11 days after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s release, it has become difficult to have a gaming conversation that doesn’t end up including the Switch title, or even walk down a dorm hallway without passing at least one room of friends – and sometimes strangers joining the fray – who are locked in a fast paced and frantic battle featuring Nintendo’s most beloved icons flipping through the air and delivering devastating attacks.
The popularity of the title has led to many new players, some of which have no gaming experience at all and some being lifelong gamers who have simply never delved into a fighting game of Smash’s kind, becoming eager to pick up the sticks to join their more seasoned friends. However, even with the instruction of experienced friends, it can be a bit overwhelming for new Smash players to even know where to begin learning the move set of even one fighter in a roster of more than 70, and finding a good base for learning the basic mechanics is increasingly difficult for some.
Here are 5 fantastic options for new Smash players looking to learn the game with intuitive, easy to learn, yet powerful move sets.
While Mario may seem like a bland and unappealing selection on such a diverse roster, the mustachioed Nintendo stalwart serves as a superb starting point for anyone new to the Smash series. Equipped with your standard fare of punches and kicks, Mario possesses decent speed, agility and packs a fair amount of damage in his blows. He’s great for learning how most fighters maneuver the battlefield and getting a grip on basic attacks in addition to a projectile and some easy to use special abilities, like his water cannon and cape.
Although he is none too flashy, having a solid understanding of how to use this iconic plumber will serve every player well in their journey to uncover a favorite fighter.
Much like Mario, Link is a great introductory character due to his generally easy to understand and effective move set. Though slightly slower, Link provides a good base for understanding some of the game’s most base mechanics. The master sword gives him a bit more range than Mario if new players have trouble getting in too close, not to mention his two potent projectiles, the boomerang and arrows. In combination with the bomb he can toss, Link is a good place to start if new players find that they prefer to deal damage from a distance before closing for the smash. He’s a good choice to start to learn simple combos, and with potent smash attacks to all sides and a solid recovery, Link is a well rounded pick.
It is worth mentioning that Link will also introduce players to special abilities of some fighters, his being the ability to block incoming projectiles, at least from the front, if not moving due to his shield.
This iconic ape is simple to use, speedy, hard hitting, and difficult to kill. Donkey Kong is the perfect choice for those newcomers that feel the need to have heavy hitting and swift smash attacks, paired with a fair amount of stage mobility and meatiness. Donkey Kong can tank high amounts of damage, which may be good for new players who struggle with shielding and dodging mechanics. His range of attacks, while more basic than Mario and Link, are capable of quickly building damage. His claps have excellent range and speed compared to many smash attacks, and DK’s chargeable punch introduces new players to an attack they can keep in reserve until the perfect opportunity – which they can perhaps find in his side B, which buries opponents just long enough to unleash a few blows, or deliver the final devastating one.
DK is another good choice for learning a few solid basic combos, and perfect for players who want to learn to grapple and throw. His powerful tosses lend themselves well to heavy use, and can combo into other aspects of his play style. With a fair recovery that also becomes a potent attack, Donkey Kong is worth considering as a newcomer.
Another classic Nintendo mascot, Samus makes the cut for many of the same reasons as previous fighters in the list. She has fair speed and mobility around the stage, and can keep opponents at bay with a powerful, chargeable projectile in the form of her arm cannon. This, paired with the two types of missiles she can produce with her side B, introduces new players to a slightly more advanced form of projectile fighting. The space heroine also has a grab with great range that makes it hard for opponents to get close, assuming they made it through a projectile barrage.
Samus’ ability to drop bombs behind her or from above will give opponents fits if a new player can effectively learn their use. Besides her more unique abilities, she also has some solid, speedy basic and smash attacks to finish the job on high damage enemies.
New players who gravitate towards quick, shifty fighters may find that Marth is a good place to experiment with the play style. With speed that is well above average and a standard sword fighter move set, he also incidentally serves as a decent introduction to a few other members of Ultimate’s stable of Fire Emblem characters. Although he is rather simple on the surface, the damage multiplier attached to which part of his sword actually makes contact on an attack – the blade or the tip – adds a nuance to an otherwise basic move set for new players to improve with.
Aside from standard basic attacks and smashes, Marth is an easy character for newcomers to first use the counter mechanic, since he has little other overdue complexity attached to his special abilities. His shield breaker neutral B is a unique attack for newcomers who seem to have trouble being blocked, and Marth’s speed will also help them gain the upper hand if they have felt sluggish with other characters.
These nuances make Marth a bit more difficult to learn with than other characters on this list, but for new gamers seeking a particular play style, he is an excellent place to begin.