Smash Ultimate can be played using multiple different input devices, but the control scheme aims to utilize an entire controller layout, both sticks and triggers/bumpers included. This can be modified to your tastes in the game's settings, but for the sake of this controls rundown, we'll be speaking in terms of the default control scheme.
Other control settings include having Rumble on or off, Attack + Special Smash Attack on or off, Tap Jump on or off, and Stick Sensitivity low, normal, or high.
Rumble will cause your controller to rumble if it has rumble technology in it (i.e. first party controllers). Rumble can be used to react to certain things in game, but the controller will rumble for every thing that happens to your character including it running or walking.
Attack + Special Smash Attack
For those who change their C-Stick to tilt attacks or specials, turning this on might make doing smash attacks easier as you don't have to time the press of the A button with a direction on the stick. Just press A + B and a direction to get that corresponding smash attack. The downside is that many characters have tech that requires you to have this off.
Tap Jump allows you to jump by pressing up on the movement stick. Those who play Melee or traditional fighting games might find this intuitive, but it makes doing Up Tilt with the left stick much more difficult, especially for newer players.
Stick Sensitivity changes the window of how many frames you have to press the attack button after doing a smash stick input with the analog stick to get a Smash Attack (rather than a Tilt Attack or Dash Attack).
Sensitivity | L | N | H |
F-Smash | 5 | 6 | 7 | U-Smash | 3 | 4 | 5 | D-Smash | 3 | 4 | 5 |
- The most basic movement option; your character will walk in either direction you hold your Analog stick. The closer to the joystick gate you hold the Analog stick, the faster your character will walk and vice versa.
- Crouch / Platform Drop
- Holding down on the Analog stick allows you to crouch, shrinking the character's hurtbox. Some characters are also able to crawl by holding or .
- Flicking the Analog stick all the way down quickly allows the character to fall through some platforms, if they are on top of one.
- Dash and Run
- Pushing the Analog stick all the way left or right makes your character dash. Dashes move your character forward faster than walking. Keep holding the direction after starting a dash to run.
- or or
- Makes the character jump into the air, with the height determined by how long you hold the button or up direction. Both buttons and the analog input do the same thing.
- Short Hop
- or lightly, or ( + )
- Tapping any jump command without holding it will perform a short hop, which is a jump with a shorter peak height. Pressing both jump buttons at once will always perform a short hop, regardless of how long you hold them.
- Aerial Drift
- or while airborne
- Holding the stick left or right makes the character drift in the respective direction in the air, changing their air momentum and trajectory.
- while falling
- Flicking the control stick all the way down at or past the apex of a jump allows the character to fall faster than their normal fall speed.
Common Offensive Actions
- Normal Attacks
Input Methods (Neutral or any direction) + Pressing C-Stick in any direction when set to Tilt Attack
- Press the to do a basic attack, both on the ground and in the air, and even while dashing. You can combine this button with any direction on the Analog stick ( or , , ) to perform various other attacks in that specific direction.
- Special Attacks
Input Methods (Neutral or any direction) + Pressing C-Stick in any direction when set to Special Attack
- Press the button to perform a special attack that tends to have unique effects or properties. You can also combine this with other Analog directions to perform various other special attacks, just like normal attacks. Special moves range from standard projectiles, to move that help you recover back onto the stage when knocked off, or even some invincible moves, and the list goes on. Refer to each character's pages for more details.
- Smash Attacks
Input Methods (Smash Analog stick in any direction) + at the same time (Analog stick in any direction) + ( and at the same time) Pressing C-Stick in any direction when set to Smash Attack
- Flicking the C-Stick in any direction (or flicking the Analog stick quickly & all the way in any direction and pressing at the same time) makes the character perform a Smash Attack, which is a heavy attack that is generally stronger than normal attacks and many specials. They can be charged by holding the stick in the direction or button, to increase their damage and knockback. They can be charged for one second, and then held for one more second at full charge, with some exceptions.
- Grab, Pummel, and Throws
- or (Shield + ), then or any direction (on successful grab)
- Press while grounded to perform a grab, which is a close-range attack that can't be shielded against. After grabbing an opponent, you either mash the button to pummel the opponent for extra damage, or you can direct the Analog stick in any of the four directions to throw the opponent in the respective direction. Throws can still be performed after pummeling the opponent.
Common Defensive Actions
- Press and hold either trigger button to put up the character's Shield, which will block a majority of attacks for as long as it is held. Grabs, however, are not blockable. You can tilt your shield in various directions with the Analog stick to better defend against certain angles of attack as well.
- Spot Dodge
- while shielding
- Flicking the Analog stick all the way down while shielding will perform an on-spot dodge, which has a period of invincibility that can be used to dodge attacks.
- Dodge Roll
- or while shielding
- Flicking the Analog stick left or right while shielding will make your character do a dodge roll. It has invincibility in the middle like a spotdodge, but will also move your character in the respective direction. It can be used as a way of quickly repositioning away from the opponent.
- Perfect Shield
- Releasing Shield right when or before an attack lands
- Perfect Shielding (often referred to as "parrying") rewards you for predicting your opponents' attacks precisely, by allowing you to act faster and before the opponent out of a dropped shield, giving you the ability to either escape or counterattack the opponent. The game will freeze frame and your character will flash if you did this correctly.
- Air Dodging
- (Neutral or any direction) + or while airborne
- Pressing either trigger button while airborne performs Air Dodge, which has a period of invincibility that can be used to dodge attacks while airborne, since you cannot Shield in the air. You can also input an air dodge with a direction on the Analog stick to dodge in that particular direction.
- or (plus , , or ) when launched into a wall or ground while tumbling
- Pressing the trigger buttons when your character is launched into a wall or is about to hit the ground while tumbling lets you perform a tech, which is the action of breaking your collision or fall with an invincible animation instead of bouncing off of the wall or ending up in a knockdown state. When teching a ground landing, holding Left or Right on your stick will let you immediately dodge roll in the respective direction with the invincibility.
- Get-up Attack
- while laying on the ground
- You can perform an attack even if you are knocked down on the ground by pressing . This attack has invincibility and can be used to knock away an opponent attempting to capitalize on your disadvantaged state.
- Neutral Get-up / Get-up Roll
- or Shield / or while laying on the ground
- A neutral get-up simply makes the character stand up in place with some invincibility, while a get-up roll makes the character roll in the respective direction with some invincibility as an evasive maneuver.
When you grab a ledge, you have multiple actions possible while hanging onto it.
- Ledge Get-up
- Analog stick towards stage (while hanging from a ledge)
- Climbs the character up onto the stage from the ledge normally.
- Ledge Jump
- or (while hanging from a ledge)
- The character jumps up from the ledge instead.
- Ledge Drop
- or away from stage (while hanging from a ledge)
- Nevermind! The character drops down from the ledge. Pressing Down can often cause the character to additionally begin a fast fall if held too long.
- Ledge Roll
- or while hanging from a ledge
- The character rolls onto the stage from the ledge with some invincibility. Can be used to get past some opponents who have attacks at the ready at the ledge.
- Ledge Attack
- while hanging from a ledge
- The character climbs into the stage with an attack that has a generous amount of intangibility. Can be used to knock away opponents who are attacking at the ledge. If the ledge has not been re-grabbed, the invincibility lasts until the attack is no longer active. On additional ledge grabs without touching the ground, the attack is vulnerable before it becomes active.
In spoken and written discussion, players will typically shorthand moves with just the first letter of the move direction before the attack type. For example, a Neutral Aerial attack will typically be referred to as a "N-Air" or "NAir". The same goes for aerials, smash attacks, item tosses, and throws. Notably, Specials are often excluded from this trend and instead are abbreviated based off their move's name. Specials can also commonly be written with their direction and B, such as "Up-B" or less commonly with their direction and Special, like "USpecial".
• Controls • FAQ •
• Movement • Offense • Defense •
Detailed & Advanced Information
• Damage/Knockback • Frame Data Explanations • States of Play • Universal Strategy • Esoterica •
• Patch Notes • Tier Lists • Alternate Resources • Discords •