Super Mario Maker 2 on the Switch lets you build levels with the Switch's touch screen, or with any Switch-compatible joystick (including the Joy-Cons). While the controller options are cool, the touch screen remains the easiest way to construct Mario Maker levels. It's just a shame we aren't getting the awesome Super Mario Maker 2 stylus Japan and Europe are getting.
I attended a Super Mario Maker 2 hands-on event in New York City last week, where I asked if we'll possibly get the Mario Maker 2 stylus. Alas, the Nintendo representatives at the event shot me down. There currently aren't any plans to bless North America with the accessory, which is currently part of a pre-order bundle overseas.
If you pre-order #SuperMarioMaker 2 physically at retail stores, you can get a #NintendoSwitch stylus. Please check with your local retailer for information on availability. pic.twitter.com/pl3b4Vso70— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) April 25, 2019
North America's exclusion from Club Stylus is a bit of a drag. I didn't get to try using the Switch's touch screen during my time with Super Mario Maker 2's level builder (the demo units were all docked), but it's safe to assume there's a decent drag-and-drop mechanic at play. That's fine; the Switch's touch screen is responsive enough for the task. But I hate smearing my finger around the Switch's screen. Thankfully I have a (boring, grey) smartphone stylus that'll serve me just fine.
Again, designing stages with a controller is an option in Super Mario Maker 2. As you might imagine, it's a clunky process; if you're a serious designer, you might find it difficult to add fine details using the analog stick. It's certainly doable, however, and Super Mario Maker 2 has options and features that make level-building generally less tedious compared to the original Super Mario Maker. The enemy icons and features you use most are "bookmarked" at the top of the screen, which is a useful shortcut. You can also click on an enemy or character sprite to bring up a wheel of options if you want to make a quick change—adding wings to a Koopa Troopa, for example.
Take a look at our Super Mario Maker 2 guide in preparation for the game's release on June 28. Maybe Nintendo will have a change of heart about the stylus before then. Let us pray.