RIVALS OF AETHER is an indie fighting game set in a world where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Play with up to four players locally or up to two players online.
User reviews:
Very Positive (62 reviews) - 80% of the 62 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,006 reviews) - 89% of the 2,006 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2015

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Rivals of Aether is a competitive fighting game. Therefore the balance is very important to us. We want to make sure that every character has enough tools to deal with every other character. We will be adjusting each character throughout Early Access as we work toward a balanced launch roster.

We have single player features that are not ready yet. We want to give players a chance to play without having them wait for the single player to be completed. We also have features that we want to develop with the community. Our online features are barebones at the moment, but we would like to build more features with feedback from players.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“This game will be in Early Access for about 6 months while we work out bugs, balancing issues and online functionality. After around 6 months, we will be releasing the full game and the balance will remain in-tact for an extended period.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The Early Access version will have less features while we develop them behind the scenes. There are 6 characters in the Early Access build while the game will launch with 8 characters. Early Access will not feature our single player modes of Story Mode and Abyss Mode as they will arrive when the game launches. We will also have a simple progression system that launches with the single player modes. Early Access will also develop some features over time such as online and quality of life improvements.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Early Access is a very playable, but limited version of Rivals of Aether. It features 6 characters, 5 stages, Local Versus (with CPUs), Practice Mode, and 1v1 Netplay. By purchasing Early Access, you can play it early and you will get the final game but keep in mind that you may come across bugs, frame rate issues, online lag and balance issues. These will be addressed as quickly as possible but we are a very small team and we thank you in advance for your patience.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price is likely to go up slightly from Early Access to the full release, so enjoy the discount by getting in early!”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We want fans to give us feedback in two places. We will post updates on both our Steam discussion pages and our thread on Smashboards.

We will be discussing feedback with fans and coming up with solutions to potential problems and bugs. We will also be informing players of updates through Patch Notes.”
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Recent updates View all (14)

August 5

Update 0.15.0 - GOTTA GO FAST! - is now LIVE!

We are back again with a new update and this one is jam-packed with updates and features! Check out the Beefy Aether Dudes Patch Notes Video here:


Patch 0.15 is here and it is bringing back some of the speed that made people fall in love with Rivals last fall. We are bringing back auto-cancelling, removing some of our reliance on whiff lag and increasing jab and dash speeds. We also reworked Forsburn’s special attacks in an effort to make our smoky friend more enjoyable. Finally we added two huge features that players have been waiting for. Both are still not finalized but they are here to try. The first is Custom Colors which allows players to make their own color palettes in-game. The second is Replays which allows players to store replay data and play them back in-game whenever they want. The replay feature is still in Beta and has some bugs so stick with us while we fix it up. I hope you enjoy all the changes!

Finally you can read the full patch notes over at Aetherboards here:

Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy update 0.15.0!
-Dan Fornace

18 comments Read more

July 27

Rivals @ Super Smash Con: Be the first to get your hands on the Champion Etalus skin!

Come play Rivals of Aether at Super Smash Con! Test your skills in our side event and get your hands on the new Champion Etalus skin.

Register at: https://smash.gg/tournament/rivals-of-aether-super-smash-con/

Pools on Saturday @ 2PM & 6PM, Finals on Saturday @ 8PM

Prizes: $250 pot bonus + entry fees

If you're worried about a scheduling conflict with a main event bracket, just let us know and we'll do our best to work around it.

11 comments Read more
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About This Game


RIVALS OF AETHER is an upcoming indie fighting game set in a world where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Choose a Rival to bring into the battlefield and manipulate the powers of the classical elements and animal movement. Untangle the mysterious conflicts of the planet Aether in Story Mode or take your combat skills online and challenge your friends across the world.

Game Features

  • Choose VERSUS MODE to duke it out in competitive 1v1 or 2v2 fights, or jump into a free-for-all.
  • Play STORY MODE to learn the backstory behind each rival and begin to uncover the hidden mysteries of Aether.
  • Dive into ABYSS MODE to see how many waves of shadowy fighters you can defeat and reach the leaderboards alone or with a friend.
  • Take your skills online in ONLINE VERSUS! Play against your friends or test your skills by finding opponents through matchmaking.



Zetterburn, a son of the ruling family of the Firelands, is an experienced and hardened warrior. In battle, Zetterburn uses no weapons except for his razor-sharp claws and ability to control flame.
  • BURN DAMAGE - Zetterburn's special attacks can set opponents on fire, causing them additional damage over time.
  • WILD FIRE - Zetterburn's Down Special places flames on the stage. These flames stay for a period of time, burning any opponents who come in contact with them.
  • FIRE AMP - When an opponent is burning, Zetterburn's Strong Attacks can absorb the flames and launch the burned enemy twice as far, making for an effective killing blow.


Orcane is a playful trickster, notorious for escaping even the most precarious of situations. He can transform into water and confuse enemies with a spray of bubbles.
  • PUDDLE TELEPORTATION - Orcane creates a puddle with his Neutral Special or Down Special. He can then teleport to his puddle using his Up Special as a powerful vertical blow or an effective recovery when launched off the stage.
  • BUBBLE EVAPORATION - Orcane can turn his puddle into a pillar of bubbles with his Down Special to trap enemies above the puddle.
  • WATER AMP - When standing on top of his puddle, Orcane can consume the water underneath him to perform powerful Strong Attacks with far greater range and knockback.


The youngest trainee in the history of the Air Academy, Wrastor has never lived by anyone's rules but his own. Currently an Aerial Ace for the Air Armada, Wrastor is wrecking havoc among the Armada's enemies and generals alike.
  • WINGED FLIGHT - Wrastor can jump 4 times, making him incredible at controlling the air and recovering from the toughest falls even when things look grim.
  • WIND CURRENT - Wrastor can create a Wind Current with his Forward Special, allowing him to move faster within it and chase his targets more effectively.
  • AERIAL ACE - Wrastor performs his charged Strong Attacks in the air instead of on the ground, a first for this genre.


Kragg is a defender of the colossal Aetherian Forest. Deliberate and loyal, he is one of the infamous Wall Runners who patrol the Rock Wall. Unlike other Wall Runners, Kragg has the legendary ability to control the earth with his will.
  • ROCK HURL - Kragg can pull a rock out of the ground and hurl it at opponents. After it leaves his hands, the rock becomes a solid piece of stage that either Kragg or other players can break.
  • DEFENSE BALL - Kragg can curl into a ball and roll toward enemies. Although he can be damaged while in ball form, he cannot be knocked away.
  • EARTH PILLAR - Kragg can summon a pillar of earth to his feet regardless of where he is. If Kragg is about to fall to his death, this move can quickly turn his situation around.


Forsburn is the disgraced, eldest son of the Firelands' ruling family. After being condemned by the Fire Council and his own brother, Forsburn found refuge in a group of outsiders who had rejected the flame and mastered the way of smoke.
  • SMOKE SCREEN - Forsburn can use his Neutral Special to obscure the battlefield allowing Forsburn to remain hidden inside a cloud of smoke.
  • DECOY - Through his Forward Special, Forsburn can create a smoke facsimile of himself that can attack opponents. The illusory Forsburn breaks into smoke after being hit by a single attack.
  • CONSUME/COMBUST - By using his Down Special, Forsburn can consume his smoke clouds back into his body. After consuming three clouds, Forsburn is charged up and can use Down Special again to combust: knocking opponents away at high speed.


Maypul is the self-appointed Guardian of the Aetherian Forest. She commands fearful respect throughout the forest for her unhesitating vigilantism. She uses her agility to trap any unknown intruders before they even realize she is there.
  • WATCHER'S MARK - Maypul can use her Seeds or her Watcher's Dash to mark opponents, making them susceptible to her following attacks.
  • WRAPPED UP - After marking her targets, Maypul can use her Strong Attacks or her trusty Plant to wrap marked opponents in place allowing her to follow up with another attack.
  • SLING SHOT - Maypul can use her vines to sling toward marked opponents, allowing her to elude attacks and quickly close distances.

System Requirements

    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1.2GHz processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX Compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of video memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires Microsoft® DirectX Runtime: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 1.4GHz processor or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX Compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of video memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Very Positive (62 reviews)
Very Positive (2,006 reviews)
Recently Posted
6.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 25
Rivals of Aether is basically an indie version of Super Smash Bros. Melee, but every character is competitively viable and it's a LOT easier to get into competitively. The game is a little different from the Smash series with the ability for all of the characters to walljump, but they can't grab onto ledges, and there are no grabs. The game also has advanced techs from Melee like Wavedashing and Dash-Dancing, but these are very, VERY easy to pull off. The game supports almost every PC controller (including adapters for controllers for different systems), so don't worry competitive Smashers, GameCube controllers are compatitble with this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 25
Product received for free
Good game, reminds me of melee because I suck at it and recovering is stupid, good game though, I like it, music is phenominal and the graphics are really good. The controls feel crisp and fluid, the game balance is good *cough*zetterburn*cough* but all around, a very good game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
23.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 25
I've never actually written a review before, so bear with me.

So, this is Rivals of Aether. An indie fighting game, built around the mechanics of Super Smash Brothers: Melee.

This game is undoubtedly geared toward the competitive SSB meta, but even if you're casual and want to get better, this game will teach you how to do so.

- Nice graphics, 16-bit with very fluid animations.
- Balanced characters, devs update with balance patches relatively often.
- Great varitey in characters to suit the majority of play styles, though having 8, they do it well.
- Amazing soundtrack, music is done very well.
- Stages have very nice variety, all have a great aesthetic.
- Very friendly, though rather small community.
- Very well explained tutorials for beginners, well done.
- Responsive controls.

- Small community, but very friendly.
- Matchmaking can be a bit tedious, i.e getting in games with the same player multiple times.

Overall, this game is amazing. I give it 10/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
88.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 24
If you're not already seeing this game's trailer and basing it on the photos then it's really doing an injustice to the game. For many who love to play Super Smash Bros. or even like to play just a decent brawler will definitely love this game for what it's worth. The mechanics are solid, it gets good updates at a steady pace, and the characters are so unique in their own right. If you wanna look for something that feels like Nintendo on PC then this is my immediate recommedation to anyone as it really shines like no other out there right now. If there even is any other game out right now trying to live up to the Smash Bros. title.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
69.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 23
Heey, it's pretty good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 23
If only I wouldn't play against SSB veterans the whole time I'd get better
Helpful? Yes No Funny
30.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 23
You will get comboed to hell in this game and then.. you will get a 17-hit combo on someone and feel like everyone sucks but you. But then you realize that you suck still, but that's ok. The playerbase online for this game is pretty small, so you're probably going to play someone two or more times if you're repeatedly searching for someone to play, either in ranked or in exhibition. If you're coming from playing a lot of smash like I did and you expect this game to feel like that, think again. It's similar but not identical in any way. If any of these characters were in a smash game then no one would play smash, because these characters are as broken as my elbow when I broke my elbow, when I was five. Also, I just played online for five straight hours, so I am salty as funk, which is very, very salty. Buy this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
14.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22
The only downside to this game is how your recovery is either ♥♥♥♥♥♥ or too good. Also whoever mains Kragg shouldn't play the game. Other than that it's a fun way to pass the time and recover from school, I love me some Forsburn
Helpful? Yes No Funny
♣ inanim8 ♣
13.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22
Zetterburn mains make me cringe to death
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 21
I've played RoA for around a year (on an alt account, hence the low hours), though not as frequent as most, but I can say this game has come a long way and I believe it will only get better. If you enjoy games in the Smash Bros. series, I highly reccomend this game as it is near identical to those, with a few exceptions such as the grab mechanic being replaced with a parry or counter of sorts. Overall, the game controls really well and I would reccomend it for local play, however, many of the players I have encountered online held high pings, which took away from the smoothness of the game, but it is still very playable and enjoyable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
41.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7
Do you like Super Smash Bros. ? This is a more pixelated version of SSBM and it is great. Small playerbase but everybody is a homie, def a worthy game to pick up if you are lookin for some fun fighting game action
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 3
its basically smash bros for potato computers so its good
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 1
This game takes everything great from Smash Bros. Melee and puts a new spin on it. Love it 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 25 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
19.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 12
I want to rewrite my review.
Just to let you know, this review is aimed more towards the casual audience.
This game is wonderful, It's a Smash Bros. Melee based fighter with unorthodox moves.
But there is one thing that keeps me from wanting to recommend it, and that's the online.
I'm not saying it's bad, it's just that you don't really have a chance online if this is your first vertical fighter, and the game is a little bit more focused towards online play. You're pretty much required to be a Melee veteran to win a match. hopefully by the time the full release comes out, the community's a lot bigger to make things a bit more fair in matchmaking.
But for now, this game's community is not meant for beginners, and because of that I can't really recommend it to most users.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
My friends slays me in smash 4 online, I kick his ♥♥♥ in this one, the mechanics are simple to learn and I believe anyone can master them easilly. a lot of people say online is a bit harsh because of skilled people, but you get that with any figter nowadays. I know its an EA but for me content is a the moment a bit lacking, like rule settings against friends.
overal its a 4/5 from me.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 5
Awesome 2D fighting game with a pixel artstyle, highly recommended even for Early Access if you like these types of games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 6
Do you like fighting games? Do you like 2D fighting games with platforms? Do you like Super Smash Bros. Melee? And most importantly, do you like playing as an anthropomorphic deer that can control the very essense of lightning itself? Well than this game is for you. Seriously, it has like almost all the mechanics of SSBM, except without a block/shield (It's a counter in this game) and without being able to grab on the ledge but hey, you can use your recovery after wall jumping and every character can wall jump. It also has online play and controller support, so that's cool. All in all, I recommend this game. Just don't expect too much right now because this game is still a WIP.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
49.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 20
If you played SUper Smash Bros Melee you should be able to easily pick up the game easily. The game doesn't feature the grab or sheild mechanics from any Smash interpretation and replaces it with a countr system. This system can lead to a string of combos that could lead to death. In fact the whole game is centered around combos. Getting combos is what makes this game so satisfying to play. Being able to pull off a plethora of combos makes this so damn satisfying to play. If you like wavedashing in Melee you'll most definitely enjoy Rivals of Aether.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
52.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 12
Amazing game but the servers need MAJOR improvement...
There's people who get to freely combo me into infinity while I'm mashing the A button trying to even respond with a basic jab and I can't because lag is too big of a factor.

Fix the servers...please... )';
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
146.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Rivals of Aether is a Smash-inspired fighting game with many mechanics similar to that of Super Smash Bros. Melee, such as Wavedashing and Wavelanding, and several other mechanics and techniques. Definitely a must have if you're into pixel games, 2D games, and if you enjoy fighting games. Absolutely worth the price tag.


+Amazing soundtrack
+Many playstyles between all of the characters
+Great Retro feel
+Several stages to choose from with 2 forms. Basic and Aether. Aether being a more complex form of the stage with a gimmick of some kind for casual play and Basic being a simplified version of the stage for competitive play.
+Great Netplay connections (Obviously region dependant but it doesnt lag much usually)
+Great online modes such as Friendlies, Exhibition, and Ranked matches.
+FANTASTIC community! If you hop into the exhibition or ranked mode, there's a chance you'll end up fighting one of the top players. If you feel like adding them, you can look them up in the steam community and they'll be more than happy to share their time and even help you out in some friendly matches.


-Hard to master. It takes several hundred hours to compete with top level players. It takes a lot of time and dedication, but it's definitely fun in the process if you're into this type of game.
-Not casual friendly. No items and no final smashes. The only casual friendly thing so far is just Aether form stages.
-Playing this game on a keyboard is near worthless. A GameCube controller or Xbox One controller are your best options, but there's also Ps3 and Ps4 and Xbox 360 as some other options if you like, which aren't too bad.
-Near-dead playerbase. While each update brings a slight boost to the amount of people who play this game, over 26,000 people own this game currently, but a lot less people are active/competitive on it. But that can definitely change if you bought this game! It's absolutely worth getting! Several small youtubers as of late have been playing this game and they've been gaining some views/subs on their channels, so the growth of this game has potential!

All in all it's a great game to play if you're wanting a good pixel/2D fighter on your PC!
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