Super Mario Galaxy: Complete Nintendo Switch Controls Guide

Get to grips with all of the new touch-screen and motion controls of Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Switch.


Even though the 35th Anniversary celebration game Super Mario 3D All-Stars features the all-time classics of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy could well be the most highly-anticipated Switch port of the trio.

Released on the Wii in 2007, Super Mario Galaxy was a tremendous success, dazzling critics, piling up awards, and utilising the innovative Wii console’s specialised controls.


While the third of Nintendo’s 3D Super Mario games doesn’t maximise the full scope of the motion and touch-screen controls available on the Switch, it’s still a top-class gaming experience.

In this Super Mario Galaxy controls guide, you can find all of the Switch controls for double Joy-Con and Pro Controller play, Joy-Con co-op play, and new handheld console controls.

For the purposes of this controls guide, (L) and (R) refer to the left and right analogues, with (L3) and (R3) being the buttons pressed when you click down an analogue. [LJC] and [RJC] refer to the left Joy-Con and right Joy-Con. Up, Left, Right, and Down refer to the button on the d-pad.

Super Mario Galaxy Switch controls list

There are two ways to play Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Switch: docked or handheld.

The two controller formats that require the console to be docked incorporate motion controls, using the pointers and gyroscopes within the Joy-Cons and Pro Controller. Sometimes, specific Joy-Cons are needed for motion controls, but most can be performed on a Pro Controller by shaking the whole controller.

The handheld console format doesn’t use any motion controls, but the touch-screen does come into play in a few instances.

Between docked and handheld play of Super Mario Galaxy, there are very few differences, but you’ll be able to find each of the Switch format controls for Galaxy in the table below.

ActionDocked Switch ControlsHandheld Switch Controls
Move Mario(L)(L)
Change Camera View(R)(R)
Camera ResetLL
Talk / InteractAA
Aim In(R) upwards(R) upwards
Return to Camera(R) downward(R) downward
Reset PointerRN/A
RunKeep pushing (L) in a direction to make Mario runKeep pushing (L) in a direction to make Mario run
Pick-up / HoldYY
ThrowY or shake [RJC]Y
CrouchZLZL
SpinX / Y or shake [RJC] side-to-sideX / Y
Shoot a Star BitAim with controller pointer, shoot with ZRTap on the touch-screen or press ZR
JumpA / BA / B
Long JumpWhile running, press ZL + BWhile running, press ZL + B
Triple JumpWhile running, press B, B, BWhile running, press B, B, B
Backward SomersaultPress ZL, then jump (B)Press ZL, then jump (B)
Side SomersaultWhile running, make a U-turn, then jump (B)While running, make a U-turn, then jump (B)
Spin JumpIn midair, shake [RJC] or press YIn midair, press Y
Ground PoundIn midair, press ZLIn midair, press ZL
Homing Ground PoundJump, press Y, press ZL in midairJump, press Y, press ZL in midair
Wall KickJump toward a wall and press B on contactJump toward a wall and press B on contact
SwimA / BA / B
DivePress ZL on the water’s surfacePress ZL on the water’s surface
Flutter KickIn water, hold BIn water, hold B
SkateWhile on ice, shake [RJC] or press YWhile on ice, press Y
Aim (Menu Navigation)Controller pointerTouch-screen
Suspend Menu
Pause Menu++

Super Mario Galaxy Switch Co-Star Mode

Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Switch brings back the couch co-op mode of Co-Star Mode. On the Wii, it was as simple as starting the game with two remotes on, but the method is a little bit different on the Switch.

How to start Co-Star Mode on the Switch

You can commence Co-Star Mode in a new game or the middle of an existing save. To initiate the co-op mode on Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Switch, you need to go to the Suspend Menu (-), scroll down to ‘Co-Star Mode’ and then press A to commence the syncing of the two Joy-Con controllers.

Galaxy Co-Star Mode Switch controls list

In the tables below, you’ll find the controls for Player 1 and Player 2 in Co-Star Mode on the Nintendo Switch version of Super Mario Galaxy. Because each player takes on a different role, the controls are different for each Joy-Con.

Player 1 takes on the role of Mario, having many of the controls above available where they can fit on a single Joy-Con.

Player 1 ActionCo-Star Controls
Move Mario(L)
Camera ResetUp
Reset Pointer(L3)
JumpRight
SwimRight
SpinLeft
CrouchSL
Shoot a Star BitSR
AimUse the mid-rail pointer atop the Joy-Con to aim
Pause Menu+ / –

Player 2 becomes the primary shooter, using their Joy-Con to aim, fire Star Bits, and stop enemies.

Player 2 ActionCo-Star Controls
Reset Pointer(L3)
AimUse the mid-rail pointer atop the Joy-Con to aim
Shoot a Star BitSR
Stop an EnemyRight / Down
Suspend Menu+ / –

How to save Super Mario Galaxy on the Switch

Whenever you reach another checkpoint in the story of Super Mario Galaxy, you’ll be asked if you want to save the game. However, you don’t have to progress just to save Galaxy on the Switch.

Instead, you can go to the Pause Menu (+) and then press ‘Quit’ to then be asked if you’d like to save your progress. After you’ve selected ‘Yes’ and your Super Mario Galaxy file has been saved, you’ll then get another prompt asking “Do you really want to quit?”

So, you can save the game without quitting whenever you see fit. This is quite important as Galaxy on the Switch doesn’t mention the presence of an auto-save feature.

Now, whether you’re playing on a docked Switch, in handheld mode, or co-op mode, you have all of the controls that you need to play Super Mario Galaxy.


Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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