Unlike most games of the platforming genre, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat did not feature a traditional control scheme using the Gamecube's standard control pad. Instead, the game utilized the Bongo Drum Peripheral, originally made for the rhythm game, Donkey Konga, for all control of Donkey Kong. The controls worked as such: To run left, simply hit the left bongo repeatedly. To run right, hit the right bongo repeatedly. To jump, hit both bongos simultaneously, and to attack, the player claps, which is heard by the microphone built into the peripheral.
Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat will be the third game in the " New Play Control" series of Gamecube to Wii ports. Unlike the original Gamecube version of Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, players will not use the Bongo Peripheral to control Donkey Kong, nor will they wave the Wii Remote and Nunchaku up and down to move right or left, as in Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast. Rather, the game will feature a more traditional platforming control scheme, with the Nunchaku's analogue stick being used to control Donkey Kong's general movement, and motions with the Wii Remote making him clap.