Rolling is the fastest method of movement across smooth surfaces in Super Mario Odyssey. There are multiple ways to initiate a roll, but the most fundamental is to press X or Y while crouching. Rolling gains its speed due to the ability to perform roll boosts throughout the course of the roll, which allow Mario to maintain a high velocity.
Initiating a roll
Rolls can be initiated in numerous ways:
- Pressing X or Y while crouching
- Holding the crouch button while landing a dive, provided Mario has enough forward momentum
- Holding the crouch button while landing a long jump
- Pressing X or Y while still holding the crouch button just after a ground pound (note that pressing X or Y too early will result in a downthrow instead)
- Pressing X or Y while still holding the crouch button just after a spinpound
Roll boosts can be performed either by pressing X or Y, or by shaking the controller. However, when pressing X or Y, the roll boost has a chance to fail (a failed roll boost will not emit yellow sparks, while a successful one will). A failed roll boost occurs when Mario already has too much speed, meaning that when using X or Y to roll boost, the player must wait a brief period between boosts in order to lose a small amount of speed. When using motion controls for roll boosts, the boosts will never fail, meaning they can be performed as quickly as the player desires. For this reason, it is faster to cross distances using motion-controlled roll boosts.
A roll will be terminated if the player lets go of the crouch button in most cases. However, this will not occur if Mario has recently initiated the roll, or recently performed a roll boost. In this case, the roll can still be interrupted by performing a long jump, bonking into something or executing a roll cancel. The existence of the roll cancel as an efficient way to terminate a roll and keep its momentum is the reason rolling is useful even in small spaces.