Luigi's Mansion 3 Is Much Better If You Use The Shoulder Buttons

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fun game with a default control scheme that doesn’t work as well as it should. Thankfully, there’s a better way to play it, one that’ll make it easier to spin around while chasing undead ghosts forever.

Players view Luigi’s Mansion 3 from the perspective of a person looking into a dollhouse, so as you move Luigi, he’ll work his way around the virtual haunted hotel room displayed on your screen.

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The default control scheme has you use the left stick to move Luigi across the screen and the right stick to control the direction Luigi is pointing whatever he is holding—be it his ghost-stunning flashlight, his ghost-catching vacuum, or so on.

The issue with the default controls involves what you need to do with your right hand. The game teaches you that you can activate your flashlight with a press of the A button (you’d use your right thumb for that) and your vacuum with the system’s left or right triggers (pointer fingers for that). It also teaches you that you can and must use the right analog stick to point Luigi in whichever direction he needs to zap a ghost with the flashlight and start vacuuming it into his backpack. You’d use your right thumb for that, too.

The problem is that ghosts fly all around the rooms Luigi is in, so you’ll make him run after one with the left stick, hoping to zap it with a tap of the A button. But if the ghost starts flying up and down and all around the room, you’ll likely need to lift your right thumb off the A button and put it on the right thumbstick so you can get Luigi to keep aiming at him. Now you can’t zap the ghost with the flashlight until your thumb is done making Luigi turn.

A variation of this problem occurs when you’re using Luigi’s secret-finding dark light, which you probably want to point all around Luigi. It’s hard to do that if you’re relying on the right stick to turn him and a face button to use the dark light. Same problem with Luigi’s new plunger-shooting move, too. It’s also activated by a face button.

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Ah, but there’s a solution that players will discover if they try tapping other buttons, or read this post: The Switch’s shoulder buttons also activate the flashlight, the dark light, and the plunger.

  • The right shoulder button also activates the flashlight.
  • The left shoulder button also activates the plunger.
  • Pressing both shoulder buttons activates the dark light.

All of those buttons are activated with the player’s pointer fingers, which means your thumbs are free to move Luigi around the room, running this way and that with the left stick and turning with the right.

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Use that alternate approach to the controls, and its most notable issue evaporates. If you’re currently playing Luigi’s Mansion 3, give that a shot.

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About the author

Stephen Totilo

Editor-in-Chief. Playing: Luigi's Mansion 3, Destiny 2, Division 2 (need to get back to RDR2, Iconoclasts, Arkham Origins, Doom, Sushi Striker, Samus Returns, AC Odyssey, Breakpoint, and Outer Wilds)