Falco (SSB4)

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This article is about Falco's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Falco Lombardi.
Falco
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Falco SSB4.png
StarFoxSymbol.svg
Universe Star Fox
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in Ultimate
Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Landmaster
Tier F (47)
FalcoHeadSSB4-U.png

Falco (ファルコ, Falco) returns as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. Falco was officially confirmed on October 3rd, 2014, alongside Ness and Wario, coinciding with the North American and European release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS. In Japanese, he is once again voiced by Hisao Egawa via re-recorded voice clips. In English, Mark Lund, Falco's voice actor from Star Fox 64 3D and Star Fox Zero, now voices him, replacing Dex Manley from Brawl.

Falco is currently ranked 47th out of 55 on the tier list, an extreme drop from Brawl where he was ranked 7th out of 38, making this his worst placement in the series by far. The majority of Falco's moves have high speed and very favorable angles, granting him a strong combo game and juggling capabilities. These are further aided by his good grab game and strong jumps, with the latter remaining the highest in the game. His moves that lack speed or reach are also packed with power, giving his moves surprisingly high KO power; for example, his back aerial can reliably KO below 130%. He also boasts an effective grab game and out of shield game, with all of his throws possessing great utility and/or KO power, while the speed of his moves allows him to easily punish opponents out of shield.

However, Falco's neutral game has been drastically weakened, with several of the moves that made him a threat at all ranges being nerfed: his two staple moves, Blaster and down aerial, now being much slower, and both are also incapable of autocancelling in a short hop, eliminating Falco's ability to safely approach; changes to his back aerial by lowering its duration and reach also make it less effective at spacing. These weakened tools amplify the issue of Falco's low horizontal mobility, making it very difficult to keep up with opponents or force an approach. Finally, even though Falco benefits from the changes to hitstun canceling as they make down throw much better for combos, it can no longer lead into the Gatling Combo or rack up damage on its own. In fact, the changes to game mechanics have hindered Falco overall, as the removal of DACUS, the Gatling Combo, and chain grabbing hurt his damage racking capabilities overall, while the introduction of rage makes him more susceptible to KOs, due to his light weight. His recovery, despite being long distanced and buffed overall, is still slow, predictable, and easily intercepted, making Falco vulnerable to gimps.

Owing to his flaws, especially compared to his Brawl incarnation, Falco has held poor tournament representation and results in competitive play. Although updates to the game have attempted to buff a number of his negative attributes, he still has struggled to make an impact at tournaments at the national level.

How to unlock[edit]

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS[edit]

  • Play 20 VS Matches.
  • Complete Classic Mode without using any continues.

Falco must then be defeated on Corneria.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit]

Falco must then be defeated on Orbital Gate Assault.

Attributes[edit]

Falco is a light character with polarized movement. He has the strongest jumping ability, a fast walking speed, fast falling speed and high air acceleration, but a rather slow dashing speed, below average air speed and very high gravity. These stats give Falco slow horizontal movement, but proficient vertical movement. They also give him good vertical survivability for a character of his weight.

Falco's greatest strength is the speed of his moveset. His neutral attack and forward tilt are both exceedingly quick, while up tilt and down tilt can be used to combo into other attacks or even KO at high percentages. His smash attacks are all powerful and have decent reach as well. Down smash is also a semi-spike, making it very good at edgeguarding. His aerial moves are also powerful in their own way. Neutral aerial deals decently high knockback and is very quick, making it an excellent option for disrupting an opponent's moves and a great combo extender/finisher. Forward aerial is powerful and can easily KO offstage, and can be used for gimping by fast-falling during the move then footstool jumping over the opponent, in a similar manner to fellow representative Fox. It also has a strong landing hitbox with disjointed range. Up aerial sends opponents vertically and is a great move for comboing and KOing off the top, thanks to Falco's high jumps. Back aerial is Falco's strongest aerial, as well as his second fastest, making it a great choice in many scenarios. Lastly, down aerial, while significantly nerfed from Brawl, can still be useful for KOing offstage, as it is a meteor smash. All of these moves grant Falco a versatile combo game.

Another advantage Falco possesses is his grab game. His pummel is quick and decently damaging, making it great at racking up damage. Forward throw is decently strong and can set up a dash attack or an edgeguard. Back throw is great for giving Falco some breathing space, since the first hit is a semi-spike, and when combined with the laser's hit, the throw can even KO at high percentages. Up throw sends opponents straight up, and can be used to combo into any aerial or even KO at very high percents. Finally, down throw can combo into dash attack and any aerial at low percentages, or tech-chase if the opponent is past combo percentages, like in Brawl. Coupled with his fast rolls and sidestep, with the former being long-distanced, as well as his aforementioned combo abilities, Falco has an impressive out of shield game.

His special moveset also provides some interesting options. Blaster is Falco's main projectile and, while extremely unsafe at close range, is an invaluable move for pressuring, gimping recoveries (especially those of Ganondorf, Little Mac and Cloud) and halting or even outright preventing approaches. Reflector is, as its name implies, a move capable of reflection, allowing Falco to actively combat camping. It also carries a damaging hitbox that has a high chance of tripping opponents, even at percentages over 400%, allowing for potential tech-chases. Falco Phantasm involves Falco quickly dashing sideways, making it great for horizontal recovery. The aerial version also meteor smashes aerial opponents and has little landing lag, making it useful for gimping recoveries and repositioning, respectively. Lastly, Fire Bird, his primary recovery move, grants him respectable distance in any direction chosen. It also allows Falco to slide across the air, letting him mix up his positioning, and has damaging hitboxes throughout (dealing 31% if all hits connect), making up for its low speed.

However, Falco has numerous weaknesses. His most prominent flaws are his neutral game and recovery. Regarding his neutral game, Falco's horizontal mobility is fairly slow, which limits his movement across the stage. This gives him significant trouble approaching and pressuring opponents, since Blaster, his most reliable tool at doing so, can no longer autocancel. In addition, while Falco's moves are overall very quick startup-wise, many of them are slow endlag-wise, making misused moves heavily susceptible to punishment. When combined with his overall poor reach on his melee attacks and the fact that most of his moves' sweetspots are close to his body, Falco has a below average neutral game, making him have trouble at KOing despite his overall high power. As for his recovery, while his high jumps, Falco Phantasm, wall jump and Fire Bird all give him a very long-distanced recovery, it is extremely predictable due to how linear it is. These four options are also very ineffective on their own, making his recovery fairly easy to gimp. Outside of low percentages, Falco's combo-oriented moves are prone to being DIed, making it harder for him to rack up damage effectively, which is further exacerbated by the removal of chain grabbing, DACUS and the Gatling Combo. Despite being light, Falco is susceptible to combos, due to his fast falling speed and lack of escape options. His survivability is below average at best, mainly because of Falco's low weight, high gravity, and predictable recovery.

Falco benefits a decent amount from custom moves. Burst Blaster has less range, but is much faster, forcing bad approaches from the opponent much more easily. Falco Phase cannot hit opponents and does not grant any momentum, like in Melee, but Falco cannot be hurt either, and the move is also faster. Distant Fire Bird is slower and has no charging hitbox, like in Melee, but it moves further and has more momentum, considerably improving his recovery. Reflector Void destroys most projectiles instead of reflecting them, but deals more damage on contact, and is the optimal choice against certain characters like Villager or if the opponent lacks projectiles. The other variations of his custom moves are either very situational, or do not have many advantages over the default.

Overall, like Kirby and Luigi, Falco runs hot and cold. Despite having excellent combo potential and KO power, his slow ground mobility, poor range and significantly nerfed neutral game make it very difficult to put his newfound abilities to use. Mainly due to his poor neutral game, Falco's weaknesses outweigh his strengths, resulting in poor tournament representation and similar results, with very few dedicated mains such as Armando and Keitaro.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Falco has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. Even though the former are of greater quantity than the latter, he is considered to be significantly nerfed overall, due to his neutral game being drastically weakened.

Falco's power has been improved significantly, removing his main weakness from Brawl. His down tilt has regained its lost power from Melee and his smash attacks are stronger. His forward aerial is stronger and unaffected by SDI, his up aerial has consistent power and more vertical knockback, and his back aerial has much more power, to the point of being the eighth strongest overall in the game. In addition, his grab game has had its consistency drastically improved, with up throw and down throw having comboing abilities, and back throw now having KO power. His recovery, another severe weakness he has had since Melee, has been heavily buffed. While Falco Phantasm can no longer be shortened, it no longer puts Falco in helpless state, allowing Fire Bird to be used immediately after, with the latter also granting more distance than before. Due to being slow, both moves also benefit a lot from the removal of edge-hogging.

However, the few nerfs Falco received created new weaknesses that were harsh enough to cripple his neutral game. The removal of DACUS (and subsequently the Gatling Combo) prevents his newly buffed up smash from being used as an approach option or a combo finisher. The removal of chain grabbing is a double-edged sword for Falco. While he is no longer adversely affected by it, his ability to easily rack up large amounts of damage is no longer present. Down aerial, a staple in Melee and Brawl, has been drastically slowed down, to the point where it is now useless outside of edgeguarding. Finally, his Blaster, formerly one of the most reliable tools for approaching and pressuring, is slower and incapable of autocancelling. These changes make Falco much less of a threat in the neutral game, as it is considerably harder for him to put his high power to good use.

Due to these nerfs, Falco considered to be one of the characters to get truly nerfed in the initial transition from Brawl, alongside Meta Knight, Marth, King Dedede, Jigglypuff and Olimar, though the former two are still considered solid characters in competitive play due to both the buffs they had received in their transitions from Brawl, as well as the buffs they later received in game updates, all of which are much more noticeable buffs when compared to Falco.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Due to the aesthetic used in SSB4, Falco's attire is sleeker, and his overall color scheme is more vibrant.
  • Change Falco has received two new alternate costumes.
  • Change Blaster's design has slightly changed.
  • Change Falco now says "Get some!" when he performs his side taunt, instead of "Don't try me."

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Falco dashes faster (1.432 → 1.472).
  • Buff Falco's air speed is faster (0.893 → 0.93).
  • Buff Falco's air acceleration is faster (0.07 → 0.09).
  • Buff Jump is significantly higher.
  • Change Falco falls faster (1.708 → 1.8). This improves his vertical endurance, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Falco's fast falling speed is faster (2.3912 → 2.88), improving his air game and making him less susceptible to juggling.
  • Change Falco's gravity is higher (0.112 → 0.13). This improves his aerial mobility, but hinders his horizontal endurance and air time.
  • Buff Soft landing is faster (3 frames → 2).
  • Nerf Item throw is weaker (1 → 0.94).
  • Buff The removal of chain grabbing significantly improves Falco's endurance.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack's infinite has received a finisher, an outward knifehand strike. The weakening of SDI also makes it harder to escape from, despite its SDI multiplier being increased (1× → 1.2×).
  • Nerf The first and second hits of neutral attack have a shorter duration (4 → 3 frames) and more ending lag (frame 17/19 → 23/26). The first hit and infinite also deal less damage (4% → 3% (hit 1), 1% → 0.4 (infinite)).
  • Change The first and second hit of neutral attack have different angles (80° → 68°/77°/80° (hit 1), 50° → 80°/50°/45° (hit 2)), and no longer use set knockback (hit 1: 5 (set)/100 (scaling) → 35 (base)/30 (scaling); hit 2: 20 (set)/100 (scaling) → 30 (base)/30 (scaling)). This makes them harder to connect into the neutral infinite at high percents, but improves their jab canceling potential (especially the first hit's), despite their higher ending lag.
  • Buff Up tilt's clean first hit has a different angle (100° → 106°) and higher set knockback (60 → 100), allowing it to connect more reliably into the second hit. The changes to hitstun canceling also grant it combo potential starting at mid percents.
  • Nerf Up tilt has more startup lag (frame 4 → 5), and the clean first hit no longer affects aerial opponents, while the second hit's farthest hitbox has less reach (6u → 5u).
  • Buff Down tilt has an altered animation where rather than spinning around in place with his tail out, Falco steps forward slightly and sweeps his tail in front of him, which somewhat increases its reach. It also has more base knockback (25 → 50/35), restoring its KO potential from Melee, and the changes to hitstun canceling make it a better combo starter at low to mid percents.
  • Nerf Down tilt's middle hitbox deals less damage (12% → 11%).
  • Change Down tilt's middle and tipper hitboxes have lower knockback scaling (90 → 88), although it is compensated by their increased base knockback.
  • Buff Dash attack has increased knockback (40/30 (base)/90 (scaling) → 80/70/70). It also has a new animation where Falco instead kicks while leaning away from his kicking-direction and recovers with a forward lean brake (in a slightly different fashion than Fox's dash attack), somewhat altering his hurtbox position and making him harder to hit.
  • Nerf Dash attack has more startup with a shorter duration (frames 4-17 → 8-18), and more ending lag (frame 36 → 40).
  • Buff Forward smash has increased knockback (clean hit: 40 (base)/88 (scaling) → 42 (base)/90/93/96 (scaling), late hit: 10 (base) → 30), improving its KO potential.
  • Nerf Forward smash has a shorter duration (frames 17-22 → 17-20), and the late hit has less reach (9u → 6u).
  • Change Forward smash has increased hitlag (0.5× → 1× (clean hit), 0.3× → 0.5× (late hit)). This makes it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Buff Falco has a new up smash, a sideways-flipping kick that hits with both legs with the following-legged hit re-positioning him forward. It hits twice instead of once, dealing more total damage (14% → 16%) and having no late hit behind Falco. It also has less startup with a longer duration (frames 8-17 → 7-12/13-20), hits crouching opponents more easily, and grants intangibility on Falco's legs while the hitboxes are active. These changes greatly improve its utility.
  • Nerf Up smash has more ending lag (frame 44 → 50). The removal of DACUS also eliminates its use as an approach option and combo finisher (in the form of the Gatling Combo).
  • Change The second hit of up smash has an altered angle (95° → 80°), and higher knockback values than the previous single hit (20 (base)/98 (scaling) → 31 (base)/104 (scaling)) to compensate for its lower individual damage output (14% → 12%). It also has increased hitlag (1× → 1.3×), making it safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Buff Down smash has higher knockback scaling (70 → 78), improving its KO and edgeguarding potential.
  • Nerf Sourspotted down smash deals less damage (13% → 12%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change The final hit of neutral aerial, all hits of forward aerial, and clean down aerial have increased hitlag (1x → 2x (neutral), 0.7× → 1× (forward aerial, looping hits), 2× → 2.5× (forward aerial, final hit), 1× → 2× (down)). This makes them safer on shield, but easier to DI.
  • Buff Neutral aerial has more reach (5u → 6u (looping hits)/8u (final hit)). The looping hits also have higher set knockback (10 → 22) and use the autolink angle (110° → 367°), which alongside the weakening of SDI allows them to connect much more effectively. Lastly, the final hit has significantly increased knockback (40 (base)/100 (scaling) → 55/130), and always launches opponents in the direction Falco is facing, which alongside the changes to hitstun canceling grants it combo potential.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial has more landing lag (9 frames → 15).
  • Change Neutral aerial now has a slash effect instead of a normal effect.
  • Buff Forward aerial's looping hits have set knockback (0 (base)/40 (scaling) → 60 (set)/100 (scaling)), a faster rehit rate (8 → 4), and use a different autolink angle (365° → 366°), which alongside the weakening of SDI allows them to connect much more effectively, despite their SDI multiplier being increased (0.8× → 1×). The final hit also deals more damage (3% → 4%) and knockback (80 (base)/60 (scaling) → 55/145), and launches at a lower angle (50° → 361°), making it a reliable edgeguarding option. Furthermore, the move has less ending lag (frame 58 → 50), landing lag (33 frames → 25), autocancels earlier (frame 49 → 46), and possesses a new landing hitbox with high hitlag, making it harder to punish. These changes drastically improve its utility, and it is no longer one of the worst forward aerials.
  • Nerf Forward aerial has more startup with a shorter duration (frames 6-33/34-35 → 10-27/28-29), and the looping hits deal less damage (2% → 1%), reducing its total damage output without the landing hit (11% → 9%). The final hit also has an increased SDI multiplier (0× → 1×) and less reach (8u → 6u).
  • Buff Back aerial has a new animation, with Falco kicking more horizontally while leaning further away (akin to his dash attack), which narrows his hurtbox somewhat. The clean hit has much higher knockback scaling (103 → 130), improving its KO potential to the point of becoming one of the strongest back aerials in the game. It also autocancels earlier (frame 23 → 15), and benefits from the increased shieldstun, now being safe on shield if its autocancel is timed properly.
  • Nerf Back aerial has less reach (4.5u/6u/4u → 4.8u/3.2u), and its sourspot in front of Falco has been removed. It also has a shorter duration (frames 4-7 (clean)/8-19 (late) → 4-5/6-11).
  • Nerf Up and down aerials have shorter initial autocancel windows (frames 1-6 → 1-3 (up), frames 1-4 → 1-3 (down)).
  • Buff Up aerial has less startup (frame 10 → 7) and ending lag (frame 36 → 34), more reach (4.8u → 5u), and no longer has a sourspot that deals drastically lower knockback (30 (base)/20 (scaling) → 35/90), making it more reliable. It also launches at more vertical angles (68°/80° → 65°/75°/85°), which alongside its lower lag and the changes to hitstun canceling allow it to start combos more effectively.
  • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage (11% → 10%) with knockback not fully compensated on its sweetspots (27 (base)/100 (scaling) → 35/90), hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff The removal of meteor canceling improves down aerial's reliability for edgeguarding. Due to its 2× hitlag multiplier, it also benefits heavily from frame cancelling upon landing.
  • Nerf Down aerial has an altered animation, resulting in over three times the startup lag (frame 5 → 16), more ending lag (frame 50 → 52), almost twice the landing lag (12 frames → 23) and a slower autocancel (frame 27 → 38). This drastically worsens its utility and prevent it from autocanceling in a short hop. It also has less reach (5.5u → 4.2u (clean hit)/5.3u (late hit)), and lower knockback scaling on its clean hit (100 → 80).
  • Change The clean hit of down aerial has a different launch angle on grounded opponents (280° → 80°) and aerial opponents (280° → 285°). In the former case, this improves its KO potential, but removes its follow-ups at high percentages.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Standing and pivot grabs have slower startup (standing: frame 6 → 8, pivot: frame 9 → 11).
  • Buff Dash grab has faster startup (frame 11 → 10).
  • Buff Excluding forward throw, all throws now consist of one strong Blaster shot instead of three weak shots (four in the case of down throw), which deal more knockback (30 (base)/100 (scaling) → 60/80). This makes back and up throws more reliable for damage racking, especially at high percents. They also benefit from the weakening of DI, as opponents can no longer DI out of the lasers' line of fire as effectively.
  • Buff Back throw deals more total damage (8% → 9%), and both the throw and laser deal more knockback due to their higher individual damage outputs (2% → 6% (throw)/3% (laser)). Combined with the previous points, this makes it a reliable KO throw at around 150% near the edge.
  • Change Back throw's angles have been altered (33° (throw)/361° (laser) → 35°/50°). Its throw also has lower knockback scaling (80 → 60), though this is more than compensated by its higher damage output.
  • Buff Up throw launches at more vertical angles (107° (throw)/361° (laser) → 94°/90°), and deals more knockback due to both the throw and laser's higher individual damage outputs (2% → 4%), despite the former's lower base knockback (70 → 60). Combined with the previous points and the changes to hitstun canceling, this grants it utility as a combo starter from mid to high percents. It also benefits from the new rage mechanic, which makes it a reliable KO throw on stages with platforms.
  • Buff The changes to hitstun canceling make down throw a better combo starter at low to mid percents, particularly into dash attack, up smash, neutral aerial, back aerial and forward aerial.
  • Nerf Down throw deals less total damage (9% → 5%) due to firing one laser instead of four, despite the throw's higher damage output (1% → 3%). Combined with the removal of chain grabbing, this hinders its damage racking potential. The throw also deals more knockback (45 (base)/130 (scaling) → 60/110), making it more difficult to follow up on at higher percents.
  • Change Down throw's laser has a different angle (361° → 50°).
  • Buff Floor attacks deal more damage (6% → 7%) and shield damage (1 → 8) per hit, with minimally compensated knockback scaling (50 → 48).
  • Change Floor attacks' angles have been altered (361° → 48°).
  • Buff Edge attack no longer has set knockback (110 (set)/100 (scaling) → 90 (base)/20 (scaling)).
  • Change Edge attack deals consistent damage (8% (legs)/6% (body) → 7%).

Special moves[edit]

  • Nerf Blaster has a longer delay between consecutive shots (24 frames → 29 (grounded), 16 frames → 24 (aerial)), and can no longer autocancel, removing silent lasers and making the aerial speed increase significantly lower than in Brawl. While it can still be used to lock, laser locking is no longer possible due to its slower speed. Blaster shots also travel a much shorter distance. These changes have removed nearly all of this move's utility in approaching and camping.
  • Buff Blaster has less startup lag (frame 12 → 11 (grounded), frame 10 → 9 (aerial)).
  • Buff Falco Phantasm no longer dashes over edges when used on the ground, and has less landing lag when used in the air. It also no longer leaves Falco helpless when used in midair, and gives Falco some forward momentum after the move ends. Lastly, the introduction of ledge trumping allows it to be used for gimping opponents after trumping the edge.
  • Nerf Falco Phantasm has slightly increased startup lag (frame 17 → 18), and can also no longer be shortened, hindering Falco's recovery mix-up options. The move also dashes more slowly, and the attack has less range, due to the hitbox ending before Falco dashes forward the full distance.
  • Buff Fire Bird covers much more distance, and has less startup lag (frame 21 → 20). The charging portion's hits also have decreased SDI multipliers (1.5× → 0.8×), which alongside the weakening of SDI makes them harder to escape, although they still do not link very well.
  • Nerf Fire Bird no longer gives Falco a slight vertical boost at the end of the move, making it slightly harder to recover if Falco overshoots the ledge from behind.
  • Buff Reflector has more range (3u → 3.5u).
  • Nerf Reflector deals less damage (6% → 5%), has a lower trip chance (40% → 25%) and deactivates once Falco grabs the device (after frame 33), shortening the window Falco gets to reflect projectiles and making timing of the move more crucial than in Brawl. Its reflection multiplier has also been decreased (1.5× → 1.2×).
  • Nerf Landmaster is weaker and has a shorter duration.
  • Change Landmaster is now light blue, instead of dark blue.

Update history[edit]

Falco has been buffed via game updates. In update 1.0.4, his Blaster's firing rate was increased, which slightly improved his neutral game. Update 1.0.8 buffed Falco's punishing game by making his neutral aerial more versatile, as well as increasing the speed of his up and forward aerials. The same update also slightly improved his aerial mobility by increasing his air speed and acceleration. Update 1.1.4 increased his down smash's knockback, while improving his up smash by decreasing its start-up, increasing its knockback, and granting intangibility to its first hit. Lastly, the new shield mechanics also aid some of Falco's moves without harming others. These changes gave Falco more offensive options and improved both his KOing and his previously nerfed damage racking abilities, making him better than he was in the game's initial release. However, since none of them have improved his below average neutral game, Falco still remains at a disadvantage compared to most of the cast.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff Landing hit of forward aerial deals more damage: 2% → 5%.
  • Buff Landing hit of forward aerial extends farther horizontally (Z offset: 11 → 12; Z2 offset: 8 → 7), increasing its range.
  • Buff Down aerial has less ending lag (frame 58 → 52) and landing lag (26 → 23 frames).
  • Buff Blaster can shoot faster.
  • Bug fix Fixed a glitch in which Reflector Void failed to reflect Timber properly.
  • Change Certain hitbox properties of Landmaster have been changed.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.8

  • Buff Falco's air speed increased: 0.893 → 0.93.
  • Buff Falco's air acceleration increased: 0.07 → 0.09.
  • Buff Neutral attack improved. It keeps opponents in place more reliably for all of its hits and its hitboxes' sizes increased.
  • Buff Neutral aerial improved. It keeps opponents in place more reliably for all of its hits, its hitboxes' sizes increased, and it always launches in the direction Falco faces.
  • Nerf Neutral aerial deals 1% less damage: 12% → 11%.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals 1% more damage if all aerial hits connect: 5% → 6%.
  • Buff Forward aerial's start-up and landing lag decreased: 12 frames → 10 (start-up), 32 frames → 25 (landing).
  • Buff Forward aerial overall lag decreased: 58 frames → 50, giving it follow-up potential.
  • Nerf Forward aerial's landing hit deals 2% less damage: 5% → 3%.
  • Buff Up aerial's start-up decreased: 10 frames → 7.
  • Buff Up aerial's hitbox sizes increased and deal more vertical knockback.
  • Change Up aerial's sourspot removed, leaving it with a single hitbox that deals 1% less damage than its previous sweetspot: 11% → 10%. This makes its utility much more consistent at the cost of an extra powerful hitbox.
  • Buff Sweetspotted down aerial's duration increased by 1 frame.
  • Buff Sourspotted down aerial's hitboxes' sizes increased.
  • Change Sweetspotted down aerial no longer meteor smashes grounded opponents. Instead, it now launches opponents at a slightly diagonal trajectory. This makes it incapable of being teched at the cost of removing its follow-up potential at high percentages.
  • Nerf Falco Phantasm's start-up increased: frame 18 → 19.

Technical changelist 1.0.8

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.4

  • Buff Up smash is significantly improved. Both kicks hit one frame earlier, the first kick has intangibility frames on his legs, hits better against ducking opponents, and is stronger.
  • Buff Down smash has higher knockback growth.
  • Bug fix Down Throw Ledge Spike Bug removed.
  • Nerf Trip invincibility and all trip followups except floor attack have one less frame of invincibility.

Technical changelist 1.1.4

Moveset[edit]

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% Performs two knifehand strikes, then tilts diagonally and spins very quickly with his wings spread out before finishing with another knifehand strike. A handy jab cancelling tool due to its quick speed (comes out on frame 2), as it can be followed up by a tilt, down smash or a grab.
2%
0.4% (loop), 3% (last)
Forward tilt   9% A roundhouse kick. It can be angled strongly, but has below average knockback. Can lock opponents.
Up tilt   4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 1, late tip), 5% (hit 2) Slightly twists around and swings both of his wings upward. The tip of the first hit is a meteor smash, although it is very hard to land consistently in normal gameplay as both attacks connect well with each other. Useful for comboing. It also functions as a fast, though somewhat weak KOing option, dealing enough vertical knockback to KO at around 160%.
Down tilt   12% (near), 11% (mid), 9% (far) Swipes across the floor with his tail feathers. One of the strongest down tilts in the game, reliably KOing at 120% if sweetspotted. It also has combo potential depending on the knockback it deals.
Dash attack   9% (clean), 6% (late) A flying kick. The late hit launches the opponent at a lower angle.
Forward smash   15% (clean), 10% (late) A two-handed overhead slash downwards. Has high knockback and speed, though has slow startup on the flipside. Its sweetspot is at his hands. One of Falco's strongest attacks, KOing at 102%.
Up smash   4% (hit 1), 12% (hit 2) A sideways-flipping kick that hits twice. Falco's legs have intangibility while the hitboxes are active. KOs at 130% and comes out as a rather fast damage rack-up tool, but has some notable lag.
Down smash   15% (feet), 12% (legs) A split kick. Comes out quickly and Falco's feet are intangible for a short time before the attack. However, it has below average reach. There is a very small sourspot in the center of his body that deals weak vertical knockback, but the move's ending lag renders it practically unusable for combos. Falco's hurtbox also shrinks down during this attack, allowing him to avoid high-aimed moves if timed properly.
Neutral aerial   3% (hits 1-2), 2% (hit 3), 3% (hit 4) Spins and swipes repeatedly with his wings, hitting four times. A good combo move, with each hit connecting well with one another. The last hit launches opponents away. As the move's looping hits use the autolink angle, it can be used during a fast fall to gimp recovering opponents.
Forward aerial   1% (loop), 4% (last hit), 3% (landing) Spins in a horizontal corkscrew to perform a drilling peck. It is similar to Pikachu and Sonic's forward aerials. Can KO around 100% offstage while not being particularly hard to land. It has a landing hit positioned around Falco's head that launches opponents away with decently strong knockback, making this move one of Falco's most reliable KOing options overall. As the move's looping hits use the autolink angle, it can be used during a fast fall to gimp recovering opponents.
Back aerial   13% (clean), 7% (late) A back kick. It is notorious for being one of the fastest and strongest back aerials in the game; the clean hit comes out at frame 4 and possesses incredibly high knockback scaling that even exceeds moves such as Ness's back throw. When including its ability to autocancel from a short hop fast fall, it is a powerful KOing option and combo breaker, capable of KOing at 130% from the center of Final Destination. However, its other qualities have been heavily toned down since Brawl, with its range and duration being considerably shorter.
Up aerial   10% A somersault kick. The kick covers above Falco, giving it rather good range. The attack also starts behind him, allowing the early hit to catch opponents while he's landing. Juggles well at low percentages and can KO at higher percents, although its knockback is lacking compared to Fox's. Regardless, Falco's high jumps allow it to be used from very high up near the blast line, where it can KO as early as 115%.
Down aerial   13% (clean), 8% (late) Briefly pulls his legs upward before performing a downward corkscrew stomp. A decently strong meteor smash on aerial opponents; as a carryover from Melee, it is one of the few meteor smashes that sends opponents diagonally downwards. Due to the clean hit's 2× hitlag multiplier, it benefits significantly from frame cancelling, though this is very situational. The late hit can also lock opponents. However, the move has high startup lag and landing lag, so it is mostly used for reads.
Grab   An average grab.
Pummel   2% Knee strikes the opponent. Decent speed.
Forward throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Launches the opponent forward with a cross.
Back throw   6% (throw), 3% (shot) Throws the opponent backwards and then shoots them once with his Blaster. Can KO at around 150% near the edge if the opponent is hit by the laser.
Up throw   4% (throw), 4% (shot) Throws the opponent upwards and then shoots them once with his Blaster. A reliable combo starter until high percentages thanks to Falco's high jumps. It can combo into any aerial (except down aerial) and, with a proper read, lead into a KO with up aerial. The throw itself can KO at high percentages if performed on stages with platforms, although opponents can DI away from it at said percent range.
Down throw   2% (shot), 3% (throw) Throws the opponent to the ground and shoots them with his Blaster. Like his up throw, it is a very reliable combo starter. It can lead into an up smash or dash attack at low percentages, as well as a neutral, forward or back aerial at medium percentages.
Floor attack (front)   7% Lunges and kicks backward and forward.
Floor attack (back)   7% Extends to attack in front and in back.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Spins around while kicking.
Edge attack   7% A corkscrew dropkick.
Neutral special Default Blaster 3% Fires his Blaster. Unlike Fox's variant, it is slow, but can make the opponent flinch and is slightly more powerful. The Blaster fires slightly faster in the air, although this speed increase is negligible. Due to the lasers' low fixed knockback, they can lock opponents at any percent.
Custom 1 Explosive Blaster 1% (loop), 2% (last) The Blaster's laser slows down as it travels and explodes right before it stops. It pushes opponents while traveling, but does not deal damage until the laser explodes.
Custom 2 Burst Blaster 2% Acts similarly to Fox's Blaster in that it fires faster, but has lower power, range, and loses its ability to make the opponent flinch. Additionally, it still fires slower than Fox's, though its ending lag is significantly lower.
Side special Default Falco Phantasm 7% (ground), 6% (airborne opponents when used in air) Dashes forward at a blinding speed, leaving behind afterimages. Unlike Fox Illusion, Falco Phantasm will launch airborne opponents straight downward on contact, and it has 2 less startup frames. On grounded opponents, it sends them upwards with favorable force to combo into a back aerial.
Custom 1 Falco Phase 0% Falco is intangible for the duration of the move, but it cannot hit opponents either. It does not give Falco any momentum.
Custom 2 Falco Charge 4% (early), 12% (clean), 4% (late) The dash's range is shorter, but it hits much harder at the beginning of the move.
Up special Default Fire Bird 2% (charging loop), 3% (launch hit 1), 2% (launch hits 2-8), 2% (launch hit 9) Cloaks himself in flames and before firing himself in any direction, depending on what direction is held. The attack hits multiple times. It also travels a shorter distance than Fox's Fire Fox.
Custom 1 Fast Fire Bird 2% Instantly fires himself in any direction, but at the cost of a shortened distance.
Custom 2 Distant Fire Bird 8% (first hit), 2% (loop) The charging time is longer, but Falco travels further. The initial part of the attack launches opponents, while the rest of the attack hits opponents multiple times, dealing weak knockback and having a 1.5× SDI multiplier.
Down special Default Reflector 5% (Reflector), 1.2× (reflection) Activates his Reflector and kicks it away from him, reflecting any projectiles and hitting opponents it comes in contact with. It then returns to him as if magnetized. The move can be used as a poking tool that can lock or trip low damaged opponents to start combos.
Custom 1 Accele-Reflector 2% (Reflector), 1× (reflection) The Reflector deals less damage, can only reflect while moving forward and does not increase the reflected projectiles' damage output, but doubles the speed of the reflected projectiles. The Accele-Reflector is colored green.
Custom 2 Reflector Void 9% (Reflector), 0.75× (reflection) The Reflector deals more damage and destroys absorbable projectiles instead of reflecting them. Non-absorbable projectiles are still reflected, but deal less damage due to its lowered reflection multiplier. Its angle and knockback are almost identical to his Reflector in Melee. The Reflector Void is colored purple.
Final Smash Landmaster 12%/11%/10%/8% (movement), 10% (roll), 8%/12% (shot) Calls in a Landmaster. Like Fox's Landmaster, Falco's version can shoot laser blasts and damage opponents while maneuvering around. Unlike Fox's however, it has better aerial mobility at the cost of weaker blasts.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Ejects from an upside-down Arwing.
FalcoOnScreenAppearanceSSB4.gif

Taunts[edit]

  • Up taunt: Kicks his Reflector around like a hacky sack and says "Piece of cake!" (楽勝だぜ。, An easy win.) before catching it.
  • Side taunt: Poses by standing on one foot with his wing raised before saying "Get some!" (かかってきな。, Come bring it.)
  • Down taunt: Spins once and crosses one wing before saying "Hands off my prey!" (俺の獲物に手を出すな!, Get your hands off my prey!)
  • Smash taunt: When fighting as Falco on the Corneria stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS or Lylat Cruise in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, quickly tap down on the directional pad once and he will kneel down and seem as though he is trying to communicate with someone through a device, and then stand back up, at which point a conversation will begin with another character from the Star Fox universe.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
FalcoUpTauntSSB4.jpg FalcoSideTauntSSB4.jpg FalcoDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Slightly turns to his side.
  • Moves his wing in front of his face.
FalcoIdlePose1SSB4.jpg FalcoIdlePose2SSB4.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Falco Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Falco Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Fal-co! Fal-co!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A flourished remix directly from Brawl based on the theme that would play at the title screen in Star Fox 64.
  • Jumps high into the air and then performs a crouching pose upon descending to the ground.
  • Performs a rapid series of kicks and then poses, saying "Had enough already?" (くたばるのはまだ早ぇぜ。, Too early to kick the bucket just yet.)
    • If Fox is present after a match, there is a chance he will instead say "You're off your game, Fox." Or in Japanese: 腕が落ちたな、フォックス。 (Your skills have fallen off, Fox.)
  • Crosses arms and looks away, saying "You aren't worth the trouble." In Japanese: 付き合ってらんねぇな。 (Not worth associating with.)
FalcoPose1WiiU.gif FalcoPose2WiiU.gif FalcoPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
FalcoHeadSSB4-U.png Falco 1123 1121 1133 1131 3123
3121 3133 3131 2123 2133

Notable players[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Falco has been viewed rather poorly ever since Smash 4's release. Players took little time to notice the severe nerfs to his Blaster, which was an essential component of Falco's playstyle in his previous iterations and a driving force behind his top-tier placements in Melee and Brawl. The nerfs to his down aerial, another signature move of his, further contributed to his weak status, as well as being somewhat slower on the ground than in Brawl. As time went on and Falco saw little representation and almost no notable results to speak of, it became clear that his nerfs were indeed too severe for him to be even a mid-tier character in the eyes of the community. This is in spite of the fact that Falco has received numerous buffs over the game's life span, due to them largely failing to address his ineffective neutral game. Meanwhile, characters like Ike, Meta Knight, Marth, and Mewtwo, who were all at some point considered similarly below-average, would go on to receive more meaningful buffs, which served to only worsen Falco's position relative to the cast. Falco's nerfs and his ongoing lack of tournament presence would lead him to place at 38th on the first tier list released by the 4BR. He then saw drops to 49th on the second tier list, and again to 50th on the third tier list.

Recently however, Falco has had some noteworthy results as of lately thanks to smashers like Armando and Keitaro. Many smashers have also learned that Falco has some favorable and even matchups against some of the middle and high tier characters like Villager, Mega Man, Toon Link, Olimar and Lucas. Due to these traits, some players have argued in support of him and believe he is rather underrated, citing his strong combo game, powerful back aerial, feared down tilt and an effective reflector. Due to the discovery of Falco's niche matchups, he saw a slight improvement to 47th with some smashers still claiming he deserves to be even higher. Regardless, Falco holds the distinction of having the largest tier drop from Brawl to Smash 4 and regarded to be significantly worse than his previous iterations.

Trophies[edit]

Falco
North America A talented pilot and part of the Star Fox team, Falco can be a bit rough around the edges. He once led his own galactic gang before joining up with Fox. In Smash Bros., his ability to jump high and deal damage in the air makes him a powerful threat, and his thrown Reflector can catch foes by surprise.
Pal Ex-gang leader, ace pilot and comrade of Fox, Falco Lombardi might play it cool, but he's burning with passion on the inside. In this game, he excels at jumping and aerial combat, and the way his Reflector move flies forwards can catch foes off guard. Add to that his balanced array of attacks, and it's clear that Falco's a real threat.
SNES: Star Fox (03/1993)
N64: Star Fox 64 (07/1997)
Falco (Alt.)
North America Falco's Blaster looks identical to Fox's at first, but actually it's quite different! The beams Falco fires deal more damage and cause the victim to flinch, but at a slower rate of fire. Considering Falco's lineage, it's not all that surprising that he can fire faster while airborne.
Pal Falco's Blaster looks identical to Fox's at first glance, but they are actually quite different. Most notably, Falco's version causes enemies to flinch, which can be invaluable when warding off approaching foes. It also deals more damage and has a slower fire rate - though its fire rate actually increases when used in mid-air.
SNES: Star Fox (03/1993)
N64: Star Fox 64 (07/1997)
Landmaster (Falco)
North America Falco jumps aboard his landmaster for his Final Smash, This powerful combat vehicle sports an explosive cannon and a heavily armored exterior. Falco can blast other fighters or simply drive into them with his tank. This landmaster also flies higher than Fox's, letting Falco give his rivals a pick-me-up...off the stage!
Pal With immense firepower and tough armour, the Landmaster makes for a mighty Final Smash. Falco can use this fine combat vehicle to run down and roll into rivals, as well as inundate them with cannon blasts. His Landmaster can hover a bit higher than Fox's making it easier to pick rivals up and give them a nice comfy ride off the stage!

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

  • All-Star Battle: Melee: Falco is one of the eight opponents fought in this event. All the opponents debut in Melee and reappeared in Smash 4 as veterans.
  • Duck Hunt!: As Duck Hunt, the player must defeat 10 ducks which appear in the stage background. Falco can interfere with the progress with Giant Falco appearing after some time has passed.
  • Great Fox Defense: Falco must prevent a group of Mr. Game & Watches from landing on the stage. The Mr. Game & Watches have more stock on higher difficulties.
  • Up to Speed: As Sonic, the player must defeat Fox, Falco, and Captain Falcon in a high-speed 1 stock match.

Co-op Events[edit]

  • Keep 'Em off the Ship!: Fox and Falco team up to prevent a larger wave of Mr. Game & Watches from landing on the stage.
  • Sky Pirates: Meta Knight and Dark Pit must team up to defeat Captain Falcon and Falco before the plane returns to the airfield.
  • The Ultimate Battle: Two players select a character and must defeat the entire roster.
  • Visiting Onett: Falco is one of the opponents Ness and Villager must fight against. The opponents are space characters or characters from other planets.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Falco Palette (SSB4).png
FalcoHeadSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadOrangeSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadBlueSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadRedSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadGreenSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadBlackSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png FalcoHeadPinkSSB4-U.png

Gallery[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Falco has three English voice actors between both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4. He has Mark Lund for his battle voice and the Orbital Gate Assault Smash taunts, Dex Manley for the Lylat Cruise Smash taunts, and Ben Cullum for the Corneria Smash taunts. He shares this distinction with Fox.
    • Regardless of the release dates of both Star Fox 64 3D and Super Smash Bros. 4, Falco is still reprised by Hisao Egawa in Japanese as opposed to being voiced by his new Japanese voice actor, Kōsuke Takaguchi (this also occurs with Fox).
  • Interestingly, the custom move set for his neutral special, Blaster, will actually influence the throws in which Falco uses it.
  • This is Falco's first appearance where he is not unlocked by completing 100-Man Smash. This unlock criteria goes to Wario instead.
  • Falco is the last non-DLC character amiibo to be released in the Super Smash Bros. amiibo lineup.
    • Ironically, Falco was released after Mewtwo.
  • Falco's sidestep animation has been the center of memes in the Smash community, as it looks identical to the well-known dance move, the dab (it should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, this actually dates all the way back to Melee). This in turn has, humorously enough, given him a considerably larger playerbase among the casual side of the community.
    • This pose is also seen in Falco's artwork.
  • Due to being placed 47th on the current tier list, Falco's tier placement marks the first time a Star Fox character is in the low tiers.


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