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All about Stick Sensitivity

Doval

Smash Lord
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The description of the Stick Sensitivity setting is vague so I did some testing to figure out exactly what it does. The short version is that it changes how much time you have to push the attack button after moving the stick and still get a "stick flick", which is what the game calls making the stick motion for a smash attack. Low sensitivity gives you the shortest window, while High gives you the longest. In other words, higher sensitivity makes the timing for smashes more forgiving. It also affects how much time you have to cancel the start of a dash into a side smash.

As far as I can tell it does not affect the dead zone of the left stick, or the minimum distance you have to move it to not get a tilt.

Here's the maximum number of frames you have after moving the stick to push a button and still get a stick flick at each sensitivity setting:
  • High:
    • Up/down smash or Levin Sword aerial: 4 frames
    • Side smash, forward/back Levin Sword aerial: 6 frames
    • Cancel dash into side smash: 6 frames
    • Link's Boomerang: 8 frames
  • Normal:
    • Up/down smash or Levin Sword aerial: 3 frames
    • Side smash or forward/back Levin Sword aerial: 5 frames
    • Cancel dash into side smash: 5 frames
    • Link's Boomerang: 7 frames
  • Low:
    • Up/down smash or Levin Sword aerial: 2 frames
    • Side smash or forward/back Levin Sword aerial: 4 frames
    • Cancel dash into side smash: 4 frames
    • Link's Boomerang: 6 frames
For example, suppose you're using High sensitivity and move the stick down on frame 1. If you push the Attack button on frame 5 you'll get a down smash (assuming you moved the stick down far enough) but if you push it on frame 6 you'll get a down tilt. Likewise, you can cancel a dash into a side smash until frame 7; pressing Attack during frame 8 will yield a dash attack.

The following inputs don't change with the Stick Sensitivity setting:
  • Rolls/sidesteps: 3 frames
  • Cancel dash into forward/back roll: 4 frames
  • Up special out of shield: 2 frames

The startup of a dash is a slightly special case. It's possible to cancel the startup of a dash into a side smash or roll in either direction; during this time, the timing of the button press is irrelevant. As long as the stick was moved sufficiently left or right and you pressed Attack in the 4, 5, or 6 frames after starting a dash, you'll always get a side smash. Likewise, pressing Shield during frames 2-5 of the dash will result in a roll if the stick is pointing left or right. That means if you flick the stick during another move and buffer a dash, you don't have to worry about moving the stick back to neutral to get a smash or roll.
 
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Doval

Smash Lord
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It doesn't. Tap Jump doesn't require you to press a button in conjunction with the stick, and there's no second action mapped to just tilting the stick up gently. Tap Jump just doesn't pose the same kind of precision and timing problems that tilt/smash attacks and rolls do; just smash the stick upwards and it'll work.

For whatever it's worth, you have a 2 frames after you start moving the stick upwards to move it past the halfway point; otherwise, no jump. That really shouldn't be a problem to time unless you were holding up for an up tilt and then decided to jump instead.
 
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LightLV

Smash Ace
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
748
How stupid. I was really excited for the feature but i quickly realized it didn't really change anything.

I was thinking it was a dead zone modifier.

I was ready to be murdering my control stick like the n64 days.
 
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Luigifan18

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How stupid. I was really excited for the feature but i quickly realized it didn't really change anything.

I was thinking it was a dead zone modifier.

I was ready to be murdering my control stick like the n64 days.
I was never even able to execute Smash attacks on the N64 game. Now I have trouble executing tilts or walking instead of dashing.
 

banana29

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Messages
45
It doesn't. Tap Jump doesn't require you to press a button in conjunction with the stick, and there's no second action mapped to just tilting the stick up gently. Tap Jump just doesn't pose the same kind of precision and timing problems that tilt/smash attacks and rolls do; just smash the stick upwards and it'll work.

For whatever it's worth, you have a 2 frames after you start moving the stick upwards to move it past the halfway point; otherwise, no jump. That really shouldn't be a problem to time unless you were holding up for an up tilt and then decided to jump instead.
So putting stick sensitivity to low won’t affect whether you do an up-tilt or an up-aerial?
 

Emblem Lord

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Does sensitivity effect how fast the game registers stick inputs.?
 

Aminar

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Messages
336
Does sensitivity effect how fast the game registers stick inputs.?
No. All it does is change the window on Smash attacks Vs Tilts. Low sensitivity seems best at higher levels because you can more reliably manage your tilts.
 

PointguardX

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I’ve always struggled with tilts (particularly up tilts) but I’ve been FAR more consistent getting them on ultimate ever since I set my stick sensitivity to low.
 

Coccinelle

Smash Apprentice
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Dec 12, 2018
Messages
78
IMHO if you use Cstick for tilts, high sensitivity may become particularly relevant,since A+left stick +high sensitivity would make smash attacks even easier. Is that true? I just switched to Cstick and am still struggling a bit to get used to it, but I will surely give a shot to high sensitivity setting.
 

DelugeFGC

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I prefer Medium-to-High, usually High. I have this involuntary mental slowdown / slow motion processing effect when I play video games (it usually sucks and screws everything up, don't envy it because it helps me in this ONE game, it's made going through RE2 hell for example. I have very little latent inhibition, that's why I think it happens) that triggers at high-stress points, and I'm prone to really planning out (as much as you can in a handful of frames, anyway) what I do, so the extra frame-window to do certain things helps because I tilt primarily off of the L-Stick. On low I'll be in the same scenario and for some reason end up jabbing or smashing. This is pretty much the ONLY thing that the sensitivity effects me on, otherwise I notice very little impact either way when changing it. So for me personally, outside of combos, juggles and etc.. it's kind of something I've ignored. Though I do leave it to High, I had a brief affair with it on Medium but ultimately it felt the best on High.

I feel a HUGE part of this is going to come down to your personal playstyle. Beyond the competitive / skill wall even, I'm pretty sure you can do very well with any sensitivity, but how well you adapt and work with each is down to you and how you play.

I haven't noticed any difference in the B's with sensitivity, I was training with Old Manondorf the other day and was trying to see if it would altar the timing to reverse an aerial Warlock Punch and it didn't seem to do squat. But that was a very unofficial test, but I really did try it to hell and back without noticing a change.
 
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NINTENDO Galaxy

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D Doval . Thanks for making this. I couldn't find any youtube videos that went in depth or understood what this was. I knew I felt something but wasn't sure.

Fox Is Openly Deceptive Fox Is Openly Deceptive Do you guys have this archived yet so it doesn't get lost?
 

Up0n

Smash Cadet
Joined
Jan 23, 2019
Messages
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This is super interesting considering I solely rely on my c-stick for tilt attacks as well as I always play on medium sensitivity with no justification or reasoning behind it
 

Coccinelle

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
78
I switched to Cstick-tilts because I always ended up doing smash attacks with A. However I'm not totally happy with that setting. Ideally I would prefer to set A for tilts and C stick for tilts. Yesterday I just started trying low sensitivity and hope that it will prevent me from doing unintentional smash attacks with A.
 
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Justin Allen Goldschmidt

Smash Journeyman
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Sep 20, 2015
Messages
309
I hope they patch this to include walking vs running. Walking feels more difficult for me in this game (having played all of the previous entries for years).
 

ASAP_Smash

Smash Cadet
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Jun 25, 2017
Messages
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IMHO if you use Cstick for tilts, high sensitivity may become particularly relevant,since A+left stick +high sensitivity would make smash attacks even easier. Is that true? I just switched to Cstick and am still struggling a bit to get used to it, but I will surely give a shot to high sensitivity setting.
Maybe, but at what cost? Wouldn’t this make dash attacks a little bit more frustrating to bring out considering that you have to wait an extra frame, or two?
 
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JiggyNinja

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Dec 14, 2018
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275
I have the feeling that stick sensitivity also affects how easy it is to drop through a platform (ie Low makes it harder), but I'm not sure how to quantitatively test it.
 

Justin Allen Goldschmidt

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Maybe, but at what cost? Wouldn’t this make dash attacks a little bit more frustrating to bring out considering that you have to wait an extra frame, or two?
You can still instant dash attack by hitting c-stick forward at the same time as dashing, regardless of what you have c-stick and sensitivity set to. They at least let us keep a way to have that still, haha.
 

Myst_R

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Are we certain sensitivity is involved in walking/running inputs ?
 

Justin Allen Goldschmidt

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Are we certain sensitivity is involved in walking/running inputs ?
It is not, no. I wish it was. It *only* affects the frame window for how long after flicking the stick to a direction and then pressing A will give you a smash attack instead of something else. Nobody has made any proof (that I've seen anyways) that it does anything else. I could be wrong, so take this with a grain of salt.
 

ASAP_Smash

Smash Cadet
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Jun 25, 2017
Messages
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So I did some more testing on stick sensitivity, and found that it might be more than just frame windows. What you said was true when you hold left stick. However, this is not the case for letting go of the left stick.
Basically, the stick sensitivity could be modifying the DPI polling rate for smashes/tilts on the left stick as well, which becomes relevant when buffering a tilt/smash. Although, I can’t prove this because there is no way to see stick DPI at the moment.
 
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mecklejay

Smash Rookie
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Mar 1, 2019
Messages
3
So am I interpreting this correctly?

Sometimes I try to do a quick dash attack, but I do the inputs too quickly and end up doing a side smash instead. Would low sensitivity allow me to attack two frames sooner without it becoming an erroneous smash attack?
 

channel_KYX

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
195
So am I interpreting this correctly?

Sometimes I try to do a quick dash attack, but I do the inputs too quickly and end up doing a side smash instead. Would low sensitivity allow me to attack two frames sooner without it becoming an erroneous smash attack?
Exactly that.
 

Justin Allen Goldschmidt

Smash Journeyman
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
309
So am I interpreting this correctly?

Sometimes I try to do a quick dash attack, but I do the inputs too quickly and end up doing a side smash instead. Would low sensitivity allow me to attack two frames sooner without it becoming an erroneous smash attack?
Or just c-stick forward at the same time as dashing (if you use tilt-stick, not sure about smash stick) for a completely instant dash attack.
 

mecklejay

Smash Rookie
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Or just c-stick forward at the same time as dashing (if you use tilt-stick, not sure about smash stick) for a completely instant dash attack.
This is fabulous. I'm not sure why I never thought of this, because I knew that functionality existed. Immediately replaced my dash attacks with this method and I've gotten more threatening when just outside of impotent-tilt-range!
 
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Justin Allen Goldschmidt

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This is fabulous. I'm not sure why I never thought of this, because I knew that functionality existed. Immediately replaced my dash attacks with this method and I've gotten more threatening when just outside of impotent-tilt-range!
I use it a ton for characters with good "banzai!" dash attacks, like Snake and Meta Knight. Gets real funny to see my character go from 0-60 in no-time flat haha
 

pH1988

Smash Rookie
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Apr 28, 2015
Messages
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I haven't noticed anything else about this feature besides timing for smash attacks. As a Peach main, I kept mine on normal after trying out low and high. Seemed to make just enough of a difference to me.
 

DelugeFGC

Smash Stick Space Cowboy
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The only thing stick sensitivity effects are Smash / Tilt attacks as far as I can tell. With Low, you have a much better window to hit tilts, but a worse one for Smashes.. and vice-versa for High. That being said, mine is perpetually on low as pretty much every UTilt and DTilt I do is off the L-Stick and I use A+B for nearly all Smash attacks.

I thought it might have something to do with stick flicks in general, but in testing I found it didn't effect dashing and such at all.
 
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Ajimu

Smash Cadet
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Oct 28, 2018
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Does that also affect Samus's missiles ?
The mechanic seems quite similar to me.
 

Luigifan18

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Does that also affect Samus's missiles ?
The mechanic seems quite similar to me.
It's the same mechanic, actually. A "tilt" stick input yields a Homing Missile while a "smash" stick input yields a Super Missile. Mii Gunner's missile side special works the same way. In addition to that, Pikachu and Pichu's Skull Bash "pre-charges" a little with a smash stick input. Those are the only special moves I know of that work differently based on the left stick being flicked or not, and I don't know how they work with the right stick being set to special moves.
 

Justin Allen Goldschmidt

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It's the same mechanic, actually. A "tilt" stick input yields a Homing Missile while a "smash" stick input yields a Super Missile. Mii Gunner's missile side special works the same way. In addition to that, Pikachu and Pichu's Skull Bash "pre-charges" a little with a smash stick input. Those are the only special moves I know of that work differently based on the left stick being flicked or not, and I don't know how they work with the right stick being set to special moves.
Palutena's explosive flame, as well.
 

Justin Allen Goldschmidt

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Sep 20, 2015
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I tested this and was not able to validate your claim. For me, explosive flame far could be inputted with up to 3 frames and close was anything from frame 4 on. The stick sensitivity setting did not change this.
I meant that it was also a move that changed based on flicking the stick VS tilting it. The sensitivity setting doesn't affect special moves at all afaik
 

twoody

Smash Rookie
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Oct 2, 2018
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D Doval - Does stick sensativity affect b reverse window at all?
did you ever find the answer to this? cause I have had mine on high for the longest time and had trouble b reversing, just messing around i switched it to medium and feel like its much easier, just wondering if its placebo or if it also applies. Logically speaking, it would since stick plus b equals special, having it set to high would make the window larger to do a side b instead of a b reversed neutral special
 
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