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I've started to notice that when I attempt to go from grounded to jump > up air quickly, my character performs an up smash instead. I started experimenting to try to narrow down the source of the problem and I think it has something to do with input buffering. When I'm holding up on the control stick and I'm just finishing an attack (such as up tilt), pressing X immediately followed by A frequently results in an up smash, instead of my character jumping and performing an up air like I expect.

Now, I would understand my character not jumping if my jump press was too early for the buffer, but then I would expect another up tilt because I have already been holding the control stick up for some time (I didn't just "smash" it up as is required for a "smash" attack) and if I wasn't buffering this combination (standing still, holding up, push A) the result would obviously be an up tilt.

Why does my buffered input result in an up smash?

Edit: Not that it should matter, but I did this testing on the 3DS version of the game.

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Normally, three things need to be true to use a smash attack:

  1. You moved the control stick a certain distance.
  2. The control stick was neutral a short time ago.
  3. You pressed the attack button within a certain time of both 1 and 2 occurring.

However, up smashes have an additional condition, partially for "convenience" and partially because there's not much alternative:

  1. Either #2 is true, or you're in jumpsquat (the short time when your character is bending their knees preparing to jump) when you press the attack button.

Therefore, if you want to buffer an up aerial from the ground, you have to move your stick so it passes the up aerial detection threshold but not the up smash detection threshold. This shouldn't be too difficult; in Brawl the up smash threshold is 66.25% while the up air threshold is 25% (I don't have the SSB4 numbers, but they're probably not much different), so putting the stick at about 50% between neutral and full up should get you an up air without chance of an up smash. (There's a chance that the game will eat your attack button input anyway, in which case you're out of luck.)

  • Good explanation but I fail to see why condition #4 adds "convenience." Could you recommend a source for further reading? – Owen D. Dec 21 '16 at 6:27
  • It's not actually "convenient", it just seems so on the surface. It does however have the balancing effect of not allowing slow characters to interrupt their jumpsquat with a delayed up tilt, instead forcing them to just an up smash (or up special or up item throw) like everyone else. – Toomai Dec 21 '16 at 12:02

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