Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is getting another fighter soon, and Minecraft Steve looks like he will be one of the most complex additions to the roster yet.
Series creator Masahiro Sakurai and his team are known to create entirely new mechanics for characters that join the game, and they love playing around with new ideas when developing DLC fighters.
Steve brings a lot of the same ingenuity that characters like Min Min and Hero did, with his specialty being mining various resources that can be used to power his attacks, upgrade his weapons, and build structures. The showcase gave a lot of new information about the fighter and just how all of his attacks and specials work, along with a few extra gimmicks.
Much like how the Inklings need to constantly refill their ink tanks, Steve players will need to monitor how many resources they have stored up using a custom material bar that sits above their character’s damage counter. And the combination of resource management and properly utilizing his Neutral Special will make this a tough character to master.
His Neutral Special functions differently depending on your positioning, with the most basic outcome being mining materials with his tools when you are on the ground.
In most cases, the material you mine will depend heavily on which type of ground you are standing on. For instance, if you are on Cornelia, you will dig up more iron since the ship is made of metal, but you will get more wood from stages like Jungle Japes. Each surface will also require a different tool, such as an axe for wood and a shovel for dirt.
Players can mitigate the RNG involved with mining if they play on a set version of a stage, in Battlefield or Omega forms.
In total, Steve can mine wood, sand, dirt, cobblestone, iron, gold, diamonds, and redstone. The longer a player mines, the better the resources they can obtain, but the tools will also break after a certain amount of use depending on their durability (e.g. iron will last longer than wood).
His Neutral Special is also used to Craft at a Crafting table, using materials mined to create and upgrade a full set of tools (sword, axe, pickaxe, and shovel.) And when you jump and use the move, you can place a block directly beneath you, which will let you use it as a platform.
If you hold down the Neutral Special button while on top of a block you created, you can rapidly place other blockers while walking. Your least valuable resources are used first when building blocks, while the most valuable resources are prioritized when crafting.
Just from what was shown in the showcase, this is going to likely make or break the character, as Sakurai showed off how you could use it to place blocks off stage and use them to edge-guard opponents in completely new ways.
Steve can summon a Crafting Table by using a Special Move command in-shield. One will also spawn at the beginning of each match and will respawn after a certain amount of time if a new one is not forcibly crafted, though all of them can be destroyed by opponents. All created blocks also disappear on their own after a certain amount of time, which heavily depends on what material they are made of.
His Side Special summons a Minecart that will travel in the direction you are pressing when you use it, but if you don’t have enough material to place down tracks, it won’t be very useful. If you hold the Side Special button you can continuously place tracks if you have the resources, and if you have redstone, you can get a boost in speed and power.
It doesn’t look like this will be a good recovery option, but because of its versatility and the other ways Steve can get back on stage, it fits his moveset well.
Steve’s Up Special equips the Elytra wings to glide in midair, similarly to that of Meta Knight when he is in free fall back from Brawl. It also has a small hitbox at the start because he launches himself into the air using a firework.
Lastly, his Down Special places a TNT block on the stage, which can be remotely detonated by placing a trail of redstone dust and a pressure plate through holding the attack and moving away from the block. Otherwise, it will go off when hit enough or after sitting for a certain period of time.
His basic moves are all variations or new takes on Minecraft classics, such as using a Flint and Steel to burn enemies, grabbing them with a fishing rod, or smashing them with an anvil. Some basic moves will also use mined resources, so you will continuously need to dig even if you don’t rely on special attacks.
There are five different toolsets in the game: wood, stone, iron, gold, and diamond, with each being stronger than the last, outside of gold. The trade-off with golden weapons comes with faster attack speeds while being weaker and breaking faster.
If you use up a tool’s durability, Steve will no longer be able to attack using that tool and will instead throw out an unarmed punch.
And as always, Sakurai and his team have added some fun little bonuses that don’t really impact gameplay but provide more characterization for the newest fighter.
If Steve is put into Sleep during a match, he will pull out a bed and get into it, and if you perform a Perfect Shield while blocking an attack, Steve will pull out a shield instead of just parrying the blow.
All three of his Taunts are also iconic references to Minecraft, with one of them being simply taking out a steak and eating it. The other two show Steve jumping and punching the air or crouching rapidly, which are both used by players in the game as ways of interacting with each other.