Why Super Smash Bros. Ultimate seems so slow


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the most comprehensive and possibly the most compelling entry in the Super Smash Bros. series, but it can not compete when it comes to entry delay. According to a detailed analysis of Gigaboots, which analyzed the entry-level gaps in various games and is quoted extensively in the game's Digital Foundry division, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the least responsive game in the series.

The group filmed by pressing a button at 1,200 frames per second, measured the amount of time before the character react on the screen and then subtracted the input delay from the screen. This was done 30 times for each setting and the results are presented according to the largest, smallest and average amounts of input delay.

The team behind Gigaboots did a great deal of work to bring the data to the community, especially when you consider that the input delay was measured in all games in the series, with several controllers tested per game. The video embedded at the top of this post is definitely worth its time, as is the video that compares the late entry of the previous Super Smash Bros. games, embedded directly below.

So what did they find?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has too much delay in input

There are between 87.87 and 112.87 ms of latency of entry between push of a button in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and a character reacting. That means there are between six and seven frames of animation that go between pushing a button and watching a character move on the screen.

Here are the data so you can see the numbers by yourself. The data also show why so many gamers like to use GameCube controllers beyond familiarity; GameCube controllers are also the most responsive.


This may not hurt Super Smash Bros. Ultimate chances among competitive players. The delay of entry of a game will be the same for all the players, outside of the small variation that comes with different methods of control, so that all work with the same handicap. Players will adapt to this amount of delay and the community will become more accurate as everyone becomes accustomed to the feel of the game.

But you may be distracted by the incoming delay if you have played an extensive amount of previous Smash Bros. games. Take a look at how Last ties against other games in the franchise.


Super Smash Bros. Brawl for Wii U introduces between three and five latency frames between pushing a button and seeing your character react, compared to the five to six latency frames seen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Increasing the input delay Last could be even more of a problem for players who are coming Super Smash Bros. Meleand, which is still considered by many as the gold standard in competitive Smash titles. Melee Two to four frames of input delay make it one of the most responsive games in the series.

Is this a big deal?

While Ultimate the entry delay may not be significantly worse than other modern fighting games, it is significantly worse than the previous games in the series. The input delay can cause Last more difficult to get used to veteran players. Smash Bros is also not played as a traditional fighting game.

"1/10 of a second inning delay may be a standard fare for a modern fighting game, but it actually worsens the experience of playing Smash," one player wrote in the game page on Reddit. "It's a game where people are flying across the map, approaching dozens of angles and various attack boxes and trajectories … Especially with how quickly this game can be played, this brings an objectively worse experience having both delay."

Other players argue that any change in "feel" is due to the new buffering system, not to the input delay.

"If you keep one action while locked in another, it will buffer and leave at the first possible frame," one fan wrote, explaining the difference. "While this usually makes things easier, there are cases where behavior is inconsistent (eg, un-buffered) or undesirable (eg, accidental ground dodging, short air jumping rather than rapid jumping)."

"I think the delay is probably never slower than the built-in buffer, which is why they allowed the delay," explained another player. "It literally would not make a difference as such."

There is good news, though. Nintendo actively patches Super Smash Bros. Ultimateand it is possible that an update that minimizes the visual effects of the game may decrease the amount of input delay. Community tests found that Capcom updates significantly reduced the input delay Street Fighter 5, for example. The buffer system can also be adjusted.

It is possible that a high percentage of more casual players will never notice Super Smash Bros. UltimateEntry delays, and competitive players can adapt quickly enough so that it is not a problem. You are not wrong if you thought the game was good before reading this article, but experienced Smash Bros. players who may have been confused by game time may now have a better understanding of why things seem a bit wrong .


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