Not sure where to begin with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Here are a few characters that should be pretty suitable for new players to the series

You should of course play the characters you enjoy the most, but these picks can hopefully guide you to get more used to the game in the beginning

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • January 15, 2019 at 7:48 p.m. PST

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out, and it boasts a gigantic roster of over 70 characters, right out of the box.

In fact, every single character ever playable in the series is back, including even more beyond that.

I've personally been playing Super Smash Bros. since the very beginning back on the Nintendo 64, but it's becoming more and more evident with each game that there are a lot of people for whom the current game is their very first Smash game, and it can be a daunting series to get into, even at a casual level.

With so many characters, mechanics and the fact that it functions quite differently from the majority of other fighting games, through things such as not having HP bars but instead knockback which increases with the damage you take, it's quite the unique romp.

As such, we decided it would be good to have a writeup of characters for any of you players who might be unfamiliar with the Super Smash Bros. series and are looking to get into it, but don't quite know where to start.

To reiterate, you should always play the characters you like or enjoy the most, but if you're struggling to find your groove, maybe starting with one of these characters will help ease you into the system a bit more before you go for your absolute favorites.

Mario

As the mascot of not only Super Smash Bros. and his home series of Super Mario Bros., but in fact the mascot of Nintendo and video games themselves, Mario is obviously going to be a popular pick based on pure recognizability alone.

Likely because of this, he's equipped with a little bit of everything, and is a fairly basic character to learn the general approach of Super Smash Bros. through. He has a projectile, a reflect move, a super fast out-of-shield punish and is even able to utilize the relatively rare water mechanic via his down special, the F.L.U.D.D. from Super Mario Sunshine.

At a casual level, Mario will definitely teach you about the game and give you a sense for how to play it, and he's fairly fast as well which gives you a good sense of the game's movement.

It's not uncommon for main characters in fighting games fit the role of being something of a jack of all trades and being good to learn the game through, and while Super Smash Bros. isn't a traditional fighting game, and is also a crossover title meaning it doesn't have any specific main character, Mario fits this mold pretty well. If you're just looking to grasp the mechanics before moving on to another character, or like Mario the most, he's a good place to start.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is interesting in that he's a big body with long reach, but he isn't particularly slow because of it. As far as bigger characters go, he's actually fairly speedy.

As such, if you're the type of player who likes heavy hitters and bigger characters, Donkey Kong is a great starting point, because he'll still be fast enough to keep up with the general game, so you won't have to feel hamstrung or, in matches with more than two players, as ganged up on since you can try to get your opponents off you or keep them out with his range.

Having good reach on top of a big body makes it easier to connect hits together in succession as well, which can help you in understanding Smash's quite unique combo game of reading your opponent's movements in recovery and reacting accordingly.

Kirby

Kirby is an ultimate beginner character in the sense that he has really good and really easy recovery. He has many small hops that you can use to get back on stage, and even after that his up special gives him a big boost upwards as well. Because of this, Kirby is good to try out if you feel like you're dying too often from not being able to get back on the stage.

Another fun aspect of Kirby is that through his absorb ability, you can try out pieces of other characters. While the only thing you get access to is their neutral special, it's still a nice way to get a slight feel for a tool that another character has.

Outside of this, Kirby is just fairly easy to control and is just simple to understand. He may not be a powerhouse, but he'll help you out with movement and recovery mechanics for sure.

Pikachu

To reiterate the point of this article, it isn't about characters that are easy to master, because Pikachu probably isn't, but he's a nice starter to get used to speedy characters with.

Pikachu has fast movement and a more unique recovery, and is a good entry point to more peculiar moves you might find across the cast which require additional stick movements or button presses to execute fully.

If you're the type of player who tends to enjoy fast characters, Pikachu should be a pretty good place to start. He's also equipped with momentum-pushing moves, projectiles and more, so you'll get a lot of Smash's core experience through him.

Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon is another speedy character, though his speed is more focused on general movement than his actual attacks, though they're definitely not slow either.

With Captain Falcon you'll get a good chasedown game, and get to experience some truly flashy moves as well. He has momentum-giving special moves which will overtake opponent's attacks, and he also has a pretty solid combo game which you can brush up on.

His recovery might not be the best, but for battles on the stage he's a great character to learn.

Bowser

Contrary to Donkey Kong, Bowser is a big body who actually does hit fairly slow, at least with some of his moves, but they also pack all the more punch for it.

An interesting thing about Bowser which makes him a fun candidate to learn is that he has super armor on all of his tilts and smash attacks, though these are based on the percentage of the move hitting you, meaning they won't absorb just anything, but can be used situationally.

Learning the intricacies of these tools and using them to your advantage is a great way to get familiar not only with Smash itself, but opponents' attacks and how they work.

Bowser also clocks in as the heaviest character in the game, which makes him harder to launch far, meaning that you're likely to survive at much higher percentages than other characters would. His recovery may not be top tier, but it's definitely nothing to scoff at either. Staying alive longer is a pretty big boon when you're new to the game.

Pit and Dark Pit

First, it's important to note that Pit and Dark Pit aren't entirely identical, but the differences between the two are miniscule enough where I can safely recommend either or as far as learning the game goes.

Similarily to Kirby, Pit and Dark Pit come equipped with extra jumps beyond the regular double jump, and on top of that their up special goes incredibly fair, making their recovery super strong.

They also have a little bit of the Mario syndrome, namely that they're equipped with many of the different mechanics of the game. They have projectiles which can be aimed directionally before firing, and steered after shooting, they have reflect moves which cover both sides and they even have a side special which comes equipped with armor.

If you're looking for an all-rounder but Mario feels a bit too basic to you, Pit might be a good choice for you. If you also like edge, Dark Pit is the way to go.

Ike

Ike has generally been a fairly difficult character to get going with in Smash as a beginner because of his slow nature (moreso his attacks than his actual movement), but in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate it feels like he's an alright character to recommend to try out, partly because of his movement speed being faster than before, and having more reliable options to attack his opponents with.

He hits like an absolute truck, but his most hard-hitting moves tend to leave him quite open as well. Finding a balance between these and his smaller, more reliable options is key, and you'll find that Ike finishes opponents much faster than most other members of the cast.

As for his recovery, many characters tend to only use their up special for it, but Ike basically chooses between his side special or his up special depending on if he needs to travel horizontally or vertically. He's not the only character who has this, but he's a good character to learn this basic type of thinking with.

Ike also comes equipped with a counter, so trying to adapt to your opponent's attack approach works well with him.

King Dedede

King Dedede is a bit of a peculiar character in some regards, but he should be a decent starting point to learn Smash from. First of all, his recovery is like Kirby's but with an even better up special at he end.

Outside of that, since he comes equipped with his hammer, he has quite good range to poke his enemies with, and he can also throw out a Gordo with his side special to keep enemies further at bay.

As something of a mid-range zoner and decently heavy hitter, King Dedede can probably give you a good sense of spacing in the game, both with projectiles and normals, as well as good recovery. This makes him an okay character to try and learn the game with, in my book.

Little Mac

Little Mac is an absolute beast when you're on the ground. He has fast, hard-hitting moves and he moves incredibly quickly.

All this only applies while you're on the ground, however. In the air, Little Mac is better than he was in the last game, but he's still exceptionally weak. His recovery has gotten better, but it's still not great, and overall Little Mac is a character who really wants to be airborne as little as possible, which is a bit of a challenge in a game like Super Smash Bros. where a lot of the scuffles tend to take place in the air.

However, if it's the ground game you want to focus on, Little Mac is definitely a good pick, though you might become a bit spoiled with just how strong he can be there. Another interesting aspect is that his unique K.O. Punch meter gives a good feel for unique characteristics of characters, and will ease you in to characters who have extra bars to keep track of

Lucina

Although Lucina is an echo of Marth, the face of Fire Emblem, there's a reason why she's listed here without the counterpart she was made from, and that is that there is a fundamental difference in the way their swords work.

Marth has what's referred to as a tipper, meaning that he has a specific point at the tip of his sword which you want to hit your opponents with to optimize your damage and knockback. Lucina, however, has no such mechanic, and will do equal damage and knockback no matter which part of her sword you hit the opponent with. In short, she doesn't need optimal spacing to shine.

Outside of this, Marth and Lucina are largely identical, but it's a big difference for someone trying to learn the game, making Lucina a much better choice. She's a quick and agile sword used with good range, and even if you don't need to space with her she'll be good to teach you the specific spacings for long-ranged melee attacks to hit.

The gist of it is that Lucina will teach you spacing, but not punish you for messing it up. As such, she's a great beginner character to get a feel for the close-mid range game in Smash.

King K. Rool

The only brand new character of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to make my list of beginner characters, King K. Rool is a fantastic choice if you're a fan of big body characters and want to learn some of Smash Bros.'s intricacies.

Like some others on this list, he comes equipped with a variety of good tools, from projectiles which can be interacted with, a counter and some absolutely amazing recovery in his up special.

On top of this, he has a super armor mechanic which works quite a bit differently from Bowser's, in that any attack in which he uses his belly has armor on it due to his golden plating on it. This armor will eventually crack, and you can visually see this in the game as well, and if you let it break the whole way K. Rool will end up dazed, so you need some awareness while making use of it.

K. Rool has some very strong attacks, and he can control space properly with his special attacks. On top of this, the super armor and counter leave your opponent having to approach cautiously, and even if you get knocked off-stage, his aforementioned fantastic recovery will help you back. As such, he's a good character to get into the game with, though it's important to remember that most characters don't necessarily have these luxuries.

To make it clear, these characters aren't necessarily easy to master, but I think they're all good characters to begin with if you want to get used to Smash and start understanding the mechanics and intricacies of the game.

Thanks for reading this piece, and hopefully these explanations will be beneficial to someone who's trying to figure out where to begin their Super Smash Bros. playing.

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