SSBM on Smash Box - Getting Started

The Smash Box is the best alternative to a GameCube controller or fight stick for Super Smash Bros. Melee. 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 Smash Box and key techniques to learn in SSBM. 

You can even use the Smash Box on PC and play on Slippi Netplay. Check out our post "Smash Box and Slippi Netplay" for more information. 

If you have any questions about Melee on Smash Box, be sure to join our Discord and hop into the #melee channel. Also, explore the "Smash Box" and "SSBM" tags at the bottom of the post for more How-To content.

The Basics

Profile and Layout

First, thing to do is to ensure you're using the Default Super Smash Bros. Melee profile. If you just received your Smash Box, it should be on Profile 2 (the three-way switch on the side of your Smash Box set to the middle on "O"). Otherwise, download our Designer Software and load up the profile onto your Smash Box.

Now let's go over the default layout we have for Melee.

Each cluster of buttons are a representation of the GameCube controller flattened out!
  • The Analog Stick is controlled by your left fingers.
  • The D-pad / Tilts are controlled by your left thumb.
  • The C-Stick is controlled by your right thumb.
  • The 8-buttons on the right are controlled by your right fingers.
Smash Box is designed so that you'll always be able to cover your options without contorting your hand or moving your thumbs all over the place.  By following the hand position above, you'll be off the best start possible


Tilt Modifiers

In order to get certain angles, walk, and access Tilt Attacks, we use modifiers we call Tilts. By holding down Tilt 1 or Tilt 2, similar to "shift" on a keyboard, you modify the full direction of the digital directions to slight tilts.

How to play



One on the most pivotal techniques in Melee is the Wavedash. On the Smash Box it comes down simply to the flick of the fingers. Below we showcase the various wavedash angles you can get. For more in depth info on wavedashing, check out our post: SSBM - Wave Dash Angles.

Modifiers help control your wave dash distance!


Tilt Attacks

The main modifiers to use for Tilt Attacks are Tilt 1 and Tilt 2, we also use these to Walk. These give you Tilt Attacks in all direction. When you press a diagonal, however, it will give you an Angled Forward Tilt (if the character you are using can do that). Showcased below, if you are trying to do a quick turn around Up or Down Tilt: hold Tilt 1 or Tilt 2, press and hold the direction you wish to face, then press Up/Down + A + the opposite direction (while still holding the direction you want to face). Your ending input should be: Tilt + Left + Right + Up/Down + A. This uses what we call SOCD Neutral, more on that later.


Shield Drops

Our Shield Drop works very similar to how most players do so on a GameCube controller. We've 'notched' our controller so when you hit the downward ordinals, you will get the shield drop. The best advice for this is to do it out of a run, when you're shield is in stun, or using a Tilt modifier, to best prevent rolling or spot-dodging in shield. (Below, Cameron showcases shield dropping in his video)

Recovery Angles

Using the modifier buttons at your left thumb, you can get even more recovery angles!


The video and image cover 48 of our recovery angles. You'll only need two modifiers to get all of these angles, but if you only want to use one modifier you can get 32 angles - which is very useful already.


There are a few ways to Pivot on a Smash Box, and each are more consistent than dealing with an analog stick and its snap-back. Below we showcase the Tilt method, where we dash forward, dash and hold back, then immediately press Tilt 1. For more information and other methods, check out our post "Pivots in Melee."


SOCD Neutral

On the Smash Box, when you press Left and Right at the same time, it outputs a neutral or "center" input. This allows us to do some interesting things, like guarantee pivots! For more on SOCD Neutral check out our post "SOCD Neutral in Melee."


Run Cancel into Jab

Using SOCD Neutral, we can stop our run and go directly into jab. This is great for characters like Fox. Simply run and hold Forward, then press Back and time your A for jab.



Dashing out of Crouch

Also with SOCD Neutral, we can get more precision with dashing back out of crouch. First, start a crouch with SOCD activated (Left + Down + Right), then release Down and the direction you're facing at the same time. If done properly, you should dash back out of your crouch. And remember, this is still a difficult technique to pull off, so practice to get it down.



If you have any questions about Melee on Smash Box, be sure to join our Discord and hop into the #melee channel. Also, explore the "Smash Box" and "SSBM" tags at the bottom of the post for more How-To content.