Shantae can learn multiple transformations, each of which gives her different abilities and allows her to access new areas and items. She learns them from Guardian Genies and Magic Fountains, both of which are found in the games' labyrinths (with the exception of the Elephant form in Risky's Revenge, which is in the Forest Cave). She can also buy form dances from certain merchants. She cannot transform in Shantae and the Pirate's Curse as she lacks her genie powers throughout the game.
It's Shantae as her regular self. She can use magic attacks as well as her regular hair whip attack. She's also capable of crawling slowly through low spaces and, starting with Risky's Revenge, swimming on the water's surface. Her human form's greatest advantage over the other forms is combat - she has access to more moves and magic powers in this form compared to the others.
The monkey is the first form Shantae learns in Shantae (Dribble Fountain), Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Squid Baron's Labyrinth) and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Main Street). It is a small, fast form that allows her to climb walls and perform wall jumps, and move quickly through narrow passages. When the monkey touches a wall while in mid-air, she can be made to climb it by pressing up or down, or wall jump off of it ().
allows the monkey to spring off of a wall horizontally like a bullet (holding pressing or and releasing), which functions as both an attack and a way to reach new areas. The dance sequence in Shantae is , and in Risky's Revenge it's dance pose #1.
In the WarioWare: D.I.Y. microgame Shantae NAB!, Shantae is for some reason stuck in her monkey form and can only return to her normal form by catching a gem bouncing on the ground.
The Elephant form is the second form she receives in both Shantae (Golem Mine) and Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Tangle Forest Cave). The elephant is large, slow moving, and can barely jump, but her charge can instantly destroy certain rocks, walls, and creatures (such as Stone Golems). It is the only normal form to come with an attack.
In Tassel Town. This form's large size allows it to withstand sand storms.
The Spider is the third form she acquires in Shantae (Cackle Mound). It allows for wall-crawling like the Monkey, but on background walls rather than walls in the foreground.
The Harpy is the fourth and final form found in Shantae (Twinkle Palace). She can fly through the air (tap ), allowing access to all remaining areas, but cannot crouch or crawl.
In Hypno Baron's Castle. Repeatedly tapping the jump button allows Shantae to fly, and collecting the Harpy Talon allows Shantae to attack with feather projectiles. As a compensating drawback for the freedom of movement, this form has high horizontal inertia and is unable to glide, making it hard to navigate obstacles with precision.
The Tinkerbat is an optional secret form in (Advanced Genies! (500 gems)) in Bandit Town, available only if the game is played on a Game Boy Advance (or through Debug Mode). She can climb on walls and background surfaces, wall jump, and charge with a battering ram (by pressing +), combining the functionality of the Monkey, Spider, and Elephant. She also has a cutlass which swings in a wide arc, attacking enemies above and below. She also has an amusing run animation that suggests insane panic. Because of her variety of abilities, the Tinkerbat is the best general-purpose form and is highly recommended as it reduces the amount of transformation during exploration. The main drawback is that despite her small size, the Tinkerbat cannot crawl through narrow spaces, requiring the player to revert back to Shantae form every so often. The dance sequence is .
The Mermaid is the third and final form she acquires in Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Hypno Tower). She can swim () in this form and submerge below the surface, allowing her to discover new areas that she can't even begin to reach in her normal form.
she can fire bubble projectiles that can destroy rocks that block her path (). The dance pose is #3. Not surprisingly, the Mermaid form is useless on land, as Shantae can barely move and jump on her fins and hands.
In Mermaid Falls. Certain enemies won't attack this form, and will help attack other enemies when Shantae uses Mermaid Bubble.
As Shantae lacks her magic during The Pirate's Curse, she gains no new transformations. The Pirate Gear serves to fill the niche left behind by her lack of transformations.
The Crab is a new form rewarded to Shantae for clearing Mermaid Falls in. In this form, Shantae gains the ability to freely move along surfaces under water and descend slowly like a parachute in open water. Shantae also gains the ability to tuck into her shell when on a surface and is invulnerable in this state. Because this form is small, it can go through gaps the Mermaid form cannot pass. Gaining the Crab Claw lets this form attack and snip certain obstacles.
It was originally planned to appear in
An optional new form introduced in
A new form introduced in Cape Crustacean. This form allows Shantae to enter very small, maze-like passageways. Gaining the Mouse Bite lets this form attack.
An optional new form introduced in Tuki for 100 gems. This form allows Shantae to produce up to three Oranges at a time in exchange for magic. This form can't move or attack, but is completely invulnerable.
An optional new form introduced in Waterfall Relic, despite being a sea creature.
An optional new form introduced in
An optional new form introduced in Sophia 3rd vehicle from the Blaster Master series. This form moves at double speed (like the Monkey) and can fire blasts of energy either forward or upwards at a high rate., it is gained from trading the Super Revive Dance with Tuki. It is a reference to the
Wayforward:: Remember when Shantae guest-starred in Blaster Master Zero? Well, today the shoe’s on the other foot (err… tire’s on the other axle?). With this new update, Shantae can dance to transform into Sophia III from Blaster Master Zero!
How to get: Once you’ve acquired the Super Revive Dance from the Snake Lady salesman (in any of the main Shantae Modes), you can trade it back to her for the Sophia III Transformation Dance!
A very special thank you to Inticreates and Sunsoft for this adorable crossover!
More in-depth information available on BlasterMaster Zero
Shantae gains access to these forms through Fusion Coins, given to her whenever she rescues a fellow Half-Genie. Unlike her transformations in other games, she is still able to use secondary spells (such as pike balls, shields, and fireballs) while using these forms. Shantae doesn't need to dance to access these forms, as they automatically activate when needed.
introduced a new form with abilities similar to the monkey called the Dash Newt. It can scale walls and dash into enemies or objects with a single push of a button.
The Gastro Drill in
The Bonker Tortoise form in
Jet Octo is a brand new form in
In addition to the Fusion Magic forms mentioned above, Shantae learns a variety of new Fusion Dance abilities during .
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero concepts
Several transformations were proposed in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's development period. Contributor-tier Kickstarter backers had the opportunity to vote on these. A few forms used as examples are in the gallery below. The bat and fiddler crab transformations were added to the game, with design changes.
One of the proposed forms for 
- The Tiger Form had concept art as early as the very first Shantae game, but has yet to be implemented as a transformation.
Template:Poll favorite form