- "Launch" redirects here. For the Ultimate tournament, see Tournament:Launch.
Knockback is the measure of how far an attack sends its target. For most attacks, knockback increases as damage on a character increases. An example of an attack with high knockback is Bowser's forward smash; it launches opponents very far, so far that at high damages it's more powerful than a Home-Run Bat's smash attack. Pikachu's neutral attack, on the other hand, has very low knockback - it hardly sends opponents anywhere, even at ludicrous damages. Attacks with relatively low knockback tend to be good for combos.
The knockback of almost every attack works in tandem with the target's damage - it increases as the target's damage gets higher. It is also affected by the target's weight, gravity, and a few other conditions (such as type effectiveness). While not the primary factor, the damage dealt by an attack is a significant factor in how much knockback it deals - this is the reason stale moves have less knockback than fresh ones, and the reason smash attacks deal significantly more knockback when fully charged.
Each hitbox of a move has two knockback values: a base knockback and a knockback scaling (also known as knockback growth). Base knockback is the minimum amount of knockback the attack can deliver under normal circumstances, and knockback scaling is a factor that controls how much the knockback increases as damage increases.
Moves with high base knockback can deal high knockback (such as performing a forward smash with the Home-Run Bat), even against fighters who haven't taken much damage, and tend to be more effective at KOing when fighters can easily be sent flying at low damage percentages (such as against lighter fighters, when near the edge of the stage, or when a fighter is handicapped to sustain more knockback). Tiny-sized fighters are usually the most vulnerable to getting KO'd by high base knockback attacks, due to having reduced weight, and an increased knockback taken multiplier.
On the other hand, moves with high knockback scaling can reach KO potential more quickly (such as Luigi's forward smash), especially if they have a high damage output, and tend to be more effective at KOing when fighters need to take greater knockback than what a high base knockback attack can deliver on its own (such as against heavier fighters, when far away from a stage's blast line, or when a fighter is handicapped to sustain less knockback). Advanced techniques to extend survival, such as DI and momentum canceling, are also less effective the stronger a move's knockback scaling is.
In Melee, the highest knockback delivered and received by each character is given in a match's results screen, labeled as "Fastest Pitch" and "Top Speed" respectively, though the numbers lack meaning. In Brawl, the velocity applied (in units per 1000 frames) is provided instead of the knockback value (though it's simply knockback divided by 0.03). The unit is given as "mph"; while this would presumably mean "miles per hour", this is obviously not the case, as a 1,000 mph hit would barely send characters anywhere. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, knockback units are again shown without a meaning, while in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, they are measured in "mph" as in Brawl, though in a lower scale. Strangely enough, knockback for a same move between the two games is actually shown in different scales: Ganondorf's Warlock Punch, for instance, scores 102 units of knockback against Mario at 0% damage (without other modifiers) in Smash 3DS, while scoring 53 mph under the same conditions in Smash U. Despite these differences among games, they all internally use the same knockback measurement units in accordance to the knockback formula, as evidenced by moves with unchanged damage and knockback values throughout them (such as Jigglypuff's back throw from Melee to Smash 4) keeping their knockback identical.
The following table gives an idea of various knockback strengths:
|10||333.33||One stage builder block per second|
|33.6||1120||Jigglypuff's short hop|
|43.2||1440||Jigglypuff's first jump|
|63||2100||Fox dashing (without running)|
|80.0001||2666.67||The minimum amount of knockback required to cause tumbling|
|102.6||3420||Falco's first jump|
|131.43||4381||Sheik's footstool jump|
|172.5||5750||The approximate knockback needed to KO from the center of Final Destination with the Sakurai angle DI'd down.|
|186||6200||The approximate knockback needed to KO from the center of Final Destination with the Sakurai angle and no DI.|
|204.75||6825||The approximate knockback needed to KO from the center of Final Destination with the Sakurai angle DI'd away.|
|300||10000||Jigglypuff's shield jump|
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, when hitstun exceeds 32 frames, the process of the character getting launched is sped up for a duration proportional to the hitstun inflicted. This is especially noticeable near KO percentages, where characters fly away very quickly, then come to a stop almost immediately, effectively causing the launch to execute much faster. The effect is also more noticeable for moves which have high hitstun modifiers, such as Isabelle's neutral attack, which can even trigger the effect before the knockback is strong enough to cause tumbling. Because of this change, the hitstun they experience scales much more slowly at higher knockback values. According to director Masahiro Sakurai, this change was implemented to increase the overall speed of the game, by reducing the time during which launched characters are incapacitated. The visual and mechanical differences this effect causes on knockback are notorious enough that it is often dubbed "balloon knockback" by the community, as it has similar physics to hitting a balloon in real life. Moves with set knockback retain traditional knockback physics.
- Launch rate is not to be confused with handicap.
Launch rate, also known as Damage % in Super Smash Bros. and Damage Ratio in Melee and Brawl, is a feature in all Super Smash Bros. games that alters how much knockback is given and received (despite its name in Melee and Brawl, damage is unaffected).
All knockback in a match is multiplied by the launch rate value, which by default is 1.0×. This value can be set from as low as 0.5× (attacks have half knockback) to as high as 2.0× (attacks have double knockback). The minimum launch rate is ideal for combos, while the maximum launch rate is ideal for KOing opponents at extremely low percentages. However, the latter also affected attacks with set knockback up until Smash 4 and Ultimate, causing multihit attacks to not always combo into each other.
In competitive play, nonstandard launch rates are difficult to detect during games, which has led to some tournament matches unintentionally having been played at an incorrect launch rate. A notable example of this was a set between Armada and SilentSpectre at Pound 4 in 2010 that was played at 0.9×; this remained undiscovered for nine years. The infamous matches between komorikiri and CaptainZack, and ZeRo and Dabuz at GENESIS 4 are more recent examples. Both matches were being played at a launch rate setting of 0.9×. The latter match gained notoriety, and soon became an inside joke in the community.
There has been some discussion among Brawl's competitive community as to whether using a launch rate value other than the default 1.0 results in a more healthy metagame; 1.1× is a commonly-mentioned value claimed to make many polarizing attack chains (such as using Sheik's forward tilt into itself endlessly) less viable while also shortening the length of stocks. The idea has never attained serious consideration among tournament organizers.
Appearing in all games to date, visual effects known as angle indicators show when a hitbox collides with an opponent; as its name suggests, the angle indicator shows the angle of said hitboxes. In Brawl, angle indicators show different colors depending on who or what they hit. For player one, the angle indicator is red, with the second player's indicator being blue, and so forth. Computer-controlled opponents and objects like Sandbag have white angle indicators. Angle indicators appear in Super Smash Bros. as small "bubbles" appearing in the direction of the angle. In Smash 4, angle indicators appear as colorful, stylized "debris" flying off of an impact.
Smoke trails also indicate the angle at which a character is knocked away, but only appear when a character has taken a lot of damage, and are thus much less useful. In Smash 4, said smoke trails at higher knockback values are accompanied by thick light trails, colored depending on the player that dealt the knockback.
Note the downward facing lines that indicate Donkey Kong's meteor smash.
Starting in Brawl, a second formula is also used to alter knockback based on the target's gravity:
The result of this formula increases vertical launch speed if the target enters tumble. As a result, characters with higher gravity get launched faster than those with lower gravity, depending on how vertical the angle is, resulting in fighters with higher gravity stats having worsened vertical survivability, seemingly as an attempt to normalize the effect of combos and multi-hit moves on characters of differing gravity. This formula is also applied to moves that launch opponents downwards, though since vertical launch speed is negative in this case, the result of the formula effectively decreases it slightly instead, reducing the effectiveness of meteor smashes on fast fallers.
In Ultimate, moves that launch at angles between 70° and 110° now instead cause characters' falling speeds to be homogenized to a set value of 1.8 during hitstun. Furthermore, the additional launch speed from the gravity formula is no longer applied. As a result of these changes, falling speed no longer plays as much of a factor on determining a characters' vertical survivability, and moves that deal vertical knockback are generally easier to survive compared to Brawl and SSB4, thus making vertical survivability among the cast much more consistent than in previous games. Note that weight-independent moves do not homogenize falling speeds or use the different gravity value, so gravity and fall speed (especially the latter) still have an impact on the vertical survivability against those moves.
- p is the percentage of the target, counted after the attack's damage is added. In Stamina Mode this is set to 20.
- In Melee, p is floored pre-hits percentage + sum of hitbox damage(s) dealt to the character that frame, including staling and other modifiers.
- d is the damage the attack dealt.
- In SSB and Melee, it is the full damage without counting stale-move negation, except for projectiles, which use the stale damage and other possible modifiers.
- In Brawl, it is the damage including the staleness or the freshness bonus.
- In Smash 4 and Ultimate, it is the damage including 0.3x of the staleness or freshness bonus.
- w is the weight of the target. It is set to 100 if the attack is weight independent. Note that in SSB, heavier characters have a lower weight value than lighter ones, in accordance with the formula.
- s is the attack's knockback scaling (also known as knockback growth) divided by 100 (so a scaling of 110 is input as 1.1).
- b is the attack's base knockback.
- r is a series of ratios based on a number of factors, including:
- Handicap (in SSB and Melee)
- Single-player mode conditions (e.g. in Melee's Event 24: The Yoshi Herd, all Yoshis give x0.5 knockback while taking x3.7 knockback)
- Launch rate (between x0.5 and x2.0)
- Crouching penalty/Crouch cancel factor (x0.67 in SSB, x0.666667 Melee, and x0.85 in Smash 4)
- Smash charge interruption bonus prior to Ultimate (x1.2, Melee onwards, applied if the opponent was charging a smash attack when hit)
- Frozen penalty factor (x0.25 in Melee). Characters in frozen state take reduced knockback.
- Type effectiveness (x1.1 for super effective, x0.9 for not very effective, specific to Charizard, Ivysaur, and Squirtle in Brawl)
- Size changes made by the Super Mushroom, Poison Mushroom, and Lightning Bolt (less knockback is dealt to giant-sized fighters, while tiny fighters take more knockback than normal)
- Rage (between x1 and x1.15 in Smash 4 and between x1 and x1.1 in Ultimate)
The total amount of knockback dealt can also be subtracted by the target's knockback resistance, which is applied after all the other calculations have been made. However, hitboxes that have the bury effect can ignore the knockback resistance.
If the move has a fixed knockback value set, then d is set to that value, and p is always 10. As a result, the knockback dealt is independent of current damage, damage dealt, and ignores stale-move negation's knockback modifiers. However, it still remains dependent on other factors.
To determine how far a character is launched away, the numerical amount of knockback caused is multiplied by 0.03 to calculate launch speed, and the initial value of launch speed then decays by 0.051 every frame, so that the character eventually loses all momentum from the knockback. During this time, character-specific attributes such as air friction are disabled; however, falling speed still takes effect, giving fast fallers better endurance against vertical knockback than others of their weight.
Deadly Blow is an aesthetic effect in Smash 4 and Ultimate. Attacks dealing strong enough knockback to KO opponents before they can act afterwards produce a red-and-black lightning effect on contact. This effect tends to appear slightly after the actual damage percentage at which an attack can start KOing. For example, Jigglypuff's Rest can KO Mario on the 3DS version's Final Destination with no DI starting at 60%, but the effect doesn't appear until 62%.
This effect works depending on the distance required to KO the character rather than the actual strength of the knockback; for example, a forward or back throw towards a walk-off blast line will trigger the effect if the throw effectively KOs, even at low damage percentages where it would be otherwise very weak, while strong attacks launching foes from one side of the stage to the other will not display the effect if they don't KO, even if the knockback is strong enough to do so otherwise. Attacks that freeze do not produce this effect at any percentage, instead simply causing the screen to flash white. Meteor smashes also do not produce the effect until higher percentages.
The Deadly Blow activating does not necessarily guarantee a KO. The game does not consider stage walls, ceilings, or other obstacles that can otherwise change the trajectory of knockback (thereby preventing or causing a KO) when determining whether the lightning appears. DI Is also not taken into account, meaning players can still save themselves after the effect is displayed if the attack can just barely KO them.
In Ultimate, when a move is expected to end the match (that is, when all remaining opponents are on their last stock and hits the last character not already in lethal knockback or a Star KO), this effect is accompanied by a dramatic slowdown alongside a red background and a unique, much more intense sound effect, with the camera zooming in on the character. This is referred to as Finish Zoom by Masahiro Sakurai and his development team.
Other physics of knockback
- Bouncing off a surface reduces knockback by 20% in Melee and Smash 4 and 15% in Brawl and 5% in Ultimate. Landing a meteor smash or spike on a grounded opponent counts as a bounce, if enough knockback was dealt. Because the bounce occurs after the hit, the amount of hitstun suffered is not reduced a corresponding amount, meaning that downwards-hitting attacks tend to be excellent combo starters.
- In Melee, bouncing off a floor from spike only reduces vertical component of knockback velocity by 20%. Meanwhile, bouncing off walls and ceilings reduces total velocity by 20%.
- In all games, the screen will commonly flash white when a character receives knockback that is greater than or equal to 160 units; however, the screen will flash into a different color when they're launched far by an elemental attack (i.e. red for flame attacks, blue for electric attacks, etc.).
- In Brawl, characters that take enough knockback to be sent tumbling will slightly damage opponents they run into while flying. This hitbox belongs to the character that dealt the knockback, and inflicts minor damage (usually from 1% to 4%) and knockback depending on how powerfully the character was launched. This is also present in Melee and Smash 64, but only applies to characters who receive knockback after a throw (not counting special move grabs like Falcon/Dark Dive and Koopa Klaw). This property was later removed in Smash 4, where launched opponents simply fly through other characters like in previous games.
- A similar effect is used against enemies in The Subspace Emissary, Smash Run and Master Fortress, known as careening, or the cannonball effect in Smash 4. When an enemy is defeated, it is sent flying at an angle (depending on the attack that KO'd it) and deals major damage to other enemies it runs into, before disappearing.
- Characters with armor will take no knockback, or reduced knockback.
- In Smash 4 and Ultimate, characters at higher percentages deal slightly more knockback, a factor popularly known as "rage". In Smash 4, rage starts building up at 35% damage and caps at 150%, at which the character deals 15% more knockback than normal, or 10% more in Ultimate.
- Characters in the background plane of Jungle Hijinxs take more knockback.
- In Smash 4, launch speed influence can increase launch speed to a maximum of x1.095 by holding up on the control stick, or decrease it to a minimum of x0.92 by holding down. From update 1.0.4 onward, this does not apply if the target is launched at an angle between 65° and 115°, or between 245° and 295°.
- In Smash 4, buried characters take 30% less knockback from attacks, provided these are strong enough to hit them out of said state.
Set knockback, also referred to as fixed knockback, is a property of some attacks where the amount of knockback dealt by the attack is always the same regardless of the damage the opponent has received so far, stale-move negation, or how much damage the attack does. Moves with this property can be thought of as those having a knockback scaling factor of 0, though this is actually not the case. Usually, set knockback is used for the first hits of a natural combo or multi-hit move, while the last hit deals normal knockback (sometimes called "scaling knockback" to contrast), to make it easier for the entire attack to hit regardless of the opponent's damage. While damage is not a factor for set knockback, the character's weight still is, so the terms weight-dependent set knockback or weight based knockback are sometimes used. Starting in Brawl, the effect of Damage Ratios (Launch Rates) for fixed knockback was drastically reduced, to the point where the in game Damage Ratio setting would have only a small effect on their knockback. Additionally, Shulk's Smash Monado Art is ignored entirely in Smash 4. However, other modifiers on knockback, such as rage, crouch cancelling, or smash attack charging bonus are still calculated normally, which in the case of rage can lead to unintended early KO setups in normal gameplay. In Ultimate, the effect of both types of knockback modifiers on set knockback was removed altogether, so set knockback is much harder to modify.
List of set knockback moves
Super Smash Bros.
With the exception of Captain Falcon, all characters in Super Smash Bros. have at least one move with set knockback.
- Donkey Kong's dash attack, Spinning Kong, and Hand Slap.
- Fox's down angled forward tilt, down aerial, up aerial (first hit), Blaster and Reflector.
- Jigglypuff's down aerial (all but landing hit).
- Kirby's Final Cutter (excluding the projectile), up aerial, forward aerial (all but last hit), neutral aerial, down aerial (landing hit), and Inhale.
- Link's up smash (first two hits).
- Luigi's sourspotted Super Jump Punch, dash attack, down aerial, and taunt.
- Mario's Super Jump Punch (all but last hit), down aerial, and Mario Tornado.
- Ness' PK Fire (all but first hit).
- Pikachu's forward aerial.
- Samus's up aerial and Screw Attack.
- Yoshi's up tilt, down tilt, Egg Lay, and Yoshi Bomb (stars).
Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Most neutral attacks have set knockback during the first hits.
- All windboxes.
- Mario and Dr. Mario's Mario Tornado, Dr. Tornado, Super Jump Punch, down air (excluding the respective final hits; Dr. Mario's down air's last hit also has set knockback), down angled forward tilt.
- Fox's Reflector, down aerial, and up aerial (first hit).
- Ice Climbers' down aerial.
- Yoshi's down tilt.
- Luigi's taunt and down angled forward tilt.
- Kirby's Hammer (in the air) and Final Cutter.
- Bowser's up throw and down air's looping hits.
- Peach's Peach Parasol's first hit.
- Donkey Kong's Hand Slap.
- Captain Falcon's uncharged smash attack with a Home-Run Bat and neutral air (first hit).
- Falco's Blaster.
- Young Link's forward smash (first hit).
- Roy's Blazer.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Judge #8.
- Red Shell.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Many jabs, such as Mario's, have set knockback for all but their last hit.
- Many multi-hitting smash attacks have setup hits with set knockback (e.g., Ness's up and down smashes).
- All windboxes.
- King Dedede's down throw.
- Luigi's down taunt and sourspotted Super Jump Punch.
- Toon Link's forward smash (first hit).
- Kirby's Final Cutter (up and downwards stroke).
- Mario's Mario Tornado and Super Jump Punch (excluding their respective final hits).
- Fox's up aerial (first hit).
- Falco's Blaster.
- Wolf's neutral aerial (3rd hit onward) and Reflector.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Judge #8.
Super Smash Bros. 4
- Many jabs, such as Mario's, have set knockback for all but their last hit.
- All windboxes, except for Mr. Game & Watch's down tilt, Ike's Tempest, and Greninja's up special and down taunt.
- Bayonetta's late After Burner Kick (default).
- Bowser Jr.'s Mechakoopa (first hit).
- Captain Falcon's neutral aerial (first hit).
- Diddy Kong's Banana Peel.
- Falco's Blaster.
- Fox's up aerial (first hit) and down aerial (excluding final hit).
- Kirby's Final Cutter (up and down slices).
- Little Mac's neutral aerial.
- Luigi's down taunt and sourspotted Super Jump Punch.
- Mario's Mario Tornado and Super Jump Punch (first five hits for both).
- Mr. Game & Watch's Judge #8.
- Pac-Man's down aerial (first three hits).
- Ryu's down tilt (tapped).
- Sheik's Vanish (reappearance hit).
- Shulk's Air Slash (first hit), along with the first hits of forward/up smash and up/down aerials.
- Wario's late dash attack.
- Zero Suit Samus' Paralyzer.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Banjo & Kazooie’s Up Smash (scoop, and multihits), Neutral Air (hits 1-7), Back Air (hits 1-2), and Pummel.
- Bayonetta’s Rapid Jab (hit 1 of launcher), Up Tilt (early hit 1), Down Smash (hit 1), Down Air (when hitting grounded opponent), Witch Twist (hit 1 and multihits), and Pummel.
- Joker's Rebel's Guard when releasing.
- Luigi’s Luigi Cyclone (windbox), Down Taunt, and Pummel.
- Mario’s F.L.U.D.D., Down Air (landing), Cape, Super Jump Punch (hits 1-6), and Pummel.
- Ness's PSI Magnet and Up Air (multihits).
From Melee onward, there are certain attacks that deal zero knockback, causing damage as usual but not flinching, meaning that the hit character can still perform any actions while being attacked. Most attacks with no knockback can rack up damage quickly, as they can hit foes repeatedly without launching them away from their range. These moves can also be used to "steal" KOs from opponents in free for all battles, as while they do not cause knockback, they will take ownership of the KO on an already fatally struck opponent. Fox's Blaster is the most well known example of an attack with no knockback. Due to the fact that it does not deal knockback, it will not interrupt an opponent's moves or force them out of a punishable state such as being asleep or being stuck in the ending lag of a missed Rest. Idle characters in Brawl and SSB4 will also turn around if they are repeatedly struck with moves that deal no knockback, which is noticeable with Fox's Blaster.
In Melee, phantom hits usually damage foes, but without any knockback. It is also possible for any character to receive no knockback from attacks by certain factors, such as by being giant and metal simultaneously on a low launch rate battle, and as mentioned above, armor will prevent characters from taking knockback while active.
List of moves with no knockback
- Fox's Blaster shots in both his neutral special and throws (except his forward throw) in Melee onward.
- Mario's Mario Tornado in Melee (hit 1).
- Dr. Mario's Dr. Tornado in Melee (hit 1).
- Charizard's forward air (furthest hitboxes) in Brawl.
- Snake's Hand Grenades (when striking the opponent without exploding) in all games.
- Olimar's antenna during his jab and down tilt in Brawl.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Short-Order Chef (some types of food) in SSB4.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Judge #1 in all games.
- Falco's Burst Blaster in SSB4.
- Olimar's Pikmin Toss (except for Purple Pikmin) in all games.
- Mario's Cape in all games. While it has knockback programmed, the reverse effect overrides this, and instead adds a fixed amount of momentum to opponents. Will deal knockback to opponents hanging on the ledge in Ultimate, and puts opponents on the ledge into hitstun in Melee.
- Dr. Mario's Super Sheet in all games. While it has knockback programmed, the reverse effect overrides this, and instead adds a fixed amount of momentum to opponents. Will deal knockback to opponents hanging on the ledge in Ultimate, and puts opponents on the ledge into hitstun in Melee.
- Bayonetta's Bullet Arts (at a distance from Bayonetta) in all games.
- Piranha Plant's Poison Breath in Ultimate.
- Joker's Gun (at a distance from Joker) in Ultimate.
- Togepi's Leech Seed.
- The flower, poison and curse statuses.
- The "crush" of Master Hand and Crazy Hand during their grab attacks in Melee.
- Amaranthine gas in The Subspace Emissary.
- Some consecutive-hitting attacks used by bosses (such as Rayquaza's Thunder).
Introduced in version 1.1.0 of SSB4, certain moves are coded to ignore the target's weight when inflicting knockback, instead using a set value of the default 100. As a result, they are much more consistent across the cast when used as set-up hits and similar.
- Bayonetta: neutral attack (all except infinite finisher), forward tilt (hits 1-2), forward aerial (hits 1-2), down aerial (clean), Heel Slide (ground dash and last hit, air dash), Witch Twist
- Charizard: up smash (hit 1 clean)
- Cloud: neutral attack (hit 2), forward smash (hits 1-2), down smash (hit 1), Cross Slash (hits 1-4), Climhazzard (most of non-Limit hit 2)
- Corrin: neutral attack (hit 2), Draconic Ascent (loop hits)
- Dark Pit: neutral attack (infinite loop)
- Diddy Kong: up smash (hit 1)
- Falco: up smash (hit 1 clean)
- Ganondorf: neutral aerial (hit 1 clean (hitbox ID value 2 only))
- Kirby: forward aerial (hits 1-2), Hammer Bash (air hit 1)
- Link: Spin Attack (air all but last hit)
- Lucas: down tilt
- Lucina: neutral aerial (hit 1), Dancing Blade (hit 2 down, hit 3 down)
- Marth: neutral aerial (hit 1), Dancing Blade (hit 2 down, hit 3 down)
- Pit: neutral attack (infinite loop)
- Robin: neutral attack (hits 1-2)
- Roy: neutral aerial (hit 2)
- Samus: forward aerial (hits 1-4), Screw Attack (hits 1-10)
- Toon Link: forward smash (hit 1)
- Yoshi: back aerial (hits 1-2)
- Zero Suit Samus: Plasma Whip (all but last hit)
A few moves not only treat the opponent's weight as 100, but also temporarily set their gravity to 0.085 and falling speed to 1.5, making their knockback even less character-dependant. However, since the gravity and falling speed alterations are temporary, the knockback is still heavily affected by them, and so the vertical KO power of such moves is heavily skewed towards fast-falling characters surviving much longer than heavy ones.
- Cloud: Finishing Touch (hitbox on frames 16 and 19-26, but not 17-18 or 27-32) (gravity and fall speed set for 22 frames)
- Pac-Man: Meteor Trampoline (clean meteor) (gravity and fall speed set for 5 frames)
In Ultimate, weight independence is now programmable from a standard flag within hitbox scripts, and as such its effect has been homogenised. If active, all fighters are treated as having a weight of 100 when calculating the attack's knockback, and a fall speed of 1.5 and gravity of 0.087 for the first 10 frames of the launch, before reverting back to a fighter's regular fall speed and gravity. Notably, this effect overrides the homogenised fall speed and gravity used by attacks which have an angle between 70˚ and 110˚.
- Bayonetta: neutral attack (all except for the rapid jab and the second hit of the rapid jab finisher), forward tilt (hits 1-2), up tilt (hit 1), forward air (input 1-2), Heel Slide, After Burner Kick, Witch Twist
- Bowser: Whirling Fortress (ground), Bowser Bomb (first hit and spike)
- Bowser Jr.: down tilt (hits 1-2), Abandon Ship! (hits 1-2)
- Byleth: up smash (hit 3), neutral air (loop hits/landing hit), up air (loop hits)
- Captain Falcon: neutral air (hit 1)
- Charizard: up smash (some of hit 1)
- Chrom: up smash (loop hits), neutral air (hit 1), Double-Edge Dance (input 1-3). Soaring Slash (hits 1-2)
- Cloud: forward smash (hits 1-2), down smash (hit 1), Cross Slash (all hits except final), Climhazzard (no Limit/some of hit 2)
- Corrin: neutral attack (hit 2), down aerial, Dragon Fang Shot, Draconic Ascent (loop hits)
- Daisy: dash attack (hit 1), Daisy Parasol (hits 1-2/when parasol is open)
- Dark Pit: forward smash (hit 1)
- Dark Samus: up smash (hits 2-4), Screw Attack (loop hits)
- Diddy Kong: dash attack (hits 1-2), forward smash (hits 1-2), up smash (hits 1-2)
- Falco: up smash (hit 1)
- Ganondorf: down smash (hit 1), neutral air (hit 1)
- Greninja: up smash (hit 1), Water Shuriken (full charge; loop hits)
- Hero: forward tilt (hit 1), Kazap (hits 2-3) Magic Burst (loop hits), Woosh, Swoosh (hit 1), Kaswoosh (loop hits)
- Ike: Aether (hit 1-3)
- Incineroar: Cross Chop (hit 1/semi-spike), Revenge
- Inkling: down tilt (hit 1)
- Isabelle: Up smash (loop hits), Lloid Trap (loop hits)
- Ivysaur: Bullet Seed (launcher)
- Joker: forward tilt (hit 1) up tilt (loop hits), forward aerial (hit 1)
- Kirby: forward aerial (hit 1-2), pummel (collateral hit), Final Cutter (hit 1)
- Link: up smash (hit 1-2), forward aerial (hit 1), back aerial (hit 1), Spin Attack (air; all hits except final)
- Lucario: up smash (hit 1), down aerial (hit 1)
- Lucas: down tilt
- Lucina: up smash (scooping hitbox), neutral aerial (hit 1), Dancing Blade (input 1-3)
- Luigi: Luigi Cyclone (windbox), dash attack (hit 4)
- Mario: down aerial (loop hits), Super Jump Punch (loop hits)
- Marth: up smash (scooping hitbox), neutral aerial (hit 1), Dancing Blade (input 1-3)
- Meta Knight: Mach Tornado (loop hits), Shuttle Loop (hit 1)
- Mr. Game & Watch: up tilt (hit 1), neutral aerial (hits 1-3) Judge (8)
- Mythra: Lightning Buster (prior to software version 12.0.0)
- PAC-MAN: up smash (hit 1), down aerial (hits 1-3)
- Palutena: forward tilt (hit 1-2)
- Peach: dash attack (hit 1), Peach Parasol (hits 1-2/when parasol is open)
- Pichu: Thunder (projectile)
- Pikachu: neutral aerial (loop hits), forward air (loop hits), Thunder (projectile)
- Piranha Plant: Piranhacopter (loop hits)
- Pit: forward smash (hit 1)
- Richter: dash attack (loop hits), down tilt (hit 1) neutral aerial (loop hits), Uppercut (loop hits)
- Ridley: forward aerial (hits 1-2)
- Rosalina & Luma: forward aerial (Luma)
- Roy: up smash (loop hits), neutral air (final hit), Double-Edge Dance (input 1-3). Blazer (loop hits)
- Samus: up smash (hits 2-4), Screw Attack (loop hits)
- Shulk: up smash (hit 1)
- Simon: dash attack (loop hits), down tilt (hit 1) neutral aerial (loop hits), Uppercut (loop hits)
- Snake: forward tilt (hit 1), neutral aerial (final hit)
- Sonic: up smash (loop hits)
- Squirtle: back aerial (loop hits)
- Terry: Rising Tackle (loop hits)
- Toon Link: Spin Attack (air; all hits except final)
- Villager: up tilt (hit 1), Up smash (loop hits)
- Wario: Corkscrew
- Wolf: Fire Wolf (loop hits)
- Yoshi: back aerial (hit 1-2)
- Young Link: up smash (hit 1-2), forward aerial (hit 1), back aerial (hit 1), Spin Attack (air; all hits except final)
- Zelda: neutral aerial (hits 1-3)
- Zero Suit Samus: Plasma Whip (loop hits)
In addition, all throws in Melee treat the opponent's weight as 100.
Lastly, some attack effects have weight independent properties, which include the bury, paralyze, and stun effects. However, only the bury effect can ignore knockback resistance.
Knockback stacking is the means by which knockback is applied to a target that has already been launched by a previous move. Depending on the game and situation, the new knockback can replace the old knockback entirely, have no effect at all, or have its properties merged with the old knockback. In games where knockback stacking is more common, it is an important aspect to consider for combos, as a character will have already been launched when hit by a subsequent move, therefore altering the followup move's properties.
In Melee, knockback stacking occurs if both hits are separated by 10 or more frames, and if the target does not stay on the ground. Otherwise, the second hit's knockback completely replaces the first's. This can lead to noticeable scenarios where strong hits can be canceled into much weaker ones, which is mostly prevalent in team battles or with certain items. This also prevents knockback stacking in cases such as waveshine combos, when a character heavy enough to not be knocked down by Fox's shine is hit back and forth in opposing directions.
Knockback stacking for both hits is done separately for the horizontal and vertical components of their knockback. If both vectors have equal directions on one axis, the stronger component prevails, whereas if they have opposing directions, they are merged via vector addition. This often leads to the resulting knockback having a different angle than either of the previous hits alone. For example, if a character is struck up and right by a strong hit, then up and left by an equally strong hit, the character is sent straight up, due to the horizontal components canceling each other out. In this same example, if the second hit was stronger, the character would be launched up with the second hit's full vertical force, as well as weakly to the left. Knockback stacking occurs even if both hits come from the same character; as a result, there is often residual knockback from a previous hit in a combo, which must be taken into account when trying to follow up.
While knockback stacking alters the resulting angle and launch speed, hitstun always remains the same as if the second hit had struck the target without any merging. However, DI does apply to the resulting knockback vector, so knockback stacking needs to be taken into account for optimal DI. If the victim is grounded and gets spiked towards or in parallel to the ground at non-tumble knockback, they stay grounded, unless the hit also resets.
From Brawl onward, knockback stacking behaves much differently, and its effects have been generally minimized. It now only occurs if both hits come from different sources, and if the second hit's resulting launch speed is lower than 0.8× of the first hit's launch speed at the time the second hit connects. Additionally, the first hit's launch speed and hitstun are retained throughout, instead of being merged and using the second hit's (respectively), and the resulting angle cannot be DIed. Furthermore, if the first hit's launch speed at the time the second hit connects is 2.65× of the second hit's or higher, the second hit's knockback is ignored, though it still applies hitlag. In any other case, the second hit fully overrides the first.
As a result of these changes, knockback stacking is generally no longer a factor for combos from a single character, and it is no longer possible for characters to cancel out strong knockback with significantly weaker attacks. However, hitboxes belonging to articles coded separately from a character, such as Bayonetta's Wicked Weaves, Fox's Fox Illusion, and all projectiles, are considered separate sources, and can thus be subjected to knockback stacking with physical moves from the character that produced them. In Smash 4 and Ultimate, this gives certain characters unique advantages with combo finishers, such as with Robin comboing Arcthunder (in Smash 4) or Arcfire into his down aerial's meteor smash, or Bayonetta comboing her forward smash into her down aerial's meteor smash on a Witch Timed opponent; both of these setups cause the opponent to be launched at a much lower angle horizontally, better securing KOs near the edge if the meteor smash would otherwise cause the opponent to land onstage.
The resulting angle from knockback stacking is determined by the inverse tangent of both hits' added knockback vectors, with the vertical component divided by the horizontal component. For example, stacking Robin's Arcthunder (50°) and down aerial meteor smash (270°) results in an angle of approximately 17.6°. This also means that moves with completely opposing horizontal strengths cannot stack, while moves with completely opposing vertical strengths will result in a perfectly horizontal angle. Worth noting is that when determining whether two moves can stack, the first hit's launch speed takes the gravity penalty into consideration, while the second hit's does not.
The following is a chart demonstrating how much knockback each character sustains in Brawl. While weight is the primary attribute for determining how much knockback a character sustains, there are other attributes that factor in, such as a character's gravity. This results in some characters sustaining more knockback than lighter characters.
The knockback value shown is how much knockback a character sustains when hit with Marth's Critical Hit at 0%, arranged from least knockback sustained to most knockback sustained.
|Rank||Character||Knockback sustained||Velocity applied|
|31||Zero Suit Samus||561.567||16847|
|37||Mr. Game & Watch||574.133||17224|
- All games have a knockback cap of 2500 (or a launch speed of 75 units per frame), fast enough to move from the edge of Battlefield to the center in less than one frame. Smash 4 and Ultimate have a knockback cap for vertical attacks; equal to a vertical launch speed of 10, or a little over 330 units of knockback vertically. Additionally, attacks that surpass a vertical launch speed of 4.7 when crossing the upper blast line will cause Star KOs and Screen KOs to not occur.
- Because of this vertical knockback cap in Smash 4, if a fighter were to have an incredibly high fall speed and gravity, it would be impossible to KO them off the upper blast line (unless using an item such as a Beetle), no matter how much knockback they were given. This can be accomplished under specific conditions in the unmodified game, via the use of customs and special smash. In Ultimate, this is only possible by meteor smashing opponents off the ground, as fall speeds are set to 1.8 during hitstun for launch angles between 70° and 110°.
- According to Masahiro Sakurai, the knockback speed up effect seen in Ultimate was planned to be implemented in previous Smash games, but ended up being scrapped because it was easy to lose track of characters' positions, especially in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS.
- Through hacking, the value of damage dealt in the knockback formula can be a negative number, in which case the game will run the calculation as normal, and as such knockback will decrease with percent if the damage is less than -2. Furthermore, a negative knockback value can be calculated, although this will simply result in zero knockback being dealt.
- A list of all moves with set knockback in SSB outside of items and get up attacks.
- An online knockback calculator for Smash 4, including a visualizer for launch trajectory and frame data stored for every character.