Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Controls and Terminology/Controls

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl utilizes a very simple control scheme. Each character has walking and dashing, jump(s), normal attacks, smash attacks and special attacks. Unlike many other fighting games, there are no complex button inputs to perform any attacks; all basic attacks are performed by some combination of a direction and an attack button. There are however, some character specific advanced techniques that require special button combinations.

There are four ways to control your character in SSBB: the Gamecube controller (by far the most popular method), the Wii Remote held sideways, the Wii Remote + Nunchuck, and the Classic Controller. The MadCatz Tatsunoko vs Capcom Fightstick can be used, but due to the nature of the game it is generally not advised, mainly because Smash uses analog sticks for tilts.


Joystick Notation

  • N - Neutral - Leave the stick in the starting position.
  • F - Forward - Move the stick towards the direction you're facing.
  • B - Backward/Back - Move the stick away from facing direction.
  • U - Up - Move the stick upwards.
  • D - Down - Move the stick downwards.

Attack Notation

  • Jab - A jab is activated by simply pressing A when the stick is in neutral position. It depends on the character if it's a multi-hit move or not.
  • Tilt - Slightly tilting the stick in one direction and pressing the A button results in a tilt attack.
  • Smash - Quickly push the stick to one direction and press A at the same time to perform a Smash attack. Otherwise you can press the Smash stick or button depending on the controller you are using.
  • Air - An attack performed in the air by pressing A optionally adding a direction to use a different air attack.
  • Grab - Pressing the grab button makes your character attemp a grab, regardless of their distance with an opponent. Otherwise you can press A while holding shield to attemp a grab.
  • Special - Press the B button, optionally adding a direction to use a different special move.

Attack Terminology

An attack is usually named by adding the joystick notation to the attack notation. Examples:

  • Ftilt - An attack done by tilting the stick forward and pressing A.
  • Nair - An attack done by simply pressing A in the air.
  • Dsmash - An attack done by quickly pushing the stick downwards and pressing A at the same time.
  • Bair - An attack done by moving the stick backwards and pressing A in the air.

Special attack names are character specific. Examples:

  • Peanut Popgun - Diddy Kong's Neutral Special.
  • Quick Attack - Pikachu's Up Special.
  • Falcon Kick - Captain Falcon's Down Special

There are three types of grab:

  • Normal grab - A grab performed while standing or walking.
  • Dash grab - A grab performed while dashing or running.
  • Pivot grab - A grab performed at the same moment when turning around from dashing.

Aditionally you con perform pummels and throws after grabbing your opponent

  • Pummel - Pressing A during a grab will perform a Pummel that deals approximately 3%. Doing many pummels will result in your opponent releasing from the grab.
  • Throws - Throws can be done by moving the stick back, forward, up or down. Example: Bthrow, Uthrow, etc.

Basic Controls

The following are the default controls for each controller. Tap jump is set to 'On' by default, so you can also jump by moving the stick upwards. Note that you can later map any button as anything else and you can turn tap jump 'off'.

Gamecube Controller

  • Walk/Run - Analog Stick
  • Jump - X or Y
  • Taunt - D-Pad
  • Shield - L or R
  • Grab - Z
  • Attack - A
  • Special- B
  • Smash- C-Stick


  • Walk/Run - D-Pad (for running press twice the same direction)
  • Jump - Up on the D-Pad
  • Taunt - A
  • Shield - B
  • Grab - A+B, or - (minus)
  • Attack - 2
  • Attack - 1
  • Smash - 1+2

Wiimote + Nunchuk

  • Walk/Run - Nunchuck Analog Stick
  • Jump - C
  • Taunt - 1, 2 or 1+2
  • Shield - Z
  • Grab - A+B
  • Attack - A
  • Special - B
  • Smash - The Wiimote D-pad can be mapped to Smash attacks

Classic Controller

  • Walk/Run - Left Analog Stick
  • Jump - X or Y
  • Taunt - D-Pad
  • Shield - L or R
  • Grab - ZL or ZR
  • Attack - A
  • Special - B
  • Smash - Right Analog Stick

Additional Notes

  • In Brawl, if you are using an analog stick, you can control how fast you walk by how lightly you move the stick.
  • Each character can dash by quickly tapping and then holding the movement stick or d-pad. Dashes consist of two phases; the initial dash and the run.