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Quick Attack

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Quick Attack
Quick Attack
Quick Attack in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
User Pikachu
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Quick Attack (move)

Quick Attack (でんこうせっか, Light Speed) is Pikachu's up special move.


This attack consists of Pikachu moving in a straight line in the direction in which the player's control stick is tilted, or upwards if it is not tilted. A tilt of the control stick in a different direction will cause another, similar burst. The quick speed of this makes Pikachu extremely difficult to hit, but it is exposed at the beginning (at least after the original Super Smash Bros.), middle, and end moments, when it briefly holds still. Quick Attack requires much practice before players can effectively take advantage of its two-direction functionality.

In Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Pikachu ledge-stalling in Smash 64 by abusing the invincibility frames of the edge and Quick Attack's startup
Pikachu using Quick Attack to ledge-stall.

Unlike other special moves, Quick Attack completely lacks any hitboxes. However, it is considered one of the best recovery options overall in the game. The move travels a very long distance and since Pikachu can angle it and use it twice, Quick Attack is an extremely flexible and diverse recovery tool, giving Pikachu many options when using the move, to allow it to return back to the stage from great distances. Quick Attack is able to sweetspot the edge from almost any distance within the move's range and Pikachu can easily aim for the edge in order to grab it and avoid any lag the move would otherwise have. Pikachu can even extend Quick Attack's distance if they player lets go of the control stick after a warp. If this happens, Pikachu will retain the momentum from the warp. These traits also allows Pikachu to go far out from the edge to edgeguard, further than any other character can go and Pikachu will still be able to make it back to the stage. Pikachu is completely intangible during Quick Attack's startup which not only aids its recovery potential but it also allows Quick Attack to be used as an effective tool to escape disadvantage. The move's intangibility frames allows Pikachu to easily escape combos or shield pressure using Quick Attack. Even when Pikachu is not intangible, it is difficult to hit during Quick Attack's warps, making it hard to punish if Pikachu uses it effectively. The move's intangibility combined with its generous ability to snap edges, allows Pikachu to ledge-stall indefinitely, which is very difficult to punish. It can also go through a portion of the wall in Pikachu's Break the Targets stage strangely.

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

Quick Attack in Melee.

Super Smash Bros Melee's Quick Attack has seen some noticeable changes. One positive change the move received is that it now has a very weak hitbox while Pikachu is warping, which deals 3% on the first warp and 2% on the second warp. Another improvement is that Pikachu performs Quick Attack faster, with the move being less laggy. The move has seen some significant downgrades however. The move does not travel as far as in Smash 64 and its distance can no longer be extended by letting go of the control stick. The move also no longer has intangibility on startup, which makes it easier to punish during its startup and it hinders Quick Attack's overall utility. The move has also lost its extremely generous ledge snap window, which makes recovering from above especially a less viable option. Despite this, Quick Attack is still a great tool for recovering as it still travels a long distance and Pikachu still has many ways to mix up how it uses Quick Attack. The second jump requires a minimum rotation of 38 degrees. Quick Attack is one of the very few moves in Melee that stops knockback speed, which enhances its potential for surviving strong attacks.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

Pikachu using Quick Attack Cancelling to lock Meta Knight.

In Brawl, Quick Attack is slightly slower and it has less range than in Melee. The move is particularly more laggy in the landing lag department as the move no longer auto-cancels once Pikachu enters free fall and the move now suffers from RCO lag, making Pikachu much easier to punish once it lands. However, Quick Attack is still a great recovery tool and Pikachu has gained a new powerful technique with Quick Attack called Quick Attack Cancelling. If Pikachu hits the ground with Quick Attack and hits jump, Pikachu will jump, ignoring the ending lag Pikachu would otherwise receive. The technique is considered a staple for Pikachu's metagame in competitive play as it allows Pikachu to effectively approach with Quick Attack and it can be used as a powerful locking tool against a missed tech.

If Pikachu takes a Poison Mushroom or is shrinking from a Super Mushroom during the first step of Quick Attack, it will perform an extra-high jump. This is assumed to be a glitch.[1]

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Quick Attack returns as Pikachu's up special move in Super Smash Bros. 4. Its hitboxes now launch vertically and are quite a bit stronger which removes Quick Attack's locking potential however, the second hit can now be used as a combo starter. A noticeable downside Quick Attack has received in Smash 4 is that standard Quick Attack cancelling is no longer possible, although Pikachu can still edge cancel Quick Attack. Regardless, it still remains an important tool for Pikachu's approach and it is still one of Pikachu's most useful moves, as well as one of the best recovery tools in the game.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Quick Attack once again serves as Pikachu's up special in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It is functionally similar to its Smash 4 incarnation, and there is now a red arrow before Pikachu uses the move, indicating what direction Pikachu will travel. One notable downside the move has received however is that Pikachu can no longer edge cancel the Quick Attack, which hinders its utility when used near a ledge. Despite this, Quick Attack remains an important approach option for Pikachu and it has seen a couple of improvements. The main improvements the move has received is that it no longer suffers from RCO lag and Pikachu's body does not stretch as much when using it, making Pikachu harder to hit. As a result, it remains one of Pikachu's best tools, as well as retaining its status as one of the best recovery tools in the game.

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee instruction booklet PikachuHeadSSBM.png Tilt Control Stick immediately before moving to control direction.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl instruction booklet PikachuHeadSSBB.png Move at ultra-high speed. Tilt the Control Stick very quickly in any direction before Pikachu moves to change its direction.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS case foldout PikachuHeadSSB4-3.png Dash up to twice in the directions of your choosing.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List PikachuHeadSSBU.png Attacks quickly in any direction. Can change direction midmove to move a second time.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Quick Attack 2. Meteor Quick Attack 3. Quick Feet
NTSC "A fast attack in any direction. Change direction midmove to move a second time."

PAL "A sharp movement in any direction. Change direction mid-move to move a second time."

"A Quick Attack with a meteor effect. Potent at the start and when changing direction." NTSC "Doesn't move twice, but moves much farther than Pikachu's other up specials."

PAL "Can't be used to move twice, but moves much further than Pikachu's other up specials."

  1. Quick Attack: Default.
  2. Meteor Quick Attack: Has lower recovery distance and moves slower than the normal Quick Attack, but adds meteor effects to the move. More effective at the start of the move and while changing directions.
  1. Quick Feet: Only moves once, but travels much farther.

Quick Attack cancel[edit]

ESAM utilizing Quick Attack Canceling to lock Meta Knight for longer than what is normally possible with Quick Attack.

Quick Attack Canceling, abbreviated as QAC and also known as QuACking, is a technique usable by Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When Pikachu normally Quick Attacks in Brawl and touches the ground, it goes into its helpless landing animation. This occurs when Pikachu Quick Attacks horizontally on the ground or when it lands at any point after the Quick Attack dash. If Pikachu quick attacks into the ground before the dash's animation has ended however, Pikachu will not go into its helpless landing animation once the animation is over. Instead, Pikachu is put into an animation transition frame, where Pikachu is considered airborne but it is also touching the ground. After this frame, Pikachu will enter its normal landing animation with RCO lag. Pikachu is actionable during this one animation transition frame, allowing Pikachu to act out of this frame to avoid landing. When Pikachu is in this frame, it can jump, use its aerials (with Pikachu being able to perform an instant landing down aerial), air dodge, use its specials (including Quick Attack) or drop through platforms. This can be performed with both Quick Attack dashes so in a situation where Pikachu cannot Quick Attack cancel with the first dash, Pikachu can use the second dash. This variant of the technique is only possible to its full extent in Brawl, although in Super Smash Bros. 4, Pikachu can still perform the technique on slopes. Pikachu can also cancel Quick Attack by edge canceling, which works in all games up to Super Smash Bros. 4.

The technique is essentially a form of Second Jump Recovery, working in the same way. The main difference is that with a normal SJR, the player has to frame perfectly time their aerial so that they land the exact frame after the animation ends in order to get the animation transition frame. Quick Attack instead allows the player can touch the ground at any point during Quick Attack's dash to get the animation transition frame, which along with how Quick Attack functions, makes it far easier and much more versatile and practical than a normal SJR.

The technique is considered vital for competitive Pikachu players due to its high versatility. It gives Pikachu a way to quickly maneuver around the stage without much lag, massively helping Pikachu's approach and aerial game, as well as being a retreat option. It can also easily play "mindgames" with the opponent due to the move's high mixup potential, easily allowing it to bait and punish opponents. It can also allow extended followups to certain moves knocking the opponent across the stage. Notably, it is an efficient way to lead into a neutral aerial, which is one of Pikachu's move effective KO moves due to its low startup and decent power.

The technique also makes Quick Attack highly effective as a locking tool. As Quick Attack has a 0 degree angle and low knockback, it can lock opponents very effectively and when combined with Quick Attack Canceling, Pikachu has access to an infamous combo on the floored opponent with proper execution. The combo is not an infinite, as the Quick Attack's knockback does scale but it can lead into 0-death combos. Pikachu can even set up a QAC lock using up aerial into footstool, making it practical to go for in matches. Even if the player does not continuously Quick Attack the opponent, they can still get a guaranteed followup as the floored opponent gets up.

The technique also has utility on slopes. If Pikachu does a QAC on a slope, Pikachu will stay in the air for longer and gain additional momentum as it lands. This is naturally very situational, especially in a competitive setting where slopes are generally not prefered. In Smash 4, slopes enable Pikachu to QAC (even on the slightest inclines such as on Dream Land in certain positions) which it normally cannot do, allowing Pikachu to greatly take advantage of slopes in Smash 4.


Quick Attack being used by Pikachu in Pokémon Red.

Quick Attack is a physical Normal-type attack introduced in the Generation I Pokémon games. It's a rather weak move, with a low base power similar to Tackle and Pound. Unlike these other moves, however, it has +1 priority, meaning it will go before other moves unless the opponent uses a move whose priority is higher. Pikachu learns Quick Attack by leveling up and can be learned among early levels in any Pokémon game. In Pokémon Red and Green, Pikachu learned it at level 16, which was later reduced to 11 in Pokémon Yellow.

In the main Pokémon games, Quick Attack is commonly depicted as a single quick dash towards the foe, but the Pokémon anime often shows users of Quick Attack running in zigzag patterns to evade incoming attacks.

Pikachu's Quick Attack in the Super Smash Bros. series has a unique trail of electrical bubbles, which also deal electric damage, despite the attack being Normal-type in the origin games. In a similar matter, Skull Bash in Melee also has an electrical property attack despite not being an Electric-type attack. The option to "move" twice is also completely unique to Smash.

One of Pikachu's custom moves in Super Smash Bros. 4, Quick Feet, shares its name with an ability in the main Pokémon series, which increases a Pokémon's speed if it is under a status ailment. However, Pikachu has no access to this ability in any of the Pokémon games. It is, however, used by Jolteon, another Generation I Electric-type Pokémon.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese でんこうせっか, Light Speed
UK English Quick Attack
France French Vive-Attaque
Germany German Ruckzuckhieb
Spain Spanish Ataque Rápido
Italy Italian Attacco rapido
China Chinese (Simplified) 电光一闪, Lightning Flash
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 電光一閃, Lightning Flash
South Korea Korean 전광석화
Netherlands Dutch Snelle Aanval
Russia Russian Быстрая Атака


  • Pikachu's up special used to be called Agility but was changed to Quick Attack later.[2]
    • However, Agility would eventually be given to Pichu for its up special in Melee and Ultimate.
  • This is one of 2 up specials that initially didn't do damage, but does in the next Smash game. The other is Extreme Speed.
    • Coincidentally, both are offensive Normal-type moves with boosted priority used by Pokémon.
  • Quick Attack is one of three up special moves that always uses up the character's double jump in Brawl and Smash 4 regardless if the player saved it before use, despite the near-universal change across all other characters that allows them to use their double jump after their up special move if they are hit out of it. The other two up special moves are Hydro Pump and Spin Attack.

Technical details[edit]

See also[edit]