This page offers a breakdown of all the controls and movements in Super Mario: Galaxy. For an in game reminder of the controls, you can always press - and then down to Actions.
To move you use the Left Analog Stick. You can also adjust the camera angle using the Right Analog Stick.
You can control how fast Mario moves by how much pressure you put on the analog stick. Full pressure will make him run, but if you need to go slowly reduce the amount of pressure on your Left Analog Stick. Depending on how much pressure you put on the analog stick, you could walk briskly or slowly, and even tip toe if you need extra control. You should practice for a bit to get a feel for the different walk speeds.
To crouch, hold ZL. You can also move whilst crouched, which is handy for moving through tight spaces!
You can also jump (A/B) in crouch mode to do a tall Backwards Somersault jump.
When you meet Rosalina, you will learn how to perform a spin attack. This is done by pressing Y or shaking the right Joy-con when you’re using Joy-con motion controls. When you have unlocked the ability to spin, you can use it as an attack against enemies or use it to break things.
When you have unlocked spin, you can also perform a Spin Jump. Press Y or shake the right Joy-con mid air to perform a Spin Jump.
There are lots of different jumps in the Super Mario games.
Basic Jump - To perform a basic jump, press A/B.
Double and Triple Jump - While running, press A/B to jump, then as you land on the ground, press A/B again to double jump. To perform a triple jump, you’ll need to press A/B as you hit the ground after a double jump.
Tip: If you’re having difficulty with timing when you press A/B to trigger double and triple jumps, try focusing on the smoke animation as Mario lands. Press A/B as soon as you see the smoke animation and you should perform a successful double and triple jump.
Long Jump - To long jump, you’ll need to press ZL and A/B whilst running.
Backwards Somersault - To do a high, backwards somersault jump, press ZL then A/B whilst remaining stationary. After performing this jump, you’ll end up further back than where you started the jump.
Sideways Somersault - Whilst running, make a quick turn to the opposite direction and press A/B. This can be a tricky move to master, but it’ll be a useful jump to have in the future, so practice the timing until you can pull off this move with ease.
- Spin Jump - To spin jump you can either press Y midair, or if you’re using Joy-Con motion controls, shake the Right Joy-Con to spin in the air.
To Ground Pound you need to press ZL whilst in the air. This can be done when you’re jumping or falling off a ledge. This is used to damage/destroy certain enemies or blocks.
To wall kick, jump towards a wall then press A/B as you come into contact with the wall.
To grab an item, press Y. Then press Y again to throw the held item. You can also shake the Right Joy-Con if you’re using Joy-Con motion controls.
The Star Cursor can either be controlled via the touchscreen in handheld mode, or you can use the Right Joy-Con to move the Star Cursor when you’re using motion controls (similar to the Wii Controller). The Star Cursor is used to collect Star Bits. If you’re using your Joy-Cons in the Joy-Con grip or you’re using a console-style controller, you’ll need to use the whole controller to move the Star Cursor - like a Wii Remote.
Here is a handy screenshot of the complete list of controls and actions in the game: