Gliding is initiated by holding the jump button after a midair jump, or by tilting the control stick backwards and forwards in quick succession. If performed successfully, the character will spread his wings, and their falling speed will decrease.
The direction of gliding can be altered by tilting forward or down to glide downward, increasing their speed, while tilting backwards or upwards to glide upwards will result in the character losing speed. If the character loses all of his speed while gliding, gliding ends immediately, though it can be cancelled with a jump. If a character glides into a stage's surface, they will crash and lay upon it, and can perform their grounded options. If the character used their midair jumps before gliding, they will be put into a helpless state.
Characters can also use a glide attack by pressing any attack button, dealing 12% with varying knockback depending on the character: Meta Knight slashes downward, Pit slashes upwards, and Charizard spins.
Each character possesses unique traits for gliding: Meta Knight's glide has the sharpest angle when angling upwards or downwards, Charizard's glide is the fastest at the default angle, and Pit's glide is the easiest to control. However, all three of them share the benefit of being able to recover from virtually any position off-stage, and their glide attack is a useful option for approaching and pressuring.
Meta Knight automatically starts gliding when using Shuttle Loop, though it is slower than his default gliding ability, and ends in helplessness regardless of the number of jump he has remaining.