These 7 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' tips will help you dominate your friends like a pro

‘Super Smash Bros Ultimate’/NintendoWhen you use the ‘Perfect Shield’ technique, your character’s eyes will glow yellow.
  • “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is out now for the Nintendo Switch and players are already starting to get competitive with the new game.
  • Up to eight players can fight each other in Smash at the same time, leading to plenty of mayhem on the battlefield.
  • While players who have played Smash in the past will have no problem picking up “Ultimate,” there are a few tricks that set veterans apart from casual players.

“Super Smash Bros.” has provided fierce a fierce video game battleground since the first game in the series was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999. With “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” now out for Nintendo Switch, the fight continues with multiplayer matches breaking out across offices, dorm rooms, and house parties everywhere.

While “Ultimate” is the biggest Smash game ever, the rules are the same: players fight to knock each other off the stage using their favourite video game characters. Those who have played the previous games should feel right at home when they pick up “Ultimate;” every character from the previous games has returned and dedicated tournament players have already begun developing advanced techniques for their favourite characters.

Not everyone is ready to become a professional Smasher, but it can’t hurt to have a few tricks to beat casual players right? Here are some essential tips to help you dominate your friends in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”


Figure out a comfortable control scheme (seriously though).

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

Really though, it may sound obvious, but knowing your controls is the first step to winning. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” has no shortage of control schemes and settings, so it’s important to figure out which works best for you. While Smash veterans may prefer playing on the old-school GameCube controller (compatible with “Ultimate” via an adaptor sold separately), the new Switch controls have a different layout and an extra button to customise.

In addition to the standard controls, pay attention to the “Other Settings” options. Lots of players prefer to turn off “Stick Jump” so they don’t accidentally jump with the analogue stick and die. Personally, I like to set my right analogue to “Tilts” for quick attacks, and use Attack+Special for smash attacks. Some people like to set their Jump to a trigger button at the top of the controller for easier access.

Remember that Smash has two types of jumps: A regular jump that is performed by holding the jump button, and a short hop, which can be done by tapping the jump button. You should feel comfortable using all of your attacks at both heights.

Controls are saved to specific usernames, so you can set your personal preferences for different controllers and even create multiple names to use different control layouts for different characters.


Learn how to use items to your advantage.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

While not everyone prefers to play with items enabled, they’re a key part of Smash. Some are basic weapons, some will give you special power-ups, and a few might just blow up in your face and kill you. Learning the different items is key to survival.

In addition to throwing items with the “Attack” button while they’re equipped, you can also drop them in-place by pressing the “Grab” button. If an item is thrown at you, you can catch it by pressing “Attack” or “Grab” right before it hits you, even if you’re in mid-air.

Even if items are turned off, characters like Link and Peach can generate their own items – Link can throw bombs, and Peach can attack with thrown vegetables – and use them to trick and trap opponents.


Remember all of your options for getting back to the stage.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

When knocked off stage, every character in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” can use their Up+Special Attack move to help them get back onto the stage. That special move will vary from between characters but it’s your prime key for survival when used properly. If you find yourself having trouble staying alive, you can pick a character like Kirby, Jigglypuff, Metaknight, King Dedede or Pit, who can float in the air for a period.

Some characters have extra moves to help them get back to the stage too. Using attacks with extra horizontal movement can help make your return to the stage less predictable. A few characters can hit themselves with their special moves to help propel them back to the stage, and an even smaller handful can use certain moves to literally tether themselves to the stage, including Samus, Lucas, Young Link, Toon Link, and Richter/Simon Belmont.


Don’t be predictable when you’re stuck on the ledge.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

Once you make it back to the ledge, you have a few options to keep in mind to avoid getting thrown back off. Every character shares three recovery options when they’re hanging from the ledge: a standard recovery by pressing forward, a ledge attack by pressing “Attack” or “Special,” or a rolling recovery by pressing shield.

The standard recovery will help you get up the fastest, while a ledge attack will hit an opponent waiting near the edge. The rolling recovery can be used to roll past an enemy and get closer to the middle of the stage, hopefully bypassing any opponents waiting to take advantage of the situation.

If the ledge is unsafe, you can also jump into the air or hold down to drop below the ledge. If you let go of the ledge, try and use a special move for better positioning. Keep in mind that you’ll be invincible for a moment when you grab the ledge, giving you some time to consider the best recovery option.


Use moves that spike your opponent to guard the stage and guarantee knockouts.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

Getting back to the stage after a big hit is survival, so your goal in the fight is to make that as hard for your opponents as possible. Certain moves, called “spikes,” will the send the enemy flying straight down – useful, if timed right, to force a knockout on your opponent . Most spikes have to be done in the air, though, so you’ll have to take the risky move of jumping after them when they’re off the side of the level to do it properly.

If your character doesn’t have a spike, try using a projectile or normal attack while another player is jumping back to the stage to interrupt their return. This may not give you an immediate knockout like a spike, but a hard enough hit may put the opponent out of range for recovery.


Perfect shielding lets you shrug off strong attacks and move faster after blocking.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

Using your shield correctly is the first step to good defence in “Smash.” Holding down the “Shield” button will give you a small defensive bubble that shrinks over time. If you let go of that button just before an enemy attack lands, you’ll activate “Perfect Shield,” a technique that keeps you shield from shrinking and lets you move sooner after blocking – assuming you nail the technique.

When “Perfect Shield” is used correctly, the screen will freeze for a moment and your character’s eyes will glow yellow.

Activating “Perfect Shield” at the right time can leave the opponent open for an easily timed counter attack, or prevent your shield from being broken by a powerful attack. You can also activate it multiple times in a row to parry attacks with multiple hits, if you’re good enough.


Break your fall by using the ‘Shield’ button before you hit the walls and floor.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’/Nintendo

Hard hits will send you flying, but you can use the “Shield” button to break your fall and control your recovery. Activating your shield before you hit the ground or a wall will grant you a moment of invincibility and let you get back to fighting. If you hold left or right before performing a ground recovery, you can choose to roll towards or away from your opponent, and holding down on the stick will let you recover in place.

Pressing “Shield” just before you hit a wall can mean the difference between bouncing out of the stage for a knockout and sticking a clean landing.


Every character matchup is different, so choose your battles wisely.

Nintendo

In the end, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is a very flexible fighting game: With more than 70 characters, there are countless strategies to learn. Do your best to find a character that fits how you like to play, and use the fundamentals you’ve learned here to make your style more effective.

Like all fighting games, the characters in “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” all have strengths and weaknesses. Link and Samus have a mix of long range moves and heavy attacks, while Captain Falcon specialises in speed and offensive power. Jigglypuff and Peach may not have as much attack power as the other characters, but they have extra mobility to help them stay safe and escape pressure.

Understanding how your favourite characters match up against the rest of the cast is one of the most important parts of growing as a player. If you can keep the basics in mind, you’ll be able to compete and improve alongside the most hardcore of players.

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