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Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network
For the move with the similar name to attack enemies, see Light Speed Attack.

The Light Speed Dash (ライトスピードダッシュ Raito Supīdo Dasshu?), also known simply as the Light Dash (ライトダッシュ Raito Dasshu?), is a move that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It allows the user to travel along a trail of Rings at light speed, even in mid-air, which can allow access to new areas or by means the only solution to pass through certain sections.[1]

Game appearances

Sonic Adventure

In Sonic Adventure, the Light Speed Dash appeared under the name Light Speed Spin Dash and it is usable when Sonic collects the Light Speed Shoes.[2] To activate the move, Sonic must charge up his Spin Dash until he says "Ready!" and glows cyan (this will end the spinning. While charging, the light orbs that surround Sonic can defeat enemies, collect Rings and activate switches. For as long as the (DreamcastB.png/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png) button or (X Button Dreamcast.png/Gamecube X Button.png) button is held, Sonic has a cyan aura and can move around, although his speed dramatically decreases. The player can then release the button to travel along a trail of Rings. If the action button is released prematurely, Sonic will quickly jerk forward and stop (while yelling "go!").

Curiously, if the player picks up an item while charged with the Light Speed Dash, Sonic will remain charged even if the action button is released. The aura will remain until the item has been released. Furthermore, since pressing the (DreamcastB.png/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png) button or (X Button Dreamcast.png/Gamecube X Button.png) gives the same result, the player can charge Sonic once again even if he has already charged him by pressing and holding the other button that did not trigger the first charging.

The Crystal Ring is an optional Level Up Item that halves the charging time needed to perform the Light Speed Dash. It is found at the hotel in Station Square.

Sonic Shuffle

In Sonic Shuffle, the Light Speed Dash (which goes by Light-speed Spin Dash in this game) is used exclusively by Super Sonic. In this game, it is Super Sonic's Special Movement Ability. If Super Sonic plays the same number card as he played in his previous turn, he will move twice as many spaces as the played number with the Light-speed Spin Dash. Super Sonic can perform the Light-speed Spin Dash on his 3rd and fourth turn as well.

Sonic Adventure 2

In Sonic Adventure 2, the Light Speed Dash is available to Sonic (in the Hero story), Shadow (in the Dark story). Sonic accesses the move when he, again, collects the Light Speed Shoes, which are found at Metal Harbor stage. Shadow must collect the Air Shoes to perform the same move. The Air Shoes can be found at White Jungle.

Unlike in Sonic Adventure, Sonic only has to approach a trail of rings and press the action button as opposed to charging and he leaves afterimages before him while performing the move. In this game, the Light Dash is capable of damaging foes in the middle of a ring path and not just items.

In the event Sonic or Shadow manages to get a Magnetic Shield, it will interfere with his ability to use the Light Dash, so it is highly recommended not to have one in the event a Light Dash is needed anywhere in one of their levels.

Sonic Heroes

The Light Speed Dash reappeared in Sonic Heroes, where it is named the Light Dash and can be used by both Sonic on Team Sonic and Shadow on Team Dark from the start of the game (Shadow's version is called the Dark Dash in the game's Strategy Guide from Prima Games). While performing it, the user is surrounded by their respective aura.

To use the Light Dash, the selected team must be in Speed Formation with Sonic/Shadow as the leader. The player must then press PSSquareButton.png/XboxX.png/SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png while near a path of Rings (in which the heads-up-display of the leader has the required button flashing). Additionally, whenever it is possible to use the Light Dash at Ring trails, the icon of the button used to activate it appears in the upper right corner of the screen.

The Light Speed Dash in this game is rather infamous for having the players fall to their deaths after performing this maneuver (such as Lost Jungle) instead of performing the whole maneuver. Oddly enough, this can be completely avoided by having the players perform the Light Speed Dash in the air rather than standing on the ground.

Shadow the Hedgehog

In Shadow the Hedgehog, the Light Speed Dash is again called the Light Dash and can be used by Shadow from the beginning of the game. To use it in gameplay, the player has to press the Circle/X/B Button when near a trail of Rings.

In this game, there are certain pathways/sets of rings that must be collected with the Light Dash in order to progress as the game is meant to allow. Any Rings that are accidentally collected prior to the Light Dash set turn into clear silhouettes, and can still be dashed across so long as there is another ring nearby within the set path. Additionally, the second action button (Gamecube X Button.png) is used, instead of the first (SNNBGAMECUBEDISCO.png). It should be noted that the Rings required for this technique will turn transparent and cannot be collected.

This move can be very glitchy sometimes. If the player is not directly in line with the Ring trail, the character could miss, dash in the wrong direction or only dash along one Ring.

Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), both Sonic and Shadow can gain the ability to perform the Light Speed Dash by collecting the Light Chip and Air Chip, respectively. The move is required to reach the first stage as Sonic. Both characters can buy these items at the shop in Soleanna using earned Rings. Additionally, when using the move in this game, the characters fly forward with their body in an exposed manner. They also have the move cut and take damage should they contact a hazard.

Due to the control issues of the game, the Light Speed Dash can be canceled during its execution by attacks like Slide and Bound Jump as they share the same buttons that execute it. Also, if the Ring trail takes a circular shape, the player will be launched uncontrollably in a random direction after finishing the trail with this technique. However, in the multiplayer, the Light Speed Dash works more accurately and can be used on virtually any Ring trail without issue.

Sonic Unleashed

In the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed, the Light Speed Dash is referred to as the Lightspeed Dash.[3] Sonic once again accesses the Light Speed Dash by collecting the Light Speed Shoes, which are found in Shamar's Entrance Stage. When using the move in this version, Sonic dives through the air while seemingly leaving transparent Rings in his wake. If an enemy comes in contact with Sonic's Light Speed Dash, Sonic will go through it without either of them taking damage.

In the Wii/PlayStation 2 version of the game, Sonic has access to the move from the beginning of the game. When using the move, Sonic is surrounded in a blue aura and moves a little slower than on other versions of the game. A Light Speed Dash can also continue an Action Chain.

Sonic Generations

In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, the Light Speed Dash is again referred to as the Lightspeed Dash.[4] In this game, it is one of Modern Sonic's normal abilities. In gameplay, it can only be performed near certain Ring paths, which are surrounded by a clearly discernible ripple effect. It should also be noted that the move is faster than in the previous games. To use it in gameplay, the player has to press XboxY.png/PSTriangleButton.png.

Sonic Forces

In Sonic Forces, the Light Speed Dash returned in some capacity, although it is only available to the Avatar when they use the special action of the Lightning Wispon. When used on specific paths, the player quickly passes through a Ring trail that goes in multiple directions, both horizontal and vertical.


Ring Dash

Main article: Ring Dash

The Ring Dash is a technique utilized exclusively by the Green Hover, which first appeared in Sonic Colors. While it is quite similar to Light Speed Dash, the Ring Dash is much slower and cannot be interrupted by enemies' attacks.


  • In Sonic Adventure 2, only Sonic leaves afterimages while performing the Light Dash, while Shadow does not. Despite the latter having an afterimage model for the move in the game's files.
  • In Sonic Heroes, Amy and Espio were at one point given the ability to use the Light Speed Dash. In the final game, however, the Light Speed Dash was locked in their moveset, although it still exists in the game's files.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), it is considerably harder to execute the move especially in Sonic's case, due to the Bound Jump being mapped to the same button as the Light Speed Dash (XboxX.png/PSSquareButton.png). If players are not careful, they could end up bouncing to their death rather than flying to safety.
    • The same exact instance can happen Sonic Adventure 2 (having the button for the Light Speed Dash action mapped to the Bounce Attack action) in Crazy Gadget, for example. In one area, Sonic has to jump to a trail of Rings and if not timed exactly, he will bounce to his death. This was changed in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, where the area has been given a Grind Rail if the move does not work.
    • Interestingly (in Sonic Adventure 2), if Sonic is not in the middle of his jumping animation (that is, protected with his blue covering), the player would not have to worry about bouncing to their death due to the player can only do the Bounce Attack while in the middle of the jumping animation. This feature can be best taken advantage of after using the Light Speed Attack on enemies in the air because Sonic would not be able to do the Bounce Attack afterwards and could do the Light Speed Dash without worry.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), if Shadow dashes along a circle of Rings, he will continuously rotate for some time before getting launched away, without the player being able to control his movements.
  • In the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Sonic Unleashed, contrary to previous games, the Light Speed Dash is the last move to be unlocked.
  • In Sonic Adventure, if the player releases the Action Button after charging the Light Speed Dash and there are no Rings around, Sonic will make a quick dash forward.
  • Using the move is dangerous in Sonic Generations with the Super Sonic Skill equipped, as this skill is mapped to the same button as the Light Speed Dash, so, in the second 2D platforming section in Speed Highway, at the end with the Rings, the player might end up transforming into Super Sonic and falling into the bottomless pit due to the lengthy transformation sequence.
  • For unknown reasons, some Rings in Act 1 in some of the Stages in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations are flagged as enabling the Light Speed Dash.




  1. Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (Nintendo GameCube) United Kingdom instruction booklet, pg. 12.
  2. Sonic Adventure online. Lost World chapter: Light Speed Spin Dash. Archived from the original on 26 July 2016.
  3. Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) United States instruction manual, pg. 5.
  4. Sonic Generations (Xbox 360) United Kingdom instruction manual, pg. 8.
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