There are over 70+ characters to choose from in Super Smash Bros Ultimate but which ones are actually the best? In this guide you'll find details highlighting the best fighters (S and A tiers), average characters and a mention of the worst characters (bottom tier).
Unlocking characters in the Switch version of Smash Bros is fairly straight forward - which is great if you want to experiment with some of the best fighters. This guide will focus on the base characters themselves, with Spirits not included in the decisions.
Like previous Smash games, the key to choosing a good character is to balance speed, power, recovery and combos. Some of the games worst characters, such as Ripley and Kirby, are simply too slow with poor recovery - it's easy to slot these into the bottom tier category. Conversely, there are a handful of great characters such as Young Link and King K Rool that instantly catch your eye thanks to their brutal power or speed, deserving their place in the top tier category.
With the release of Smash Bros on the Switch, Nintendo have buffed and nerfed many of the characters from Smash 4, shifting previous good characters to the bottom and promoting others up the list. For example, Shulk and Pikachu have had massive improvements but both Samus and Bowser have been nerfed enough to push them down to the bottom tier.
This guide was written just a week before launch and it's worth stressing that Nintendo may issue patches to fix the games most broken characters. This may move characters in and out of the tiers mentioned below. If/when a character is substantially improved or degraded, I will aim to add comments below but otherwise the guide is a great starting point for assessing the best and worst characters.
Best to Worst
Best Fighters (Top Tier)
These are the very best fighters in Ultimate. You should be using one of these if you're serious about beating opponents and maintaining your combat record. They all typically have powerful moves, quick speed, minimal lag and solid recovery.
| ||Name||Comments |
| ||Sonic ||Nerfed Sonic's camp features from Smash 4 but still a great character because recovery and speed are excellent. Ariel is good and smash is fulfilling |
| ||Inkling ||Solid dash, does tonnes of damage with ink, good arrows |
| ||Young Link ||Possibly the best character in the game, no lag on any of his moves |
| ||Cloud ||Edge guard is very good, pretty much the same from Smash 4 but some moves have slightly less range |
| ||Roy ||Massively buffed, better range and feels like all your moves will land |
| ||Ike ||A buffed cloud, upper is amazing, all arrows buffed and recovery is decent |
| ||Zelda ||Not the best top tier character, but her throw setup is good |
| ||Sheik ||Frame set is ridiculously good, easy tier 1 |
| ||Ryu / Ken ||Changed neutral which is broken, good choice of combos and fast |
| ||King K Rool ||Ridiculous hitboxes, power, projectiles, probably the best heavy character |
| ||Shulk ||Massive improvement to all arrows, much faster, slightly better recovery |
| ||Richter ||Best zoner in the whole game, amazing projectiles |
| ||Mewtwo ||Got buffed in many ways, dash better, one of the few characters with good recovery, utility good |
| ||Marth / Lucinda ||Lucina looks very consistent, all arrows buffed |
| ||Diddy Kong ||Nerfed throws, but bananas buffed so they remain after throw, solid character |
| ||Bayonetta ||Great character with great moves, nerfed kill options but still deadly |
| ||Olimar ||Sleeper pick, recovery good, good camper |
| ||Pikachu ||Benefited the most from all changes, can camp, very versatile and great recovery |
Good Fighters (Upper Tier)
There's nothing wrong with these fighters; they're above average but not stand out fighters compared to the top tier above. I've included them anyway if you want to experiment.
- Mii Gunner - sleeper pick, upper looks amazing, quick
- Ganondorf - faster compared to Smash 4, improved
- Ness - recovery terrible but good otherwise
- Snake - good until he's thrown off the level then explodes
- Daisy / Peach - final smash appears broken (i.e too good) but nerfed downer and can't edge guard too well
- Falkin - nerfed upper now more sideways, otherwise still solid, almost top tier
- Donkey Kong - really strong, but still big
- Rosalina - nerfed in Ultimate but still a good character
- Fox - fast, good at juggles
- Wolf - pretty good but not broken, like melee fox now
- Meta Knight - tornado quicker now, solid choice
- Toon Link - almost identical to Smash 4
- ROB - can juggle upper, projectile can be thrown in air, plays well with recovery
- Villager - can edge guard very well
- Isabelle - good camper - fishing rope and trap options
- Lucario - base power buffed, better across the board
- Pokemon Trainer - good but not broken
- Mario - still good but likely to get out-ranged by top tier characters
- Link - good against slow characters but not Pikachu fast, bombs are good and grab improved
- Pichu - nerfed version of Pikachu, but no reason to play this character over Pikachu
Average Fighters (Mid Tier)
Nothing special about these guys really - they're often outmatched and offer little in the way of outstanding attributes. They are by no means terrible but being one category above bottom tier signifies their weakness.
- Mega Man - slightly improved but his best combos nerfed
- Wario - not great, just feels like he's been nerfed too far
- Lucas - nerfed a bunch of things including down throw
- Falco - slightly better than 4, but still not great because throw combos have changed.
- Incineroar - really slow, bad run speed, bad ariel drift
- Jigglypuff - like Kirby - is often outmatched, nothing special
- Greninja - throw combos nerfed, ok ish
- Robin - faster than Smash 4, probably high mid tier but still not hype tier
- Luigi - nerfed cyclone and grab, average character compared to Smash 4
- Pits - still feels like he lacks range
- Mr Game & Watch - got a buff from Smash 4 but still around the mid tier level
Worst Fighters (Bottom Tier)
These are currently the worst characters in the game. Slow, weak and poor recovery are common traits amongst most of them.
- Chrom / Little Mac - good moves but throw them off the level and he's dead, very poor recovery
- Samus / Dark Samus - all the good things have been removed from Smash 4
- Ripley - very vulnerable, heavy and gets hit by everything, no options to escape
- King Dedede - removed combos
- Bowser Junior - nerfed in too many ways, too slow and similar to Smash 4
- Pac-Man - like Smash 4, jump gimmick nerfed in Ultimate
- Bowser - combo throw nerfed (only good thing he had in Smash 4), slow
- Yoshi - no game plan, predictable neutral, very mediocre
- Kirby - outpaced by almost every character, too slow
- Dr Mario - like Mario but slower, very vulnerable, slow recovery