Best Characters You Have to Use in Smash Bros Ultimate
Smash Bros Ultimate has a staggeringly massive roster of 74 characters, with tons of different Nintendo and third-party series represented. With so many characters to choose from it can be tough to pick out which are the best characters to play, especially if you’re looking to take things online.
That’s why we’ve put together a handy ranking, listing off the 10 best characters in Smash Bros Ultimate. Just as a note we’ve compiled this list by looking at multiple tier lists online, like this one and this one, and combining that with our own nearly 80 hours of playtime with the game for review.
Below you’ll find the 10 best characters you have to use in Smash Bros Ultimate.
- King K Rool
- Diddy Kong
Olimar has always been a fairly unique character in Smash, but for Smash Bros Ultimate the space explorer has been powered up even more. Olimar’s Pikmin are what the character’s entire moveset revolves around. His neutral special allows you to pluck Pikmin out of the ground which you can then use to power up Olimar’s attacks, or throw at the enemy for damage.
Pikmin will latch onto an opponent and cause constant damage until they get thrown off, making Olimar one of the best character in the game in terms of sheer damage he can cause. The caveat to this, of course, is that you constantly have to manage the Pikmin as a resource, pulling new ones out of the ground.
Considering he’s one of the lightweight characters, Olimar can go head-to-head with heavy characters in terms of damage.
Chrom’s basic moveset is essentially the same as Roy’s, but there are a few key differences to the character that help give him an advantage. Like Roy, Chrom is incredibly fast and really excels at air attacks as well as Smash attacks. He’s one of the most powerful lightweight fighters in the entire game.
Chrom’s up special is completely different from Roy’s and is more similar to Ike’s Aether. It’s a bit faster than Ike’s and lands more hits if successful, giving Chrom an up move that’s far more valuable than the upward strike that Roy and Marth have, and can be incredibly useful for launching opponents.
The other key difference with Chrom is his Final Smash, Awakening Aether, which is generally more destructive than Roy’s. Chrom charges forward and if his hit lands on an enemy he creates a massive explosion that can damage multiple enemies and send them flying. Chrom may be an echo fighter, but in this case, he’s the more approachable of the two characters.
8. King K Rool
The infamous King K Rool is a newcomer to Smash Bros Ultimate, and as you might expect the heavyweight is a force to be reckoned with. K Rool is a powerhouse that packs some seriously strong attacks, with almost every attack doing upwards of 10 percent damage.
His down Smash is particularly deadly causing a quake with AoE damage that can reach a good distance. K Rool also has great special attacks, with his side special letting him throw his crown for good damage, and his neutral special having him fire a damaging cannonball and then gaining the ability to suck enemies in with his blunderbuss.
K Rool’s down special is especially deadly, letting him counter attacks from the front with tremendous effect. Despite being a heavyweight character, K Rool also has a fantastic aerial recovery with his up special, meaning he can soak up damage and still recover from being launched.
This is one heavyweight character you’ll always want to be careful about taking on, and one of the best characters to use in Smash Bros Ultimate.
Mewtwo was a severely underpowered character when they were introduced in Super Smash Bros Melee, but that’s all changed with later entries, and especially with Smash Bros Ultimate.
Mewtwo is both faster and heavier in Smash Bros Ultimate, and its moves pack some serious punch. To make matter even better, the delay at the end of most of their moves has been completely removed, letting you chain attacks together quickly.
The character is harder to launch than most fighters of their size, and Mewtwo’s air attacks are particularly strong. The only aspect of Mewtwo that hasn’t been souped up is their Shadow Ball neutral special, which has slightly reduced size and power.
In the end though, Mewtwo is a ridiculously powerful middle-weight character, and the reduction of lag on their moves is a huge help.
Cloud was the biggest surprise character added in the Wii U and 3DS games, and his powerful sword moves made him a dangerous character to go up against. The same can be said for Cloud in Smash Bros Ultimate, as he’s more powerful than ever.
Despite technically being a “heavy” character, Cloud is incredibly fast with high jump speed and dash. His massive sword also gives him great range for both Smash and tilt attacks.
Cloud’s big gimmick is his Limit Break ability that lets him superpower his special attacks, and these are even more powerful than in Smash 4. This time around Cloud can reliably KO a high damage enemy with any of his Limit Break specials, giving you more options for taking down enemies. With his fast speed and sheer brute strength, Cloud is better than he’s ever been in Smash Bros Ultimate.
Castlevania makes its big debut in Smash Bros Ultimate, and the series’ protagonist Simon is one of the best new characters featured in Smash Bros Ultimate. Simon comes equipped with a multitude of tools from the Castlevania series, as well as his trusty whip.
Simon has some of the best reach of the entire roster in Smash Bros Ultimate, as his whip can hit enemies from nearly up to two body lengths away. The catch here, of course, is that Simon has a lengthy wind-up animation on his stronger attacks so you’ll need to make sure you have the distance measured.
Equally useful are the tools that Simon has for his specials. Neutral lets him throw an axe in an arc, side throws a cross straight ahead, down lets him raise a pillar of fire with holy water, and up has Simon dash upward with an uppercut.
All of these various tools make Simon incredibly useful at long-range combat, and learning how the trajectories of each of these tools work can give you a deadly arsenal to combine with whip attacks.
His heavy weight and fast fall speed are certainly detractors, but if you want a fighter with serious range, Simon’s your guy.
It should come as no surprise that Ridley is a powerful character, and he ends up being the very best of the newcomers. Ridley takes the throne from Bowser as the character with the largest hitbox, definitely his greatest weakness, but the character’s strengths more than make up for it.
Ridley’s attacks cause some serious damage and have great reach at the same time. His up Smash has a huge hitbox right above the character, and his down Smash causes a massive quake that can really launch enemies. He’s a heavy character, but his moveset is generally a bit faster than that of other heavies like Ike and Bowser.
Ridley’s specials also pack a good punch, but they require exact timing to use correctly. His neutral lets him launch a line of fireballs that can bounce and hit opponents repeatedly. His down special is a quick tail jab that’s very hard to time right, but if you hit the sweet spot you can cause absurd damage, like upward of 60 percent.
Ridley requires a bit of practice to really get the character down pat, but boy is he a wrecking ball if you know how to use him.
3. Diddy Kong
Diddy Kong was notoriously overpowered in Smash 4 when it launched, and it looks like that top-tier excellence is also carrying over to Smash Bros Ultimate. Diddy is still a speedy character, but the speed of his dash has been increased even more, letting him get across the field quickly.
Diddy excels at aerial attacks, as his slow air speed lets him unleash precise attacks to guard ledges or catch falling enemies. The character’s down tilt has greater pushback effect, which can help for knocking enemies off of a ledge.
In terms of specials Diddy’s peanut gun is still plenty powerful, and his side special, Monkey Flip, has a shorter reach, but can launch enemies farther. His banana peel down special will also travel a longer distance, letting you set up enemies to slip better.
Diddy’s Final Smash leaves a lot less to skill this time, like most in the game, as he dashes back and forth across the screen and then beelines for the enemy damaged the most before exploding and launching them.
Basically Diddy Kong is still the king of aerial combat in Smash Bros Ultimate, and his unwieldy moveset is hard to counter.
Marth has, generally, been a bit of an underpowered character in Smash games after Melee, but that all changes with Smash Bros Ultimate. Surprisingly, Marth is one of the standout characters of the new game with a host of powerful attacks and changes.
Nearly all of the landing lag from Marth’s aerial attacks has been removed, letting you play a strong aerial game with the Fire Emblem character. To add to that, Marth’s side special is much easier to use now, requiring less exact timing and making it easier to use the three different variations.
On top of that, the side special is much more powerful, and can even launch enemies and land a KO quite easily. The biggest downside to Marth is that he’s easy to launch, although he more than makes up for that in speed, being one of the fastest characters in Smash Bros Ultimate.
His shield breaker neutral special also charges faster than before, and his up special can cause good damage at the start of the leap. This is the closest Marth has felt to his Melee version in the entire series, and the king of Fire Emblem characters has retaken his throne.
In the original Smash Bros on N64 Pikachu was one of the dominant characters, and one that someone would play as almost every match. Just like with Marth, Pikachu seems to have reclaimed that mantle as the Smash Bros Ultimate version of the character has some major tweaks.
In general, Pikachu moves more fluidly and faster, and their attacks are easier to land. The Pokemon’s moves have been buffed slightly across the board. Speed is hugely important for Pikachu and that doesn’t disappoint this time around. You can easily force an opponent to dodge an attack of yours, only to turn around and punish them with another attack before they can act, simply because of how fast Pikachu is.
Pikachu’s ability to edgeguard is second to none in Smash Bros Ultimate, with their Smash attacks and down special being the most useful for doing so. The character’s side special is now much easier to control as well, doing more damage and making it less likely you’ll kill yourself on accident, due to a faster recovery time from the move.
With the buffs to attack power, smoother animations, and a much better Final Smash, Pikachu sits easily at the top of Smash Bros Ultimate’s huge roster.
Those are our picks for the best characters in Smash Bros Ultimate. For more tips, tricks, and guides on the game make sure to check out our Smash Bros Ultimate wiki. We have tons of helpful info for things like taking spirits online, and even full guides on how to play new characters like Inkling, Ridley, or Simon.