The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword HD: Complete Controls Guide for Nintendo Switch (Motion & Button Controls)

Here’s what you need to know to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD with motion controls or button controls.


Resurrecting the 2011 Wii release for the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD controls hold onto some of what made it so well-suited to the Wii, while also adapting it for gaming on the go.

As not everyone will want to use the somewhat gimmicky motion controls, in this Skyward Sword HD controls guide, you’ll find out how to play regardless of if you’re using buttons or the gyro in the Joy-Con.


For these Skyward Sword HD button controls, (L) and (R) represent the left and right analogue. Up, Down, Left, and Right denote the buttons on the d-pad. L3 and R3 are used to indicate the button activated when you press either analogue.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD button controls

ActionController / Handheld Button Controls
Move(L)
Snap CameraZL
DashB (hold)
Jump, Climb, VaultDash towards wall, gap, small wall
RollL3 (while Dashing)
InteractA
Lock OnZL
Draw Sword(R) in any direction
Vertical Slash(R) left or right
Side Slash(R) up or down
ThrustR3
Sideward Spin Attack(R) quickly left, right, left
Upward Spin Attack(R) quickly up, down, up
Fatal BlowZL (to target), (R) up, down, up
Activate Skyward Strike(R) hold upwards
Activate ShieldL3
Draw BowZR (hold)
Aim Bow(L)
Fire ArrowRelease ZR
Aim BombZR (hold), (R) to direct
Throw BombRelease ZR
Sheathe WeaponsB
Open PouchR (hold)
Equip from PouchR (hold), (R) to select, release R
Call LoftwingDown (in midair)
Steer Loftwing(L)
Ascend Loftwing(L) upwards
Descend Loftwing(L) downwards
Speed Up LoftwingAscend, and then descend
Charge LoftwingX
Grab while mounted on LoftwingA
Slow Down LoftwingB
Select DowseUp, hold Up to see Dowse dial
Direct your Fall(L)
Use SailclothZR (hold)
Pick-up and Place ObjectsA, A
Pick-up and Throw ObjectsA, (R) upwards, ZR to throw
Move Heavy ItemsA (hold), (L) to move
Hang Down from LedgeB
Drop from LedgeB
Climb Up from Ledge(L) upwards
Shimmy Across Ledge(L) left or right
Leap while ClimbingA
Target and TalkZL, A
Crawl into Opening(L) towards the opening
Quick Use PotionR, A
Talk to FiDown
Look AroundL + (R) / Up
HelpRight
Map
Map Navigation(R) to zoom, (L) to move
Place / Move Beacon on MapA
Inventory+
Skip TextB / A (hold)
Skip Cinematic-, –

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD motion controls

ActionDual Joy-Con Motion Controls
Move(L)
Snap CameraZL
DashB (hold)
Jump, Climb, VaultDash towards wall, gap, small wall
RollFlick Left Joy-Con (while Dashing)
InteractA
Lock OnZL
Draw SwordMove Right Joy-Con in any direction
Vertical SlashRight Joy-Con left or right
Side SlashRight Joy-Con up or down
ThrustRight Joy-Con forwards
Sideward Spin AttackFlick both Joy-Cons horizontally
Upward Spin AttackFlick both Joy-Cons vertically
Fatal BlowZL (to target), both Joy-Cons up, down
Activate Skyward StrikeHold Right Joy-Con upwards
Activate ShieldLeft Joy-Con forwards
Draw BowZL (hold) and pull back Left Joy-Con
Aim BowRight Joy-Con
Fire ArrowRelease ZL
Aim and Throw BombZR (hold), Right Joy-Con throw forwards
Sheathe WeaponsB
Open PouchR (hold)
Equip from PouchR (hold), Right Joy-Con to select, release R
Call LoftwingDown (in midair)
Steer LoftwingRight Joy-Con tilt
Ascend LoftwingFlick Right Joy-Con upwards
Descend LoftwingHold Right Joy-Con downwards
Speed Up LoftwingAscend, and then descend
Charge LoftwingX
Grab while mounted on LoftwingA
Slow Down LoftwingB
Select DowseUp, hold Up to see Dowse dial
Direct your FallRight Joy-Con tilting
Use SailclothZR (hold)
Pick-up and Place ObjectsA, A
Move Heavy ItemsA (hold), (L) to move
Hang Down from LedgeB
Drop from LedgeB
Climb Up from Ledge(L) upwards
Shimmy Across Ledge(L) left or right
Leap while ClimbingFlick Right Joy-Con
Target and TalkZL, A
Crawl into Opening(L) towards the opening
Quick Use PotionR, A
Talk to FiDown
Look AroundUp + Right Joy-Con
HelpRight
Map
Place / Move Beacon on MapA
Inventory+
Skip TextB / A (hold)
Skip Cinematic-, –

How to turn off motion controls in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

To turn off motion controls in Skyward Sword HD, you need to:

  1. Press + to bring up the Inventory menu;
  2. Go to the ‘Gear’ page and select ‘Options’ in the bottom-left corner;
  3. Change the ‘Control Mode’ option to ‘Button-Only Controls;’
  4. Change the ‘Aiming’ and ‘Camera’ controls options to ‘Off;’
  5. Press B to save your new controls settings.

So, those are the Skyward Sword HD controls that you need to know to play Link’s remastered adventure. While the button controls are easier, the game was made for motion controls, offering a distinct experience from other Legend of Zelda titles.

FAQ

Here are some quick answers to some more commonly asked questions about the Skyward Sword HD controls.


How to save in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

To save your game in Skyward Sword HD, you need to find one of the bird statues shown above, interact with it (A), and then choose to ‘Save’ option.

How to reset the gyro in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

To reset the centre aim of your Joy-Cons, thus reset the gyro, in Skyward Sword HD, you can:

  • Press Y when using motion controls to centre the gyro to the aim of your Right Joy-Con.
  • Press + to open the Inventory menu and then press Y to reset the gyro.
  • Press – to open the Map and then press Y to reset the gyro.

Whenever you reset the gyro by pressing Y, the centre will become wherever you’re aiming the top (R and ZR button) of your Right Joy-Con.


How do you skip nighttime in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD?

To skip the nighttime, when many enemies are around, you need to find a bed and select to go to sleep. You can sleep in just about any bed that you find in Skyward Sword HD.

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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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