Super Mario Odyssey's Motion Controls Aren't Mandatory, but Aren't Optional Either

Super Mario Odyssey's Motion Controls Aren't Mandatory, but Aren't Optional Either

Super Mario Odyssey has one point of contention.

Super Mario Odyssey comes out tomorrow, and you're no doubt excited for what is arguably one of the most anticipated games of the year. However, be warned: There's a little bit of chicanery going on when it comes to the game's motion controls.

In Super Mario Odyssey, most of the game's primary controls have button inputs. Things like jumping and attacking or using your new hat companion Cappy are all mapped onto specific buttons. However, some of Cappy's bonus attacks are only available with motion controls. Things like homing attacks, reverse throws, or even specific movements when possessing a captured enemies will require specific flicks of the wrist.

Some Cappy attacks are only available with motion controls.

As noted by some online, the fact that motion controls exist in Super Mario Odyssey isn't all that surprising. Especially considering that the team worked on Super Mario Galaxy, which also had motion controls.

However, the Switch is no Wii and the motion controls can get a little tricky considering the Switch has multiple ways of play. While motion controls aren't difficult when using the split control joycon setup (like how you would use a WiiMote and Nunchuck), other modes are a little more complicated. Handheld mode in particular requires you to shake your Switch, screen and all, if you want to use some of the more advanced moves.

Perhaps anticipating some of the tedium, Nintendo even suggests that the best way to play the game is using the solo, split Joycon setup. Even though the game does support all manner of controls, including the Switch Pro Controller.

Split Joycons

As highlighted by some critics, the use of motion controls isn't necessary per se. But if you want to collect all the Moons (Odyssey's collectible replacement for Stars) there are some locked behind platform puzzles that require advanced motion controller moves.

On Reddit, the reactions to the motion controls revelation are divided. "SkulkingSneakyTheifs" writes:

I’d do anything to never have to use motion controls again so this is concerning to me. (Just so we’re all aware, I fully expected there to be motion controls)

Meanwhile "theicemanwins" replied:

Best option, is more options. Say what you will about motion controls but I'll never say no to having more options. Personally I hate motion controls since I evolved from a tool using ape, and have much more fine dexterity in my fingers than in my arms. I feel more immersed using a controller than motion simply because I have more control.

Some captured posessions also have motion controlled moves.

So far, amid the perfect scores, the motion controls in Odyssey appear to the be the game's most glaring inconvenience. It's not that the game is unplayable without motion controls. But when you're on the go, playing in grip mode is easier than setting up a mini standalone Switch station with detached Joycons.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

The 25 Best Nintendo Switch Games

Our rotating list of the best games on Switch, now updated for the Nintendo Switch Lite release!

Best Video Games for Kids in 2019

If your children are starting to show an interest in video games, this list of family-friendly games should be on your shopping list. Best Kids PS4 Games, Family Xbox One Games, Child-Friendly Switch Games

Super Mario 64 Hack Mod De-Makes Super Mario Odyssey's Sand Kingdom

Welcome to the new Sand Kingdom! Watch out for sharp edges.

New Video Outlines the Crazy Fast History of Super Mario Odyssey Speedruns

Super Mario Odyssey hasn't been around for long, but it's already been the home of some amazing speedruns.

Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are Getting VR Updates for Labo

Both games will get free updates to add VR content in time for Nintendo Labo VR.

More News

The Final Fantasy 15 Novel Collecting Canceled DLC Has Been Delayed for English Readers

The break of dawn has been pushed back a bit for English audiences.

Battlefield 5's War in the Pacific Update Is Bringing Back the Series' Best Map

It's been a long, long time since Battlefield has revisited Wake Island.

Fallout 76 is Getting a Premium Subscription Model For Private Worlds

It's almost more per month than the actual game costs.