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Sonic performing a neutral air, footstool into a jab lock combo on R.O.B.; then allowing a reset while simultaneously finishing with a forward smash.
Mewtwo performing a down throw into jab reset then down smash on Fox.
"Lock" redirects here. For the Italian smasher, see Smasher:Lock.

A lock is a technique in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. 4, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate where a character can use low knockback attacks to combo an opponent on the floor that is "prone"; aka "lying down". An animation of the victim briefly bouncing off the ground signifies a lock. Some moves that lock are fast enough to be repeated, 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. Some moves will move a character across the stage farther than others, causing less damage buildup overall.

The reset was first introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and was then incorporated into the locking mechanic as the only wake-up option that can be used afterwards, allowing for a punish as the opponent stands up. The character will stand up in an identical animation of a standard neutral get-up, with intangibility frames at the beginning.

Trying to perform a lock in Melee merely results in a reset, which the opponent can avoid altogether with ASDI. In Brawl, a reset can occur only after locking has ceased, which can result in zero-to-death combos. In Smash 4, it functions in the same way, but locking can now only be performed a maximum of three times before an automatic reset occurs[1] (except in rare circumstances, see below). In Ultimate, this has been reduced to two times before an automatic reset; additionally, the reset no longer forces the opponent to use a neutral get-up (effectively resulting in a tech-chase). This can be considered a blend of the former locking and reset mechanics, respectively.

Percentages, weight, and angles are the most noteworthy properties in determining if a move will successfully lock or reset. Some moves only do so in very specific circumstances, while others almost always do. The listings below do not take any of these parameters into account, and only extremely character-specific or unwieldy locks are not to be listed. In every Smash game, including Smash 64, an instant getup with a grounded flinch will occur in any low-knockback situation a lock or reset cannot.

How to perform[edit]

Lucas performing a lock combo on Lucario with down air after an untechable footstool.

Starting a lock or reset is often the most difficult part, as many skilled players will tech or DI away before hitting the ground, and will also get up as soon as possible to avoid it. Surprise or fast attacks causing a character to fall quickly on the ground can work, as well as taking advantage of various situations in which a tech cannot be performed. For example, in Brawl and SSB4, footstooling an airborne opponent will prevent them from being able to tech in any way while in tumble, though the upward momentum can cause the footstooler to be unable to follow up with a lock depending on their character. Learning to perform a shorthop footstool aides in this. 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 reset.

Types of locks[edit]

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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 in Brawl, 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. Some jabs will only lock with certain hitboxes. An example of this is with Mario, where he cannot jab lock with the first hit of his jab if he hits them with the front of his fist, so he must be close to his opponent when he jab locks them. In SSB4, the jab lock only works up to three times. In Ultimate, a jab lock only works up to two times, although a change from previous games is that almost every character in the game is capable of jab locking except for characters with unique jabs such as Ganondorf and Roy.

Aerial move locks[edit]

Projectile 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.

In Ultimate, Falco's lasers do not travel as far as they do in Brawl, and he can only lock opponents twice with them before they reset due to the altered locking mechanics.

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 past the three hit limit in Smash 4 (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 reset before the lock is able to be continued. Burial moves cannot lock opponents in Brawl.

Throw lock[edit]

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

Other grounded move locks[edit]

Various special moves, tilts, and even weak parts of smash attacks can lock or reset opponents.

List of locking attacks[edit]


In Brawl[edit]

Character Move(s) Notes
Bowser Down tilt The first hit only works at extremely low percents. The second hit works for slightly longer.
Neutral aerial
Charizard Neutral attack Only the front hitbox of the first hit. Works regardless of percent.
Neutral aerial
Back aerial Sourspot of the second hit.
Donkey Kong Neutral attack Only certain hitboxes of the first hit and does not work at higher percents
Forward tilt
Down tilt
Neutral aerial
Back aerial
Giant Punch Requires to be uncharged to lock.
Diddy Kong Neutral attack Only locks at a certain part of the first hit's hitbox behind him making it extremely difficult to connect. Works regardless of percent.
Forward tilt
Forward aerial
Peanut Popgun
Fox Neutral aerial
Forward tilt
Forward smash
Up smash Late hit.
Back aerial Sourspot only.
Ganondorf Neutral attack Only the sweetspot, works at extremely low percents and it cannot lock smaller characters due to jab's high hitbox.
Ice Climbers Ice Shot It is capable of locking infinitely if the Ice Climbers are desynched properly.
Jigglypuff Neutral attack Both hits can lock. Is not effective at very high damage.
Forward tilt
Forward smash
Down smash
Neutral aerial
Forward aerial Late hit.
Back aerial
King Dedede Neutral attack Only the first hit locks. Works regardless of damage.
Kirby Neutral attack Does not work at very low percents or percents far beyond Sudden Death percents and only the first hit locks.
Down tilt
Neutral aerial
Forward tilt
Back aerial
Inhale Any copy ability that can lock (except for Link Hero's Bow).
Link Neutral attack Only the first hit locks. Does not work at very high damage.
Lucas Down tilt
Luigi Forward tilt Angled down, can lock indefinitely
Mario Neutral attack Only the front hitbox of the first hit locks and all three hits can lock at low percents. The first and second hits lock regardless of percent
Forward tilt
Forward aerial sourspot
Back aerial
Neutral aerial
Marth Neutral attack Only a specific part of the hitbox and both hits can lock. Does not work at very high percents.
Meta Knight Neutral attack Works best against a wall. Only stops working at percents far above 300%.
Forward tilt Certain hitboxes of the first hit.
Down tilt
Neutral aerial
Ness Neutral attack Only the first hit locks. Does not work at very high percents.
Forward tilt
Neutral aerial
Forward aerial
Back aerial
Down tilt Locks against a vertical wall only.
Olimar Neutral attack The second hit only works at very low percents. The first hit works regardless of percent.
Peach Neutral attack Only the second hit.
Dash attack Only the first hit.
Neutral aerial
Back aerial
Up aerial Certain hitboxes.
Pikachu Neutral attack Does not work at low percents.
Down tilt
Neutral aerial
Forward tilt
Down aerial
Thunder Jolt
Quick Attack Can be repeated with Quick Attack Cancel, known as QAC lock.
R.O.B. Neutral attack Only the front hitbox of the first hit. Does not work at very high percents.
Forward tilt
Forward aerial
Down tilt Effective against a vertical wall only.
Samus Neutral attack The second hit only works at very low percents. The first hit stops working at higher percents.
Sheik Back aerial
Neutral aerial
Needle Storm
Snake Neutral attack Only certain hitboxes and the first and second hits can lock regardless of percent.
Sonic Neutral attack Both the first and second hits can lock regardless of percent.
Squirtle Neutral attack Both the first and second hits can lock regardless of percent.
Forward tilt
Forward smash
Neutral aerial
Back aerial
Wolf Down tilt
Neutral aerial
Back aerial
Yoshi neutral attack Only the second hit can lock and it stops locking at higher percents.
Neutral aerial
Forward aerial Only the sourspot is capable of locking.
Zelda Neutral attack The first two hits work regardless of percent but the third hit only works at lower percents. Only works on larger characters due to jab's high hitbox.
Zero Suit Samus Dash attack
Forward tilt
Forward aerial First hit.
Down aerial Aerial hit.

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, forward smash (sourspot), 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 (sourspot), down aerial (sweetspot), 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 tilt (sourspot) , hit 1-3 down aerial (sourspot and only while rising through a platform) , Hit 4 down aerial (sweetspot), hit 1-4 neutral air (only while rising through a platform) , 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: back aerial, down aerial (sourspot), forward tilt, Charge Blast, back throw, Gunner Missile, up smash (multi-hit from below)
  • 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 (top hitbox), down aerial, Thunder Jolt, Skull Bash
  • 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: 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