While the move deals no damage to opponents, it provides several unique effects. First, it attracts all nearby items towards Rosalina. Items grabbed in this way are reset to their initial state, so Rosalina can pick them up and use them even if they were previously thrown by someone else. Second, it will also grab any incoming projectiles and orbit them around Rosalina before drawing them in and deleting them. Whether a projectile can be grabbed follows the same rules as Villager's Pocket: it must be reflectable, be detached from its user, and have a graphical model. Projectiles orbiting Rosalina are changed to her ownership similar to a reflector, meaning they will deal damage to opponents that happen to get in the way. Finally, Gravitational Pull will cause a loose Luma to return to Rosalina provided it isn't loose due to Luma Shot.
Because this move has very little lag in Super Smash Bros. 4, using it repeatedly will give Rosalina (and Luma, provided the two are together) complete protection even against rapid-firing projectiles such as Fox's Blaster. Although Rosalina will not do any damage to opponents when absorbing projectiles from a distance, this still gives her a significant neutral game advantage against many characters, as it forces them to approach. This move doesn't work against opposing or reflected Luma Shots, and can't pull in Pikmin unless it's from either Kirby or Villager's Pocket. This move will briefly stall Rosalina's momentum if used in midair. Gravitational Pull is also very effective at gimping Ness and Lucas, as the move can be used to intercept and absorb their PK Thunder while they're trying to get back onto the stage.
Gravitational Pull does not work against Zelda's Din's Fire, Ness' PK Flash, Lucas' PK Freeze, Olimar's Pikmin, and Duck Hunt's Gunmen.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Gravitational Pull can also equip items, instead of only pulling them in. The move also loses one active frame, where items and projectiles aren't nullified anymore. Additionally, the move can also absorb Pikmins now.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
While the move is not a clear translation of any move in Super Mario Galaxy, Gravitational Pull implements various features of the Star Cursor. The Star Cursor itself appears as part of the move, as it surrounds Rosalina, leaving a blue trail behind it, just like in Super Mario Galaxy.
In Super Mario Galaxy, the player can collect Star Bits by moving the Star Cursor over them. Rosalina's ability to draw in items with this move appears to be based on this ability.
In the two-player mode of Super Mario Galaxy, the second player takes control of their own Star Cursor, which they can use to suppress enemies and other hazards by pointing at them and holding A. The ability to deflect projectiles using Gravitational Pull and the ability to damage enemies with Catch & Release may also have been drawn from this feature of the Star Cursor.
It may also incorporate the Spin move. In Super Mario Galaxy, when the Wii Remote or Nunchuk are shaken, the player performs a spinning move, with one of its lesser functions being drawing in objects such as shells, immediately equipping the player with them. Additionally, some enemy projectiles, such as the coconuts spat by octopuses, can be deflected back at the attacker, similar to how Rosalina takes ownership of other fighters' projectiles. As the Star Cursor appears with the same movement that triggers a Spin, certain projectiles can be caught and deflected, and, as of Ultimate, Rosalina equips drawn-in items, the Spin was likely a large factor in the design of Gravitational Pull. Alternatively, it may reference the black holes that appear in Super Mario Galaxy levels, also drawing in items, enemies, and even the player if they get too close.