A forward aerial (前空中攻撃, Front/Forward midair attack; commonly abbreviated as Fair or f-air, and referred to as AttackAirF internally) 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; it is known as a front midair attack in Super Smash Bros. Melee, a front air attack in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4, and a forward air attack in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Forward aerials are typically weak, but are fast with a long range, making them well suited to the neutral game and edgeguarding.
List of forward aerials
|Banjo & Kazooie||Banjo swings one fist in a downward arc.|
|Bayonetta||Whips one of her hand pistols forward, then the other one, and finally follows up with an overhead axe kick. A three-stage natural combo.|
|Bowser|| Swings one arm in a downward arc.|
Swipes his claws with one arm in a downward arc.
|Bowser Jr.||Deploys a wrecking ball from the Koopa Clown Car and waves it in front of himself. Possesses a landing hitbox.|
|Byleth||Hits with the side of Areadbhar's blade.|
|Captain Falcon|| Throws out two consecutive kicks with his respective legs. From Melee onward, this is his neutral aerial.|
A knee strike that is extremely powerful during its first active frames, but much weaker during its later frames. It is known as the Knee Smash.
|Charizard|| Flaps its wings forward to send out a fiery wind, hitting multiple times.|
Swipes its claws with one arm in a downward arc.
|Chrom||Slashes in a heavy downward arc.|
|Cloud||Slashes in a large downward arc with a double grip after a delay.|
|Corrin||Slashes in a downward arc.|
|Daisy||Grabs her crown and swings it in a downward arc.|
|Dark Pit||Performs a series of horizontal buzzsaw-like slashes with the Silver Bow, hitting multiple times.|
|Dark Samus||Unleashes five small electric blasts from her Arm Cannon from top to bottom.|
|Diddy Kong||Performs a spinning dropkick.|
|Donkey Kong||Performs a double axe handle swing.|
|Dr. Mario||Swings one fist in a downward arc.|
|Duck Hunt||The dog thrusts his lower back to propel the duck, who performs a corkscrew peck.|
|Falco|| Performs five consecutive spin kicks.|
Spins in a horizontal corkscrew to perform a drilling peck, hitting multiple times. Possesses a landing hitbox in Smash 4 and Ultimate.
|Fox|| Performs a spinning dropkick.|
Performs five consecutive spin kicks.
Performs five spin kicks in quick succession, rising slightly with each kick. Possesses a landing hitbox in Ultimate.
|Ganondorf||Punches in a large downward arc.|
|Greninja||Slashes horizontally with a large kunai made out of water.|
|Hero||Slashes in a heavy downward arc.|
|Ice Climbers||Swing their hammers in a downward arc.|
|Ike||Slashes in a downward arc.|
|Incineroar||Performs a dropkick.|
|Inkling||Performs a dropkick.|
|Isabelle||Fires a pellet from a slingshot.|
|Ivysaur||Swings both vines in a downward arc.|
|Jigglypuff||Performs a dropkick.|
|Joker||Throws out two consecutive kicks with his respective legs. If active, Arsene throws out a roundhouse kick in tandem with Joker's second kick.|
|Kazuya||Performs a flying kick.|
|Ken||Performs a flying kick.|
|King Dedede|| Swings his hammer in an upward arc from a horizontal spin.|
Swings his hammer in a downward arc from a somersault.
|King K. Rool||Performs a dropkick.|
|Kirby|| Performs a spinning dropkick, hitting multiple times.|
Performs three consecutive spin kicks. Possesses a landing hitbox in Melee.
|Link|| Slashes horizontally in a circle around himself.|
Slashes horizontally in front of himself, then does a full spin and delivers a second slash.
|Little Mac||Weakly throws out a hook.|
|Lucario||Performs a stretch kick.|
|Lucas||Performs a lunging kick, releasing a PSI spark from his foot.|
|Lucina||Slashes in a downward arc.|
|Luigi|| Peforms a spinning dropkick.|
Performs a vertical knifehand strike.
|Mario|| Peforms a spinning dropkick.|
Swings one fist in a downward arc.
|Marth||Slashes in a downward arc.|
|Mega Man||Swings his Flame Sword in a downward arc.|
|Meta Knight||Performs three consecutive arcing slashes.|
|Mewtwo||Swipes horizontally with one hand infused with dark energy.|
|Mii Brawler||Throws out two consecutive kicks with their respective legs.|
|Mii Gunner||Fires a blue energy shot from their arm cannon.|
|Mii Swordfighter||Performs three consecutive stabs at different angles.|
|Min Min||Extends and fires her ARMS. Can also change depending on Megawatt, Ramram, and Dragon.|
|Mr. Game & Watch|| Thrusts a cement brick in front of himself.|
Tosses out an igniting bomb downwards, exploding after half a second or hitting a part of the stage (platforms).
|Mythra||Slashes the Aegis Sword in front of herself in a wide arc starting below herself.|
|Ness|| Thrusts both palms forward.|
Thrusts both palms forward and emits PSI sparks from them, hitting multiple times.
|Olimar||Grabs his leading Pikmin by its stem and swings it in a downward arc. If no Pikmin are following Olimar, he still performs the move, but it has no effect.|
|Pac-Man||Performs an outward spin kick.|
|Palutena||Performs a lunging kick, releasing a spark from her foot.|
|Peach||Grabs her crown and swings it in a downward arc.|
|Pichu||Spins in a horizontal corkscrew and discharges electricity from its head, hitting multiple times. Deals recoil damage to Pichu.|
|Pikachu||Spins in a horizontal corkscrew and discharges electricity from its head, hitting multiple times.|
|Piranha Plant||Swings its pot in an upward arc.|
|Pit|| Separates the Palutena bow and stabs with both blades simultaneously.|
Performs a series of horizontal buzzsaw-like slashes with the Palutena Bow, hitting multiple times.
|Pyra||Slashes the Aegis Sword in front of herself in a wide arc starting below herself.|
|R.O.B.||Swings both arms in a downward arc.|
|Richter||Whips horizontally with the Vampire Killer. Can be angled diagonally up or down, and function as a tether recovery.|
|Ridley||Performs three consecutive stabs with his tail at different angles.|
|Robin||Slashes in an upward arc ending in front of himself. Can use either the Bronze Sword or the Levin Sword.|
|Rosalina & Luma||Rosalina: Somersaults backward and emits a starry trail from her feet in front of herself, hitting multiple times.|
Luma: Performs a headbutt.
|Roy|| Slashes in an downward arc.|
Slashes in a heavy downward arc.
|Ryu||Performs a flying kick.|
|Samus||Unleashes five small fiery blasts from her Arm Cannon from top to bottom.|
|Sephiroth||Stabs forward with the Masamune.|
|Sheik||Swipes her arm in a downward arc.|
|Shulk||Slashes in a downward arc.|
|Simon||Whips horizontally with the Vampire Killer. Can be angled diagonally up or down, and function as a tether recovery.|
|Snake||Performs an axe kick.|
|Sonic||Spins in a horizontal corkscrew, hitting multiple times.|
|Sora||A 3 hit combo of a downward swing, an upward swing, and a front-flip swing. Can be canceled at any phase.|
|Squirtle|| Performs a dropkick.|
Performs a dropkick with a water vortex around its legs.
|Steve||A arcing forward swing of a pickaxe. If initiated using the short hop aerial shortcut in Ultimate, becomes a quicker forward swing with a sword instead.|
|Terry||A diagonally angled kick.|
|Toon Link||Slashes in an upward arc from a horizontal spin.|
|Villager||Fires a pellet from a slingshot.|
|Wario||Performs a flying kick.|
|Wii Fit Trainer||Performs the Single-Leg Extension, stretching an arm in front of herself and a leg behind herself, both at a diagonal angle. The leg part also has a hitbox allowing her to hit someone behind her as well.|
|Wolf||Swipes his claws with one arm in a downward arc.|
|Yoshi||Swings his head in a downward arc.|
|Young Link||Slashes horizontally in front of himself, then does a full spin and delivers a second slash.|
|Zelda||Performs a magically infused lunging kick that is extremely powerful if it hits near Zelda's foot, but extremely weak otherwise. It is known as the Lightning Kick.|
|Zero Suit Samus||Throws out two consecutive kicks with her respective legs.|
Notable forward aerials
- The forward aerials of Cloud, Donkey Kong, the Ice Climbers (only Nana's in Brawl and Ultimate), Mario (from Melee onward), Steve, Snake, Yoshi, and Wii Fit Trainer can all meteor smash.
- Snake's forward aerial is among the strongest meteor smashes in both Brawl and Ultimate and boasts great reach, though its power and range come at the cost of having significant lag.
- The meteor smash hitbox of Wii Fit Trainer’s forward aerial is located on her leg, behind her, making it the only forward aerial capable of hitting behind its user.
- Both Bayonetta and Sora's forward aerials are the only ones in the series to consist of a natural combo.
- In Bayonetta's case, her forward aerial in Smash 4 was often considered one of the best forward aerials in the game due to the first hit's large hitboxes and low lag allowing it to easily hit opponents and combo into various other moves (including After Burner Kick and Witch Twist to start ladder combos), as well as loop into itself to drag opponents offstage. In Ultimate, however, it has been significantly nerfed, possessing smaller hitboxes and much more lag that removes all of the first hit's followups aside from the next hits of the natural combo.
- Simon and Richter's forward aerials have two unique distinctions from every other in the series: they can be angled up or down much like forward tilts and forward smashes, and function as tether recoveries. Their back aerials also have these properties.
- The forward aerials of Villager, Mii Gunner, and Isabelle are projectiles, and as such, can be reflected or Pocketed, as well as absorbed in the case of Mii Gunner.
- Steve's forward aerial is the only one which changes depending on whether it is performed using the short hop aerial shortcut in Ultimate or not. It is a more powerful pickaxe swing in front of him if performed without the short hop aerial shortcut, but becomes a faster and weaker sword swing with similar properties to neutral aerial if performed with the short hop aerial shortcut. This property is shared with back aerial.
- Captain Falcon's forward aerial from Melee onward, the famed Knee Smash, deals very high damage and knockback with its clean hit. It is the strongest forward aerial in each game it features in (except in Brawl where Zelda's is stronger). It is considered more useful in Melee than in later games, due to the former possessing the ability to L-cancel and more favorable sweetspot placements and superior frame data for the move.
- Zelda's forward aerial is one of her Lightning Kicks, and deals very high damage and knockback at high percents when sweetspotted, but is extremely weak when sourspotted. Much like Captain Falcon's Knee Smash, it is particularly powerful in Melee, but its utility has been reduced in later games due to the removal of L-canceling, as well as receiving a smaller hitbox on its sweetspot, much more ending lag and a less favorable auto-cancel window starting in Smash 4.
- Marth's forward aerial is considered one of the best in Melee and Brawl, due to its low lag all around, long range with a wide arc, and edgeguarding capabilities. Starting in Smash 4, 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.
- Jigglypuff's forward aerial is useful in performing the wall of pain, especially in Melee.
- King K. Rool's forward aerial in Ultimate is widely considered to be one of his best moves overall. While the move has high ending lag in the air, it more than compensates for it with its huge range, lingering hitbox, massive damage, great KO potential and very low landing lag for its power and range. As K. Rool can negate the otherwise high FAF by performing the move close to the ground, the move has very few downsides and thus has extreme versatility: it is very useful and important in neutral due to its safety and high reward, is very safe on shield when spaced correctly, is arguably King K. Rool's best combo starter at low- and mid percents, is a great KO move at higher percents due to it being relatively non-committal for a move with good KO potential, and its also fantastic at ledgetrapping, catching jumps, bad approaches, and even for edgeguarding as of patch 13.0.0. Due to this, the move is extremely important for King K. Rool's general gameplan.
- Sheik's forward aerial is one of her best moves for spacing and approaching, and overall one of the best aerials in the series, 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. In Melee, it is a devastating semi-spike with very high knockback for its speed. Conversely, its incredibly low knockback in Smash 4 and Ultimate allows it to freely combo into itself and most of her other moves, including Bouncing Fish.
- Fox's forward aerial from Brawl onward causes him to rise slightly when used. In Smash 4, it is also notable for being able to lead into a footstool jump offstage if used in a fast fall, which can lead to very early KOs; in Ultimate, this is still possible, albeit significantly harder to pull off.
- Mewtwo's forward aerial in both Smash 4 and Ultimate is known for its sheer versatility, having very low lag all around, decent range, being a potent combo starter at low percents, and having strong KO potential at higher percents due to its knockback scaling. While it was slightly nerfed from Smash 4 to Ultimate, it is still considered to be among the best in the game.
- Much like Marth's in Melee and Brawl, Wolf's forward aerial in Ultimate is often considered one of the best in the game due to its deceptively fast startup, low landing lag, wide vertical arc, decent damage output, and high launch angle that synergize well with his fast falling speed and gravity, allowing it to combo into itself and several other moves even up to high percents.
- Min Min's forward aerial is considered the longest ranged forward aerial in the game due to how long it extends, especially when using the Dragon.
- Sephiroth's forward aerial can cling to walls up to three times before landing making it useful for recovery.
|Attacks in the Super Smash Bros. series|
|Standard ground attacks||Neutral attack · Dash attack|
|Tilt attacks||Forward tilt · Up tilt · Down tilt|
|Smash attacks||Forward smash · Up smash · Down smash|
|Aerial attacks||Neutral aerial · Forward aerial · Back aerial · Up aerial · Down aerial · Grab aerial · Glide attack|
|Throws||Grab · Pummel · Forward throw · Back throw · Up throw · Down throw|
|Get-up attacks||Floor attack · Edge attack|
|Special moves||Neutral special move · Side special move · Up special move · Down special move · Command-input move · Final Smash|