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Training Tips: Learning to Find Your Direction

Rango - September 18, 2019

Training Tips.

Welcome to Training Tips! In this blog entry, I will cover how to look for what you need when you train. Instead of just going online to play, you'll be learning to pick one or two things at a time to focus on. Whether you're practicing friendlies offline or online, your goal remains the same - improve and do it right.

The Lab.

First of all, we have Training Mode. People refer to Training Mode as "The Lab." However, in Super Smash Bros., you might not spend much time here. Smash itself isn't a combo-heavy game. As such, unless you're looking for kill percents, angles, methods, or the few combos your character does have.

Therefore, most of your practice will come from fighting another player. Players using combo-heavy characters, like Roy, Ken, or Sheik, however, may spend more time in here than someone using Ike, for instance. 

With that said, Training Mode doesn't have the same kind of tools you'll find in a primary fighting game, like Mortal Kombat. You won't get to record your dummy's actions to set up scenarios, for instance. Moreover, your combos won't come from lengthy strings and precise input commands.

Finally, you won't need to use it much once you've got the jist of your character down. Come to The Lab for situational things, such as testing kill move percents or movement options. But don't expect to use it much more than your practice against a live opponent, which is where you'll find the most growth.

Finding Your Direction

Whenever you log online, you can do better than mash buttons against your opponent. Instead, focus on reinforcing your weak points. In my case,I learned I'm weak at pressing my advantage state and finding more defensive ledgetrap options. So when I start playing against someone, I keep these things in mind while playing:

  • Landing
  • Press my advantage state
  • Use more defensive ledgetraps


Not long ago, when I was training, I wanted to land better. Instead of saying "land better," I said, "I'm going to hop across platforms to avoid my opponent." Once I stopped dropping on my opponent's head and getting hit with USmash, I started doing better. I landed safely as they had to chase me down where I could reset neutral.

Landing better doesn't mean falling in disadvantage and hoping your opponent doesn't juggle you while you tilt left or right. It means consciously utilizing mixup options such as directional airdodges in the opposite direction. Be specific when you want to focus on incorporating methods into your disadvantage state.

Advantage State

On the flipside, when I press advantage state, I want to focus on launching my opponent upwards. Then I want to juggle and read them out. This doesn't mean jumping up to Uair them every time they're within jumping distance. This means shorthop uair and fastfall and force a reaction out of them. Then capitalize from there and read their movement.

Now instead of them landing across the stage from me for a safe landing, I can now chase them down. Their aerial mobility might have hit max speed and they can go no faster to evade me now. I can now prepare to throw a hitbox onto a platform.

When your opponent begins landing close to the ground, don't punish a landing with a UTilt, for instance, unless it has a huge hitbox and comes out quickly.  Whiff punish or shield the incoming aerial. Some characters have downward hitboxes where they'll catch you trying to intercept them. If nothing else, keep the pressure on them using your defensive options until you read out an unsafe option.


Defensive ledgetraps also fall under my current training list. As an Ike main, I habitually throw out Nairs to cover options. Unfortunately, some disjointed hitboxes can reach me out or stuff my attack with the right timing. That means Nair isn't the only go-to option.

In that case, the solution becomes shielding more and positioning yourself where you can cover options upon reacting. If they roll, you can UTilt them if you're Roy, for instance, and encompass a large hitbox around yourself. Anticipating ledgetraps with A moves sometimes got me hit out of them or countered upon landing. Once I learned to play more defensively, I read out my opponent with more and better options while guarding myself in the process.


  1. Make your weak point your focus in training. Whatever you struggle with should be your primary focus.
  2. Once you're confident that you've gotten better, you can move on from there. Keep everything you've learned in mind while you play as your new options should replace your bad habits.
  3. If you found another weakness while training, be sure to focus on that next. Repeat as necessary and keep learning new methods while strengthening your weak points.

I hope this guide will serve your training methods well.

Thank you for reading the SSBWorld blog on learning to find your direction! What is your weakness right now? Post in the comments below!

This blog post was written by a SSB World community member. Share your Smash 4 knowledge by creating your own blog post now.


But what if I’m so terrible that I don’t know exactly where to start?
thatemoasianguy - September 18, 2019

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