Here’s which Mario Galaxy motion control features are available in Switch’s various forms


Nintendo has offered clarification on the various degrees of controller support found in its newly announced Super Mario 3D All-Stars trilogy, noting, among other things, that it’ll be possible to replicate Super Mario Galaxy’s pointer functionality via the Switch’s touchscreen.

Of the three games included in the trilogy – Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy – it was the latter that had raised the most questions, given the somewhat dizzying permutations of controller options, play modes, and models available for Switch.

The original Super Mario Galaxy on Wii, you see, featured motion control support for Mario’s spin attack, alongside Wii Remote pointer functionality, enabling players to shift a cursor around the screen and sweep up Star Bits while simultaneously controlling Mario – a feature that didn’t appear immediately replicable in Switch’s handheld mode or on Switch Lite.

Now, however, Nintendo has clarified (in response to a query from Polygon) that Super Mario Galaxy on the standard Switch will utilise Joy-Con motion controls to replicate pointer functionality in TV and tabletop modes, while handheld mode makes use of the touch-screen.

Additionally, the returning Co-Star mode, which enables a second player to hoover up Star Bits while another focusses on Mario’s movement, requires a Joy-Con for player number two. Unsurprisingly, this means those wanting to play Co-Star mode on a Switch Lite (possible in tabletop configuration) will need to purchase or procure a separate Joy-Con controller.

Super Mario Galaxy is also playable using the Joy-Con grip or Switch Pro Controller, but Nintendo hasn’t yet clarified how pointer functionality will be replicated in these instances. Mapping it to the right stick would seem like a possible solution, given Super Mario Galaxy’s fixed camera, but it wouldn’t be a Nintendo game without at least one thoroughly head-scratching design decision, so we shall see.

In related Super Mario 3D All-Stars news, GameXplain has noted that Super Mario Sunshine, initially released on GameCube, will be incompatible with Nintendo’s official GameCube controller for Switch. As a result, those hoping to replicate Super Mario Sunshine’s pressure-sensitive water nozzle (utilising the GameCube’s analog triggers, not found on a Switch controller) for a more authentic experience are likely out of luck.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars, just one of Nintendo’s various Mario-related initiatives launching as part of the plumber’s 35th anniversary celebrations, comes to Switch later this month on 18th September. It will then be withdrawn from sale on 31st March next year, because Nintendo.