The Basics

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The Basics

Post by Josh1995 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:01 pm

The Basics

Everyone should know the basic game mechanics, even veterans who’ve played Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. In this section, we’ll go over the fundamentals such as walking and dashing, jumping and canceling, and then show how you can incorporate these strategies in your game.


In Brawl, you have many ways to move such as walking, dashing, and jumping, all of which are important.


To walk, you tilt the control stick left or right. Pretty simple, right? But why is it important? Because walking is versatile. You aren't committed to a dash yet and you can perform several attacks out of it. Plus, it's easy to change momentum and direction, and to stop moving.


To dash, you smash the control stick in the direction you want to go. Changing directions is slower while dashing, and you are more or less forced into a dash attack or grab. But there are ways to cancel your dash.

Canceling the dash

You can cancel the dashing animation quickly, but it’s a different than the technique used in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In Melee, you crouch to cancel the dash. In Brawl, you put up your shield and drop it. The cancel is quick, allowing you go into tilt attacks or Smashes rather than dash attacks or dash grabs.

Fox Trotting

Foxy Trotting was used in Melee and still exists in Brawl. Basically, you dash forward, release the control stick so your character stops, then dash again. It may not sound useful, but it’s great for spacing and a quick way to get across the stage.


Jumping is simple. Most characters have two jumps: one from the ground and one in the air, though some characters have more than two jumps (Kirby, Pit, Dedede, Meta Knight). Your arsenal of attacks changes while you are in the air, and you have some great defensive options in the skies as well. You can control the height of the jump: a low jump or a regular jump. To low jump, tap the Y button slightly or lightly press Up on the control stick. If mastered, the low jump is an invaluable tool for positioning and set ups.


Every winged character can glide. Hold down the jump button to activate a glide. And in order to gain momentum, gliding faster and further, you must glide down, then up, just like in real life! (You can’t simply fly straight up after the start of the glide.)


Most characters in Brawl have a crawl. Simply crouch and then tilt the control stick left and right. This can be useful to dodge certain attacks, especially projectiles.


Swimming is a new mechanic in Brawl. Now, landing in water actually has an effect. Every character can swim for a short period of time, and you can either jump or use your Up B Special directly out of the water. But after a short period your character grows tired and eventually falls below the water surface.

Defensive Options


Press the L or R shoulder buttons to activate your shield. The shield shrinks and then breaks over time, which leaves you incredibly vulnerable.


Powershielding happens when you block an attack exactly when you are attacked. Why is this useful? It set ups the opponent for a quick counterattack. By Powershielding, you won’t suffer any block stun, and you won’t get pushed back, allowing you to punish the opponent easily.


Rolling is an option out of a shield. Press right or left on the control stick while you have your shield up to perform an invulnerable dodge to the side. (Well, the dodge is invulnerable most of the times.) While rolling is useful, it can be punished, so be careful not to abuse it.

Spot dodging

Spot dodging, also known as sidestepping, is the other option out of a shield, a temporary state of invincibility. This is a very quick dodge in place, performed by pressing down on the control stick while holding the L or R shoulder button. At times, it’s better to spot dodge certain attacks than to guard them with a shield, because you won’t suffer from shield stun, and you won’t get pushed back.

Air dodging

This is your aerial option while dodging. The air dodge in Brawl acts differently than it did in Melee, since, this time, you can’t alter your momentum and it doesn't send you into a free fall. Your momentum carries you and gives you invincibility frames, allowing you to dodge attacks in midair.

Directional Influence

Directional Influence (DI) is a technique that alters the trajectory of a character after being hit by an attack. Every attack in Brawl sends the recipient in a direction. For instance, Forward tilts knock the opponent horizontally; Down tilts may knock the opponent on the floor or trip them; Up tilts knock the opponent horizontally. By using DI, the character being hit can alter their trajectory in the air to avoid a follow up combo or to survive a kill move.

For a detailed explanation of DI and teching, read Doraki's guide at the Smashboards.

Match Strategy

The goal of Brawl is simple: knock your opponent off the edge and don’t let them back on stage. In order to knock your opponent off the edge, you'll have to raise their percent. The higher the percent, the further the opponent flies in the air. So, before we talk about a strategy to knock opponents off the edge, we need a strategy to raise their percent.

Don't randomly execute Smash Attacks; that won't get you anywhere. Instead, use a wide variety of moves to get your opponent up to a high percent, so you can deliver that KO blow.

First, don’t attack because you can attack. Essentially, what happens with new -- and occasionally veteran -- players is they’re on the offensive at all times. Having defense is desirable, too. Make sure that you aren't always rushing the opponent down. That makes you predictable! Over time, players will adapt and learn your playstyle, reading your movements like a book.

Find out strategies that work, but don’t limit yourself them. Be creative with your combos. Don't follow up the same move with the same tactic, don’t approach in the same manner, and don't use the same defenses. Basic rule of thumb: anything that can be predicted can be punished. Mix up your moves and be impossible to read.

Don’t be afraid of using projectiles. Throw projectiles to lure the opponent after you. If your character doesn’t have a projectile...well, things may be slightly more difficult. But remember, you don’t have to approach the opponent throwing fireballs, either. Keep your distance. Master spacing and timing.

Characters in Brawl don't have the elaborate “zero to death,” or touch of death combos that some character in Melee had. That means your strategy should be focused on playing an effective hit and run strategy. Run in for a small combo, regroup, and repeat. But don’t be predictable, of course.

There are two main ways of killing other players: 1) edgeguarding, a technique blocking someone who has been knocked off the stage from getting back on the stage; 2) or attacking them with powerful moves. Passive edgeguarding no longer exists in Brawl; swinging at the ledge while somebody recovers will not hit them. In Brawl, you should chase after them by going off the stage, or staying on the stage and letting them recover.

In any case, once you have an opponent at high percent, it’s time to start adding kill moves to your arsenal of attacks. It’s absolutely important to be unpredictable at this time. A common rookie mistake is to use only kill moves, but that is incredibly predictable and easily punishable. Remain unpredictable, but add a few Smash Attacks or powerful moves into your gameplan.

Keep your eye on the character specific sections for more details on what moves are most effective in what situations.

Advanced Mechanics

Players around the world are discovering new tricks and strategies everyday, and some of those tricks may be crucial for high level play. A great place to read their discoveries is on the Smashboards, the most popular Smash Bros. forum, where thousands of top players talk and analyze SSBB in great detail. For more information on advanced strategies, from Crag Walking to diminishing attacks to slide canceling, check out the compilation new techniques thread at the Smashboards.

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Re: The Basics

Post by Grimblade on Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:02 pm

Epic thread. I knew that stuff, but I read it all anyway. xP

I've played this series since the start, and I've always been very into it.


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Re: The Basics

Post by Shiki on Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:00 am

SAME GRIM SAME XD ty smash bros dojo

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Re: The Basics

Post by Camus on Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:18 am

smash bros dojo?

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Re: The Basics

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