Falling speed is the usual rate at which a character can move downward in mid-air. A character's falling speed can greatly impact his fighting style - for instance, Fox, a fast-faller, uses his aerial speed to perform shffl'd attacks very quickly, whereas Jigglypuff, a floaty character, uses its low falling speed to attack multiple times in mid-air.
Additionally, falling speed directly affects the vertical component of attacks' knockback. Attacks of upward trajectory knock back slow-falling, floaty characters more than they knock back fast-fallers. Though both falling speed and weight affect knockback, they are independent of each other - a fast-falling character is not necessarily heavy, and vice versa.
The items Bunny Hood and Metal Box increase the user's falling speed. Some stages can also affect a character's falling speed, the flying-type switch in Pokemon Stadium 2, and the falling portion of Summit. All characters can also fastfall at any time to increase falling speed.
Categories of falling speed
Falling speed is divided into two categories: floaty and fast-faller. each of which have certain advantages and disadvantages depending on playstyle.
Fast-fallers enjoy increased speed in the air and faster shffl'd approaches; however, they suffer from shorter recoveries. They are also susceptible to different combos from floaty characters. For instance, Captain Falcon can chain grab floaty characters with down throw, but cannot do so against fast-fallers. On the other hand, he can tech-chase fast-fallers with up throw, which he cannot do against floaty characters. Generally, fast fallers are more vulnerable to chain grabs and combos (although weight and character size are other factors as well); such as Marth's up throw chain grab that he can finish with a forward smash.
Floaty is a name that describes characters with relatively slow falling speed. Jigglypuff is a prominent example of having a very slow falling speed (the slowest falling speed to be exact). Samus is also a very floaty character in all 3 games, unusual for a heavyweight.
Floaty characters have great benefits in terms of performing aerial attacks since one would able to perform multiple aerial attacks in succession (such as Jigglypuff's slow falling speed and multiple mid-air jumps allows it to do Wall of Pain) and easier recoveries due to slow falling speeds allow easier maneuvering while consequently suffer the vulnerability of being Juggled and having their recoveries easily predictable. On the flip side, floaty characters tend to be less vulnerable to chain grabs and combos.
Falling Speed in SSB
Tested by placing characters on the vanishing clouds in Yoshi's Island (SSB) with one stock each.
1) Captain Falcon
5) Donkey Kong
Average Falling Speed Ranking In Melee
|101%||Mr. Game & Watch|
Top Falling Speed
A ">" means that the character to the left of the ">" ACCELERATES to his/her top speed QUICKER than the character to the right of the ">."
A "=" means the two or three characters between the "=" have the same exact acceleration.
2) Captain Falcon
4-5) Roy > Donkey Kong
7-9) Sheik > Link = Young Link
12-14) Bowser > Pichu = Pikachu
16-18) Dr. Mario = Mario = Mr. Game & Watch
19-21) Ice Climbers > Kirby > Luigi
22-23) Mewtwo > Peach
24-25) Zelda > Samus
Average Falling Speed Ranking In Brawl
This is a ranking of each character's average falling speed, from fastest to slowest.
1. King Dedede
2. Captain Falcon
11. Donkey Kong
15. Zero Suit Samus
16. Diddy Kong
19. Meta Knight
28. Toon Link
30. Mr. Game & Watch
32. Ice Climbers
- Mew2King's page of statistics
- An SWF post about Brawl's weight and falling speed
- Another SWF post about Brawl's weight and falling speed