Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Becoming Competitive
I’m planning on putting out a series of video, where I showcase as I go from an amateur to a higher skilled more competitive player in super smash brothers ultimate. I was probably in my smash prime playing on the N64 and GameCube versions when they released. I played Brawl on the Wii for a brief time when it was released but skipped over the WiiU counterpart altogether.
With the popularity of the Switch, and the favorable reviews for the game, I’m hoping there will a big competitive scene for the game. The last fighting game I got really into was street fighter 4, and I like games that have competitive one-on-one online or tournament community. I wanted to get into the game early to start climbing the online leaderboard. As a beginner, I’ll also be going over tips and tricks on how you can also improve your smash game.
So in today’s video, I’ll describe 3 major starting tips, for similar people in my situation new to the game.
1) Find your main- currently, with total of 74 characters, it may take you a while until you find a character that suits your playstyle. Whether you prefer a fast character or one that can absorb more damage before being knocked off the stage. If you're like me and aren’t good with any character yet, I suggest picking one of the starting characters like Mario so you can start heading into online matches as quick as you can, since it can take a lot of time to unlock them all first. Or you can do what I did, search up the character tier list to see who is the highest on that list that you have available. Tier lists fluctuate, and skill is always greater than the character, but it gives you a good idea which characters win matchups against other characters of equal skill. After playing around for a day I decided to main Pikachu. He’s one of the starting characters, is quick and has versatile moves, while having a great up smash attack that can cover a large distance is knocked off stage.
2) Invest in a new controller- after playing a few matches with the standard joycon controller in docked mode, I could tell right away that I would need to get a better controller to play this game. I was comparing the switch pro controller, the official re-released GameCube controller and a variety of third-party controllers too. I went to target and decided to buy a $25 wired GameCube-esque controller from Hori. Hori is a Japanese company that makes other fighting pads and sticks for all consoles. I have a fight pad for the PS4 also made by Hori that is well built. I also read that wired controller are also supposed to be slightly better for input lag compared to a wired controller, but at an amateur level and for online play it's not going to be noticeable. But I'm thinking ahead. This controller was the cheapest option, works with other switch games, and doesn’t need an adapter, but lacks many features like the amibo reader and motion controls that the pro controller has. So far it feels great and is way better than the standard joycons, but I’ll keep you all updated.
3) Matchmaking- After a couple of days I’ve been going back and forth with my points playing online matches. I would have hoped that Nintendo would have improved their online features since the Wii version, but compared to other online fighting games today, its matchmaking features are really bad and it will be a grind to increase your points. You’ll lose matches because lag and weak connection issues, and I don’t see any way to filter play users that have a good/consistent signal or by region to prevent terrible lag. You can set match preferences, but it seems like just that, preferences. I don’t know how the system works, but If it can’t find your specified preferences in a few seconds, it will just add you to another game with any set of rules. You can look for matches in the background while playing another mode, so I don’t see why the system can’t wait a few more seconds to match you up with someone who listed the same preferences as you. About half of the matches I play online are 4 player games, while I have 1-on-1 set as my preference. This will cause you to win/lose many points depending on the results of the match. Since this series of videos is all about getting the highest points, make sure to practice 4 player matches and know how to win a timed or stock mode. I know its cheap but running or stealing kills is a valid strategy.
Through the past couple of days I’ve been up and down, but currently at about 700,000 GSP. That’s not great knowing that you start with about 550,000 GSP and you gain/lose about 100,000 per match. I’ll keep practicing and give you all an update every week.
In this 2nd video, I wanted to cover 3 more tips and strategies for new players, regardless of your main character. The focus of this video is keeping yourself in an advantageous position against your opponent.
But first I’ll give you all an update on my GSP, which for general purposes this will show if my skills are improving or not. At the time of this recording im at about 30,000 GSP with pikachu, which is a huge drop from my 700k peak. It seems like the amount of GSP gained or lost after a match is based on a percentage of how much GSP you currently have. So at my peak, I could lose almost 100k in one match, but at my low winning, a match would only gain me 1k. The game is supposed to match you against people of equal GSP, so it's better I start from the bottom and practice against people to my skill level. There are probably better ways to get the highest GSP possible, like group battles with items, but my goal is to get better in one-on-one matches based on skill. Luckily I’ve had better success with the preferences during matchmaking this week, and have mostly been put into one-on-one matches instead of the 4 player games I saw a lot the first couple of days.
Now let's talk about tips and strategies portion of this video. The first is the most basic, but integral to practice to git gud, which is edge guarding. When you knock an opponent off the edge you have the advantage because the opponent is in the air and off the stage. You should be guarding the edge of the platform to prevent them from getting back on. High skilled players can take advantage of this position and kill you even if you are below 50% damage. If your opponent is not a complete beginner, they will most likely not let you charge and unleash a smash attack as they jump back onto the edge. Depending on your opponent's character they will likely avoid any attacks and grab onto the ledge where they are temporarily invulnerable. When they get up from the ledge they will do 1 of 4 things, and you need to predict or react quickly to keep the pressure on them, hopefully knocking them back off the platform. The 1st option is just getting up normally, which can be interrupted and attacked, which can be a valid strategy if your opponent is not expecting it. The second option is they can attack during which they will be invulnerable. If you predict they will attack, you can block and follow up with an attack or throw. The third option is that they can roll behind you, and similar to a roll dodge will be invulnerable during this time also. But if you can predict they will do this, you can be ready with an attack or throw for where they will end up. The last of 4 methods of getting up off the edge, is a small hop, which sets them up for ariel moves. However, I haven’t seen much players utilize this option since as I will discuss next, being in the air is generally a disadvantage. You can up-smash, or block their Ariel move before unleashing an attack of your own.
This leads me into the second tip of keeping your advantage of when your opponent is in the air and you are on the ground. It's similar to guarding the edge. Keeping your opponent in the air is great for building damage on your opponent while also being able to KO your opponent if you send them flying up high enough. Depending on your main character, many characters can cover the platform and always be under their opponent as they are falling back down. While you can press down to fall faster, try to predict where your opponent is going to fall and use your up attack to launch them back into the clouds. Better yet, jump up to meet them with an up attack before they can react or recover. Most likely your opponent won't let you keep hitting them up and will do one of the following options. First and most common is that they will do their downward attack, most likely taking priority over your up attack if you collide. In this case, if you predict their down attack coming, you can block or dodge then follow up with an attack or throw. Another option is that they will air dodge as they are falling to avoid your attack and become temporarily invulnerable. It takes practice but if you read that they will do an air dodge, they will be wide open for a smash attack when they land, as air dodge have a long recovery time. Once you get more advanced a good way to build damage on your opponent early is doing an up throw and following up with up-attacks before they can recover.
The last tip, and more personal to me is keeping your cool and patience. Once you start playing on tilt you’ll repeat mistakes instead of learning from them. With such a huge roster of characters, its going to take a while to learn each character’s strengths, weaknesses, and attacks. This series of videos might end if I break my controller, but practice makes perfect and just remember that it's just a game. Most of my frustration comes from incorrect inputs that should improve with better muscle memory.
And that’s it for this week, I hope to make more videos with more tips that you may also benefit from. Let me know if you guys have any strategies that helped you improve your game or any tips for me to improve my skill. I hope by next time, my GSP is higher. Thanks for watching or reading, see you all next time.