SSBM/Controls & Notation

From SuperCombo Wiki

This page is for the basic information about how to understand the controls of SSBM. There are far more intricate inner workings of the GameCube Controller and how SSBM was designed in tandem with it, taking extensive advantage of two Fully-Analog Sticks and Analog Triggers, as well as the face buttons and single bumper button. The design choices of the developers led to a highly expressive fighting engine, with some unforeseen consequences.

See SSBM/Advanced Controls for detailed information about the context pertaining to how the Nintendo GameCube Controller's Interface, the Nintendo GameCube, and the SSBM Game Engine all interact with each other.


The GameCube Controller

The GameCube controller is impossible to ignore when it comes to the intended control scheme of SSBM, due to the design and development of both SSBM and the GameCube Controller occurred simultaneously. It is the most widespread and de facto way to play SSBM, until future community-created controllers started to be developed for the sole purpose of playing competitive SSBM.

Digital Controls

To use GCN Buttons in line with normal text, use Template:Icon-GCN arguments.

Argument Result
{{Icon-GCN|set}} ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngButtonIcon-GCN-B.pngButtonIcon-GCN-X.pngButtonIcon-GCN-Y.pngButtonIcon-GCN-Z.pngButtonIcon-GCN-L.pngButtonIcon-GCN-R.pngButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick.pngButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick.pngButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad.pngButtonIcon-GCN-Start-Pause.png
{{Icon-GCN|a}} ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngA-Button
{{Icon-GCN|b}} ButtonIcon-GCN-B.pngB-Button
{{Icon-GCN|ls}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick.pngLeft-Stick
{{Icon-GCN|tiltd}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-D.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltdl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-DL.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltdr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-DR.png
{{Icon-GCN|tapd}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-D-S.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-L.png
{{Icon-GCN|tapl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-L-S.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-R.png
{{Icon-GCN|tapr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-R-S.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltu}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-U.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltul}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-UL.png
{{Icon-GCN|tiltur}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-UR.png
{{Icon-GCN|tapu}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick-U-S.png
{{Icon-GCN|cs}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick.pngC-Stick
{{Icon-GCN|cd}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-D.png
{{Icon-GCN|cdl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-DL.png
{{Icon-GCN|cdr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-DR.png
{{Icon-GCN|cl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-L.png
{{Icon-GCN|cr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-R.png
{{Icon-GCN|cu}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-U.png
{{Icon-GCN|cul}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-UL.png
{{Icon-GCN|cur}} ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick-UR.png
{{Icon-GCN|d}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad.pngD-Pad
{{Icon-GCN|dd}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-D.pngD-Pad Down
{{Icon-GCN|ddl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-DL.pngD-Pad Down-Left
{{Icon-GCN|ddr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-DR.pngD-Pad Down-Right
{{Icon-GCN|dl}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-L.pngD-Pad Left
{{Icon-GCN|dr}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-R.pngD-Pad Right
{{Icon-GCN|du}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-U.pngD-Pad Up
{{Icon-GCN|dul}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-UL.pngD-Pad Up-Left
{{Icon-GCN|dur}} ButtonIcon-GCN-D-Pad-UR.pngD-Pad Up-Right
{{Icon-GCN|l}} ButtonIcon-GCN-L.pngL-Shoulder-Button
{{Icon-GCN|lb}} ButtonIcon-GCN-L-C.pngDigital-L-Button
{{Icon-GCN|la}} ButtonIcon-GCN-L-P.pngAnalog-L-Slider
{{Icon-GCN|r}} ButtonIcon-GCN-R.pngR-Shoulder-Button
{{Icon-GCN|rb}} ButtonIcon-GCN-R-C.pngDigital-R-Button
{{Icon-GCN|ra}} ButtonIcon-GCN-R-P.pngAnalog-R-Slider
{{Icon-GCN|start}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Start-Pause.pngSTART-Button
{{Icon-GCN|x}} ButtonIcon-GCN-X.pngX-Button
{{Icon-GCN|y}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Y.pngY-Button
{{Icon-GCN|z}} ButtonIcon-GCN-Z.pngZ-Button

  • ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngA-Button - Circular - Positioned in the Center of the Face Button cluster on the East side of the controller; it is also much larger than the rest of the face buttons.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-B.pngB-Button - Circular - Southwest of the ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngA-Button.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-X.pngX-Button - Kidney Shaped - East of the ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngA-Button.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-Y.pngY-Button - Kidney Shaped - North of the ButtonIcon-GCN-A.pngA-Button.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-Z.pngZ-Button - Capsule Shaped - Positioned on top of the controller, closest to the front on the East side. It contains a weak tactile microswitch.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-R.pngR-Shoulder-Button - Saddle Shaped Button - Positioned on top of the controller, furthest from the front on the East side.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-L.pngL-Shoulder-Button - Saddle Shaped Button - Positioned on top of the controller, furthest from the front on the West side.
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-Start-Pause.pngSTART-Button - Circular - Center of the front face of the controller.

Analog Controls

Analog Sliders: The ButtonIcon-GCN-L.pngL-Shoulder-Button and ButtonIcon-GCN-R.pngR-Shoulder-Button on the GameCube controller measure precisely how far down their respective physical interfaces are pushed. These values are called the ButtonIcon-GCN-L-P.pngAnalog-L-Slider and the ButtonIcon-GCN-R-P.pngAnalog-R-Slider, respectively.

  • ButtonIcon-GCN-Control Stick.pngLeft-Stick - AKA the "Grey-Stick" or the "Left-Stick" - (Measures X-Axis and Y-Axis Values)
  • ButtonIcon-GCN-C-Stick.pngC-Stick - AKA the "Yellow-Stick" or the "Right-Stick" (Measures it's own Unique X and Y Values, Called Z-Axis and Rotate-X-Axis)


Joystick Notation

Numpad Notation

Numpad notation denotes directional inputs in fighting games by using numbers that correspond to directions according to their position on a keyboard numpad.

Square brackets around a button indicate that the button can be held to charge the move
e.g. 5[b] denotes a neutral b that can be charged.


  • j. denotes that the input is done during a jump
  • t. denotes that the input is done while tilting the stick in the specified direction
  • s. denotes that the input is done while simultaneously smashing the stick in the specified direction
  • d. denotes that the input is done while dashing
  • g. denotes that the input is done during a grab

Normal Moves

The names of normal moves are written with u, f, b, d, or n to denote up, forwards, back, down, or neutral respectively, then the move type: tilt, smash, or "air" to denote aerial (except in the case of jabs which are simply referred to as a jab).
e.g. fTilt, dAir, uSmash refer to forward tilt, down aerial, up smash respectively.
Note that some permutations of direction and move type do not exist; there is no such thing as a nSmash or a nTilt.

Special Moves

Special moves are referred to as upB, sideB, downB, or nB corresponding to the direction held on the analog stick.

Game Navigation

Controls & Notation
Game Mechanics
Universal Strategy
Controller Meta
Archived Information
Gecko Codes
Disc Files
Dr. Mario
Donkey Kong
Captain Falcon
Ice Climbers
Young Link
Mr. Game and Watch
Non-Playable Characters
Male Wireframe
Female Wireframe
Master Hand
Crazy Hand
Giga Bowser