Yooka-Laylee builds on tried and tested 3D platforming tradition in many ways, with one being the slow drip feed of new special moves. In this guide we’ll detail every special move you can acquire and reveal how you unlock them (note: all button commands are based on the PS4 version of the game but moves are the same in the Nintendo Switch version).
If you’re not interested in Yooka-Laylee special moves then we recommend you head over to our Yooka-Laylee Guide hub. Over there you’ll find collectable guides covering pagies, ghosts, and more, plus more general tips and tricks.
Yooka Laylee Special Move Tips
It's worth knowing what moves you gain later in the game so you know if challenges the game poses can be tackled yet. If a task seems impossible, it probably is and you'll have to return once you've got the required ability.
Yooka-Laylee Special Moves
- How to unlock Reptile Roll: Given for free from Trowzer in Hivory Towers hub world
- How to use Reptile Roll: Hold R2 to roll up steep hills and knock into enemies. Uses energy meter.
- How to unlock Sonar Shot: Buy from Trowzer in Tribalstack Tropics
- How to use Sonar Shot: Press triangle to reveal secrets and interact with puzzles. Used to activate sleeping statues and to catch the invisible Blue Ghost in each area.
- How to unlock Buddy Slam: Buy from Trowzer in Tribalstack Tropics
- How to use Buddy Slam: Pound the ground by hitting L2 while in the air. You can use this to stomp on enemies, activate certain buttons/ground switches, and solve puzzles.
- How to unlock Slurp Shot: Buy from Trowzer in Tribalstack Tropics
- How to use Slurp Shot: Eat berries with Circle and fire them out at enemies, switches and Purple Ghost —click the left stick if you need precision.
- How to unlock glide: Given for free from Trowzer in Hivory Towers hub world
- How to use Glide: Press and hold X while in the air to cover large distances. You can’t hover forever, so be careful you don’t come crashing down from too great a height.
- How to unlock Slurp State: Buy from Trowzer in Glitterglaze Glacier
- How to use Slurp State: Similar to Slurp Shot, but now you can absorb food and item properties. These include honey (makes Yooka sticky and able to travel up slippery slopes), cannon balls (makes Yooka heavy and able to walk through heavy winds), fire (keeps Yooka warm and allows walking through fire) and more.
- How to unlock Lizard Leap: Buy from Trowzer in Glitterglaze Glacier
- How to use Lizard Leap: Hold L2 to crouch and then jump for an extra high leap (you know, like how Mario does it!)
Bubble Buddy - How to Walk Under Water
- How to unlock Bubble Buddy: Given for free from Trowzer in Hivory Towers hub world
- How to use Bubble Buddy: Hold R2 under water until Yooka and Laylee are surrounded by a bubble. This allows you to walk on the waterbed while still having access to moves such as the Buddy Slam.
Lizard Lash - How to Grapple
- How to unlock Lizard Lash: Buy from Trowzer in Moodymaze Marsh
- How to use Lizard Lash: This is essentially a grappling hook that lets you latch onto and reach certain platforms. Look out for specific Lizard Lash points. Used to access new areas and complete Pagie challenges.
Sonar 'Splosion - How to Break Objects
- How to unlock Sonar 'Splosion: Buy from Trowzer in Moodymaze Marsh
- How to use Sonar 'Splosion: Crouch then hold Triangle until you unleash a shockwave. This can either stun or kill nearby enemies, knock items to the ground, and break certain objects (although not cracked glass: that needs Reptile Rush).
Camo Cloak - How to Turn Invisible
- How to unlock Camo Cloak: Given for free from Trowzer in Hivory Towers hub world
- How to use Camo Cloak: hold L2 and press Circle to activate the camo cloak. This will let you let you through high security areas.
Reptile Rush - How to Break Glass
- How to unlock Reptile Rush: Buy from Trowzer in Capital Cashino
- How to use Reptile Rush: Hold the roll button (R2) and square to charge a roll. This will send Yooka and Laylee spinning off at great speed, allowing them to smash through glass that was previously blocking their way.
Sonar Shield - How to Roll Through Force Fields
- How to unlock Sonar Shield: Buy from Trowzer in Galleon Galaxy
- How to use Sonar Shield: This moves allows you to access areas that have barriers or force fields. While rolling press Triangle and you’ll pass right through previously insurmountable obstacles.
Flappy Flight - How to fly
- How to unlock Flappy Flight: Given for free from Trowzer in Hivory Towers hub world. You won't be able to find this until you're in the final area of Hivory Towers that is unlocked.
- How to use Flappy Flight: Possibly the game’s best move. Hold L2 and square to fly high into the sky. This can be used to ‘cheat’ your way through previous tricky areas and to access high locations.
Now you know what special moves will be coming your way, hopefully you won’t waste time trying to access areas you don’t have the required moves for.