Samus is a very agile character in most Metroid games, and Super Metroid is full of moves. Most are basic, though some can be used to access areas earlier than the designers intended (see Sequence Breaking).
Note that different buttons may be configured for Running, Firing, Jumping, Item Cancel, Aim Diagonal Up and Aim Diagonal Down in the Options menu before beginning a game.
 Default Controls
- or : Moves left or right.
- : Aim upwards.
- : Duck down/aim downwards in the air.
- : Shoot
- : Jump
- : Dash/Run
- : Access the map and equipment menus
- : Item select
- : Item menu cancellation
- : Aim weapon up
- : Aim weapon down
 Basic moves
- Run: Press or , and hold the “Run” button. Increases Samus’s speed considerably. After acquiring the Speed Booster, continuing to hold the Run button will eventually activate the Booster and Samus will turn a blue color followed by speed echoes, and will be invincible to most attacks.
- Duck: Press . Holding DOWN while walking or running will aim diagonally down while still moving. While ducking Samus is lower to the ground and may avoid some projectiles or be in better position to attack enemies.
- Aim diagonally while standing: By default will aim Samus’s arm cannon down and up, diagonally, even while at a complete standstill, ducking, or during a jump.
- Jumping: Pressing the Jump button will cause Samus to leap into the air. The Hi Jump Boots will increase her altitude significantly.
- Somersault: By moving Samus forward and then jumping, she will begin to somersault through the air. With the Space Jump powerup, she can continuously somersault for an indefinite length of time.
- Firing: Pressing the Fire button will discharge the weapon currently selected. After acquiring the Charge Beam and when using the beam weapons, holding the fire button will enable Samus to fire a more powerful charged shot. Selecting either Missiles or Super Missiles will fire those weapons. Neither type of missile can be charged.
- Grappling: By firing after the grapple beam is selected, a bolt of energy will be emitted from Samus’s cannon. By latching onto blocks which have an “X” in their center, Samus can grapple across spikes, lava, water, ravines and other hazards.
- Morphing: After acquiring the Morph Ball, pressing will cause Samus to morph. Most controls are the same as standard, however the Morph Ball cannot run, jumping can only be done after acquiring the Spring Ball upgrade, and firing will place a bomb(a Power Bomb if selected).
 Intermediate moves
- Wall Jumping: Somersault towards a wall. When Samus touches the wall, press in the opposite direction. For a brief moment Samus’s sprite will change. Pressing jump again will allow Samus to jump off the wall. If two walls are adjacent to each other Samus can jump between them to gain height, or Samus can also jump straight up one wall with some practice.
- Shinespark: Once the Speed Booster is acquired, Samus has the ability to store and release huge amounts of energy. Once the Booster activates, duck. If done correctly, Samus will beging to flash white. Tapping the Jump button will launch Samus into the air at incredible velocity. Tapping Jump, then tapping it again will launch Samus in the direction she is facing. Holding the Diagonal Aim Up button will launch Samus diagonally up. Any use of the Shinespark uses Samus’s own energy to function. When she reaches 1 unit of energy, Shinesparking will be impossible.
- Bomb Spread: After charging a beam, morphing into a ball will release five bombs. If DOWN is held, it can delay the release and they will be sent flying much farther than they normally would using the technique.
- Charge Holding: Using the technique discussed under Bomb Spread, it is also possible to charge a beam, morph, and then continue holding DOWN while moving. Use the Jump button to unmorph. With this method, it is possible to carry a charged shot through tunnels, for instance.
- Moon Walking: Before beginning your game, if you go to the special options menu you can enable the Moon Walk ability. If enabled, if you begin firing from a standing position while not moving and then you press in the opposite direction you are facing, Samus will begin to Moonwalk backwards slowly in that direction. This works well in situations where you want to fire but adjust your position slightly.