[[quoteright:330:[[WesternAnimation/RegularShow http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/buttonmashing_7039.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:"Dude, you're not even doing it right. You're just smashing buttons."]]
->''"[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall Press the circle button]] [[PressXToNotDie repeatedly to regain your strength.]] [[MemeticMutation And don't even think of]] [[BreakingTheFourthWall using auto-fire]], [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything I'll know.]]"''
-->-- '''Revolver Ocelot''', ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''

The act of frantically hammering at the buttons on a controller or arcade console.

In a FightingGame, the idea is that random button-pressing will somehow unlock a super-powerful attack or result in a series of attacks that will overwhelm your opponent. As you may presume, this is the act of an amateur, and is derided by [[UsefulNotes/FightingGameCommunity serious players]]. There are many reasons someone may resort to this tactic, such as unfamiliarity with the game, desperation when on the disadvantage, or [[{{Angrish}} raw anger]]. Of course, it can be a bit infuriating when a more "skillful" opponent loses to someone who does this.

There is also a second type of "mashing": certain characters have moves that can be performed via [[SpamAttack pressing something over and over.]] Examples include Chun Li, Blanka, and E. Honda from ''StreetFighter''. Most of the time, this is considered a more legitimate use. With the advent of motion control in video games, the term "{{waggle}}" has been used describing a similar practice in which one simply shakes the controller frantically. Some games will have ''streak breaker'' code in place to make button mashing less effective, as well as to make it harder for someone to simply spam the same cheap attack repeatedly. Often this works by making the attack miss automatically if used too many times in a row.

Television shows that employ PacManFever will often show the characters playing the video game doing nothing ''but'' ButtonMashing, regardless of what KIND of video game is being played; more often than not, the screen will show a character walking slowly or merely jumping, while the person "playing" will be frantically mashing buttons.

SmashingSurvival is when you need to do this to break free of HarmlessFreezing, shake off a PersonalSpaceInvader or free yourself from some other trap. If ButtonMashing proves more advantageous than reasonably forseeable, it can fall under NotTheIntendedUse.

Unrelated to RapidFireTyping.

----

[[foldercontrol]]

!!Video game examples:

[[folder:Action Game]]
* The final boss battle of ''VideoGame/AssassinBlue'' ends with this. As do the ''[[MarvelUniverse Marvel]] vs. {{Capcom}}'' games.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' will use these for many of its {{Quick Time Event}}s. This fits the overall theme of the game being about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin mindless rage]] rather than skill.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'' has "crazy combos" activated by button mashing during execution of certain moves. All of them are variations of "hit it two dozen times per second"
** This isn't so much the "spray-and-pray" button mashing as it is just hitting one button rapidly, as stated above, to execute a secret move. Exactly how fast you need to mash to trigger the move is determined by your current [[AwesomenessMeter style ranking]].
* ''VideoGame/DustAnElysianTail'' Lampshades this trope; when you first encounter monsters, Fidget encourages you to mash the buttons.
* ''VideoGame/EnterTheMatrix'' for PS2. Toggle BulletTime and mash to your heart's content. It usually ended up looking pretty cool though.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', but only in Easy Mode. Using moves with defined button sequences and stringing together elaborate combos become increasingly crucial at the higher difficulty settings. Played straight however, during the {{Quick Time Event}}s, where you sometimes must frantically mash a button to either kill or avoid being killed.
* Despite what some critics have said, this only works in ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' on Very Easy ... and up to a point.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101'', certain [[PressXToNotDie quick time events]] require you to mash the A button as fast as you can. This is also [[ParodiedTrope parodied]] during the FinalBoss: [[spoiler: your team, piloting a robot, fire a laser, and mash buttons along with you!]]
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' as with ''Enter The Matrix'' above on console uses a combanation of button-mashing and [[BulletTime focus]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* In many of the 2D ''Franchise/LegendOfZelda'' games, low-level enemy {{Mook}}s could be defeated by simply hammering on the "attack" button and clinking away at their swords until you randomly knocked them into a position in which you could score an actual hit.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' - If you choose to fight people to get past, this is how you do it. It was an unusual aspect for a Lucasarts adventure game at the time and the fighting was linear, which meant they didn't use it in other games (it seems to have been intended for TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland at an early stage though). The stealth or wits paths were the other choices, but sometimes you basically had to fight (especially in the Nazi castle towards the end).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fighting Game ]]
* ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart'' brings us Akane, and one of her super moves which requires massive amounts of ButtonMashing in order to get the best result. How massive? Successfully performing this move once in ''Arcana Heart 3'' is enough to earn an achievement, and it is widely considered to be the [[LastLousyPoint most difficult]] (if not the most time consuming) achievement in the game. Most turbo controllers are not fast enough to perform this attack correctly.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger'' has a few characters that use this, most notably Nu-13, the sword-spamming cyborg loli who can hit you with thrown swords from clear across the screen. The trick is that these swords aren't a combo move, they're her basic Drive attack, and mashing the Drive button and playing keep-away is a cheap but viable tactic for Nu players, making her a TierInducedScrappy for those who care about such things. This is rectified in ''Continuum Shift'' when she's replaced by Lambda-11 and gets the range on her Drive attacks cut back significantly, but [[SNKBoss Unlimited Nu]] makes up for it by spamming two swords instead of one with every button press and doing more hits with her Distortion Drives.
** Its sequel ''Continuum Shift'' actually has a beginner mode where you can pull basic combos by mashing. If anything it does disable more advanced techniques and abilities, and the tutor for the tutorial mode is Rachel Alucard, who will mock your "hollow cavernous void you call your mind" when you go through the tutorial.
* The gameplay of ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' and its sequel ''Dissidia 012'' largely avoids this trope. However, the [[LimitBreak EX Burst]] [[ActionCommand Action Commands]] for [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Garland]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Kain]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Terra]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud, Sephiroth]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX Zidane, and Kuja]] require button mashing.
** To specify, the Action Commands for Kain and Terra are different from the 5 other characters, which only requires you to tap the circle button rapidly until the ChargeMeter is full. For the former, you must alternate between different buttons (up to 3 times[[note]] you'll either mash 3 different buttons or mash a button, then another, and finally, the first button again.[[[/note]]) and for the latter, you'll have to mash the circle ''and'' left D-Pad buttons simultaneously.
* The various ''VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai'' games are often accused of encouraging this practice.
* The Auto-Combo feature in ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' is accused of being this as if your Special Gauge is filled, you can finish a one button combo with a special attack. However, there's a drawback to this as the special attacks activated by an Auto-Combo are a weaker version compared to one you can input yourself.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters'' falls afoul of this, especially the GameCube version as seen on ''Sonic Gems Collection''. Button Mashing is a lot easier when the buttons are labeled, like on an arcade game.
* Maxi of the ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries SoulCalibur]]'' series seems to have been built with this strategy in mind.
** On the other hand, characters such as Ivy and Voldo are so far away on the opposite side, that either you are awesome playing with them or you suck. Hard.
** While it's true that Maxi is a Button-Masher's dream in ''II'', by the third game (at least on the PS2 version), he frequently poses for seemingly no reason, allowing the opponent an easy opening to strike.
*** Maxi's predecessor Li Long was slower than Maxi and so could be seen as more balanced.
** Raphael also has his share of quick, light rapier combos activated by button-mashing that can interrupt other players' attempts at combos.
* In many {{Fighting Game}}s, such as those in the ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' series and the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series, it's possible to increase the number of hits certain attacks do by button mashing, increasing the damage dealt. Inversely, in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha 3'', you can mash buttons while being attacked in order to reduce the damage you receive.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' averts this trope completely. Most fighting games use only the control stick/pad and [[AttackAttackAttack 4-6 attack buttons]], but Smash Bros. is more elaborate, making diverse use of its buttons. Instead of pressing back to guard, you have a guard button. Instead of grabbing being something you automatically do when you're really close to an enemy, you have a grab button. You can tap up to jump [[DamnYouMuscleMemory if that's what you're used to]], but since jumping is something you MUST have as much control over as possible if you want to survive, it's better to assign that action to a separate button too. As a consequence, button-mashing only gets you killed.
** In fact, due to the large, expansive stages that often shift around and/or have environmental hazards (which add a platforming element to the fights), button-mashing can get you killed without your opponent ever even having to lift a finger!
** Even if you do try to spam an easy attack, they are programmed to get weaker after extreme consecutive use meaning using a variety of moves pays off.
** The paper fan is basically made of this. Especially in Brawl where escaping its reach once you're caught is damn near impossible.
** ''Melee'' actually awards a player a special end-of-match bonus for button mashing during a match (then again, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything it does the same thing for damn near everything you can think to do.]])
* Eddy Gordo, the capoeirista from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 3'', is one example of the single-character version of button-masher. However, randomly mashing buttons with any character other than Eddy (and sometimes even with) will result in a swift and merciless beating by anyone even vaguely decent with the Counter system.
** And in later games, his functional clone Christie Monteiro takes up the role.
*** Lili eventually took the role from Eddy & Christie in ''6''.
* In the ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' series, characters like Pai Chan, Jacky Bryant and Lion Rafale can punch fast enough while mashing it can stop most of the opponents' attempts at attack (unless the opponents block, duck, reverse, or evade). The arcade AI (around Level 4 or 5), and any decent player will bring a world of hurt if you try this.
** Pai Chan is especially notable in her ability to grab opponents attacks, by pressing punch+back. A number of people rather quickly figured out that if you just kept pressing punch and back repeatedly, you could advance towards your opponent and fairly often counter their attacks, ala Geese Howard from Fatal Fury. Any decent player will of course spank you if you try this, but it will get you through the first few rounds against the cpu quite handily, especially in the first one.
*** That only worked in the first two games. From the third onwards, you get a reversal miss animation if you try a reversal without the opponent preforming a matching attack (and the move was changed to Back+P+K).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* Pistols in first-person shooters often have no maximum rate of fire, so clicking as fast as possible will fire as many bullets as possible. Since pistols are usually weak, this is not in and of itself a GameBreaker, but changing the controls so that you fire by spinning the mouse wheel tends to result in [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill overkill]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' series, "fires as fast as you pull the trigger" is a property that can occur in the game's randomly-generated guns, particularly if they're Jakobs. Naturally, this tends to be more useful in guns with large magazines than, say, a double-chambered shotgun whose ability to fire rounds quickly has much more to do with reload speed than rate of fire ''per se''.
* Each installment of the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series has at least one semi-automatic beam, which fires as rapidly as the player can hit the fire button. Naturally, when that beam is used, the players tap the button as rapidly as they can (while still dodging and weaving, mind you)
** The first one practically required it at the beginning, as you lost literally everything except the Power Beam when your suit got damaged, meaning the only reliable way to cause damage was to just spam.
** Invoked in the third game, as ButtonMashing is how to keep from being fully corrupted while in corrupt hypermode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Hack And Slash ]]
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'' is possibly the reigning champion of this trope, with the sixth installment actually ''requiring'' incredibly long chains of Button Mashing in order to build up to your very best attacks (the much-reviled [[ScrappyMechanic renbu system]]). Or as one fan introduced a You Tube video: "Are you ready to press square three times and roll?"
** It didn't help that this actually increased the physical toll on the controller's Normal Attack button (X on Xbox 360, Square on [=PlayStation=] 2 or 3) even more than previous games did, while the first Charge Attack would have a charge-up time even if comboing into it, making Charge Attack chains an unviable alternative. Probably because of the negative fan reactions, the seventh main game returned to the traditional four-attacks-long Normal attack chains, with fifth and sixth Normal attacks being unlocked by skill points. You're still button mashing, but at least it's ''different'' buttons (from ''[=DW6=]]).
* Basically the point of ''VideoGame/{{Gauntlet}}''. Most levels have only the objective of killing enemies through mashing buttons about thirty times.
* ''VideoGame/RisingZanTheSamuraiGunman'' has these as part and parcel of the gameplay, known as "All Button Events". Finishing off bosses also requires you to do this to get more FinishingMove time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Horror]]
* In ''VideoGame/IkenieNoYoru'', this is required to get your character to run, if you're not using the Balance Board.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:[=MMORPGs=]]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is sometimes accused of this, probably due to its emphasis on leveling and getting high-power items, especially in comparison to games like ''GuildWars'', where the emphasis is on using the right skills at the right time on the right enemy.
** On the other hand, many people complained that Paladin class was no fun due to having far too little buttons to press in a battle.
*** In response, Blizzard adds tons of new skills in pre-WOTLK patch that both Retribution and Protection spec (DPS and tank respectively) are going to have a lot more buttons to mash starting with Divine Storm and Hammer of The Righteous and more spammable Judgements then adding it up even more as you level up. The healing spec also given several new ones.
** There is actually a difference between fast button pressing and button ''mashing''. Melee classes are expected to hit a button about once a second, because waiting longer to act than the global cooldown requires means they're using nothing but their auto-attack. This isn't the same as pressing buttons at random; classes have a rotation of several different abilities they use in a set order to maximize damage, and/or a priority system based on semi-random that makes certain abilities you wouldn't normally use over another more effective. For most classes good dps is based on hitting the ''correct'' buttons very quickly, and it's usually obvious to anyone watching the damage done whether someone's doing it right or just mashing their hotkeys.
** The newer Cataclysm expansion takes further steps to remove any button mashing. Prior to Cataclysm most classes had an ability rotation, which required hitting buttons in a certain order. Once one knew the order of their rotation a fight that involved standing still was a simple mater of hitting the buttons in the right order, with expert players squeezing out relatively minor increases to their maximum damage vs moderately skilled players. The new Cataclysm game replaced spell rotations with spell priorities. This involves a heavier emphasis on randomized effects and special abilities which can change the strength and importance of a characters abilities. Thus a skilled gamer has to constantly watch for these effects to ensure he is using the best ability at the best time. The game also introduced introduced some minor dead time into most rotations. Occasionally the best option in the game is to not press any button so you can wait for the more powerful ability that will be available in another half second.
** Of course, none of the above has prevented the introduction of the term "faceroll", which derides classes deemed [[ItsEasySoItSucks overly easy to play]] or overpowered by suggesting one could successfully use said class by doing nothing but binding a couple abilities that are commonly viewed as overpowered to every button on their keyboard and then hitting it with their face throughout every fight they encounter.
*** They don't ''hit'' it, it's literally just rolling their face on the keyboard, which basically means they can't be looking at the screen (Face on keyboard) and hit buttons more or less at random.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Party Game]]
* The ''Bishi Bashi'' series has you do this in several minigames. Good thing the buttons are pretty big.
* Non-FightingGame examples include several activities from the ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' and ''VideoGame/WarioWare'' series. In some of the minigames, the scores are directly tied to how fast players can mash the buttons.
* Pretty much every game in the ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' series has extensive button mashing, usually involving hammering the A or B button as fast as possible with said control as the only control in the mini game. There's also the kinda derided 'rotate the control stick as fast as possible' from the first game which was removed from later games because the rapid rotation [[RevenueEnhancingDevices damages the analogue stick]], causing its full range detection to unalign (effectively meaning that even if you fully tilt the stick, the system reads it as a 3/4 tilt). The pain it caused on gamers' hands helped the decision.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* In the N64 game ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'', in Glitter Gulch Mine and Cloud Cuckooland, you race an annoying bird name "Canary Mary"; both instances require button mashing to beat her. In particular, the 2nd time you race her in Cloud Cuckooland, it is nigh impossible to beat her without some sort of turbo controller, and even then, you have to utilize the ''RubberbandAI'' aspect of the race to win.
** It is still possible to beat her without a turbo controller if you vibrate your hand rapidly. Just be prepared to pause the game often during the race to take rests.
* In the game ''VideoGame/TheLegendaryStarfy'', after beating the final boss's two forms, he launches a meteor at you which you must button mash to repel; not doing this quickly enough kills you and sends you back to the boss's ''first'' form, making it something of a ''PressXToNotDie" as well. As the game is rather easy and not really hardcore, the game's target audience seems to find this quite difficult. A common method of beating this is taking a long, somewhat thin object like a pencil or the DS stylus and rub it against the edge of the button.
* In ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'', how difficult the Test Of Strength is is inversely proportional to how good you are at ButtonMashing, to the point where if Button Mashing's not your thing, it can easily become ThatOneLevel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* One question of ''VideoGame/TheImpossibleQuiz'' requires you to [[MemeticMutation "CHARGE UR LAZER"]] by rapidly clicking on the lazer, and one in ''The Impossible Quiz 2'' requires you to mash your keyboard. One in the second quiz is a subversion, though - [[spoiler:it asks you to hit Tab fifty times in a short time period. [[NoFairCheating Hitting Tab is instant death.]] But if you wait, just as the clock is about to run out, the game tells you "Wait, don't, you'll die!" and moves to the next question.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Meteos}}'' has "scribble-fu," the act of, when in a pinch, randomly scribbling on the touch screen until a bunch of rockets go off. The sequel curbs this by allowing side-to-side movement (the original only allows movement in columns, so random scribbling would scramble a ton of meteors quickly). Its next sequel could only be played with analog sticks, so no scribbling there.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'' games that utilize the Super Rotation System, mashing a rotation button while pushing the current piece (assuming it's not the 2x2 "O" piece) in the direction of a sufficiently step-ridden stack of blocks will allow your block to climb up the stack. As a result, SRS is regarded by some players as a GameBreaker.
** Sometimes even the "O" piece lets you do this. Just keep hitting a rotate button and you can keep the piece in play, even though it's not changing at all.
** In the Game Boy Colour version, you didn't even need stepped stacks, you could rotate the piece against the right or left side of the screen (depending on the orientation of the block). If you mashed fast enough, you could actually get the block to ''gain'' height, letting you stall for as much time as needed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* Wii's motion controls for ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' are very subject to random 'waggle'. Practically every hand indicator can be satisfied with a punch in any direction, and the time frame is rather forgiving so it doesn't necessarily need to be in rhythm.
* Thanks to the ''VideoGame/{{DJMAX}}'' series's timing judgment system (in which the only "bad" judgment triggers when you not hit a note at all), it's fairly easy to button mash even the hardest songs in the game for a full combo, even moreso in games with the "auto correct" feature (which gives you credit for a note even if you hit the wrong key). It's not very good for your accuracy, however.\\
** Some charts in ''DJMAX Technika'' have repeat notes that are very quick and require you to mash not a button, but ''the touchscreen.'' Thankfully the touchscreen on a ''Technika'' machine is very durable.
* ''VideoGame/RockBand'' has the Big Rock Ending at the end of some songs, which represents the tendency for bands during live concerts to finish songs by whaling on their instruments for about 10 or 15 seconds ([[Music/{{ACDC}} or minutes]]). However, this is actually a subversion, as the mechanics for scoring these Big Rock Endings means if you hit notes quickly, each note is worth fewer points, so you get the same amount of points regardless of how much you're actually mashing the buttons. Basically, as long as you hit a note in each lane for guitar or bass every 1.5 seconds, or any note for drums every 1.5 seconds, you'll get about the same amount of points.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'' has this feature in Avatar battles to reduce the damage taken from Data Drains.
* The console versions of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' have the player constantly pressing the attack button during combat with the player-controlled character rather than the automatic fighting of the computer version, although an auto-attack toggle was meant to be in the console versions and was only omitted due to a manufacturing error. The second patch adds it back in.
** Even with the patch, you still have to constantly press the attack button to engage your next target due to the speed of the game.
* When you summon a GF with the Boost ability in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', you can mash the square button during the summoning sequence to increase the GF's power. In order to prevent players from making the GF do too much damage too easily, the button mashing sequence has a few breaks in between, where you have to stop mashing until you can go again. Trying to button mash when you are told to stop will reset the GF's power level.
* The ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' games, especially the sequel, are frequently accused of being button mashy, because most enemies can be defeated by simply using physical attacks repeatedly (tapping the X button), rendering magic and special attacks largely unnecessary.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories'', however, this attack strategy will quickly lead to your demise, even in the early stages. Thanks, card system.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'', this is subverted somewhat -- though in Story mode Roxas can still benefit from non-stop button mashing, several enemies exist to ruin this strategy, such as the Armors, Sapphire Elegies, and Emerald Serenades. Also, most of the boss battles have attack patterns that discourage button-mashing in favor of specific magics or timed blocks. Combine this with the fact that magic was improved GREATLY since the second game, and some of the missions are actually easier to beat without using physical attacks at all. And if you think Zexion, Demyx, Vexen, Xigbar, and Donald are just going to button-mash their way through Mission Mode levels, you're in for a rude awakening.
** Sadistically averted in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' which is the series' equivalent of a WakeUpCallBoss; if you try to spam X, you ''will'' die. For example, [[FragileSpeedster Ven's]] first boss easily qualifies as ThatOneBoss and he and [[SquishyWizard Aqua]] face [[WakeUpCallBoss Vanitas]] early on in their stories ([[MightyGlacier Terra]], on the other hand, instead gets to deal with [[GetBackHereBoss Braig]], but all three storylines are quite notorious). Almost every strategy that you may have utilized to systematically wipe out your foes in the previous games can and ''will'' be a liability here.
** There's also the fact that even typically [[UselessUsefulSpell useless spells]] like Stop are here incredibly useful and almost guaranteed to work on mooks.
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'' is somewhat of a mix. On one hand, it is possible to defeat Sora's version ofthe first boss of Traverse Town by literally bouncing off the walls by mashing the Flowmotion command until it dies, and basic physical attacks are still the most important method of dealing damage in the game. However, Dream Eaters are much tougher than Heartless, and getting tunnel vision while fighting some of the later ones is a good way to get killed. Spells like Zero Graviza can turn vast hordes of superpowered Dream Eaters into immobile piles of floating enemies, and the silly looking Baloonga is one of the most effective ways of defeating the BonusBoss. If you just load up your ability deck with Cure spells and Drop Me Nots, you're not going to last long.
** The FinalBoss battle in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' has a section involving lasers that requires you to do this or die.
* The Mattock Battle Rifle that can be bought as part of a weapon expansion for ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' fires as fast as you can push your mouse button. It also does this during Adrenaline Rush as a Soldier (whereas every other weapon slows down), turning it into a GameBreaker.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'': This is the method of catching fish. It's also a widely used but apocryphal technique for catching Pokémon, especially in the Safari Zone.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'': every player attack required a set amount of time to recharge to full strength afterwards. Mashing the attack button would result in a flurry of weak attacks that rarely inflicted more than ScratchDamage, and higher-level enemies would simply block/evade them outright.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', some of the magic attacks were powered by mashing the buttons or rotating the control pad. The same is true for its SpiritualSuccessor, ''VideoGame/PaperMario''.
* The ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' uses button mashing quite a bit. In fact, the control sticks are rarely needed (unless you just want to get out of the way or change your range). Take ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'' for example, you'll be pressing O and X... a lot. In fact, they give you battle trophies for up to ''5 million'' button presses. On the other hand, you can't just keep mashing buttons forever, because you'll run out of Fury. You have to stop every so often and let the gauge fill back up.
* Multiple characters throughout the ''Franchise/TalesSeries'' have skills that either add hits to combos while button mashing or reduce casting time to spells when doing so.
* The battle system in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'' practically revolves around spamming. To attack with your own character, you'll poke, slash, circle and rub the touch screen at a ridiculous rate (not to mention blowing into the mic). To attack with your partner, you'll spam a button. You could let the computer do that, [[ArtificialStupidity but nobody does]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* Prevalent in many older ShootEmUps, as autofire was not something every gamer had, and not every game would let you continuously fire by holding down a button. Also, to be honest, quite a few could press fire more rapidly than the controller could register. When you can do that, who needs autofire?
* ''VideoGame/{{Darius}} Gaiden'': if you mash the fire button really fast (or use a turbo controller), you can achieve a firing rate much faster than the autofiring rate you get by holding it down. This makes the game go from extremely NintendoHard to somewhat manageable but still annoying. There's even a cheat in the Saturn port that grants this kind of autofire without the need to mash the fire button, and the official ROMHack ''Darius Gaiden Extra'' has it as the default autofire. The ''Darius Gaiden'' high score thread on [[http://shmups.system11.org Shmups Forum]] permits scores achieved with the super fast autofire. Sadly, the ''Taito Legends 2'' version of the game prevents you from firing this fast, even with a turbo controller.
* The game ''VideoGame/LethalThunder'' is all about this. Continuously mashing the button allows you to attack and builds up your attack gauge, which powers up your weapon (as well as giving you a SmartBomb). Furthermore, you have to do this constantly or else your attack gauge will drain.
* In ''VideoGame/StarSoldier R'', there's a mode called "Quick Shot" mode, and the objective is to mash the fire button for 10 seconds, after which your button pressing rate is shown.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sports Game]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/PunchOut''. If you randomly spam punches, the enemy will eventually do nothing but block until you get tired. Once tired, you're very easy to defeat, and chances are, if you try this tactic, you'll have no idea how to counteract tiredness.
* A deliberate use of ButtonMashing was used for ''VideoGame/TrackAndField'', where the primary may of winning is to hit the buttons as fast as possible. (At least some console versions came with their own button-only controllers.) Some gamers have created unconventional methods to press the buttons - stuff like putting a sheet of hard plastic and moving a pen over the buttons, or hitting the buttons with a vibrating ruler - while others have created mechanical button pressing devices to help their progress through the game.
** VideoGame/TrackAndField actually combines button mashing and [[PressXtonotdie Press X to Not Die]] for disciplines like Long Jump - after button-mashing up to running speed, the player has to press the Jump button at the ''precise'' moment for a ''precise'' duration to jump off the line at the best angle.
** In ''Anime/LuckyStar'', Konata [[DeepImmersionGaming imagined herself playing this game]] while running a real footrace, using the ruler method.
** Parodied in ''Anime/NieA7'', when the final round of a video game tournament uses this game. The winner? An old lady with the shakes.
** Alternating buttons or thrashing the joystick to run / build power / whatever was pretty much ''de rigeur'' for '''every''' damn sports game released on anything in the 1980s; ''Track & Field'', ''Hyper Sports'', ''The Creator/{{Activision}} Decathlon'', ''Daley Thompson's Decathlon'' (and ''Daley Thompson's Super Test'') and even the ''ComicBook/{{Viz}}'' sports game used it, to name but a very select few. Let us have a minute of silence for all the poor joysticks that fell (apart) in the track-and-field of battle.
* Waggling the Wii Remote and Nunchuk randomly and as fast and hard as humanly possible in ''VideoGame/WiiSports: Wii Boxing'' is more effective than any other strategy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4SonsOfLiberty'' features a scene near the end where you have to push the triangle button rapidly to progress down a hallway.
--> "Don't even think of using autofire. I'll know."
** This is a ShoutOut to ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' where you have to mash a button to resist torture, and Revolver Ocelot [[NoFourthWall says the same thing]]. And he ''won't'' know if you're using autofire, incidentally.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' you had to mash the triangle button to prevent Raiden from being strangled by Solidus's [[CombatTentacles tentacles arms]]. On the hardest difficulty mode the amount of mashing required was almost superhuman and this [[UnexpectedGameplayChange unexpected gameplay change]] could potentially derail players that were already 95% of the way through the game.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* In ''VideoGame/PN03'', many of the early suits required you to bash fire as quickly as possible. Eventually you had the ability to upgrade to a suit with autofire and the ability to add autofire to the early suits.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vanquish}}'' makes you tap a single button (Or spin the analog) until Sam moves at full speed. And that's the speed of a man with ''rockets'' on his legs and back.
** The effects are awesome, though. For example one of them makes you ''drill a hole through a giant transforming mecha.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' features many powers, but unarmed style fighting gives the player '''plenty''' of options regarding offensive maneuvers. The most button-mashy moves are simply chaining normal attacks as well as the notable Air Combo with a complimentary Spike Driver finisher for it.
[[/folder]]

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!!Non-video-game examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Konata of ''Anime/LuckyStar'' explains that the way she wins track races is by imagining them as video games... and then button mashing.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': This is Attenborough's only job. Most of the time, the buttons cause something to be fired from the mecha he's sitting in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Board Games]]
* ''Hungry Hungry Hippos'' is the mechanical version of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* Pick a movie that shows a game or two. Any movie. Odds are the actors' fingers will be rattling at the controllers [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation like nervous little crabs]].
** Parodied in ''The 41-year-old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall And Felt Superbad About It'', where the gamers in question do this while holding the controllers in various absurd positions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* One of ''Pinball/BlackRose'''s {{Video Mode}}s requires you to mash the Fire button to outswim a [[ThreateningShark shark.]] Doing this when [[PirateParrot Polly]] shows also prompts an EasterEgg, killing her and awarding 2 million points.
* Cheating in ''Pinball/JackBot'' requires mashing the Extra Ball buy-in button several times.
* This is what you need to do to win the "Run From Spike" VideoMode in ''Pinball/JunkYard''.
* In the DOS version of ''VideoGame/PsychoPinball,'' the "Strong Arm" MiniGame requires the player to rapidly mash buttons to win.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sports]]
* In Ice Hockey, some fighters adopt a simple tactic known as "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_in_ice_hockey#Tactics going for it]]" where the player puts their head down (to avoid face blows) and in the words of TheOtherWiki, "just throws as many punches as he can, as fast as he can".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' Han Solo [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0769.html uses this method]] to try to control the ''Millennium Falcon''.
* Largo of ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' [[http://www.megatokyo.com/strip/631 name-checks and denounces it]].
* parodied in [[http://satwcomic.com/welsh-smash[this]] ''[[Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndtheWorld]]'' strip. Welsh verion: ''[[http://agprov.deviantart.com/art/Sgandinafia-a-r-Byd-Argraffiad-Cymru-425779609 yn iaith gymraeg]]''
* This ''Webcomic/VGCats'' comic pretty much illustrates button mashing at [[http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=27 its worst]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Pat of ''WebVideo/TwoBestFriendsPlay'' is a professional button masher. And it shows.
* ''WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd'': The Nerd has scathingly said that every time you see someone in a movie mashing buttons on a console controller, clearly pretending to play a video game, they're not pretending, they're playing ''Winter Games''.
* Strong Bad of ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' tends to use "mash" as a synonym for "push", and is clearly fond of old, button-mashing video games himself.
* ''WebVideo/TheIrateGamer'' always seems to be just hammering on the controller when we see him "playing" whatever game he's reviewing in the current episode. In videos mocking him, expect cries of "Winter Games" (a la the aforementioned AVGN comment).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', this is Rigby's default way of playing arcade games, as seen above. It doesn't really work that well. [[spoiler:Except against the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Destroyer of Worlds]].]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'', Lord Hater button mashed the fire buttons on his ship by placing a pencil between his fingers like a seesaw and tapping as fast as he could.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takahashi_Meijin Takahashi Meijin]], who became famous in the 80's for being able to pull the light gun's trigger as fast as 16 times per second.
* There's a story that the original hazard perception test in the UK Driving Test only checked that the candidate pressed the button when a danger was on screen.
* The phenomena, noted by observational comedians, of the user of a TV remote-control frenziedly hammering the buttons harder and harder to get a response, should the batteries fail. Even bringing it right up to the sensor on the TV set and hammering the buttons to encourage it to work. At which point you might as well manually change channels on the TV itself.
[[/folder]]
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