Balanced Brawl is a mod project that improves
the character balance of Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The foundation of this project is that Brawl is already a fun game. We deliberately avoid changing any core elements that make Brawl what it is. Balanced Brawl has the exact same physics as standard Brawl, and elements such as animation speed, hitbox size, or general character playstyle are rarely changed in any way. No one should have any problem moving between standard Brawl and Balanced Brawl, even back-to-back!
Balanced Brawl has three primary goals in its design:
1. Increase Overall Character Balance
2. Remove Infinites and Inescapable Lockdowns
3. Increase Stage Viability
1. Increased Overall Character Balance
The primary goal of this project is to make every character tournament viable and every matchup winnable. The ideal balance target is high; only the very top tier saw nerfs, and everyone has some degree of buffs! The changes were designed to fit into the existing playstyles of characters. Meta Knight is still the super speedy swordsman with amazing gimping potential; he merely does a less efficient job of shutting down the opponent’s options and has less imaginary KO problems. Samus is still a highly efficient zoner who focuses on leveraging her high survivability; she is just much more likely to win now.
Of course, some changes will force some adjustments. Ice Climbers players can no longer count on taking a stock per grab; that does change things. However, when such changes were necessary, the tweaks were always made to preserve as much of the non-degenerate behavior as possible, and a large focus was made to ensure the true fundamentals of every character remain in-tact. The example Ice Climbers saw several significant buffs to compensate for their loss; where abuses were lost, there was always a substitution of real gameplay of the nature that the character was always seeking in the first place. No character was left out to dry.
For more details about changes to individual character changes, please visit click their names on the left-hand menu to visit their specific pages.
2. Removed Infinites and Inescapable Lockdowns
No one likes infinites. We define infinites and inescapable lockdowns as any technique that in practice can remove a full stock or do at least 50% through trivial execution, where there is no way for the victim to escape. The following infinites have been removed:
-All “jab lock” style locks, including such locks with down tilts or projectiles
-All grab release chain grabs and most follow ups
-All footstool abuse, including the Zero Suit Samus infinite against R.O.B. or Diddy Kong’s obscure infinite
-Zero Suit Samus down smash lock
-Sheik’s forward tilt lock
-Pikachu’s down throw and forward throw chain throws
-Falco’s down throw chain throw
-King Dedede’s down throw infinite and chain throw
-All Ice Climbers infinites
-Wario’s down throw chain throw against Bowser etc.
-All banana locks
-Almost all wall locks
We took great care to make these changes as non-intrusive as possible, and tried to best preserve the non-infinite combo options in all cases. For example, Lucas can no longer infinitely jab lock with his down tilt, but he can still use jab lock set-ups to combo into his forward smash. Diddy Kong can no longer chain characters across stages with banana locks, but he can still easily combo his banana peel toss into pretty much any of his moves. Ice Climbers will have a harder time doing infinite chain throws, but can still get free smashes all day out of landing grabs.
It should be noted that several of the weaker chain throws are tweaked to be less effective. This is largely for the benefit of characters such as Bowser and Ganondorf who were the primary victims of these throws, but oftentimes the tweaks have other benefits. The most notable example comes in the form of Pit’s forward throw; he loses most of his low percent chain throw tricks but gains a great high percent KO option! This style of tweak just makes the game more fun, more fair, and generally a better experience for everyone involved.
3. Increased Stage Viability
One of the biggest divisive points in the community has been stage policy. Some players believe that most of the stages simply do not facilitate high level competitive play, and thus those players seek to minimize the stage list. Other players believe that the diversity of stages is one of the driving points of the game’s depth, and thus as many stages should be allowed as possible. In standard Brawl, these positions are truly irreconcilable, but with the ability to change the game, we seek to find a middle ground. We believe having more stages is fundamentally good, and we believe that stage specific abuse is fundamentally bad. We can design the game around specific stages on which there is little abuse, and thus satisfy a wide variety of players while ensuring that everyone is playing the same game.
For specific stage changes, please visit the stages page.
These goals are the driving principles behind all of the changes made. We believe that we have made Balanced Brawl into a game fundamentally true to Brawl but also fundamentally far more fair and far more balanced. Now one can just play the game; concerns about ridiculous tactics, divisive rules, and characters with bad matchups can be set aside. Please enjoy Balanced Brawl!