Sonic Mania is the game fans of the Blue Blur have been dreaming of for years. Rather than going down the modern route of 3D visuals, with perhaps a bit of 2D-style platforming thrown in, Sonic Mania follows in the footsteps of the SEGA Genesis classics. Sonic Mania is 2D goodness, and we’ve got all the information you need right here. Read on for our complete Sonic Mania Guide, including boss battles, chaos emeralds, the Sonic Mania release date, the Sonic Mania special stages, Sonic Mania Cheats and Sonic Mania Level Select, and the Sonic Mania soundtrack.
Sonic Mania Tips
In this Sonic Mania Guide we’ll give you all you need to know to beat the game, collect the Chaos Emeralds, and unlock the game’s secrets. We’ll also give you some handy tips to help you get through a game that gets tricky pretty fast.
- Take Your Time - Sonic is fast, but don’t take that to mean you must run constantly. It’s great fun to zoom through acts, but if you don’t know the layout you’re almost certainly going to run or jump into danger sooner rather than later.
- Rings are Life - A bit obvious, but when Sonic has a single ring he can sustain a hit and remain alive. When hit Sonic drops all his rings, and you’re given a brief window to collect as many as possible. Don’t ignore them. While rings are plentiful inside levels, you never know what is ahead. Stopping to collect a single ring might save your life.
- More Lives Mean Less Headaches - Being an old-school game, Sonic Mania is quite punishing. Lose all your lives and you’ll have to start a zone from the beginning. So, if you fail on the boss at the end of Hydrocity Act 2, it’s back to the start of Hydrocity Act 1, unless you have spare lives. Collect more lives by collecting more than 100 rings or by finding them in TVs around levels.
- Instant Kills Suck! - Sonic can take a hit from an enemy, as long as he has rings, but if he finds himself trapped beneath a moving platform and a wall, he’ll be killed instantly. This is infuriating, so it’s worth scanning ahead as much as possible to ensure you don’t blindly jump to your death.
How to Collect Chaos Emeralds in Sonic Mania - Special Stages
As in all Sonic games, part of the challenge in Sonic Mania is collecting Chaos Emeralds. In Sonic Mania you collect Chaos Emeralds by catching a speeding UFO in Special Stages. These Special Stages are found hidden inside levels, signified by giant golden rings. These large gold rings are found hidden in walls or off the beaten track, so if you're struggling to find them, just go somewhere you haven't been before in a level.
Sonic must run as fast as possible around a track, picking up speed by collecting blue orbs and adding more time by collecting rings. Run out of time or fall through a hole and it’s game over, and you can’t replay the stage unless you start the Act again.
How to Unlock Super Sonic in Sonic Mania
Super Sonic is playable in Sonic Mania, but to unlock the ability you first need to get your hands on seven Chaos Emeralds by completing the Special Stages.
Sonic Mania Cheats
Sonic Mania includes numerous unlockable cheats and game modifiers, with them being awarded for earning medals on the Blue Sphere Bonus Stages (either silver or gold medals seem to do the trick).
Sonic Mania Level Select Cheat
You can access a level select screen in Sonic Mania by pressing certain buttons together on the main screen. How to access this is different on each platform.
Sonic Mania Switch Level Select: On the main screen (with Sonic waving his finger), hold down B+Y just before Sonic appears, then press the + button when the "Press any button" text appears.
Sonic Mania PS4 Level Select: Coming Soon - currently it seems that there is no code that will work.
Sonic Mania Xbox One Level Select: Coming Soon - currently it seems that there is no code that will work.
How to Enter and Play Sonic Mania Bonus Stages - Blue Sphere Mini Games
Sonic Mania includes Bonus Stages as seen in Sonic 3. You enter these by running past lollipop checkpoint markers while Sonic has more than 25 rings. A small portal will appear above the checkpoint. Jump in this and you’ll be warped to the Bonus Stage.
The number of gold rings you earn will determine whether you get a silver or gold medal. Earn rings by drawing a line around a group of blue spheres, by running sonic along a shape of blue spheres (it’s easier done than explained!). If you’re looking for the ‘perfect’ rating and that gold medal, make sure you leave blue spheres unturned until you get the rating, then go and turn them to red.
It’s worth noting that you can jump over spheres, bumper spheres send you back the way you came (without turning sonic around), and red spheres are instant death. Don’t hit the red spheres.
Unlockable Sonic Mania Blue Sphere Bonus Stage Rewards
- Super Peel Out
- & Knuckles Mode
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (Puyo Puyo)
- Debug Mode
How to Use Cheats in Sonic Mania
The cheats, shown above, can be used in Sonic Mania by choosing the No Save option from the game's save game screen, and pressing Triangle/Y/X. This will let you choose which of the cheats you want to activate in your no-save game.
Super Peel Out: This lets Sonic charge and propel forward at full speed from a standing start.
Insta-Shield: Use this move from Sonic 3 to give your jump attack more range. You'll hit enemies without actually touching them with Sonic.
& Knuckles Mode: Gives Sonic, Tails or Knuckles a Knuckles as a companion through the game instead of having Tails.
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine: Yes, you can play Mean Bean Machine in Sonic Mania whenever you like, by activating. Mean Bean Machine is a version of SEGA's Puyo Puyo series.
Debug Mode: A classic mode from previous Sonic games, this lets you spawn in objects, clip through walls and mess with the game.
Sonic Mania Boss Guides
Sonic Mania includes a boss of some sort at the end of every act in the game. They come in all shapes and sizes, with some being incredibly difficult to beat. Head over to our Sonic Mania Boss Guide to get all the info you need to beat them all.
Sonic Mania Display Mode Filters
Being a game built to resemble the 16-bit Sonic games from the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive era, Sonic Mania includes numerous display filters so you can get the look you want.
- None - Just pixels. No Filters here
- Clean - Close to None, but with a slight blur to blend the pixels.
- CRT Sharp - Like Clean, but with a noise filter on top to resemble old CRT displays. Adds a tinge of redness to the image.
- CRT Soft - Like None but with a noise filter on top to resemble old CRT displays.
Sonic Mania Release Date
The Sonic Mania release date is August 15, 2017. It launched worldwide simultaneously for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The PC version of Sonic Mania will arrive on August 29.
Sonic Mania is a digital release, but a special Limited Edition version is available in short supply. As of the time of publishing, the Sonic Mania Limited Edition is only available in the US for PC and in the UK for Xbox One.
Sonic Mania Reviews
Sonic Mania is now out and reviews have been very positive indeed. We've rounded up the reviews from the big name sites and put them in a handy list for you.
- Usgamer – 4/5
- Eurogamer – Essential
- Game Informer – 8.5
- Polygon – 7
- The Jimquisition – 9.5
- Push Square – 8
- IGN – 8.7
- Gamespot – 9
Sonic Mania is Both a new Game and a Remaster
Sonic Mania retains the look and feel of the original 2D SEGA Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games. The game will include new stages and bosses, along with remastered versions of iconic stages. Classic Sonic the Hedgehog pick-ups and items (stored within TV screens) return, including gold rings and shields. As always, players can survive a hit if they have a store of gold rings, and lost rings can be retrieved for a certain amount of time.
Development of Sonic Mania was handled by Christian Whitehead. Whitehead had previously worked on a number of remastered ports of old Sonic the Hedgehog games including Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2 and Sonic CD. Working alongside Whitehead on Sonic Mania were studios Headcannon and PagodaWest.
Zones in Sonic Mania
Sonic Mania features a mixture of remastered zones, based on zones from previous 2D Sonic games, and new zones created just for the game. Each Zone is split into two acts, with a boss at the end of each act.
Remastered Zones in Sonic Mania
- Stardust Speedway Zone - Re-imagining of Stardust Speedway from Sonic the Hedgehog CD (SEGA-CD)
- Chemical Plant Zone - Re-imagining of Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (SEGA Genesis).
- Green Hill Zone - Re-imagining of Green Hill Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog (SEGA Genesis).
- Flying Battery Zone - Re-imagining of Flying Battery Zone from Sonic & Knuckles (SEGA Genesis).
- Hydrocity Zone - Re-imagining of Hydrocity Zone from Sonic 3.
- Oil Ocean Zone - Re-imagining of Oil Ocean Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
- Lava Reef Zone - Re-imagining of Lava Reef Zone from Sonic and Knuckles.
- Metallic Madness Zone - Re-imagining of Metallic Madness Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
New Zones in Sonic Mania
- Studiopolis Zone
- Mirage Saloon Zone
- Press Garden Zone
- Titanic Monarch Zone
Sonic Mania Competition Mode
Sonic Mania includes Competition Mode, allowing two players to face off against each other in split-screen. This is unlocked by completing Green Hill Zone. The winner is determined by a number of factors, including clear time, score, number of items acquired, number of rings acquired when clearing the level, and total number of rings acquired throughout the level. Rules can be adjusted and the number of rounds to be played can be changed. See Competition Mode in action in the video below.
Sonic Mania Time Attack Mode
Any completed Zone in Sonic Mania can be tackled in Time Trial Mode. Here you can choose the zone and act you want to tackle, your times recorded on an online leaderboard. The acts in Time Attack don’t include the boss battles.
Are Tails and Knuckles Playable in Sonic Mania
Tails, Sonic’s fox friend, is in Sonic Mania as a playable character. Knuckles, the echidna first seen in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, is also a playable character.
- Sonic’s Ability: Drop Dash
- Tails’ Ability: Fly and Swim
- Knuckles’ Ability: Glide and Climb
When you start a new game you can choose who you want to pay as. You can choose to play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Sonic and Tails.
Sonic Mania Soundtrack Vinyl
If you’re a big Sonic the Hedgehog fan you might be interested in the gorgeous vinyl release of the Sonic Mania soundtrack. It’s available to pre-order now from Data Discs. Sadly the Limited Edition is sold out, but a blue and black version is still available to pre-order.
Sonic Mania Story and Place in Timeline
Sonic Mania is said to take place after the events of Sonic and Knuckles and could in some ways be seen as the true Sonic 4. Tails picks up an energy reading and convinces Sonic to help him investigate. Dr Robotnik/Dr Eggman is also hunting down the source of the energy, so Sonic and friends must get there first.
Sonic Mania has an Awesome Soundtrack
Sonic games have always featured incredible soundtracks, and Sonic Mania’s is shaping up to be up there with the best. As the game includes a mixture of new and re-imagined zones the same is true for the soundtrack.