Yoshi’s Story: Switch Controls Guide and Tips for Beginners

Here is your complete controls guide for the N64 classic Yoshi’s Story, now available via the Switch Online Expansion Pass.


Memorable in its distinct style and departure from the aesthetics of other Super Mario games of the time, Yoshi’s Story had an endearing quality thanks to that style, music, and of course, being able to use numerous Yoshi.

While a simple game on the surface – in that each level is complete after eating 30 fruits – there is more nuance to Yoshi’s Story than meets the eye.


Below you will find the complete controls list for Yoshi’s Story with some gameplay tips further down.

Yoshi’s Story Nintendo Switch controls

  • Move: LS
  • Jump and Flutter: A, A (hold to Flutter)
  • Ground Pound: LS (down) while in air
  • Tongue Attack: B
  • Aim and Shoot Eggs: ZL, RS, X, Y
  • Sniff: R
  • Toggle Fruit Frame: L
  • Resize Fruit Frame: D-Pad
  • Pause: +

Yoshi’s Story N64 controls

  • Move: Joystick
  • Jump and Flutter: A, A (hold to Flutter)
  • Ground Pound: Joystick (down) while in air
  • Tongue Attack: B
  • Aim and Shoot Eggs: Z
  • Sniff: R
  • Toggle Fruit Frame: L
  • Resize Fruit Frame: D-Pad
  • Pause: Start

For these Yoshi’s Story controls, the left and right analogue sticks on the Switch are denoted as LS and RS while the directional pad is shown as D-Pad.

How the colour of Yoshi matters in Yoshi’s Story

Yes, the Yoshi are cute in their different colours, but the colours do have a function in Yoshi’s Story. Each colour coordinates to the favourite fruit of each Yoshi. The benefit of swallowing a Yoshi’s favourite fruit is that it fills the health meter (the Smile Meter flower petals in the top left-hand corner of the screen) more than eating a different fruit.

Here is each Yoshi’s favourite fruit (each favourite fruit makes sense):


  • Green: Watermelon
  • Red: Apple
  • Yellow: Banana
  • Pink: Apple
  • Blue: Grapes
  • Light Blue: Grapes
  • Black and White: Any (unlockable through gameplay)

You can also change the colour of Shy Guys to your Yoshi’s colour before swallowing them and turning them into eggs.

Favourite fruits net you three heart points in Yoshi’s Story. These are how your score is tracked and how your petals (health) are replenished. While they are not the most rewarding way to earn hearts, it is more than earning one for eating other fruits.

How to take advantage of favourite fruit and lucky fruit in Yoshi’s Story

When you begin each playthrough, you are brought to a ‘Reveal Lucky Fruit’ page. Once a fruit is selected, remember it, as Lucky Fruits net you eight hearts – as opposed to the three for favourite fruits. There are 12 lucky fruits per level.


Beyond that, try to eat as many Melons as you can as they land you a whopping 100 hearts! Melons also function as your Favorite Fruit would in that they heal a bit more health. For pure hearts (points) runs, prioritise eating only Melons.

How to use the sniffing mechanic to your advantage in Yoshi’s Story

A unique mechanic for Yoshi, sniffing can help you reveal hidden items and pathways.

To sniff, hit R. The screen will zoom in as Yoshi sniffs, so ensure that here aren’t any enemies around you at the time. If Yoshi sniffs an item nearby, an exclamation point will appear above its head. Keep sniffing in the area, and more will appear.

Finally, when you hit the spot, Yoshi will waive its arms to signal the location. Hit a Ground Pound (Joystick/LS down while in midair) in that spot to reveal coins, fruit, or paths and platforms that can lead you to secret items.

How to unlock other levels in Yoshi’s Story

Another interesting bit about the game is that you can only play one level per stage per playthrough. You will need to play the game fully at least four times to play each level. However, aside from the first page of levels, you cannot choose which ones you want to play – they need to be unlocked.

The key to unlocking more levels is in collecting Special Hearts. These hearts are identified by the smiley face inside them, and they’re usually rather large. Collecting all of the Special Hearts on each level will help to unlock levels over the remaining pages. Doing this will also influence the narrative of each level. Special Hearts also net you 100 hearts!

How to best play Yoshi’s Story

A few general gameplay practices should be remembered when playing Yoshi’s Story. First, do not rush as there isn’t a timer; each level only ends when you have eaten 30 fruits, so take your time.

Next, always have at least three eggs on you at all times to prepare for any situation. Eggs are more necessary to burst bubbles than they are to defeating enemies, as most can be defeated by swallowing them or via Ground Pounding.

When you are low on health, and there are only fruit in bubbles remaining without any enemies around, your emergency stash could be the difference. Still, some bosses will be easier to defeat with eggs than relying on getting close and Ground Pounding.

Lastly, have fun! It is a quirky game made to make you laugh and enjoy. Without a need to rush to finish each level, and the need to replay at least four times, just enjoy the ride.

Yoshi’s Story is a perfect game to play with kids and families. Use this guide to have a fun yet challenging gameplay experience on the classic N64 title.


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Bruce L

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