Help:Writing Character Pages

Help page

Welcome to the Dragdown Wiki page on Writing Character Pages. This page should go hand-in-hand with the writing in our Manual of Style to help with crafting detailed, concise, and accurate character breakdowns. Dragdown is wiki of both hard data and strategy suggestions, so make sure our pages are as clean and up-to-date as possible. We appreciate your hard work!

Emphasis on Competitive Gameplay

The Dragdown Wiki is not a place to talk about the lore of the games - first, who doesn't know who these characters are? Secondly, there are other wikis for that. The purpose of the character pages is to give information about how a character plays in a competitive/tournament setting. Some references may be tasteful at times, but use the majority of the overview section to discuss the character's play style/unique abilities in the game, like how would you describe to a new player what this character does in a conversation.

Remember the Intended Audience

When writing guides, remember the intended audience is beginner and intermediate players --not experts.

  • Move explanations should not be very long if possible. Use bullet lists to list interesting properties, and paragraphs for deeper explanations.
  • Do not waste words describing what the attack looks like - that is what the image is for.
    • An exception is when the move is too visually complex for a small set of images to explain. In these cases, describing what a move looks like is acceptable.
  • Do not compare a move against older versions of the move unless there's a really good reason to do so.
    • Ex: Explaining that the older version of an attack was better for setting up regrabs doesn't help the reader learn about THIS version of the game.

Writing Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Each Strength/Weakness should follow the following format:
Bold Text: 1-3 sentence explanation. One for simpler pros/cons, two-three for more complex pros/cons.
  • For example:
Combo Food: Ganondorf’s size and weight makes him an easy character to combo.

The bold text acts as a TL;DR, and the explanation should always try to be brief.

  • If there's something that you feel like is absolutely imperative to be mentioned to any newer or inexperienced player about a character (i.e. difficulty barriers, defensive quirks), but does not exactly fit as a legitimate or objective Pro/Con; remember that you have the ~3 paragraphs worth of space in the character's Overview section above the Pros/Cons table to make that known, or the Strategy page to write it out in-depth.
  • Lastly, please refrain from using the Pros and Cons section as a battleground for balance. If you're unsure about a change or feel like something is not listed that is relevant to the character, ask around the Discord for our opinions on the subject or consult other experts on the game.

On Writing Pros

  • Whereas Cons tend to be more specific, Pros can be very open-ended and generalized. For example, having good recovery options in a game with generally bad recoveries is likely worth noting, even if a handful of other characters are also strong in that regard.
  • Always make sure to specify what elements of a Pro make it valid. Saying Space Control for a character and following it up with "Using his good zoning attacks, Lucas can control space well" is very vague. Which of Lucas's attacks are good for space control? Listing specific examples like PK Fire and Z-Air are good ways to clear things up.
    • It's often times a balancing act on describing Pros and Cons wisely without bloating the section. Don't be afraid to revise and revise again until you strike a balance between both values, or simply save your excess information for other sections in their pages.
  • Don't get overly into minutia such as things like having 1 extra frame of spotdodge recovery, or having a jab that is 2 frames faster than average. Are these really a key strength/weakness of the character?
  • Don't try to balance the number of Pros and Cons to be equal, they don't need to be. Developers don't purposefully make characters to be just plain bad (anymore), but also, what players end up discovering and valuing to be "good" in a game may vary greatly from their intent. As a result, some characters will inevitably have more strengths than weaknesses and vice versa. Trying to balance this by creating poorly-justified or outright fake Pros or Cons gives people an incorrect view of the character, which can hurt the learning process of newcomers.

On Writing Cons

  • Cons should be very specific to the issue that plagues the character. Always make sure that you specify the exact problem a character has when listing their weakness.
  • The absence of a good tool isn't the same thing as having a weakness, especially if the character is built to do something that does not need that tool, but lacking something "essential" would be a weakness.
    • Make sure the absence of a dedicated tool is not covered somewhere else in the character's kit. In SSB, not having a throw that kills outright is not necessarily a weakness if it can lead into moves that will kill guaranteed.
  • A character without any notable weaknesses is not necessarily a flawless character. It often means that their weaknesses are things that apply to the whole cast, or are not significant enough to be worth noting. Not all counterplay is a unique weakness either.

Other Details

  • The first time a special move is mentioned on an overview page, it should be written as its full name at the minimum, and preferably have a hyperlink to the move section.
    • If a move is more commonly referenced by another name (such as an abbreviation, its input, or an alternate colloquial term), put that alternate way of referring to the move in parenthesis either immediately after the first use of the move name, or incorporate it into the move's description itself, or perhaps both. That makes it so from then on you can use that alternate way of referring to the move for the rest of the overview or other text without worry of confusion.
    • Example: " Mewtwo (or M2) uses the charging of their Shadow Ball (SB) to incentivize the opponent to approach which then allows M2 to begin their mixups at the mid-range with a consistently threatening SB to hard punish any potential slip-ups the opponent has."
  • Move inputs/shorthands (such as F-Tilt or D-Smash) should be color coded with their corresponding button color. This is done by using a template.
  • If a term is particularly obscure to the point that a beginner cannot comprehend it, add a tooltip / glossary tooltip explaining the term.
  • If you need to reference another character who is not the character on the current page, make their name a hyperlink to said character's page or use the Stock Icon function, such as shown: Joker.

Writing Moves

  • WIP

There is no real "defined" format to follow for specific move descriptions on Dragdown. The community at-large can decide how they like to format their information for the games they play, so this section contains tips for making descriptive and accurate move breakdowns.

Follow the Templates

Templates are pre-defined sets of text used to maintain a uniform look throughout pages on the wiki. You can recognize a template when it's enclosed in double {s such as {{MyTemplate}}. To learn more about templates, check out mediawiki's help page. Commonly used templates with documentation are listed here.

The move templates lovingly hand-crafted by our site engineers are the baseline for what individual moves should look like on a character page. They contain all the necessary information- move names, inputs, frame data, images and hitboxes, and a description box for writing detailed breakdowns of the particular move. Touching these templates to alter them in any way is a huge misdemeanor in the community, so don't do it.

Most users won't need to worry about them as they will already be in place. But just in case all the pages follow the same pattern:

  • When in doubt, look at other character pages, copy, and adapt for your own uses.
  • Each move uses css and mediawiki tables to lay out an attack with move name, images, captions, and truncated list of frame data.
  • Each character's page refers to their Data page that has all the data for that character, for example Pit's links and frame data are all on Pit/Data. Sections on the data page are referenced by the character page with a template that constructs all vital components. {{MoveDataCargo}}

An example of an idea move template, with filled-out information and a strong description to explain the move, can be found at the bottom of this page.

Move Descriptions

Many newcomers who start playing a fighting game want to know how each of their options functions in a real game. As a result, our move descriptions are some of the most important writing material on the site. We don't want to mislead or misinform the playerbase of these games, and as such, there are a few recommendations to follow when writing them.

  • Informational clarity is top priority. The foremost purpose of a move description should be explaining how it functions. While this sounds simple, information can often get lost in repetition of facts, attempts at humor, or poor writing in general. As a guideline, try to explain the purpose of a move within a single sentence before moving onto it in greater detail. This will help you stay on-track with communicating the benefits and drawbacks of each move in a character's movelist.
  • Always double-check your information. Try to avoid incorrect information about the move you're writing as much as possible. Talk with community members, gather information from multiple sources, and as always test the move in-game for yourself before making claims about their function.
    • Understand "Bad" versus "Situational." Try to explain how and where niche moves can be used instead of outright declaring them as useless.
  • Don't be too unbiased. It is important that newcomers get a concrete idea of how each move functions when reading a character page, so avoid reusing generic terms and descriptions (e.g. "powerful", "strong", "niche" "situational", "risky") if possible, especially if you are not elaborating on why they are being called as such. Using flavorful text properly can help emphasize even more important points while also making the text engaging to read, but overusing the same adjectives over and over for every move flattens the impact of your words for when the reader comes upon one that actually is very risky or powerful.
    • The exceptional quality of individual moves should always be called out, as well. If a move is amazing, make sure you point out how good it is while also explaining exactly why it is so good so the reader know what to look for in similar moves of that type.
    • Similar to writing Pros/Cons, striking a balance between formal and informal writing to make your text engaging to read without sacrificing informational quality or integrity is a skill to be learned from experience.
  • Edit your work! Always finish your writing period with a quick double-check of your work before submitting. Consider your writing from the perspective of an newcomer before submittal, so avoid using obscure community jargon, and include explanations for common jargon. Fighting game terminology, such as fadebackMoving away from an opponent, armorA state where a character takes damage but not knockback or intangibleWhen a character is unable to be interacted with can be explained using the {{term}} template if necessary. Sometimes, you may come back to work you have written a day, week, month, or many months ago to revise as you get better with it.

Writing Advantage / Combos

Advantage pages are some of the most important parts of the site, as they contain the necessary information for pressing a character's advantage state. They help teach players how to start, fill, and end combos, alongside teaching them how to edgeguard and ledgetrap efficiently.

As such, the Advantage pages should be divided into two sections: Combo Theory, Combo Lists, and Edgeguarding.

Combo Theory

The Combo Theory section is the first thing a new player should see once they enter the combo page and get past the miscellaneous combo language identifiers. Combo Theory use our new "TheoryBox" functions to help build combos with visual aides for our players. These TheoryBoxes lay out all the important information about each character's most essential combos, such as where to look for performing them in a match, how hard they are, and what situations they leave the opponent in. An example TheoryBox can be found at the bottom of the page.

TheoryBox examples are divided into three sections: Beginner, Core and Specialized. Beginner combos are the bare minimum combo potential for a character, and are often very simple. They help teach core mechanics of how a character is expected to function, including starters, enders, and important combo filler. Core combos are the usual BnBShorthand for "Bread & Butter", or the main combos of a character. combos for a character. They help teach important routing and balance consistency with reward. Specialized combos are unique, sometimes character-specific combos that are useful for high-level players. The situations where Specialized combos happen are often not common, but still important to know for squeezing out every bit of damage and kill potential possible. You can set up a flag for dividing Combo Theory sections by using the ComboDef function.

TheoryBoxes have a small set of important rules for making them:

  • As usual, adhere to Dragdown Manual of Style for writing.
  • Video files must be kept under 10 MB.
  • All combos should be performed on the same character, unless the combo only works on a certain category of characters, e.g. weight class or hitbox size.
  • Combos should be performed on backgrounds with low-detail or non-intrusive elements if possible, to keep the demonstration visually clean.
  • Video resolution is determinant on the uploader, but make sure your combos are visually clear. Try not to record combo videos in less than HD quality.
  • Try not to oversaturate the page with TheoryBoxes. They do look pretty, but they are meant to draw attention to important combos and combo parts, not all combos and combo parts. Overusing them defeats the purpose of even having them, and can actually turn out making pages longer than they need to be
  • Optional: Performing the combo with an input display enabled is not necessary, but is very helpful to viewers to be able to visualize the execution and thus is ideal. A link to an in-game input display mod can be found here.

Other than that, go nuts. How you choose to structure Combo Theory is entirely dependent on your own preferences! It might be a good idea to work with the community at-large when developing Combo Theory boxes, in order to help the onboarding process of new players go as smoothly as possible.

Combo Lists

Combo Lists are for intermediate or advanced players who want more options for converting off of hits. Once combo theory and general routes have been explained, combo lists allow learners to experiment with more options and perform more optimal combos for every situation. There are no real rules for exactly how to list each combo, but there are rules for how to write them.

  • Use appropriate input terminology. For example, you shouldn't write the full name of each move in a combo list, as it will take up tons of space and make the combo difficult to parse. In such a situation, using shorthanded terminology would be better.
  • Always include important movement information. If a combo requires an instant double jump, waveland, aerial drifts or some other form of movement, make sure you include it. This can be very helpful for new players with learning the specifics of where to place themselves in combos.
  • Visual aides help a lot! Some individuals are textual learners, while others are visual learners. Including a video link to performing a specific combo is not always necessary, but it is often very helpful. Recommended places to upload these combos are YouTube or Vimeo, both of which allow videos to be kept uploaded permanently.
  • Make sure difficulty is accurate. Listing every combo as "easy" if you manage to master a difficult input doesn't help new players at all. Consider difficulty in both executional prowess and proper spacing- how often are you going to hit this combo in a real match?

Writing Strategy

The strategy section should explain the goals of the character, and how to achieve said goals.
A basic, yet thorough formatting of a strategy page would typically include:

  • General Gameplan / Overarching Strategy, such as how they can be played or the win conditions they can or must achieve.
  • Neutral
  • Offense / Advantage
    • You can discuss facets of the character's advantage state that aren't already discussed on the Advantage page, such as their shield pressure, tech chasing game, combo reset opportunities and mix-ups, etc. Even the ones on the Advantage page can still be elaborated on if they relate.
  • Defense
  • Tips and Tricks
    • Any random notes you would want to tell a new player for your character are great to put here, alongside practical applications of tech (if not already done on the "Tech" page).
  • General or specific counterplay versus this character
    • Information on counterplay against your character is important to let a reader know what to look for in an opponent's habits or gameplan that may shut their character down, or for another player to know what to try to contest in the match-up. Platform fighters are 2-player and directly interactive; this information is just as valuable as the above about on how to play your side of the game.


The primary goal is to transfer information to the reader - it's best to think of yourself as a technical writer rather than a story teller. If information can be conveyed while being entertaining then all the better, but do not sacrifice informational value simply to be entertaining. Please try to keep this wiki primarily a place for information rather than to write jokes and story synopses. One suggestion is to mix the two; incorporate useful information into the entertainment and not simply joke around.

The main offender of this tenet is adding joke captions for images; occasional joking is fine, but giving every image a joke is overkill. Try adding a little useful info, trivia, or even no caption at all.

If you are struggling with proper writing tone and want to examples of what to do and what not to do, consider visiting the Manual of Style.


Not all readers have a long attention span so get to the point - this isn't a school book report, and you're not trying to hit a word count. Having said that, it's a difficult balancing act between being thorough enough to fully explain something, but brief enough that readers don't get bored.

Look over what you've written and try to remove filler words or find a clearer way to phrase a sentence.

Other common pitfalls include:

  • Adding too many examples to the point that it is a full list rather than a few examples that illustrate the general rule
  • Going into details that would be considered trivia rather than help the player learn how or why an attack works the way it does

The Resource Dump

See a cool combo on Twitter, but don't know where to put it? Notice that a popular YouTuber just dropped an awesome guide for a character, but don't want to transplant all the information onto the Overview page? Have your own theories about how a character can perform in a match, but don't want to drop it onto a main page just yet? Consider using the Resource Dump, which is a sub-page for each individual character on the wiki.

This can be a great place to put down miscellaneous information for later or help consolidate a backlog of material for players of all skill levels. Consider uploading any good information you find to this location.

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