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How to use Special Arts, the big benefit to parrying, and the alternative button to shrink in flying mode when playing Cuphead.

Quick n’ Easy Cuphead Controls Guide

How to use Special Arts, the big benefit to parrying, and the alternative button to shrink in flying mode when playing Cuphead.
This article is over 6 years old and may contain outdated information

Cuphead‘s controls are pretty straightforward but there are a few things the game doesn’t really explain, such as how to use Special Arts or one of the biggest benefits to parrying.

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This guide’s pretty cut and dry and covers the default buttons/keys for the keyboard, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 controllers (for those using a PS4 controller on their PC). Simple and to the point.

One tip I do want to mention is that if you are having trouble with the controls using a controller, things may be easier if you swap the buttons for dash and EX shoot. You generally dash more often than you use your EX shot, so it may be more comfortable to have dash set to B (XB1)/Circle (PS4) and EX shoot to Y (XB1)/Triangle (PS4).

Standard Controls in Cuphead

Shoot
Keyboard: X
Xbox controller: X
PS4 controller: Square

Jump
Keyboard: Z
Xbox controller: A
PS4 controller: X

EX shoot
Keyboard: V
Xbox controller: B
PS4 controller: Circle

Switch weapon
Keyboard: Tab
Xbox controller: Left bumper
PS4 controller: L1

Lock in place
Keyboard: C
Xbox controller: Right bumper
PS4 controller: R1

Dash
Keyboard: Left shift
Xbox controller: Y
PS4 controller: Triangle

How to Parry
The game goes over this a bit, but it’s tricky to actually do as you have to jump and press the jump button again right as you touch a pink projectile to parry it.

In some games, there’s a slight delay between jump -> contact -> parry but here in Cuphead, there is no delay and it must be done at the exact moment of contact.

Learning to parry is your key to success pushing through the game since parrying gives you 1 EX charge. It’s easiest to practice parrying on the pink spiked balls in the first run & gun stage.

How to use your Super Art
Let your EX meter fill all the way up (5 cards) and press the EX shoot button to unleash your currently equipped Super Art.

Flying Controls in Cuphead

Shoot
Keyboard: X
Xbox controller: X
PS4 controller: Square

Special
Keyboard: V
Xbox controller: B
PS4 controller: Circle

Parry
Keyboard: Z
Xbox controller: A
PS4 controller: X

Shrink
Keyboard: Shift
Xbox controller: Y or right bumper
PS4 controller: Triangle or R1

This guide being cut and dry was no exaggeration. Hopefully, having these written out, or the couple of tips within, have been of some help. Make sure to check out our other Cuphead guides for more tips and tricks.


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Author
Image of Ashley Shankle
Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.