Falling speed refers to the rate in which a character can move downward in midair. Falling speed can greatly impact a character's fighting style — for instance, Jigglypuff, a floaty character, uses its low falling speed in order to hit opponents multiple times in mid-air while faster characters like Captain Falcon use their high falling speed to perform quick and powerful aerial attacks.
Additionally, falling speed directly affects the vertical component of attacks' knockback in combination with weight. Attacks that hit opponents upwards will have a greater effect on floatier characters and a lesser effect on fast-fallers, as the deceleration rate of vertical knockback is determined by the rate at which a character falls. However, a floaty heavyweight will be harder to KO vertically than a floaty lightweight due to the reduced knockback taken by heavier fighters. Though both falling speed and weight affect knockback, they are independent of each other. A fast-falling character is not heavy and vice versa. Examples include Fox, who is a light fast-faller, and Samus, who is a floaty heavyweight.
Accelerated falling speed
Accelerated falling speed, also called Fast-falling speed, but not to be confused with Fast falling, can be best described as the falling speed the player falls at after being knocked up. For instance Fox, who possesses the highest accelerated falling speed in the game, starts falling immediately after just being knocked up into the air. This is the reason why he susceptible to certain chain grabs more than others and why he is the easiest character to combo. For instance he is the character most susceptible to Pikachu's down throw chain grab while being resistant to Mario's down throw chain grab until higher percentages. Accelerated falling speed appears to be a combination of a character's regular falling and their gravity that affects the rate at which they fall after being hit. It is also a factor in character's vertical endurance, as characters with higher falling speeds decelerate at a faster rate than normal, reducing their overall knockback significantly. Most high fallers don't get KO'ed off the top until around 120% when hit by strong attacks, while being KO'ed off the top by weak attacks at around 150%.
Categories of accelerated falling speed
Fast-fallers enjoy fast short hop approaches and are the most difficult to KO vertically. Generally, fast-fallers are more vulnerable to chain grabs and juggles than the others, and many of them have difficulty recovering.
High-faller is a name that refers to characters with high accelerated falling speed, yet not quite enough to earn the moniker "space physics". The most prominent characters who fall into this group are Link, Chibi-Robo, Donkey Kong, Mega Man, Yoshi, Wario and Ichigo.
High-fallers are susceptible to combos and chain grabs just like fast fallers are. However, certain combos and chain grabs vary for fast-fallers and high-fallers like certain chain grabs that work on fast-fallers might not work on high-fallers and vice versa.
Above Average-fallers refers to characters whose falling speeds are higher than average fallers, but not as high as high-fallers. Characters who are the most prominent examples of this category are Lloyd, Marth, Naruto, Sheik, Sonic and Tails.
These characters' accelerated falling speeds allow them to be comboed more than average-fallers, but they are immune to certain combos and chain grabs that work on high-fallers and fast-fallers. They benefit from having greater vertical survivability than average-fallers, without the same drawbacks that high or fast-fallers have.
Average-fallers, as the name implies, refers to characters whose accelerated falling speed is only average or in the middle. This means that their accelerated falling speed is not high enough to be considered fast or high-fallers nor too low to be considered floaty or below average. Characters who are the most prominent example of this are Mario, Zero Suit Samus and Pikachu.
Average-fallers have the privilege of not being susceptible to the majority of chain grabs or combos like fast or high-fallers are, while not being easy to KO vertically like floaty characters. This makes them ideal when going up against any character.
Below Average-fallers refers to characters whose accelerated falling speed is in between that of an average-faller and a floaty character. Characters who are the most example of this are Black Mage, Sora, Meta Knight and Ness.
These characters greatly benefit from their resistance to combos and chain grabs, while also being a little harder to kill off the top of a stage than the floater characters. However, they are still susceptible to being KO'ed off the top faster than average fallers are.
Floaty is a name that describes characters with slow falling speed. Jigglypuff, Kirby, Zelda and Peach are prominent examples of characters with low accelerated falling speed. Samus is also a floaty character which is unusual for a heavyweight.
Floaty characters have great benefits in terms of performing aerial attacks in quick succession. Jigglypuff would be an example of this with the wall of pain. Floaty characters have an easier time recovering due to their slow falling speeds while also being less vulnerable to combos and chain grabs. However, they are the easiest to KO vertically.
Characters falling speeds
|Character||Max Fall Speed|
Zero Suit Samus
|Mr. Game & Watch||9.2|