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 (69 reviews) - 89% of the 69 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (1,890 reviews) - 90% of the 1,890 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 22, 2015

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

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.”
Read more

Buy Rivals of Aether

SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 4


Recent updates View all (12)

May 23

Update 0.14.0 - Ranked Mode is here!

Hey Guys it has been two months since our last update but here is a huge one with a ton of features. Check out the Beefy Aether Dudes Patch Notes here:


This update includes our Tutorial Mode, led by the very knowledgeable Orby. We've also introduced Ranked Mode to our online features. You can battle to raise your Ranked Score and climb your way to the top of the Steam Leaderboards. Next, we've added Stat Tracking so you can view your Local, Online and Ranked stats for each character and player tag. Finally, we have a ton of small character balance changes and some engine updates that are meant to improve gameplay among all skill levels. Stay with us as we enter the final stretch toward full release!

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

Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy update 0.14.0!
-Dan Fornace

22 comments Read more

March 13

Update 0.13.0 is LIVE! A New Rival Appears!

This is our biggest update yet since we entered Early Access last September. In this update we are releasing Etalus, the final Rival in the launch roster. Check out Etalus in action below:


We are also introducing two new stages! Along with some balance changes, this update is jam-packed with features and I can’t wait for you all to try it out. After this update, we will be focusing on online improvements then single player features as we push toward launch. Check out the Patch Preview from the Beefy Aether Doods below:


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

Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy update 0.13.0!
-Dan Fornace

29 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards

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 (69 reviews)
Very Positive (1,890 reviews)
Recently Posted
i want pasta
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
poor man's melee.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lord Pitaya
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
It's like I'm really at EVO playing Melee 8 reflectors out of 10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 9.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
Never played meele type fighter games like smash etc, and bought this on summer sale to get the experience.

As a casual 2D fighter gamer (KOF, Street Fighter, Samurai Shodown etc), I'm suprised about the complexity of this type of games. The current gameplay in ROE beats Street Fighter 5 by miles.

1. Simple command like mortal Kombat X (directional input; no 360/720)
2. Stage design is an important part of the game.
3. Movement is important in this game (don't commit suicide by jumping of the stage); hop, jump, jump cancel & recovery.
4. Main tactic seems to secure better location in stage (forcing player of the stage), parry attack to gain frame advantage and combo player to increase hit percentage (higher means easier to force the player of the stage with strong attack hit)

1. No clear tutorial on how to actually "win" the games. It assumes you're coming from the meele fighter community.
2. Difficult to separate command like down-tilt to moving down in a stage.
3. Still an "early access game"; minimal content.

Highly recommended; even without sale discount.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26
I waited 15 min so i can fight with someone and when i found an player he disconnected

It has a small community
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Just Rutatoota
( 7.5 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
No items.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
/フフ         ム`ヽ
/ ノ)  ) ヽ
/ |  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)ノ⌒(ゝ._,ノ
/ ノ⌒7⌒ヽーく  \ /
丶_ ノ 。   ノ、 。|/
   `ヽ `ー-'_人`ーノ
    丶  ̄ _人'彡)
10/10 makes me feel like FalcoMaster
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 83.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
If you are a fan of Melee or any other smash game, you will enjoy this. It has fun characters, a great combo system, and great online play. I highly recommend this game to any fan of fighting games. The only thing that would make it better is more characters, and the ability to play doubles online, currently you can only play singles online.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 9.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
Similar to other platform fighters, mostly like melee, but with a lower skill ceiling. Online play is nice, but so many people lag and it really just makes the game unplayable. Ohter than that, it's a great game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
Waste of your money, this game set high expectations that it didn't even nearly meet, or at all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reguba (the enigmatic squirrel)
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25
ow my fingers
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 1
Product received for free
I struggled to get into the melee community, as i was just to far behind the curve and lacked the dedication it took. This game is perfect for people like me. A melee like game with great characters, great concept, online play and more to come. Couldn't recommend this more for any and all melee players.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
44.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 29
To start things off, Rivals will most definitely ♥♥♥♥ you off if you are a competitive player when it comes to fighting games, but in a good way. It is in many ways a clone of Super Smash Bros. Melee, which I personally haven't spent much time playing, and making a transition to it from Brawl and Smash 4 wasn't that difficult. It is a very fast paced and technical "King of the Hill" typed fighting game where you really do not want to be off stage. This game is worth the price and may eventually be lowered, because there is only one person working on this game alone, Dan Fornace, and we are still waiting for updates. I would recommend this game to anybody who loves Smash Bros., especially melee, or any fast paced competitive game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 17 people (59%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 18
I bought this game, because my friend recommended it and I also really like SSBM; that is the same reason I tried hard to like it, but some things just aren't meant to be.

  • The necessary Tech-Skill ceiling is low, so even the low-level player is pretty consistent in his execution and your Melee Tech-Skill will carry over (atleast movement wise).

  • It is developed to be a competetive fighter right of the bat, rather than a community made one.

  • Better than Sm4sh / Brawl.

  • High speed with lots of combos.

  • There is no way to stall even a little bit, which together with high-speed and lots of combos creates a fast paced game.

  • Defensive options are next to non-existant, you can completely ignore them, as DI-ing properly will still result in a 6 or more hit combo, thanks to imba Offensive options and parrying is almost as inconsistent as Power-Shielding every move.

  • You will get combo'd hard very often, which can at times be frustrating. (Just imagine every character has Falco's punish game).

  • I don't know if it's just me, but the stage-control moves all seem really... well janky to me. I know it is supposed to be original, but for me it does really take away the neutral game, as you can't zone or space effectively. To give an example: Apart from her Smashes, Maypul is a rather short ranged character, but she does make up for that with high speed and attacks that link really well into each other. Sounds familiar, right? Now she doesn't have a shine, but instead her down-special is a plant, that is placed on the ground and hits an enemy as soon as he gets in range. By placing it in the right place she can gain stage control easily and doesn't lose it, until the opponent gets hit by her plant, which coincidentally sets up for a combo, if she is within dash-range.

  • There is literally no reward in learning Tech-Skill.

  • The recovery/ledge system is not very intuitive. It's not straight up bad, like Sm4sh, where you live forever and recover from anywhere, but it is making recovering unnecessarily hard and takes a rather long time to get used to.

  • Some decisions seem rather questionable, like Absa's F-Tilt, that acts as an instant projectile that covers the whole stage in front of her (luckily there is no FD), Orcanes Puddle, allowing teleporting from anywhere or that you can instantly follow up Forsburns Dash-Attack with his Up-Smash, which can only be avoided by very good DI.

  • Where the hell is Captain Falcon?! ... Okay I'm only semi-serious about this, but the killing point for me is, that there is no character that I personally have fun with.

I would not recommend this game for people like myself: Melee enthusiasts.

I would however recommend this game for players of other platform-fighters, who seek a different experience or people that are frustrated with learning Tech-Skill.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
56.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 2
If you're reading this, im sure you know whats the game about, so I'll let other people explain the rooster or the game itself, but should you buy it?
Are you a competitive player? Do you like to see yourself getting better, using different new techs to beat your oponent, and all that due to your own skill and effort? Then you'll enjoy this game. Even If you're not competitive you'll enjoy it. The games are short and fast, so you can always just play a coulple games vs AI or with friends without getting too serious.
The problem arrives when you enter online and get stomped. A lot of times. Hard.We finally got Rankeds (and tutorial mode), so you can play with other player in your skill range, but still, you'll have to git gud.
Resuming: interested in a fast, easy to learn, hard to master, satisfying fighting game and don't care losing a lot of times if that helps you improve? Then give it a go. But if you think you're already good, and don't know how to lose without blaming the game, maybe its not your game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
61.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 15

But if you don't spend every waking moment dedicated to Rivals of Aether, there is no online mode.

There is a sandbag simulator though, so if you like getting thrown around the stage with no chance to defend yourself, go for it.

I've had more success mashing buttons than spending weeks trying to be decent at this game. At the current state, it isn't worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
187.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 28
This game is great for those looking for some kind of competitive fighter. It does have sort of a steep learning curve, but that's something I look for in games, personally. The developer is very active within the community and constantly updates the game based on the community's input.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 1
I have sorely underestimated this game. I thought this game was going to be a lot like smash 4: a slow paced fighting game with few options to your movement. Instead, I get something that's more akin to project M (with fewer characters stages). It has wavedashing, dashdancing, and a indepth tutorial about its mechanics. There's no ledge to grab onto, but you can still edge guard once you get used to it.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying smash 4 is bad. I just don't like the game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 4
This is the point of view of a smash 4 competitive played that has played all the games on the saga.

It's a great game, with amazing sprites, original movesets, music, and stages. I had a lot of fun and I'm excited to see the full version coming, and how the single player modes will work. Altought this game is not really for casual players, as they will probably kick your ♥♥♥ in online. Loved some ideas of characters like orcane, wrastor, forsburn, and basically every character has a unique idea in his/her specials that can surely change the course of battle. But the online is a little trippy sometimes, at least for me as I live in europe, and I have to wait ages just to get one match. And the keyboard controls aren't really good in my opinion. I play it in a wii u gamepad with usendmii and it feels goddarn great. Dan fornace, good luck with the game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 11

Rivals of Aether is considered by many to be a love letter to Super Smash Bros. However, it's actually the product of hardcore fans looking at all the games within the series and declaring, "Hey, we could do better."

Upon seeing this on Steam one fateful day, I just KNEW that I had to make a purchase. Combining the combo potential of 64, the speed, competitiveness, and meta of Melee (intentionally; wavedashing isn't a glitch in this game), the accessibility of Brawl and the fine-tuning of Sm4sh, as well as adding some unique flavor, some fans would even dare say that this game is superior to any Super Smash Bros game before it.

What It Has Now

Rivals of Aether currently has all eight characters, a VS mode, a plethora of tutorials for newcomers and hardcore fans alike, about eight stages, controller support, and an online mode. The online is rather primitive, only allowing 1v1 battles as of the time of this writing, but ranked battles have recently been added.

What truly makes this game stand out are the fighters. Based after various animals, each character can control some aspect of nature; fire, smoke, water, ice, air, thunder, rocky earth, and plants. There are no "clone" characters in this game, as each contestant stands out as their own.

The only thing I dislike is the fact that some characters (read: most) rely on some sort of central gimmick; Orcane relies on his puddles to teleport around the stage and attack, Absa uses her thundercloud to zone, and Forsburn uses his smoke to charge his attacks, as well as generally be sneaky. These character rely on this central aspect to succeed, which can make it difficult for new players who might think that all the attacks are disparate in nature.

What It Will Have

The full version will have a Story Mode (complete with unlockable "aether stories" which act as codex entries), an Abyss Mode that functions as an endless gauntlet, and assumedly a fuller online experience. Currently, the devs have no plans for future characters, although they are open to suggestions on their website forums, which suggests that they simply don't have any more ideas for character designs.

Beyond that, there isn't much else. As this is an indie title, they are focusing on gameplay rather than content, especially since it is a fighting game.

Will It Happen?

This game is made by dedicated fans of Smash. They already have all eight planned characters. All they need now are the Story and Abyss modes, an updated online mode that runs smoother and has a four player mode and a casual mode (perhaps combined into one), and some further character balancing. I think it is safe to say that the devs are halfway done.

They have a website where they post updates to the game, and the latest update focused on fine tuning the online mode and adding tutorials for all skill levels. Updates move along at a consistent pace now, usually one every one or two months. There are no signs of abandonment so far, and I think it's safe to say that they will complete this game by the end of the year.

Worth A Buy?

If you have an itch for local multiplayer, want some online action, or if you're one of those weirdos who can spend up to an hour in VS mode fighting the CPU (like me) then I suggest it. As far as fighting action goes, I think there is enough content for potential ROA fans to get their feet wet. If you're a Smash Bros fan who just wants to try something a little new, I'd also suggest buying. Dedicated devs, an active community, and a unique spin on the Smash formula make this worth trying out.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 4
It's like SSBM, but the community isnt cancer.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny