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Having trouble with Falco mu, any tips?


Smash Journeyman
Nov 29, 2011
Ayy Zeee
I've been struggling heavily in this mu. There's a lot of stuff that brings out a lot of my bad habits both offensively and defensively.

I posted a video that's close enough that I do some things right but still end up losing pretty solidly and I'd love some pointers on some bad habits or things I could improve on in the future. Any help is appreciated! Thanks

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Smash Cadet
Aug 14, 2013
I cannot give you any real advice since I'm a lot worse than you; but I noticed you tend to get punished every time you double jump. You give the Falco time to react I guess (plus he's specifically waiting for it?). Better perhaps go for a fastalled Nair, I don't know, hopefully you'll get better advice than mine!


Smash Apprentice
May 11, 2014
Cork, Ireland
It kills me to watch this as you are actually the better player, you're just not experienced enough in the match-up.

First off you're not DI'ing his shines really, he's getting a huge amount of damage from this and though sometimes the follow-up can't be avoided, you can still make it difficult for him- eg. He has to use n-air instead of b-air or d-air to hit you.
I know you losing a stock to his side-b was a flub but when edge-guarding Falco stay by the ledge with your back turned and be patient, as you can cover every option- b-air for high recovery, u-tilt for medium height recovery and grab ledge or d-smash for low recovery- Fox can compete in the match-up effectively by quick kills/edge-guards and by maintaining stage presence and composure.
Speaking of stage presence Falco had the neutral for the majority of the time, that's not your fault as Falco has an easier time in neutral than any character due to his lasers- you can still contest this though with keeping on the offensive.
To be offensive vs. Falco lasers you need to ignore your instinct and full hop at him with an aerial, only do this when he's at the laser spacing at which every Falco in the world lasers. I noticed that the Falco would follow every laser with a SHFFLD aerial- he was trying to catch you jumping after shielding the laser- but you could have stayed in shield and grabbed him as his aerials were far from tight or safe.

Not sure whether you're NTSC or PAL, but either way try to send him off stage with bairs and f-smashes. You'll kill so much quicker off the side in contrast to the top. You also seemed more concerned with extending combos than killing your opponent. You pulled off some chain grabs at 4:20 and a particularly sick one at 5:20, you could have sent Falco offstage to an easy-edgeguard both times with f-smash instead of going for another re-grab.
FD in my opinion is in Falco's favour, and no doubt you felt more comfortable there but platforms disrupt his lasers and movement just as much as your chain-grabs.
If you're ever facing a laser spamming Falco, use your platforms to approach and bait or full hop at him OR become aware of what he follows up from lasers with and punish it. Remember Falco's lasers are for set-up only, they're terrible for damage so don't panic. Also avoid in-coming d-airs with a roll or wave-dash as they have crazy priority.

Your game should be patient, grab, tech-chase and punish heavy.
Take stocks quickly with shine-spikes and edge-guards when the opportunity arises- it will so be patient.
Your Fox has great movement but remember that it only takes one laser to mess it up so watch Falco, maneuver around platforms and only dash-dance when tech-chasing.

T r a n

Smash Cadet
Apr 16, 2014
Holland, MI
One thing I would say on those side B's is that you should only go for the shine on those if you have the read (you did have the reads though) or if they're fire birding below the stage (free of course). If you do go for the shine, you should go all the way out for it though. That one time you died you were stuck in the middle. You either gotta get out there and shine him up close or don't do it at all, it's gotta be that fast on your part. As for that side B immediately afterwards, you could just went for short hop shine or turnaround short hop back air.

To add to what Boomhound said, you probably could've shielded a little more and your smash DI could've been better. If you play against falco's regularly you can get better at the SDI. Just know when they're gonna dair or shine (especially shine) and hit the analog stick away. I believe you did the SDI at least once on Battlefield, but I don't believe I saw it for the rest of the set.

One thing I'm not sure you have in your arsenal is shine OoS. You weren't shielding a lot in general, but when you did you opted for jump, roll, or grab. If you can develop a solid shine OoS, preferrably grounded, you can get out of trouble and reverse the situation. Shine OoS against other spacies gives you a free knock down, which is exactly what you want because you can get your tech chase grabs, up smashes, or knock him down again (or get stage control with the shine). Your goal once you get a knock down should be either big damage, stage control or a stock.


Smash Journeyman
Oct 21, 2013
(My roomie plays Falco so I play against him every day.)
I started writing this and got carried away so it's got stuff to help you but it also has stuff I saw you were doing ok.

Neutral Game
You may have noticed Falco is really slow horizontally. Falco can only approach with lasers, s-hops, platform fall through airs.
You'll see them try to approach with f-jumps, especially inexperienced ones, but he's in the air so long.

Responding to Lasering
When he's lasering you can f-jump or s-hop over (depending on laser height) and air or just keep dashing forward every time you get hit. It's actually a pretty bad idea to shield lasers, since shield limits your movement much more than lasers do! Falcos who are predicting you'll jump will shoot lasers just above your head to stop your aerial advance. Keep all your mobility options in mind when trying to get in on a Falco. More things you can do include maneuvering across platforms towards the Falco. Someone else said that FD is better for Falco than Fox... but because Fox can CG and Falco can't (if you DI away d-throw), and Falco can't extend his combos with ptatforms, I think the stage is stronger for Fox. It is harder to deal with lasering, but I think the CGs and lack of platforms for Falcos combos counter act that and more as long as you can respond to lasering properly.​

Falco's Vertical Movement Restrictions
Remember Falco's jump height is shorter than yours when he's s-hopping, and the full hop leaves him in the air for a long long time. If you go high when he's lasering, he'll either just do a full jump or break up his ascent with wavelands. Either way you have a break from getting lasered in this time. Use this time to change altitudes again, but shake it up between top platform and going back down. Obviously you can also try staying at the same altitude as a further shake up, but some Falcos will just be shooting lasers there whether you're there or not so it's really not worth it to stay there until you know your opponent a little more.​

Ground Control
If you're in neutral on the ground and he's not lasering you want to approach with f-jump nairs or fairs(approaching with fairs is weird so experiment/be careful), shines, and grabs. Also, dtilt is underrated at certain percents in this matchup, but it can pop Falco up for a tech chase or a follow up air. To me it seemed like you neglected to approach with airs enough, though ground control is really important for spacing, because Falco's s-hop is lower than yours, you can get away with nairing more. Mix up nairing at the beginning of your jump to shine and nairing late so you don't get anti-aired with nair. Be careful though because some falcos are pretty good at anti-air shines/utilts and they can start long combos off of that. That's when you want to empty jump waveland back or just shield. Run up shield is ok but unsafe, because shine grab is super strong with Falco so it isn't as useful as it is in other(floaty) matchups.​


Baiting some Falcos across the stage is harder than others. Some are very aggressive and will be easier to set-up gimps on, and some will be content with hanging back and lasering.


If you're not that close to the ledge, you can still shine him at higher percents when the hit-stun will be longer. Too low percent and he'll just grab ledge before you can get there. Try to combo or hit him with something stronger instead. If you're close enough to the ledge, you can turn around in the shine and grab ledge. If the Falco tries to just dj you can get another shine, or bair. Bair is safer at higher percents. But at low percents it won't work that well.
Getting a B-Throw
If they're coming after you getting a b-throw is simple. Just expect laser -> dair/nair, There isn't much else Falco can approach with because of his low horizontal speed. Be careful about your spacing under/around the platforms by the edge of the stage so you don't get hit. Stay mobile and don't throw out random moves if you're planning on getting the b-throw gimp. But if it's obvious they're likely to just hit you. Obviously this can't be your whole game plan. It helps to look like you're afraid.

If they aren't, you're going to need to combo for positioning, there are two good places to put Falco for the b-throw. Just try and get them on a platform above you near the edge, many Falcos try and d-air through the platform. Their only other option is running off the platform towards center stage or taking the top platform. (I know my roommate often tries taking center stage so he can laser me so I often just put the tip of my bair at the edge of the platform. If you notice the Falco is laser happy this read might work on them. Since this is the best movement path to get lasers on their foxy enemy.) The other thing you can do is just hit them near the ledge on the ground level. Then you can grab u-throw and you're in the 'Falco's on the platform' scenario again, or you can try and get in between them and the ledge, but this is really not safe. Falco's shine is so fast and combos well when you're under platforms so you're putting yourself in big trouble trying to get the gimp that way.​
Using d-air or fair off-stage are going to kill you every time. But you can d-air the edge of the platform when Falco is up-b'ing back. Run off and shine turnaround b-air works well if you can read where they're going to be. Otherwise that's actually not very safe.

Covering Side-B

First thing you should be doing is watching for Falco to air control away from the stage, double jump, and then side b right back to the ledge. If he side-bs anywhere else you can get there quickly and punish with u-throw, b-throw, bair, d-tilt -> shine-turnaround b-air, f-smash, d-smash. only u-smash if he's high percents, unless you think you can juggle or get a tech-chase off of it.
If you see him air control away when he's been hit, you should grab the ledge. Falco's recovery limits him to side-b to the ledge, side-b high, and up-b back. All of these can be covered from the ledge. If he is up-b'ing back low, fall down and shine him, or time a roll up if he is low enough(Don't be wrong on this).​

Shine Stall
Both Spacies don't utilize this enough. If you edge-gaurd on auto-pilot this technique will allow them back for free. React to what he's doing, don't just try and hit him with a b-air. Shine stalls are over quickly and then just follow the 'Covering Side-B' bit. Don't be stuck in any animations during the shine stall, or you'll miss your edge-gaurd. If they end up going low with the shine stall, then just cover the up-b back, which will likely end up as a roll up since Falco's up-b is really short.
Watch for the Meteor
When Falco is coming back he'll be able to hit you with the meteor. His side-b is almost as long as yours, and he goes through it a bit faster so he's harder to hit out of it. Your number one priority is not getting hit by it. If you hear the sound, it's basically too late, so watch for Falco trying to line up with you horizontally. Obviously if you do get hit by it try to meteor cancel. The timing is really tight and I'm not really good at doing it with Falco's side-b because I'm always surprised if it hits. ...You could try shine-stall, and when the time is right jc shine him out of that but there are probably better things to do like just grab ledge or b-air... even n-air.​
Getting Combo'd
Basically, you're going to want to hold the control stick down and away except when you're SDI'ing. If you aren't going to SDI, ASDI with the C stick away. Be careful to watch for what animations he's in and don't try and tech if he's going to laser reset you or hit you with something. If he is getting reckless with reads, condition him with rolls then tech in place and hit him with something.
Don't burn your DJ to get on a horizontal plane to recover across, he'll just laser you into a position where he can drill you. If you make that mistake, get low enough where you can crawl up the side of the stage with your up-b(really hard on Battlefield, you can do it but it's very tight and for a very short time) and hold in and down on the c-stick and smash up and in on the control stick (to add the vectors. If you do it in the same direction the c-stick one will just out prioritize the SDI and the SDI one is bigger so it's better. Then just hold up and tech the d-air and side-b back(up-b if he went real low to hit you and the stage has a wall there).

Also don't forget to recover high, it's really good.

If you've grabbed the ledge, you can tournament winner(don't!), ledge-dash, roll up, stand up, ledge-hop air, or ledge hop side-b(this is also usually not a good idea)

If you over use any of these, you're going to get punished. Falco can cover ledge hop, roll up and stand up very well. Ledge dash (especially invincible) is extremely good in this match-up because your horizontal speed is so high. Falco has to just hit you or jump to flee. If you're invincible then you get a free hit if he tries to just hit you. otherwise you're in a situation where the Falco is above you, which means you have the advantage. He could also back up and laser, in which case you take the edge platform and come down on him for lasering, or threaten to and take top platform or go back down to the ground if you think he'll go up to laser you.​

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