Side special move
The side special move (also commonly called side B or forward B) is a special attack performed by pressing the special move button with the control stick held left or right.
Not counting Final Smashes, the side special is the only special attack to originate in a game other than the original Super Smash Bros. - namely, in Super Smash Bros. Melee. In the original, pressing the special button with the stick held sideways would result in a neutral special move. With the introduction of side specials in Melee, some characters' neutral specials were changed to be side specials, with a new neutral special taking their place.
Many side specials involve either significant sideways character movement or a projectile that has a better horizontal range than the user's other projectiles. As a result, many can be utilized as approaches, while those that grant a movement boost tend to be a fighter's horizontal recovery move.
Smash special move
Some side special moves have different properties depending on how they are activated. The moves have "Smash inputs," which means that the control stick (or pad) is tapped/"smashed" at the same time the special move button is pressed. This will create a different outcome compared to simply tilting the stick to the side and then pressing the button. The differences are typically the move dealing more damage, having a longer range, and/or a faster startup, though some activate a different move entirely. Most moves are objectively better with a smash input, though some have specific drawbacks that would make the regular version better in certain situations.
List of Side special moves with Smash inputs
Reverse side special move
In Brawl, SSB4 and Ultimate, most side special moves can be reversed in the first few frames, although the usefulness is questionable since any character can quickly turn around on the spot and immediately perform their side special move. The only true use for a reverse side special is while running; when running, the player cannot use their side special backward without having to stop or turn around first. The reverse side special can be done while running and gives certain characters boosts when turning around, the most notable boosts being Donkey Kong's and Luigi's reverse side specials, where the former gets a quick boost backward and has an unsurprising hit, and the latter will keep sliding forward while being able to charge his move.
List of side special moves