How to Play

The easiest way to play Super Smash Brothers Brawl is with a Nintendo Gamecube Controller (see picture below), so all controls will be given in regards to this controller. Take a moment to look at the picture and become familiarized with the buttons and layout of the controller.

Basic Controls

Here is the general breakdown of the button layout and what each action means

The grey control stick is what moves the character you are controlling; left and right move sideways, up is jump and down is crouch.

A button: Attack-A light physical attack that based on the character is either a punch, kick or headbutt.

B button: Special Attack-This move varies with each character; special moves can be anything from a fireball, to a stronger punch, to a protective shield.

B button+Direction: Special Attack (1-3)-Pressing the B button at the same time as either up, down, or left/right is each a different type of special attack, which again varies by each and every character.

Y/X button: The Y and X buttons both cause the player to jump, if moving the control stick upwards is too inconvenient for some.

Z button: If you are very close to an opponent, pressing the Z button will grab on to them. Pressing a direction button after this will throw them away for some damage.

L/R button: The L and R buttons both activate a small, temporary shield for the characters to use. This will protect them from many different attacks, but can be broken after repeated use or by strong attacks. If broken, the player will be left open to attack for several seconds.

Directional pad: Pressing any of the buttons on the "d-pad" on the bottom left will cause your player to humorously taunt the others, usually by trademark slogan or moves.

These are the basic controls everyone needs to understand in order to play the same, so now let's look at some...

Advanced Controls

Smash Attacks

There had to be a reason the game is called Super SMASH Brothers, right? Well this is the pinnacle of the physical attack. The easiest way to kill someone. The best way to knock someone flying across the screen.

To smash an opponent, simply press a directional button and the A button at the same time. They must be pressed simultaneously, not consecutively. The longer you hold these two buttons at the same time, the stronger the attack will be until you let go. A character is denoted as performing a smash by the glowing charge of a smash attack.


To dodge an attack, you must master using the shield buttons. When an opponent attacks you, either physically or with a projectily weapon, it is possible to avoid the attack by pressing either the L or R (shield) buttons and pressing up at the precise moment before the attack hits you.

Using Items

To use items, simply press the A button to pick up an item. Each item does different things. Some can be used to attack while others can be used to protect. Some can be used multiple times while others can only be used once. Either way, to use the item press the A button once again. If you wish to discard the item, simply press the Z (grab) button. Pressing the Z button and a direction button at the same time will let you throw the item at an opponent to inflict damage.


To sideswipe an attack, simply press either the L/R (shield) button and a directional button at the same time. This only works if you are standing on the ground. The charaer will sidestep their way to the left or right depending on which direction you pressed, and for a brief moment in the time of transition they cannot be hit by any attacks.

Ledge Grabbing

An annoying move to many of the professionals, ledge grabbing is what happens when your character is sent flying off the stage. In some levels (where there is a freefall below the stage), the ledges of the stage allow for a player to grab on to. To do this, before you fall too far simply perform a special or regular attack to try to get closer to the ledge before you fall past it. While it requires a little but of luck, if your character is close enough they will grip the ledge. No two players can grab the same ledge at once, so anyone else who falls off the stage has no chance of recovering. To pull yourself back up, simply press up or the A button.

Shield Throw

Using the shield can protect your character, but it can also be used strategically on the offense. If a player is throwing many projectiles at you or your health is well below your comfort level, you can repeatedly shield and sideswipe your way closer to said character. Once the opponent tries to physically attack you, press shield and as soon as you see your opponent hit the shield, unpress the L/R button and press the A button. The resulting physical attack will be twice as powerful and knock back an opponent.

Video Instruction

To help clarify some of the aforementioned moves, I've made a small video of me performing some of these feats with one of my favorite characters, Marth.

Marth Demo