Input Buffering is a core mechanic seen in most fighting games, which lets the player send the input for a move before the last execution is finished. This aids player into executing combos more easily, and is influenced by input delay.
Super Smash Bros. Melee doesn't have input buffering mechanic, meaning it is much harder to execute frame-perfect combos.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, players have a 10 frame window of opportunity to buffer the input of their previous move animation. If done correctly, the next move will be executed as soon the last one if over. However, not every move can allow buffer and/or can be buffered, with the game setting some restrictions on individual moves. One of the most important rules is that it is not possible to buffer multiple inputs at the same time; there is a strict order that decides what move will come out if multiple commands are used. The priority is Special Move > Shield > Attack > Jump > Stick Inputs; if the character is at the ledge, the priority is Jump > Attack > Shield.
- Most of the Normal Attacks and Special Moves can be buffered, ranging from Tilts, Smash Attacks and Aerials to Custom Moves.
- Jumps and double jumps can be buffered.
- Dodges (both ground and air) and rolls (including ledge rolls) can be buffered.
- Left Control Stick Inputs, which covers movement in general, can be buffered. However, it is not possible to buffer any inputs when grabbing a ledge.
Moves that can be buffered out of
- Normals (Tilts, Smash Attacks, Aerials)
- Special Moves (including Customs)
- Landing Lag
- Ledge Grab
- Dodges (Spot Dodge, Air Dodge) and Rolls
- Knockdown and Knockdown Roll
- Getup Attack
- Hitstun (including fire and electric damage)
- Grab release
- Post Burrow animation
- Post Inhale animation
- Wall Jump
- Shield Break
Moves that cannot be buffered
- Shielding and Power Shielding
- Stick Input on the ledge
- Grab Aerials (for Link, Toon Link, Samus and Zero Suit Samus)
- Airborne Item catching out of an Air Dodge (however, it is possible to buffer an attack for catching the item in the air)
- Z-Dropping out of an Air Dodge (exception similar to above)
- Control Stick + Attack combinations* (Dash Grab, Pivot Grab, Dash Attack, B-Reversal and Perfect Pivot)
*This is due the fact that it is not possible to buffer two inputs at once.