How the Paper Mario: The Origami King Motion Controls Work

It isn't a huge part of the game, but motion controls are in there. Here's how they function.

We’ve talked about bashing baddies. We’ve talked about all that cash money in Mario’s bank account. Now it’s time to go over the motion controls. Yes, Paper Mario: The Origami King has a little bit of Joy-Con motion control madness incorporated in its gameplay. No, it isn’t a huge part of the game, and yes, if you have a Nintendo Switch Lite you can still use them if you want. While the motion controls in Paper Mario: The Origami King aren’t a huge deal, they’re a pretty cute bit of seasoning on the broader experience.

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How Paper Mario: The Origami King Uses Motion Controls

The weird thing about the motion controls is that the in-universe explanation for them is barely present in a way you kind of have to suspend your disbelief for. Yes, we just said you have to suspend your disbelief in a Paper Mario game. It seems connected to Mario’s new origami friend Olivia; the game’s text just doesn’t make it clear how Mario is suddenly capable of summoning giant arms from another dimension.

Related: What are Coins for in Paper Mario: The Origami King?

Anyway, scattered throughout Paper Mario: The Origami King are these magic circles, huge yellow discs that have an etching of a giant hand on them. Sometimes you have to solve a puzzle to make one appear, but they’re usually related to something you need to progress. These magic circles allow Mario to use the 1,000 Fold Arms ability, which essentially means a pair of 3D-modeled, extendable arms with huge, goofy hands on the end come out and give Mario more power to manipulate his environment. This is Paper Mario, so generally that means ripping a perforated strip to open something, tearing the front paper layer off a wall to reveal a secret, or… smashing something.

Using the Joy-Con motion controls to control the 1,000 Fold Arms ability works in a pretty obvious fashion. You move the Joy-Cons to control the arms. It’s the same thing if you’re moving around a Switch Lite or Pro Controller; tilting the device moves the arms across whatever surface you’re interacting with. Once you find the spot you need to grab/smash/rip and tear, you’ll get a little HD rumble and a prompt to grab with the ZL/ZR buttons which leads to another prompt to move again to actually do the thing.

It’s just as important to note that the Paper Mario: The Origami King motion controls aren’t required. If you check out the pause menu, there’s a settings section that lets you tweak various options (some of which need to be unlocked). The motion controls are an out of the box toggle option, and if you turn it off it simply moves the motion prompts over to the left analogue stick.

That’s about it! The 1,000 Fold Arms can also come into play during boss battles, but that’s another article on the way. In the meantime, check out some of our earlier Paper Mario: The Origami King guides:

Do you like the Paper Mario: The Origami King motion controls? Did you rush to turn them off as soon as you knew you could? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.


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Lucas White
Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favs include Dragon Quest, SaGa and Mystery Dungeon. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas. Wanna send an email? Shoot it to [email protected].