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This article describes the various gameplay mechanics of Slap City.


Grounded movement

Movement on the ground, walking or dashing, is controlled via the analog stick or other movement keys (depending on the settings and controller type used). The rate of acceleration of walking or dashing can be fine-tuned by adjusting the tilt of the analog stick. Dashing can be initiated by quickly tapping or double tapping in a direction, depending on the tap dash controller setting. Holding the clutch button forces a dash, regardless of controller options or how far the stick is tilted.

Movement speeds, acceleration, and deceleration are governed by different attributes, which differ between characters. Walk and run speed attributes are the maximum speed while walking or dashing. Acceleration is the change in velocity per frame when holding in a direction. Although movement speed acceleration is the same for both walking and dashing, dashing gives an initial speed boost equal to half of the run speed attribute. Floor brake controls deceleration when the analog stick or movement keys are let go of.

Practically any action can be performed out of a walk or dash, including all grounded attacks, specials, grabbing, jumping, crouching, and defending. Players can turn around at any point in a dash and continue running in the opposite direction. Rapidly dashing in different directions is known as "dashdancing".


A moonwalk is when someone walks one way while facing the opposite direction. It can be performed by dashing in one direction and then quickly doing a half-circle motion downwards to the opposite direction with the analog stick or movement keys. When this motion is done, the character enters a "moonwalk state" which lasts for a handful of frames, and allows a character's horizontal momentum to be adjusted without changing their facing direction. Pressing clutch during this state extends the moonwalk for a short duration.

Jumping and aerial movement

Ittle Dew jumping. The wing icon above her head disappears when a double jump is used.

Jumping is done by pressing the jump button, or pressing up on the analog stick or other movement key (depending on the controller, and the "tap jump" setting). From the ground, there are two different jump types, a "short hop" and a "full hop", which have different heights. When a jump button is pressed, there is a 5 frame startup before leaving the ground, which is known as "jumpsquat". Releasing the button or stick before jumpsquat ends will do a short hop, and holding will do a full hop. Jumpsquat can be cancelled with an airdodge (into a wavedash), or with Fishbunjin's neutral special, Flex. Horizontal speed can still be influenced using the analog stick while in jumpsquat.

In the air, pressing jump performs a midair jump. All characters have a single midair jump at their disposal, except for Masked Ruby, who has two. Midair jump availability is indicated above the player character's head with a wing icon (pictured right) when airborne, which disappears when a midair jump is expended. Pressing down while falling in the air performs a fastfall, which quickly increases falling speed. Pressing the defend button performs an airdodge, if not stunned or in tumble (if in tumble, a midair jump can be used to escape tumble quickly in order to airdodge). Airdodges can be done in any direction, and are intangible for most of the duration of them.

Jump heights are similar between characters, typically around 1.4 units for a short hop, 4.8 for a fullhop, and 3.8 for a midair jump.

Character attributes "air speed" and "air decay" control the acceleration and deceleration in the air, and "air speed" is the maximum speed obtainable just by holding in a direction. However, if a player's velocity is already exceeding that value, it can be maintained in the air by holding in that direction. Gravity determines how fast vertical velocity decreases, and the "fallspeed" and "fastfall speed" attributes determine the maximum velocity for falling normally and fastfalling.


A wavedash is a sliding maneuver performed by airdodging into the ground. Velocity from the air dodge is transferred into horizontal movement on the ground. The term wavedash applies to airdodging into the ground from a jump while grounded. Landing on the ground with an airdodge from midair (onto a floating platform, for example) is instead called a waveland. A wavedash or waveland's landing lag is 10 frames. The floorbrake attribute is reduced for that duration, which allows for more momentum conservation into other actions out of a wavedash.


Clutch is a unique mechanic which does a variety of things. The most important and noticeable usage is the ability to completely reverse horizontal momentum on certain actions, generally on special moves or air strong attacks, which is extremely useful in recovering after being hit off stage. Clutch can also be used to dash cancel, prevent fastfalling, extend moonwalks, perform various easter eggs, and more. A special icon (⌥) appears above the player character's head when holding the clutch button.

Dash cancel

Dash cancel is a mechanic which preserves aerial momentum when landing with an aerial attack. It is performed by pressing either the defend or clutch buttons up to 20 frames before landing. Hitting a shield prevents a dash cancel. Dash cancels do not reduce landing lag, they reduce the normal floor brake of landing while performing an aerial from 100 to 20.


There are four main types of offensive actions—light attacks, strong attacks, special attacks, and grabs. Each character also has a pummel, a get-up attack, a ledge attack, and a taunt (which can sometimes act as an attack, depending on the character).

Hitbox interaction

When two moves hit each other, the outcome is determined by each move's interaction properties. When an attack deals 5 or more damage than the opposing attack, it wins the interaction, and the other attack loses. Attacks within 4 damage of each other will tie. When losing or tying, an attack can either rebound, clang, or do nothing (not interact). All attacks "do nothing" on a win, and continue as if it had never connected with anything, still being able to hit others. On a clang, both attacks continue as normal, but neither can hit the other player. On a rebound, the move ends immediately, and the player is staggered for a brief period of time—15 frames for a tie, and 30 frames for a loss.

In general, jabs rebound on a loss or tie, tilts rebound on a loss and clang on a tie, and strongs clang on a loss or tie. Strong attacks usually have a +10 priority bonus to make them less likely to clang with tilts. Most aerials do not interact (do nothing), but each character has at least one aerial attack which will clang on a loss or tie. Frallan, Cruiser Tetron, and Orka are the exceptions, with each of them having two interacting aerials. See the individual character articles for character-specific move interaction properties.

When two grabs connect, they cancel each other out, causing both players to rebound.


Defensive actions are performed by the "defend" button, which is usually bound to a shoulder button on controllers. Depending on the state of the player's character, it performs different actions, including shielding, airdodging, and teching.


Pressing the defend button while grounded brings up a shield which protects from oncoming attacks. Shields block damage and knockback from attacks, but the defender still receives hitstop, incurs shieldstun and shield damage, and is pushed back a little depending on the power of the attack. Players cannot walk or run while shielding, but can still maneuver with rolls and spotdodges, or by jumping out of shield. Simply letting go of the defend button to exit shielding leaves a player unactionable for 15 frames. By lightly pressing the defend button, or by holding the clutch button while shielding, players can "lightshield", which makes the shield bigger, significantly increases shield pushback, and reduces passive shield health drain to 10% of the normal rate. Shields do not block grabs.

Shields can break if they take too much damage or are held out for too long. When a player's shield is broken, they are popped up into the air, remaining stunned indefinitely until they hit a floor or blastzone. Upon hitting a floor, they stand up and are left unactionable in a dizzied state for roughly 4 seconds before waking up. Shield break tumble is intangible for the first 60 frames to prevent players from accidentally knocking someone out of it.

All characters have a shield health value of 60, which drains at a rate of 15 per second (0.25 per frame). A full-press (non-lightshield) shield from full health can be held for exactly 4 seconds (240 frames) before breaking. Shields recover at 5 per second (0.08333... per frame). Recovering from 0 to full takes exactly 12 seconds. When an attack hits a shield, the normal attack damage also applies to shield health, so a move that does 12 damage will also do 12 damage to the shield's health, unless the attack has a shield damage multiplier property.

When a shield is below 50% health, cracks appear on the shield and attacks begin dealing gradually less shieldstun as shield health decreases.

Rolls and dodges


Stage features


Fishbunjin holding onto a ledge.

Ledges are parts of stages that can be grabbed onto when airborne. The majority of stages have ledges at the ends of each side of their main platform. When a player has been hit by an attack (taken knockback) and hasn't touched the ground yet, grabbing the ledge grants intangibility for 60 frames (exactly 1 second) while holding onto the ledge. Players recovering back onto the stage will often try to grab the ledge to gain ledge intangibility. Attacking players will try to stop them from grabbing the ledge, or try to limit their options to make it back onto the stage once they've grabbed the ledge.

Ledges can be grabbed regardless of which way a character is facing. Only one character can hold onto a ledge at a time, but because ledge intangibility is only gained from being hit, holding the ledge to prevent someone else from grabbing it (ledgehogging) is not always as effective as in other platform fighting games. It is still an important tool for edgeguarding, however, particularly against recoveries without active hitboxes, or when using the limited intagibility from a ledge climb to phase through quick moving recoveries trying to grab the ledge.

When hanging on a ledge, there are a few options available: ledge climb, ledge roll, ledge attack, jump, walljump, and letting go of the ledge. Note that ledge climbs and ledge rolls will always have intangible frames, but a ledge attack will only have intangible frames if the player already has ledge intangibility. Letting go or jumping from ledge ends ledge intangibility immediately.

Some ledge options (ledge climb, attack, roll, and dropping from ledge) can be indefinitely buffered using different directions of the 2nd stick.


Blastzones are boundaries at the outer edges of stages which KO any characters that touch them. Characters sent into a blastzone will respawn after about 1 second. If playing a mode with lives enabled, being KO'd removes 1 life, and any player with no lives left is eliminated from the match.

The top blastzone is unique in that it will only KO a character if they are hit into it, or are hit while inside of it. It can be safely exceeded by way of jumping or using special moves. The top blastzone also has a short "flying away" animation that plays before characters knocked into it are KO'd, which can sometimes be advantageous for the attacking player.

Spawns and respawns

Players' initial spawn placements are dependent on the stage, the players' ports, and the amount of players in the match. Respawn points are the same for all players in a match, typically elevated in the center of a stage. Respawning players receive invincibility for roughly 1.5 seconds, which ends immediately when an attack, special, or grab is used. Certain non-offensive actions like shielding, dodging, or using a taunt without a hitbox won't end the invincibility. When respawning, the facing direction can be selected by holding in the desired direction. When the clutch button is held, the opposite direction is chosen instead.

Intangibility, invincibility, and armor

  • Intangible: Cannot be hit by anything. Rolls, spotdodges, and airdodges have intangibility periods.
  • Invincible: Can't be grabbed. Can be hit by attacks, but no damage is dealt. Hitting an invincible player with an attack will only deal hitstop to the attacking player. Respawning players are invincible for a short time.
  • Armor: Takes damage and hitstop from attacks, but knockback is prevented, and can still be grabbed as normal.

When looking at hurtboxes in Training Mode, intangible hurtboxes are blue, invincible are light green, and armor are dark green.

Hit effects




Hitstop, also called hitlag, is a mechanic which occurs when hitting an attack, which causes anyone involved to "stop" in place for a handful of frames. Hitstop occurs immediately after hitting something, but before any knockback or shieldstun is dealt. This gives players a brief moment to react after getting hit, or getting a hit.

The amount of hitstop frames dealt and received is based on damage and hitstop attack properties. Moves can have different properties for hitstop dealt to recipients and self hitstop received as an attacker, although this is uncommon. Once an attack starts dealing 300 or more knockback, hitstop frames increase and start scaling with knockback.

Directional influence

Directional influence (commonly abbreviated to DI) adjusts the launch angle when being sent flying from an attack based on the direction held on the analog stick. Holding perpendicular to an attack's normal launch angle causes the largest change in difference, while holding in the same direction as the normal launch angle does nothing at all. For example, if an attack sends straight up (90°), holding full right or left (0° or 180°) will alter the 90° launch angle to 72° or 108° (assuming a 1.0 DI multiplier), while holding up or down (90° or 270°) keeps the angle unchanged at 90°.

By default, the most a launch angle can be altered is 18°, although many attacks have DI multipliers which limit or increase the amount that DI can influence them. For example, some strong attack have a 0.3 DI multiplier, which translates to a 5.4° difference with perpendicular DI.

A separate mechanic called SDI ("Slap directional influence") allows players, either immediately upon being hit or while in hitstop, to slightly shift their position by pressing or holding the analog stick/movement keys or the second stick in the desired direction. The second stick takes precedence over the analog stick, and using both at the same time can allow a player to SDI in one direction and DI in another. SDI can only be done once per hit.



Controller options

Input assist

Slap City uses an input buffer which can be adjusted in the controller options. By default, it's set to 7 frames, but can be set anywhere from 1-10 frames, or disabled entirely. The input buffer allows inputs to be pressed a set number of frames before the character is actionable, which are then executed on the first available frame. A common usage is buffering an aerial attack out of jumpsquat to ensure the aerial begins as soon as possible. Note that buffering a shield input prevents powershielding.


  • Tap jump: Turns tap jump on or off (jumping by pressing the analog stick up).
  • Tap strong: Controls whether strong attacks can be performed by tapping in a direction and using the attack button. It can be turned off, or set to "ground only", "ground + air", or "air only".
  • Tap dash: If enabled, dashing can be initiated by quickly tapping sideways. Otherwise, a player must double tap in a direction or make use of the clutch button to dash.
  • Airdodge thresholds: Determines when to airdodge when using an analog button. Options:
Zero to analog to full: Airdodges on an analog and a full press input.
Zero to analog: Airdodges on an analog input.
Analog to full: Airdodges only on a full press input.
  • Wall jump: Changes how walljumps are performed. Defaults to "tap away or clutch", but can be changed to "tap away", "hold in + jump", or "clutch".
  • Temperature: Controls the temperature of a controller. Can be set anywhere from -50c to 100c, in 5 degree intervals.