Sonic Mania Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

Sonic goes back to his 16-bit roots in Sonic Mania. Tap into your inner speed demon using our guide.


Sonic Mania marks a return to form for Sonic the Hedgehog, harkening back to the character's glory days on Sega's Genesis and Mega Drive console. The graphics and music are delightfully retro, and Sonic Mania's exhilarating sense of speed channels a bygone era fueled by blast processing and antagonistic marketing between Sonic and his long-time rival, Mario.

Before you go spinning and loop-de-looping through Sonic Mania's zones in hot pursuit of Dr. Eggman and Chaos Emeralds, slow down and check out all the tips, tricks, and walkthroughs we've collected in this guide.

Tips for Sonic Mania

This section shares general tips and gameplay strategies to use during any level of Sonic Mania. For help with more involved aspects of the game such as playing as Super Sonic, refer to our detailed walkthroughs below.

  • Slow Your Roll. Slowing down might be the last thing on your mind as you send Sonic and his pals dashing, rolling, and twisting through Sonic Mania's zones, but you'll need to hit the brakes to find some of the game's best secrets. Special Stages, power-ups, rings, and more can be found by exploring every nook and cranny of each zone's two stages.
  • One Ring to Rule Them All. Collecting 100 rings nets you an extra life, but they serve a second purpose. As long as you're carrying at least one ring, enemies and traps such as spikes and fire can't kill you. For that reason, take the time to grab at least one ring if and when you get hit during a boss fight.
  • Sonic Sandwich. There are only two traps that can kill you outright in Sonic Mania, even if you're packing rings: bottomless pits, and getting squished between moving platforms and solid surfaces such as walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Sparkle Sonic. Some checkpoint markers sparkle after you touch them. Those sparkles are portals that take you to bonus stages where you can earn extra rings. Never pass up a chance to stock up on extra lives.
  • Super-Sized Rings. Hidden away in levels are giant golden rings. Jumping into them spirits you away to a "Special Stage" where you chase a UFO holding a Chaos Emerald. There are seven Chaos Emeralds to collect.

Sonic Mania: Guides

How to Play as Super Sonic

Sonic goes fast. Super Sonic goes even faster. Unlock him using our guide.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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