Disney Infinity 101 - Where to Start and What to Buy

How to Get Started with Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity Base with Baymax and Hiro
Disney Infinity 2.0 Base with Baymax and Hiro. Disney Interactive

What is Disney Infinity?

Disney Infinity is a video game from Disney Interactive (via a variety of developers) that launched in 2013. It is a "Toys to Life" game, meaning that players take real-life toys and place them on a special base to bring them into the virtual world they are playing in. Each of the Disney Infinity Base sets has two parts: Play Sets and the Toy Box. Play Sets are mission-driven games around a theme, while the Toy Box is an open-ended building area.

One major inspiration for Disney Infinity was the earlier Disney Interactive release, The Toy Story 3 Video Game. You can enjoy Disney Infinity in single or multi-player mode. 

All About Disney Infinity Play Sets

Each Disney Infinity Starter Set includes at least one Play Set. The first release included 3 Play Sets (The Incredibles, Monsters University, and Pirates of the Caribbean). Play Sets typically have a story to follow with plenty of side missions and objectives as well as special single and multi-player challenges (driving through hoops, popping balls, racing, etc). This has been true of all but the Inside Out Play Set, which is a side-action platformer. In all of the Play Sets, there is a clear  beginning and end, although most players will complete the main game with plenty of missions left over. Players can purchase additional Disney Infinity Play Sets, but each one only works with the Starter Set it was designed for:

Disney Infinity: Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University, The Incredibles, Cars, Toy Story in Space,The Lone Ranger

Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes: The Avengers (included), Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man Comics

Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic (included), Inside Out, Rise Against the Empire, The Force Awakens, Marvel Battlegrounds

Disney Infinity Toy Box Mode

Toy Box mode is an open-ended "sandbox environment" where players can build their own worlds, scenes, and games using a range of tools and specialty items. They can also use any characters from the current or previous Disney Infinity set, allowing players to stage battles between Tinker Bell and Darth Vader, or races between the Lone Ranger (on horse) and Lightning McQueen. There is a wide range of content to build with including set pieces and extra characters from movies, rides and attractions from Disney Parks, and tons of logic-based "Creativitoys" that connect everything into one experience. These can keep score, mark laps, shoot off fireworks, randomly spawn vehicles or villains, and otherwise allow for some creative and exciting interactive designs in the Toy Box.

In Disney Infinity 2.0, we also saw the addition of the "INterior." Players can design their own house with themed rooms and more games. The INterior is populated with a wide range of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars characters, depending on the version of the game you're playing.

Toy Box Discs and Games

Each version of Disney Infinity has a set of Toy Box discs with special features. They may give additional powers to certain characters, bring a vehicle or weapon into the world, or change the environment somehow. The first two versions of Disney Infinity had their Toy Box Discs in blind packaging, making it difficult to collect complete sets. Disney Infinity 3.0 has Toy Box Discs in specially themed packs. 

With Disney Infinity 2.0, we saw the addition of Toy Box Games. These mini-games are designed using the same types of tools and content you have access to in the Toy Box. They extend game play, but also serve as inspiration for those wanting to create their own content. The Toy Box games are designed to work with their corresponding version of Disney Infinity. 

So Which Version of Disney Infinity Do I Buy?

Starting out with Disney Infinity may feel a bit overwhelming. Do you choose the most current version? Start with the original? Do you go with Toy Box only? Well, of course, it really depends on you. But here are some things to consider:

  • You'll be able to use all of the characters in the most recent Play Set, but not in the original. If you want to use Star Wars and Marvel characters, you'll want Disney Infinity 3.0.
  • Play Sets are only compatible with their version. If you want to experience the Cars Play Set, you'll need the original game. 
  • If you don't care about missions and goals, you might enjoy designing with the Toy Box most. You can add Play Sets later.
  • Alternatively, if you've got family members who are goal oriented, they might struggle with the open-ended Toy Box mode. Make sure you get a Play Set.
  • Disney Infinity 3.0 has the most extensive tutorials via the Toy Box hub. Start there if you like a lot of guidance. 
  • The Disney Infinity 2.0 (Marvel) Play Sets were the most linear and restrictive (with the exception of Inside Out).If you like to explore between missions, go with either the original or Disney Infinity 3.0. 
  • Characters can only be in the Play Set they were designed for (while they are all welcome in Toy Box mode). You can't play with Mickey Mouse on Hoth. Keep in mind that many of the characters (particularly the Disney Originals) have no corresponding Play Set. You'll have to design your own.

Disney Infinity Platforms

Disney Infinity is available on most of the major platforms with the exception of the Wii, which only has a slightly watered down version of the original game. There are also PC, iOS, and Android versions which are all free, but require in-app purchases for additional characters or the code from a real-world character purchase.