Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reportedly features the highest input lag in the series

5.9 frames could mean a lot in this game

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • December 11, 2018 at 10 a.m. PST

Input latency is something that fighting game players have likely only been aware of as a discernible concept for a few years now. Though now that we know about its existence, it will likely be among the first things we try and figure out about a new game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been in the hands of the public for a handful of days now, and dedicated community members have already been putting in the work to find out where the title sits among modern fighters and other entries in the franchise.

GigaBoots recently released a video in their Button2Pixel series detailing their findings about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's input lag using different control methods and how it compares to other titles in the franchise though their report may disappoint some fans.

Smash Ultimate reportedly is most responsive when paired with the GameCube adapter and controllers plugged into either the side of the console or into USB 3.0 hub which is sure to please the dedicated and competitive crowds, but there's more.

Even with using the GameCube controllers, the title's average input lag allegedly sits at just under six frames or 98 milliseconds of latency from when a button is pressed to when the game actually registers the input — minus the factor of the added lag from TVs and monitors.

An average of 5.9 frames of lag puts Smash Ultimate as the "slowest" responding game in the franchise to date being almost one frame longer than Brawl's — the previous holder of that title. This also puts it over two frames or almost twice as long as Melee's average response time of 3.5 frames.

Super Smash Bros. series compared in input lag image #1
Click images for larger versions

For comparison to other titles, Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition now has around 4.4 frames of input delay following its patch this fall while a game like BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle has only around 2.5 frames of delay.

What does this mean for competitive Smash Ultimate players? It's hard to say so early after the game's release, but some players may need to approach the title differently at high levels similarly to when players transitioned from Street Fighter 4 to 5.

The game's new and fairly large buffer window may help mitigate some factors for hitting specific combo timing, but the added delay may make defense suffer a bit more in a fighter where moves can come out in only a few frames.

You can check out GigaBoots' full breakdown of the input latency found in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the series as a whole in the video below.

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