So one of the coolest features to come to Sonic Mania is the drop dash. The move essentially gives you a mini spin dash when you hit the ground, which is essential for keeping your speed up through stages.
The drop dash can only be performed by Sonic. To perform the drop dash, all you have to do is jump and then hold down the jump button while in midair. You should hear a revving sound and Sonic should turn into a more solid color. Then when you hit the ground, you’ll perform the drop dash. You know you did it right because there will be a curl of smoke behind you and you’ll rush off as if you performed a spin attack.
Sonic can only perform drop dashes if he is in ball form. So if you bounce off of a spring and Sonic uncurls, you won’t be able to perform the move until you lands and jump again. Also, Sonic can only perform the drop dash after he jumps once. So if you do the move and then get launched off a ramp, you won’t be able to do the move again even though you’re in midair until you land and jump again.
Drop dashing is useful for when there’s an enemy directly ahead of you, allowing you to speed through them without getting hit and losing rings. You can also drop onto an enemy before drop dashing, bounce off of them, and then perform the drop dash when you hit the ground.
Most importantly, drop dashing will keep up your momentum throughout the stage as you jump, which is great for speeding past straight pathways or going up small ramps that would otherwise slow you down. Just take care that you don’t dash off into a bottomless pit or run into an invulnerable enemy.