The sweet spot of an attack is the area of the hitbox with the most desirable knockback effect - usually, the most powerful part of the attack. For example, the sweet spot for most of Roy's attacks is the area of his sword closest to his body, while Marth's is at the end of his blade. Sweet spots are critical to learn to master a character. Most sweet spots on moves come out straight away, e.g. the move has 2 hitboxes, one with a sweet spot and one very weak one. However, the sweetspot and sourspot of some attacks, such as Captain Falcon's f-air, Zelda's f-air and b-air, Link's u-air and kicks, depend on timing rather than the hitbox's emplacement. In this case, most of the attack's duration is the sourspot and only a few frames are the sweetspot. Notable sweet spot moves include:
- Captain Falcon's Knee Smash Forward aerial. This move is one of the best horizontal killers in the game, giving a massive knockback when sweet spotted and an electrified effect.
- Charizard's down tilt has a sweet spot at the tip of his tail, doing more damage and knockback than if it wasn't sweetspotted. It also has a different sound effect as well.
- Ivysaur's Vine Whip has a sweetspot at the tip of the vine which deals considerable knockback.
- Jigglypuff's Rest has a sweetspot when the eyes touching the opponent, which has extremely high knockback.
- King Dedede's side smash has a sweetspot at the tip or head of the hammer, giving an extremely high knockback.
- Kirby's Hammer (only in Melee) has a sweetspot at the head of the hammer. When hit with the other parts it will have very low knockback with scant KO potential. With the sourspot being bigger then the sweetspot, it is rarely, if ever, used in competitive play.
- Luigi's Super Jump Punch has a sweetspot just before he jumps near the center of his elbow. If this hits a character they will take high damage and knockback, plus a fiery effect and a distinctive 'ping' noise. Otherwise, the move deals a paltry 1% with minor set knockback.
- Mario's Forward Smash is notable for having the most visible sweet spot (the flame that he shoots out of his hand).
- In both Melee and Brawl, All of Marth's attacks except Counter have a sweetspot on the tip of the sword, especially his forward smash which is very weak when non tipped but very powerful when tipped.
- In Melee, all of Roy's attacks except Counter have a sweetspot at the center of the sword.
- Meta Knight's Shuttle Loop has a large sweetspot in the middle of the rising up motion, whereby powerful horizontal knockback is given.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Down smash at the very tip of the side of the hammers when they touch down send the opponent skyward instead of sideways.
- Ness's back aerial is significantly more powerful if sweet spotted and it makes an electric sound effect as well.
- Ganondorf's Down Aerial has a sweetspot at the tip of his feet, which causes one of most powerful spikes in SSBB. It also deals severe knockback and makes the affects of magic\electric damage.
- Ness's Forward Smash has a sweet spot on the tip of his bat.
- Ness's D-air has a sweet spot that makes it a meteor smash.
- Sheik's Up Smash has a sweetspot on the tip of her hands.
- The end of Wolf's Wolf Flash is a very visible sweet spot, electrifying the opponent and possibly spiking them.
- Peach's Up Smash is mostly sweetspotted on her twirling arm, opposed to her body.
- All of Zelda's aerials except her neutral aerial and up aerial have sweet spots. Her forward and backward aerials are the famous Lightning Kicks, giving extremely high knockback when sweetspotted, and her down aerial Meteor Heel sweet spot is one of the most powerful spikes in the game.
- The end part of Zero Suit Samus's forward B Plasma Whip has a visible, fire imbued sweet spot. It is also one of the easiest to hit with, as the whip will often push enemies into the sweetspot.
- Sex Kicks are more powerful at their very first frames of their duration. The only exception is Dr. Mario's Sex Kick as it deals more knockback in later frames.
- The Home-run Bat has a sweetspot near its tip, known as a tipper, but is only useful in the Home-run Contest, because all parts of the bat one-hit KO except near the handle of the bat.
*Unless otherwise indicated, these sweetspots are for Brawl.
A sour spot is the exact opposite of a sweet spot. A sour spot is an area with the least powerful part of the attack, such the tip of Roy's blade and the "jumping" portion of Luigi's Super Jump Punch. The sour spot, however, does not always have negative effects. For example:
- The sour spot of Mario's Front air (in Brawl) will not Meteor Smash, but serves as a very powerful horizontal KO move. If it doesn't KO, it may actually allow Mario to follow up with the sweet spotted F-air while his foe has flown off the stage. This is a similar case with Luigi's down air in Melee and Brawl.
- Luigi's sour spotted Super Jump Punch is good at surprising characters who must charge their recovery moves (like Fox and Luigi himself) and stealing KO's due to the small, practically unnoticeable set knockback.
- If Mr. Game & Watch's down smash is sour spotted, then his enemy is powerfully semi-spiked (in SSBB).
- The sourspot Captain Falcon's d-air in Brawl has high horizontal knockback for a non sweetspot and it can earn Captain Falcon many surprise KOs, especially since foes may DI the wrong way, thinking they are going down instead of horizontally.
As shown in the examples above, the sour spot of an attack can sometimes be more desirable to use than the sweet spot. Usually, this is due to a sour spot having somewhat bizarre, surprising knockback properties when compared to the sweet spot, as is the case with Mr. Game & Watch. The sour spot of an attack may also feature minimal knockback, which, provided the attack isn't extremely laggy, can allow a character to combo into different attacks, such as with Captain Falcon's front air. Many of the scenarios where a sour spot can be useful in battle are highly conditional though, usually occurring off-stage.