How to Wavedash

So, you googled “how to wavedash”, and all you got was a silly community management blog. Well, I’m here for you, noble gamer. Here’s how to wavedash. (And here’s why I named the blog after a competitive Smash technique.)

What is wavedashing?

Wavedashing is a Super Smash Bros. Melee technique that involves dodging into the ground immediately after a jump. When done correctly, you will “slide” in the angle you dodged, without ever leaving the ground. This has multiple benefits:

  1. Perform standing attacks while moving. Melee has two kinds of ground attacks: those you can do while running, and those you can do while standing still or walking. Wavedashing lets you perform a standing move while moving faster than most characters’ walk speed.
  2. Move without changing direction. Wavedashing can move your character away from your opponent without changing the way you face. This lets you perform a smash attack, jab or tilt while retreating.
  3. Move instantly after shielding. Because you can jump out of a shield, you can wavedash out of a shield. It’s a little trickier to master, but by performing the wavedash technique while shielding, you can escape the shield and position yourself for a counterattack before your opponent recovers. This is especially good for punishing smash attacks.

There are many more applications for wavedashing, but these are the big three. It’s all about spacing, positioning and options.

How do I wavedash?

Rather than explain the hand motions here, I’ll link to two how-to videos. There are dozens of them online, so if you need more wavedashing help, check out Youtube.

Alright, I got the hand motion down. Why do I care about wavedashing again?

Wavedashing is simultaneously the most overrated and most underrated move in competitive Melee. Wavedashing by itself doesn’t actually do anything. However, it’s universally regarded as what separates a casual player from a competitive player. By learning to wavedash, you’re learning to think of the game in a different way. You’re also learning one of the more complex, some-dexterity-required techniques. (Fans of other fighting games laugh at “complex” Smash tactics, but when you’re used to just mashing forward-a, wavedashing is quite the epiphany.)

Some pro players get by with little to no wavedashing. Others use it for almost all of their movement and positioning. The point is not the technique itself. It’s the introduction it provides to “advanced” Smash. It feels weird at first, but after a little practice, your brain will rewire.

Want to know more? Smashboards has a comprehensive guide to wavedashing and other advanced Smash techniques.

Good luck and happy Smashing!