With 74 characters (not including DLC) on the roster in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU), Nintendo has made it harder than ever to choose a main. If you’re new to the game, or want to play competitively, you’re probably wondering how you should go about picking your best character.
Each character has different skills and abilities that you may either like or dislike. This guide will walk you through the types of characters and help you determine the best fit for your playstyle.
Forget About Character Loyalty
You need to abandon your favorite character in the game before you pick a main. Maybe you’re an avid Sonic fan and know everything about his games, and you may feel like you want to play Sonic as much as possible.
But as much as you love Sonic, he might not give you the advantages that you need to win. Try to avoid favoring characters based on what video games they’re from, and focus instead on their ability sets.
If you still find yourself going back to your favorite character, then go with it. You can always improve your performance by practicing and reading up on the character.
Keep Playing, Keep Experimenting
You need an open mind while playing SSBU. This means experimenting with characters you’ve never thought about playing. SSBU has a ton of characters and you should try out all of them.
Don’t make quick assumptions about the characters either. You might want to give up on a certain character after losing one match, but I encourage you to play multiple games with them. Even if you’ve despised playing as a certain character in the past, try them again and see if you have a change of heart.
What Kind of Player Are You?
After you’ve experimented with each character, it’s time to figure out your playstyle. Do you prefer getting up close and personal with your foe, or would you rather stand back and throw projectiles?
If you’re not sure of your style, pay attention the next time you turn on the game. Take note if you like the speed or power in some characters, as well as the ways in which you punish your opponents. This will help you decide which type of character you’d like to play as.
The Different Character Archetypes
Once you’re familiar with your own playstyle, you have to get to know the characters. You’ll begin to notice the subtle differences between characters once you play long enough.
The SSBU community splits the characters into specific archetypes. These are the main categories that you should know.
When you think of balanced characters, you should think of the characters that have some of the most reliable melee and long-range attacks. While they don’t really have anything special about them, they’re easy to use, and you can count on them to help you survive.
Balanced characters: Mario, Yoshi, Pit
Rushdown characters have speed on their side. They’re agile, quick, and can perform some powerful short-range attacks. With rushdown characters, you can launch some amazing aerial combos.
Rushdown characters: Sheik, Fox, Falco
You can expect glass cannons to have extremely powerful attacks—the only problem is that they have the worst defense in the game. Some of their major downfalls include sluggish attack speed and attacks with a very short range.
Glass cannon characters: Mr. Game & Watch, Zelda, Mewtwo
Characters in the footsies category have a high-damage output. They specialize in close-up ground attacks and that they perform very quickly. Unlike rushdown characters, they don’t make it as easy to execute a combo.
Footsies characters: Greninja, Ike, Ryu
If you like to take a step back from combat, consider playing as a zoner. These characters slowly (but surely) damage opponents from afar with ranged attacks. While some zoners don’t have the greatest close-up combat, others are still just as powerful.
Zoner characters: Link, Villager, Samus
Bait and Punish
Bait and punish characters do exactly what their name says—they plant a trap and wait for their opponent to fall into it. You have to enjoy mindgames if you want to play as a bait and punish character, as that’s what their tactics revolve around. These characters will use tools to manipulate their foe into making a punishable mistake.
Bait and punish characters: Bowser, Wario, Captain Falcon
Trappers and zoners use the same technique, but trappers are a little harder to use. Like zoners, trappers use projectiles to stay away from close combat. They utilize pressure, strong surprise attacks, and traps to rack up damage.
Trapper characters: Robin, Pac-Man, Mega Man
Who Will You Main in SSBU?
Now that you know the major differences between each character type, you can easily determine which characters you’d like to experiment with first. No one’s perfect when they play as a character they don’t usually use, so don’t give up!
Do you want to learn more about the basics of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? These tips will teach you how to beat your friends like a pro.
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