RoA Workshop Guide – Recovery Guidelines

Recovering in Rivals of aether has many differences to other platform fighters, due to its lack of ledges and reliance on wall-jumps and offense. Each character’s recovery stretches beyond just what their Up-Special can do, as they often incorporate all manner of specials, gimmicks and even normal attacks as they try to get to safety. In this guide I’ll be breaking down the tools that Rivals characters use to recover when knocked off-stage, and the various aspects that make recovery moves fun, diverse and functional. 

Anatomy of a Recovery

In the main Rivals’ cast, there are three common traits that make up each character’s recovery tools. 

-An upward-moving recovery move 

First and foremost, every character needs a button that makes the character move upwards when off-stage. This should be, or include, the character’s Up-Special. If your character doesn’t primarily recover with Up-Special, be sure that there is an extremely good reason for it!

A character’s Up-Special will often, but not always, have a mechanic that varies up how the character can get back on-stage. Without it, the character’s recovery options can become linear and predictable. This variation can be something complex, like Maypul having an optional tether to her opponent, or Forsburn getting to repeat his Up-Special if he teleports into a smoke cloud. Or it can be something simpler, like Zetterburn being able to angle his Up-Special in any direction, or Clairen getting to choose between using one or two attacks of her Up-Special. 

-A secondary recovery move

Along with their normal recovery, most characters have at least one additional move to help them recover back on stage. Often this will be a ‘horizontal’ recovery that compliments their Up-Special moving upwards. Sylvanos, Ranno and Orcane’s Forward Specials are examples of secondary recovery moves. Sometimes a character’s Up-Special doubles as a horizontal recovery (like Zetterburn or Absa’s). In these cases, it isn’t necessary for the character’s secondary recovery to move horizontally. 

-At least one stalling tool

Finally, characters should have a move that allows them to ‘stall’ for time while off-stage. Stalling is used to throw off opponents’ timing when recovering, and further helps a character be less predictable when getting back to the stage.  Stalling options vary greatly in the game’s base cast. To give a few examples: Absa can use her neutral special to jump or halt her momentum in mid-air. Zetterburn can cancel his Up-Special startup into an airdodge, Maypul and Ori can cling to the stage walls before-wall-jumping, while Sylvanos can hang off the ledge with his Back-Air pin. 

Strong Recovery Tools vs Weak Recovery Tools

What makes a ‘strong’ recovery?

A good recovery move has the ability to travel a quick amount of distance in a short amount of time, combined with a way to prevent the opponent from intercepting the recovery – either by having a hitbox to hit the opponent away, a varied angle of movement that forces the opponent to guess where to intercept, or a teleport that bypasses attacks on the way back to the stage. 

A good recovery ‘kit’ will have several options for recovering, and several ways to contest an opponent who is trying to edge-guard. The more methods they have to cover distance in the air, and the more ways they have of forcing their opponent away from the ledge, the better their chances of safely getting back on the stage.

What makes a ‘weak’ recovery?

A weak recovery tends to travel slowly, be very slow to start, and/or have very few options for mixing up their recovery path. Often, weaker recoveries will have limited ways of attacking or threatening an opponent as well.

If your character has strong contesting options but few ways to vary their recovery, or many ways to vary their recovery but few ways to threaten the opponent with them, it may result in them having a recovery that is easy to exploit. No matter how many strengths they have, completely missing one of these elements will likely give them a ‘weak’ recovery. Having lots of both, or a few of both, is ideal.

How strong should my character’s recovery be?

That depends entirely on your character’s archetype, and what you wish for your character’s strengths and weaknesses to be. I would only recommend avoiding the extremes – a character with an untouchable recovery is tedious to fight, and a character with a useless recovery is similarly frustrating to play as. Absa is an example of a character with a ‘strong’ recovery, while Zetterburn is considered to have a ‘weak’ recovery; while Absa has more options and a faster recovery speed, Zetterburn still has a handful of options in his Up-Special and Down-Special that let him recover in a more limited fashion.

Types of Recovery Moves

If you’re stuck on which recovery options you should give your character, consider one of the common options from the below list. The simplest recoveries are often very effective, so don’t worry if your character’s Up-Special appears too similar to another character’s. If you are looking to make your recovery stand out, consider mixing and matching a couple ideas, or try coming up with ways that the recovery can synergize with your character’s other on-stage gimmicks.

Linear – The most common kind of recovery. The character moves in a straight line, usually covered by a hitbox as they travel. Sometimes it can be angled. I.e. Zetterburn, Wrastor and Ranno’s Up-Specials.

Non-Linear – The character moves in a path that can be adjusted in the middle of the attack. I.e. Absa Up-Special.

Tether – The character shoots a tether, then reels themselves towards the first solid object it hits. I.e. Ranno Forward-Special.

Teleport – The character disappears and reappears closer to the stage. I.e. Forsburn and Sylvanos Up-Special, Orcane Forward-Special.

Recall – The character places down an object, then moves or teleports to it when knocked off-stage. I.e. Orcane and Maypul Up-B. 

Special Jump – The character performs a big jump to get back on stage, i.e. Etalus and Elliana’s up-special. Is usually easy for opponents to contest.

Propeller / Jetpack – Another variant of Special Jump, where the character steadily propels themselves upwards instead.

Platform Summon – The character summons a platform, spring or other object to break their fall. I.e. Kragg Up-Special.

Types of Secondary Recovery / Stalling Moves

Similarly, there are countless subtle ways to give a character extra movement or stalling options. A few common ideas are listed below.

Pause – A move that pauses the character’s momentum for a fixed length of time. Sometimes can be cancelled out of. I.e. Zetterburn and Etalus’s Up-Special, Ori Down-Special.

Momentum Cancel – A move which briefly stops the character’s momentum when used. E.g. Absa’s cloud pop.

Pin / Wall-Cling – The character is able to hold onto the wall and wait a moment, instead of immediately recovering.

Vertical boost – An attack that adds upward momentum, meaning it can be stacked with a jump for extra height. I.e. Maypul’s Up-Air.

Horizontal boost – An attack that adds forward or backward momentum. I.e. Orcane’s Forward-Air.

Float / Glide – The character slows their falling speed, giving them more time to recover horizontally. I.e. Ori Up-Special.

Things to avoid

-Up-Specials that have strictly one option (unless it’s really necessary)

It’s usually best to give the player *some* way of altering their recovery. Perhaps they can adjust the angle, charge it up, empower it with their gimmick, or simply be able to drift left and right during it. On the other hand, if your character already has lots of secondary/stalling options, then a simple Up-Special can be beneficial.

-Recoveries that travel ginormous distances in a short amount of time

With the way that wall-jumps work in Rivals, there’s no need to have a damaging Up-Special that flies fifty feet up like in Smash Ultimate. Zetterburn, Ranno and Maypul’s recovery distances are a good baseline for Up-Special and Side-Special attacks.

-Recovery moves with little risk

Recovery moves tend not to be ‘safe’ attack options. This discourages their use in many situations on-stage, and gives the on-stage player a fair advantage (after all, they deserve the reward for getting your character off the stage in the first place). Most Up-Special moves put the user in pratfall (or ‘special fall’), and most Forward-Specials also put the user in pratfall *if* they fail to hit the opponent. Since pratfall can be cancelled by wall-jumping, this is one effective way to make a recovery move strong off-stage, yet not completely dominating when on-stage.

-Too much stalling potential

It’s very easy to make a character that can stall for too long off-stage, especially if the character’s recovery naturally has a long duration (e.g. most ‘propeller’ / ‘gliding’ type recoveries). Long stall times usually doesn’t affect character strength by much, but it can make your character feel tedious to fight if they can can hang off-stage for 15+ seconds between every hit. Cutting out any unnecessary stalling moves will make your character more engaging and fun in matches, both when playing as and fighting against them.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *