Fox-trotting is the technique in all five Super Smash Bros. games that consists of moving along the ground by repeatedly executing characters' initial dash animation, as opposed to using their full dash. Since some characters' initial dash animations move them faster than their full dash, these characters are able to run faster with the use of fox-trotting. Fox trotting is predominately used in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Smash 4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and characters with which the technique is most commonly executed are Fox, Captain Falcon, Roy, Marth, Little Mac and Incineroar.
One way of performing a fox-trot is by flicking or tapping the control stick sideways to perform an initial dash, returning the stick to a neutral position to cancel the onset of the full run, and then tapping the stick sideways again to perform another initial dash. This sequence can be repeated to move the character along the ground, and the timing of each character's fox-trot is different. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there is a small possibility that characters will trip during their initial dash animation, thus making fox-trotting risky.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, fox-trotting can also be performed by jump-canceling a dash into a wavedash, then dashing again, or by dash-canceling a full dash into another dash.
Fox-trotting in Smash 4 is close to the same as in Brawl, but without the chance of tripping. Smash 4 does tend to maintain more slide momentum during each dash brake animation (the period after you let go of the stick during each fox-trot), which allows for longer and more variable back-and-forth dancetrots than Brawl. A fox-trot can be performed on frame 16 of every dash if the character has not entered their run animation, which means characters with an initial dash animation length of 16 or 17 frames have an easier time fox-trotting than other characters.
In Ultimate, all characters have significantly higher initial dash speeds, making the technique much more effective than in previous games.
Fox-trotting is considered slightly more difficult to perform consistently in Smash 64 due to the differences with the initial dash animations.
Dash-sliding, a term coined by Clan, Hoboking, and Legend of Brawlcentral, is a variant of fox-trotting, and is described as a constant state of dashing. It is done by mashing the control stick in a direction, and then returning it to neutral, then repeating, similar to a fox-trot. It differs from a fox-trot in that when doing a fox-trot, a dash-dance was needed to change directions. In a dash-slide, it is possible to shield cancel out of it. Also, since most characters hunch over in the animation, the player is a smaller target for an added bonus. This can be used as a mindgame, or as a speed advantage over the player's opponent.