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Mario standing beside a P-Switch.

A P-Switch (called POW in Lunar Magic) is a either blue or silver switch with a white P on it that has certain effects in the level in which it is activated. It first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, where it was found in blocks. If Mario activated it by jumping on it, it would change breakable bricks into coins and vice versa. It also sometimes caused hidden silver coins to appear. In Super Mario World, P-Switches are carryable objects, which no longer limits the switch's effects to the immediate area in which it is found. A P-Switch vanishes once it has been jumped on, but it takes a short time to vanish, resulting in several glitches: during this time it can be carried into a pipe or eaten with Yoshi to "recycle" it back into a new P-switch.


Blue P-Switch's Effects

  • Changes coins into brown used blocks and vice versa.
  • Makes certain invisible coin blocks appear, which Mario can stand on for as long as the switch is active. If hit from below, they will turn into coins instead of brown blocks for as long as the P-switch is active.
  • Makes blue doors appear.
  • Makes certain invisible coins appear.
  • Makes purple coins look like blocks, but they're still collectable as coins.

The effects of a blue P-switch are only temporary. After the switch runs out, everything will turn back to normal. A sound plays just before the P-Switch runs out; this sound used to be exclusive to SMW1 until very recently, when New Super Mario Bros. Wii used it to signal when Star invincibility ran out. Also, Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses it to signify the end of a battle arena challenge.

Silver P-Switch's Effects

This is a normal P-switch but with a palette swap. Its effect is different from its blue counterpart. It turns most enemies into a special Silver Coin, but black Muncher plants will just turn into a normal coin (this effect was never used in the original game). When Mario collects seven of these silver coins, it will give him a 1-Up. The enemies, except the Munchers, won't turn back into their normal forms once the effect wears off.

There's a bug with the silver P-Switch. If you go into a pipe with a silver P-switch, it will turn into a blue one. However, if you change value 0x12E18 to say "80" in a hex editor, this glitch will be fixed and gray P-Switches will act like they're supposed to.

Hacking Information

  • Requires SP1 to be GFX00 in order to look correct.
  • Uses tiles 342, 343, 352, and 353.

Related Addresses

ROM Addresses
PC SNES Bytes Type Description
0x4758 $00:C558 1 byte Sound effect POW Finishing Sound Effect.
0x7D40 $00:FB40 1 byte Sprite Number Sprite that the Blue/Silver P-switch, Portable Spring Board, Throw Block sprite and carryable stunned enemies will turn into when they reach the goal point.
0x8655 $01:8455 1 byte Misc. How many types of P-Switches to allow, minus one
0x8666 $01:8466 2 bytes Palette Colors of P-Switches (Blue, Silver).
0xA421 $01:A221 1 byte Sprite tilemap related POW (P-Switch) tilemap.
0xAD08 $01:AB08 1 byte Music Music played when a POW is pressed.
0xAD0D $01:AB0D 1 byte Timer Time it takes for POW to disappear after jumping on it. Change to 00 to keep the POW after jumping on it.
0xAD1B $01:AB1B 1 byte Timer How long blue and silver POWs last.
0xAD20 $01:AB20 1 byte Timer POW shaking screen timer.
0xAD28 $01:AB28 4 bytes Misc. Change to EA EA EA EA to prevent on screen sprites from turning into silver coins when the silver POW is active (USE WITH 12BA1).
0xE923 $01:E723 1 byte Sprite tilemap related Tile used by flattened POW Switch.
0xEC69 $01:EA69 1 byte Palette Palette of sprite Lakitu throws when silver P-Switch is active.
0x10AAD $02:88AD 1 byte Palette Sprite that comes out of block 11D (POW).
0x10ABE $02:88BE 1 byte Sprite number Sprite that comes out of block 11D (POW), when Yoshi is present.
0x10C42 $02:8A42 2 bytes Palette Colours of P-Switches (Blue, Silver) when spawned by tile 11D.
0x12BA1 1 byte $02:A9A1 1 byte Misc. Change to 80 to prevent off screen sprites from turning into silver coins when the silver POW is active (USE WITH 0AD28).
0x12BB1 $02:A9B1 1 byte Sprite number Sprite that all sprites change into when a silver POW is active. (Only works on offscreen sprites) Take note that the sprite will use the same palette as the silver coin that is normally spawned.
0x12BC3 $02:A9C3 1 byte Palette Palette to use for sprites changed by Silver P-Switch (offscreen sprites only).
0x12E18 $02:AC18 1 byte Misc. Change to 80 to fix the glitch where going through a pipe with a silver P-switch makes it act like a blue one.
0x13BDA $02:B9DA 1 byte Sprite number Sprite to use for those changed by Silver P-Switch (the ones that change while on the screen).
0x13BEF $02:B9EF 1 byte Palette Palette to use for sprites changed by Silver P-Switch (on screen sprites only).
0x305AB $06:83AB 342 bytes Level data Unused level: Beta level 01A.

You can change 0x30657/$06:8457 from 9C to 8D to fix the P-switch music repeating glitch when using custom music.

RAM Addresses
SNES Bytes Type Description
$7E:14AD 1 byte Timer Blue POW timer.
$7E:14AE 1 byte Timer Silver POW timer.


  • P-switches are one of the seven items (eight if you count the P-Balloon) that can be double grabbed. To do so, simply grab both the switch and another object on the same frame.
  • P-switches are one of the seven items that can be grabbed on Yoshi if the switch is grabbed on the same frame Mario lands on Yoshi. This will only work if the switch is in a lower sprite slot than Yoshi.
  • Mario can jump off of a P-switch on the frame he lands on it.
  • Mario can be pushed into walls if he is between two P-switches (or a P-switch and another solid item) and the wall.
  • Two P-switches (or a P-switch and another solid item) or one P-switch and a Yoshi are able to push Mario through ceilings if he lands on the items close enough to the ceiling.
  • If Yoshi swallows a pressed P-switch before it disappears, Yoshi can spit out an un-pressed P-switch that can be reused. If this is done fast enough, a flopping Cheep-Cheep will spawn.
  • If Mario carries a pressed P-switch through a pipe before it disappears, Mario will come out of the pipe with an un-pressed one.
  • If Mario drops a pressed P-switch into a hole before it disappears, it will respawn back where he originally found it, like it was never pressed.
  • If Mario carries a silver P-switch through a pipe, its effects will become that of a blue P-switch, yet its graphics will remain a silver P-switch. This can be fixed by changing 0x12E18 to 80.
  • If Mario gets knocked off of Yoshi while a P-switch is stuck to Yoshi's tongue, the switch will lose proper ground interaction until Yoshi swallows it again or it despawns.
  • When the sprite overload glitch is used on a P-switch, its graphics will glitch. In addition, it can be pressed like normal, but it will have infinite uses, and it will act like an unstoppable, spinjumpable shell when spit out by Yoshi.
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