Super Mario Bros. 3 – Cheats & Unlockables

super mario bros. 3 cheats

Here are all the guides, tips, and strategies to enjoy playing Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) with cheats and unlockables.

Tips & Tricks

28 P-Wings

Complete the game and watch the ending. Now start a new game. You got 28 P-Wings!

Note, however, that this will not work on the Japanese versions of the game, where you simply stay at the ending screen until you turn off the console.

1-Ups (End of Level)

Whenever you complete a level, any enemies that are onscreen will be converted to coins and points. But if you complete a level with at least 5 enemies onscreen, you will be awarded with a 1-Up instead. It’s easiest to do this in almost any level that has a Lakitu; simply lure it to the end of the stage, and keep dodging until enough enemies are onscreen.

Always Get 3 Stars

At the end of most levels (in which you get a card). Use full speed with marios that allow you to run, and hit the bottom left-hand corner of the “card block”. If done right you will be able to get that star each time. MUST DO THIS EACH TIME AT THE END OF THAT LEVEL.

Alternate Exit – World 3-7

This requires any item that will let you fly, but it’s easiest to use a P-Wing. When you reach the first set of breakable blocks, fly up into the sky. You’ll eventually come across a series of cloud platforms with some coins on them. There’s one additional cloud platform at the end that’s separate from the rest. Stand in the exact middle of it and jump, and you’ll uncover an invisible pink Note Block. Jump on it, and it’ll take you to a Coin Heaven. Unlike other Coin Heaven sections, however, this one ends with you getting a free Cloud item. Getting it will also automatically beat the level.

Alternate Exit – World 5-1

This requires any item that lets you fly, but it’s easiest with the P-Wing. As soon as the level starts, fly straight up into the sky. Near the very top, you’ll find a pipe. It leads to a room with two paths. The bottom path will lead to a shortcut through the level. However, you can access the top path by flying while holding down to duck. This top path leads to a free Music Box, and collecting it will instantly end the level.

Alternate Exit – World 5-7

This requires any item that allows you to fly, but it’s easiest to use a P-Wing. When you reach the first pipe in 5-7, go down it. It’ll take you to an area where there are rows of clouds and blocks hidden near the top of the screen. Fly up and break the blocks until you can walk on the clouds. Continue walking right until you reach the end of the area. However, don’t take the pipe exit; instead, fly over the pipe off-screen and over the blue boundary wall itself. This will immediately drop you to the end of the level, letting you skip the entire second half of it.

Avoid Damage From Bowser

When fighting Bowser in the final level of the game, his lower half will not do damage to you. That means you can avoid damage from his ground-pound attack by ducking if you have obtained a power-up at some point, or, if Small Mario, you can walk under him and through him without sustaining damage!

Beat Fortress via N-Spade

In the game, you need to wait until the N-Spade card game – which appears with every 80,000 points you earn – spawns and moves to the spot of a fortress on the overworld map. If you go there now and play it, the fortress will be as if you had beaten it afterward, being collapsed and unplayable. Note, however, that the bridges and locks affected by defeating the fortress normally will still not unlock or reappear, so only do this when these things are not required.

Bowser’s Battleships Skip

In World 8, one of the levels has you go against Bowser’s fleet of battleships. To save yourself a lot of trouble, go over the first ship as normal, and then jump in the water. You’ll be able to swim underneath all the rest of the ships in the level. When you’re directly under a ship, keep mashing the swim button to prevent the ship from pushing Mario’s sprite too far down. The level will stop autoscrolling once you reach the end, and there will be just enough distance for you to jump on the final ship from the other side.

Break The Chain Chomps

If you allow a Chain Chomp to tug on its chain 50 times or let the timer run down to 160 seconds, the Chain Chomp will break loose, taking one last lunge at you before jumping off-screen.

Delete Hammer Bro. Fights

On the world map, when a Hammer Bro. is on an adjacent node to you when you fight another one, that other Hammer Bro. is guaranteed to move to Mario with its next movement and start another fight. This can be abused in the instance of three or more Hammer Bros. being adjacent, such that Mario is next to at least two of them when he fights one of them.

The other Hammer Bros. will converge on him, but despite more than one being there, he will only fight one Hammer Bro. battle. However, this can also cost you the item one of the Hammer Bros. is using, so be wary.

Infinite Lives Glitch

In World 3-4, about halfway through the level, you’ll slide down a long hill to get on another long hill that has some Koopas on it. Take one of their shells further to the right. As the Lakitu appears above, return back to the left. There are two ? Blocks, with a pipe and some bricks between them, and wood blocks on the ground. Let the Koopa shell begin bouncing between the wooden blocks and on-screen. The Lakitu’s Spinies will almost always launch or crawl down to be killed by the shell; the shell will subsequently rack up more points and lives as time goes on and more Spinies are added.

Morph a wandering Hammer Bro. into a Treasure Ship

To turn a wandering hammer brother (the ones that walk about on the world map) into a white ship full of coins, collect a number of coins that is a multiple of 11. Make the tens digit in your score match the multiple of 11. Stop the timer at the end of the stage that you are playing in on an even number.

One combination would be: 11 coins, 9,310 as your score, and the timer at 104. This only works in worlds 1, 3, 5, and 6.

N-Spade Card Game

To get the N-Spade card game to appear on the World Map. You must gain 80,000 points as one player and successfully beat the stage that you broke the 80,000 points with.

Shortcut – World 3-5

This can only be done with a P-Wing. Instead of jumping in the water in 3-5, fly from the start of the stage and keep going forward. You’ll eventually reach the hidden tops of the walled areas, and there will be some extra coin blocks as a reward. This will let you beat the level in a matter of seconds.

Shortcut – World 6-9

When you start 6-9, you’re normally supposed to go into the pipe and go through the underground water cave. However, you can completely skip the level by using a P-Wing. Instead of going in the pipe, simply fly over the ice wall. Mario’s sprite will disappear from the top of the screen, but you can still move forward over the other side and beat the level in a matter of seconds. This can also be done with other power-ups that let you fly, but it’s harder to build up speed in the limited amount of space. This can also be done with Small Mario, but that requires you to perform a wall kick glitch. If you use that method, be careful to avoid the Koopa Troopa that’s walking on top of the structure.

Shortcut – World 8-1

This requires any item power-up will let you fly, but it’s easiest to do it with a P-Wing. As soon as 8-1 starts, don’t go forward. Instead, fly straight up and continue going to the upper limit of the screen. You’ll find a hidden P-Switch up there. If you hit it, the entire first section of the level will be temporarily filled with blue coins. This is an easy way to stock up on some extra lives.

Shortcut – World 8-2

If you’re having trouble with 8-2, there is a hidden shortcut. When you reach the very first quicksand section, let yourself sink down. This will lead to a secret area with two pipes. The pipe on the left will lead to a power-up, and the pipe on the right will lead to 100 extra coins. Regardless of which pipe you take, the exit for both will lead to a pipe more than halfway through the level. Also, the Angry Sun will not spawn if you take the shortcut, making the final section much easier.

Warp Whistles

These secret items will allow you to warp. Here are their locations.

Level 1-3
Find the white block near the end and crouch on to of it for 5 seconds. Then proceed to the goal, and go behind it. You will find a Mushroom house with a Whistle.

Level 1 Fortress
Fly over the top of the level when you find the first door with your raccoon powers, and find a hidden door at the far right on the ceiling. It leads to a warp whistle

Level 2 Hammer Brother
Get the Hammer from one of the Hammer Brothers here and use it to destroy the rock at the upper right corner of the Level 2 Map. Then engage the hammer brother on the other side. You should get a chest with a Warp Whistle.

Warp to Level 8

You could just use the warp whistle at level 7…

If you want to go straight to level 8, you must use a Warp Whistle to proceed to the Warp Zone, then use another warp whistle IN THE WARP ZONE. You will be transported to the level 8 pipe at the bottom of the screen.

White Mushroom Houses

By getting enough Coins in certain levels, you can access a special White Mushroom House! These contain special items:

– In Worlds 1, 3, 5, and 7, you’ll obtain a P-Wing
– In Worlds 2, 4, and 6, you’ll obtain an Anchor

These are the levels in question; by getting at least the specified number of Coins, you can find the special White Mushroom House, accessible from the overworld.

– Level 1-4: 44 Coins
– Level 2-2: 30 Coins
– Level 3-8: 44 Coins
– Level 4-2: 24 Coins (all of them!)
– Level 5-5: 28 Coins
– Level 6-7: 78 Coins
– Level 7-2: 46 Coins


The game is fun by itself, but cheating makes it better. Always be sure to input codes with a Game Genie. All the below codes are compatible with most emulators.

Note: before entering cheats, be aware that altering the game can cause random freezing and several other glitches.

1 Life for Mario and Luigi After ContinueAEKPTZGA
9 Lives for Mario and Luigi After ContinueAEKPTZGE
Can Raise Power Meter Standing StillAANZKLLA
Change to Fire Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + ZAOZTGAA
Change to Frog Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + GAOZTGAA
Change to Racoon Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + LAOZTGAA
Change to Sledgehammer Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + TAOZTGAA
Change to Super Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + PAOZTGAA
Change to Tanooki Mario If You Fall Off Screen and DieAEOSSZPA + IAOZTGAA
Infinite Lives for Mario and LuigiSLXPLOVS
Invincibility After Changing Up From Super MarioSZKIKXSE
Mario Can Re-Use ItemsYPXXLVGE
Mega Power JumpsEAKZYVEK
Miniature Stone MarioEXKXGLIA
Restore Powers After Playing An Action SceneSZUEXNSO
Skywalker (Alternate)SXEZSKOX
Start and stay as Fire MarioUXKXGLIA
Start and stay as Frog MarioOUKXGLIE
Start and stay as Raccoon MarioNXKXGLIE
Start and stay as Sledgehammer MarioXNKXGLIE
Start and stay as Super MarioXUKXGLIE
Start on World 2PEUZUGAA
Start on World 3ZEUZUGAA
Start on World 4LEUZUGAA
Start on World 5GEUZUGAA
Start on World 6IEUZUGAA
Start on World 7TEUZUGAA
Start on World 8YEUZUGAA
Start the game as ‘Sledgehammer’ MarioXNKXGLIE
Start the game as Fire MarioUXKXGLIA
Start the game as Frog MarioOUKXGLIE
Start the game as Raccoon MarioNXKXGLIE
Start the game as Tanooki MarioLEUXKGAA
Super Power JumpsEZKZYVEK
Super Speed RunningOXKZELSX
Turbocharged RunningXVUXNUEE

Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform game developed by Nintendo and initially released in 1988 for Famicom. It was later released in 1990 for NES.

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