Usually, the Shade Mushroom will grant its user the following abilities:
- They can launch dark spheres at enemies, slowing them down on contact (but only for a few seconds).
- The user may also be able to blend in with dark areas, thus rendering themselves "invisible". They will become visible again when they come back into a lighter area.
Some games may use the Shade Mushroom in levels with enemies that carry sources of bright light, one such enemy being the Goombulb. If such an enemy looks a character in the eyes, they will revert to their Super form.
Originally, the Shade Mushroom (under the name "Shadow Mushroom") was a mushroom with "angry" eyes and a grey cap with red spots. After the rename, it was redesigned -- the angry eyes remain, but the cap is now black with grey spots, and the base is a blood red.