Super Smash Bros. series

Aerial attack

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Link, Meta Knight, and Pit using their aerial attacks on Lylat Cruise.

An aerial attack (空中攻撃, Midair attack) is any move that is performed in midair that is not a grounded attack or special move. Their official terms vary between titles; they are known as midair attacks in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and air attacks in Brawl, Smash 4 and Ultimate. Most aerial attacks deal moderate damage (9%-14%). Aerial attacks can be L-cancelled in SSB and Melee.

Mario's aerial attacks in Super Smash Bros.

The types of aerial attacks are listed below, with a list of their typical uses:

  • Neutral aerial: Usually fast, weak moves that are good out of shield, starting combos, or for interrupting enemy attacks; some are sex kicks that deal less damage as time passes.
  • Forward aerial: Tend to have large hitboxes, making them good for edgeguarding and combos; several throughout the series are notorious for their high utility in general combat.
  • Back aerial: Often the fighter's strongest aerial, compensated with a small hitbox or long startup lag. Some combine speed and power to make them a reliable aerial KO move.
  • Up aerial: Many are useful juggling tools with good chainability and a wide range, being a big part of many fighters' aerial combos.
  • Down aerial: Almost always a multi-hit, stall then fall, and/or meteor smash, making them capable tools for offstage edgeguarding.

Certain characters with a tether grab also possess a grab aerial, which is used by pressing the grab button. Similarly, characters who can glide possess a glide attack, which is used when attacking out of a glide.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U digital manual description[edit]

"Press A while airborne to perform air attacks. Tilting Control Stick in a direction and pressing A will trigger different moves."


  • Since Melee, a number of select aerial attacks have a small spark effect akin to smash attack; the aerials that possess such special effects often change from game to game.