Pichu (SSBM)

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This article is about Pichu's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For other uses, see Pichu. Also, for information about the character of whom Pichu is a clone, see Pikachu (SSBM).
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Universe Pokémon
Availability Unlockable
Tier F (25)
Compared with Pikachu, Pichu is a tad more nimble and a little more difficult to hit.
—Description from Pichu's trophy.

Pichu (ピチュー, Pichu) is a Pokémon character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is unlocked by completing Event 37: Legendary Pokémon or by playing 200 vs. matches. Pichu is the "baby" pre-evolution of Pikachu, and in Melee, Pichu has a nearly identical moveset, making it a clone.

Pichu is currently ranked 25th in the F tier due to its terrible range and that most characters can easily chain throw it, despite its small size and its status as the lightest character in the game, which are also its flaws. It also takes damage from its own electric attacks, hindering its KOing ability, as most of its finishing attacks involve electricity. Pichu does have strengths, such as having a surprisingly good grab game, and Pichu is very quick and most of its attacks have little to no start-up lag. Pichu also has a decent air game and a slew of powerful attacks, some even more powerful than those of its counterpart. Regardless, Pichu suffers from abysmal matchups, and it has the highest amount of very unfavorable matchups of any character in any Smash game, having a total of twelve. By comparison, Kirby, the lowest on the tier list, has seven, and Bowser, the third lowest on the tier list, has six. Furthermore, Pichu has no advantageous matchups, with three being even (against Yoshi, Kirby and Bowser). It appears that Pichu is intended to be a sub-par character since its trophy descriptions mention that it is "top of the class in weakness" and it is "best suited for handicapped matches."


To unlock Pichu, players have to complete Event 37: Legendary Pokémon or take part in 200 VS. matches. Upon completing either criterion, the player will fight against Pichu on Pokémon Stadium, with "Battle Theme" playing.


Pichu, as a character, falls under the archetype of being nimble, yet relatively weak; while faster and slightly stronger than Pikachu in some cases, its moveset generally consists of attacks that deal much lower damage and knockback than Pikachu or most other characters in the cast. Due to its high traction and average falling speed, Pichu has a rather short wavedash; additionally, its quick and low-lag aerials also give Pichu a good SHFFL, much like Pikachu's. As such, Pichu can easily maneuver around stages, with very low landing lag, a small frame and a rather fast dash, as well as decent jumping power.

One of Pichu's main advantages is its perhaps surprising power. While its smashes are all of short range, all are unusually powerful considering Pichu's small frame. Its up smash and forward smash contain incredible power, being able to KO characters reliably at as little as 70 to 80 percent, while its down smash semi-spikes opponents and has invincibility frames. Pichu's Skull Bash also has surprising power and distance when charged; at full power, it deals a massive 39% damage and guarantees KOs at very low percentages, and the long distance traveled greatly aids in Pichu's recovery.

Professionals consider Pichu's neutral aerial to be the best tool in its arsenal, as it comes out very quickly and has very low ending and landing lag, especially when L-canceled. Pichu can approach enemies with neutral aerial, rack up respectable damage with long strings of it, and create psuedo-walls of pain if the player chooses to continue the strings off-stage. Aside from this, Pichu's up aerial allows it to juggle enemies into the air. Its other aerials are lackluster, but these two moves alone give Pichu quite a force in the air. Pichu also has decent throws; its forward and back throws can knock opponents off stage or set up combos, while its up and down throws can potentially start chain throws.

Pichu's greatest flaw, however, is its significant range problems. All of its best and most powerful attacks are very close to its body, making it tough for Pichu to KO or inflict damage easily (especially against characters with disjointed hitboxes), having only a handful of options for approaching enemies. Although Pichu does have access to two projectiles (Thunder Jolt and Thunder), both cause recoil damage and are easily telegraphed, making them unreliable and punishable if used excessively. Pichu's grab game is also heavily hampered by its short range, at the third shortest in the game, making it difficult for players to consistently take advantage of Pichu's decent throws. Many of Pichu's poorest matchups stem from it being unable to deal with individual moves of characters (such as Sheik's forward tilt or a large portion of Marth's moveset) because it lacks tools that have enough range to counter the attacks.

Additionally, Pichu suffers from the infamous recoil damage it receives from using almost any of its attacks involving electrical hitboxes. In several of Pichu's attacks, especially those that involve electricity, at least one percent of damage is directly inflicted onto it; using Agility to recover alone adds four percent to Pichu each time it is used. This recoil damage is especially crippling to Pichu; with the lowest weight in the game (being lighter than Jigglypuff) and average falling speed, Pichu's survivability is among the worst in the game, meaning that this recoil damage, coupled with damage inflicted by the opponents, can cause Pichu to be more easily KOed than any other character in the game. Outside of making Pichu even easier to KO, the extra damage taken through recoil also reduces how long it can utilize crouch cancelling. In order for Pichu to avoid the significant drawbacks of recoil damage, players need to strike a proper balance between Pichu's electrical and non-electrical moves; as a benefit to Pichu, arguably Pichu's best KOing and comboing moves, such as its neutral air and up smash, do not use electricity, making recoil damage less of a problem if the player is careful enough not to use electrical moves, such as its forward smash and forward throw, too often.

Pichu's defensive game is also poor, with short tech rolls, rolling dodges, and a slow, short ledge roll, making it far easier for enemies to punish Pichu for attempting to dodge. Its shield is rather large for its size, however, making shield stabbing less of a problem for it. Furthermore, despite being a lightweight, Pichu is also quite vulnerable to combos (some of which are either infinite or zero-death, such as Ganondorf's chain throw) due to its abnormally high hitstun.

Differences from Pikachu[edit]

  • Nerf.png Most of Pichu's attacks damage it.
  • Buff.png Pichu can wall jump, aiding its recovery.
  • Notice.png Pichu is slightly smaller than Pikachu.
  • Notice.png Pichu's idle animations, taunt, and victory poses are all different from Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png Up tilt, all three smash attacks, and forward and back aerials all deal less damage than Pikachu's.
  • Buff.png Skull Bash can be charged for a longer period of time.
  • Nerf.png Skull Bash has more ending lag.
    • Buff.png It is also more powerful when fully charged, and it also traverses considerably more ground than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf.png Pichu's Agility is slower than Pikachu's Quick Attack.
    • Nerf.png It also cannot travel as far, nor can it inflict damage.
  • Nerf.png Thunder does less damage than Pikachu's.
  • Notice.png Pichu's up smash is completely different, in which it hits the opponent with its head.
    • Nerf.png It is not as powerful as Pikachu's. It also has shorter range, like many of Pichu's attacks.
  • Notice.png Forward smash strikes multiple times instead of once.
    • Nerf.png Forward smash is not as powerful as Pikachu's and has less range. It can also be SDI'd out of before the final blow connects.
  • Nerf.png Up aerial does not semi-spike, reducing its gimping potential.
  • Buff.png Up aerial is more open to easily combo into itself on fast-fallers.
  • Buff.png Grab range is slightly longer than Pikachu's, but it is still one of the shortest in the game.
  • Nerf.png Pichu is significantly lighter than Pikachu, giving it a much lower endurance.


For a gallery of Pichu's hitboxes, see here.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack- Jabs its head forward, can chain into itself. Quite fast, can infinite against some characters on walls. 1-2% per jab.
  • Forward tilt- Shoves both of its feet forward. Low range and knockback, though a fast move. 8% damage.
  • Up tilt- Swipes its tail in an arch above it. Very low range and somewhat slow, though sets up for aerial combos and follow ups. 6% damage.
  • Down tilt- Swipes its tail in front of it. Short ranged, but can act as a good method for spacing. 7% damage.
  • Dash attack- A basic dash attack, sticks its head out and trips mid-dash. 8% damage.
Smash attacks[edit]
  • Forward smash- Launches a short jolt of electricity from its cheeks. Very powerful finisher, KOs at relatively low percentages. Incredible knockback when fully charged, KOs light characters at very low damages near the edge. However, this attack can be SDI'd out of. Several hits that add up to 12% uncharged, 16% fully charged. Always has a 2% damage recoil regardless of charge time. One of the strongest side smash attacks.
  • Up smash- Headbutts upwards similar to Mario's up smash, good finisher. 16% uncharged, 20% fully.
  • Down smash- Quickly spins in place. It has more range than it appears and has invincibility frames, as well as powerful. 13% uncharged, 17% fully charged.
Other attacks[edit]
  • Ledge attack- Gets up and flips its tail. 8% damage.
  • 100% ledge attack- Slowly gets up and swipes its tail. 6% damage.
  • Floor attack- Gets up and spins its tail around. 6% damage.

Aerial attacks[edit]

Pichu's aerial attacks
  • Neutral aerial- Spins around, has a generous hitbox. 12% damage.
  • Forward aerial- Jolts many electrical shocks from its cheeks. Around 7% damage if all hitboxes land. Has a 1% recoil damage for every hitbox produced (up to 4% can be gained regardless if the hitboxes land or not).
  • Back aerial- Flips to its rear many times, though only has one hitbox. Relatively high ending and landing lag. 9% damage.
  • Up aerial- Flips up and thrusts its tail, sets up many combos on fast fallers. Lacks semi-spike properties. 4% damage.
  • Down aerial- Releases many electrical shocks from its cheeks downward. Around 14% if all hits connect. 1% recoil damage to Pichu, another 1% if it hits the ground.

Grabs & throws[edit]

  • Pummel- Zaps opponent with electricity. 2-3% damage per pummel. 1% recoil damage to Pichu per pummel.
  • Forward throw- Puts foe on its back and zaps him or her. 9% damage to foe, 1% recoil damage to Pichu.
  • Back throw- Does many rolls backwards and tosses foe. 9% damage. Does not suffer recoil, although the attack deals electricity.
  • Up throw- Tosses foe up and headbutts them with electricity. 10% damage to foe and oddly no recoil damage to Pichu, even though the attack consists of electricity.
  • Down throw- Launches foe to floor and zaps him or her. 10% damage to foe and, just like its Up Throw, no recoil damage whatsoever.

Special moves[edit]

Pichu's special moves
SSBM Icon.png
Neutral special Thunder Jolt
Side special Skull Bash
Up special Agility
Down special Thunder

In Competitive play[edit]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
PichuHeadSSBM.png -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -2 -3 -3 -2 -3 -2 -2 -2 ±0 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 ±0 Mirror match ±0 -2

Pichu has, by far, the worst matchup spread in Melee. It is hard countered by a whopping twelve characters (the most out of any character in-game and nearly twice as much as Kirby, the character with the second-highest amount), countered by six, soft countered by four, and has only three matchups that are considered even. Even in the early metagame, Pichu was severely crippled by its light weight, a surprising vulnerability to combos (including chain throws), its overall terrible reach, and above all, moves that inflict recoil damage. This has resulted in Pichu being very easy to KO, especially against characters with powerful attacks like Fox and Captain Falcon. Several characters, like Marth and Samus, can easily outreach it (thus making it easy to space), while others can exploit its vulnerability to chain throws and combos (with Sheik and Ganondorf being notorious examples of the former category). In addition, all of its counters can take advantage of its recoil damage to bring it up to KO percentages very quickly. As such, in spite of its advantages (such as good mobility), Pichu suffers from terrible matchups overall. It is one of only two characters in-game to have no advantageous matchups (the other being Bowser) and its even matchups can be potentially seen in its opponents' favors (if by a slight margin).

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Pichu professionals (SSBM)


Tier placement and history[edit]

Pichu was always seen as a joke character by the Melee community; from the very beginning, many noted that it was completely outclassed by Pikachu, who was already considered a below-average character at the time. With its poor approach coupled with many attacks that damaged itself, including its own recovery, as well as its terrible overall reach, extremely light weight, and difficulty in putting pressure on the opponent, many professionals laughed at the prospect of a serious Pichu player. It started out on the first tier list as 25th place, and has since consistently shifted from 25th to 26th and back, competing with Bowser, Kirby, and (to a lesser extent) Mewtwo for the spot of the worst character in the game. It currently ranks 25th on the tier list in F tier, one spot above Kirby, the current considered "worst character," with many still firmly believing that Pichu is the worst character in the game due to its overall worse matchup spread than either one of its "competitors" for the position. It has made no impact on any significant tournaments for several years, as none of the top 96 placers of any major Melee tournament are dedicated Pichu players, and its only players are currently either inactive or have better characters to choose from. Pichu remains one of the most unpopular and worst characters in Melee to this very day, and it's not likely that Pichu's tournament results will improve.

In Single Player Modes[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Pichu can appear as an ordinary fighter in one on one battles, as an ally or as an opponent alongside Kirby or Pikachu, as the sole opponent in a multi-character battle or as a metal opponent in the second to last stage. Barring the metal fight, Pichu always appears on Pokémon Stadium, with its alternate music Battle Theme playing.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

In Adventure Mode, Pichu can appear in Stage 7 on Pokémon Stadium, appearing alongside a team consisting of Pikachu and, if unlocked, Jigglypuff. Pichu's theme, Battle Theme can also play on the stage.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Pichu and its allies are fought on Fourside. Unlike normal gameplay, however, Battle Theme plays here.

In Event Matches[edit]

Pichu appears in the following Event Matches:

  • Event 48: Pikachu and Pichu: In this match, the player must fight against a team of two Pichus and one Pikachu. The goal is for the player to KO the two Pichus in the shortest time possible; Pikachu has infinite lives, while the player has two and the Pichus have one. The stage used in Dream Land, making the event the only one in the game to take place on a Past Stage.
  • Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Pichu is the third opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The selected character battles him on the Pokémon Stadium stage with a stock of 2 while Pichu has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat it and the other five characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Dr. Mario, Falco, Young Link, Roy and Ganondorf.

Ending images[edit]

Trophy descriptions[edit]

In addition to the normal trophy about Pichu as a character, there are two trophies about it as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Pichu on any difficulty:

Pichu (Smash Red)
Compared with Pikachu, Pichu is a tad more nimble and a little more difficult to hit. Those are the only two advantages, however, and since Pichu damages itself when it uses electrical attacks, it's best suited for handicapped matches. Even though Pichu's tough to catch, it's easy to throw its tiny frame great distances.
Pichu (Smash Blue)
Pichu is the lightest character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it's top of the class in weakness, too! For Pichu, it's all about scampering here and there to pick up items that will help it survive. The first warp in Agility causes 1 point of damage to Pichu, and the second causes 3, so try to limit the number of times you use the move.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Pichu's changeable clothing in SSBM


  • Pichu has two taunts: when facing left, it will do a dance, when facing right, it will lie down. This feature is shared with Captain Falcon.
  • When Pichu crouches, it falls asleep. This is clear because its eyes are closed and bubbles come out of its mouth, similar to when Jigglypuff uses its Rest attack, although Pichu will awake instantly when the player presses any other button.
  • Other than Super Smash Bros. Melee, or by using Volt Tackle and Wild Charge, Pichu had never been hurt by using electrical attacks in other games, and have only received damage from using electric attacks once in the animé, in the Pikachu short that coincided with the third Pokémon movie.
  • Pichu, along with Roy and Mr. Game & Watch, are the only characters in Melee to have an attack that can damage themselves.
  • Pichu is seen during the segment of the introduction to Melee featuring many different Pokémon, making it one of the five hidden characters, along with Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Young Link, and Jigglypuff, to have some kind of involvement in the intro.
  • While Pichu can use both Skull Bash and Agility in Melee, it couldn't learn either of these moves in the Pokémon games.
  • Pichu and Bowser are the only two characters not ranked last to have no advantageous matchups.

External links[edit]