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:
Mostly Positive (43 reviews) - 79% of the 43 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (2,056 reviews) - 89% of the 2,056 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

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 (19)

October 13

Hotfix 0.15.4 is LIVE!

Hey guys, we are coming back with another hotfix. This one introduces an awesome new skin to the game on steam that we will be announcing soon! We are also retiring the Gameboy colors that came out with the Tower of Heaven stage and replacing them with seasonal Halloween colors. Let us know if you absolutely love the Gameboy colors as we might find a small way to bring them back later. Finally we made some gameplay tweaks before RCS 3 kicks off this weekend!

  • Seasonal Halloween Colors replace the Gameboy themed colors.
  • All Down Specials and Up Specials no longer require a hard press to B-reverse
  • Turnaround-B now requires a hard press within 8 frames of starting the Nspecial (helps prevent accidental reverses due to joystick recoil)
  • Extended parry stun changed to be less punishing at short/medium ranges but it remains the same at long ranges. This affects attacks like Absa Forward Special and Kragg Down Special.
  • Zetterburn Down Special now restores his double jump when the dive starts. This allows him to down special into walls to improve his recovery mixups.
  • Wrastor hitstun gravity increased from 0.4 to 0.45. His knockback modifier also was increased from 1.15 to 1.2. This makes Wrastor able to be comboed better while keeping his death percents about the same. He will die VERY slightly earlier to horizontal kill moves and VERY slightly later to vertical kill moves.
  • Bug Fix: Fixed a crash involving a clone teleporting into Kragg's rock
  • Absa Up Tilt hitbox added for the tips of the horns (same KB/active frames as the sweetspot)
  • Absa Forward Tilt tap/hold mechanic removed. The move now automatically detects the distance from the nearest target and adjusts the startup/hitstun accordingly. At mimimum startup (8 frames) it has a 1.0x hitstun modifier, at maximum startup (23 frames) it has a 0.5x hitstun modifier.
  • Absa Up Special segment 1 endlag 13 > 15
  • Absa Up Special segment 2 endlag 14 > 20
  • Absa Down Strong final hit KB angle 361 > 35
  • Centered the hitboxes and hurtboxes on Absa Uspecial
  • Etalus Neutral Air minimum base knockback 1 > 2 This makes it so he won't be punished for landing late Nair.
  • Training mode Updates:
    • Fixed DI In and DI Out options
    • Fine tuned Perfect DI option
    • Added Drift DI option
    • Added Show DI Lines option

22 comments Read more

October 4

Rivals Championship Series

The Rivals Championship Series continues with registration for week 2 available now! Players can compete in RCS events for glory, circuit points, and prizes including travel vouchers to our series finale at Genesis 4.

All first time registrants will also receive a Champion Zetterburn skin. If you'd prefer to watch instead of play we'll also be casting RCS events on our twitch channel at http://twitch.tv/rivalsofaether. We hope to see you either in the tournament or in twitch chat!

To learn more check out our RCS trailer and circuit page.

RCS Signups: http://rivalsofaether.com/rcs

4 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (43 reviews)
Very Positive (2,056 reviews)
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1,902 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 17
Rivals of Aether is 2D side scroll fighter game it's very similar to the Smash Bros. games only difference is that in this game you can't grab and shielding is replaced with parrying.


Interesting characters and abilities
You can create custom colors for the characters (something the smash games don't canonically have)
Exclusive tutorials for the characters instead and just simple "how to play tutorial".
Playing with the controller makes improving seemingly easier.


Game is not yet complete (early access)
4 player fights is currently on availble locally
Framerate drops on the Treehouse stage

Conclusion: This game is amazing if you're a fan of the Smash Bros. franchise you'll enjoy getting into this game due to it's similarties.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 3
Better than I thought it was, feels super natural coming from other smash games. Even if the character roster is low, they are crafted very well so you can have any playstyle and find someone that jives with you. Online is pretty good as well.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 16
I can't praise this game enough, the characters have so many mechanics that make them all completely different and in the hands of a truly skilled player some seriously intense combos can be pulled off. The music is top-notch I love everything about it, and usually in these games there's at least one stage I don't like but, this isn't the case, I love every single stage. This game feels like it's done, and it's only in Early Access? I can't wait to see what's to come, keep it up!

UPDATE: I would like a way to play with multiple friends online, as of now you can only play 1v1. But it's not a real issue, just a nitpick
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 21
This game needs some serious controll updates. Pls add an option to configure keyboard and mouse
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5 of 9 people (56%) found this review helpful
20.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 14
Product received for free
Rivals of Aether is a smash bros like game. It includes all the elements like specials, strong and attack. Even Dodge. It was developed by 2 main developers. The Main Developer is called D4NACE (a.k.a Dan) and the other is called Etalus (a.k.a George). So basically, this is an elemental indie fighting game set in a world where warring civilizations summon the power of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. You can do online matchmaking with up to you and one other player (2 players) or a Local game with up to 4 players on either one computer or in one house. There is also a story mode to use for training.

Here are my pros and cons of this awesome Rivals of Aether:D

- Different Powers for each element
- OP Special Ups
- Nice Variety of maps
- Nice Community
- Nice Graphics
- Super Smash Bros but a bit better

- Matchmaking is a bit broken
- Connections are broken
- You cannot strike or choose maps most of the time

Overall, this game is really good. If you want to play a game like brawlhalla but better, buy this game.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 17
Rivals of Aether is a fun game with a simple concept, and although I think it is a rather fun game, I would not reccomend it for the price. Recently I've also had a problem with the game freezing whenever I select any options, rendering the game unplayable for me. In the amount of time I have managed to play, here are some pros and cons:

-Great Soundtrack
-Chirpy, pixellated graphics
-Relatively easy to learn
-Odd, but unique characters
-No characters which seem to have a significant advantage or disadvantage towards eachother

-Gets a little boring after a while
-Unoriginal concept
-Not very good matchmaking, pretty big one for an online fighting game
-Not very many maps
-Not very many characters

I wish there was a kind of "in the middle" option, because I didn't love this game, but I didn't hate it either. I guess get it if you have $15 lying around (assuming you live in the US.) and you're interested in this kind of game.
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3 of 8 people (38%) found this review helpful
33.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 30
Street Kombat clone 10/10 - Gamespot
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2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 16
I went into Rivals of Aether knowing it had some pretty obvious inspiration from the Smash Bros series, but I didn't realize to what extent these "inspirations" applied until I had already spent $14.99 on it. Any moves or mechanics that aren't carbon-copied from SSBM are ones that would require too high of a skill cap to be used effectively in any form of competitive play that I'd care to take part in, and are, generally speaking, obscenely gimmicky.
If you're a fan of Smash Bros looking for a slight paradigm shift where grabs and ledges are taken out of the equation and other bells and whistles are added in their place, then go right ahead and buy the game. I'm just not a part of the niche this game suits, and I don't see myself enjoying it much more, if at all, by playing it for any longer than I have.
tl;dr: don't buy this game if you're a whiny little ♥♥♥♥♥ like myself (especially not because of peer pressure)
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
66.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 1
Is RoA an amazing game? Yes. Does it have the basic elements of Smash Bros.? Yes. Does it have a similar player base? Not even close.

The only reason I down voted this game was because of the current player base. The casuals have left the game for the most part, leaving only those who aspire to perform well in the game's recently added ranked mode. This game is very beginner friendly with a variety of tutorials; however, you're going to have to look up tips and tricks for whatever character you want to learn in order to do well online - a bit too much for me.
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2 of 10 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 6
bit boring m7
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
137.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 25
I don't really know how to categorize this review. I guess Ill recommend because Im glad at least platform fighters are getting attention and I want to support developers.

As a melee player I want to badly to like this game but every time I pick it up I find myself more frustrated than having fun. I think the character designs are interesting. The art is good and the music is great. I just can't get behind how pervasive aggression is as a strategy and I want more defensive options. Neutral game feels pretty absent for the most part as everyone if crazy fast and online parrying is unreliable. Ill stick to melee thanks. Good work to the developers, game just is not for me.

tl;dr good game for some but the lack of sheild triggers this defensive melee player
Helpful? Yes No Funny
39.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 24
Easy to play, hard to master. The core gameplay is very smooth, and if you've played Smash you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. The skill ceiling is massive yet it's fairly simple to chain attacks into combos. There are plenty of unique abilities and playstyles for each character. The mechanics are similar to Smash, but the game feels much more responsive with less lag/delay which makes it more enjoyable. For an early access game, it is incredibly balanced and well-designed. I've encountered practically zero bugs and crashes are extremely rare. RoE is a great game to play with friends or solo!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 23
Rivals of Aether is a 2D fighting game. As is clear from the gameplay and what others have to say about it, this game is very similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series. It most closely relates to Super Smash Bros. Melee, widely regarded as the most 'competitive' game in the series. This game shares many aspects of Super Smash Bros., and I will be comparing both games frequently.

Firstly, this game is designed to appeal to more competitive players of fighting games. However, this does not mean the game is difficult to play or understand. The basics of the game are as follows: up to four players fight against each other on a stage, each player having a certain amount of 'Stocks'(lives). The objective is to lower your opponent's stocks to 0. The first player to do this wins. Damage works similarly as it does in Smash Bros., where your character starts the game with 0% damage. As you get hit by enemy attacks, your damage percentage will rise. The higher your damage percentage, the easier it is to knock you off the stage. If a player is knocked farther than the edge of the screen(past what is known as the "blast zone"), they will lose a stock, and respawn in the center of the stage.

Every character has numerous attacks and abilities at their disposal. Each character has 5 aerial attacks, 4 strong attacks, and 4 'special' attacks. These moves have a wide variety of effects, and each character has its own unique playstyle. As in other fighting games, moves can be strung together, creating combos.

This game is heavily centered around competitive play, and has a lot of competitive 'techs'(techniques) that can be used by all characters, including Wavedashing, Teching, etc. Many of these techs are derived from Super Smash Bros. Melee. The characters also share many similarities with Melee characters. Many of the characters in Rivals of Aether are culminations of the attacks of different Melee characters. For example, Wrastor, the bird character, is a combination of Marth and Falco from Melee. Likewise, Absa is a combination of Pikachu, Ness, and Mewtwo from Melee.

This game is quite difficult to grasp when you first start(especially if you've never played a Smash Bros game before), but it does a great job of introducing its mechanics and features to the player. For example, the aforementioned 'techs' are all taught to you by the game in the tutorial, including the new mechanics added by the game. The tutorial is very extensive, and does a phenomenal job of teaching new players how to play the game and even how to use some advanced techniques. There are some major differences between Rivals of Aether and Smash Bros. Firstly, the addition of 'parrying'. In Smash Bros, every character can shield enemy attacks for a certain duration, negating any damage done to them until they lower their shield. In Rivals of Aether, characters cannot shield, but instead have to parry. Parrying, like shielding, provides temporary immunity to damage, however you are only immune for a very short time. If an opponent attacks you as you parry, they will be temporarily disabled, meaning that they cannot perform any action. During this time, you are free to attack them. The addition of parrying makes Rivals of Aether a lot more fast-paced, as players can no longer hold their shield button down to block attacks. Instead, it forces players to anticipate enemy attacks and properly time their parry to punish their opponent, further adding to the game's competitive nature.

The game currently features only a couple of gamemodes, including local and online play, however there are new gamemodes in development. Online play is quite entertaining, however the lag can get unbearable at times. Very rarely will you find an online match that doesn't lag even a little bit. I really hope the developers can work on this, as quick response time is imperative for a competitive fighting game such as this. Local play works fine, and the AI is pretty good. You will, however, get to the point where the AI doesn't even stand a chance, making the single player experience a little weaker, although the game is still very fun nonetheless.

As for presentation, this game has brightly-colored, varied stages that are all accompanied by their own music. Each stage is unique, and the music fits the game really well. The character animations are great, and there is a lot of detail on character designs and stages. I should point out the slight customization in this game. Rivals of Aether allows players to create their own color schemes for every character, altering not only the character's color, but the color of some of their moves as well. This might seem like a minor addition, but It's quite fun to design your own color scheme and use it in online games.

In conclusion, Rivals of Aether is a really good fighting game. It is very competitively-oriented, but it does an amazing job of teaching its many mechanics and techniques to newer players. The stages and characters are well-designed, fighting is fun and fast-paced, and the music is amazing too. If you've never played a competitive fighting game, Rivals of Aether is probably the best place to start.

Seeing as how this review is 13 billion words long, I'll summarize.
TL;DR: If you like fighting games, you'll love Rivals of Aether. If you've never played a competitive fighting game, you'll love Rivals of Aether.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
15.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 23
Great game for any smash bros fan!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 22
Does anyone in EUR own this game?
Forever being matched with 150+ ping.. kinda boring unless you can Friendly with someone nearby.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Karen Kujo
47.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 18
This game is a very fun Smash Bros. like game with it's own unique mechanics and cool characters.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 18
Who the heck attached this Rube Goldberg machine to my Super Smash Bros.?!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
27.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 18
4/5 W R A S T O R
Helpful? Yes No Funny