To succeed in "Super Mario World," players should make the best use of the game's powerup items and secrets, such as the Caped Feather. Making the best use of the dinosaur mount Yoshi can help Mario navigate difficult gaps. Also, activating the Yellow and Green Switch Palaces provides more powerups.

For players who prefer to avoid navigating the obstacles on the ground, the Feather allows them to traverse many of the levels by taking flight, holding the Y button to keep the cape extended, and pressing Left on the control pad to extend flight indefinitely, or Right if the level progresses to the left. If a player finds himself falling in a gap and has Yoshi, he can hold the B button and press A to dismount Yoshi and gain some extra distance.

To better deal with enemies, players can use the Mushroom and Cape Feather powerups. The Yellow Switch Palace on Yoshi's Island provides Mushrooms, and the Green Switch Palace in Donut Plains provides Feathers. The Donut Plains level is only accessible by getting the key in Donut Plains 2. Also, an infinite powerup area is accessible by flying to the top of the Donut Ghost House, traversing the platform and dropping down to the exit on the far right.