Super Mario Maker 2 is one of the best first-party titles released for the Nintendo Switch in 2019. The main problem with Super Mario Maker 2 lies with its multiplayer modes, which were heavily promoted in the run-up to its release, yet were a total letdown when the game finally launched.
The people who have played New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii can attest to how great the four-player multiplayer modes in the game can be, and Super Mario Maker 2 has the potential to be just as fun, except on a much grander scale. It's possible to have an incredibly fun time playing the multiplayer modes in Super Mario Maker 2, but it's difficult due to the numerous issues that have been plaguing the game since launch.
If Nintendo wants to make Super Mario Maker 2 a top-quality multiplayer title, then the game is going to need some improvements going forward.
The Quality Of The Online Service
By far the biggest issue with the multiplayer modes in Super Mario Maker 2 is the quality of the online matchmaking itself, as the vast majority of all online matches are plagued with lag so bad that it's borderline impossible to play the level.
The online modes in Super Mario Maker 2 have essentially no settings, so it's impossible to ensure that you are matched in rooms with people with acceptable Internet speed. The fact that you can't play with friends online (as of the time of writing) means that there is no guarantee that you won't be stuck in a room with someone with a bad connection, which ruins the game for everyone else.
Super Mario Maker 2 often features stages that require precise timing for jumps, which means that a moment of lag could kill the player through no fault of their own.
The fact that Nintendo is now charging for the online service on the Nintendo Switch means that this poor level of service is unacceptable. The majority of Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions will end in September and if the issues with Super Mario Maker 2 aren't addressed, then a lot of people might think twice about renewing.
A Way To Narrow Down Multiplayer Level Selection Based On Quality
When a player selects the Multiplayer Versus mode in Super Mario Maker 2, they are thrust into a random stage. When a player selects the Multiplayer Co-op mode in Super Mario Maker 2, they are allowed to choose from four difficulty options. That is the entire extent of the player choice involved in the Super Mario Maker 2 online modes.
The level selected in each multiplayer match in Super Mario Maker 2 is chosen from tagged stages in the online modes. The majority of the online stages in Super Mario Maker 2 are short affairs that were created by people who just wanted to upload a stage. There are also a lot of incredibly difficult stages that were tested by only a single player and weren't designed with multiple people in mind.
There are a couple of ways this issue can be addressed. Nintendo could upload a bulk load of well-crafted multiplayer stages designed by their own staff and include an option to only play on those stages. It could also be possible for fan-created stages to be added to this mode based on fan reaction, such as using votes to determine whether they are added to the pool or not.
A Way To Create Multiplayer-Focused Levels (By Having Players Test Them Online)
In Super Mario Maker 2, a player has to finish a stage themselves before it can be uploaded for other people to try. The reason for this is to prevent impossible stages from being added to the online modes of the game.
The problem with this system in regard to multiplayer stages is that a creator might not have several people around at any one time to help them finish a stage, so it's difficult to create multiplayer-focused stages.
One potential solution for this is to allow unverified stages to be uploaded to a special mode that allows multiple players to try it out and prove that it can be finished, whilst also saving a video of the successful run. These tools could help creators design better multiplayer stages than what is currently available in the online modes.
Remove The Restrictions On Local Play
Super Mario Maker 2 features local play, which allows up to four players to connect their Nintendo Switches together for some Mario fun.
Local play is one of those modes that should be impossible to screw up, but Nintendo somehow managed to do it. In order to access the Nearby Play mode, one player needs to create a room. In order to be able to create a room, the player needs a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and an Internet connection.
The ridiculous Internet requirement might not seem like much of an issue, but it prevents people from playing the Nearby Play mode with their friends in certain locations. You wouldn't be able to play the mode on most trains, nor if you were on a camping trip with your buddies. It's such a strange requirement, except when you consider that it's the kind of nonsense that Nintendo is capable of.
It is possible to play on one screen by selecting a stage in the Coursebot mode, but this also has limitations, such as forcing all characters to move on to the next area in levels with different rooms or keeping players in the same area, which can make it tricky to play on certain stages.
Super Mario Maker 2 has only been available for a short period of time, but Nintendo has yet to release a statement concerning the online modes or any potential improvements they want to make. There is a great multiplayer experience buried within Super Mario Maker 2, but the game is actively preventing them from happening on a regular basis.
Super Mario Maker 2 is available now for the Nintendo Switch.