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This article is about the move used to get through tight turns. You may be looking for the game, Sonic Drift.

Sonic spins while turning, allowing him to turn tight corners at high speed.

— Instruction booklet, Sonic Generations

The Drift[1][2] (ドリフト Dorifuto?), also called the Sonic Drift[3] (ドリフト[4] Dorifuto?, lit. "Drift"), is a move that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a technique in which the user makes sharp turns while moving at high speeds.


When performing the Drift, the user creates friction to one of their sides while either sliding or spinning at high speed, causing their direction to shift rapidly in a smooth curve without losing much momentum.

In gameplay, the Drift is useful for the player when they have get through tight turns at high speeds. In addition, it can be combined with the Boost to amplify its speed and power.

Game appearances

Sonic Unleashed

Sonic using the Sonic Drift, from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed.

The move first appeared in Sonic Unleashed where it is referred to as the Sonic Drift.[3] It is only usable to Sonic in the gameplay of the daytime Stages. When drifting in this game, Sonic leans down on one arm while pushing his feet sideways in the opposite direction.

By drifting, the player is able to recharge the Ring Energy Gauge/Boost Gauge, though the mechanics differ between game versions: On the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version, the Ring Energy Gauge is constantly charged while drifting, but only in small amounts equivalent to the amount of energy required to boost. On the Wii/PlayStation 2 version on the other hand, drifting charges more of the Boost Gauge at once, but only if it is pulled off correctly for long enough (which is referred to as a "Drift Bonus").

To perform the Sonic Drift in gameplay, the player has to use the following controls:

PS2 Wii (remote) Wii (Classic Controller) Wii (GameCube Controller) PS3 Xbox 360
PSSquareButton.png + L Stick ◀/▶ Wii-Button-Z.png + Control Stick ◀/▶ y Button + L Stick ◀/▶ SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png + Control Stick ◀/▶ Playstation-Button-L2.png/Playstation-Button-R2.png or PSObutton.png + L Stick ◀/▶ Xbox-Button-LT.png/Xbox-Button-RT.png or XboxB.png + L Stick ◀/▶

Sonic Colors

The Drift, from the Wii version Sonic Colors.

In the Wii version of Sonic Colors, and its remaster Sonic Colors: Ultimate, the move's name was changed to Drift.[1] In these games, it is performed by Sonic, the Mii (Wii version only), and the Virtual Hedgehogs. When drifting this time around, the user leans down on one arm while pushing their feet sideways in the opposite direction, much like in Sonic Unleashed, except that the user shoots rainbow-colored sparks from their feet (similar to the Boost).

In gameplay, the Drift is only useable in parts with curved points where the Drift icon is displayed on the screen. While drifting in this game, the move is more "slippery" and difficult to use than in Sonic Unleashed, but the player earns 3.000 points per-second with a maximum of 100.000 points per Act. It can also be used to crash into enemies and objects. In Super Sonic's case, he cannot use Drift in the "Drift sections", but he can use the Super Sonic Boost easily and with more control.

To use the Drift in gameplay, the player has to use the following controls:

Wii Remote + Nunchunk Wii Remote Sideways Wii (Classic Controller) Wii (GameCube Controller) Xbox One PS4 Switch PC
WiiB.png + Control Stick ◀/▶ Button1.png + +Control Pad ◀/▶ b Button + L Stick ◀/▶ SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png + Control Stick ◀/▶

Sonic Generations

The Drift, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the move is referred as Drift,[2] and is only usable to Modern Sonic. When drifting in this game, Sonic revs into a Spin Attack as he turns, much like when charging the Spin Dash.

Sonic drifting on his Snowboard, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

In Sonic Generations, the Boost Gauge will be charged constantly in small doses while drifting, much like in Sonic Unleashed. The Drift is also easier to control than in Sonic Unleashed and can be used to attack enemies. Although, when using the Drift as Super Sonic, the aura of the move will not be changed from blue to golden. In addition, Sonic can also use Drift when riding a Snowboard or a Cart.

To use the move in gameplay, the player has to use the following controls:

Xbox360 PlayStation 3 PC
Xbox-Button-LT.png/Xbox-Button-RT.png Playstation-Button-L2.png/Playstation-Button-R2.png [1]/[3]

In other media

IDW Publishing

Main article: Drift (IDW)

In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by IDW Publishing, the Drift is a move used exclusively by Sonic the Hedgehog. It first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog #4, specifically during a battle Sonic had with a battalion of Badniks.


  • In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, it is possible to cross water surfaces without using the Boost if the player simply uses the Drift and constantly alternates Sonic's direction, much like snaking in other games with a drifting mechanic.

The Avatar's "Drift" maneuver, from Sonic Forces.

  • In Sonic Forces, a Drift-like maneuver is used by the Avatar. This maneuver is an automatic move used by the Avatar in the Avatar Stages and Tag Stages when they have to get through a sharp turn.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sonic Colors (Wii) European instruction booklet, pg. 13.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3) European instruction booklet, pg. 9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sonic Unleashed (PlayStation 3) European instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  4. Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 17.

Main article | Script | Credits (Xbox 360/PlayStation 3, Wii/PlayStation 2) | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery | Re-releases (mobile)

Main article | Script | Credits | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery

Main article | Script | Staff | Glitches | Beta elements | Gallery