Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Advanced Gameplay Tips

Super Smash Bros. Academy: 105

In one of my previous Smash Bros. Academy articles, I wrote and described the game in a way that may cater to somebody unfamiliar with the game and franchise. However, there is much more to the gameplay in Smash Bros. then I described in that article. Besides basic smash attacks and special attacks, there are several more advanced gameplay techniques that you will need to know to compete with the best of them in this game. Some of these more advanced gameplay maneuvers include tilts, parrying, and air dodging, to name a few. Without any further ado, let’s jump into some more advanced tips on how to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.



Mario tilting in Brawl

An important feature of gameplay in Smash Bros. is tilting. Unlike a basic smash attack where you press A and hold the stick in the direction you’d like your move to go, a tilt takes a bit more skill to perform. Rather than holding the directional stick, press A and move the stick in the way you’d like to perform the tilt at the same time and then release. Your fighter will perform a quick, jab-like move that is effective in close range against opponents. In many characters, using tilts sets up opportunities for combos, with the up-tilt generally being most effective in doing so. If you plan on using this feature to set up combos, I recommend using Mario, Wario, Yoshi, or Falco, as all of those characters have great combo ability out of up-tilts.

Perfect Shield (Parry)

Perfect Shield

Mario parrying Marth in Ultimate

This feature was brand new to the Smash Bros. series in Ultimate. The perfect shield (commonly referred to as a “parry”) is when the player perfectly times their shield right when their opponent’s attack is hitting them. Rather than shielding through the attack, the attack will be completely nullified, allowing the player to perform a quick attack back in response. Being able to time a parry perfectly is a hard skill to acquire, but one that comes quite in handy if mastered. More often than not, it is accidental or simply good timing when I parry an attack. However, if you can time your shields perfectly every time, you will no doubt be quite an annoying smasher to play against.


Spot Dodge

Link spot dodging in Melee

Besides shielding, there are several other ways to avoid being hit by your opponent in the game. It is called dodging, and there are three types of dodges in Smash Bros. These dodges are the sidestep (spot dodge), air dodge, and roll. All three dodges involve pressing either the left or right bumper and moving the directional stick a certain way. The most commonly used dodge is the roll. A roll is performed by pressing the bumper and moving either to the left or the right while on the ground. Rolling is used to avoid getting hit by an attack and move into a position to attack your opponent. However, I’d advise being somewhat selective with your rolls, as an experienced player can read them and punish you for rolling. The 2nd type of dodge is a sidestep, more commonly referred to in the Smash community as a spot dodge. A spot dodge is performed by pressing one of the bumpers and pointing the directional stick downwards. This will cause your fighter to dodge in place without moving. The spot dodge is most generally used for dodging projectiles, items, or counter-attack after an opponent’s missed move. The final way to dodge in Smash Ultimate is the air dodge. This move is performed the same way that a regular dodge would be performed except it is done while in the air. The air dodge can be used to dodge aerial attacks and projectiles and be used when recovering back on stage.

Breakfalling (Teching)


Fox teching in Melee

A breakfall, commonly referred to in the Smash community as a “tech,” is a move that is performed when a fighter hits the ground, wall, side of the stage, or any other type of platform. Upon impact with a surface after getting hit or thrown, there is a window of time when the player is vulnerable to being attacks. Teching allows for a smooth landing to the ground without the opportunity to be punished, following them hitting the ground. A tech is performed by pressing the shield button within 11 frames of hitting the ground. Your fighter will land on his feet rather than the usual animation of lying on the ground. Teching is also very useful in recovery. If your opponent tries to “stage spike” you by hitting/throwing you into the side of the stage, a tech will prevent you from bouncing off the side of the stage to an inevitable KO, allowing you to recover back to the stage.

Short Hop Attack

Short Hop

Sheik’s Regular Jump vs. Short Hop

The short hop attack is not to be confused with a regular aerial attack, which is when attacks are performed in any direction in the air. A short hop is when a player presses A and jumps at the same time. Doing this will cause the fighter to jump a short distance off the ground to perform a quick aerial attack. The short hop can be useful when your opponent is charging at you or setting up combos, as it comes out quite quickly. The fighters with the best (in other words longest) short hops in Smash Ultimate are Greninja, Zero Suit Samus, and Bayonetta.

1v1 vs 3+ players

smash bros gameplay

Credit: Nintendo

Playing in 1v1 battles varies quite differently from playing in battles with three or more participants for various reasons. Firstly, you and your opponent take more damage in a 1v1 battle with each hit than one would in a bigger match. The pace in a 1v1 battle is constantly higher than in bigger matches, making the match more intense and making each hit you take more significant. In matches with more than three participants, you need to be aware of where everyone is on the stage at once. If you lose track or aren’t paying attention to everybody, it is easy to be sneak-attacked or punished by another fighter. In multi-person battles, sometimes whoever is in the lead will shortly flash. Always recognize who is in the lead so you know who the true target of the match should be.

This article only scratches the surface of the many different advanced techniques in this game. However, I am certainly no professional when it comes to this game, and many of the strategies and techniques that exist are even too advanced for me. If you want to learn more about what goes into being an elite player at Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I’d suggest watching professional play at tournaments or simply on YouTube. Nonetheless, I hope that this article will help out the more casual Smash Bros. player.

I am a rising junior at Butler University with a Sports Media major and a minor in Strategic Communication. I was born and raised in Bethesda, MD right outside Washington DC, and I’ve been a huge DC sports fan my whole life. I’ve been lucky enough to see both the Nats and Caps win titles in my lifetime, however I have a feeling that my Redskins and Wizards won’t be joining them as champions anytime soon.

Hot eSports Academy Stories