Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Beginner’s Guide: Tips, Tricks, and Advice

A smashing good time is at hand.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the coming together of every major Nintendo franchise on the Nintendo Switch.

It creates a scenario where Mario could potentially face off against King K. Rool and lets you live out that dream fight on one of the game’s many stages. The game isn’t limited to just Nintendo characters, either, with a whole host of third-party characters also joining the fight.

Being a Smash Bros. title, the game features a simplistic control scheme so that anyone can pick up a controller and play from the get-go. There are some things, however, that the game doesn’t tell you. 

To help you understand the mechanics and to give you a fighting edge over, we’ve created this handy guide to teach you some of the basics about the game for when you go into your next bout.

Learn basic movement 

In Ultimate, inputs are split into a handful of distinct button commands.

You have your basic attack, which can be mashed by pressing A.

A smash attack requires you to press A at the same time as a directional input. And your special moves require you to press B, Up and B, Down and B, or Left or Right and B.

To jump, simply press up on the directional button and to guard hold down the ZR or ZL button. By flicking the directional buttons left or right while guarding, you’ll perform a dodge.

Lastly, the L button can be used to grab an opponent when you are close to them. You can then either throw them in a particular direction by using the control stick or perform attacks on them by pressing the A button.

It gets a bit more confusing when you bring in air attacks and technical moves, but for the most part, this is all the basic movement that you need to know before getting into a match.

Understanding how to win

In Smash Bros. Ultimate, the rules are simple. Deal enough damage to your opponents as possible to make their percentage bar go up and knock them off the stages to earn points.

The person with the most points at the end, wins.

Of course, that isn’t the only game mode available. You can change the rules at any time to give each character a set amount of lives or health, but the end goal is always the same—deal damage to other players and knock them off platforms before they do that to you.

Don’t mash!

In some fighting games like Street Fighter V, you could get away with mashing a controller in hopes of pulling off flashy moves to take a surprise victory— but Smash Bros. isn’t your typical fighting game.

By mashing a controller, not only are you running the risk of missing a combo and leaving yourself open, but you also just look foolish. Ultimate has been made to reward players for timing hits right and going on the offensive, so just mashing buttons will get you nowhere.

Even a move like Donkey Kong’s Down B, which could be repeated over and over again nonstop, will just leave you open for attacks by other knowledgeable players.

Researching the matchup

Just like with most fighting games, every character has its own strengths and weaknesses that you, or another player, can exploit.

Learning how each character plays, even if you get a basic idea, is essential information during matches so you know what to look out for. By knowing how each character plays, you can learn how to counter them and which characters they are weak to. 

If you don’t know the matchup, then you should always assume that your opponent does. As such, be respectful in fights, don’t be too overly aggressive and if you need to fight, fight smart and cautiously.

You need to believe that every match is winnable and, if you didn’t do your research this time around, make sure that you do so for next time.

Play for fun

Not everyone is going to be a hardcore competitive player from the start. Sometimes, people play games to have fun. Crazy, right?

The game has nearly 70 characters for you to test out with more on the way as DLC. You aren’t going to know which character you are best at until you try them all. You could also find a character that you really enjoying playing as, regardless of whether they are a top tier character or not, and you’ll want to invest much of your time into that character.

The Smash Bros. series was created under Nintendo’s philosophy of fun first, so if you aren’t enjoying the game, then maybe Ultimate isn’t the game for you.