At first glance, Mario Tennis Aces may seem like a fairly straight forward tennis game. However, if you dig a bit deeper you’ll find that there’s quite a bit of strategy in Mario Tennis Aces. To help novice players, we’ve compiled some of our best Mario Tennis strategy content into one useful article so you get everything you need in one place. Of course we have other content on the game, but if you’re just looking for Mario Tennis Aces strategies, you’ve come to the right place!

Defend the Zone Shot and Special Shot

A lot of players will rely on Zone Shots and Special Shots to score their points. If you can return these shots with relative ease, you will remove a valuable tool from their arsenal. The best way to defend against a Zone Shot or Special Shot is by waiting until you see the opponent sparkle (which happens just before they hit the ball). As soon as you see the sparkle, activate Zone Speed and rush the net.

The idea is to shorten the distance between you and the ball so you can limit how much of your Energy Gauge you need to use on Zone Speed. As you’re approaching the ball, move to the left or right. You don’t want to go at the ball head on. Once the ball is directly to your right or left, perfectly in line with your character, swing your racquet. This is the best way to time your swing so it blocks the shot instead of damaging your racquet.

It’s a very bad idea to use your own Special Shot to counter an opponent’s Special Shot. Not only does this consume most of your Energy Gauge, you won’t get a Special Shot. You’ll just get a weak hit that’s usually pretty easy for an opponent to return. You should only use a Special Shot to counter a Special Shot if your racquet is almost broken and you’re in danger of a KO or losing the match outright. In any other circumstance, use the method detailed above to return the ball without using a Special Shot.

Make Them Run, Then Don’t

Mario Tennis Aces employs many of the same strategies you would find in real tennis. However, one of the big differences is that it’s much easier to move across court in Mario Tennis. Under most circumstances, you want to hit the ball as far away from your opponent as possible. If your opponent is on the right side of the court, aim your shot to the left side. If they’re at the net, use a lob to get over their head and near the baseline.

Once you have a good rally going your opponent will start to anticipate your next shot landing across the court from where ever they’re standing. It’s at this point that you should hitting shots on the same side of the court they’re current on. So if your opponent is on the right side of the court, aim for the right side. It’s easier for an opponent to hit this kind of shot, but after a long rally they’ll be on auto-pilot, assuming you’re going to hit the ball cross court.

If the opponent is still able to reach the ball, start mixing it up. Hit a few shots cross court, then a shot or two on the same side. The idea is to keep your opponent guessing so they have less time to actually react to the trajectory of the ball.

Lobs and Drop Shots

Lots of people like to rush the net in order to get better angles and score some points on you. Many of these players will also expect a lob as that’s the typical counter strategy when someone is at the net. To throw an opponent off guard, let them rally at the net for a couple shots, then go for a lob. They’ll probably have to burn Zone Speed or use a Trick Shot to reach the ball, which will hopefully give you a meter advantage.

After a lob or when you’ve got an opponent running back and forth along the baseline, mix in a Drop Shot. If you hit a Drop Shot correctly, the ball will fall just beyond the net, then take a very low bounce. If the opponent is in the habit of charging up their shots, there’s a good chance they’ll charge up too long (expecting a normal bounce), only to miss the shot as the ball bounces a second time before they release their charge.

Meter Advantage

You want to maintain a meter advantage whenever possible. The more Energy Gauge you have, the more options you’ll have to return the ball and to score a point. With a full Energy Gauge you have access to a Special Shot, but it’s generally better to save it for Zone Speed. If you don’t have Zone Speed available, it’s very difficult to return Zone Shots and Special Shots.

To help maintain meter advantage, use Charge Shots as often as possible. Make sure you know your shot counters so you don’t get pushed back to the baseline. If you do it’s very easy for an opponent to bully you into chasing the ball around the court, unable to build meter and having very little chance of recovering. If you learn shot counters, you’ll be able to recovery from this kind of rally and stay in the game.

We’ve got more tips for novice players in our Mario Tennis Aces game hub where you’ll find controls, how to block, and more!