Z-dropping and air grabbing are vital for success in Smash, whether you’re playing casually with items on or facing off against a rogue Banjo or Diddy Kong. Here’s how to make it work.
What is Z-dropping in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
Z-dropping an item lets you drop it straight downwards without throwing it, letting you keep an item and use an aerial attack or other option.
It’s useful when using characters like Peach or Diddy Kong, since you can mix up item throws in edgeguard situations, as well as combining the drop with an aerial for some insane combos. High-level Link players have been able to come up with ludicrous infinite combos by utilising Z-drops of the bomb, but you’ll be able to use this technique against Link players if you manage to grab the item.
It’s worth noting that Z-drops can be used to hold onto items your opponent has spawned into the game - if you’re holding ROB’s Gyro, he’s unable to get another one out, so Z-dropping it into aerial attacks is a great way to get in the way of the character’s gameplan. If timed right, Z-dropping an item into an aerial attack will automatically pick the item back up again too, so you’ll be able to keep hold of items far longer than you might think.
Here’s a basic demonstration of what Z-dropping looks like, with Diddy Kong dropping his banana before following up with a Smash attack.
What is an Air Grab in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?
Air Grabbing is essentially the reverse of a Z-drop. Instead of dropping an item with the Z button, you’re picking one up. This can be done by pressing the grab button (Z on the Gamecube controller by default, L or R on the Pro Controller) at the precise point your character overlaps with the item.
This technique lets you pick up an item without performing another action at the same time. For example, using the Shield button will initiate a simultaneous air dodge, whilst pressing the attack button forces you to use an aerial move.
How to air grab in Smash Ultimate
Air grabbing means you can snatch an item out of the sky and throw it far more quickly, and characters like Peach can use it with her projectile items for combos that’d otherwise not connect properly. Here’s what an air grab looks like, and the difference between pressing Shield and pressing Grab.