List of flaws in artificial intelligence (SSBM)

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The following is a list of flaws in the artificial intelligence of Super Smash Bros. Melee.


General[edit]

Category Description Character
Recovery CPUs never attempt to fight off or evade edgeguarders. All
CPUs only use their midair jumps and up special move to recover (or side special with Luigi) - never any alternate recovery methods such as side special moves, air dodges or wall-grapples (as they never use grab aerials on the whole). They also never use wall jumps to aid their recovery in stages where these are possible. All
CPU Luigi always uses Green Missile and never uses Super Jump Punch to recover, even when necessary. He also never charges the former move, most of the time failing to recover if the attack is not a misfire, even though he uses the move consecutive times. This leads to him self-destructing easily on stages that emphasise vertical recoveries, like Mushroom Kingdom II or Brinstar Depths.
  • CPU Luigi will also use Green Missile even after having already got back to the stage with his midair jump, leaving him open to attacks.
  • Also due to this unique recovery method, CPU Luigi never meteor cancels attacks like other CPUs do, even at level nine.
LuigiHeadSSBM.png
The CPUs shown at the right always aim in the same upward diagonal trajectory when recovering with their up special, even if using such a trajectory results in them failing to make it back while a more desirable trajectory would have allowed them to recover successfully. CPU Fox and Falco, however, may aim their up special straight at a foe on occasion if they are close enough. FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png
A CPU Sheik always aims straightly horizontally or vertically (depending on her position from the edge) with Vanish, never diagonally. SheikHeadSSBM.png
A CPU Jigglypuff uses Sing instead of Pound or an air dodge after running out of midair jumps when recovering, guaranteeing a failed recovery if it cannot grab the ledge. Additionally, it always does so at exactly a certain distance away from the lower blast line each time. JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png
CPU Ness uses PK Thunder 2 to recover only if he is set to level nine, and always aims it in an upwards, barely horizontal trajectory. A lower level CPU Ness will fall and get KO'd if the midair jump is not enough to make it back to the stage. NessHeadSSBM.png
CPU Peach rarely uses her ability to float: she only uses it near the bottom of the stage after falling off with an attack, and unusually doesn't move around when doing so, simply stalling her eventual fall, and always holding it to the maximum length. This allows players to edgeguard her in a simple and easy way, while she would have survived otherwise.
  • CPU Peach also tends to use Peach Parasol immediately to recover when close to the edge, even when she could have used a midair jump to recover more effectively.
PeachHeadSSBM.png
CPU Pikachu and Pichu always use both dashes of Agility, even if it's aiming the move towards a platform, nudging itself away from it with the second dash and self-destructing, though CPU Pikachu is less likely to SD. PichuHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png
When CPUs are caped by Mario or Dr. Mario offstage before they use up special after using their midair jump, they will use aerial attacks even if that causes them to miss the ledge. Depending on the attack's duration, this will often cause them to fail a recovery that was possible. All
Repeated or Held Inputs CPUs never charge attacks that require button holding, including smash attacks (with the exception of the Ice Climbers' forward smash), Shield Breaker, Hero's Bow, Skull Bash, Green Missile, Rollout (which in particular suffers from the CPU's behaviour, since it has no effect other than leaving the user vulnerable if used without being charged), and the Super Scope, among others, the only exceptions being Zelda with Din's Fire, Sheik with Needle Storm and Ness with PK Flash. All
CPU Link and Young Link never use the second hit of their forward smash; as a result, they have more difficulty KOing, as Link's forward smash is relatively weak when the first hit connects, while Young Link's first hit deals low, set knockback to set up the second, more powerful attack. LinkHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png
CPUs never hold indefinitely extendable attacks such as rapid jabs, Fire Breath, Reflector, Inhale or Hand Slap past their minimum length. They also never hold the Fire Flower's flames, and never fire the Super Scope continuously. All
CPU Kirby under the effect of Stone never ends the transformation early. Besides allowing players to easily punish a CPU Kirby with powerful attacks, this causes him to self-destruct on some stages; if he hits a breakable platform above the lower blast line or is on a slope that ends offstage, he will end up sliding down and plummeting offstage.
  • In addition to this, if a player is under a platform and a CPU Kirby uses Stone, he will continuously use Stone until the player moves or successfully attacks Kirby.
KirbyHeadSSBM.png
CPU Mario, Luigi and Dr. Mario never move around nor rise when using their respective down specials. DrMarioHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png
Attack Patterns CPUs tend to heavily spam their neutral attacks and dash grabs against foes at close range, often forgoing other attacks like tilts, smashes or non-projectile specials. They also never approach foes on the ground with aerial attacks unless they were previously in midair. The difficulty of higher-leveled CPUs stems from not their more advanced fighting tactics, but the degree in which they can interrupt approaching foes with frame-perfect neutral attacks or grabs.
  • When attacking with aerials out of knockback or to reach foes on platforms, CPUs often use their neutral aerial over other types of aerials, even with characters whose other aerials are better.
  • When airborne, higher-leveled CPUs also tend to immediately use their neutral or down aerials when a foe is below them.
All
CPUs tend to periodically use projectiles when walking towards the player from afar, even if they can be reflected or absorbed. They do so even when crossing pits on some stages, causing them to be left open to edgeguards or self-destruct. All
CPUs always throw a grabbed opponent in a random direction, which, combined with their excessive use of throws, results in CPUs throwing the foe into the stage when attempting to edgeguard, or using a certain throw when a different one would have KO'd the foe. Some CPUs also tend to overuse a specific throw, such as Fox overusing his down throw to combo it into a shine (which can be easily avoided by teching), or Mario and his clones frequently using their back throws. All
When an opponent is knocked down or hanging on a ledge, CPUs only use down tilts and down smashes to attack them, usually spamming the one they use first instead of switching between the two, even when some attacks like Captain Falcon's down smash can't hit foes on ledges. All
CPUs cannot properly recognise the height differences that occur when standing on slopes, leading to things like a CPU flailing above an opponent with its jab when higher up on a slope. All
Movement CPUs never dash to move, acting almost immediately out of their initial dash to perform dash grabs and dash attacks, causing their approaches to be extremely slow and predictable. All
CPUs never initiate a fast fall intentionally, only doing so occasionally when trying to attack with a down aerial while falling down. All
Taunting AI players have poor taunting habits. After the CPU respawns, if the player was previously KO'd by it, the CPU will occasionally walk to the player and taunt for no apparent reason. All
Upon KOing a character, CPUs usually taunt, regardless of what is occurring around them. Additionally, when KOing an enemy horizontally from the middle of a main platform, they will walk to the edge nearest to where the KO occurred before taunting. When Star KOing an opponent, they won't taunt until the animation is finished, leaving them unnecessarily vulnerable during long taunts. All
Shielding & Dodging While high-leveled CPUs always powershield projectiles when not in lag, they almost never shield or dodge other oncoming attacks, even at level nine; they never sidestep on the whole to dodge, only doing so when trying to shield and fall through a soft platform simultaneously.
  • After jabbing and grabbing the player many times, CPUs tend to roll forward to attack from the other side, allowing the player to punish them with correctly timed attacks.
All
Like in Smash 64, CPUs still shield attacks when invincible, and still attack other opponents when they have respawn invincibility. When respawning themselves, they also reenter the fight instantly regardless of what is happening on the stage. All
While CPUs always attempt to dodge certain attacks such as Yoshi Bomb, their dodges are often poor in these cases. For example, a CPU near an edge attempting to dodge such an attack may still roll towards the edge, resulting in the attack still hitting and KOing the CPU while it would have survived by dodging differently. All
When air dodging, CPUs also tend to shift themselves in the direction they were already moving, or may not move at all, even if it causes them to unnecessarily fail to avoid the attack they were trying to. All
Other CPUs have almost nonexistent edgeguarding abilities: they normally just stand on the edge of the stage and throw off a typical jab or grab when the foe comes near, which often has poor KO power and instead allows the foe to recover again. Only CPU Mario, Dr. Mario and Captain Falcon jump offstage instead to edgeguard foes. Almost All
CPUs never tech on walls or ceilings unless launched very close to them, causing them to be easily KO'd by stage spikes when they could have survived otherwise. All
CPUs do not recognise pits as if they were an offstage area, leading to the CPU just walking and falling into them as the CPU attempts to carelessly attack an opponent near the pit, which often results in the CPU self-destructing. All
Other than Fox and Falco using their Reflectors, CPUs always reflect projectiles with powershields only, even when some characters like Mario and Zelda have more effective reflectors, or when these can be absorbed for Ness and Mr. Game & Watch. In this case they will prioritise shielding projectiles over anything else, often causing them to break their shields when shielding many rapid-fire projectiles such as Fox's Blaster shots.
  • This also causes CPUs to not reflect Poké Balls correctly, as powershielding them does not change the Pokémon's owner.
DrMarioHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png
Despite their overuse of grabs, CPUs will continuously attack a Kirby player under the effect of Stone instead of simply grabbing him, allowing an easy escape. All

Character Specific[edit]

Character Description
MarioHeadSSBM.pngDrMarioHeadSSBM.png CPU Mario and Dr. Mario often try to edgeguard with their forward aerials, even when Dr. Mario's is not a meteor smash. More often than not, this attempt fails, sometimes leaving them unable to recover, causing SDs.
DrMarioHeadSSBM.pngMarioHeadSSBM.pngLuigiHeadSSBM.pngPeachHeadSSBM.pngCaptainFalconHeadSSBM.pngGanondorfHeadSSBM.pngSamusHeadSSBM.pngMarthHeadSSBM.pngRoyHeadSSBM.pngMrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png The CPU characters shown on the left often use their up specials when the player is above them; not only this makes their attack choices predictable, but they use these moves even near an edge against an offstage player, leaping off it and self-destructing.
LuigiHeadSSBM.png CPU Luigi tends to use Green Missile against foes near the attack's maximum range without charging it, making him easy to punish. This can also cause him to self-destruct on small stages if the attack misfires.
PeachHeadSSBM.png As noted before, CPU Peach almost never floats, hovering in place on the occasion that she does.
CPU Peach tends to use Peach Bomber against foes near the attack's maximum range, leaving her vulnerable if the attack misses.
  • Additionally, if she ends up offstage with Peach Bomber, she will stall by floating as noted above, leaving her vulnerable for several seconds.
BowserHeadSSBM.png When approaching, CPU Bowser periodically uses Fire Breath even if there is no opponent on screen, making his approach significantly predictable and easy to counter.
CPU Bowser often uses Bowser Bomb on foes below him when in midair, regardless of what is below him.
CPU Bowser never shields projectiles when approaching the player, even at level nine, despite the AI's tendency to shield and even reflect any projectile. [1]
All of these flaws also apply to Giga Bowser.
YoshiHeadSSBM.png CPU Yoshi tends to use Egg Lay as much as his grab.
CPU Yoshi spams Egg Throw against foes above him.
CPU Yoshi tends to approach with Egg Roll from large distances, chasing the player even if near an edge, often causing Yoshi to fall offstage and self-destruct.
LinkHeadSSBM.pngYoungLinkHeadSSBM.png CPU Link and Young Link never attempt to angle their Boomerangs.
ZeldaHeadSSBM.png CPU Zelda heavily spams her down tilt against foes at close range to "lock" them.
CPU Zelda uses Nayru's Love extremely rarely, not even using it for reflecting projectiles.
After a player semi-spikes a CPU Zelda close to the edge, she won't use Farore's Wind unless she is low and underneath the stage, or is hit by another player, causing her to be KO'd without trying to recover.
  • When an edgeguarder comes near, she will use aerial attacks or Din's Fire, causing Zelda to fail a recovery that was possible.
SheikHeadSSBM.png CPU Sheik may use Chain instead of Needle Storm when approaching, leaving her easily vulnerable against attacks. She also rarely swings the chain around, and only if the foe is close to her.
GanondorfHeadSSBM.png CPU Ganondorf spams Dark Dive when an opponent is in front or above him.
As he approaches the player, CPU Ganondorf periodically uses Warlock Punch, Gerudo Dragon and up tilt like how other CPUs use projectiles while approaching. He does this despite the opponent being completely out of his range, and the very long lag of these attacks making it easy for opponents to punish him.
SamusHeadSSBM.png CPU Samus repeatedly uses Bombs when above a foe in midair.
KirbyHeadSSBM.png CPU Kirby tends to use his dash attack to approach.
CPU Kirby has an unusual behavior with Inhale: when he first uses it, he will repeatedly use it until he swallows a character. After that, he heavily spams the move he copied, including moves such as Marth's Shield Breaker that aren't commonly spammed by the AI.
  • CPU Kirby also never moves around with swallowed foes, and spits out an opponent only if it is another Kirby. In this case, he also always spit out the Kirby, even if it has a copied ability that can be stolen.
CPU Kirby often uses his Stone on foes below him when in midair, regardless of what is below him.
  • When a CPU Kirby without an ability is swallowed by another Kirby player, he will almost always use Stone after being released from Inhale, (due to him left above the player), allowing the human Kirby to rack up damage by repeatedly swallowing the CPU.
PikachuHeadSSBM.pngPichuHeadSSBM.png CPU Pikachu and Pichu never use their jabs rapidly, always waiting for a jab's full duration to end before using another one.
CPU Pikachu and Pichu tend to use Skull Bash against foes near the attack's maximum range, without charging it, leaving them easily punishable.
CPU Pikachu and Pichu spam Thunder against foes above them.
CPU Pichu uses its electric attacks (especially Thunder Jolt) at the exact same rate as Pikachu, regardless of the recoil damage they inflict.
JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png CPU Jigglypuff never uses Rollout or Rest.
  • CPU Kirby with Jigglypuff absorbed does use Rollout, but never charges it (as noted prior).
    • CPU Kirby also uses Rollout even if near a ledge, causing him to fall down in helpless state and self-destruct. As CPU Kirby mostly spams copied abilities, this can be easily exploited.
MewtwoHeadSSBM.png A CPU Mewtwo charging Shadow Ball in midair (by either falling off an edge when attacking a foe out of range, or sometimes when using the move very close to one) never cancels the attack, and doesn't shoot the ball if there are no enemies directly in front of it, simply falling down and self-destructing.
If a player semi-spikes a CPU Mewtwo close to the edge, it will never use Teleport unless it is low and underneath the stage, or is hit by another player, causing Mewtwo to fail his recovery.
  • In addition, when an edgeguarder comes near, it will use aerial attacks or Shadow Ball. Depending on distance and attack's duration, this often causes Mewtwo to fail a recovery that was possible.
NessHeadSSBM.png CPU Ness never uses PSI Magnet; even when projectiles are shot in his vicinity, he just reflects them by powershielding.
If a player semi-spikes a CPU Ness close to the edge, and then edgeguards him, he will use aerial attacks and never use PK Thunder 2 to recover unless he is low and underneath the stage, or is hit by another player, causing him to fail his recovery.
CPU Ness spams PK Flash against foes above him. Often times he times the explosion badly and the attack misses, leaving him open to punishes.
When using PK Thunder as an attack, CPU Ness won't send the beam back if it misses the foe, leaving him highly vulnerable to attacks during the move.
CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png As he approaches the player, CPU Captain Falcon periodically uses Falcon Punch and Raptor Boost like how other CPUs use projectiles while approaching. He does this despite the opponent being completely out of range, and the very long lag of these attacks making it easy for opponents to punish him.
  • This ends up making Event 12: Seconds, Anyone? easier to complete than intended, as a move strong enough to punish the lag (such as the Falcon Punch itself, if triggered as soon as the event starts) is enough to KO the CPU's Captain Falcon.
CPU Captain Falcon always uses Raptor Boost after using forward throw or down throw on someone, even if it causes him to go offstage and self-destruct.
  • He may also use Raptor Boost if the player is near the ledge offstage, attempting to hit them, but usually falling off the stage.
CPU Captain Falcon often tries to attack foes with Falcon Dive after successfully executing an up throw, which is preceded by a single jump. The entire process is a predictable and thus poor attempt at comboing the opponent.
CPU Captain Falcon often tries to edgeguard offstage with his down aerial. More often than not, this attempt fails, leaving Falcon open to edgeguards himself.
MarthHeadSSBM.pngRoyHeadSSBM.png CPU Marth and Roy never use Counter.
When CPU Marth and Roy use Dancing Blade and Double-Edge Dance (respectively), after knocking their foe away with the first hit, they always execute the three subsequent hits of the attack even if the foe gets out of reach. They also never use the up and down versions of the attacks.
  • If the foe is very close to them and isn't knocked away with the first hit, they may instead only use that one, even when following up with the others was possible.
MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png CPU Mr. Game & Watch tends to spam his dash attack to approach.
CPU Mr. Game & Watch never uses Chef.
CPU Mr. Game & Watch uses Oil Panic at inappropriate moments, not for absorbing projectiles at all.
If a player semi-spikes a CPU Mr. Game & Watch close to the edge, he will never use Fire unless he is low and underneath the stage, or is hit by another player, causing him to fail to recover.

Item Related[edit]

Item Description
Any CPUs never grab items while in midair, allowing the player to easily take items on platforms or falling down away from them.
Any A CPU Zelda that holds a throwing item usually throws it down when close to an opponent, in an attempt to use a down tilt. Not only does this often render the item ineffectual, but she will easily self-destruct if the item is an explosive.
HammerIconSSBM.png Starman Picking up either a Hammer or a Starman will cause all the CPUs to run to the opposite side of the stage and stand there until the effect wears off; they will not use any defensive maneuvers whatsoever.
  • On Poké Floats, while standing there until the effect wears off, a CPU will only attack if an opponent comes near very close to the camera boundaries or between a blast line and the camera's view. This can result in SD, if the CPU stays on certain float too long while attacking an opponent.
WarpStarIconSSBM.png CPUs never change the trajectory of the Warp Star's dive, resulting in them self-destructing if the default trajectory happens to propel them offstage.
HammerIconSSBM.png When a CPU grabs a Hammer, it chases opponents until it reaches a wall and continually jumps in place even if the obstacle can be jumped over. It also jumps offstage to chase opponents that have jumped off the stage, self-destructing in the process.[2]
  • Additionally, even if the Hammer's head falls off, CPUs still attempt to chase opponents, putting themselves in harm while doing so. They also never pick up the head intentionally, as with other items.
PokeBallIconSSBM.png If they are next to the radius of Venusaur's earthquake or near Wobbuffet, CPUs may shield even if they are not in the Pokémon's damage radius. Unusually, they also hold their shields in place, which can result in a self-inflicted shield break (Jigglypuff will SD because of its unique shield jump). This is noticeable with the Wire Frames on the Legendary Pokémon event.
  • Additionally, if a CPU is knocked in the air near Venusaur or goes above it to approach a player, it often immediately air dodges, even if the Venusaur can just be jumped over. CPU Fox and Falco will attempt to reflect Venusaur's Earthquake and Blastoise's Hydro Pump with their down specials, despite neither attack being able to be reflected.
FoodIconSSBM.png MaximTomatoIconSSBM.png HeartContainerIconSSBM.png HammerIconSSBM.png PokeBallIconSSBM.png CloakingDeviceIconSSBM.png CPUs never pick up items intentionally, regardless of their level, with the only exceptions being: healing items, Hammers, Poké Balls and Cloaking Devices.
  • When these appear on stage, CPUs immediately cease any fighting and slowly go towards the item, without trying to avoid any players or hazards in their way.

Stage Related[edit]

Stage Description
All stages with high platforms When a player is standing on a platform that usually cannot be reached with a single jump, CPUs below it will jump only once and use their down aerial, being nowhere near hitting the player - they will repeat the process until the player moves out of the the platform, allowing them to counterattack the CPUs or simply stall them out[3]. This is most notable with Bowser on Battlefield, where if a player stands on the highest point of the stage, Bowser will go into an infinite loop unless he is interrupted.
PCastleMelee.jpg On Princess Peach's Castle, CPUs will always run to the opposite side of the castle when Banzai Bill appears. During this period, they ignore opponents, and don't attack nor defend themselves unless an opponent comes near. This allows the player to attack without fear of retaliation, even with normally slow or punishable attacks such as fully charged smashes. When the opponent does come near, it disrupts the CPUs' normal behavior pattern and they sometimes stay on the side of the castle where the Banzai Bill is and get KO'd by its explosion.
  • Also, if Banzai Bill spawns in the middle of the castle, CPUs may run straight into it in an attempt to reach the other side.
SSB4 Brinstar.JPG On Brinstar, CPUs always go to the hovering metallic platform in the centre when acid rises from the bottom. During this period, the CPU ignores opponents, and doesn't attack or defend itself unless an opponent comes near.
MuteCity.jpg When at a stop on Mute City and the stage is about to move again, CPUs will not jump back on the main moving platform unless a player or item provokes them to go on it, leading to them sustaining avoidable damage when the stage moves.
JungleJapes.jpg CPUs tend to self-destruct when transversing the pits on Jungle Japes, most of the time due to attacking a player near them or recovering badly; CPU Ness is the most prominent example, who, when crossing from one side of the stage to the other, will always use both of his jumps and try to recover with PK Thunder 2 when on the second pit (or simply fall into it if not at level 9), causing the beam to be blocked and self-destructing.
  • If the player stands still on the right platform as a CPU Fox comes off the revival platform in this same stage, Fox will repeatedly jump into the river, use Fire Fox below the center platform and fail to recover until he runs out of stocks or time runs out[4]. CPU Roy also exhibits this behavior in this situation, aiming his Blazer to the left, missing the ledge and self-destructing[5].
Fourside Melee.png For an unknown reason, high-level CPUs on Fourside tend to air dodge near the pits, which depending on their character can lead them to self-destruct. A notable example is Yoshi, who will always air dodge as he crosses the first pit when spawning from the right side of the stage, inevitably self-destructing.
Yoshi's Island Melee.png Rainbow Cruise.jpg On N64 Yoshi's Island, if the player stands on a cloud close to the horizontal blast line, CPUs will go towards them with their usual recovery patterns, commonly not using other clouds at platforms. When using their up special, they will also aim for the closest cloud even if it's out of range, leading to self-destructs.
  • CPUs also exhibit this behavior on Rainbow Cruise during the first part of the boat ride, when the player jumps out of sight onto a platform above the boat.
Green Greens On Green Greens, CPUs that fall through the pits will go below the central platform and aim their recovery towards it instead of towards the pits, getting KO'd in the process, allowing them to be very easily gimped.
Mushroom Kingdom II On Mushroom Kingdom II, when battling against a CPU Luigi set as Player 2, if the player KOs him and then goes to the right part of the stage, Luigi will jump backwards from the revival platform and miss the ledge, and then use Green Missile on the wall and self-destruct[6]. He will continue this indefinitely until interrupted by an item, Pidgit, or Birdo's eggs.

SSB4 Corneria.JPG Mushroom Kingdom
Venom.jpg Battlefieldssbm.jpg

When the player stands still on certain locations in stages, all opposing CPUs cease all movement and action if the player is not in attack range, until the player moves or one of the aforementioned desired items appears[7]. A notable example of this is the right edge of the middle right platform in Battlefield, which can be exploited in Cruel Melee[8].

Mushroom Kingdom

When one of the aforementioned desired items spawn on the scale platforms, all CPUs cease movement until an opponent comes near or if the item is collected or disappears.

Mushroom Kingdom Mushroom Kingdom II
Yoshi's Island Icicle Mountain
Flat Zone Onett

On walk-off stages such as Flat Zone, if the player is close enough to the blast line without getting KO'd, the AI may ignore the player completely and fight other opponents.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]