Skip to main content

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character unlocks, and how to win with every fighter

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Ultimate Character Guide

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate includes every single character from previous Smash titles with a bewildering number of stages, items, game modes, and new characters. You'll soon unlock all 74 characters (from an initial roster of eight) if you follow our character unlock guide on the previous page. Of course, learning how to master and counter all 74 characters is a serious undertaking, so we’ve also outlined each character’s overall strengths and weaknesses to help you get to grips with the game’s gigantic roster over the coming pages.

We've listed the characters in the order that they appear on the official Nintendo Super Smash Bros. Ultimate website, with 10 characters per page. You can see the running order below (Mario in the top left is #1, Donkey Kong is #2 etc… running from left to right, up to Incineroar at #74 on the bottom right), which is the same as the character select screen in the game.

Our character guide is in the same order as the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unlock screen - as shown above. 

Mario

How to play
Try to constantly barrage your opponent with Mario’s fireballs. These fiery projectiles deal decent damage and give you multiple opportunities to grab blocking opponents’ and use your down throw. Simply launch your foe into the air and begin juggling them with your aerial attacks. Be sure to use your F.L.U.D.D. and cap to knock back and dissuade enemy attacks.

Good for
Mario’s disruption, throws and low move lag make him a great all-round choice for those looking to punish their foes at all stages of play.

Weak at
Nintendo’s prized plumber suffers from a lack of KO setups and has little opportunities to knock opponents out of the ring outside of his throws. 

Donkey Kong

How to play them
Donkey Kong is all about landing those big hits – in fact, his charged punch is one of the strongest single hits in the game. Rack up huge amounts of damage with a flurry of neutral punches before sending folks flying with his charged smash attacks.  

Good for
Nintendo’s resident ape is a fantastic choice for those looking to launch people off the screen with hard-hitting moves. Despite his heavyweight appearance, Donkey Kong’s overall movement and attack speed is pretty fast.

Weak at  
Like most heavy characters, Donkey Kong’s large hitbox makes him incredibly susceptible to combos. He also has incredibly poor recovery when knocked off the stage, so be sure to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.   

How to play them
Use Link’s Ancient Bow, Boomerang and Remote Bomb to poke, camp, and disrupt your opponent before rushing in to deliver some truly heavy-hitting attacks with his Master Sword.

Good for
Link is fantastic at whittling his foes down with his various ranged gadgets. All of his items can stop your opponent from getting back onto the stage, while his Master Sword gives him decent amounts of close combat damage.

Weak at
The loss of Link’s trusty Clawshot has greatly hindered his grab range and overall recovery capabilities, making off stage knockouts all the more likely. Link’s Remote Bombs can also be a double-edged sword, especially when you happen to get caught within its blast radius. 

Samus / Dark Samus

How to play them
Samus is another character who favours ranged attacks. The space-faring bounty hunter uses Charge Shots, Missiles and Bombs to keep her opponents at bay. Make sure you charge up her Charge Shot and unleash it when your opponent is least suspecting it.  

Good for
Samus has excellent zoning capabilities and her Charge Shot gives her a strong punisher move that can quickly KO even the most troublesome of targets. She also has some decent dash, tilt and throw attacks that provide good openings for her strong aerial combos.

Weak at
The ranged nature of Samus’ kit forces her to play more defensively than other characters. Her smash attacks are less effective when close up, making her all too easy to punish. Samus’ overall floatiness also makes her highly susceptible to enemy juggling. 

Yoshi

How to play them
Pile on the pressure with Yoshi’s egg-based attacks. Initiate combos with his up tilt and begin juggling your opponent with his excellent aerial attacks. Be sure to use Egg throw to zone and pressure your opponent when they try to get back onto the stage. If your foe is playing defensively, then use Yoshi Bomb break their shield and KO them from above.

Good for
Yoshi’s fantastic recovery, aerial mobility and overall speed make him incredibly difficult to knock out of the ring. He’s great at keeping players off the stage and has decent mind game potential with Egg Throw. The forgiving nature of Yoshi’s kit also allows players to be a lot more aggressive in their approach.

Weak at
Landing grabs can be rather tricky with Yoshi thanks to the sluggish animation time, while his throws offer little to no utility outside of additional damage.  

Kirby

How to play them
Sakurai’s adorable, pink brainchild is back and better than ever. Initiate fights with an up tilt or forward throw to send your opponent directly above you, then follow up with some aerials to pile on the damage. Be sure to inhale your foe in order to copy their ability and launch them out of the ring with Stone.

Good for
Kirby’s lightweight nature gives him great aerial mobility. Staying in the air and punishing players with a flurry of aerial attacks is incredibly easy, especially when your opponent’s hitbox is on the larger side. Meanwhile, his speedy smash attacks allow him to capitalise on the smallest of misplays.

Weak at
Kirby’s aerial capabilities may offer great KO and recovery potential, but they also serve as a weakness as well. He is highly susceptible to being juggled and his lack of mobility can prove troublesome when fighting against speedier opponents. 

Fox

How to play them
Fox delivers both speed and deadly precision with his attacks. Use his long-range blaster to chip away at enemy health before rushing in with Fox Illusion. Once up close, deliver a flurry of kicks and send your opponent flying with your powerful up smash.

Good for
Fox’s strengths lie in his incredible mobility and recovery. His Blaster gives him fantastic damage capabilities at range, Fire Fox keeps him safe while airborne, Fox Illusion gives him long-range recovery, and his Reflector can stop incoming projectile spam. As a result, Fox has one of the safest playstyles in the entire game.

Weak at
While Fox may be incredibly versatile he does have one major weakness. If you happen to get launched off the stage, you’ll begin to fall at breakneck speeds. To make matters worse, his lack of useful grabs can make it rather difficult to set up a quick KO.

Pikachu

How to play
Everyone’s favourite electric mouse makes a shocking return with its ranged electrical attacks. Zone enemies with Thunder Jolt and use Quick Attack to both initiate and escape incoming combos. Hit and run tactics greatly increase your survivability and will allow you to play mind games with your opponent.

Good for
Pikachu is great at delivering speedy neutrals and baiting out heavy hitting smash attacks that leave enemies open for counters.

Weak at
Pikachu has little to no KO potential. As a result, it can often prove frustratingly difficult to finish off even the weakest of foes. 

Luigi

How to play them
Luigi’s playstyle is very similar to his brother, Mario. Luigi's most notable strengths lie in his powerful aerial game, so make sure you use his up tilt and down throw to capitalise on his superior air game.

Good for
Like his brother, Luigi is good at juggling airborne foes and delivering speedy smash attacks. The new Poltergust G-00 also gives him added aerial dominance and enables him to secure ranged grabs, further supporting his combo potential.

Weak at
Luigi most notable weakness is his lack of recovery. Green Missile is incredibly slow and can be easily interrupted by enemies willing to tank the shot. Meanwhile, Super Jump Punch offers very little aerial mobility, forcing him to rely on his double jump when off stage.