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A neutral attack (弱攻撃), often referred to as a jab (and officially standard attack or weak attack before Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), is the most basic attack a character can perform. It is performed by pressing the attack button while standing on the ground, with no input from the control stick. Typically, neutral attacks are fast, short-ranged, weak attacks meant for easy close-range punishes or escaping pressure.
Almost all neutral attacks in the series are natural combos: a type of attack with multiple stages which lead directly into each other. Just after the first attack is thrown, pressing the attack button again – regardless of whether the first attack connected – will result in an immediate follow-up attack. Certain natural combos also have a third stage, with a few that have a fourth stage. Mario's iconic neutral attack, a simple punch-punch-kick combo, is a well-known example of a three-stage neutral attack.
From Brawl onwards, holding the attack button instead of pressing it for the first hit of certain neutral attacks will cause the character to continually perform the first attack at a very high speed until it hits an opponent. This property is known as consecutiveness, and can be a helpful way to ensure an opponent will be hit by one without requiring strict timing. Additionally, when a neutral attack connects, regardless of whether it possesses consecutiveness, the next stages can be activated by simply holding the button, rather than pressing it repeatedly like in the previous games.
Types of neutral attacks
Since generally all nonfinal stages of a natural combo have the simple purpose of leading into the final one, most neutral attacks are defined by the nature of their final stage. To this end, there are three types of enders:
Characters like Mario, Sonic, Cloud Strife, and Ness have neutral attacks that end with a simple final hit, launching opponents away. Certain characters with one-hit neutral attacks that are not natural combos, such as Pikachu, Ganondorf, and Roy, fall into this category as well. Because this is by far the most common type of neutral attack, there is not a universally accepted term for it.
A neutral infinite (often called a rapid jab, and officially known as a flurry attack in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) is a constantly-looping flurry of incredibly fast and weak attacks that link into each other. Once this attack is launched, it can be indefinitely looped by pressing the attack button repeatedly in SSB and Melee, or by simply holding it from Brawl onward. Despite their indefinite nature, neutral infinites can be escaped relatively quickly with proper DI and SDI, especially prior to Smash 4. Later games mitigate this by speeding up their hit rate and lowering their SDI multipliers (as well as weakening SDI itself), as well as slightly pushing the attacker back each hit after landing a certain number of hits.
The neutral infinite ends once the attack button is released. Prior to Smash 4, this causes the character to simply stop attacking – however, from Smash 4 onwards, neutral infinites have a final hit known as a finisher that is designed to launch opponents away, and is used once the attack button is released. Since no new button input is made to activate this final hit, it is not its own stage of the natural combo.
Characters like Kirby, Fox, Sheik and Bowser Jr. are known for possessing neutral infinites. Meta Knight is unique for having only a neutral infinite, and no standard neutral attack beforehand. Instead, his forward tilt is a three-part attack.
A choosable neutral attack is one that can end either in a neutral infinite or in a standard final hit (which, in the context of a choosable, may be referred to as a Gentleman). The infinite is chosen by repeatedly pressing the attack button during the nonfinal hits of the combo – once it is launched, it functions identically to the typical neutral infinite. Likewise, the Gentleman is chosen by pressing the attack button less frequently, or by simply holding it once the first hit connects with an opponent.
While choosables appear in every installment, they are much more common in Smash 4 and Ultimate. Characters like Captain Falcon, Young Link, Pit, Little Mac, and Corrin are known for possessing choosables.
List of neutral attacks
Consecutiveness only applies from Brawl onward, as the feature did not exist in previous games.
|Banjo & Kazooie||3||Choosable||Banjo swipes his claws forward twice, then either uppercuts a third time or crouches while Kazooie does the Rat-a-tat Rap, where she jabs her beak repetitively.|
|Bayonetta||4||Unique||Performs three pistol whips, then leans forwards and rapidly thrusts her guns forwards before throwing a downwards gun-spinning punch for a final hit. Unlike most neutral infinites, it ends automatically after a set number of hits. Hits 1-3 and the infinite finisher can be extended with Bullet Arts, while holding attack button during the multi-hit as opposed to mashing will use Bullet Arts to deal more damage.|
|Bowser||2||Standard||Throws an open hand strike the opponent and then follows up with a punch.|
|Bowser Jr.||3||Infinite||Deploys a pair of boxing gloves from the Koopa Clown Car, then uses them to throw a jab, a cross, and then a flurry of rapid punches ending in an uppercut.|
|Byleth||3||Choosable||A knife-hand strike, followed by a roundhouse kick, and finally either a side kick, or a flurry attack with the whip-sword.|
|Captain Falcon|| 4
| Jabs twice, strikes with his knee, and then performs a series of one-handed jabs.|
Jabs twice, then either strikes with his knee or performs a series of one-handed jabs ending in an uppercut.
|Charizard||3||Standard||Throws alternating swipes with its claws, then slashes its wing upwards and inwards.|
|Chrom||1||Standard||Slashes upwards in front of himself.|
|Cloud||3||Standard||Throws two kicks, then slashes outwards with the Buster Sword.|
|Corrin||3||Choosable||Stabs forwards with a draconic spear arm, slashes with Omega Yato, and then either strikes forwards with Omega Yato again or leans forwards and performs a rapid series of bites with an arm-mounted draconic mouth.|
|Dark Pit||3||Choosable||Slashes twice, then either uppercuts with one of his blades or repeatedly attacks with both of them.|
|Dark Samus||2||Standard||Jabs, then clubs downwards with her Arm Cannon.|
|Diddy Kong||3|| Choosable
|| Slaps twice, then either kicks forward or rapidly flicks his tail around in front of himself.|
Slaps twice, then throws a side kick.
|Donkey Kong||2||Standard||Punches forwards, then uppercuts.|
|Dr. Mario||3||Standard||Throws two punches, then a straight kick.|
|Duck Hunt||3||Choosable||The dog performs a paw swipe, then a headbutt, and then either throws a two-footed kick or lays down while the duck rapidly pecks forwards.|
|Falco||3||Infinite|| Throws two punches, then a series of kicks with incredible speed.|
Slashes inwards and then outwards with his wing, then leans forwards while spinning with both wings outstretched to perform a tornado-like series of rapid strikes before finishing with a final slash /heel kick .
|Fox||3||Infinite||Throws two punches, then a series of kicks with incredible speed.|
|Ganondorf||1||Standard||Strikes straight forwards with his hand.|
|Greninja||3||Choosable||Performs two alternating palm strikes, then either explodes a burst of water from both of its palms or performs a rapid series of watery slashes.|
|Hero||3||Standard||Swings his sword straight upward, then straight downward, and then inward.|
|Ice Climbers||2||Standard||Swing their hammers outwards, then upwards and inwards.|
|Ike||3||Standard||Throws a jab, then a stepping-forwards kick, and then slams Ragnell downwards onto the ground.|
|Incineroar||3||Standard||Throws a straight spearhand, then a knee jab, and then a leaning-forwards elbow bash.|
|Inkling||3||Choosable||Performs a finger jab, a roundhouse kick, and then either a side kick or a series of close-ranged Splattershot blasts.|
|Isabelle||1||Standard||Swings a toy hammer downwards for a very fast and weak single hit.|
|Whips forwards with one vine, then another, and then performs a rapid storm of vine slaps forwards.|
|Jigglypuff||2||Standard||Throws two alternating punches.|
|Joker||3||Standard||Slashes inwards, stabs forwards in reverse grip, and then slashes outwards.|
|Kazuya||Flash Punch Combo: 3
10-Hit Combo: 10
|Unique||Flash Punch Combo: Throws two punches, then a straight punch.|
10-Hit Combo: Does a 10 hit combo, comboing with a series of punches and kicks, finishing with a bursting uppercut.
|Standard||||Tapped: Throws a straight jab, then a short-straight punch, and then a hook.|
Held (far): Swings his leg upwards and then brings it back down for a swift axe kick.
Held (close): Throws an uppercut.
|King Dedede||3||Infinite||Swipes inwards with his hammer, then upwards, and then thrusts it forward while spinning its head like a drill for several hits.|
|King K. Rool||3||Standard||Strikes forwards with his palm, slashes inwards with his claws, then kicks straight forwards.|
|Kirby||3||Infinite||Jabs twice, then throws a very fast series of punches.|
| Slashes twice with the Master Sword, then either stabs forwards a single time or performs a very fast series of forwards stabs.|
Slashes twice with the Master Sword, then leans into a final forwards strike.
|Little Mac||3||Choosable||Throws a jab, then a hook, and then either a leaning uppercut or a barrage of high-speed punches.|
|Lucario||3||Standard||Performs a downwards paw swing, a forward palm thrust, and then a high kick.|
|Lucas||3||Standard||Throws a quick combo of three kicks.|
|Lucina||2||Standard||Performs a pair of upwards swings with Parallel Falchion.|
|| Throws two punches, then a straight kick.|
Throws two punches, then performs a jumping hip check.
|Mario||3||Standard||Throws two punches, then a straight kick.|
|Marth||2||Standard||Performs a pair of upwards swings with Falchion.|
|Mega Man||3||Standard||Fires the Mega Buster straight ahead up to three times in a row.|
|Meta Knight||1||Infinite|| Unleashes a storm of slashes to cover his entire body.|
Performs several very fast slashes in front of himself before ending with a backflipping slash.
|Mewtwo||2||Infinite||Performs a dark-powered palm thrust, then leans further forwards to release a stream of dark smoke from that same palm for rapid hits.|
|Mii Brawler||3||Infinite||Throws two jabs, then a barrage of quick punches ending in a swift back kick.|
|| Performs a pair of bludgeons with the arm cannon, then thrusts it straight forwards accompanied by a near-immediate flame blast.|
Throws a jab, then a side kick, and then thrusts the arm cannon straight forwards accompanied by a near-immediate flame blast.
|Mii Swordfighter||3||Standard||Slashes inwards, outwards, and then upwards.|
|Min Min||3||Choosable||Kicks forwards, then does a leg sweep, then a series of kicks with incredible speed, finishing off with a straight kick.|
Similar to Ryu and Ken, if the button is held rather than tapped, Min Min does a forward tilt instead of a neutral attack.
|Mr. Game & Watch||2||Infinite||Pumps insecticide forwards, then begins to pump it much more rapidly.|
|Mythra||3||Choosable||Throws a knifehand strike followed by a sword slash then either a second upwards slash or repeated magic blasts.|
|Ness||3||Standard||Throws two jabs, then a side kick.|
|Olimar||2||Standard|| Performs a pair of headbutts.|
Throws two leaning punches.
|Pac-Man||3||Standard||Throws two jabs, then performs a backflipping kick.|
|Palutena||2||Infinite||Thrusts her staff forwards at hip level, then keeps it there while releasing a rapidly-hitting blast of light from it.|
|Pichu||1||Standard||Performs a very fast and weak headbutt.|
|Pikachu||1||Standard||Performs a very fast and weak headbutt.|
|Piranha Plant||3||Choosable||Throws a leaf jab, then a cross, and then either headbutts straight forwards or performs a furious storm of bites.|
|Pit||3||Choosable||Slashes twice, then either uppercuts with one of his blades or repeatedly attacks with both of them.|
|Pyra||3||Choosable||Throws a knifehand strike followed by a sword slash then either a second upwards slash or repeated fiery blasts.|
||Throws two alternating hooks.|
|Richter||3||Infinite||||Holds a short length of the Vampire Killer in his hands to strike twice with its tip, then rapidly swirls it around in front of himself for multiple hits.|
|Ridley||3||Choosable||||Slashes inwards with both claws, then either bites in front of himself or performs a high-speed flurry of tail stabs.|
|Robin||3||Choosable||Slashes upwards, then downwards with a bronze sword, then either opens up a fire tome to cast an exploding fireball or rapidly flits through pages in a wind tome to create a whirling storm of magic wind slashes.|
|Rosalina & Luma||3||Choosable||Rosalina: Swings her wand forwards twice, then either casts a small burst of stardust from the wand or twirls it in a circle for several hits.|
Luma: Throws a jab, then kicks, and then either performs a backflipping kick or leans forwards while rapidly spinning for several hits, ending with a headbutt.
|Roy||1||Standard||Slashes upwards in front of himself.|
|Standard||||Tapped: Throws a straight jab, then a short-straight punch, and then a hook.|
Held (far): Performs a strong, upwards-angled roundhouse kick.
Held (close): Throws an uppercut. (only exists in )
|Samus||2||Standard||Jabs, then clubs downwards with her Arm Cannon.|
|Sephiroth||3||Standard||A roundhouse kick, followed by a side kick and finally a hilt thrust.|
|Sheik||3||Infinite||Throws two knifehands, then a series of spearhand thrusts.|
|Shulk||3||Standard||Throws a jab and a side kick, then slashes upwards with the Monado.|
|Simon||3||Infinite||||Holds a short length of the Vampire Killer in his hands to strike twice with its tip, then rapidly swirls it around in front of himself for multiple hits.|
|Snake||3||Standard||Throws two jabs and then performs a spinning roundhouse kick.|
|Sonic||3||Standard||Throws two jabs, then a kick.|
|Sora||3||Standard||A 3 hit combo consisting of a downward swing, a forward jab, and a rightward 360° swing.|
|Squirtle||3||Standard|| Throws a jab, performs an inwards tail whip, and flips forwards for a downwards tail drop.|
Throws a jab, performs a jumping kick, and then spins its tail in a modified roundhouse.
|Steve||1||Standard||A forward swipe of a sword.|
|Terry||3||Standard||A high jab, followed by a hit to the body, and ending with a high kick launcher.|
|Toon Link||3||Standard||Slashes twice, then stabs straight forwards.|
||| Throw a pair of alternating hooks.|
Throws a pair of alternating hooks, then begins to throw a faster chain of hooks ending with a straight punch.
|Wario||2||Standard||Throws a pair of alternating hooks.|
|Wii Fit Trainer||3||Standard||Throws a forwards spearhand while simultaneously striking backwards with a back kick, then performs a knee thrust, and finally lunges forwards with a stomp that can bury.|
|Wolf||3||Standard||Performs two claw slashes, then leans forwards for a final blow.|
|Yoshi||2||Standard||Throws two simple kicks.|
|Young Link||3||Choosable||Slashes twice with the Kokiri Sword, then either stabs forwards a single time or performs a very fast series of strikes.|
| Releases three magic sparks from her outstretched palm.|
Releases two magic sparks from her palm, then braces herself slightly as she unleashes a larger surge of magic for several hits.
|Zero Suit Samus||3||Standard||Throws a jab, strikes inwards with the Paralyzer, and then thrusts her elbow forwards.|
- Repeats the first two whips instead of just the first.
- Holding the attack button uses the appropriate held variant of the attack, but the attack can still effectively be made consecutive by repeatedly tapping the attack button quickly.
- Holding the attack button instead enables free whip movement.
- Holding the attack button completes the entire gentleman sequence.
- Repeats the first two punches instead of just the first.
Notable neutral attacks
- Pikachu, Pichu, Isabelle and Steve all have incredibly fast neutral attacks that hit once and, from Brawl onwards, are consecutive. Each one is easily capable of chaining into itself, especially at low damage percentages. This may lead to the false conception that they are neutral infinites. Villager's neutral attack in SSB4 also had a similar effect, over two hits instead of one, but it was changed to a true neutral infinite in Ultimate.
- Meta Knight is the only character with no "normal" neutral attacks before he begins the infinite. Even pressing the attack button once causes him to commit to at least one full cycle of the attack, leading an in-game tip to humorously state that Meta Knight "doesn't do 'standard attacks'." In Brawl, it is also one of only two neutral attacks in the series to hit all around the character instead of just in front of them.
- Olimar's neutral attack in Brawl consists of two headbutts that deal direct damage and knockback; however, the resultant flicks from his antenna have their own hitboxes which strike for extra damage, but deal no knockback. This makes it the only neutral attack in the series to have a damaging hitbox which does not make opponents flinch.
- Ike's neutral attack in Brawl is notable for being used for combos by only using the first and second part via crouch-cancelling the third. This allows for easy damage multipliers and combos. The attack also has a powerful knockback at high percent which will KO characters around 170%.
- Mega Man's neutral attack is the only one that is a projectile. It also flows freely with his near-identical forward tilt and neutral aerial, effectively allowing Mega Man to fire his Mega Buster while walking and jumping without interruption.
- The first hit of Wii Fit Trainer's neutral attack combines a spear hand with a back kick for an attack that hits on both sides of their body, being one of three neutral attacks to do so—the others being Ness' in Melee and Meta Knight's in Brawl, though Meta Knight's doesn't hit both sides simultaneously. Also unique to Wii Fit Trainer's neutral attack is that the third hit, when sweetspotted at the foot, can bury opponents. It is the only neutral attack capable of burying or inflicting any movement-inhibiting effect for that matter.
- Both Robin's standard finisher and neutral infinite involve the use of tomes, and thereby have the unique ability both to affect their special moves and be affected by them. Arcfire and Robin's standard finisher ender draw from the same durability meter, as do Elwind and their infinite. The longer the infinite is held, the more durability will be sapped from Elwind. If one or both of these tomes is broken, the relevant neutral attack part will have no hitbox until it respawns.
- Ryu has two different attacks which can be achieved through a neutral attack input; in Ultimate, he and his new echo fighter Ken each have three. For both characters, quickly pressing the attack button instead of holding it results in a three-stage combo. However, the second and third stages can only be accessed upon a successful hit. Otherwise, repeatedly tapping the button will simply cause the first hit to be used repeatedly, in a modified form of consecutiveness. Both of these properties are unique to Ryu and Ken. Holding the button results in a different attack altogether, which is not a natural combo. In Ultimate, Ryu and Ken are also the only fighters to have proximity normals, of which their neutral attacks are an example. Holding the attack button while close to opponents results in them performing an attack similar to their held up tilt, but with virtually no knockback.
- Inkling's neutral infinite covers opponents in ink. If Inkling runs out of ink, it can still be used, but it will possess no hitboxes.
- If the attack button is held instead of pressed during Simon and Richter's neutral attack, they will hold the Vampire Killer forwards in front of themselves and remain stationary. Input from the control stick, while the button is being held, will cause them to rotate their whip, loosely flinging a short section of it in the held direction. This can destroy small projectiles, and its weak knockback can be used for unusual gimps, but its overall utility is rather limited. It is overall similar to Sheik's Chain in Melee and Brawl.
- Particularly in SSB4, Villager's neutral attack functions quite unlike any other in the series. It is a two-hit natural combo whose second hit can be canceled back into the first hit, allowing for an endless volley of repeating punches. It is also a consecutive move that uniquely repeats both hits instead of just the first one. Both of these factors may lead players to the conclusion that it is an infinite, but this is inaccurate, as it lacks a finishing hit. Its nature as a repeating and consecutive natural combo also means the time between hits can be shortened by rapidly pressing the attack button instead of holding it, which cannot be done for any true neutral infinite. In Ultimate, a true infinite was added as a third stage of the natural combo, giving it a proper final hit, but its unique two-hit consecutiveness remains.
- In all games, there is only one character with a four-stage neutral attack: Captain Falcon prior to SSB4, and Bayonetta from SSB4 onwards. Both are unique in other ways, as well.
- Particularly in Melee, the third hit of Captain Falcon's neutral attack—a knee strike—is quick, safe, highly damaging, and overall an excellent way to end close-range strings. However, on the NTSC version of the game, it is notoriously difficult to trigger this attack without also using the notoriously slow and ineffective infinite that follows it. Because of the difficulty in utilizing this attack, combined with its importance in Captain Falcon's moveset, this portion of the attack became well-known enough to garner its own nickname, the Gentleman.
- Bayonetta's neutral infinite is the only one in the series that cannot be held indefinitely. After being held for sufficiently long, even if it is not hitting anything, the final hit will come out with no input from the player, and the attack will end.
- Samus' neutral attack is infamous for being the only one where the first hit does not combo into the second at any reasonable percent, allowing an opponent to always shield the second hit, or even interrupt it with a neutral attack (or similarly fast attack) of their own.
- Bowser Jr.'s neutral infinite finisher is notable for having the most knockback of any neutral attack and by far the most of any neutral infinite, able to KO at around 120% near the ledge. This is in addition to having a large disjoint, making it a relatively safe, reliable KO move.
- Kazuya has one of the most unique neutral attacks in the series, with two variations depending if the third button press is delayed or not. If the button press is delayed, Kazuya performs the Flash Punch Combo, which functions as a standard three hits jab, but deals significantly more damage (15% base) and knockback than other moves of this kind. Otherwise, if the third press is not delayed, Kazuya transitions to the 10-Hit Combo, an unique series of 10 attacks that moves Kazuya forward. If all hits connect, the combo deals an impressive 38% base damage, and the last hit is unblockable. However, because of its high SDI multiplier, it's very difficult to connect the entire 10-Hit Combo without the opponent falling out. As such, Kazuya players usually prefer to use the Flash Punch Combo, while the 10-Hit Combo is used mostly as a mixup to push opponents off the edge and interrupting it early to capitalize on sloppy escape options.
|Attacks in the Super Smash Bros. series|
|Standard ground attacks||Neutral attack · Dash attack|
|Tilt attacks||Forward tilt · Up tilt · Down tilt|
|Smash attacks||Forward smash · Up smash · Down smash|
|Aerial attacks||Neutral aerial · Forward aerial · Back aerial · Up aerial · Down aerial · Grab aerial · Glide attack|
|Throws||Grab · Pummel · Forward throw · Back throw · Up throw · Down throw|
|Get-up attacks||Floor attack · Edge attack|
|Special moves||Neutral special move · Side special move · Up special move · Down special move · Command-input move · Final Smash|