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Sonic performing a jab lock on R.O.B.

A lock is a technique in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. 4 where one character can repeatedly use a move or sequence of moves to place another character in an infinite after a character hits the floor while tumbling. The term is also used for the repeated usage of a single move that traps a character (ex: Sheik's forward tilt, Zelda's down tilt, and Snake's forward tilt).


A lock is caused due to certain moves causing a character to bounce when they are on the ground after a missed tech, preventing them from using one of their wake up options long enough for the other player to hit them again with another move that can cause a lock. Also, after a character has bounced, they cannot use any wakeup options other than the standard get up, leaving them completely vulnerable to attack.

This only works in Brawl and SSB4 because in previous games characters instantly stand up when hit by a weak attack.

Starting a lock[edit]

Starting a lock is often the hardest part, as most skilled players will tech before hitting the ground. Surprise attacks or other means of causing a character to fall to the ground can work, as well as taking advantage of Brawl's tech mechanics. Footstooling an airborne opponent at the right height will prevent them from being able to tech, though the upwards momentum can cause the footstooler to be unable to follow up with a lock depending on their character. For some characters, it is possible to fast fall an aerial with lock properties to cause a single bounce, then follow up with a jab lock or repeatable move.

Types of locks[edit]

Jab lock[edit]

The most common type of lock is the jab lock, which can be performed by multiple characters. As the name states, it is done by hitting a fallen character with a jab, stepping forward, and hitting them again. The locked player can be moved to the end of the stage, where the active player generally hits them with a charged smash attack as they stand up. Generally it is done with only the first hit of the jab, but some characters can do it with the second hit as well. If one attacks too soon after each bounce, or use a move without lock properties, the character will snap to a standing position. In Smash 4, the jab lock only works up to three times.

Other locks[edit]

Other moves besides jabs can cause a character to bounce in the same way. Some of them are fast enough to be repeated like the jab locks, while others cannot be repeated fast enough to keep the opponent in the locked position or have knockback scaling that causes the opponent to be launched at higher percents, allowing for a charged smash attack or other powerful attack as the character stands up. Some moves will move a character across the stage faster than others, causing smaller damage buildup.

Laser lock[edit]

Falco performing a Laser Lock on Snake.

A commonly used lock is Falco's laser lock, which, unlike other locks, has enough range to hit and lock characters on level ground with Falco regardless of distance (assuming tournament legal maps). Larger stages like Bridge of Eldin can cause a character to move far enough away that Falco's lasers cannot reach them. There are many followup options that Falco can use, such as his BDACUS. The easiest and most effective way to set up a Laser Lock is to land a down throw or grounded down aerial and immediately buffer the first hit of Falco's jab. Falco cannot always follow up with a KO move because of distance, reducing the effectiveness of the laser lock to damage building only. It should also be noted that the laser lock only works at percentages equal to or exceeding 80% as Falco's moves will not cause a tumbling animation until said percentage.

Not all characters can be laser locked, due to the height of their character model while lying down. For other characters, it is dependent on which way they fall, since the height of the hitbox can change if they fall on their face or on their back.

Kirby using Falco's lasers will shoot them lower, allowing him to lock more characters than Falco can.

Burial lock[edit]

Two Donkey Kongs performing an infinite lock on Pac-Man

Most moves with a burial effect are able to lock an opponent indefinitely (one notable example being Villager's down smash), giving the possibility of 0-death combos in team battles. It is important to note, however, that a lock cannot be started using a burying move, as the opponent will get up before the lock is able to be continued.

Throw lock[edit]

Many throws have a hitbox that collaterally damage nearby opponents. With proper positioning and timing, some of these throws are able to lock opponents.

In Brawl[edit]

Jab locks[edit]

Other locks[edit]

In SSB4[edit]

Jab Locks are still possible in SSB4. However, in most cases, the opponent can only be hit three times before being freed. Moves that bury opponents are exceptions to this rule as most of them can lock infinitely. Moves that "lock" must hit the opponent within 25 frames of hitting the ground.


  • Bayonetta: back aerial, down smash (first hit), Bullet Climax
  • Bowser: down tilt, Whirling Fortress (excluding the last hit), down aerial, down throw, up throw
  • Bowser Jr.: Jab, neutral aerial (sourspot), back aerial (sourspot), down aerial (hits 2-6), forward tilt, forward throw, down throw
  • Captain Falcon: forward tilt, Knee (sourspot), down aerial, Falcon Punch, back aerial (sourspot), down smash (second hit)
  • Charizard: jab, neutral aerial, down aerial, up smash (back of the first hit)
  • Cloud: forward tilt, top part of Cross Slash, back aerial
  • Corrin: multijab (back hitbox), Pummel
  • Dark Pit: Down Aerial (meteor hitbox), Forward Aerial (last hit), Up aerial (hits 1-4), forward tilt, forward throw, up throw
  • Diddy Kong: forward tilt, down aerial, back aerial, forward aerial
  • Donkey Kong: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, neutral aerial (late), back aerial, Headbutt, Giant Punch (up to five swings), Hand Slap (aerial, second hit), Spinning Kong (grounded, hits 3-6)
  • Dr. Mario: jab 3, Forward Tilt, Megavitamins, neutral aerial, Back Aerial
  • Duck Hunt: multi jab (sourspot), forward tilt, neutral aerial, down aerial (first hit, sourspot)
  • Falco: forward tilt, up tilt (tip of the back hitbox, first hit), Blaster, Reflector, Fire Bird, forward smash (sourspot), back aerial, down aerial (sourspot), forward aerial (first three hits)
  • Fox: forward tilt, neutral aerial, down aerial (excluding the last hit), forward smash
  • Ganondorf: neutral aerial (second hit), forward aerial, up aerial (sourspot), down aerial, jab
  • Greninja: forward tilt, back aerial (excluding last hit), down aerial
  • Ike: down aerial, forward tilt, all throws
  • Jigglypuff: forward tilt, forward aerial, down aerial (excluding the last hit), neutral aerial (sweetspot), forward smash, down smash, dash attack
  • King Dedede: jab, forward tilt (tip of the hammer, excluding last hit), forward aerial, down aerial, Gordo Toss (without the gordo), Super Dedede Jump, forward throw, back throw
  • Kirby: forward tilt, down tilt, back aerial, down aerial (last hit), Stone (if aerial, must be sourspotted), down throw
  • Link: jab, neutral aerial, Hero's Bow, Spin Attack (grounded, last hitbox)
  • Little Mac: down aerial
  • Lucario: Aura Sphere, back aerial, neutral aerial
  • Lucas: down aerial, back aerial, forward aerial (sourspot), forward tilt, down smash (excluding the first hit)
  • Lucina: down aerial (meteor hitbox), Dolphin Slash (sourspot)
  • Luigi: Fireball, Green Missile, forward tilt, down tilt, forward aerial, back aerial, down aerial, back throw
  • Mario: jab, forward tilt, neutral aerial, back aerial, down aerial (landing hit), forward aerial, Fireball
  • Marth: down aerial (meteor hitbox), forward aerial (untippered), Dolphin Slash, Shield Breaker, (sourspot), forward tilt (untippered), dash attack (untippered)
  • Mega Man: jab, forward tilt, neutral aerial (late hit), forward aerial (late hit), down aerial, back aerial (first hit), forward smash, Leaf Shield
  • Mewtwo: Shadow Ball, forward tilt, back aerial, up smash (directly beneath the opponent, excluding the last hit)
  • Meta Knight: down tilt, forward aerial (first two hits), down throw, Drill Rush
  • Mii Brawler: forward tilt, neutral aerial, back aerial, Head-On Assault
  • Mii Gunner: neutral aerial, back aerial, down aerial (sourspot), forward tilt, Charge Blast, back throw
  • Mii Swordfighter: forward tilt, down aerial (excluding last hit), back aerial, down throw
  • Mr. Game & Watch: forward tilt (late hit), forward aerial, down aerial, Judge (#2 and #7)
  • Ness: jab, forward tilt, back aerial, down aerial, neutral aerial, dash attack (first hit), the tail of PK Thunder, down throw
  • Olimar: jab, forward aerial, neutral aerial (top of the first hit)
  • Pac-Man: jab, forward tilt, forward aerial, neutral aerial, back aerial, Bonus Fruit (bell, dropped), forward smash (late hit), down throw, pummel
  • Palutena: Autoreticle, back aerial
  • Peach: neutral aerial, back aerial, jab 2, Vegetable (Mr.Saturn), down throw
  • Pikachu: jab, forward tilt, down tilt, neutral aerial (sweetspot), forward aerial (landing hit), down aerial, Thunder Jolt, Skull Bash, forward throw
  • Pit: down aerial (meteor), up aerial (hits 1-4), forward aerial (last hit), up throw, forward throw
  • R.O.B.: forward tilt, down tilt, forward aerial, down aerial (sourspot), up aerial (first 4 hits), Arm Rotor
  • Robin: Thunder (first stage), Elwind (first hit, meteor hitbox), all tomes and the Levin Sword (thrown)
  • Rosalina & Luma: down aerial (no luma), back aerial (sourspot), neutral aerial (no luma), forward tilt (no luma)
  • Roy: back aerial, forward smash (sourspot), down smash (sourspot), forward tilt (sourspot)
  • Ryu: Hadoken (standard or input), neutral aerial, back aerial, pummel
  • Samus: Homing Missile, Bomb, jab, up tilt, forward tilt, back aerial (sourspot), down aerial, up aerial (tip of the first hit), forward aerial (top of the first hit), forward smash (sourspot),
  • Sheik: up tilt (first hit), dash attack (late), neutral aerial, back aerial, down aerial, Bouncing Fish
  • Sonic: jab, down tilt, dash attack (first three hits), forward aerial (excluding the last hit), Spring Jump (projectile)
  • Shulk: forward aerial (buster), back aerial (sourspot if not in buster), down aerial (buster, second hit), forward tilt (sourspot if not in buster), Back Slash, all throws
  • Toon Link: forward tilt, down tilt, Hero's Bow, Spin Attack (grounded, excluding the last hit), neutral aerial, down aerial
  • Villager: neutral aerial, forward aerial (sourspot), back aerial (sourspot), down aerial (3 turnips), forward tilt, down smash
  • Wario: forward aerial, back aerial, dash attack (late), Wario Bike (thrown), forward tilt, down throw
  • Wii Fit Trainer: jab 3, forward aerial (meteor hitbox), back aerial, Header (meteor hitbox), Super Hoop
  • Yoshi: jab, neutral aerial (sourspot), forward aerial, down aerial (excluding the last hit)
  • Zelda: jab (first and third hit), forward aerial (sourspot), back aerial (sourspot), down aerial, Phantom Slash (stages one and two)
  • Zero Suit Samus: forward tilt, Paralyzer, down throw


See also[edit]

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