RoA on Hit Box - Getting Started

The Hit Box is the best alternative to a keyboard or fightstick for Rivals of Aether. In order to help you take advantage of the precision of this arcade controller, we have compiled this post to go over the basics of the Hit Box and the key techniques to learn in Rivals of Aether. 

If you have any questions about Rivals of Aether on Hit Box, please join our community on Discord and visit the #rivals-of-aether channel. In addition, be sure explore the "Hit Box" and "RoA" tags at the bottom of the post for more How-To content.

The Basics

Switch - Button Layout

Steam - Button Layout



Before you start playing, set up your controls for with our "Rivals of Aether on Hit Box" post. For Steam users, refer to our post "Hit Box on Steam" to set up your Hit Box properly.

The Hit Box is designed so either thumb can access the Up button. This is best for keyboard users who are used to using their thumb for jumping, or traditional fighting game players who use Up for jump in general.


How To Play


This is the control scheme we will be using in the gifs below. While all of the techniques below will be using this scheme, you should be able to do all of the techniques with any controls that are comfortable for you.

Dash Dancing

If you are familiar with most platform fighting games, this will be recognizable right away. Press left and right will give you a dash. Press them one after the other (but not at the same time) will give you a dash dance. To practice, start off slow then get quicker with your speed as you go.



Hold the Walk Button and then press Left or Right. This is very important for positioning.



Short Hop

One of the most important techniques in the game is short hopping. The easiest way to do this on Hit Box is to 'flick' at the edge of the button (instead of trying to press into and lift off the button). In this gif, Cameron showcases the differences between short and full hop (and the two different pressing techniques), in addition to showing off both Tap Jump with Up and jumping with an action button.




Due to the design of the Hit Box, you can press jump with one finger and attack with another. 


Wave Dashing

This technique is far more streamlined than in any other platform fighter. Simply press Jump + Dodge at the same time then immediately input the direction you wish to go. Below Cameron showcases three wavedashes:

In place: Jump + Dodge
Half Distance: Jump + Dodge > Down + Forward
Full Distance: Jump + Dodge > Forward

Note: If you wish to face the direction you are wavedashing, press and hold forward right before you press jump + dodge.


Tilt Attacks

Using the Walk Button you can do Tilt Attacks in all directions with a Directional button + A (instead of getting a Strong Attack). When you press a Diagonal Direction, your character to do an Up or Down Tilt in the direction you pressed.


Gif actions, in order - while holding Walk Button:

  • Down + Attack = Down Tilt
  • Down + Left + Attack = Down Tilt facing Left
  • Left + Attack = Forward Tilt
  • Up + Left + Attack = Up Tilt facing Left
  • Up + Attack = Up Tilt
  • Up + Right + Attack = Up Tilt facing Right
  • Right + Attack = Forward Tilt
  • Down + Right + Attack = Down Tilt facing Right


Angled Recoveries


With the Hit Box you have access to all of the Cardinal and Diagonal directions for angles. While characters like Zetterburn require more angles to recover, most characters do perfect with these.



    Advanced Play

    Dashing Out of Walk

    Walk using the Walk Button, then release the Walk Button while still holding forward to get a Dash.


    Strong Attacks out of Run

    Rivals is fairly unique among platform fighters in your ability to do a Strong Attack out of a Run. Simply use Strong Attack in the direction you want while running, and it will activate.



    Run Cancelling with Crouch

    By pressing down while running, you can cancel your Run animation and momentum. You can use this for positioning, going into a walk, or do neat things like Cactuar Dash (see below). Simply press down while running to cancel the run.


    Run Cancel into Tilts

    Using crouch to run cancel, you can go directly into using Tilt Attacks. 



    Holding Tilt while Running

    After you initiate your run, you can hold down the Walk Button without it having any effect on your run. However, the moment you try to turn during run while holding these modifiers you will activate a slow turn that will act like a Run Cancel. In the gif below Cameron showcases using this specific run cancel to get turnaround Tilts.

    Experiment with this technique to see what you can do!


    Cactuar Dashing

    When running, you can crouch and go directly into running the other direction. Simply press down while running and go directly into back - it is like doing a half-circle motion toward the direction you want to run.



    SOCD Neutral

    By pressing Left and Right at the same time, the Smash Box on default will output a 'neutral' or center position. This can help you force neutral inputs and get more precision - experiment to see what you can do!

    For more info check out our post SOCD Neutral in Rivals of Aether.



    Running Neutral Special

    You can use SOCD to stop your momentum and go straight into 'neutral' inputs, meaning you can activate Neutral Special (and Jab) right out of run easily. Hold forward to run, then press Back + Special.


    Turn Around Neutral Special

    If you want your Neutral Special to face a specific direction, press and hold the direction you want to face (forward) and then press Back + Special. Here Cameron showcases this with turn around Neutral Specials in the air.


    If you have any questions about Rivals of Aether on Hit Box, please join our community on Discord and visit the #rivals-of-aether channel. In addition, be sure explore the "Hit Box" and "RoA" tags at the bottom of the post for more How-To content.