Here’s some advanced stuff if you’re interested:
DI/SDI: you can move the left stick or right stick (c-stick in smash terminology) perpendicular to your trajectory after you’re hit and flying towards a blast zone (the outside of a stage where you’ll die) to help shorten the distance you fly and maybe live through an attack that would otherwise have killed you. Smashing this input (doing it fast) is an SDI, otherwise it’s a DI. You can also influence yourself into walls to attempt to tech to reduce your knockback.
Teching: tap the shield button (typically R) when colliding with a surface to completely stop your momentum and allow yourself to recover back to the stage. Your timing will need to be very good as you only have a few frames to tech successfully.
C aerials: you can use the C-stick to perform the same attacks that a direction on the left stick and A would perform. This can be useful as you don’t need to influence your character’s positioning with the left stick to perform a forward aerial (fair), downward aerial (dair), etc. In smash ultimate there appears to be no way to perform a neutral stick aerial (nair) with the c-stick, but this is unconfirmed.
Short hops: a quick tap of the jump button allows for a short hop, a jump which is low to the ground and allows you to attack quickly, which is good for advancing. I’ve had trouble getting natural short hops to work in this game, though, and have been sticking to the shortcut they added of pressing jump + A at the same time, which performs a short hop nair. If you hold a direction while using this input shortcut, you can perform a short hop uair, dair, fair, or bair.
Shield grab/alt grab input: a lot of smash players like to keep their fingers on the shield button to easily react with a shield, roll, or spot-dodge if they need to. If you don’t want to use a separate button to grab or throw items, just hold the shield button and tap A, or tap the shield and A at the same time. This is functionally the same as a throw button input, but allows you more options. You can, for instance, allow someone to hit your shield and immediately grab them after to retaliate. This won’t require you to drop your shield and press grab; instead you can hold your shield and then tap A to grab them, all while protected from attacks.
That’s all I can think of now without getting into some of the really convoluted stuff. I think learning these techniques are good habits that will help you get better at smash after you get comfortable with the basics.
Important note: I do all this stuff and still mostly enjoy FFA with items on. Play smash however you want, it’s primarily a game about having fun however you like.
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