PSA: Super Mario Run for Android is Either Geo-Blocked or Won’t Work with Root

So Nintendo’s Super Mario Run finally came to Android last week. For some reason it’s not yet available to Canadians but no worries, eh? You can download and install the official Android package from APK Mirror. Only problem is that if you do that, especially on a rooted Android device, you will eventually be locked out of the game and presented with the error message above.

A Google search of support code 804-5100 yielded this possible fix:

  1. Download/install a (root) file manager app from the Play store and open it.
  2. Go to the following directory on your device’s internal storage — /data/data/com.nintendo.zara
  3. You’ll see the deviceAccount:.xml file inside the folder, delete this file.
  4. Open the Super Mario Run game again and sync it with your Nintendo account.

Not sure what syncing the game to a Nintendo account has to do with anything, but I dutifully followed the instructions above and was still locked out of the game.

In one sense it’s no big deal, because Super Mario Run seems to be a pretty average gaming experience at best. Before I was locked out I got the thrill of playing through two plodding tutorial levels and sitting through a bunch of cut scenes that I couldn’t skip through—nothing at all like the best mobile games I’ve played where you’re dumped right in to the action and have to figure things out as you go.

In another sense, however, it represents yet another attack from the bad guys in the war on general purpose computing, just like Pokémon GO. It’s fairly arrogant to presume that someone would root their Android device for the sole purpose of cheating a game, and in the specific case of Mario I’ve yet to hear of any such cheat. If it’s not root but a geo-blocking issue, that would only make sense if Nintendo was trying managing the load on their servers—because, if you didn’t know, this particular game title requires a persistent data connection to work.

Whatever the case, if you’re an Android user with root don’t bother wasting your time on Super Mario Run. You’ve likely got better, more important things to do with your device.

Links: Cory Doctorow, Howard Forums, The Android Soul