Super Smash Bros. Melee/Techniques/Basics


Basic MovementEdit

To walk left and right, use the control stick accordingly. To dash quickly, Smash the control stick in the direction you want to go. A Smash is done by quickly moving the control stick as far as it can in the direction you want to Smash. You can hold Down on the control stick to duck. You can use the X button, Y button or Up on the control stick to jump, and then again in midair to double jump.

Regular A AttacksEdit

Every character has several regular A button attacks. They are done by pressing A standing still, while dashing, or by tilting the control stick Up, Down, Forward, and Backward. With some characters, such as Mario, you can press A repeatedly for an attack combo. Different variations can be done in midair by pressing A while airborne. Different airborne attacks can be done by moving to control stick Forward, Backward, Up or Down while pressing A. Attacks using the control stick tend to strike in that direction. Regular A attacks tend to be weak, but when used well enough can keep your opponents on their toes.

Smash AttacksEdit

Smash Attacks are powerful ground-based attacks that are useful for both delivering damage and sending opponents flying, although they are slightly difficult to master. How to Smash is explained in the "Basic Movement" section above. Every character has three smash attacks, done by pressing Smash Forward+A, Smash Up+A and Smash Down+A. You can hold the button and control stick in place during a smash attack to charge it up. It will release itself automatically once it gets fully charged, although you can prematurely release and charging smash attack for weaker results.

On multiplayer rounds, you can push the C Stick forward, up or down to do automatically non-charged smash attacks. Holding the Z button while doing so will allow the smash attack to charge.

B AttacksEdit

Every character has four different B moves, and most of these are very different, so you'll need to experiment to learn and master them all. To use them, simply press B, Forward+B, Up+B or Down+B. The attacks tend to strike in the direction that the control stick is facing, although how so varies a lot from character to character. Some attacks are different or do not work in midair. Up+B attacks can usually be used as a third jump to help you recover after using your second jump, although a few characters do not have this feature. B Attacks vary a lot in strength, and some aren't even for attacking. For example, Princess Peach's B (no direction) move is to hold out Toad (from the Super Mario Series) as a shield.

Damage and RecoveryEdit

When an attack hits you, you'll take damage. The damage of every player is displayed at the bottom of the screen. Special Recovery Items can heal you and take away damage. Different attacks inflict more damage than others. The more damage you get, the weaker you become. Weak players can still attack as well as strong players, but will fly back farther when struck. When flung back, try to recover back to the stage by holding the control stick in the direction of the stage and using your double jump and Up+B attack strategically in order to make it back. Using your Up+B will disable your double jump, so use them in the right order. Failing to recover will result in you falling down the pit and losing a life. Note that if you are weak enough, you may get flung so far you won't even get a chance to recover.

Item GrabEdit

To grab an item, walk next to it and press A. Almost all items are grabbed this way. For Attack Items, you'll probably have to press A again to use them or throw them. To throw away an item, press Z, L+A or R+A, and you can aim it by pressing the control stick as you throw. You can grab items in midair or on a platform above you by simply jumping and pressing the Z button. For information on the various items of the game, see the Item List.


Pressing L or R will create a strong circular shield around yourself to protect you from attacks. The shields themselves cannot be pierced, but they gradually shrink over use, and when they get small enough gaps will appear where you can get hit. Not using them will allow them to slowly regenerate back to their original size, although you will not be able to see this in progress. Lightly moving the control stick while shielding will move your shield around your body, useful for protecting your most vulnerable areas when your shield is small. If you let your shield get too small, it will break, stunning you and leaving you completely defenseless for a long time, although being attacked will snap you out of it. And remember that shields cannot protect you from being grabbed by opponents.

Pressing L or R lightly, or holding the Z button, will allow you to create a larger, longer-lasting shield. It still behaves basically the same way, but the recoil from attacks will be greater. Note that using the Z button way to shield will have a delay as your character attempts to grab before shielding.

Grabbing and ThrowingEdit

Pressing Z, R+A or L+A will cause your character to attempt a grab. If you are close enough to an opponent, you will hold them in your arms. Once you are holding them, you can press A to damage them, or you can throw them forwards, backwards, upwards or smash them into the ground by pushing the control stick in the corresponding direction. After attacking them with A, it is still possible to throw them if you are fast enough. Grabbed characters will break free, and the more damaged they are will determine how long it'll take. A grabbed player can struggle by pressing buttons and wiggling the control stick to break free faster. Different characters have different grabs, and some of these are very unique, such as Donkey Kong's forward throw.


Cliffhanging is very useful when you just barely miss the platform while recovering. When you fall close enough to the edge of most platforms, your character will automatically grab on. When hanging on, your character is safe from most attacks from above, although he is vulnerable to any attacks from below. Your character can hold on for a long but definite amount of time, but will let go if attacked. To climb back up, press Forward or lightly Up on the control stick, and your character will get back onto the platform. You can press A or B while cliffhanging to climb up and automatically do an A attack. Or you could press L or R to come up and do a dodging roll forward. Pressing X, Y or Smash Up will cause your character to climb up in a jump. Pressing Down on the control stick will cause your character to drop. The execution of these edge recoveries will vary depending on your character's health: If you have less than 100% damage, than the recovery is quick, but if you have more than 100% damage, the recovery is slower. Remember that only one player can hold onto an edge at a time.


To pause the game midfight, simply press the Start button anytime in the round. Once the game is paused, only the player who paused will have any control until the game is unpaused. When paused, the camera will focus on the player who paused, but you can look around while in this mode. Use the control stick for different angles and press X and Y to zoom in and out. Press L or R to cycle through the different players. To quit the round, hold down L, R and A and then press Start. This will cause the entire round to end. On some one-player games, you can press Z to simply reset the round. Press Start while paused to unpause the game. The ability to pause can be turned on and off in Custom Rules: Addition Rules: Pause.

Advanced BasicsEdit


There are three ground-based dodges that you can execute. When you have your shield active with L, R or Z, press Left or Right on the control stick to do a Rolling Dodge in the according direction. While doing a dodge, you cannot be hit. It is impossible to dodge off a cliff, so don't worry about that. Press Down on the control stick while shielding to do a Sidestep Dodge to become invincible for a very brief time. Because it is so brief, it is usually only useful for dodging gunshots and the like.

Midair DodgeEdit

Press L or R anytime while midair when not attacking or being hit, and your character will do a dodging animation and be invincible for a brief moment. You can air dodge in any direction by holding the analog stick in that direction prior to pressing R or L. After the dodge animation is over, you will become prone to attack, unable to attack or jump until you are hit or touch the ground.


Taunting isn't useful for fighting. It is merely a taunt that each character has that you may execute after doing a cool move or KOing someone to celebrate. To execute, simply press Up on the D Pad. Every character's taunt is unique and some last longer than others, but they don't aid in fighting and usually are just for congratulating yourself, although doing Luigi's taunt correctly can earn you some points for Bonus Matches. A small fraction of the characters have taunts that actually do something though, for example, Kirby's taunt causes him to throw away copied abilities and Luigi's taunt can actually do 1% of damage if his foot kicks a foe. Computers will always (if they can) taunt when they have KO'd (or think they have KO'd) an opponent.

Item CatchingEdit

If an item is thrown at you, pressing A right before it hits will cause your character to catch it. This works for all throwable items, excluding the very heavy ones, and is especially useful against thrown Bob-ombs or Pokéballs, as they will become yours. It is possible to do this in midair. It is very risky, because if not timed exactly right, you will fail to catch it and the item will hit you. You can also use the Z button in the air to catch something, which tends to be easier for many people. Air Catching can also "catch" items on the ground on stages where you can jump from under a platform. This is useful if you wish to get to items very quickly.

Power ShieldingEdit

Every character can reflect with their shield. When a projectile is coming your way, press L or R to shield right before it hits. If timed properly, it will reflect the attack backwards instead of just lightly bouncing off. This also works against your opponent's physical attacks, if timed correctly. This move takes a lot of practice to perfect, but is very useful.

Meteor SmashEdit

A meteor smash launches the foe straight down and can be meteor canceled by jumping or Up+B at the right moment. This gives you a chance at recovering. Although not all characters have a meteor smash, the more common ones do. Mario (not Dr. Mario), Yoshi, Capt. Falcon, Gannondorf, Ness, Ice Climbers, Kirby, Zelda (but not Sheik), Link and Young Link, Mewtwo, Samus, and Marth are some of the characters that have a meteor smash.

Generally, a meteor smash is Down+A in the air. However, some meteor smashes are available on the ground (Link's Down+A on the ground), and others are Forward+A in the air (Yoshi or Mario)

As a side note: Luigi's taunt is a meteor smash. If you kick a cliffhanger, it is basically a kill, but it takes so long to taunt that it probably isn't a good idea to do that in practice.

Standing RecoveryEdit

If you character is falling to the floor, you can press L or R to immediately recover into a standing position instead of hitting the ground hard and lying on the floor. If you hold left or right while doing this, you will perform a tech roll. This can also be used when you are thrown into walls, and with a fast enough reaction time, you can recover being hit hard into a wall which would have had you ricocheting off the level. This is called teching.


Wavedashing is a technique that typically requires much practice to master. It is performed by air dodging diagonally into the ground and when done correctly, the user's character will slide, crouch momentarily and create a small cloud of dust. A wavedash usually follows a jump immediately - the user's character should never visibly leave the ground. In fact, this use of wavedashing is so prevalent that the term "wavedashing" usually refers to the jump as well as the air dodge and slide. The following sections will deal with wavedashing from a jump, but it is a very useful mid-air tactic as well.

How to Wave-DashEdit

A little primer on how to wave-dash. The buttons that are used to perform a wave dash are (in order):

  • Jump Buttons (X or Y or the Control Stick)
  • Control Stick (Diagonal Direction: Downwards towards the left or right)
  • Shield/Dodge Buttons (R or L)

If this is your first time trying a wave-dash, you might want to go to training mode and slow the frame rate to a speed you find acceptable, as this will help with timing your moves. Also, Luigi is recommended for learning to wave-dash because his is the most noticeable if performed correctly. To wave dash, perform these moves in this order:

  • Jump
  • Move
  • Dodge

The time between each move is very small, only a few frames (100 or so milliseconds), so timing is critical.

Press X or Y or use the Control Stick to jump, and then quickly, jerk the control stick in the direction you wish to go on the ground, downwards, towards the left or right. The direction cannot be upwards, it must be towards the ground, or you might accidentally pull off an air dodge. Then press the R or L buttons (until they click on the controller). If you have pulled it off correctly, you will notice that you will slide quickly across the stage and kick up some white smoke in your wake. In a sense, you will look like you are dashing across without using your feet, and the white smoke is the wave. by claw


Here are some things to rectify if you find you are not getting the desired result:

  • If you are shielding instead, you are not jumping correctly.
  • If you are just jumping, you are pressing the R or L buttons incorrectly.
  • If you are air dodging instead, you are not moving quick enough. Make sure you are jerking the control stick towards the ground and not upwards.
  • If you are shield dodging instead (you're doing a roll or sidestep dodge), you are pressing the R or L buttons before you move. You must define your orientation and directional influence before you press the L or R buttons.

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Applying Wavedashing to the gameEdit

Note: Only when you are certain you can wavedash without consistently failing should you start to use the move without restriction. Messing up a wave dash in a serious 1 vs. 1 match can mean a certain fall.

Here are a few situations where you can apply wavedashing:

  • Wavedashing can be a quick way to adjust your position relative to the enemy.
  • It is also useful as a dodge when better alternatives do not exist (especially for characters with poor rolls such as Samus or Mr. Game & Watch).
  • It serves as a shield exit, allowing a character to react offensively after shielding an enemy attack.
  • You can also wave dash to evade Samus's grappling hook or Link's hook shot as the speed at which a wave dash is performed is quicker than the speed at which those weapons reach out; though, some wave dashes for certain characters do not dash as far and you will still be caught.