Now that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been out for over a month, most players have started to become truly accustomed to the game. Most players now have every character unlocked, in addition to the different stages. Also, almost everyone at this point has decided their “main,” with most people already fully acquainted with the moves of their primary character. Because of this, playing Smash Ultimate in online matches, in competitions, or even against friends, may be more difficult than it seems sometimes. Often times, this is because we don’t always realize that we are making small mistakes while playing the game, especially if we are only playing the game in single player mode.
Little aspects of the game that some players may think are actually really skillful aren’t really as skillful as they think. Additionally, some players come into Smash Ultimate with the same move set that they used in previous games. While certain moves and tactics may have worked in games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for WiiU, they don’t always translate the best in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, considering how some characters were “nerfed” and some moves were made weaker in this particular game.
Based on what we’ve learned over the past month, we’ve pieced together a list of small mistakes you may be making in your competitive gameplay in order to help make you the best Smash player on the board.
Here are the 25 Things Players Didn’t Know They Were Doing Wrong In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
25 Trying To Be Good At Every Character
Considering that Smash Ultimate has more playable characters than any other Super Smash Bros. game, it may be easy to fall into the habit of trying to play as every character, especially at the beginning as you unlock every new character one at a time.
However, this is actually one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you are hoping to become a skilled player. Every character in the game is different from the other, and in order to truly become good with a character, you have to become used to what they can do. Jumping from Mario to Richter to Jigglypuff to every other character on the board could mess up your gameplay, making you mediocre (at best) at every character rather than being great at one or two characters.
24 Constantly Moving Toward Your Opponent
Particularly in one-on-one matches, one of the most used strategies that people use subconsciously is moving toward your opponent during the fight, which is actually a big mistake. This is something that people very rarely notice that they’re doing, which is why it’s important to look out for.
If you’re constantly moving toward your opponent, you are always on the offense, which gives your opponent more time to prepare. Unlike sports or other games, Smash Bros. often works best if you’re in the defense, as you have more capabilities to attack your opponent if they are coming at you. All things considered, it’s typically better to stand your ground in a fight rather than to chase after your opponent and be blindsided.
23 Playing Against Too Many CPU Characters
One of the things that can hurt your competitive fighting style the most is only playing against computer players. While CPUs have become a lot more advanced than they were back during the arcade days, CPUs today still follow a set amount of coding. When we are fighting a CPU in Super Smash Bros., we aren’t fighting another player, and instead are only fighting a set amount of coding.
Playing against CPUs can be fun and challenging, but it’s a completely different ball game from playing competitively against other players. Becoming accustomed to fighting only computers will not prepare you for what it’s like against another player in the slightest, so you probably shouldn’t make too much of a habit out of only playing against CPUs.
22 Trying To Fly Back To The Stage As Quickly As Possible
Whenever you fall off of or near the edge of a platform or stage, your first instinct is typically to do whatever you can to get back up. While this should remain your instinct if you are playing as a character like Little Mac, it may not be the best strategy if you are playing as a character with great recovery.
If another player knocks you off the edge of the stage, they are going to expect you to come back right where you were first knocked off, essentially making this location a trap for you. If you are playing a character with great jumping skills or a great Up-B, you may want to try to go somewhere else, possibly seeing how high into the air you can go, and then gliding down to any different point on the map, just to keep the advantage from your opponent.
21 Jumping After Every Hit
Some players use the strategy of hitting their opponent, and then jumping into the air to dodge their attacks after every hit. While this may work well against CPUs, it’s not really the best strategy in a competitive match.
First off, the simple act of jumping will take away from some of your character’s fighting capabilities for a vital second. Additionally, if you use this after every move, your opponent will catch on and will retaliate accordingly. Instead, it has been found that moving backward from your opponent after hits is a lot more effective. However, the most effective strategy in this context would actually be to use a combination of directions to escape to after you hit your opponent, in order to remain unpredictable.
20 Playing As Luigi Rather Than Mario
Mario is essentially the face of the game, so picking Mario may not seem “cool.” Because of this, many players tend to pick Luigi instead, as they like Mario’s skill set, but don’t want to look stereotypical. However, at least in Smash Ultimate, Mario is certainly a better choice than Luigi.
While in previous games, Luigi was certainly a powerful character, he has been rather nerfed in Smash Ultimate. Almost everything that he can do, Mario is able to do better. The only aspect of Luigi that really stands out is his powerful Final Smash, but even that doesn’t make up for everything that Nintendo nerfed for Luigi this time around.
19 Entering “Autopilot”
Smash Ultimate is visually gorgeous, with its movement and colors being practically hypnotizing. Because of this, it’s incredibly easy to fall into “autopilot” while playing Smash Ultimate, playing a repeated set of moves without even thinking about what you are doing. While this may make you feel like you’re an expert, being able to play the game without even thinking, it’s actually the most dangerous thing you can do.
When you fall into this habit, you almost always end up ignoring perfect opportunities to take out your enemy, only dealing minor damage to your opponent rather than actually finishing them. If you want to beat your opponent, you will need to pay attention the entire time, because chances are, they are still paying attention, even while you are not. If you ever catch yourself playing on autopilot, snap yourself out of it immediately. Break the habit while you can.
18 Underestimating Young Link
There are multiple versions of Link in this game, which makes it easy to overlook the two younger versions of the character and only consider the actual Link to be a formidable threat. However, the most powerful Link in the game is Young Link, which is something that many Smash Ultimate players overlook.
Young Link has an incredible move-set, from throwing boomerangs to throwing bombs, and even shooting fiery arrows. What really makes him stand out, though, is Young Link’s speed, as he is able to use all of these moves in a short amount of time, being able to finish an opponent in a matter of seconds.
17 Not Watching The “Pros”
Like most popular video games, there are a plethora of videos online of people playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While there are so many videos that it may be easy to ignore them, seeing as most of the videos are by amateur players, it doesn’t mean you should avoid all of the players who post videos.
There are quite a number of “professional” Smash players out there. These are the ones who win international competitions and know every detail of the game. Considering that these are the “masters,” there’s quite a bit that you can learn from just watching what they do. Some great examples are ZeRo, MKLEo, and Nairo.
16 Planning In The Moment Rather Than Planning Ahead
Tying in with the negative effects of “autopilot,” not planning ahead can be detrimental to your performance in a fight. Many players have the instinct of jumping into a scuffle during a match without any plan on how to get out, whether this is by landing in a tight spot on a course or making your way between two opponents.
While your short-term plan should always be to do as much damage as possible, you should always remember your long-term plan: winning. If you are about to launch yourself at an opponent, always have an escape plan for if things go south.
15 Using Ness Instead Of Lucas
Similarly to the Mario-Luigi debacle, some players would rather play as Ness than Lucas, thinking that they have essentially the same skillset and are only basing their choice off of aesthetic and appearance. However, at least in Smash Ultimate, Lucas is the clear choice over Ness.
Lucas can essentially do everything that Ness can, but also so much more. His snake gives him a powerful grab, and his magic abilities seem to be slightly easier to control than Ness’s, being able to knock opponents off the map with ease. If your “main” is Ness and you haven’t tried Lucas that much, you may want to consider giving this apparent dopplëganger a fighting chance.
14 Not Using Shields
For whatever reason, some Smash players have it in their heads that using a shield during a fight is “cheating.” It’s a seemingly impenetrable defense that is obviously frustrating to go against, because it is able to deflect some of the strongest attacks.
This frustration leads some players to not want to be “that guy” who uses the shield, but in the end, if you want to win any actual fights in Smash Ultimate, you are going to have to start getting used to the shields. Hitting the shield button should become second nature. Also, for the record, using shield is definitely not cheating, seeing as almost every CPU player uses them.
13 “Charging” Your Final Smash
Final Smashes seem so rare and powerful in Smash Ultimate that some players decide that they would rather hold onto the Smash once it’s available rather than use it, resulting in their character glowing brightly for a good chunk of the fight. However, this isn’t always the best idea.
If you use your Final Smash right when you get it, you will have a better chance at catching your opponent off-guard. Otherwise, your opponent may simply try to avoid you for the rest of the fight and only use long-range attacks. Additionally, depending on how you earned this particular Final Smash, you may lose it if you wait too long, simply by the Smash expiring if you got it from an Orb, or by you being knocked off the map before you have the chance to attack.
12 Not Using Inkling’s Ink Enough
Considering that she (or he, depending on the skin) is one of the newest additions to the Smash franchise, it’s understandable for players to not know how to fully utilize this character. The real power of Inkling comes from the ink that she can squirt onto her opponents, as the ink makes them more vulnerable to her attacks.
While most people know how to use Inkling’s ink, they don’t fully utilize it the way that they should. In order to get the most out of Inkling, you should only stop squirting the ink onto your opponents when they are completely covered in ink and not settle for anything less.
11 Underestimating Diddy Kong
In a fight against Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, most people would consider Donkey Kong the biggest treat, simply due to his massive size and the punches he puts out. However, in both Smash 4 and Smash Ultimate, Diddy Kong is the real threat you need to be worried about.
While Nintendo did nerf one of his abilities from the last game, he is arguably stronger now in Smash Ultimate than he ever has been before. His movement is a lot faster, which means that he can transition between moves incredibly quickly, and catch up to any fleeing enemy in seconds.
10 Watching Your Character Rather Than Your Opponent’s
Like most traditional video games, most players have a long habit of keeping their eyes fixated on their own character. While it’s obviously important to know where your character is at all times, you should instead keep your opponent in the center of your eye line instead, and keep your character in your peripheral vision.
Eventually, if you purposefully try to watch your opponent rather than yourself, you will develop a balance between looking at yourself and your opponent that will boost your game, allowing you to know exactly what your opponent is doing at every moment while still being able to control your own character adequately.
9 Overusing Roll And Air Launch
Two strategies that some players overuse are roll and air launch, often using the Side-B move back and forth across the stage or launching themselves into the air at an opponent constantly. The issue with overusing both of these is that they are quite difficult to control (depending on your character), which means that if you fall off the map, you more than likely won’t be able to recover.
While these moves are certainly fine to use in moderation, using them constantly is an incredibly risky tactic that will almost never pay off. Additionally, it should be noted that the damage done by rolling at an enemy is quite a bit smaller than it was in Smash 4.
8 Not Focusing On Why You Lost Your Stock
After being knocked off the map or defeated, many players tend to shrug it off in order to stay positive, living in the moment rather than in the past. While this will help keep up positivity, it’s actually a bad strategy that will essentially make you vulnerable to being knocked off the map in the same way again.
After you lose one stock, you should immediately think of what caused you to be blown off the map and consider ways you could have prevented it. Chances are, if your opponent sees you being knocked off the map in one way, they will try it again, seeing it as a weakness. It is your job to make this weakness disappear in order to take advantage over your opponent.
7 Not Playing As King K. Rool
At this point, it’s not really a secret that King K. Rool is the most over-powered character in Smash Ultimate, as he has strong hits, a great recovery, and even a golden shield on his belly. Even though it may seem cliche or cheap to use King K. Rool at this point, there are really no rules against it, so why not pick the best character if your end goal is to win?
King K. Rool is not only incredibly powerful, but he’s also really easy to play, as he is able to get himself out of almost any tight spot using his Up-B. Whether or not you choose Rool as your main, you should definitely try this King of the Kremlins at least a couple of times to see if he works for you.
6 Using The Same Attacks Over And Over
Many players get hooked on using only one attack, whether it’s a Side-B, Up-B, or only using whatever weapon they recently picked up. While it’s always important to know of and utilize your character’s best attack, using exclusively one attack is arguably more dangerous than not using that attack at all.
If you always use the same move, you will become predictable, and your opponent will soon figure out exactly what to do to dodge your attacks and catch you off-guard. The trick is mixing up your attacks in order to always keep your opponent on their toes.
5 Not Knowing Your Character’s Recovery
This one should be a given, but if you are going into competitive matches with characters you aren’t entirely familiar with, it’s incredibly important to know what their recovery is, and know the difference between the different characters you play.
For example, let’s say your main is Kirby and you are used to being able to float all around the course, but then you switch to Little Mac and forget that you can no longer fly. You’ll have nowhere else to go but down. As soon as the match starts, it’s important to refresh your memory with how much you can jump and what your Up-B is, just to prevent you from hitting the wrong button while you’re falling to your ruin.
4 Underestimating Jigglypuff
Jigglypuff is among the most adorable characters in the Super Smash Bros. series and has been commonly seen as a joke character, with very few people actually taking her seriously. However, with the right player, Jigglypuff can be incredible in a fight, as her side attacks are quite powerful, especially when she is trying to finish someone.
The most dangerous aspect of Jigglypuff, however, is that everyone who plays as this particular Pokémon knows that everyone else underestimates her, which gives them an advantage, as they can continuously catch their opponents off-guard. Don’t be one of these players who gets blindsides by this adorable pink ball.
3 Overusing Special Moves
Much like over-using the roll or air launch, using a variety of special moves too much can really hurt your performance too. While these are typically the strongest attacks you can use, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still utilize the basic attacks or the various weapons that land across the board.
Depending on who you are playing as, the best strategy may be to only use the special moves when your opponent is far away from you (except the Down-B, but still only use that sparingly). When you are right up close with your opponent, use a combination of punches to really beat down your enemy, and then finish with a special move, but definitely don’t open with special moves in what is essentially hand-to-hand combat.
2 Trying To Play Seriously When You’re Tired
You just got home from a long, stressful day of school or work. You’re frustrated and tired and can’t really focus, so you decide to practice your competitive Smash Ultimate game. Great idea, right? No, it’s not.
If you play Smash competitively when you’re stressed or tired, it will ultimately hurt your game, as you won’t be able to fully focus on the match. In fact, it may get you into the habit of playing without focus. Instead, you may want to experiment around with single player options on Smash when you’re tired or stressed, so you can still have fun without hurting your game.
1 Thinking You Don’t Need To Improve
Like all things in life, you will never be perfect at Smash Ultimate. You will always have room to improve your skill. Putting yourself into the mindset that you are doing everything right and don’t need to improve is incredibly dangerous, and will keep you from ever rising to the top.
Even the best Smash players in the world still practice and constantly try to improve their game, and it pays off. Unless you can go through every match without taking a single percentage of damage, you are not the perfect player, and thus should always be looking for new ways to improve, especially if you want to be the best of the best.
Are there any other things that players get wrong about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let us know in the comments!