Peach vs Falcon and What You Need To Know
by ConnorTheKid

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Although some would say Peach vs Falcon is an even matchup, it’s still one of Peach’s more difficult and frustrating matchups (it’s MacD’s most hated matchup and even Armada used to hate playing vs Falcon). My goal is to provide low-mid level Peach players insight on what to keep in mind and look out for when playing the matchup.


Hi, I’m Connor and I’m a veteran Fox/Peach player that’s currently ranked in SoCal. I’ve been playing Melee competitively since 2006 and began playing Peach in 2009. As one of the top Peach players in the U.S., I’ve played/watched Peach vs Falcon many times (I’ve played against S2J in dozens of tournament sets since late 2009 and have also seen MacD vs S2J a countless number of times). This guide will be primarily based on my experiences and observations on the match up, so please don’t read this expecting it to be some kind of infallible, ultimate Peach guide, because it isn’t.

Before getting into anything too specific like DI or edgeguarding, let’s go over some of the mistakes that can ruin Peach players.

Common mistakes Peach players make:

#1. Pulling a turnip too close to Falcon

  • Pulling a turnip takes a decent amount of time and leaves you vulnerable to your opponent so it should be obvious that pulling a turnip near anyone is bad. It is especially bad to do so against Falcon because of how easily he can punish you.
  • Falcon’s fast run speed means that he can still be a threat to you even when you think you’re far away enough to pull a turnip safely.
  • Common punishes Falcon players will do when they see you pull a turnip at the wrong time/distance are: knee, stomp, or grab (which will usually lead to a dthrow -> uair, nair, or knee).
  • *What to do instead: The most important thing is to make sure that you pull turnips at times where the other player can’t react and punish you (in this case, when Falcon’s across the stage or recovering. If you watch Armada vs any Falcon, he rarely if ever pulls a turnip in the neutral game.*

#2. Staying in shield for too long and trying to challenge Falcon’s shield pressure

  • The reason I think Peach players find fighting Falcon frustrating is the fact that he’s capable of shutting down Peach’s out of shield options.
  • One thing that Peach players typically enjoy in a lot of other matchups is being able to easily nair/bair out of shield when the other player is applying shield pressure but against Falcon, that’s not the case.
  • Here’s why: When you shield a SHFFL’d knee or stomp, you’re put into a disadvantageous situation where acting of shield is extremely difficult.
  • You’ll find that against knee/stomp -> gentleman on your shield, it’s really hard to get a successful nair out of shield or shield grab because you’ll be hit by the jabs before your nair can come out
  • Falcon is an intimidating character because of how fast he can be and so shielding   preemptively is a pretty common response when Falcon dash dances near you but in this   matchup, you’re at a disadvantage when Falcon aerials your shield.
  • *What to do instead of shielding: In this matchup, it’s better to constantly be moving by either  dash dancing or running forward -> wavedashing back. This’ll be explained in the Neutral game section.*
  • *What to do instead of trying to challenge his shield pressure: I’d recommend that you either roll, wavedash back out of shield, or if you know he’s going to try and gentleman, quickly crouch cancel the jabs and dsmash*

#3. Staying on platforms against Falcon for too long

  • As Peach, you really want to avoid being on any platforms against Falcon because she has a hard time dealing with his SHFFL’d uairs from below.
  • A common (and easily punishable) way Peach players try to challenge Falcon’s uair is by dsmashing on the platform but a good Falcon will usually wait for it and punish with either a knee, stomp, or uair depending on your %
  • *What to do instead: wait for him to aerial your shield and shield-drop or safely jump/float in a way that gets you off the platform and onto the main stage (usually away from whatever side of the stage the Falcon is on)*

#4. Dsmashing too carelessly

  • This is more of a general mistake but it’s one that’s pretty important in this matchup.
  • Even though Falcon is a fastfaller and it can be tempting at times to just flick the cstick down in high pressure moments, you have to be careful about when and where you dsmash because it’s easily punished with a knee or stomp.
  • *What to do instead: Use dsmash very sparingly in this matchup and make sure that when you do dsmash, it’ll hit Falcon or at the very least be hard for Falcon to punish*

Neutral game:

The neutral game in this matchup requires that you be patient and space bairs and time your dash attack well.

  • Bair has a lingering hitbox that does a really good job of protecting you and a well-timed dash attack can beat out Falcon’s nair or catch him out of his dash dance with the latter half of the attack’s duration. It also helps to mix things up and throw in offensive moves like float canceled nairs to catch them off-guard.
  • You have to be patient and choose your openings wisely; going in recklessly with a dash attack or float canceled aerial -> dsmash can get you punished really hard.
  • Your goal in this matchup is to constantly be moving; make it hard for Falcon to hit you with any of his aerials!
  • Note: jumping near Falcon when when he jumps is bad most of the time because his nair will come out way before any of your aerials (except maybe bair).
  • Shielding makes you a sitting duck and puts you at a disadvantage so I would avoid shielding.
  • You want to be constantly moving by either dash dancing or by repeatedly dashing forward and wavedashing back because it makes it harder for Falcon to hit you and more likely for him to whiff an aerial that you can punish.

Important note about dashing forward and wavedashing back:

  • Dashing forward can bait the other player to approach with a nair and wavedashing back allows you to easily crouch cancel the nair -> punish with dsmash
    • If you notice that the other player catches onto this and starts to approach with stomp to beat the crouch cancel, you can easily adjust to that and hit him out of the stomp because of its long start-up time.

DI (Combo DI, Survival DI, Smash DI):

Combo DI: DI used to avoid getting comboed (typically down+away in this matchup)

Survival DI: DI used to survive strong moves like Falcon’s knee or bair (typically up+towards the stage).

Smash DI: DI that’s caused by tapping a direction during the hitstun of the move you’re currently hit by.

Applying combo DI:
As Falcon combos Peach at low-mid percent, the combo will usually involve a varied mix of nairs and uairs after he dthrows or stomps you. In order to avoid getting “air-wobbled” or comboed by a chain of nairs/uairs, it’s important to make sure that you DI down and away rather than up and in.

Applying survival DI:
Falcon’s primary kill moves (knee, bair, uair) all have horizontal trajectories, which means that it’s best to DI up and towards the stage if you want to live longer. If you feel proficient with smash DI and want to earn cool points, you can also smash DI up and towards the stage when you get hit by a knee (which also helps your survivability slightly).

Applying smash DI:
Although many players haven’t applied this yet, it’s possible for Peach to avoid Falcon combos by smash DI’ing the first hit of his nair up and in. By doing this, you end up being too high for the second hit of the nair. I’ve found doing this to be extremely helpful and I hope to see more and more Peach players abuse this.

Another way smash DI can be applied in this matchup is by smash DI’ing Falcon’s sweetspot knee up and in as well. Even though a knee will most likely kill you at high percents, there are times where I’ve survived a knee that should’ve killed me by smash DI’ing.

Knowing when to use combo DI and survival DI in this matchup is crucial because Falcon can destroy Peach for DI’ing incorrectly.

In this gif, I combo DI the first nair and the following dthrow down and away. Then, Hax follows up with another nair in which case I survival DI’d, which was a terrible decision because it allowed Hax to combo me harder with the following uairs. If I had just stuck with combo DI’ing down and away, I probably wouldn’t have been comboed as hard since the 2nd nair would have at the worst led into Hax re-grabbing me at the edge (in which case I would be fine as long as I DI’d his dthrow/uthrow down and away since he doesn’t have any space to dash and jump to chase me off stage).


When he’s on the ledge:

  • You have to respect the fact that he can be invincible during the startup of his ledgehop uair/knee if done right.
    • One habit that I’ve noticed a lot of Falcon players have is they will roll in towards center stage after doing a quick ledgehop aerial onto the stage.
      • I’m not saying every Falcon player does this, but it’s something to keep in mind.
  • If you’re trying to pressure him by the ledge, spacing float canceled fairs and bairs and jabs will be your best option.

Things to look out for when recovering:

  • When recovering high vs Falcon, uairs (normal or reverse) and bairs are a pretty big threat. If you rewatch the previous gif of Hax bopping me for my bad DI, you’ll see that Falcon’s reverse uair can be pretty hard to get around for Peach because of how much range the hitbox has.
    • If you recover high with your up+b, it’s important for you to be able to mix up your fall timings by fastfalling or pressing up after fastfalling to put the parasol back up (which also refreshes its hitbox)
  • If you recover low vs Falcon and try to up+b and sweetspot the ledge, be wary of any dair attempts by the other player and be ready to tech or meteor cancel. You should also be aware that he can also wavedash or short hop to grab the ledge to either edgehog you or force you to up+b onto the stage in which case he can punish with a knee.

Against Falcon, I prefer to recover low and sweetspot the ledge because you can react to him grabbing the ledge and recover high and because stomping Peach can be difficult for him since your parasol can hit him out of the startup of it.

When you’re on the ledge:

Coming back onto the stage when you’re hanging out the ledge can be really hard because of how limited Peach’s options are.

Since ledgehop aerials are pretty much out of the question for Peach, the only way she can get back on the stage is by either doing a get-up attack, normal get-up, roll from the ledge, or jump from the ledge (pressing jump while hanging on the ledge). Because these options all involve hanging from the ledge, it’s important to note that the animations are faster at percents less than 100, and change/slow down when you’re at 100+%.

Let’s discuss the two most important options:

1. Get-up attack: My favorite ledge option, from 0-99%, it’s a quick short-ranged attack. At 100+%, it’s a slower and longer ranged leg sweep. If your opponent isn’t paying attention to your percent, you can trick them with a get-up attack at 100+% because they’ll be expecting the shorter-ranged get-up attack that you do from 0-99%.

2. Jump from the ledge: Because of how floaty Peach is, you can have a lot of control over Peach when she’s in this animation; you can pull all the way back, forward, or anywhere in between. If you still have your float, you can also immediately float

How jump from the ledge is used most of the time: jump -> pull back -> immediately float after the animation ends -> float cancel fair onto the stage

*Since get-up attack, normal get-up, and roll from the ledge all have similar animations, getting back onto the stage is a matter of mixing up your ledge options.

Being predictable with any option is especially bad because of how hard Falcon can punish you with knee/stomp -> knee/dsmash if he reads what you do.*


Edgeguarding Falcon is mostly straightforward since his up+b is bad.

One general point I want to make is that whenever you knock Falcon off stage, pulling a turnip and using it to manipulate him to recover high or low is really good. Even though you can edgeguard him without a turnip most of the time, it usually doesn’t hurt to have a turnip if you can use it well. It also helps to be able to snipe him with a turnip at the end of an aerial Falcon Kick.

What to do if he recovers towards the stage high/from above:

  • At mid percents, a sweetspot bair/nair is usually your best bet because it’ll knock Falcon back off stage and force him to either recover high again or try to recover low.
    • Another reason why bair/nair is recommended over fair is because they have lingering hitboxes that you can use to hit Falcon even if you miss the sweetspot.
      • In fact, at higher percents, a float -> sourspot bair will almost always combo into a sweetspot reverse nair/bair if the Falcon is survival DI’ing.
  • At higher percents, it’s better to sweetspot nair instead of bair because it has stronger knockback than bair at these percents.
  • If he ends up landing back onto the stage, Falcon usually has enough landing lag for you to hit him back off with an aerial.

*Beware that if he recovers high, Falcon can fake you out and pull back after the peak of his up+b to grab the edge by making it look like he’s going to up+b onto the stage. As evidenced by the gif below:*

What to do if he recovers low/towards the edge:

It should be very easy to edgeguard Falcon if he recovers low because of how his up+b works:

  • As you can see in the gif above, when Falcon is at the very peak of his up+b, he does a front-flip which extends his hurtbox higher than his head.
    • This means that even if Falcon tries to sweetspot the ledge with his up+b, a turnip or aerial will usually be able to hit him.
  • Being able to aim turnips in such a way that it covers the ledge and hits Falcon if he tries to sweetspot the ledge is crucial.

The first gif M2K shows how the animation of Falcon’s up+b can be abused.

In the second gif, Armada does an excellent job of showing how easy edgeguarding Falcon can be if you know the trajectory of your turnip throws.

Another way you can edgeguard low recoveries is by doing:

1. Float -> dair -> nair

  • This method of edgeguarding is good because the dair will usually combo into nair. If the  Falcon smash DIs the dair down to avoid the nair, he’s forced to up+b again in which  case you’ll be able to repeat the process and rack on more percent (a win/win situation!).

2. Float -> bair

  • This method of edgeguarding is also effective because a sweetspot bair will knock him  far enough of stage to where you can either nair him if he recovers high or bair again if  he recovers low. If you get a sourspot bair, you can almost always follow up with a  sweetspot reverse nair/bair if the Falcon does survival DI. If the Falcon techs the bair,  he’s still in a bad spot because you can react and continue to edgeguard him since he’s  forced to up+b again.
  • In a lot of cases where a Falcon is knocked just enough off-stage to where he can reach the ledge by doublejumping, you can cover it with a low float dair.

Here’s a gif of me putting a bunch of the things I just mentioned to use:

In this gif, you can see Jace tricking me by fading back with his up+b and then me reading Jace’s roll into the stage after his ledgehop uair (a habit I mentioned Falcon players have in the “ledgegame” section!!). Then I do the low float dair to cover Jace’s doublejump to the ledge which forces him to airdodge into my nair. After that, I use a floating sourspot bair to combo into another bair, sending him far enough for me to edgehog him.

*Important note: knowing when it’s appropriate to edgehog or hit a recovering Falcon when he’s recovering low is CRUCIAL. Hitting him again and again with bairs/nairs when a simple edgehog would be sufficient just gives him more chances to live and makes your life harder. If a Falcon DIs one of your moves terribly at low-mid percent and an edgehog will be enough to finish off his stock, take it!*

General Notes:

  • You generally don’t want to be above Falcon ever because the speed and range of his uair make life incredibly hard.
  • If you’re ever below him while he’s on a platform, be wary of his dair because if timed right, it can hit below the platform.
  • Comboing him is a lot like comboing space animals, which is why I didn’t make a specific section on that.
  • Tech chasing is important and training your reaction time and punishes with the 20XX hackpack is highly recommended.
  • When Falcon dthrows you at high percent, you should mix up your DI to make it hard for him to land the knee.
  • Falcon’s shield is decent but if you notice it’s small enough, a dsmash can poke him.
  • If you ever land a float cancel fair on his shield, try mixing up between jabs, dsmash, and grab.
    • One cool thing about Peach’s float cancel fair is that she has frame advantage on shield, which means that if done right, you are guaranteed a free grab if the other player shields your fair.


Special thanks to @OXY_Wieners for helping me with brainstorming and @OXY_Crimson for proofreading and editing!