Are you looking to be the best? Are you playing the game for the first time and looking for a broad idea of who to play? Or are you looking to keep track of all things Smash Bros. and keep tabs on the meta? Then do we have a tier list for you.
You’ve completed all the Smash Bros modes, have all the characters, and hours have been sunk into the game to collect every trophy after breaking multiple good controllers spamming the B button to get the most damage out of Fox’s gun.
You feel like you can reach greater heights, take on the best and step up to challenge the world. We’ve put together a comprehensive tier list based on competitive play, character statistics and the metagame to give you a fighting chance. A tier list is a list of playable characters in a video game ranked by their respected viability in a competitive setting. Characters are listed by most powerful and therefore are most likely used in competitive play.
With so many fighters, it can sometimes feel daunting when trying to figure out which are the strongest and which counter others. This tier list should give you an idea of how every fighter is valued in the current competitive scene and how some are stronger than others. As the level of play increases, the more knowledge you have, the better you will do.
If you’re looking to get into the competitive scene and make your mark in Smash Bros tournaments, with a new addition to the series coming out on Nintendo Switch soon, this list will most likely provide a much needed assist.
Keep in mind that, while Smash Bros Wii U doesn’t get updated that frequently, fighters can rise depending on how well they perform in tournaments in real time.
The placement of fighters in their respected tier list is random and not ranked by best to worse. The fighters are ranked by tier alone. They all equally belong to their respected group whether it’s S Tier, A tier, etc.
The game hasn’t been updated since Patch 1.16 in May 20, 2016, so the tier list rarely changes with only minor alterations based on a character performing well in multiple tournaments. As a result, the tier list remains static the majority of the time.
Lastly, thanks to Smash Bros player Alex “DaPuffster” Oshrin for assisting in the tier list. We tried to balance the list as fairly as possible and are aware not everyone will agree, so we ask that you look at the list with an open mind. The sentences for each character represent a broad analysis of why they are in their spot but miss out a ton of vital information that would be best saved for future character guides.
Bayonetta was the final DLC character for the game and comes from Nintendo’s Bayonetta series. She is a combo-heavy character that relies on chaining her moves into each other for high-percentage damage.
If chained correctly, you can easily make an enemy fighter go from zero percent to death. She has great zoning control, and her recovery is near-perfect and one of the best in the game.
Her mobility is average and is reliant on her ability “Witch Time” to slow foes and land attacks.
Cloud is the legendary swordsman from the critically-acclaimed Final Fantasy series of games by Square Enix and is one of seven DLC characters.
He has great mobility and great range throughout his moveset, meaning he can fight from a safe distance without putting too much pressure on himself.
Be sure to keep a safe distance though, as Cloud’s recovery is not the greatest and is an easy target to pick off during edgeguarding.
Diddy Kong hails from the Donkey Kong series of games and made his debut in Donkey Kong Country for the SNES. Diddy Kong is primarily used by former TSM player Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios.
Like Bayonetta, Diddy has great combos that flow well together with surprisingly long reach and low knockback. Diddy has great mobility and good stage control due to his Banana Peel and Peanut Popgun. Diddy suffers mainly from poor damage output and isn’t the best during aerial combos.
Sheik is a character from The Legend of Zelda series and is considered a “safe” fighter. She’s extremely fast and, if played correctly, can easily punish most situations. Sheik has a lot of tools that can fit a situation, from zoning foes with her standard B or chaining together a strong combo that can KO an opponent.
Her overall damage is low and takes more knockback than other fighters.
Sonic is one of six third-party characters hailing from the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise by Sega.
Sonic is fast, which grants him excellent mobility. His KO potential, however, is high-risk, high-reward due to the high frequency of lag. Sonic does have a strong neutral game and usually comes out on top in the right hands.
Rosalina’s first game appearance came from Super Mario Galaxy and she has become a mainstay Mario character since appearing in numerous titles.
Rosalina is a strong defensive fighter who uses her partner, Luma, to tank hits and take status effects as well as create devastating combos. Without Luma, Rosalina suffers. She becomes unprotected for a short duration (13 seconds) until another spawns and is less capable of dealing with incoming threats.
Fox joins the battle from his eponymous interstellar game series and brings his trusty blaster with him. Fox is a mainstay of Smash Bros. and has been consistently near the top tiers in every iteration of Smash Bros.
Quick mobility, fast projectile damage, and his reflector shield to deteriorate camping all come together to create a safe, versatile fighter to play. He is limited by his fast falling speed and is one of the easiest fighters to KO. His moveset is also extremely predictable.
He’s the face of Nintendo and one of the most popular video game characters in the world from the Super Mario series.
Mario is a balanced fighter who’s hard to punish. His moveset is very versatile and projects projectiles and reflection-based moves all in one, but struggles against other fighters with longer-range moves like Cloud. He doesn’t have many weaknesses and is a good fighter for beginners.
Zero Suit Samus
Zero Suit Samus kicks her way into the battle from the Metroid series.
ZSS is a dominant aerial based fighter and is essentially a juggler. She is one of the best fighters for punishing an opponent for a misplay due to her mobility and a paralyzing ability in her kit.
Her grabs are poor even though they have good range and are extremely slow, making her open to be punished if she fails to connect.
This is just one of many Pokémon characters appearing on the list and Smash Bros.’ first DLC character.
Mewtwo has some of the fastest dash mechanics and speed in the game. He is most potent in aerial combat, with his long range aiding the effectiveness of his moveset. His special moves are powerful and risky at the same time.
He still suffers from vulnerability to combos and juggles from his Smash Bros. Melee days due to his size. He also has poor survivability.
His overall improvement stems from high level finishes by players at competitive events.
Street Fighter’s Ryu represents the first character to join from another fighting game.
His control-input from the Street Fighter series crosses over into Smash Bros., which allows players familiar with the series to execute great combos and potent KO options. He is unpredictable to play against and is difficult to punish.
His mobility isn’t the best, however, and is easily intercepted due to his slow movements.
Pikachu is the face of the Pokémon series and is one of the world’s most recognized video game characters.
While Pikachu doesn’t have much KO potential, his speed and combo game makes up for it. Pikachu has a higher learning curve than most and his high placement in the tier list can be accredited to Eric “ESEM” Lew’s successful run with the character.
The Hero-King of the Fire Emblem series adds to the large pool of sword fighters in the game.
Marth players will want to play around the tip of his sword during attacks, which rewards the most damage and knockback to an opponent. This strength, however, also has a large weakness in the up-close game when he has taken high amounts of damage that could be costly.
Meta Knight is a denizen of DreamWorld from the Kirby series and was infamously the best fighter in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
With five double jumps at his disposal, the fighter has quick recovery, as well as a strong combo game which can result in a quick KO. His build has been toned down from Brawl in an effort to make him less powerful.
The Villager of Animal Crossing was one of the first announced characters for the game.
Arguably the best zoning character in the game, Villager is able to outcamp his opponents with his slingshot and rocket attacks. But Villager lacks clear KO options despite his powerful attacks and is one of the slowest characters in the game, limiting his ability.
The master of the aura, Lucario joins as one of six Pokémon series characters. The fighter has a very unique “rage” mechanic; the more he’s damaged, the more damage his attacks do. Players should try to capitalize on this and keep the character as damaged as possible. Obviously this has its problems. The more damaged you are, the bigger the risk you have of being knocked off the stages by a KO.
The super fighting robot, Mega Man joins the fight after years of fans begging to see him in the popular series.
Mega Man is a projectile or grab fighter. His grabs are arguably the fastest in the game and can rack up heavy amounts of damage. Against fighters with better mobility, however, Mega Man suffers. Without many melee options, Mega Man doesn’t do well in close-up fights.
Toon Link comes from the popular Legend of Zelda series in the cel-shaded story of the Wind Waker.
Toon Link has multiple projectile-based attacks, which give him a good zoning game and has seen vast improvements since his debut in Smash Bros. Brawl. His overall damage has decreased, though, which has weakened his KO potential. Don’t underestimate his ground game, but try not to stay in the air for too long or you’ll be punished.
Another Pokémon series character who’s one of the fastest fighters in the game, Greninja can easily chain together combos and cover the distance of maps.
His moveset is somewhat predictable and opponents can guess what tactics you will try to employ during certain match-ups, with most of his moves blockable or doing little damage.
Captain Falcon has seen a revival in Smash 4 from his Super Smash Bros. Brawl days, due to improvements in his combo game and hitstun cancelling. His recovery, however, remains in a lackluster state and is vulnerable to combos and camping fighting. He’s still very viable, however.
The Captain of the S.S Dolphin, Olimar, returns to Smash Bros. from the Pikmin series.
The more Pikmin Olimar has, the better. He can extend his throws and use the Pikmin to latch onto his opponents to deal slight damage and create pressure. This is a double-edged sword, however, as the less Pikmin Olimar has at his disposal, the less damage he does. He had his total number of Pikmin at one time reduced from six to three from Smash Bros. Brawl and hitpoints overall have been reduced too.
Luigi is a difficult fighter to punish and has strong moves that can launch an opponent far. He’s one of the more unpredictable fighters in Smash Bros. and risky to get a beat on.
His moves, such as his green missile, have charge up times making them easy to see coming. His range is also limited, making him easy to camp despite have a projectile move.
Corrin is one of seven DLC characters coming from the “Fire Emblem” series. His inclusion meant that there were six Fire Emblem characters overall in the game.
Corrin is unpredictable in the tier list. Some have him as high as B tier while others favour him as a D tier fighter. We placed him in the middle ground to give a fair assessment.
Corrin has strong ranged attacks that are easy to land. He often has trouble KO’ing foes at point blank range, however, relying too much on the tips of his attacks.
One of two combatants from the Earthbound or Mother series, Ness is a fighter that has strong grab moves and an effective projectile game to make him a force to be reckoned with. Ness can easily be forced to play defensively to gain a lead and can be at a disadvantage to characters with a longer range.
Yoshi is the world’s favorite green dinosaur after Godzilla, hailing from the Super Mario and “Yoshi” series of games.
Yoshi is excellent in the air with a great utility moveset. His shield is a unique trait which is completely immune to shield stabbing. He’s also able to jump out of his shield, unlike other fighters. Despite this, Yoshi has defensive problems with his short-distanced dodge mechanics.
Lucina is a Fire Emblem character. She is near-identical to Marth with most of her kit. Her sword, however, she was made to be a balanced fighter, thus, her sword does the same amount of damage regardless of which part hits a foe. She was originally slated to be an alternative skin to Marth but was changed at the last minute.
Pit and Dark Pit are one and the same. Their movesets are nearly identical and both come from the Kid Icarus series of games.
High speed, good damage racking abilities and powerful KO assist, but fall flat on their face when it comes to finishing an opponent to take a stock.
Lucas is a DLC character that came out of nowhere from the Earthbound series.
Lucas has fast attack speed and projectiles that can pressure opponents similar to Ness, while his knockback and range have been reduced since his debut in Smash Bros Brawl.
The Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom returns from the Super Mario series.
Her ability to float in the air gives her tons of air pressure and safety with a good projectile attack to zone her foes. She is still as slow as ever and can be easily overwhelmed by aggression.
Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey should be credited for Donkey Kong’s revival after an impressive game at KTAR XX in the grand finals.
DK retains his signature mobility and spacing options players have grown accustomed to over the years with quick and power options under his disposal.
His personal hurtbox has expanded in this title, which makes him a bigger target to land combos on with poor vertical recovery to boot.
King Koopa is raining fireballs down on his opponents, stomping in from the Super Mario world.
Bowser has great range and is far more mobile than he has been in previous games. He keeps his overall endurance from previous titles but remains virtually defenseless. If comboed, Bowser has very little in his kit that can help him break out of it.
The tactician of the Fire Emblem series brings the thunder and was a surprise inclusion to the game when he was announced over fan-favorite Chrom.
Robin has versatile projectiles and tools to damage and combo. But apart from that, the fighter suffers defensively and once his tomes have depleted, he is left with little options. It forces the player to manage their tools effectively, losing crucial abilities to get themselves out of situations.
ROB is primarily a zoning fighter with excellent recovery and has seen vast improvements from his debut in Smash Bros. Brawl. He still suffers on the ground due to a lack of ranged abilities when compared to his air game and the zoning we are used to see from him has been toned down.
The Grail Mercenary of the Radiant Dawn is another Fire Emblem character on the list. He is a heavy bruiser with slow attacks that is often left vulnerable.
Ike does have high-power spikes and impressive range but has gained a larger hurtbox for foes to take advantage of with decreases to his knock-back across the board.
From the realms of obscurity, Shulk brings the monado’s power from the Xenoblade RPG series.
Shulk has the longest disjointed range in the game, which helps him keep space from opponents with respectable damage. However most of his attacks do not allow auto cancels, meaning once a move starts, it can’t end before the end of its animation, forcing him to have moments of vulnerability players can capitalize on.
The hero of The Legend of Zelda series is a fighter that possesses multiple projectile moves similar to Toon Link. He is somewhat sluggish over his Toon counterpart but makes up for it in his strength.
Mr. Game and Watch
Mr. Game and Watch suffers from his inability to KO opponents at higher percentages despite dealing lots of damage in quick succession. Most players will play him safely, trying to outrange opponents with his Fire’s long distance but are mostly inconsistent.
The 8-bit pairing of the Duck Hunt duo from the NES Classic Duck Hunt are a decent air-game duo that can play around the edgeguard matchup and in close-quarter combat. Like many fighters on this list however, Duck Hunt duo suffer from KO potential and have unreliable smash attacks.
Now his own individual character with no Pokémon Trainer to tell him what to do, Charizard is a fast character considering his size. He fights based around quick gameplay and is one of a few fighters on this tier to have strong KO options. He does have some exploitable weaknesses that players can capitalise on, however, such as his high hurtbox and slow attack patterns.
Roy is the final inclusion from Fire Emblem and teeters on the edge of falling into E Tier. Roy is a character with fast reaction times if his moves are used correctly with easy-to-land sweet spots near the hilt of his blade however, Roy is one of the riskiest fighters in the games because of the commitment players must make to his moves before using them, with no auto cancel or knockback being the main risk factors.
The bounty hunter nestles on the brink of returning to D Tier even with her reliance on defensive spacing to maximize her potential. She has numerous projectiles at her disposal and can be fearsome towards some matchups. Her place on the tier list is still open to a lot of discussion for future updates.
The lovable pink puffball of Dreamland from the Kirby series possesses a strong combo game and can juggle opponents with ease. That doesn’t make him any less prone to flaws, however. He is predictable and can be easily zoned out and is unviable in the competitive scene due to his smaller hitboxes.
For a heavyweight, Wario has great mobility in the air and on the ground. But great mobility doesn’t make him any less vulnerable or counterable. Some of his finishes were made more powerful from Brawl, which have made Wario a viable choice for competitive play but requires great patience to maximize the result.
Pac-man is a legendary video game character coming from Bandai Namco. He has the most versatile projectile move of any fighter, “Bonus Fruit,” which can become one of many projectile-like weapons with different properties. Low knockback moves and moves that are hard to land and easy to punish make him a low-tier fighter.
How the mighty have fallen. Falco has seen drastic changes to his neutral game, making him a far weaker character, with several moves that made him a threat for many years nerfed such as his blaster and down aerial.
The lack of auto cancels makes him an easier target to grapple onto and perform a devastating combo move against.
Little Mac’s troubles stem from a lack of aerial abilities or recovery, making it near impossible for him to get back to the stage if knocked off and a lack of control over his meter bar, unlike Cloud’s. While his ground game is offensive and has a smaller hurtbox than most other fighters, these glaring issues cannot be ignored.
For a reskin of Mario and a clone of the fighter, Dr. Mario has nothing that makes Mario a great fighter to use in the game. He is slower and less nimble than his counterpart, even though his moves are increasingly stronger.
The Goddess of the Kid Icarus realm, Palutena possesses a useful set of aerial attacks but is a very sluggish fighter to play. She has very unimpressive KO potential and her ground game is nearly non-existent.
Wii Fit Trainer
A newcomer to Smash Bros, Wii Fit Trainer boasts one of the highests jumps in the game—and that’s about it. She has minimal range on her attacks and they also miss at times, even if they visually seem to hit their opponent.
Bowser Jr. is on the brink of E and F tier due to having one of the better neutral games among the fighters. His reliance on his Clown Cart’s dash in order to keep up with faster opponents is one of the fighter’s major downfalls. Even if he can provide great pressure, his overall moveset and recovery can be problematic.
The removal of moves from Smash Bros. Brawl has reduced Dedede’s strengths. Notably, the removal of his chain grabbing ability and former back aerial has reduced Dedede from being around average to virtually unplayable in the meta-game.
Since losing Sheik, Zelda has been left behind. The Princess of The Legend of Zelda series, she was once a top-tier pick due to her ability to transform into Sheik in previous installments.
She has become more of a defensive fighter since losing her other half and suffers in battle.
Ganondorf is the lowest-tiered heavyweight in the game, a clone of Captain Falcon and a hard-hitter but still a sluggish brawler with a large hurtbox. Overall, he’s lacklustre in comparison to Falcon, who is quicker and more versatile.
The lowest-tiered Pokémon on this list and a fan favorite, she is mostly played in the air with her main source of damage coming from her “Rest” ability which at times can be an insta-KO. She is still a weak character, however, due to her ground game and slowness in both movement and combat.
Unless your name is Alex “DaPuffster” Oshrin, don’t be crazy. Without custom moves options, the base moves for the Mii’s are just poor. Even if players like Dapuffster score highly when using them, there aren’t enough players actively playing them to warrant a high placement on the list.