So anyone who has played enough mario maker probably has had their share of the 100 mario challenges. I'm wondering exactly what determines what difficulty an uploaded level gets.

Maybe the number of times it's skipped? Maybe how many men it takes the people who finished it? Maybe a combination of these and other factors?

I'm curious because my friends say my levels are almost impossible, but my notifications show people playing them, finishing them, etc. I wonder what setting they were on to even get to play them at all. A stat that is either missing or I haven't seen it yet.

Any thoughts?

  • Side note - we finally beat expert 100 mario challenge and unlocked the "super expert" mode... my levels can no longer be considered impossible! Looking at these, there's no mystery how they could have been classified as super expert. We blew all 100 men on the first level and got nowhere. It had 40 second timer and the closest we got was 13 seconds left... You have to be lawnmower man to make levels like this
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


I think Nintendo has never shared the way their algorithm determines a stage's difficulty. However, there is a discussion on reddit where a player shared his/her experience with his own stage.

Below is the conclusion and I suggest you to read her/his full story here.

[...] the difficulty rating system must be taking the typical number of deaths per player into account, rather than just tracking every single life used and dividing by the number of players.

So if 99 people complete your level without losing a single life, and then 1 player loses a thousand lives, in theory the level should still be classed as "Easy" in Super Mario Maker Bookmark.

  • 5
    And that's understandable. I'm a software developer. I wouldn't officially announce the algorithms either in part to avoid gaming the system but also because the algorithm is likely to be fluid and change as the usage of the game becomes more and more clear.
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 2:57
  • 2
    Furthermore, Nintendo have been especially closed-lipped about the way they handle the player made levels, to great frustration and controversy.
    – user106385
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 3:42

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