Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here’s what you need to know when you’re starting, including the best characters for beginners, the different modes, and the basic attacks.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now available exclusively for Nintendo Switch, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular games on the system. With its massive popularity, however, there are bound to be new players who aren’t familiar with how the series’ mechanics work, what the different modes are all about, and how they can improve their skills and turn into a formidable opponent.
But that’s what we’re here for! In this Super Smash Bros. Ultimate beginner’s guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to get started in Nintendo’s universe-melting fighter.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ’s control scheme is essentially identical to that used in every game since Melee, and the game even supports GameCube controllers for those used to that setup. Most actions are performed in the game with a single button press, as well as an optional stick movement to access special moves.
The goal of a basic Super Smash Bros. match is to score more eliminations than your opponents. As you deal damage, the percentage above that character’s icon will go up. The higher it is, the more likely it is that they’ll get sent flying after the next big attack. Matches can be determined by “stock,” where everyone has a limited number of lives, or they can be timed. In the latter option, the winner is determined by subtracting your deaths from your kills.
Press the “A” button on your controller without moving the left stick to perform a neutral attack. Moving the stick left, right, up, or down while down this will give your character a different standard attack.
Standard attacks are quick, and good for building up damage on your opponent if they’re a slower character who cannot keep up with your movement speed.
Certain characters will perform longer attacks if you keep hitting the “A” button. Fox, for instance, will deliver a flurry of kicks, quickly racking up damage from the ground.
The “B” button in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is devoted to special attacks. These are moves tailored to each characters’ unique abilities, and often deliver radically more damage at the cost of speed. Mario, for instance, and spin a target around with a cape and deflect projectiles, as well as launch targets into the air as he collects coins.
Like with the basic attacks, moving the left stick while pressing “B” will change the attacks. All characters have neutral specials, up-specials, and side-specials, and down-specials, though not all of these are attacks. Pokémon Trainer’s down-special, for instance, changes out the three available monsters instead of dealing damage.
Special attacks are great options for keeping your opponent on their heels, and for characters with projectile weapons, you can use them to deal damage from afar. Just don’t rely on them exclusively, as many of them have long windup times that make them easy to avoid.
Perhaps the most important move you’ll use in the game, smash attacks are the moves you’ll often use to knock an enemy off the stage. They take longer to use than standard attacks but can be quicker than special attacks, making them a great option later in fights.
There are a few ways to perform a smash attack. The first is to use the right analog stick (the C-stick on the GameCube) and simply move it in the direction of the attack you want. This will deliver a quick version of the attack, albeit not at its maximum power.
To deal even more pain, you can perform a smash attack my slamming the left analog stick in one direction while holding down the “A” button.

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