How to download and play Super Mario Run

Get the best of Nintendo on a smartphone or tablet

Update: Good news, Android users! Super Mario Run is due to arrive on your Google-powered device in March. Nintendo's official Twitter account revealed the release plans, marking an (almost) end to Apple's three-month exclusive on the game. We'll have more information on how to download Super Mario Run on Android as soon as it becomes available.

Super Mario Run just launched in the App Store, so you can download it right now for free* (more on that below) on your iPhone and iPad.

Nintendo nailed the official December 15 for iPhone and iPad release date and it’s being made available in 151 countries around the world.

If you’re keen to play Nintendo’s iconic character on your iOS smartphone or tablet, read on to find out how you can download and play Super Mario Run right now.

Wondering when the Android version will release? So are we. Head down to see what we know.

How to download and play Super Mario Run on iOS

If you have an iOS device, such as an iPhone or iPad, then you’re in luck, as Super Mario Run is available for iOS owners first, with an Android version coming at some point soon in 2017.

To download Super Mario Run for iOS, open up the app store on your iPhone or iPad and search for ‘Super Mario Run’.

Simply tap "get" to have access to the app, but be warned: you'll have free access to only the first few levels. After that, you'll need to spend $9.99 (£7.99, about AU$13) to get the full game. 

Before you move forward with the purchase, you’ll need to make sure you have permission to buy the game before continuing. Tap the button to purchase the game, and it will download and install automatically. You can now play every single level of Super Mario Run on your iOS device.

Keep in mind that Nintendo's runner is an online-only game, meaning that you can't boot into it if you don't have either a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. This will definitely be a problem for some, but not others. So, it's good to at least consider it before putting your money down on the app.

How to download and play Super Mario Run on Android

At the moment, Super Mario Run is only available for iOS devices, though it will make its way to Android phones and tablets in the future [Update: Nintendo has revealed the game will launch for Android in two months, giving it a March release date]. We’ll update this guide as soon as we have more details on when exactly you can download and play Super Mario Run on your Android device.

So does this mean that Android owners have no hope of downloading and playing Super Mario Run right now? Not necessarily.

While there are emulators on the internet that promise to allow you to run iOS apps on Android, we’d recommend avoiding these. We tried a few out, and many did not do what they promised, and many websites that claimed to host iOS emulators for Android devices has lots of links to risky software.

All iOS emulators for Android are available as apk files, which require you to allow your Android device to download and install software from untrusted sources, which can put your device at risk. Considering the risks involved, we don’t think it is worth it to play Super Mario Run on Android. 

It’s better to wait for the official release.

You may also see websites promising Super Mario Run apk files for downloading the game to Android. These are not legitimate files and could put your Android device at risk if you install the apk file on your device.

If you’re absolutely desperate to play Super Mario Run right now, then you’ll need an iOS device. Super Mario Run requires iOS 8, so you can buy a second hand iOS device, such as the iPod Touch, from eBay. The following older devices support iOS 8: 

If you can find a cheap version of any of those, you could buy it, install iOS 8 and then download and play Super Mario Run.

Have you got any suggestions of ideas for getting Super Mario Run to download and play on Android? Let us know in the comments section and we'll add it to this guide!

Editor's note: A previous version of this article was headlined 'How to download and play Super Mario Run on iOS and Android', in reference to the fact many people were trying to play it on multiple platforms. Despite adding in advice against trying to play the game on Android, we've decided to remove the reference from the headline to prevent people thinking that it's safe to do so at the current time.

We'll update the article as further information becomes available.


How to editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's How To editor. Having written for a number of magazines and websites, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about. From gadgets to games, he's here to provide the best how to guides to help you get the most out of your gizmos. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice, drop him a line on Twitter.