Forward aerial

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Super Smash Bros. series
Captain Falcon using Knee Smash, his forward aerial attack, in Brawl.
Jigglypuff's forward aerial attack in Melee.
Mario's forward aerial attack in Melee

A forward aerial (前空中攻撃, Front/Forward midair attack; commonly abbreviated as Fair or f-air, and referred to as AttackAirF in Melee's Debug Menu and internal Brawl files) is an aerial attack that is performed in midair by pressing the attack button and tilting the Control Stick in the direction the character is facing. Its official term varies between titles, where it is known as a front midair attack in Melee, and a front air attack in Brawl and Smash 4. Forward aerials are usually not as strong as back aerials, though they have larger hitboxes most of the time, making them useful for edgeguarding.

List of forward aerials in Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Character Description Damage
Captain Falcon Does two kicks. Would become Falcon's neutral aerial in future Smash Bros. iterations. First hit combos into up smash. 2nd hit has enough shield stun to forward throw out of it. 22% if both hits connect.
Donkey Kong Punches downwards. A good spike move for edgeguarding. Combos into giant punch and into another forward aerial at middle to high percentages. Most known for its ability to be used vs. shields into a dash grab or down special. 16%
Fox Does a drill kick in front of him. A good aerial for Fox, as it combos into up smash and virtually all of his aerials. Good for approaching and baiting tactics. 12%
Jigglypuff Kicks in front of itself. Good range. Can "wall of pain" similar to Melee but to less of an extent. Combos into a Rest. 8-13%
Kirby Does a drill kick in front of him. A very useful combo move. Down aerial→up tilt→short hop→forward aerial→forward smash is one of Kirby's staple combos. 20% if all hits connect.
Link Swings his sword in front of him. Link's strongest aerial in terms of knockback. His main combo ender outside of Spin Attack and forward smash. 20% if both hits connect.
Luigi Luigi kicks forward while spinning. Good edgeguarding tool. Good range compared to Luigi's other aerials. Combos into the Hyrule tent into an up special. 16%
Mario It is similar to Luigi's move. It is good versus certain characters like Jigglypuff. It has good range. 16%
Ness Throws his hands out forcefully, knocking the opponent backwards. Similar to his dash attack. 12%
Pikachu Thrusts its head forward, doing electric damage. Would be a very useful combo move if it was more difficult to DI out of drills. Combos into up smash and all other aerial attacks. Not as heavily disjointed as Pikachu's other aerials. 21% if all hits connect.
Samus Bursts out fire out of her arm gun. A useful combo move. It has high damage and is good at breaking down shields. Combos into down aerial. 20% if all hits connect.
Yoshi Thrusts its head downwards. A useful edgeguarding move and both a combo starter and a combo ender. Combos into his down special move on the ground. It can meteor smash an opponent. 18%

List of forward aerials in Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Character Description Damage
Bowser Claws forwards. Good for edgeguarding. 9-14%
Captain Falcon The Knee Smash. Very powerful when sweetspotted. 18% when sweetspotted, 5-6% when sourspotted.
Donkey Kong Clutches his hands together and punches down. Meteor smashes at the end of the move. 16%
Dr. Mario Known as "The Kobe". Identical in animation to Mario's but instead of producing a meteor smash, it is a strong launcher. Good for KOing. 17% sweetspotted, 16% sourspotted.
Falco Similar to Fox. Five kicks in front. 27% if all hits connect.
Fox Kicks forward five times. 17% if all hits connect.
Ganondorf Punches downwards. Great KO move. 17%
Ice Climbers Swings their hammer down. Meteor smashes if timed well. 10% both, up to 20%.
Jigglypuff Kicks forward with its legs. 12%
Kirby Kicks forward three times. 16% if all hits connect.
Link Horizontally spins twice while slashing with his sword. 13% first hit, 7% second hit.
Luigi A quick karate chop. High horizontal knockback and is one of his primary KO'ing aerial attacks. 12%
Mario Punches downwards. Meteor smashes. 15%
Marth Slashes forwards. The tipper launches opponents upwards, and can combo into itself and into down air. 9% (base), 10% (middle), 13% (tip)
Mewtwo Slashes forwards with its claw infused with darkness. 14%
Mr. Game & Watch Swings a box forwards. 16% first few frames, 6% later frames.
Ness Shoots multiple PSI shots out of his hands. 15% if all hits connect.
Peach Slaps forward with her crown. 8-15%
Pichu Similar to Pikachu. Spins forward emitting sparks. 7% damage if all hits connect. Pichu will do 4% damage to itself when using this move.
Pikachu Twirls forward while emitting sparks. 8% if all hits connect.
Roy Similar to Marth. 8%
Samus Shoots with her cannon in an arc in front of herself. 23% if all hits connect.
Sheik Does a quick karate chop. Semi-spikes. 13%
Yoshi Swings head downwards while flipping. Meteor smashes powerfully. 17%
Young Link Similar to Link. 12% first hit,
Zelda The "Lightning Kick". Zelda kicks forward. Powerful if sweetspotted. 20% sweetspotted, 9% sourspotted.

List of forward aerials in Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Character Description Damage
Bowser A quick downward slash forward. Decent knockback with surprising speed. 13% (hand), 12% (arm), 11% (shoulder)
Captain Falcon Known as the Knee Smash. Very powerful when sweet spotted, which is difficult. 19% (clean sweetspot), 6% (clean sourspot), 3% (late)
Charizard Covers itself with its wings and breaths fire outwards with good horizontal knockback and range. Oddly, if the opponent is far enough away from Charizard, they will not take any knockback or hitstun from this attack - just damage. 2-4%
Diddy Kong Kicks out both legs and spins around. Similar to Mario's and Luigi's old forward aerial in Super Smash Bros.. 14% (clean), 11% (late)
Donkey Kong Puts his fists together above his head, and then does an ax-handle swing downwards. A slow yet powerful move that can meteor smash when sweetspotted. 16%
Falco Turns horizontally and spins, hitting multiple times with his beak. This move has a long duration with landing lag. 2% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5)
Fox Performs five rapid kicks in succession. Fox "hovers" whenever he performs all five kicks. 6% (hit 1), 5% (hits 2-3), 4% (hit 4), 3% (hit 5)
Ganondorf Punches his fist downward. Deals great knockback, but has some ending and landing lag. 17% (fist), 15% (arm)
Ice Climbers Holds their hammers up and bring them downward. The partner can meteor smash opponents when sweetspotted. Leader: 12%
Partner: 12% (sweetspot), 7% (sourspot)
Ike Performs a downward overhead swing with Ragnell. Has great range, but has long startup. 13%
Ivysaur Whips forward with its vines. Deals vertical knockback. 12% (vine), 10% (tip)
Jigglypuff Kicks both its feet out in front of itself. Can be used for wall of pain techniques. 12%/10% (clean), 6% (late)
King Dedede Swings his hammer upwards. 15%
Kirby Performs three quick spinning kicks forward. When combined with a jump, this move gives Kirby a slight horizontal recovery. 4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 5% (hit 3)
Link Swings sword forward and spins around, then swings it again. Its second hit is more powerful, but the first hit only combos into the second hit at low percentages. 9% (hit 1), 12% (hit 2)
Lucario Kicks forward, radiating aura at the tip of its foot. Inflicts little damage, but can used to combo into other attacks. It can be used twice in one short hop. 5%
Lucas Kicks forward with PSI energy at the end of his foot. 12% (clean sweetspot), 10% (clean sourspot), 8% (late)
Luigi Karate chops forward. Quick and weak though it can still KO at 150% (unless edgeguarding). 10%
Mario Raises his fist then punches downward. Can meteor smash opponents if the move is sweetspotted. 12% (early), 13% (clean), 10% (late)
Marth Swings his sword downwards in front of himself. Can fit two in one short hop, useful for edgeguarding. 10% (base), 13% (tip)
Meta Knight Slashes in front of himself three times. The first two hits can be ground-canceled, which can lead to almost any move. 3% (hits 1-2), 4% (hit 3)
Mr. Game & Watch Swings a box forward. Deals strong horizontal knockback when it first comes out. Originates from Mario Bros. 16% (clean), 6% (late)
Ness Sticks his hands out and creates small bubbles of PSI energy in front of himself. Good for combos. 2% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5)
Olimar Swings a Pikmin in front of himself. 15% (R), 12% (Y), 13% (B), 5% (W), 14% (P)
Peach Takes crown off her head and strikes forward with it. Deals good knockback and is often considered her most reliable KO move. 15%
Pikachu Drills forward in the air with electricity. Deals multiple hits with the final hit dealing minimal knockback. The attack itself has little landing lag, which can potentially set up a follow-up attack. 2% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5)
Pit Thrusts both blades forward and quickly brings them apart, slashing horizontally. Has some startup lag. 14%
R.O.B. Extends both his arms forward. Good for starting up aerial combos and for edgeguarding. 10% (clean), 6% (late)
Samus Fires five small blasts with her arm cannon in a downward arc. This move overall has no landing lag. 4% (hit 1), 3% (hits 2-4), 5% (hit 5)
Sheik Leans forward and swipes forward. Launches opponents at a semi-spike trajectory. 9%
Snake Lifts his left leg over his head then axe-drops it down. Has slow start-up and high ending lag, but it's a very powerful meteor smash if the attack connects with Snake's leg. 14% (body), 15% (leg)
Sonic Spins in a horizontal corkscrew, drilling with his head. Has high landing lag. 1-2% (hits 1-5), 4% (hit 6)
Squirtle Quickly sticks both its feet forward. Has fast startup and a good edgeguarding move. 12% (clean), 6% (late)
Toon Link Swings his sword upward. Good for edgeguarding in terms of leaving the stage to intercept a recovering enemy. 13%
Wario Sticks his foot a short distance forward. Has very little range and damage, but fast and lasts a long time. Good for "wall of pain"-style of attacking. 7% (clean), 5% (late)
Wolf Slashes forward with his left arm. Has decent horizontal reach and delivers a moderately high amount of vertical knockback, making it one of Wolf's best aerial finishers. 11%
Yoshi Winds up then swings his head downwards. Can meteor smash opponents when the head connects, while the body deals horizontal knockback. 16% (body), 15% (head)
Zelda Lightning Kick: Quickly kicks in front of herself, dealing great damage and knockback if the opponent is hit at the beginning of the move at just the tip of her boot. 20% (clean foot), 4% (clean leg, late)
Zero Suit Samus Two quick forward kicks, with the second kick being stronger and slightly faster than the first. The first kick is weaker and often cannot combo onto the second hit. 6% (hit 1), 10-11% (hit 2 clean), 7% (hit 2 late)

List of forward aerials in Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Character Description Damage
Bayonetta Performs a pistol whip in front of her. Performing the attack again has her strike with her other pistol, and a third time makes her perform an arcing kick 4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 6% (hit 3)
Bowser Slashes forward in a diagonal arc. Quick start-up, and decent KO potential off-stage makes it useful for edgeguarding. 13% (hand), 12% (arm), 11% (body)
Bowser Jr. The Junior Clown Car swings a wrecking ball in front of Bowser Jr. 11%/9% (clean), 8%/6.5% (mid), 5%/4% (late), 2% (landing)
Captain Falcon Knee Smash: Jabs his left knee forward. It has very high knockback when sweetspotted, but has a large landing lag. 19% (clean sweetspot), 6% (clean sourspot), 3% (late)
Charizard Slices the air with its talons. 11% (arm), 12% (tip)
Cloud Cloud pauses, then slices downwards in front of him with the Buster Sword, similar to Ike's forward air. Has the most startup out of all his aerials, but sweetspotting right when the sword stops moving results in a powerful meteor smash. Wide range and meteor smashing properties makes this a decent offstage option. Moderate ending and landing lag, but auto-cancels from a full hop. 14% (sweetspot), 13% (clean), 11% (late)
Corrin Slashes forward with the Omega Yato, similar to Marth's, Roy's, and Lucina's forward aerials. Its low knockback and angle make it good for combos. Auto-cancels from a short hop. 7.5%
Dark Pit Identical to Pit's. 1.5% (hits 1-2), 4% (hit 3)
Diddy Kong Quickly kicks both feet forward while spinning. 10% (clean), 8% (late)
Donkey Kong Thrusts his fists in front of him, bringing them down from over his head. Meteor smashes powerfully when connected properly. 16% (fists early), 15% (fists meteor), 13% (arms)
Dr. Mario Identical to Mario's but does not meteor smash opponents. High knockback when sweetspotted. 11.2% (early), 16.8% (clean), 10.08% (late)
Duck Hunt The dog thrusts the duck forward, who attacks with its beak. 6% (early), 10% (tip clean), 7% (tip late)
Falco Turns horizontally and spins, hitting multiple times with his beak. All attacks chain well into each other, with the final hit dealing considerable knockback. The presence of all these hitboxes makes this move difficult to out-prioritize. 1% (hits 1-5), 4% (hit 6), 3% (landing)
Fox Performs five rapid kicks in quick succession. Good for building up damage, as foes will "stick" to Fox for the duration of the attack. 2% (hit 1), 1% (hit 2), 0.6% (hit 3), 0.8% (hit 4), 3% (hit 5)
Ganondorf Unleashes a powerful overhead punch in a downwards arc. Has great knockback, but a lot of landing lag Additionally, it cannot autocancel even from a full hop due to a programming error. 18% (fist), 17% (arm)
Greninja Slashes forward with a water katana in reverse grip. It has some start up lag; but a noticeable auto-cancel window at the beginning. 14%
Ike Performs a downward overhead swing with Ragnell. Has good range and power, with decently fast start up startup. Can auto cancel out of a short hop. 13%
Jigglypuff Kicks both its feet out in front of itself. Deals weak knockback but can be used for wall of pain techniques. 9% (clean), 6% (late)
King Dedede Swings his hammer in front of himself downwards. Surprisingly fast start-up and good range make it useful against floaty opponents like Kirby or Lucas. 12%
Kirby Quickly kicks in front of himself three times. Surprisingly good range allows this move to be chainable in certain instances, and is also effective for edgeguarding. Against larger fighters like Bowser or Donkey Kong, this move can potentially chain into itself 3 times or more in rapid succession to carry them off stage entirely, wall of pain style. 4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 5% (hit 3)
Link Swings his sword forward and then spins around, swinging it a second time. Difficult for both hits to connect at higher percentages. 11% (hit 1), 13% (hit 2)
Little Mac Performs a very weak uppercut with very low knockback. Can be potentially useful at low percentages as part of a larger combo chain, and can be surprisingly effective when edgeguarding, provided Mac has a way to return to the stage afterwards. 5% (hand), 4% (arm)
Lucario Kicks forward in a slight upwards tilt. Damage and knockback scale with aura. 6%
Lucas Kicks in front of himself with PSI energy surrounding his foot. 11.5% (sweetspot), 8% (sourspot)
Lucina A wide downwards swing, identical to Marth's but with no sweetspot. 10.5%
Luigi Chops in front of him horizontally with his hand, has extremely low end lag, being able to use this attack twice out of his short hop. This move can be used as a follow-up to Luigi's down-throw, where he can often hit twice or more. 9%
Mario Raises his fist above his head and swings downward. Meteor smashes opponents when sweetspotted. 12% (early), 14% (clean), 10% (late)
Marth Quickly swings his sword downwards in front of himself. A good edgeguarding technique. 8% (base), 12.5% (tip)
Mega Man Flame Sword: Quickly summons a flaming sword to his hand and swings it downwards in front of himself. Based off Sword Man's weapon from Mega Man 8. 8%
Meta Knight Quickly slashes in front of himself three times. Very quick for a multi-hitting move, and an almost guaranteed follow-up from down-throw. 2.2% (hits 1-2 for grounded opponents), 1.5% (hits 1-2 for aerial opponents), 3% (hit 3)
Mewtwo Quickly swipes its hand forward. The move comes out very quickly and has high knockback, making it a very useful finisher; albeit a lack in range and active frames 13%
Mii Brawler Two kicks in front, similar to Zero Suit Samus's forward aerial. 3% (hit 1) 5% (hit 2)*
Mii Gunner Fires a single energy shot. The force slightly pushes back the Mii Gunner. 6% (close), 4% (far)*
Mii Swordfighter Stabs forward multiple times. 3% (hits 1-2), 5% (hit 3)*
Mr. Game & Watch Swings a box forward dealing, strong horizontal knockback when it first comes out. Originates from Mario Bros. 11.5% (clean), 6% (late)
Ness Releases a pulse of PSI power with his palms, hitting multiple times. Excellent for linking into combos, often after down-throw. 1% (hits 1-3), 4% (hit 4)
Olimar Swings a Pikmin in front of himself. Very quick start-up. R: 10.2%
YB: 8.5%
W: 6.8%
P: 11.9%
Pac-Man Does a quick hoizontal kick in front of himself. 5.3%
Palutena A quick kick forward; looks similar to Zelda's lightning kicks, but without the sweet spot. 9%
Peach Takes her crown off her head and strikes with it in a vertical arc. Has some startup but deals a large amount of damage and knockback. Deceptively long range and high priority will often prompt Peach players to hover just off the ground in order to use it over Peach's ground-based moves. 15%
Pikachu Spins forward surrounded by electricity, dealing multiple hits. Similar to Falco's. 1.7% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5)
Pit Spins his bow horizontally in front of himself, slashing foes multiple times before launching them diagonally. 1.5% (hits 1-2), 4% (hit 3)
R.O.B. Swings both arms forward in a clobbering strike. Very quick start-up. 7%
Robin Uses his Bronze Sword or Levin Sword and sweeps the area beneath him, dragging the sword up. The Levin Sword has much more knockback and damage. Bronze: 6%
Levin: 11% (clean), 5% (late)
Rosalina & Luma Rosalina: Backflips in the air, creating a miniature galaxy at her feet. Deals multiple hits.
Luma: Headbutts forward.
Rosalina: 1% (hits 1-3), 4% (hit 4)
Luma: 5%
Roy Performs a downward slash in front of himself while holding his sword in a reverse grip. Decent range and good IASA frames makes it a good follow-up. 11% (base), 7% (tip)
Ryu Performs a classic Street Fighter flying kick, based on Ryu's jumping heavy kick. 15% (clean sweetspot), 13% (late sweetspot), 9% (clean sourspot), 8% (late sourspot)
Samus Blasts her arm cannon in a downward arc in front of herself. The first four shots have set knockback with the final shot dealing considerable knockback. 3% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-4), 5% (hit 5)
Sheik A quick downward swipe. Deals low knockback, but has great combo potential and very low landing lag. 5.0% (arm), 4.3% (body)
Shulk Swings the Monado directly downwards in front of himself. Has a wide arc, good range and the least ending lag of Shulk's aerials. Useful for edgeguarding, especially when using the Jump Art. 7.5% (blade), 6% (beam)
Sonic Spins around horizontally, hitting the opponent multiple times with his head. 0.8% (hits 1-5), 3% (hit 6)
Toon Link Swings his sword in front of himself in a horizontal arc. Good as a finishing move in the air. 13%
Villager Fires a pellet from a slingshot. The pellet deals moderate knockback at point blank range, which is deadly especially offstage. Can be reflected or pocketed. 7% (close), 4% (mid), 2.5% (far)
Wario Quickly thrusts his leg out. It has very quick start up and combos very well into other attacks. 7% (clean) 4.5% (late)
Wii Fit Trainer Performs the Single-Leg Extension pose. The outstretched leg can meteor smash opponents. 10% (clean), 6% (late)
Yoshi Winds up then performs a headbutt downward. The head can meteor smash. 15% (body), 14% (head)
Zelda Lightning Kick: Kicks forward with an extremely powerful pulse from her extended foot with great knockback, yet a terrible sourspot. 20% (sweetspot) 4% (sourspot)
Zero Suit Samus Two quick kicks forward with her jet boots. The second hit is often difficult to chain into after the first hit. 5% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2)

* This assumes the Mii is default height and weight.

Notable forward aerials[edit]

  • In Melee, Brawl, and SSB4, Captain Falcon's forward aerial is the famous Knee Smash, which has very high KO potential if sweetspotted. It is considered more useful in Melee than in Brawl and SSB4, due to the former game possessing the ability to L-cancel and more favorable sweetspot placements and timings for the move.
  • Snake's forward aerial is the most powerful forward aerial meteor smash in Brawl.
  • Zelda's forward aerial is known as the Lightning Kick, and is a powerful finisher at high percents when sweetspotted.
  • Marth's forward aerial is considered one of the best in Melee and Brawl, due to its fast startup and low ending lag, good range, its edgeguarding capabilities, and versatility. In SSB4, however, it was drastically nerfed by receiving more lag (starting, ending and landing) and a shorter hitbox duration, no longer being as safe to use upon landing or if untippered against shields.
  • In Brawl, Falco's forward aerial is often considered the worst in the game, due to its poor range, high ending lag, and inferiority to similar attacks, such as Pikachu's and Sonic's. In SSB4, it was drastically buffed, given massive knockback with its final hit, reliably KOing offstage around 100% while not being particularly hard to land, making it arguably one of the best multi-hit forward aerials in the game.
  • Jigglypuff's forward aerial is useful in performing the wall of pain, especially in Melee.
  • Villager's forward aerial is a projectile, and as such, can be reflected or Pocketed.
  • Sheik's forward aerial in SSB4 is one of her best moves for spacing and approaching, and overall one of the best aerials in the game, with an extremely early autocancel window (starting on frame 11) and long range enabling her to land it multiple times on opponents upon hitting them, typically following up afterwards with Bouncing Fish.
  • In SSB4, Ness' forward aerial is known for being able to follow after a down throw and very easily comboing into itself.
  • Donkey Kong's forward aerials launch targets at the Sakurai angle when hit in the earliest frames, but a clean hit will result in a meteor smash. The move also resembles his midair attack from Donkey Kong 64.
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