Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle’s new update adds a second multiplayer mode for free. The Nintendo Switch exclusive already had a co-op mode of course, but this local PvP mode–in which each player can use a single Joy-Con–marks the first time the game has allowed you to fight against your friends. We’ve played it and we think that fans of the base game will likely find a great new way to enjoy the strategy title.
It’ll take some getting used to, however: the movement and attack system in the base game allows each character to utilize one movement, one attack, and one ability in each turn, but the PvP mode overhauls this in favor of a ticket-based structure. Each team receives three tickets per turn, and one ticket is used up each time any of your three characters moves, attacks, or uses an ability. Initially, this can feel restrictive, as it affords you fewer options than in the base game. However, a number of item boxes scattered around the map can grant you extra attacks, ability uses, or movements, as well as new power-ups such as damage bonuses and increased chances of your attacks having super effects. These item boxes add another layer of strategy, as you have to decide when to attempt to retrieve them, when to use them, and which character to use them with.
Interestingly, the mode disables the characters and builds you’ve unlocked and created in the main game, instead forcing you to pick from a number of pre-set builds for each fighter. Every character is unlocked from the start, but initially you can only pick their all-purpose build, before later unlocking more specific builds such as Rabbid Peach’s healer set-up, which has more Power Orbs invested in its healing abilities. Unlike the game other modes, this Versus mode allows you to pick an all-Rabbids team or pick a trio exclusively from the Mushroom Kingdom.
Finally, the new mode can be played on four bespoke maps, each of which are unlocked from the start and are based off the main game’s four worlds. Take a look at one of those maps in our Let’s Play at the top of this article, or if you’d rather just watch some straight gameplay, you can do that above. Mario + Rabbids‘ new PvP mode launches as a free update for Nintendo Switch on Friday, December 8.