in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
|Final Smash||Killer Wail|
Inkling (インクリング, Inkling) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Although the default costume is female, both male and female versions of this character are playable. She was the first character that was teased to appear in the then-unnamed Ultimate in its first teaser trailer at the end of the March 8th, 2018 Nintendo Direct, and officially announced as a newcomer in Ultimate's E3 2018 trailer, alongside Daisy and Ridley. Inkling is classified as Fighter #64, the first fighter number of the newcomers.
Inkling is currently ranked 46th out of 82 on the Ultimate tier list, placing her in the B+ tier. Inkling boasts an incredibly potent neutral game due to her high mobility, deceptive hurtbox-shifting dash, and several projectiles that complement an offensive repertoire that is characterized by fast frame data and combo potential. Several of her attacks are fast enough to combo into themselves, and back aerial in particular offers great power and a disjoint that can be used for spacing, combos, and combo confirms. Inkling's most unique trait is the ability to cover the enemy in Ink, applying the enemy with a damage multiplier that makes her combos even more devastating, and she can apply Ink through several attacks that are some of her most potent tools such as her neutral attack. She further sports a powerful recovery that allows her to return from anywhere off-stage, and a highly versatile grab game comprised of disjointed pivot and dash grabs, a forward throw that applies Ink, a back throw that KOs at high percentages, and an up throw that can confirm into both combos, as well as a KO confirm off of her up aerial at certain percentages.
However, Inkling is weighed down by several factors that prove problematic to her. Her well-rounded neutral and advantage are almost entirely offset by the borderline fatal flaw of having no reliable KO options. All of her Smash attacks (as well as the Splat Roller) are difficult to score clean hits with and highly punishable on block or whiff, the sweet spot of her forward aerial is similarly precise, and her back aerial is prone to staling due to its frequent usage. This makes her reliant on edgeguarding, reads, and situational moves like up aerial and back throw for a lot of KOs; things she can perform decently with but none of which she particularly excels at compared to other characters. Her up throw KO confirm only partially alleviates this issue, as it has varying percentage windows depending on character and stage, and it is further influenced by rage. Moreover, the KO confirm highlights another issue, which is Inkling's linear game plan. Despite having a strong combo game, it is almost entirely centered on Inkling having to grab the opponent since she lacks in the way of reliable combo starters, making her options fairly predictable. Her out of shield options are also sub-par due to awkward hitbox coverage, meaning she plays weaker when on the defensive.
While Inkling was initially believed to be an early top tier contender for the game thanks to strong performances from players such as Cosmos and Space, the character saw stagnation as her weaknesses grew more apparent in light of other characters flourishing, leading to a dwindling player base. Currently, Inkling is considered a speedy jack-of-all-trades who requires more maintenance to do well with under pressure situations than others of her archetype. Despite this, Inkling is still considered a viable character in competitive play, and retains a modest base thanks to the efforts of players such as Shirayuki and Space.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
- Play VS. matches, with Inkling being the 5th character to be unlocked.
- Clear Classic Mode with Samus or anyone in her unlock tree, being the 1st character unlocked.
- Have Inkling join the player's party in World of Light.
Inkling is a character that excels greatly in many areas but is typically defined by quick, slippery movement and fast attack speed. As a result, most attributes are overall consistent with combo-heavy middleweights, with a focus on a fast-approach "footsies" playstyle: she has fast overall mobility due to her high initial dash (16th highest) and dashing speeds (22nd highest), alongside high air speed (12-16th fastest, tied with Sonic, Mario, Little Mac and Donkey Kong). However, the rest of Inkling's traits are mostly average, with middling air acceleration, fall speed, walking speed, average weight, and low traction. As a result, she can easily traverse large distances very quickly, but can have issues changing directions in midair; additionally, the combination of middling weight and fast fall speed do not give much of an advantage when escaping combos.
Inkling's greatest strength is, fittingly, fast general movement and attack speed. Inkling's dash is notable for shifting her entire hurtbox during movement, which in some cases allows her to low-profile through certain attacks, and its obscure animation - which shares a visual similarity with her spot dodge animation - as well as her strong initial dash gives the character one of the strongest and most deceptive dash-dances in the entire game. While the range on many of her attacks is rather lacking, this is made up for by decently fast frame data (although many of her moves have noticeable lag), which allows Inkling to put her fast mobility to good use and rush opponents down in a flurry of moves. Additionally, Inkling boasts a strong ground and aerial offense, with many moves being capable of stringing together, particularly when coupled with an up throw, which is an effective combo initiator until high percents and can even KO through its setups. As a result, opponents can have a tough time finding openings in her offense, since her high speed and low landing lag allow her to weave around any foe very easily, and an extremely potent combo ability easily turns any mistake on their end into a potential combo starter.
The character's damage racking potential is further enhanced by the unique ink mechanic, lifted from her game of origin, Splatoon. Select moves - such as Splattershot - will cover opponents in ink, which increases damage dealt to them up to a maximum of 1.5×, though this will wear off over time. When an opponent is fully inked, many combos are capable of effectively dishing out surprising amounts of damage over a short period on careless opponents. Because of these traits, alongside aforementioned ones, Inkling sports what is commonly believed by many to be the best neutral attack in the game. It has respectable startup due to it coming out on frame 3. It sports good range, and its rapid jab to finisher can occasionally apply enough ink to reach the ink's full damage multiplier, which sets up the opponent for massive damage strings. As a downside, ink also affects the power of certain moves, such as the aforementioned neutral attack infinite, forward throw, special moves and smash attacks, which lose significant KO power or damage when the ink tank is empty (with some moves being rendered completely unusable). Due to this, Inkling has to recharge the ink tank by going into a "charging" stance once the ink tank is completely depleted. As this leaves Inkling wide open to attacks with no escape options till the charge animation ends, managing the ink supply with care is crucial, and it is important to keep a safe distance from the opponent when recharging.
Inkling also has powerful offstage capability due to her attributes. Despite having a relatively linear recovery, Inkling is able to vary it by double jumping out of Splat Roller in combination with the very long-reaching Super Jump, allowing the recovery to be less predictable and allowing her to stay airborne for extended periods. Inkling's Super Jump also has a very generous edge sweetspot range, making it hard for certain characters to 2 frame punish them, and due to its deceptive startup hitbox, it can be used to gimp off-stage opponents or even stage spike them in some cases. Coupled with the sheer speed of the moves, this makes it difficult to challenge Inkling with an offstage edgeguard. Inkling also has one of the best air speeds to supplement this and likewise can edgeguard very proficiently through strong usage of aerials. Among the most notable is her back aerial, which is one of her safest moves not only offstage but also in the neutral game, as it sports a notable disjoint - making it one of Inkling's safest moves on shield if properly spaced - and is able to combo into itself at mid-percents, which can lead to a wall of pain in certain situations. Her forward aerial exchanges the disjoint and overall versatility for strength, having stronger knockback when sweetspotted which can lead to guaranteed off-stage KOs at mid-to-high percents, and its sourspot can make for a decent gimping tool on select characters. Inkling's Splat Bombs are a crucial tool both in neutral and when covering the edge; while the bomb can be thrown off-stage to intercept the opponent, the angle and awkward timer of the bomb also makes for a powerful frame trapping tool, particularly on opponents that are recovering on the ledge.
Even with a solid set of strengths, the character is not without several weaknesses. Despite having high damage racking potential, most of Inkling's strongest KO moves are all comparatively unsafe - particularly Splat Roller and several smash attacks - often forcing the character to rely on reads, edgeguarding, and immaculate spacing in order to guarantee a KO at earlier percents. While this issue is partially alleviated by Inkling being one of the few characters in the game to have a KO confirm off of a grab, the percentage windows vary from character to character - with the confirm being borderline impossible on a select few characters - and it is also affected by rage. The ink mechanic also forces Inkling to be resourceful with many of her moves, as without ink, she loses access to several crucial attacks such as Splat Roller, and Splat Bomb. Despite Inkling's strong aerial combo game, it is highly centralized around grabs due to her lacking a reliable grounded combo starter. This is further compounded by Inkling's mediocre regular ground attacks; despite sporting disjointed hitboxes on her forward tilt and down tilt, they possess little utility outside of spacing due to neither leading into any follow-ups. Finally, Inkling also suffers from dubious hitbox placements, notably in her up tilt which lacks decent horizontal coverage, as well as her neutral aerial, meaning that, despite her good aerial speed, she possesses neither the most reliable landing options at a disadvantage, nor the best out of shield options.
Overall, Inkling is a rounded character with solid mobility stats and solid damage racking capability overall. Her deceptive traits and a strong set of attacks make her a versatile fighter that excels both at defensive and offensive play. However, her lack of easy KO options relative to the upper-tier cast forces the character to maintain strong consistency in her play, as she can occasionally struggle to score KOs and make up stock deficits, particularly against opponents who have a much easier time KOing or stuffing out her movement options. In addition, Inkling's potential in doubles was noted by Masahiro Sakurai himself as being one of the character's strengths, allowing teammates to rack up damage even faster.
Inkling received a mix of buffs, nerfs and a single glitch fix via game updates, but was buffed overall. Update 1.1.0 increased Splat Bomb's damage output and the amount of ink it applies. Update 2.0.0 shortened neutral aerial's edge lockout time, yet implemented much more noticeable changes to Splat Roller. Due to its notoriously long burial duration, Splat Roller's knockback was altered to the point that its burial duration is significantly shorter at lower percentages, yet longer at higher percentages. In addition, Splat Roller's hitboxes were moved backward, which results in it needing to be at point-blank range for it to connect.
Splat Roller was again affected in update 3.0.0, as it now deals less knockback if Inkling accelerates a second time when using it. While Splat Roller's changes come across as nerfs on a surface level, capable players have adjusted their usage of the move to the point that these nerfs are mostly considered negligible. On a related note, 3.0.0's change has actually resulted in the move gaining some combo routes at medium percentages that previously did not exist.
After receiving negligible buffs to the consistency of her neutral attack and pummel in updates 3.1.0 and 8.0.0, Inkling received more noteworthy buffs in update 13.0.1. Forward tilt's damage output was increased slightly; in addition to becoming slightly safer on hit and a better spacing option, it can now function as a situational KO option while near the edge at very high percentages. Up tilt received an additional hitbox during its first active frame, which alleviated its notoriously short horizontal range. Forward smash's sweetspot became easier to land, thanks to it being extended backward at the negligible cost of the sourspot being moved backward. Splattershot gained 1 more active frame, which increased its firing range. Lastly, Inkling can act earlier after refilling her ink.
Overall, Inkling fares somewhat better than she did at the launch of Ultimate.
- Shortened the amount of time Inkling is unable to grab a ledge after using neutral aerial (60 frames → 56).
- Splat Roller:
- Splat Roller has altered knockback (60 (base)/80 (scaling) → 25/105). This decreases the bury duration at lower percents, but increases it at higher percentages.
- By the time the new bury duration overtakes the old one, the bury duration would have already been very long anyway, and the move no longer buries for a notoriously long amount of time at low percents.
- Splat Roller hitboxes were moved back, giving it less range.
- The ink from the Splat Roller no longer launches specific characters such as Ice Climbers much higher when using their respective up specials on the ink.
- Splat Roller has altered knockback (60 (base)/80 (scaling) → 25/105). This decreases the bury duration at lower percents, but increases it at higher percentages.
- Splat Roller deals less knockback when accelerating again. This increases its combo potential when hitting an opponent that was already buried.
- Neutral attack's second and third hits connect more reliably.
- Neutral attack's third hit has more range (Z offset: 14u → 15.8u).
- Pummel has a larger hitbox (4u → 4.8u) that is placed further vertically (Y offset: 4u → 5.2u) and horizontally (Z offset: 5.5u → 6.5u), allowing it to connect more consistently.
- Splat Roller has an altered jostle position.
- Inkling can act earlier after refilling ink (FAF 30 → 25).
- Forward tilt deals more damage (9% → 10%).
- Up tilt has an additional hitbox in front of Inkling during its first active frame, making it less susceptible to low-profiling.
- Forward smash's sourspot has been pulled back (Z: 12.0 → 9.0) and the sweetspot is extended backwards (Z2 : N/A → 16.0). This makes the sweetspot easier to hit.
- Splattershot has more range (shots' active frames: 13 → 14).
- Inkling will transform into her squid form while dashing, dodging or replenishing ink. This allows Inkling to avoid some projectiles and attacks while dashing because of a lower hurtbox for a few frames.
- Inkling can crawl and wall jump.
- Some of Inkling's attacks consume ink. Attacks that use ink each use a set amount of the Ink Tank. If Inkling does not have enough ink for a move, it will inflict less damage and knockback, and certain moves will have no effect at all. The specifics of ink's mechanics are explained in detail after the moveset table.
- Some of Inkling's moves cover opponents in ink, increasing the damage they receive from attacks for a time.
- The ink tank can be gradually replenished at any time by holding the special button while shielding, or when the ink tank is completely empty, via neutral special or down special. This lowers Inkling's hurtbox, but lacks any defensive options aside from canceling the charge (which is punishable). The ink tank is also fully restored when Inkling is KO'd.
- The ink tank is shown alongside Inkling's damage meter and while replenishing ink. The red line on the tank indicates the minimum amount of ink needed to throw a Splat Bomb. Once Inkling depletes her ink tank, it will flash with a red "X" while next to the damage meter and on Inkling's model.
- Inkling continuously receives damage while swimming. This trait is shared with Charizard, Sonic, and Incineroar. This is a reference to Inklings dissolving instantly when they fall into water in the Splatoon series.
For a gallery of Inkling's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
|Neutral attack||Chop (チョップ) / Combo Kick (コンボキック) / Side Kick (サイドキック) / Burst Shot (バーストショット) / Splafinish (スプラフィニッシュ)||2%||A knifehand strike, followed by a mid-level roundhouse kick, followed by a side kick. If the button is mashed, the second hit is followed by rapid bursts of ink from the Splattershot that concludes with a single blast that launches the opponent. The neutral infinite covers opponents in ink. If the ink tank is empty, the neutral infinite and finisher will not inflict damage or knockback. The first hit can lock.|
|0.4% (loop), 2.5% (last)|
|Forward tilt||Shooter Swing (シュータースイング)||10%||Swings the Splattershot downward. It is a decent spacing option thanks to its average knockback and range. As of update 13.0.1, it can also KO at very high percentages while near the edge, serving as a last resort KO option at extremely high percents.|
|Up tilt||Splash Kick (スプラッシュキック)||6%||An outside crescent kick. Can combo into itself up to three times at 0% or twice at low percents, and into aerials at higher percentages. Despite its animation, it has a low blind spot directly behind Inkling, and is unable to hit prone opponents. As of update 13.0.1, however, it has a hitbox during its first active frame that enables it to reliably hit an opponent directly in front of Inkling. This move also shifts Inkling's hurtbox upwards during the animation, resulting in the move potentially avoiding low, grounded moves completely, however briefly. Resembles the Inklings' victory animation while wielding a Dualie.|
|Down tilt||Break Kick (ブレイクキック)||3% (hit 1), 6% (hit 2)||A windmill (a breakdancing move). Hits twice and is able to both low-profile certain moves and hit most edge hangs.|
|Dash attack||Squid Elbow (イカエルボー)||8% (clean), 6% (late)||An elbow smash. Good as a burst option or punish option, although it cannot KO reliably, even when landing its clean hit at very high percentages.|
|Forward smash||Inkbrush (パブロ, Pablo)||16% (ink, bristles), 14% (ink, handle), 12% (no ink)||Swings an Inkbrush horizontally, which covers opponents in ink. Has a sweetspot at the brush's bristles, but the sourspot takes priority over it. The hitbox does not cover the splatter of paint from the Inkbrush. KOs at 90% at the edge of Final Destination (with ink available), making it a very potent KO option, especially with its disjoint.|
|Up smash||Blaster (ホットブラスター, Hot Blaster)||4% (hit 1), 15% (hit 2, ink, center), 10% (hit 2, ink, outer) 10% (hit 2, no ink, center) 6% (hit 2, no ink, outer)||Fires a Blaster upward, which covers opponents in ink. The Blaster itself has a hitbox that is active when Inkling thrusts it forward slightly before swinging it upward to fire the shot, which enables it to launch a nearby opponent into the shot. In addition to making up smash a decent out of shield option, this hitbox can even pick up prone or buried opponents. KOs at 116% on Final Destination (with ink available).|
|Down smash||Slosher (バケットスロッシャー, Bucket Slosher)||12.5% (hit 1, ink, close), 7% (hit 1, ink, far), 11% (hit 2, ink, close), 6% (hit 2, ink, far), 10% (hit 1, no ink, close), 5% (hit 1, no ink, far), 9% (hit 2, no ink, close), 4% (hit 2, no ink, far)||Empties out a Slosher in front of herself and then behind herself, which covers opponents in ink. The back hit deals less damage and knockback, and the attack also becomes weaker from afar. The first hit KOs at 104% on Final Destination (with ink available). Useful for reading rolls and edge options, as well as hitting an opponent hanging on the edge.|
|Neutral aerial||Tornado Kick (トルネードキック)||7%||An aerial headspin (a breakdancing move). Has minimal landing lag, allowing it to combo into neutral attack, tilt attacks, or a grab. Due to its quick speed, it can be used twice or combo into a back aerial in a single short hop. However, its animation is misleading, due to its hitbox having a very short duration and covering Inkling's legs only.|
|Forward aerial||Cross Kick (クロスキック)||12% (feet), 10% (legs), 7% (late)||A cross-legged dropkick. Has some startup and functions like a sex kick. When sweetspotted, it is one of Inkling's most reliable KO moves. KOs at 136% at the edge of Final Destination.|
|Back aerial||Shooter Back Knuckle (シューターバックナックル)||10% (nozzle), 7.5% (handle)||Swings the Splattershot backward. It sports one of the larger disjointed hitboxes in Inkling's moveset, and its low landing and ending lag makes it one of Inkling's safest moves for approaching and spacing. Is capable of a wall of pain in certain situations. One of Inkling's best edgeguarding options due to its reasonably strong knockback and minimal overall lag.|
|Up aerial||Double Kick (ダブルキック)||4.5% (hit 1), 6.5% (hit 2)||A 540 kick. The first hit has set knockback and uses the autolink angle, allowing it to set up into neutral attack, tilt attacks, or a grab when SHFF'd. The second hit has strong knockback, making it a decent KO option at high percentages. Like neutral aerial, its animation is misleading, due to its hitboxes covering Inkling's legs only.|
|Down aerial||Meteor Shooter (メテオシューター)||12% (nozzle), 10% (handle)||Briefly rears the Splattershot overhead before swinging it below herself. The sweetspot is at the Splattershot's nozzle and is a meteor smash. Although the sourspot deals less damage, it is still useful for edgeguarding due to its horizontal launching angle and respectable knockback. However, it has very high ending lag and comes out on frame 16, making it Inkling's least useful aerial.|
|Grab||Grab (つかみ)||—||Reaches out with her free hand. Although Inkling's standing grab has average range, her dash grab provides her with a lot of momentum, and her pivot grab has deceptively disjointed range.|
|Pummel||Grab Stomping (つかみストンピング)||1.2%||Stomps on the opponent's foot.|
|Forward throw||Burst Shooter (バーストシューター)||5% (hit 1, ink), 3% (hit 2)||Fires a point-blank burst of ink from the Splattershot. Hits twice, with the second hit covering the opponent in ink. Without ink, the first hit does not inflict damage. Has very weak knockback and will never KO, even at Sudden Death and high percentages. The collateral hit has set knockback and will not KO, even at 999%, making it nearly useless in doubles matches.|
|Back throw||Squid Throw (イカスルー)||9%||Transforms into her squid form to perform a giant swing. Inkling's best KO throw, KOing at 129% at the edge of Final Destination.|
|Up throw||Squid Heading (イカヘディング)||3% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2)||Tosses the opponent upward and then transforms into her squid form to perform an upward battering ram. Sends the opponent directly upward. Can combo reliably into neutral aerial and up aerial at low to medium percentages, with its up aerial combo being capable of KOing at high percentages.|
|Down throw||Ground Throw (グラウンドスルー)||7%||A one-handed body slam. Compared to up throw, it has a larger number of follow-ups, such as neutral attack, tilt attacks, neutral aerial, and forward aerial at low to medium percentages. However, its follow-ups are less consistent than up throw's. KOs off the top blast zone at 209% on Final Destination.|
|Floor attack (front)||7%||Shoots the Splattershot on both sides of herself. Despite its appearance, the move does not apply ink to opponents.|
|Floor attack (back)||7%||Shoots the Splattershot on both sides of herself. Despite its appearance, the move does not apply ink to opponents.|
|Floor attack (trip)||5%||Shoots the Splattershot on both sides of herself. Despite its appearance, the move does not apply ink to opponents.|
|Edge attack||9%||Swings the Splattershot forward.|
|Neutral special||Splattershot||0.3% (above ink tank line), 0.2% (below ink tank line), 0.1% (almost empty)||Fires a rapid stream of ink from the Splattershot. It covers opponents in ink at a fast pace, but it only causes hitstun at very close range (3 character lengths). Otherwise, it slowly pushes opponents back at any further distance. Due to its high fire rate, it can lock opponents in shieldstun. It can be angled up and down, but the projectiles disappear after a set distance. If the ink tank goes below the labeled line, the ranges and damage outputs of the ink stream and the close-range hitbox will be lower. If this move is used without any ink, Inkling will begin charging ink.|
|Side special||Splat Roller||11% (grounded, ink), 2%-3% (moving after ink tank is empty)||Wields a Splat Roller and begins to slide it forward. If Inkling and the opponent are grounded, it will bury them and cover them in ink, allowing for follow-ups. The damage, bury duration and ink applied are determined by how fast Inkling is moving. If the target is already buried, Inkling is airborne, or the Roller is moving too slow, it will apply ink but knock the opponent upward instead of burying them. If the opponent is airborne, the Roller will not hit them. After rolling for a set distance, Inkling can cancel the move with the special or attack button, jump out of the animation, turn around by pressing back or maintain her speed by holding forward. Otherwise, the move will slow down until it no longer deals damage. The Splat Roller also spreads ink across the floor, which slows opponents down while they run over it. In the air, the Splat Roller can be used only once before landing. However, jumping out of the move does not use up Inkling's double jump, which allows it to extend her recovery. If the Splat Roller is started without ink, Inkling will slowly walk forward with a dejected look, and cannot speed up or deal damage. The Splat Roller is integral to Inkling's punish game. As of update 2.0.0, it is an important KO setup into her smash attacks at high percentages.|
|Up special||Super Jump||8% (close), 6% (far), 8% (landing)||Performs a Super Jump. During its startup and upon landing, Super Jump deals minor damage and knockback to any nearby opponents, giving it some safety. It propels Inkling very high into the air, and can be angled left or right. However, it is somewhat linear, and if Inkling does not grab the edge, the landing animation can be punished. In addition, its initial hitbox lasts only a few frames, whereas the rising and falling animations do not deal damage.|
|Down special||Splat Bomb||9.4%-15%||Throws a Splat Bomb, which explodes on contact or after a fixed time, covering opponents in ink. The damage and amount of ink applied increase based on how long the player holds the special button. This also controls the Splat Bomb's trajectory: an upward toss if uncharged, or a long-distance throw forward if fully charged. If used uncharged, the Splat Bomb takes a short delay after contact with an enemy before exploding. Throwing a Splat Bomb will always consume one fifth of the ink tank capacity regardless of charge applied. Has multiple uses, including edgeguarding, setting traps, or KOing at high percentages. If this move is used without any ink, she will begin charging ink. If the ink tank is not empty but is below the labeled meter, Inkling will be incapable of throwing a Splat Bomb. Instead, she will look back at the ink tank, leaving her open for attack. When fully charged, it KOs at 143% at the edge of Final Destination.|
|Final Smash||Killer Wail||1% (hits 1-32), 8% (hit 33)||Wields the Killer Wail to emit a stream of damaging sound waves, which after a short period of time, are replaced with ink. Although the sound waves can be angled similarly to Phazon Laser and Aura Storm, the player also retains full control of Inkling while it is active. The looping hits cover opponents in ink, but only the final hit has KO potential, KOing at around 60%.|
Inkling has a unique fighter ability: a handful of attacks will cover opponents in ink. Characters affected by ink are shown being coated with varying amounts of brightly colored liquid (which varies depending on Inkling's choice of costume) and can be repeatedly inked until they are fully coated.
Inked opponents take additional damage proportional to the amount of ink covering them. The damage multiplier caps at 1.5× after the opponent is coated by roughly 60% of the maximum value; applying more ink only lengthens the duration of being coated, and has no further effect on damage. Attacks on inked targets inflict normal knockback but increased freeze frames. Ink gradually disappears over time, from around 5 seconds for the smallest application, to around 20 seconds for a completely coated character. Ink can also be applied to some Assist Trophies.
The ink mechanic affects:
- Neutral infinite. Without ink, the infinite's finisher will have no hitboxes at all, and therefore deal no damage or knockback.
- Forward throw. Without ink, the Splattershot's hitbox deals no damage and will not cover opponents in ink.
- All smash attacks. Without ink, all of them do significantly lower damage and knockback, but still feature ink splatter effects. Up smash also has less range without ink.
- Splattershot, Splat Roller, and Splat Bomb. Without ink, all of them are negatively affected in certain ways:
- Splattershot's damage output and range will gradually decrease once it passes the line of the ink tank. Without ink, it will not fire any streams of ink. Pressing the special button once this happens will cause Inkling to charge ink.
- Splat Roller will slowly lose speed once no ink remains, and is completely harmless if used with an empty tank. This will also cause her to walk forward slowly and dejectedly.
- Splat Bomb cannot be thrown if Inkling has less ink than the line of the ink tank. If attempted, Inkling will quickly look back at the ink tank, giving opponents a chance to attack freely.
Once Inkling runs out of ink, the only ways to refill the ink tank are to be KO'd or manually refill it by holding the shield and special button at once (or via the special button with an empty tank). The refill animation also lowers Inkling's hurtbox enough to dodge grabs and projectiles. However, it can only be done on the ground, prevents her from dodging or moving, and has ending lag, making it punishable.
|Stats||Weight||Dash speed||Walk speed||Traction||Air friction||Air speed||Air acceleration||Gravity||Falling speed||Jumpsquat||Jump Height||Double jump Height|
|Value||94||2.118 – Initial dash
1.925 – Run
|1.134||0.102||0.015||1.208||0.01 – Base
0.07 – Additional
|0.087||1.58 – Base
2.528 – Fast-fall
|3||33 - Base
17.54 - Short hop
- Lands with a splash of ink in squid form then transforms into humanoid form and flaps both arms excitedly before wielding the Splattershot. This is Agent 3's entrance animation in Octo Valley.
- Up taunt: Raises the Splattershot several times into the air in a celebratory cheer. Based on the "C'mon!"/"This Way!" signal.
- Side taunt: Fires the Splattershot into the air with one hand while smirking. Despite its appearance, it does not consume ink.
- Down taunt: Jumps happily on the spot while smiling. Based on the "Booyah!" signal.
- Briefly looks the other way, then turns back.
- Casually poses with the Splattershot pointing upward, with the other hand resting on her hip.
The Inkling boy has a different standing stance, where he does not shake his hips as much as the Inkling girl. However, this does not apply when holding a small item.
|Cheer (English)||Cheer (Japanese/Chinese)||Cheer (Italian)||Cheer (Dutch)||Cheer (French)|
|Description||Staaaay fresh!||Ink - ling!||Ink - ling! Ink - ling!||Ink - ling! Doe je ding!||Ink - ling! *claps 2 times*|
|Cheer (German)||Cheer (Spanish)||Cheer (Russian)||Cheer (Korean)|
|Description||Ink - ling!||Iiiiink - ling!||Ink - ling! *claps 3 times*||Ing - keu - lling!|
All of Inkling's animations are based on the victory poses when using particular weapons in Splatoon and Splatoon 2. The animations vary slightly between the girls and boys.
- Left: Hops happily twice, spins around, and poses with the Splattershot. Based on the victory animation when using a Shooter-type weapon in Splatoon 2. The initial animation is based on the Inkling boy's animation with a weapon of the same type in Splatoon. This pose is altered for the Inkling boy, and resembles the artwork seen here.
- Up: Sways the Splat Roller from side to side, before striking a pose while resting the Roller's handle against her shoulder. This victory pose combines the victory animations in Splatoon and Splatoon 2 when the Inkling uses a Roller-type weapon. The Inkling boy rests his hand on his hip.
- Right: Tosses the Slosher upward with her right arm and catches it in her left whilst spinning. She then tosses it upward a second time, posing with her left arm on their hip while the Slosher spins on her right index finger. Based on the Inkling girl's victory animation when using a Slosher-type weapon in Splatoon. The Inkling boy holds his head back slightly farther than the girl does.
In competitive play
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Inkling players (SSBU)
- Bedgar - One of the best Inkling players in North America in the early metagame, and was a top 10 player in Mexico during this time, achieving several high placements such as 2nd at the regional WeTecThose 9 defeating Maister, 4th at the superregional Smash Fest to the Sky, and 17th at the supermajor GENESIS 7. He has since dropped Inkling for Palutena.
- Cosmos - The best Inkling player of all time, achieving a string of strong performances that no other Inkling players have ever achieved since, which included a string of top 8 placements in the first few months of competition. He has since dropped Inkling, although he briefly returned to the character in mid-2023 to mixed success.
- Shirayuki - The best Inkling player in the world in the post-online metagame. He is the highest-placing Inkling player at a major, placing 2nd at Maesuma TOP 9.
- showers - The second-best Inkling player in Japan. He regularly places well at Japanese events, most notably 3rd at the major Maesuma TOP 14 with a win over Asimo.
- Space - One of the best Inkling players in the world for the first few years of competitive play. His most notable run with Inkling was at the major Ultimate Fighting Arena 2019, where he defeated Kameme and Glutonny to place 3rd. He has since shifted his focus towards Pyra and Mythra, although he still uses the character on occasion.
Tier placement and history
Inkling was initially seen as a very promising character in the meta due to her outstanding frame data, damage output through the ink mechanic, safe aerials on shield, her effective edgeguard ability, and KO confirms off of her grab and Splat Roller. In addition, her dash was highly praised as an incredible mechanic that allowed her to invalidate many attacks and projectiles. These strengths and positive reception from the community gave her a large and strong playerbase that was spearheaded by Cosmos, who placed top 8 at multiple major events with Inkling. As a result, the general consensus was that Inkling was a top-tier threat in the early metagame.
However, this honeymoon period would not last long as Inkling's representation began to decline in the second half of 2019. Although Inkling players continued to see strong performances, most notably Space in Europe, Inkling's overall results declined as players learned how to abuse Inkling's weaknesses, which included her lack of strong out-of-shield options and difficulty in KOing past confirm percentages. This was most apparent in Cosmos, who was a contender for top 10 on the Spring 2019 PGRU but had dropped outside of the top 20 on the Fall 2019 PGRU due to a string of weaker performances. Inkling further declined during and after the online era as more and more players began dropping the character for better characters; most notably, both Cosmos and Space either dropped the character or slowly relegated the character to a secondary in favor of Pyra and Mythra. This turned the community's opinions on the character, with many players believing the character was not even a high-tier, much less a top-tier.
There were glimmers of hope for Inkling as new Inkling players started to make waves in the post-online metagame. In Japan, Shirayuki established himself as a consistent threat in his scene, which included a 2nd-place finish at Maesuma TOP 9, the highest placement for an Inkling player at an Ultimate major. Futhermore, the United States saw the rise of Colorondo8, who despite having more mixed results compared to Shirayuki still saw several respectable major placements and wins. Finally, Space did not fully drop Inkling and has pulled the character out from time-to-time. As a result, although Inkling's representation in the current metagame pales in comparison to her representation in the early metagame, it is nonetheless respectable, leading to Inkling's placement on the current tier list, where she is ranked 46th as an upper-mid tier character.
Classic Mode: An Inkredible Journey
Inkling's opponents use alternate costumes that match the general color scheme of the stage they are fought on, which references the Turf War mode in the Splatoon games. The boss of this route, Marx, also fits in with this theme because of his multicolored wings.
|1||Lucario and Sheik||Yoshi's Island (Melee)||Splattack! (Original)||Represents the color Green.|
|2||Greninja||Magicant||Ink or Sink||Represents the color Pink.|
|3||Wario and Duck Hunt||Norfair||Metalopod||Represents the color Red.|
|4||Giant Yoshi||Summit||Seaskape||Represents the color Light Blue.|
|5||Shulk, Ness, and Mewtwo||Fountain of Dreams||Kraken Up||Represents the color Purple.|
|6||Inkling (x2)||Moray Towers||Ink Me Up||Free-for-All. If either of these costumes are being played as, the default Inkling Girl and Boy will be used for the CPU instead.|
|Final||Marx||Mysterious Dimension||Calamari Inkantation||Represents all of the colors mixed together.|
Note: Every stage except for the Bonus Stage plays a track from the Splatoon universe, no matter what universe it originates from. Additionally, the music that plays when fighting Marx is Calamari Inkantation instead of his standard boss theme.
Role in World of Light
The Inklings (both female and male) were among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, the Inklings were present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. They decided to submerge in a puddle of their ink to hide in the hopes they might not be imprisoned. However, this proved ineffective when the beams of light destroyed the cliff they were on and vaporized them in the process. Both were then placed under Galeem's imprisonment alongside the rest of the fighters, except for Kirby.
In the mode proper, the female Inkling can be fought in a city area, in a space that clearly is Moray Towers.
|64||Inkling||3,300||Moray Towers (Ω form)||Splattack!|
Inkling Girl's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Inkling has been unlocked. Unlocking Inkling in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Inkling Boy has a fighter spirit of his own, available through the shop. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, the Squid form of the default Inkling appears as a support spirit.
In Spirit Battles
As the main opponent
|40||Blooper||Super Mario Series||•Tiny Inkling ×3||2,600||Delfino Plaza (Battlefield form)||•Hazard: Low Gravity||•Timed battle (1:30)
•Gravity is reduced
•The enemy tends to avoid conflict
|Underwater Theme - Super Mario Bros.|
|61||Kamek||Super Mario Series||•Inkling Team ×4||3,300||Mushroom Kingdom U (Slide Lift Tower)||•Easy to Launch
•Item: Star Rod
|•All fighters are easy to launch after a little while
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
•The enemy starts the battle with a Star Rod
|Fortress Boss - Super Mario World|
|102||Huey||Paper Mario Series||•Inkling Team||1,900||Moray Towers||N/A||•The enemy favors special moves||Battle! - Paper Mario: Color Splash||Paint mechanic in Paper Mario: Color Splash|
|237||Yuga||The Legend of Zelda Series||•Inkling
|9,600||Kalos Pokémon League (hazards off)||N/A||•The enemy's side special has increased power
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
|Yuga Battle (Hyrule Castle)||Yuga Ganon (Giant Inkling)|
|239||Mipha||The Legend of Zelda Series||•Inkling (100 HP)||3,900||Great Bay (Battlefield form)||N/A||•Stamina battle
•The enemy heals over time
|Main Theme - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild|
|284||Phantoon||Metroid Series||•Clear Inkling||3,500||Frigate Orpheon||•Item: Hothead||•The enemy is invisible||Lockdown Battle Theme|
|480||Smeargle||Pokémon Series||•Inkling||1,700||WarioWare, Inc. (hazards off)||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Vince)||•Hostile assist trophies will appear
•The enemy favors side smash attacks
|Pokémon Gold / Pokémon Silver Medley|
|540||Inkay||Pokémon Series||•Inkling||3,400||Kalos Pokémon League (hazards off)||•Earthquake||•Periodic earthquakes will shake the stage after a little while
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Inkay)
|Battle! (Wild Pokémon) - Pokémon X / Pokémon Y|
|573||Jeff||EarthBound Series||•Inkling ×3||13,200||Onett||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Jeff)
•Item: Shooting Types
|•Hostile assist trophies will appear
•The enemy's shooting items have increased power
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
|Onett Theme / Winters Theme|
|687||Tsubasa Oribe||Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE||•Inkling||1,600||Boxing Ring (Battlefield form)||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Squid Sisters)||•Hostile assist trophies will appear||Style Savvy: Trendsetters|
|779||Amy||Sonic The Hedgehog Series||•Inkling||9,400||Windy Hill Zone||•Item: Hammer||•The enemy starts the battle with a Hammer
•The enemy can swing the Hammer for a long time
•The enemy has increased move speed
|Open Your Heart|
|785||Chaos||Sonic The Hedgehog Series||•Metal Inkling||4,200||Fourside (Battlefield form)||•Giant||•The enemy is giant when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy is metal
|Open Your Heart|
|1,030||Squid Sisters||Splatoon Series||•Inkling Team ×4||13,700||Moray Towers (night)||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Squid Sisters)
•Easy to Launch
|•You are easy to launch
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
|Ink Me Up||Inkling|
|1,031||Off the Hook||Splatoon Series||•Inkling||9,700||Moray Towers (Ω form)||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Squid Sisters)||•Hostile assist trophies will appear||Ebb & Flow||Pearl (purple costume)|
Marina (pink costume)
|1,032||Sheldon||Splatoon Series||•Inkling Team||8,000||Moray Towers (Battlefield form)||•Item: Shooting Types||•The enemy's ranged weapons have increased power||Seaskape||Inkling|
|1,034||Jelonzo||Splatoon Series||•Inkling||2,500||Saffron City (Battlefield form)||•Hazard: Poison Floor||•The floor is poisonous||Seaskape|
|1,035||Crusty Sean||Splatoon Series||•Inkling||3,600||Saffron City||•Move Speed ↑
|•The enemy becomes more powerful after eating
•All fighters have increased move speed after a little while
•The enemy is easily distracted by items
|1,042||Octoling||Splatoon Series||•Inkling Team ×4 (75 HP)||4,000||Midgar (Battlefield form)||•Item: Shooting Types||•Stamina battle
•The enemy favors neutral specials
|1,047||Octoling Girl & Octoling Boy||Splatoon Series||•Inkling||9,400||Midgar (hazards off)||N/A||•The enemy's special moves have increased power||Undertow||Octoling Girl (pink costume)|
Octoling Boy (indigo costume)
|1,185||Mermaid||The Legendary Starfy Series||•Inkling||1,700||Wuhu Island (Rocks at sea)||N/A||•The enemy heals over time||Tortimer Island Medley|
|1,314||Futaba Sakura||Persona Series||•Inkling||2,900||Mushroomy Kingdom (Battlefield form)||•Item Tidal Wave (Boss Galaga)
•Assist Trophy Enemies (Wily Capsule)
|•Timed battle (1:30)
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
•Items will be pulled toward the enemy
|Beneath the Mask|
As a minion
|238||Zelda (Breath of the Wild)||The Legend of Zelda Series||•Zelda (50 HP)
•Link (60 HP)
•Inkling (30 HP)
•Donkey Kong (60 HP)
•Falco (50 HP)
•Zero Suit Samus (50 HP)
|9,200||Great Plateau Tower||N/A||•Stamina battle
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
•Defeat an army of fighters
|Main Theme - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild||Mipha|
|1,029||Li'l Judd||Splatoon Series||•Tiny Mr. Game & Watch
|9,100||Moray Towers||N/A||•The enemy favors side specials||Now or Never! (Splatfest Version) - Splatoon 2||Inkling|
|1,237||Vince||Art Academy Series||•Mii Swordfighter (Moveset 3222, Vince's Hat, Vince's Outfit, Low Voice Type 11)
|3,500||PictoChat 2||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Vince)||•Hostile assist trophies will appear
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
|Swan Lesson||Paint as seen in Vince's official artwork|
|1,408||C.J.||Animal Crossing Series||•Isabelle
|4,400||Wuhu Island (The boat)||•Assist Trophy Enemies (Starfy)
|•Defeat the main fighter to win
•Hostile assist trophies will appear when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy favors side specials
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Goldeen)
All of the Inkling's alternate costumes feature wearable gear that can be found in Splatoon and Splatoon 2. Each of the costumes has a different ink color, which matches the color of their hair and squid form.
Inkling Girl on Moray Towers.
Inkling Boy using down smash on 3D Land.
Inkling Girl getting Screen KO'd on Moray Towers.
Fighter Showcase Video
- Both Inklings' spirits have headwear that is absent on their default costumes. Inkling Girl wears the Studio Headphones in her spirit artwork, whereas Inkling Boy wears the Pilot Goggles in his.
- Official artwork of both default Inklings without said headgear exist, but are not used for their spirits' artwork.
- Inkling can swim in water in Ultimate. This contradicts attributes established in Splatoon, in which Inklings can only swim in ink (in squid form) and will dissolve when she touches the water. However, in reference to this attribute, Inkling takes gradual damage while swimming in the water and has an animation akin to other drowning animations as the basic swim animation, which speeds up once Inkling begins to drown.
- Inkling is one of four newcomers in Ultimate that was previously featured as a Mii Fighter costume in Super Smash Bros. 4. The others are Chrom, King K. Rool, and Isabelle.
- Inkling was the only newcomer to be featured in the "Everyone is Here!" trailer shown in the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct. As a result, she was also the only newcomer in the panoramic group artwork when it was first shown off in the E3 2018 Direct, due to being the only newcomer revealed at the time.
- Inkling is one of only two newcomers in Ultimate to not have splash art and an introduction tagline (similarly to Dark Pit in Smash 4), the other being Daisy.
- In Inkling's case, this was due to them sharing their reveal with the reveal of Ultimate.
- Inkling is the only character to have an alternate costume character appear in the World of Light introduction cutscene, as Inkling Boy appears alongside Inkling Girl.
- When Inkling is KO'd in Stamina Mode or instant KO'd, a ghostly squid can be seen drifting out of the KO explosion. In Splatoon, this occurs when an Inkling's health is depleted (known in that game as being "splatted").
- Both male and female Inklings use a higher pitched version of one of their KO voice clips when KO'd by reaching 0 HP during their final stock in Stamina Mode. They share this trait with Young Link.
- Some of Inkling Boy's animations are altered from Inkling Girl, including his idle pose, certain victory poses, and screen KO.
- Inkling Boy and Inkling Girl also sport different expressions from each other when using their shield. Inkling Girl has a neutral expression (along with occasionally blinking), whereas Inkling Boy sports a stern expression.
- In French (text only), Spanish, and Italian, the female and male Inklings are distinguished with their gender (Fille/Garçon Inkling, Inkling chica/chico, Ragazza/Ragazzo Inkling), akin to Pokémon Trainer, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager, and the Mii Fighters. This is similar to how Olimar is referred to as "Pikmin & Olimar" in Asian regions, and Duck Hunt is referred to as "Duck Hunt Duo" in European regions.
- In German, Spanish and Italian, the name tag and voice clip from the announcer on the victory screen is slightly different from the one used on the character select screen, instead featuring a noticeable translation of "the" ("der Inkling", "la Inkling chica"/"el Inkling chico" and "la Ragazza Inkling"/"il Ragazzo Inkling"). Inkling shares this trait with Wii Fit Trainer, Pokémon Trainer, Villager, Hero, Zombie, Enderman, the Ice Climbers, and the Mii Fighters.
- While Yoshi and King Dedede's voice actors (Kazumi Totaka and Masahiro Sakurai respectively) are credited in the Japanese version's Sound Test, the voice actor for the Inklings, Yuki Tsuji, is not credited in any version of Ultimate.
- Inkling's alternate costumes were decided in coordination with the Splatoon development team.
- Inkling is one of two characters whose Final Smash background changes color depending on alternate costumes. Female Inklings will have a blue background, whereas male Inklings will have a green one (with the exception of the lime-green Inkling, who uses the female variation of the background in his Final Smash). The other character with this distinction is Cloud.
- During Final Smash standby, Inkling's head will uniquely glow with a colored aura equivalent to that of the selected ink color. This is a reference to how the same thing happens when an Inkling maxes out their Special Gauge in Splatoon, except that the animation in Smash lacks the tentacles flailing about.
- Inkling, Meta Knight, Hero, Banjo & Kazooie, Sephiroth, Pyra, Mythra, and Sora are the fighters who use their walking animation when navigating through the map in World of Light. In Inkling's case, this is likely due to her dashing animation using her squid form.
- Inkling and Snake are the only characters who cannot angle their shield by holding the special move button while shielding. In Inkling's case, this is due to the shield and special button combination being used to refill her ink gauge.
- If an Inkling opponent gets KO'd in either a Horde Battle or in Mob Smash, her ink gauge will not be shown at zero, unlike in all other modes.
- Inkling has a simple but easily repeatable visual glitch where, while charging an emptied ink tank and stopping at the exact frame it reaches full capacity, the frame of the ink tank graphic next to her character portrait will be her ink color instead of the usual black outline. Continuing to charge or losing a stock will not fix this, but using an ink-based attack will.
- If Kirby copies an Inkling, he will use the first ink color in character selection screen order that is unused for the match. This means an orange Inkling being the only Inkling will make Kirby use blue ink; facing an orange and blue Inkling without yellow being present will make him use yellow ink; and so forth. However, he will always have an orange Splattershot, ink tank, and hair.
|Assist Trophy||Squid Sisters|
|Other||Judd · Octoling|