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For fighter info, see Pikachu (SSB), Pikachu (SSBM), Pikachu (SSBB), and Pikachu (SSB4).
Pikachu FireRed LeafGreen.png

Official artwork of Pikachu from Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions.

Universe Pokémon
Debut Pokémon Red and Green Versions (1996) Japan
Smash Bros. appearances SSB
Most recent non-Smash appearance Pokémon GO (2016)
Console of origin Game Boy
Species Pikachu
Gender Varies
Place of origin Kanto
Created by Atsuko Nishida
Designed by Ken Sugimori
Voice actor Ikue Ōtani
Article on Bulbapedia Pikachu (Pokémon)

Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a fictional creature in the Pokémon franchise of media. It is one of the most popular and well known Pokémon in the world, and is the main representative or mascot of the franchise and its anime. It appears as a playable fighter and starter in all four Super Smash Bros. games.

Creature description[edit]

Pikachu's original artwork from Pokémon Red and Blue.

Pikachu is a small, rodent-like Pokémon with short, yellow fur and brown markings on the back, pointy, black-tipped ears, red circles on its cheeks, and a tail in the shape of a lightning bolt. The extensive variety of Pokédex entries available for Pikachu throughout the RPG series provides plenty of biological information: It lives in forests in groups away from people, and it keeps its tail raised as it monitors its surroundings. The tail is sometimes struck by lightning in this pose, and it will try to bite whatever yanks its tail. Its red cheeks are electricity-storing pouches which appear to become electrically charged overnight while Pikachu sleeps. It occasionally discharges electricity when it is dozy after waking up. Shooting out stored-up electricity from its cheeks is its primary offensive measure; if threatened, angered, or attacked, it discharges the electricity from its cheeks at the offender. When it releases pent-up energy in a full-on burst, the electric power unleashed is equal to a bona fide lightning bolt. When several Pikachu gather together, the collective electricity among them may build and cause a lightning storm. It occasionally uses an electric shock to recharge a fellow Pikachu that is in a weakened state. An intelligent species, it jolts any new thing it comes across as a way of inspecting it. Whenever it comes across a hard berry, it uses its electricity to roast the berry to make it tender enough to eat. If one was to come across a blackened berry, it is evidence that a Pikachu mistook the intensity of its charge.

In the main series of video games, Pikachu is a relatively weak Electric-type Pokémon that can be found early in the original games. Unlike certain special monsters that had plot elements wrapped around them, such as Mewtwo, Pikachu was just another Pokémon that could be caught, evolved into its higher form, Raichu, and had no bearing on the story. However, Pikachu's popularity in the anime, where it was the first and primary Pokémon of the main character, Ash Ketchum, eventually led to it starring in its own specialized version of the Game Boy game (the Yellow version, which was largely based off the anime), as the first Pokémon that the player obtained. In keeping with the anime, Pikachu's digitized cry in Yellow was replaced with voiced soundbites of it saying its name, provided by Ikue Ohtani. Pikachu's role in the game was intensely elaborated on, as several events on the game depended on how Pikachu felt towards the player. Depending on the player's actions towards Pikachu, the electric mouse Pokémon would exhibit a variety of emotions when spoken to, varying from frustration, to amusement, to complete adoration. Pikachu's happiness was sometimes a prerequisite for certain rewards in the game, such as attaining the three Pokémon that could be chosen as starters from the Red and Green versions.

Pikachu has not had a starring role in any of the main games in the series since then, but it has been featured in every prominent handheld RPG since the franchise, usually bringing something new with it each time. In Pokémon Gold and Silver, released for the Game Boy Color in 2000, Pikachu gained a new evolutionary phase in the form of Pichu. It also gained an item called the Light Ball, which doubled Pikachu's Special Attack when held. However the item was only obtainable when trading a Pikachu over from the Yellow version. The Emerald version of the Game Boy Advance games gave Pikachu an Egg Move exclusive to it and its family, called Volt Tackle, which was an exceptionally powerful Electric-attack with a large recoil. The Diamond and Pearl versions of the DS title introduced cosmetic differences between genders for certain species of Pokémon, and Pikachu was one of them, with the females having a dent at the end of their tail. The Light Ball also gained a new feature in this game - allowing both Pikachu's Attack and Special Attack stats to be doubled. Oddly, Pikachu became unobtainable via normal gameplay in the Black, White, Black 2 and White 2 versions. However, it returned in Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, where, like in Yellow, its digitized cry was replaced with full voice acting by Ikue Ohtani. The Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire versions introduced a special female Pikachu by the name of "Cosplay Pikachu", which could don various costumes to use unique moves in battle.

Pikachu has also been in virtually every Pokémon-related spin-off game ever released, sometimes as the star or a main character, and other times just featured among the hundreds of other Pokémon in the series. Notable Pikachu-centric games include Hey You, Pikachu! for the Nintendo 64, where the player could talk to Pikachu using the microphone, Pokémon Channel, which is usually regarded as a spiritual sequel to the previous title, PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure that has Pikachu as the main character and the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, where Pikachu is one of the Pokémon that the player can start out as. Pikachu has also been made into a Tamagotchi-style virtual pet called the Pocket Pikachu, which was a little LCD device that owners can clip onto their belt. Whenever the user took a step, it would register on the system, which would give Pikachu points in the form of "watts". It is described as quadrupedal. Much like its fighting game appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, Pikachu is one of the lead playable Pokémon in Pokkén Tournament alongside Lucario; while the initial arcade release features a main presumably male Pikachu, Cosplay Pikachu (as "Pikachu Libre") was later introduced as an additional character with a different moveset.

In Super Smash Bros.[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSB)
Official artwork of Pikachu in Super Smash Bros.
Pikachu's debut to the Smash Bros series is as one of the eight Starter characters. Just like in the games that Pikachu originates from, it is a small, fast character whose play style is prominently dependent on its speed and powerful electric attacks. Pikachu is ranked number one on the original Smash 64 tier list. Pikachu is notable for having several advantages, its amazing edgeguarding capabilities that could even go way offstage, its fantastic recovery skills with Quick Attack covering a huge distance, powerful smash attacks and back throw, and its fast and powerful aerial attacks that can combo very well. Pikachu's neutral special move, Thunder Jolt, shoots a beam of electricity that bounces along the stage. This gives Pikachu incredibly favorable matchups with no negative or even matchups. Its up special move is a fast recovery move dubbed the Quick Attack, and its down special move involves Pikachu striking itself with Thunder, which blasts anyone else standing in the way and it is used in a effective combo named Thunderspiking, where Pikachu uses its up smash to sent an opponent upwards to the upper blast line and follows up with Thunder to KO them.

In-game description:

Mouse PKMN
Height 1'4"
Weight 13lbs
When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could cause lightning storms.
(Pokédex excerpt)

In Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSBM)
Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Pikachu returns to Melee, once again as a starter character. While its play style is still incredibly similar to its first appearance in the Smash series, Pikachu is not quite as deadly as it used to be. However, it is still a powerful, agile character and a force to be reckoned with, ranking it 9th on the tier list in C tier. Pikachu gains Skull Bash as its new side special move.


In line with the other playable characters, there are three Pikachu trophies obtained by defeating the single-player modes - a normal trophy from Classic Mode, and "Smash Red" and "Smash Blue" trophies from the Adventure and All-Star modes, respectively. The Classic mode trophy reads:

It's safe to say that Pikachu is the most famous and popular of all Pokémon. It has electric pouches in both cheeks; when in danger, it shoots electricity at its enemies. Although Pikachu can evolve into Raichu by exposure to a Thunderstone, many trainers like Pikachu so much that they don't let it evolve.
  • Pokémon Red & Blue 9/98 (GB)

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Pikachu, as it appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Main article: Pikachu (SSBB)

Pikachu returns once again as a starter character in Brawl. Visually, Pikachu has barely changed at all from its Melee design, only being touched up slightly. However, Pikachu was improved from Melee, becoming more powerful and gaining many new techniques such as Quick Attack canceling and two chain grabs. As a result, Pikachu is ranked 8th on the tier list in B tier. It has all of its moves from the first two games. Like the rest of Brawl's cast, Pikachu also has a Final Smash, a new kind of special attack that was added for Brawl. Pikachu's Final Smash is called Volt Tackle, which involves it turning into a giant ball of light that can be controlled by the player. One downside of Volt Tackle is that it can be considered hard to maneuver. This move operates absolutely nothing like Volt Tackle in the original Pokémon games, and is speculated to be based on a special ability in the Genesis/Mega Drive game Pulseman, Volteccer, which Volt Tackle was apparently based on and named after (in the Japanese versions of the Pokémon series).

Trophy Info[edit]

Pikachu's trophy in Brawl
A Mouse Pokémon. Its lightning-bolt tail and round cheeks are its trademarks. When danger draws near, it uses tiny electric pouches within its cheeks to discharge electricity. When it's really fired up, it unleashes thunderbolts on its rivals. It's said to recharge when it's sleeping. It evolves into Raichu.
Game Boy: Pokémon Red/Blue
DSTitle.png: Pokémon Diamond/Pearl


Name Game Effect Character(s)
Pikachu Pokémon series EffectIcon(Electric).png PikachuHeadSSBB.png
Brawl Sticker Pikachu (Pokemon series).png
(Pokémon series)

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Main article: Pikachu (SSB4)
Pikachu as it appears in Super Smash Bros. 4

Pikachu returns as a playable starter character. Pikachu's design has been updated to look like its more recent appearances, being less chubby and having a brighter color than previous games.

Pikachu ranks 12th out of 58 on the Smash 4 tier list. Pikachu received some nerfs in the transition from Brawl, such as its powerful down throw and forward throw chain grabs (which were a large part of Pikachu's previous success in Brawl) being removed, and lower damage output on some moves. In return, however, Pikachu sees benefit from the removal of hitstun cancelling, granting an improved combo ability, with attacks that can chain easier. Some of its attacks were also given better range, and some of its attacks have better KO potential. However, Pikachu's placement is contested among the playerbase. Although Pikachu was a high tier character in Brawl, some consider it to be even better in Smash 4, while others resent it for being too high. Despite having a rather small playerbase in competitive play, Pikachu is still considered a dominant force in the metagame thanks to players such as ESAM.


North America Recognized the world over, Pikachu is an Electric-type Pokémon that stores energy in its cheeks for use in battle. In Smash Bros., Pikachu is a well-rounded fighter with speedy, powerful electric attacks. Quick Attack can be used twice in a row if two directions are input, one after another.
Europe Pikachu is famous worldwide as the face of the Pokémon series. There's a lot of electricity stored in those rosy cheeks, and in this game, that allows for some devastating attacks, like Thunder Jolt. Tip: Input another direction after using Quick Attack to get a second burst. It's top-notch for recoveries!
Pikachu (Alt.)
North America Pikachu's Thunder Jolt fires off a ball of electricity that bounces across the stage, getting weaker as it travels. It does more damage to enemies in the air. The default down special, Thunder, causes a lightning strike that both shocks opponents and turns Pikachu invincible for a split second.
Europe Pikachu's Thunder Jolt fires off a ball of electricity that bounces across the stage, getting weaker as it travels. Airborne enemies will take extra damage from it and get launched further. The default down special, Thunder, causes a lightning strike that both shocks opponents and turns Pikachu invincible for a split second.


  • Pikachu is the only playable Pokémon in the Super Smash Bros. series to have a visible gender difference. Male Pikachu look like the one in the SSB series, while females have a heart-shaped mark at the end of their tail. However, gender differences in Pokémon were introduced in Generation IV, which came well after Super Smash Bros. and Melee did. Given this, and the fact that its alternate costumes include hats worn by male characters, the Pikachu in the Super Smash Bros. series is effectively male.
    • However, Pikachu is not listed under a specific gender per Nintendo's stance on, for the most part, using gender neutral pronouns for all Pokémon, regardless of a species' appearance/gender ratio or lack thereof.
  • Pikachu is the only character in the entire Super Smash Bros. series to only have four alternate costume options in the first three games. It has eight swaps in SSB4, just like every other fighter except Little Mac and the Mii Fighters.
  • Pikachu and Fox are the only characters who are currently ranked at least upper-mid tier in the tier lists of every SSB game in the series and that have also been at the top of a tier list before.
  • Pikachu is the only Pokémon to be a starter character in every SSB game.
  • Pikachu's poses in its Classic trophy in Melee and its official artwork for SSB4 are based on the sprite of Red's Pikachu from Pokémon Yellow.