To perform the Hydro Dash, the user must pass through a Hydro Gate. This will bestow an energy field to the user which allows them to stand on water surfaces. It also significantly increases the user's running speed, as Tails noted he could run just as fast as Sonic with the Hydro Dash.
In gameplay, performing the Hydro Dash enables the player to stand on water surfaces without falling into them, which would otherwise cause the player to lose Rings and Robot Scrap. While using it, the player can quickly accelerate to incredible speeds. However, the player can also stop completely, which will reveal the energy field surrounding the playable character. After passing through a Hydro Gate, the Hydro Dash will last until the player touches solid ground again (excluding ramps on water paths).
- In Slowpoke Isle, Sonic and Tails can perform the Hydro Dash despite not having been seen passing through a Hydro Gate.