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 far greater. 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 incoming attacks 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!
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, pick one of the builds below, give it to your FP while it’s at an early Level, and boom — you’re ready to roll.
- Banned bonuses: Captain Falcon is kind of an all-around fighter, so Super Armor, Great Autoheal, and Armor Knight all work well on him. When running 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 noticeable loss in power if you forgo Trade-Off Ability ↑.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: A setup including Physical Attack ↑, Foot Attack ↑, and Trade-Off Ability ↑ is ridiculously strong on Captain Falcon — so strong, in fact, that most competitive trainers say that he moves up a rank on our tier list in a Spirits metagame. With this build, Captain Falcon’s strongest moves will have their damage outputs increased to a whopping 1.42x. Air Defense ↑ could be used instead if you like, but it’s not necessary by any means.
- Raid Boss bonuses: Each build listed above functions great on a Raid Boss, too! Feel free to take your pick. Move Speed ↑ and Landing Lag ↓ can be added to the list for your consideration as well.
Regarding stat distribution, either keep Captain Falcon’s spread balanced (2100 / 2100) or have it lean more heavily into attack power (2500 / 1700). Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you begin its training routine — that way it won’t lose Spirit-type matchups later on.
When training Captain Falcon, you should be walking at all times. You see, FPs who are trained to dash often run right into incoming attacks, meaning they take damage that would have otherwise been avoidable. For more information, check out our wiki entry on optimal movement. Keep Captain Falcon on-stage at all times; his down tilt is good enough to justify glossing over his aerial moves. Here are all the moves a well-trained Captain Falcon FP uses:
- 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 emerges as one of his strongest tools. Use this move often and 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 to rack on damage, too! Forward tilt should be mixed in here as well; 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 tilt is excellent for edgeguarding. It’s so good, in fact, that Captain Falcon actually becomes worse if taught to edgeguard with his aerials. When your launch your FP away, walk up to the ledge and harass it with continuous down tilts.
- Up smash is a solid anti-air that strikes opponents several times. It’s also got enough range to connect against foes standing on the platforms of Battlefield-form stages. Up air works great for juggling, but shouldn’t be prioritized over up smash.
- Down smash is a rather low-priority move, but can cover both in front of and behind Captain Falcon all at once. Down air is your primary landing option, and it should never be used off-stage. You could also mix in a few neutral airs for landing, as a well-timed one combos into a Falcon Kick for free damage.
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. 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, this move 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 against 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:
- 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 alternate between these 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 and neutral attack are solid poking tools that can be used at close range to rack up damage. The former can also be angled, and the AI will automatically adjust its usage of the move depending on its opponent’s vertical position.
- Up smash has a great set of hitboxes and serves as an excellent aerial punish. Use it against your FP when it’s above you! Also effective out of shield. Feel free to add in some up airs to juggle your FP once it’s airborne.
- Neutral air is Captain Falcon’s main landing tool, and its first hit can lead into some hard-coded combos. Forward air, back air, and down air are all to be used above-stage; if you decide to go off-stage and edgeguard, do so very carefully. Captain Falcon’s recovery is highly exploitable, so it’s safest (but also lamest) to stay above the stage at all times.
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 even touch the special move button — in other words, avoid using Falcon Punch, Raptor Boost, Falcon Dive (for anything but recovery), and Falcon Kick. Each of these special moves has a chance of leaving the captain 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 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 full guide. We’d also appreciate it if you looked at our Patreon and donation box pages. Until next time — happy training!
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