Back in Super Smash Bros. 4, Captain Falcon wasn’t anything too special — in fact, he was almost entirely outclassed by Ganondorf, whose power and tournament viability were much higher. This is still true in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but to a much lesser extent. Captain Falcon is the king of moving hitboxes, which work well against AI opponents (as they are only programmed to recognize the first few frames of moving hitboxes and will often run right into them as a result). If you want to read about Captain Falcon’s full metagame history, check out his wiki page right here. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to fammydamammy for contributing Captain Falcon’s training information!
If you’re looking to train your Captain Falcon amiibo with a Spirit team, we can help you with that! If you’re just starting out and haven’t trained many FPs yet, you should know that it’s best to equip yours with its full Spirit team before you start training it. Long story short, Spirits alter FP training data — if you want to learn more, check out our full Spirits guide. In the meantime, get your FP all set up starting at Level 1 and you’ll be good to go!
Captain Falcon is kind of an all-around fighter, so Super Armor, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight all work well on him. If you choose to run Armor Knight, use Trade-Off Ability ↑ to occupy the third slot. If you don’t want to risk the 30% damage penalty, you can use Move Speed ↑ instead, though there will be a somewhat noticeable loss in power if you forgo Trade-Off Ability ↑.
Super Armor, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight are banned in most online competitions. If you’d like to enter a Spirits tournament that follows our ban list, you can use a setup of Physical Attack ↑, Foot Attack ↑, and Trade-Off Ability ↑ for a huge power boost! You can also swap out Trade-Off Ability ↑ for Air Defense ↑ if you’d prefer to avoid the latter effect’s damage penalty. The same build works well on a Raid Boss, though you could also consider Landing Lag ↓ or Move Speed ↑ as well. For stats, either keep them balanced (2100 / 2100) or lean more heavily into attack (2500 / 1700). Make sure the FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral.
When training Captain Falcon, you should walk at all times. Don’t run, as FPs trained to dash a lot often run right into incoming attacks! You should also try to teach your FP to perfect shield incoming attacks, as Captain Falcon’s out-of-shield punish game is incredibly strong. Keep him on-stage at all times; his down tilt is good enough to warrant walking up to the ledge and waiting rather than taking the risk to leave the stage and edgeguard. Here’s a full list of moves to use against your FP as you train it:
- Falcon Kick: Earlier, we mentioned that Captain Falcon is the king of moving hitboxes. Well, Falcon Kick is the king of Captain Falcon’s moving hitboxes, and it’s one of his best tools as a result. Use this move often from a distance to rack up damage.
- Forward smash: Boasts excellent kill power and thus serves as Captain Falcon’s primary grounded finisher. Use it at close range to KO! You can also use it when your FP is at lower percentages, but be sure to mix in Falcon Kick as well.
- Up smash: A solid anti-air that strikes several times. It’s also got enough range to connect against opponents standing on the platforms of Battlefield-form stages. Use up smash against your FP whenever it’s directly above you.
- Forward tilt: Another move to use up close. Compared to forward smash, forward tilt is faster but with less power. When you’re right next to your FP, use forward smash roughly 70% of the time and forward tilt roughly 30% of the time.
- Down smash: A rather low-priority move, but it can cover both in front of and behind Captain Falcon all at once. Forward smash and up smash should be prioritized much higher than down smash.
- Down tilt: An absolutely excellent edgeguarding move. It’s so good, in fact, that Captain Falcon actually loses viability if he’s taught to go off-stage. When you launch your FP off-stage with Falcon Kick or forward smash, walk up to the ledge and keep attacking it with down tilts. It launches its victims at a horizontal angle that makes recovery difficult.
- Down aerial: Your primary landing option. And it should be used for landing only, and not edgeguarding off-stage! If you use a down air right before you land, it can lead into an up smash. You can also mix in some neutral airs to land, as a well-timed one can lead into a Falcon Kick for free damage.
- Up aerial: A good juggling tool, but it should not be prioritized over up smash. Instead, balance both up smash and up air to juggle your FP when it’s in the air!
Additionally, you can sprinkle in a bit of back air, grabs, and Raptor Boost attacks. Captain Falcon has a rather impressive list of hard-coded combos that stem from his down throw; by Level 43, the FP can use forward air, two up airs (and possibly even an up special), a reversed back air, a grounded Raptor Boost, a neutral air, or two neutral airs after tossing an enemy with its down throw. That’s a lot of combos! That being said, grabs aren’t essential to Captain Falcon’s success and are mostly there to help mix up his playstyle. A grounded Raptor Boost can combo into a forward, up, or back air; unfortunately, Raptor Boost is slow and can be easily blocked by defensive opponents. Keep your usage of Raptor Boost light!
Raid Boss Training
If you’ve read many of our guides before, you know the drill — we’ll raise Captain Falcon to Level 50 via the patent-pending mirror match™. In this case, you’ll have to play as Captain Falcon and fight your FP until its level maxes out — or until you’re satisfied with its behavior, after which you can turn its learning off and raise its level using some other method. During the matches you play against your FP, keep it on-stage whenever possible, and use the following attacks during training:
- Grab & throws: Captain Falcon’s grabs are rather versatile. And by that, we mean Captain Falcon’s down throw is really good and his other throws don’t accomplish as much. By Level 43, the AI can use the following follow-ups after a down throw: forward air, two up airs (and potentially an up special afterward), a reversed back air, a grounded Raptor Boost, and one or two neutral airs. Use grabs often during training, and focus on down throws when you do.
- Forward tilt: A solid neutral poking tool that can be used at close range to rack up damage. It can also be angled, and the AI will automatically angle its forward tilts depending on where its opponent is.
- Neutral attack: When using this move, feel free to attack either with the three-hit Gentleman jab or the fully-extended rapid version. Regardless of the type of jab you use, it comes out fast and should be used at point blank range to keep the FP away.
- Up smash: This move has a great set of hitboxes and serves as an excellent aerial punish. Use it against your FP when it’s above you! Up smash is also effective out of shield.
- Up aerial: You can also add in some up airs to juggle. Balance your juggling moves between up smash and up air for best effect.
- Back aerial: Fast and strong, though its hitbox is somewhat awkward. Use it to rack up damage or KO.
- Forward aerial: It’s best used after a down throw, but can be used individually every so often if you’re comfortable landing the sweetspot. That being said, it’s not actually necessary to teach the FP to use Knee Smash on its own. Every time it successfully connects forward air after using a down throw, it’ll be more likely to use it individually later on.
- Neutral aerial: Captain Falcon’s main landing tool. The first hit of neutral air can lead into some hard-coded combos. You can also use some short-hopped neutral airs if you like.
- Down aerial: We mentioned earlier that Captain Falcon should stay on-stage whenever possible. This is true, as his recovery is easily intercepted; however, if you want to take a risk and go off-stage to land a down air, you’re more than welcome to. Just don’t go too far off-stage when using this move.
Forward smash and down smash are okay too, but aren’t nearly as important on a Raid Boss as they are on a tournament-ready FP. While training Captain Falcon, don’t touch the special move button — in other words, don’t use Falcon Punch, Raptor Boost, Falcon Dive (for anything but recovery), or Falcon Kick. Each of these special moves has a chance of leaving Captain Falcon vulnerable against human opponents, so try your best to avoid them and focus on his faster moves (the ones listed above)!
Captain Falcon is a versatile FP; he is capable of performing well both in tournaments and as a Raid Boss! His competitive playstyle is a bit lame, thanks to its focus on Falcon Kick, but it’s made Captain Falcon a viable choice in high-stakes amiibo tournaments (which do exist, as crazy as it sounds)! If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server and ask. If you want to learn how to enter one of those high-stakes amiibo tournaments, check out our Powersaves guide or mobile backup guide. We’d also appreciate it if you looked at our Patreon and donation box! Until next time — happy training!
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