A jump is an action that moves a character from the ground into the air. All characters can also jump a second time in midair, providing they are not attacking, air dodging, helpless, in hitstun, or have used it already. It is performed by pressing up on the Control Stick/D-Pad, or by pressing a certain button, which is by default:
A few characters can jump more than once in the air:
There is a short delay between the jump button being pressed and the on-screen character actually jumping, during which the onscreen character will enter a crouching portion of their jumping animation. If the control stick or jump button is released during this time, then the character short hops. If the control stick is tilted backwards during this time, the character will jump backwards with a different animation than a regular jump. If the standard attack button is pressed during this time, then the character uses their up smash (but only if the jump was executed with the Control Stick). Because characters can jump while shielding (excluding Yoshi in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, due to his unique shield), this allows usage of up smashes (and up special moves as well) without having to drop the shield. This also makes it difficult for a player using the Wii Remote-only control scheme to perform up tilts. Inputting an aerial on the first frame that a character is airborne will cause the jump to be slightly lower, because gravity applies to the first frame of an aerial but not to the first frame of a jump.
Brawl added a jumping mechanic known as footstools. This allows characters to jump off the heads of other characters. This can be done even when all midair jumps have already been used.
In Ultimate, a character will emit a subtle wispy trail if they have no extra jumps available.
Types of jumps
All characters can perform several different types of jumps. The most basic type is a standing jump, which is a jump without any other inputs. There are also more complicated jumps that involve other inputs. One of these is the walk jump, which involves jumping while walking or dashing. Another one is the backward jump, which involves the player turning around, but jumping before the fighter can. All jumps have 2 performable variants. The first and most common type is the full hop, which involves the player holding the jump command so the fighter can jump to maximum height. The second type is the short hop, which involves the player quickly tapping the jump command so the fighter will only perform a slight jump. There are also 2 different methods of performing these jumps. The first way is by pressing the jump button. The second way is to press up on the control stick/D-pad. This totals to 12 different ways to jump, with all possible combinations of each having different heights.
Softhopping is a technique introduced in Brawl in which a character can perform their grounded full hop within a few frames of running off any platform's edges. With this, the initial jump squat frames of a jump can be bypassed by inputting a jump within 4 frames of running off of an edge.
In Brawl and Smash 4, aside from removing the additional lag from a jump squat, softhops have no special properties when compared to full hops, however they allow the player to initiate the jump from slightly beyond the platform. The potential benefits of performing the technique depends on the fighter, as prior to Ultimate the duration of jump squats vary depending on the fighter.
In Ultimate, softhopping has an additional effect on full hops. Ultimate introduced a mechanic in which the first few frames of a fighter's full hop are sped up, causing them to reach their maximum jump height sooner. Performing a softhop disables this mechanic, causing full hops to behave the same way as midair jumps and full hops prior to Ultimate. This results in fighters taking longer to reach their maximum jump height, but allows them to cover more horizontal distance before beginning to fall, and potentially allows aerials to hit which the user would have otherwise been to high up to connect with by the time the first hitbox comes out, similarly to instant double jumping. Forcing the user to perform a full hop when performing the technique also removes the risk of accidentally performing a short hop, guaranteeing the full damage output of aerials rather than the reduced 0.85× damage from short hops.
A jump squat refers to the length of time between the input of the jump and the moment the character leaves the ground. Each character has a different window of time where they crouch before they jump. Characters with faster jump squats will leave the ground earlier, and can transition between their air and ground games easier; however, depending on the control scheme, the player may find it more technically demanding to perform short hops or up smashes. In Melee, characters with faster jump squats can also perform faster wavedashes, but the window of timing is also reduced, requiring more precise inputs from the player.
Jump squats in Super Smash Bros.
Jump squats in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Jump squats in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The below values apply only to regular brawls; in The Subspace Emissary, all characters jump two frames faster.
Jump squats in Super Smash Bros. 4
*These characters' jumpsquat values are defined as 6 in fighter_param.bin, though they actually end up being 7.
Jump squats in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Every character has a 3-frame jump squat, with the exception of Kazuya (who has a 7-frame jump squat, though the value is defined as 6 in fighter_param.prc).
Jump height ranking
Note that there are two methods to determine jump height, depending on the game.
Super Smash Bros.
The jump physics of Smash 64 are significantly different compared to later games. A jump depends on 3 values: the control stick's vertical position (s), stick multiply (m), and stick add (a). The control stick's vertical position is a value between 53-80 (53 is the minimum amount required for a jump and the stick can reach 127, though it is capped at 80). Unlike later games, a character's gravity (g) is also applied on the same frame as a grounded jump. The resulting jump force formula is
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. 4
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The mechanic of "jump initial height" was introduced in Ultimate. This value is the height that a character will reach within the first 4 frames of their full hop (doesn't affect short hops or air jumps). It results in characters being able gain more height in less time compared to Smash 4, often having 1.5-3× the starting speed and reaching the same heights a few frames faster. For most characters the initial height is 0.55× their full hop height, the exceptions being the Ice Climbers at 0.35×, Simon and Richter at 0.4×, and Pyra and Mythra at 0.56×.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U digital manual description