Smash Bros Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Advanced Players

Smash bros Ultimate Guide
Getting kicked in the gut by a humanoid fox is all sorts of weird

Found yourself in a losing streak?

Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing for awhile, Ultimate is a game where you’re going to lose a match eventually.

But don’t let that frustration get to you!

Here are some ways to help improve your game and net you some more wins under your belt.

1. Understanding Neutral

Ready, set...Smash!

Most of your matches will be spent in “neutral”. What that means is a state where you and your opponent are looking for any opening to go in and go in for a combo. For example: your opponent attacks you while you’re in shield, and you roll away to avoid any follow up your opponent might have, such as a grab. This is what it means to be in “neutral”: your opponent can’t attack you any further, but you don’t have any follow up either.

2. Footsies

Just the right distance Fox wants Roy to be

Now that you understand what being in neutral is, you can understand how to keep close enough to hit your opponent, but enough time to back out if your opponent attacks. Know your character and know their range of attack, so that you stay close enough to throw out attacks quickly without having to run a hundred meters to them. Also be aware of your opponent’s range of attack as well, so when they come up close to attack, and miss, you can punish!

3. Understanding Punish

Litte Mac is off his game a little

Your opponent made a mistake, now what? Attack attack attack! This is what punish game is: taking advantage of your opponent when they make mistakes, and trying to cause as much damage to them as possible. You can do this with a combo, or smash attack to knock them out!

4. Know When to Back Out of There

Shulk stayed too close, for too long

Strung a few good hits together, and want to keep going? Well just be careful about how long you think you can keep hitting them for.

Ultimate is more about spending more time in neutral game than punish game, and eventually your opponent will find a gap in your attacks, and punish you for it. So know when to retreat, back up so your opponent can’t attack you so easily, and reset the game back to neutral.

5. Dodging

Phew! Out of the way just in time

You’re going to get caught in your opponent’s combo, but don’t just stand there and watch it all go downhill. A mechanic for getting away from your opponent, besides running, is air dodging and dodging on the ground.

You do this by pressing the shield button and a direction on your joystick at the same time. This results in some time where you can’t be hit, and also puts some distance between you and your opponent.

6. Don't Rush: You're Not Going to Win or lose in Ten Seconds

This fight looks like it might end pretty soon

On average, a one vs. one will take about three to four minutes, so you’re not under a strict time limit to win. Not that you can take someone’s stock that easily: they’ll be taking their time as well. Also, knocking your opponent out with a smash attack won’t happen when they are at 20% damage:, at most, they’ll be sent across the stage.

Build up their damage at a rate you are comfortable with, and once they are at a percentage you know that your attacks will send them off stage, knock them out with a smash attack!

7. Find Your Kill Confirms

Little Mac just cannot catch a break now can he?

A kill confirm is a combo move where a normal attack leads into a smash attack or another attack that is strong enough to KO your opponent. Usually kill confirms depend on the damage percentage your opponent is at: for example, Fox has a kill confirm with most characters from 93-100% where you hit your opponent with a neutral air attack, and you follow that up with an up smash attack.

There are over 70 characters in this game, each with a different kill confirm and different percentages when it works for specific characters. Some characters need a higher percentage for the kill confirm to work, and vice versa. Try and find it out the kill confirms with a character you like!

8. Find a Main

To think the first game only had twelve characters to choose from

Like it was mentioned before, there are over 70 characters in this game: it is very time consuming to learn all of them proficiently. Dedicate your time to one specific character, so you can learn how to fully utilize their skillset. Learn their combos, and find out how the character you chose best fights against other players.

Now how do you choose a main? There are many ways to choose a main, but some of the bigger reasons is that you choose a main because you really like the character’s franchise, like how the character plays, or because that specific character is easier to get wins with. It’ll all depend on what you want to do as a player.

9. Find a Secondary

Just stick to playing as Pokemon

Okay, so now you found a character you want to get good with. But sometimes, your character is going to have a hard time with other characters in the game, due to their innate weaknesses. An example of a character that has a hard time with another one is a heavy character, like Ridley, has a hard time against a small character, like Pichu, due to them being extremely big and easy to combo against.

A good solution to this is finding as secondary: a character that covers the weaknesses that your main has, in case you find yourself against someone who takes advantage of them. This way you gain the advantage in a match by changing what your opponent has to deal with. Like a main, take your time learning your secondary by learning their combos and kill confirms.

10. Mixing Up Your Strategy

That's a look that knows exactly what you're going to do next

You’re fighting an opponent, and a minute in, your dash attack always keeps getting shielded and grabbed. This is because now your opponent now knows that when you run to them, they know you’re always going in with a dash attack, and will punish you for it. Now what do you do?

Do a dash attack when you run in, and then next time when you run in do an attack from the air. This makes it harder for your opponent to predict what you’re going to do next; therefore, they have a harder time punishing you.

11. Read Your Opponent

Kirby already has a fire move, why does he need another?

This is one of the harder techniqueshings to learn in Smash Ultimate. Reading your opponent means having an idea of what your opponent is going to do next, or where they’re going. See your opponent always shielding when you run up to them? Take note of it for next time, and just grab them. It’s even better if they keep doing it, and not knowing why they keep getting punished for it.

Reading an opponent takes time, and happens really fast in a match. Don’t worry about not doing this well at first because everyone has a hard time with this. A good tip is once you are good enough with your character that you can fight with them blind, just look at your opponent most of the time during a match. See what patterns they have, and what they usually tend to do after attacking.

12. Practice!

Lucario, calm down, he's a kid

Don’t expect to get all of these fundamentals down quickly, and don’t expect to be the best at this game anytime soon. No one will ever be perfect with all of these skills, and no one will expect you to be perfect either. The best you can do is to practice all of these skills, and always keep getting better a little every time get a little better every time. Smash Ultimate has been out for less than a year, and will keep growing as the player base gets bigger, soand people will discover new techniques and ways to play. Just keep practicing this game, putting in the time and effort to learn, and one day you’ll look back at the first time you picked up the game and see how much better you’ve become.

How do you practice? Well there’s is a training room for that! Go to the training room, pick your main, and a good player to practice against, like would be Pokemon Trainer. Pokemon trainer has three Ppokemon, all with different weights, so you can essentially practice your combos against three different characters without having to back out of the training room every time. Make it a little easier for yourself, this game is hard enough as it is.

This may seem like a lot, and it is, but take your time, and learn the game at your own pace. No one gets good in a day, but all of these skills will be essential for making you a better Smash player. To summarize these skills:

1. Understand neutral

2. Footsies

3. Understanding punish

4. Know when to back out of there

5. Dodging

6. Don’t rush in: you’re not going to win or lose in ten seconds

7. Find your kill confirms

8. Find a main

9. Find a secondary

10. Mixing up your strategy

11. Read your opponent

12. Practice!

I guess that's his version of a peace sign

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Gamer Since: 1997
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Currently Playing: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
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