SSBM - Pivot Techniques


Precise control of your movement is one of the most important skills to hone in Melee. And one of the more unique, difficult, and useful movement techniques to master is pivoting. Here we'll talk about the multiple ways you can pivot with a Smash Box, separated into three styles: Release, Plink, and Tilt.

Release is essentially the same way most players pivot on GameCube controllers: press forward, then back, and release back as fast as possible. Though this style is the most self-explanatory, it can be difficult to be consistent with and tends to be less useful than the other two styles.

Plink style uses other direction buttons to ensure pivots. It's called plink style because it requires plinks: pressing two buttons in a single motion, but one right after the other. (We tend to call these WASD pivots as well, since the WASD layout allows all the directions to be pressed in a similar manner with the same hand)

Tilt style uses tilt modifiers to guarantee pivots. By pressing a tilt modifier right after getting a back input you can prevent a dash from activating.

Plink Pivots

There's three different methods for Plink Pivots: Crouch Pivot, Tap Jump Pivot, and SOCD Pivot.

Crouch Pivot

This technique uses the initiation of the crouch animation to prevent a dash to happen after you pivot. This is probably the easiest to perform of the Plink Pivots, and will help you with timing the other ones.
Note: This also called the Gravy Pivot, as he popularized this method (even on pad). 
Press forward, press back, then immediately press down to get a down-back input. Listen to the button presses in the video gif above to get a sense of the timing.
Foward, Back, Down-Back
Forward, Back, Back+Down

SOCD Pivot

The default resolution for SOCD is Neutral, so when we press Left + Right it gives us a 'center' position for the control stick. That magic standing frame won't actually Dash since neither a left or right are being activated.
Press forward, then press and hold back, then press forward again.

Forward, Back, SOCD

What makes this method so useful is that it frees up your middle finger to access up and down, meaning you can get pivots into up and down tilt.
After getting the SOCD Pivot, press Up + Y1. (You can use Y2, Tilt 1, or Tilt 2 in place of Y1.)


After getting the SOCD Pivot, press Down + Y1. (You can use Y2, Tilt 1, or Tilt 2 in place of Y1.)

For more on SOCD Neutral, check out: SOCD Neutral in Melee.

Tap Jump Pivot

This method is great because it's the same timing as the Crouch Pivot, and, since you're using Tap Jump instead of button jump, your jump is less likely to be eaten up by your dash frames after the pivot.


Press forward, press back, then immediately press down to get a down-back input. Release the inputs to get a jump in place, or use the directions to give yourself some momentum.



Tilt Pivot

This style of pivoting is probably the most lenient, and since it can require both hands it can help with getting your timing down for other things, like pivot Smashes.
Press forward, then press back, and then immediately press Tilt 1.
Forward, Back, Tilt
You can use Tilt 1, Tilt 2, or even X1 or X2.
We recommend Tilt 1, because on our Default layout Tilt 1 is located under the C-Stick cluster - by using Tilt 1 you give your right thumb muscle memory for pivot Smashes as well.


Be sure to check out our more in depth posts on plink pivots and tilt pivots.