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Falco Moveset & Guide (Ver. 1.1.3)

Falco Moveset & Guide (Ver. 1.1.3)

Game Versions
Smash 3DS, Smash Wii U

1.0 - Introduction
2.0 - Falco Lombardi
3.0 - Pros
4.0 - Cons
5.0 - Moveset
5.1 - Aerials
5.2 - Grabs and Throws
5.3 - Specials
6.0 - Ending and Recap


This is my first guide on anything so please bear with me if I make small mistakes on certain topics or anything and feel free to correct me if you notice anything wrong with my guide or if I missed details.


Falco is an underrated character with very high potential despite being one the most nerfed characters next to Marth and Meta Knight although being nerfed he's been getting a lot of attention and buffs these past updates and really improve his air game and off stage edge guarding. In this guide i'll go over Falco's pros & cons, moveset and strategies.

3.0 PROS
  • highest jump in the game
  • amazing aerials
  • great vertical movement
  • low cooldown moves
  • great comboing moves
  • good recovery
  • great ledgeguarding
  • follow up after dthrows at low % and upthrows at high %
  • strong forward smash
  • fast down and up smash
4.0 CONS
  • predictable recovery
  • easily gimp with firebird startup
  • somewhat light (barely heavier than fox)
  • bad recovery (distance wise)
  • Decent run speed
Small Note: all kill % are recorded and tested on midweight mii brawler

Jab - 10%

Falco does two claw swipes then leads to a combo dealing multiple hits then ends with a hard swipe
  • Jab 1 - 3% (23 frame cooldown)
  • Jab 2 - 2% (26 frame cooldown)
  • Combo hits - 0.4%
  • Finisher - 3% (40 frame cooldown)
This is Falco's lowest cooldown move in his arsenal, you can mash out this button because of how fast it comes out, coming out at frame 2, and because it has low cooldown you can follow up quickly out of the first or second jab or just go into the rapid jab. A lot of people expect he rapid jab without knowing how low cooldown the move is and throw out shield so a grab will get you the upper hand and a rapid jab just wrecks through spotdodges.

NOTE: Falco's rapid job near the ledge will push both you and your opponent off the ledge and can potentially lead into neutral air if your reaction is fast enough. (also applies to platforms)

Forward Tilt - 9%

Falco kicks foward and can be angles up, middle or down.​
  • Forward Tilt (all angles) - 9%
Another one of Falco's low cooldown moves (being two frames longer than falco's two hit jab). Forward tilt will be a good spacing tool but looks about the same range as down tilt. Forward tilt is also good for poking at shields and getting some space between you and your opponent. The move can jab lock at low to mid % but when this stops working try to set up locks with blaster or reflector. Forward tilt is also good for getting your opponent off stage where they're either forced to jump or recover low where both are punishable. At high % it will tumble and the opponent has very small window time to react and can set up a jab locks with blaster.

Up Tilt - 9%

Falco swings his wings up dealing damage​
  • Hit 1 - 4%
  • Hit 1 (late) - 3%
  • Hit 2 - 5 %
One of Falco's combos that link well into eachother at low percent and set ups for aerials at mid percent and starts killing at very late %. Up tilt is gonna be one of your main tools to get your oppoonent in the air and start pressuring with aerials and keep them off the ground for a while. Up tilt into Neutral Air is a true combo at low to mid %. Great out of shield option if you don't wanna stale your down tilt.

NOTE: The first hit of the move can jab lock from platforms at early %

Down Tilt - 9-12%

Falco crouches and swings his tail dealing most damage at the base of the tail​
  • Base - 12%
  • Mid - 11%
  • Tip - 9%
Wings down, one of Falco's best tilts. It comes out super quick coming out at frame 7, great range, lead to another down tilt and 0% or to a grab and can follow up into aerials or even an up smash at low % if you catch your opponent off guard. Down tilt can kill surprisingly early (around 120-140%) with rage and launches your opponent into the air and keep up pressure. Fantastic for poking shields and pressuring from a safe distance. Perfect out of shield option because of how fast it comes out and how it reliable it combos into other moves.

Dash Attack - 6-9%

Falco jumps off the ground and kicks in front of him​
  • (clean) - 9%
  • (late) - 6%
Dash attack comes out fast and has somewhat cooldown and can lead into neutral airs at low to mid %. The late attack can lead to jab locks at early % and it sends at a low enough angle to where it'd be hard for players to tech on reaction and hitstun lasts to where they can't jump away but around mid % they can start to jump. The late attack can set up for jab locks or tech chases at low to mid %.

Forward Smash - 10-15%

Falco streches his wings behind his head and swings with full force.​
  • Sweetspot (base) - 15%
  • Sourspot (tip) - 10%
Falco's strongest but slowest smash attack coming out on frame 17. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this unless you read spotdodges, landings or ledge get-ups or just feeling lucky because this move has some start-up and high ending lag and can be easily punished, however if you do land it at high % it's pretty much a guaranteed kill because this move kills around 120% from the middle of the final destination.

NOTE: Forward Smash WILL reach people grabbing the ledge if you space it properly and is great for catching people off guard and getting quick kills.

Up Smash - 12-16%

Falco does a backwards flip kick dealing two hits.
  • Hit 1 - 4%
  • Hit 2 - 12%
A fast smash attack coming out at frame 8, a great out of shield option and catching landing opponents. Can barely hit while Falco is facing away from the opponent. Doesn't kill until very late 138% without rage, so just use up smash for the damage %.

Down Smash - 12-15%

Falco performs a split kick hitting both sides
  • Sweetspot (feet) -15%
  • Sourspot (legs) - 12%
A great move for catching and reading rolls. Comes out really quick on frame 7 and comes out the fastest out of all his smash attacks and his legs gain intangibility frames on frames 3-7. Falco Down Smash gains benefits from perfect pivoting because the leg BEHIND Falco has slightly more reach than his front leg and perfect pivoting puts you in a position where your facing away from your opponent and down smash can connect more reliably. Another great out of shield option and great for both punishing ledge regrabs and people aiming to grab the ledge horizontally.


Falco's aerials are what make him terrifying in the air and offstage. Having the best jump in the game and with the best aerial attacks (in my opinion) makes Falco a force to be reckoned with.


Falco swings his wings around causing damage and launching opponents away with enough knockback to follow up with different moves​
  • Hit 1 - 3%
  • Hit 2 - 2%
  • Hit 3 - 2%
  • Hit 4 - 4%
This is a great move out of shield, coming out on frame 3 and having 15 frames of landing lag. At mid % landing this you can follow up a forward air or even an up air. Onstage if you land this move you can follow up quickly with a jab then a grab or just simply grab.

NOTE: If you clash a move clashes with Falco's Neutral Air it will spike the opponent making it a great option offstage.
NOTE: Every hit except the last one CAN jab lock at any %


Falco spins horizontally and performs a drill peck
  • Hit 1-5 - 1%
  • Hit 6 - 4%
  • Landing - 3%
This is inarguably Falco's best move both off stage and on stage. It received a buff in patch 1.0.8 that makes Falco a huge threat to anyone. It comes out faster, increased knockback able to kill at ridiculously early % near the blastzones and less landing and ending lag. This is a great move to throw out in neutral to get quick damage, most people are unaware of the landing having a hitbox so take that into consideration, if you can manage to space his forward aerial then it's a completely safe move unless your opponent has a fast dash attack like Sheik or Zero Suit Samus. It is ridiculously easy to land this move because of how large the hitbox. Use this when reading jumps offstage or when your opponent decides to recover low for a stage spike. If you're below your enemy it'll drag them down and when the animations over it can true combo into a footstool for a guaranteed kill. The landing hitbox tumbles at 0% and your opponent won't be able to tech on reaction and can set up jab locks for quick damage.

NOTE: Just like Neutral Air this move will also spike if clashed with any other move so use this when your opponent is below the stage for a spike.

UP AIR - 10%

Falco does a backward flip kick in the air

This is one of Falco's juggling aerials to keep your opponent in the air. This move has the same ending lag as neutral air so it's safe to throw it out and can combo into up tilt and low %. Hit it facing your opponent to launch them in front of you and combo into forward air or neutral airs or hit it facing away from the opponent to launch the behind you and combo into back at mid %. The move also benefits from auto canceling out of short hop. This move can kill from around 100% or higher from the upper blast zone with the help of Falco's jump height.

DOWN AIR - 8-13%

Falco performs a corkscrew stomp with huge start up but rewarding spike​
  • Sweetspot (clean) - 13%
  • Sourspot - (late) - 8%
One of Falco's most nerfed attacks but still buffed in patch 1.0.8 giving less ending lag, sweetspot lasting for 1 extra frame. This move is extremely easy to land once you get the timing down. The sweetspot hitbox is considerably large making it easy to land. It's been buffed (in my opinion) in 1.0.8 now that instead of spiking grounded opponents it no longer spikes making it impossible to tech on grounded opponents and sends them at diagonal vertical angle and at this point if you can manage to read an air dodge you can land a charged forward smash for an early kill. When you're hanging from the ledge and your opponent is waiting for you dropping down and quickly jumping and inputting a down aerial is a good way to catch your opponent and from that distance the down aerial auto cancels and you can follow up more reliably.​

NOTE: Falco's Down Air benefits heavily from frame canceling which is an extremely difficult technique to get consistently. Frame cancelling is a technique in Smash 4 that cuts landing lag making it more easier to follow up with any aerial or possibly smash attack. To frame cancel his down air you short hop and and imput a down air when you reach the peak of the jump and immediately tap down quickly TWICE on the control stick to fast fall and fast fall the hit.

BACK AIR - 7-13%

Falco performs an instant back kick coming out quick and dealing great knockback​
  • Sweetspot (clean) - 13%
  • Sourspot (late) - 7%
This move was a monster back in melee and brawl being both a sex kick and having a hitbox in front of Falco but went through a change in Smash 4, now it's stronger in terms of knockback but at the cost of having less range. This move can surprisingly jab lock and very low % (0%) and his extremely strong being able to kill as early as 120% from the middle of the stage and earlier off stage near the blast zones. This move is also good for stage spiking off stage and ledgeguarding shenanigans. This move does auto cancel out of a SHFF so it's a good move to throw out safely or to punish and a good move to use out of shield. Back Air tumbles at 29% and difficult for them to tech on the spot so a forward tilt WILL lock and you can set up more combos or just charge a forward smash to end the lock. The sourspot of back air will tumble a little later at 44% but will be difficult to lock but the most you can do is throw out a reflector or a blaster and try to grab or SH phantasm for a punish.

Falco has pretty good throws and a great pummel coming out fast and pretty good damage.



Falco throws the opponent behind him and shows a blaster. Connects reliable at low to mid % but can be DI to avoid the blaster.​
  • Throw - 6%
  • Blaster - 3%
Back throw is a good move to use to throw your opponent off stage and start ledge guarding and doesn't kill until a very late % at 175 near the ledge but can kill earlier with rage and without DI.​


Falco throws his opponent in front of him​

Forward throw is one of Falco's just regular throws, use this to get your opponent off stage. You can follow up with a dash attack if your opponent doesn't react fast enough and can tumble at 37% where you can lock with a reflector or a blaster if your opponent doesn't tech the throw.​


Falco throws his opponent up in the air and shoots with a blaster. Connects reliably at low to mid % but can DI at high %.​
  • Throw - 4%
  • Blaster - 4%
At mid to high % this will your combo throw, from an up throw you can follow up with almost every aerial but up air connects more reliably no matter where they DI the blast. At mid % when you land an up air you can connect an up air, forward air, neutral air or back air depending which way you're facing when you land the up air. At high % this will kill from the upper blast zone at 194% on final destination but earlier (154%) with the help of a platform (battlefield) and rage.

CHARACTER SPECIFIC NOTE :4fox:: Up throw to Up-Tilt to regrab is a reliable combo but Fox can throw out a neutral air to escape.


Falco slams his opponent on the ground and shoots multiple lasers.​
  • Throw - 2%​
  • Blaster - 3%​
Falco's best throw at low % for combos. At 0% this will send at an angle where people will have a hard time reacting and not tech. If you feel like your opponent can tech it then you can follow up with a RAR back air, forward air, neutral, dash attack or an up smash. These combos will work up until mid % depending on weight and fall speed.

CHARACTER SPECIFIC NOTE :4link::4samus::4bowserjr:: Pivot grabbing near the ledge will result in a glitch where the characters will automatic tumble into the ground and have limited time to react but stops working around 20-30%

CHARACTER SPECIFIC NOTE :4falcon:: Just like Link, Samus and Jr, Falcon is another character this works against but instead of tumbling on the spot it sends him behind the ledge and off stage.

WORKS ON: Battlefield & Smashville.

Falco has specials that help him with moving around the stage, spacing and being a threat from a distance.


Falco pulls out a blaster and shoots a laser similar to Fox's except it slower and interrupts. One of Falco's most nerfed specials since it no longer auto cancels after a short hop. Unlike Fox's blaster the move will always deal 3% no matter how far the blast travels. Travel distance is about more than half the length of FD and can jab lock anyone at any %. On the ground the move comes out on frame 11 and 9 while using this move in the air. Falco's blaster is great for ledge denials and interrupting momentum when your opponent is offstage. On the ground the entire move animation is 59 frames and on the air is 50 frames. When hanging from the ledge you can let go and quickly jump to use your blaster and by the time the animation ends you can regrab the ledge safely but don't use this otherwise your opponent can punish for regrabbing the ledge.

Blaster can be used offstage to force your opponent to recover low.


Falco dashes forward and launches anyone caught in the afterimages up in the air.​
  • Ground - 7%
  • Aerial - 6%
This is gonna be your main move to recover but don't use it every chance you get otherwise your opponent will catch on. This move comes out faster than Fox's Illusion but has shorter distance but does spike lightly on contact with any of Falco's phantasms and can kill from a spike at high % if they have a poor recovery. Falco's afterimages are the hitbox of the move, so try to time and space it properly to get the hit. Throw this move when you want to get close on your opponent but don't spam it otherwise they can punish you before the animation ends. This move is extremely hard to punish because of it's low cooldown making it one of Falco's best moves.

NOTE: Using a phantasm after a shorthop will make the moves landing lag shorter, also landing a phantasm on the ground off stage will give it even LESS LANDING LAG and if you can manage to land a phantasm on the opponent then you can TRUE COMBO into a back air at high %.

NOTE: Holding down on the joystick during phantasm will stop you from grabbing the ledge and the afterimages can spike whoever is hanging from the ledge so this is good for punishing ledge regrabs or after a ledge trump. But be sure to let the joystick reset to neutral to grab the ledge before the animation ends.

NOTE: Just like his forward air and neutral air, phantasm does spike when it clashes against another move.


Falco kicks his reflector reflecting back any projectile that comes in contact with it.​
  • Reflector - 5%
  • Reflection - 1.2x
His reflector is good poking people from a distance but has high ending lag and can be punished if shield or power shielded. This move is good for ledge denials and keeping them from coming back onto the stage, it has really low knockback and has a chance to trip. If an opponent ever misses a tech the reflector can jab lock at mid %. This is also great for shield pressure after two down tilts which can really cripple a shield. Use this move when trying to catch people waiting for you to return back to the stage for extra %.


Falco shoots himself in any direction with minimal startup​
  • Hit 1-7 - 2%
  • Hit 8 - 3%
  • Hit 9-14 -2%
  • Hit 15 - 3%
Fire Bird has start up making it difficult for Falco to get back on stage without a scratch, this is where Falco struggles most, because his recovery is predictable when it comes to timing, trajectory and distance, anyone with quick aerials or even spikes can make Falco lose an early stock.

(not Falco but still applies)

NOTE: The first few hits fire bird are weak enough for them to lock anyone.

NOTE: When off stage fire bird can cause an UNTECHABLE stage spike. To do this when you angle the fire bird quickly hold down on the joystick and when the move ends reset the joystick to neutral to grab on the to ledge.


Falco is a light midweight character that gains benefits from being off stage but at the same time can be risky. Always mix your recovery options, never be predictable. Save your jump and use it to grab the ledge instead of recovering, recover high with fire bird and sweetspot the ledge, fire bird into to stage and punish anyone waiting near the ledge. Phantasm to the ledge, phantasm to the bottom of stage then jump and firebird the ledge from the other side, simply jump onto the stage or phantasm to safety on the stage. These are all possible ways to recover with Falco without being too predictable. PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOUR OPPONENT RECOVERS. If they always recover low then forward air for a stage spike. If they jump after being hit offstage then forward air as soon as they jump. If your opponent can recover from the middle then a blaster and force them recover low.

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