Tips for saving cellular data while playing Super Mario Run

By , Dec 19, 2016

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Super Mario Run is one of the biggest hit games to launch on the App Store this year, and although it’s getting a lot of attention from both Nintendo and Super Mario fans, it also comes with a big caveat: it requires an active internet connection.

For anyone who plays the game at home on Wi-Fi, this isn’t a big deal. Unfortunately, if you’re relying on a cellular data network to play, then you might end up using more data than you’ve bargained for.

Preliminary reports online reveal that the game can use up to 40-60 megabytes of data per hour, which is nothing shy of a large amount for those with capped data plans. On the other hand, it’s difficult to gauge, as different types of activity will yield different data usage amounts. Some players report only several kilobytes of usage per hour, which is a stark difference from the preliminary reports.

The circumstances are pretty bittersweet, especially since Super Mario Run makes for a great way to pass the time when you’re abroad, such as when you’re in the waiting room for a doctor’s appointment, or when you’re on your lunch break at work. But does the constant data flow mean you shouldn’t play at all on your cellular network?

Answering that question depends on how you use your device, so I can’t give you a straight answer; but, I can give you some tips on how to optimize your data usage while playing Super Mario Run so you don’t blow through your data caps within a short period of time.

So, without further ado, if you plan on playing Super Mario Run whenever you’re away from home, try these data-saving tips:

Utilize public Wi-Fi hotspots

Although public Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t the best in terms of security, they do offer an escape from unwanted data usage. You can connect to any public Wi-Fi hotspot to play Super Mario Run and you won’t use any of your cellular data while playing.

To improve your security, you can use a VPN app such as Private Internet Access while you’re using your iPhone, and this will channel all of your data through a secure encrypted server so hackers can’t intercept your data as easily.

Limit data usage of all apps

For some people, not playing Super Mario Run just isn’t an option, and if you don’t have public Wi-Fi hotspots to take advantage of, this tip might apply to you.

Depending on how much data you’re allowed to use each month, you may be able to offset some of the Super Mario Run data by limiting what you do in other apps while connected to a cellular network.

For example, if you spend less time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, you might have more data leftover to play Super Mario Run. Since Super Mario Run itself is supposed to be a time killer, do you really need to juggle time-killing between several apps that use your data in different ways?

Turn off Wi-Fi assist

Apple has a new feature on their iPhones called Wi-Fi assist, and this allows the device to utilize its cellular network whenever a Wi-Fi signal is too weak or data isn’t moving fast enough for whatever you might be doing.

Because Super Mario Run requires an active internet connection to play, if your Wi-Fi is too slow, your iPhone will automatically backpedal on its cellular network if Wi-Fi assist is turned on, and this will contribute to blowing through your data limits.

You can toggle Wi-Fi assist off from Settings → Cellular → Wi-Fi Assist.

Disable automatic updates

Even if you’re not in the middle of playing Super Mario Run, app updates are inevitable, and this means your device may attempt an automatic update download when you don’t suspect it.

The game is over 200MB in size, which is pretty hefty. Some carriers limit App Store downloads to apps that are less than 200MB, but not all carriers do, and the latter are those who will suffer as a result of this problem.

You can disable automatic App Store updates by going to Settings → iTunes & App Stores → Updates and turning the toggle switch off.

Force close the game when not playing it

This one might seem like a given, but since iOS apps have a short grace period in which they can run in the background when you exit them, you can prevent Super Mario Run from using more data than you’d like by force-closing it when you’re done playing it.

After a certain period of time, the app and its processes will be frozen, but in the meantime, it may continue sucking your data, which is a big negative if you have a cellular data cap imposed and enforced by your carrier.

It’s simple to force close an app. Just open the App Switcher by double-pressing the Home button and swipe up on the Super Mario Run card.

Utilize a data compressor

If you’re desperate to shrink the amount of data you’re using, you can try using a data compression app like Data Compress.

This is a special type of VPN software that compresses the data you send and receive on its own server before sending it where it needs to go. It’s been known to save data by as much as 50%, but its uses may be a little more limited in this particular circumstance. Still, any savings are good news!

Just keep in mind that data compressors have been known to cause connection issues with some apps, but this is something you’ll have to experiment with for yourself before judging.

Mooch off of a good friend

It’s possible you might have a good friend with an unlimited data plan or with one of those fancy family share plans with a high data cap. If you do, they probably have Wi-Fi tethering included with their data plan.

If you ask nicely, they might be willing to share their personal hotspot with you so you can play the game without blowing through your own data cap.

This solution isn’t ideal, because it just uses someone else’s data instead of yours, but it’s certainly an option if your friend has seemingly unlimited data and is willing to share it with you.

Disable cellular data for Super Mario Run

Your last option, apart from limiting your play time to when you’re at home and connected to your own Wi-Fi network, is turning off cellular data for Super Mario Run completely.

To do that, you can go to Settings → Cellular → MARIO RUN and turn off the toggle switch for the game.

When you do this, your iPhone won’t let the Super Mario Run game connect to the internet unless you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, which is quite the useful little protection if you are absolutely stolid on preserving your last remaining ounces of data.

Also read:

By following the bulk of these tips, you can prevent your cellular data from going through the roof and getting charged up the wazoo for crossing your data caps.

If you’re not already playing Super Mario Run, you can pick the game up for free from the App Store.

Let us know in the comments below what you’re doing to prevent Super Mario Run from eating your cellular data.

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  • thunderqus

    useless article doesnt even mention how much data it might eat per hour ? but goes on and on all about telling you to disable this and that! good!

    • Micro

      My first thought as well.

      • Guillermo Gonzalez

        Do you guys actually read? It’s at the beginning of the post. 50 – 60 mb per hour.

      • tiltdown

        My first thought as well.

      • thunderqus

        I did read the article and article was updated after I commented , see the comment below from writer.

    • Chris Wagers

      Some people are more appreciative for them trying to help show you how to save data regardless of how much it uses per hour. I don’t play it anyway but I appreciate them trying to help. Thanks IDB!

      • Thanks Chris!

      • Chris Wagers

        Your welcome! Can you or anyone tell me why when I click a link to a an IDB story in a tweet it takes me to IDB but shows a blank page? When I click a link in another tweet from anyone else it takes me to their page but actually displays it. Any help is appreciated.

      • Are you using any ad blockers?

      • Chris Wagers

        Yes 1Blocker. That seems to be the issue though even though it’s white listed. I click the link in twitter it doesn’t open. Then I click 1Blocker in the share menu and it says include in whitelist but it must be a bug because it is still blocked but disabling 1Blocker all together it works fine. So thanks very much!!

      • Looks like the problem is from the ad blocker. Send the dev an email or, well, use another ad blocker? Anyways, thanks for whitelisting iDB. Much appreciated.

    • Stefano

      The article does state how much. I just used 270KB in approximately one hour.

      • The article has been updated with details about data usage.

      • thunderqus

        thanks for updating the article, do you know what / why it would use the data in MBs, if its just piracy check or sync data , it should be much lesser unless they are uploading or streaming something else.

  • 1droidfan

    Does not show up under the cellular tab on my iPhone. So I cant turn off its cellular usage.

    • It will only show up after it has actually used some cellular data. Try turning off wifi and using the app. It will appear in the list and you can then turn it off.

      • thunderqus

        thanks, sometime iOS is just plain dumb & stupid, should have been just like how Android does.

      • 1droidfan

        Thanks for the tip, worked like a charm.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Downloaded>played, finished world 1>delete lol

  • YaBoyLilMayo

    How to not waste data on MARIO run: don’t play this trash game

  • TheGreatShalaw

    I found a better solution: Delete this shitty game. Easy!

  • Moses

    Actually the game’s been designed with offline play in mid. It only send bits of information after the level has been completed. You could literally turn off cellular data while you are playing and even restart the level without any network requirement. Besides, you could turn it on after the level is completed so you can sync the data to the server.
    It really does not use that much data in the end. With 10 MB, I played hours on end without any issue.