By Matthew Rondina
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived on the Nintendo Switch taking the esports fighting scene by storm. If you are on the outside looking in, WGN is here to help you make your big debut with tips and tricks for new fighters. Let’s dive in and get you on the fast track to victory!
Take a Tour of the Game Modes
If this is your first time playing a Smash game, welcome! This entry in the series is packed with 74 fighters, 103 stages, and eight different modes, there is a lot of content to dig into!
You should start by visiting training mode, it will help you to perfect combos and get a better feel for game mechanics before jumping into facing off against human opponents.
Not all characters and stages will be available from the start, needing to be unlocked as you move up the ranks. One of the most fun parts of Smash is unlocking characters, especially if they are from your favourite franchise. To start unlocking characters for all modes, play through the World of Light, not only will you come out of it with more fighters but a lot of key fighting experience.
Not all fighters are created equal, and if you are new to the series I highly recommend going with a character that is well balanced to help learn the ropes. Mario or Kirby are great options at first, giving you a good feel for the gameplay mechanics. Later on you can test out Link or Pikachu to change things up.
Mario is well balanced, his flame attack is easy to execute, Link is great for zoning enemies, pushing them back with ranged attacks. If you find yourself falling off the stage often, Kirby is for you, his multi-jump will save your bacon and get you back on solid ground. Pikachu’s spin down smash pulls in opponents and doles out a ton of damage. Take your time and experiment with a few different characters in order to get comfortable with a few fighter types.
The basic objective of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (and the versions of the game that came before it) is to knock your opponents off the stage. There are other modes that change this up slightly like timed and elimination game types, but it’s all about sending your opponent flying off the screen. You might not be used to this, as other fighting games have you deplete an enemies’ health chipping away until it drops to zero for the big K.O. but it’s not the same in Smash.
When a match starts you’ll notice your hit counter starts low and rises as your opponents unleash successful attacks. As this number grows you become more vulnerable, likely to get knocked flying after the next barrage. The K.O. in Smash comes in the form of knocking an opponent off the stage, scoring the elimination. Work on your recoveries in order to stave off quick eliminations. This can be accomplished by understanding the recovery limitations of your character, for example fighters like Chrom and Little Mac don’t have great recoveries. Chrom is considered one of the best swordsmen in the game, but if you don’t compensate for his poor recovery you could experience a quick defeat. Err on the side of caution and know your character’s limitations well.
It’s bound to happen more than a few times in a match where your opponent pushes you off the fighting stage, what do you do next? It depends on your character, as some fighters have excellent recoveries where they are able to easily double jump or glide back to the stage. Kirby comes to mind, able to make it with time and space to spare when it comes to reaching safety. Once again, this makes our little pink hero a great starter so you can avoid early frustration if you are constantly falling.
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!