The Game Haus
Esports Fighting Games

Super Smash Bros.: Directional Influence

Super Smash Bros. offers many layers to players seeking its mastery. As an example, anyone looking for improvement needs to fulfill a particular checklist. Namely, they must know their character of choice inside and out. To improve in other areas, one must venture into the neutral game and explore the vast technical game offered. They have a significant learning curve, but both areas are accessible.

To improve the neutral game, players need to learn how to handle their opponents. This means to be victorious on the mental battle that happens as both players slug it out. On a later date, another article will go further on the neutral game, but now, let’s focus on the technical side of things.

To improve one’s technical skills, long sessions of practice will do the deed. Many techniques require a lot of time and effort put into training mode, but others just need a bit of knowledge.

Directional influence is one of those techniques that requires mostly knowledge. To get the benefits that come with it, one just needs to know how to advantageously use it.

What is Directional Influence?

Super Smash Bros: Directional Influence
Directional influence can help one survive tough hits – Image: VG247

When hit by an enemy, the receiving player has some control of their trajectory. This control is known by every great player Smash has to offer. The community labeled it directional influence, or DI for short. If applied correctly, directional influence has the potential to allow the player to survive lethal hits. Now for its uses.

How to Use Directional Influence

Directional influence has two different applications. First, there is the horizontal directional influence, and then the vertical. Both have their different applications due to how knockback works in the game.

Horizontal directional influence

Horizontal hits will launch the character either left or right. To manipulate the launch’s trajectory, players must move the analog stick opposite to the direction they are being launched. As an example, Ganondorf lands a forward tilt on Kirby. Kirby gets launched towards the left side. Now, in order to use directional influence to get make sure Kirby has a higher chance to survive, the player needs to move the analog stick to the right. This way, directional influence benefits the player, and grants them a better chance against tough opponents.

Vertical Directional Influence

Super Smash Bros: Directional Influence
Adjust the directional influence accordingly to increase chances of survival – Image: VG247

Vertically, things change a bit. Instead of moving against the hit, the player must press towards the direction they were launched. This can be tricky sometimes because some moves appear to send the character a way, and then send them another. However, with enough matchup experience, players should get enough information to always use directional influence to their advantage

To get a better image, let’s use an example. This time Kirby up-smashes Ganondorf and he is sent vertically to the right side. Ganondorf is at the top right side of the screen, and the player needs to move the analog stick towards the right side to use the directional influence to their advantage.

Bad directional influence

If the player can use directional influence to their benefit there is also ways it can cause an earlier death. It is simple. Instead of using directional influence the correct way, if the opposite direction is pressed, an earlier death awaits the player. This means horizontally towards the side one was hit, and vertically against the hit.

Be wary of the direction pressed, because it can be one’s blessing or curse.

Directional influence is a very important tool in the player’s kit. Be sure to use it to its fullest, and hopefully live long enough to see victory.


Featured image provided by Nintendo

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