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SNES NDS Action
Left Dpad or Right Dpad Left dpad or Right dpad Hold to walk. To dash, double-tap and hold on the second tap.
Up Dpad Up dpad Climb up a ladder or enter a doorway.
Down Dpad Down dpad Climb down a ladder or duck.
B Button A button or Y button Press to make Kirby jump. While in the air, tap it repeatedly to fly. While in in "fly" mode, you will descend slower, but can't use regular attacks. Press the attack button (Y Button/B button) to release a puff of air and return to normal.
Y Button B button Without an ability, hold this to inhale an enemy. Press Down Dpad/Down dpad or A Button/X button when Kirby has inhaled an enemy to make him swallow and gain its ability, or press Y Button/B button again to exhale them as a lethal projectile.

When you have an ability, press this button to use its powers. See Kirby Super Star/Abilities for more information on how to use different abilities.

A Button X button If you have:
  • An ability but not a helper: Make a helper out of the ability. A helper is an AI-controlled character that fights alongside Kirby; in the SNES version, a second player can control the helper.
  • A helper and an ability: Turn your current ability into an icon. If the helper runs into the icon, they'll gain that ability instead. If Kirby inhales the icon, he'll regain the ability.
  • A helper but not an ability: Turn your helper into an icon. Kirby can inhale and swallow the icon to re-gain the ability.
  • Neither a helper nor ability: Nothing happens.
X Button N/A In the SNES version, this opens up a game-specific menu. In the Great Cave Offensive, it shows your collected treasures. In Milky Way Wishes, it shows your collected abilities. In the DS version, this information is instead given on the bottom screen while you play.
L Button or R Button L button or R button Kirby guards. This can block or diminish the damage of most attacks Kirby is hit with. Kirby can guard against most melee-type attacks, but range attacks are more likely to penetrate it. Attacks that grab or throw Kirby can always completely penetrate his guard.
Start Button Start button Pauses the game, and shows an explanation of the ability Kirby currently carries.
N/A Select button In the DS version only, Kirby loses his ability, turning it into a star. The star can be inhaled and swallowed to regain the ability, if you choose to do so.}}

Advanced Techniques[edit]

SNES NDS Action
Down Dpad+B Button Down dpad+A button or
Down dpad+Y button
Kirby slides. This does a little damage to normal enemies.
Y Button while flying B button while flying Kirby releases a puff of air, which does a little damage to normal enemies. When you don't have an ability, this can be useful on foes you can't defeat with Inhale.

Kirby's initial jump can "headbutt" enemies or obstacles above him. This usually only has much effect on falling obstacles. When he falls from a great distance, Kirby will headbutt downwards too.

If Kirby inhales two enemies at once, things are a little different. If he spits them out as a projectile star, the star will deal more damage, and pass through multiple enemies. If both enemies have an ability when Kirby swallows them, he'll gain a random ability, usually different from the ones he swallowed.

If the Kirby-player presses Up Dpad while it seems he's about to land on a Helper's head, Kirby will take a huge leap upwards. This is more convenient than flying at times, and his upwards-headbutt seems to be more powerful too.

If the helper holds Up Dpad underneath Kirby while Kirby is in fly mode, they'll latch on to Kirby's feet. Kirby becomes heavier, but this helps Helpers reach higher distances since they can't fly as far as Kirby.

In the DS version: When you release Neutral Dpad after a dash, Kirby takes a few steps before coming to a complete stop. Normally this isn't a problem, but it can make some boss battles a hassle. You can tap in the opposite direction to make him stop faster.