me know if you have any questions!

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After gaming for 25 years, Synzer leveraged his vast knowledge of RPGs and MMOs into a job as a games journalist, covering the games he loves. Five years later, he's still writing about Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, and Knights of the Old Republic. Synzer has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing. You can see him in action on his YouTube channel ( and Twitch (