Luigi (ルイージ, Luigi) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed alongside Yoshi and the rest of the returning roster on June 12th, 2018 during E3 2018, being the last two veterans to be revealed for the game. Like in games prior to Super Smash Bros. 4, he is unlockable, instead of being available from the start. Luigi is classified as fighter #09.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Luigi must then be defeated on Luigi's Mansion.
Luigi is a middleweight who is somewhat floaty and has attributes that deviate from most characters of his weight class. Luigi has average walking and dashing speeds, the second slowest air speed, average air acceleration, slightly below average gravity, slow falling speed and fast falling speed and low traction. Luigi also sports a very high jump and double jump, among the highest in the game. Overall, Luigi is a rather floaty character who is sluggish in some aspects, especially in the air.
Like his older brother, Luigi can be very difficult to punish, as only two of his standard moves and four of his attacks have more than 9 frames of startup lag (forward smash, down aerial, Fireball, and Green Missile) and a multitude of moves that hit at or before frame 5, such as neutral aerial or neutral attack, giving him among the fastest frame data in the game and an excellent punish game, which is complemented by the impressive utility of his overall moveset. Neutral attack's damage output and range are decent, and the first two hits can lock. Luigi's tilt attacks also have their own perks: forward tilt can be angled, and is useful for spacing; up tilt has excellent combo and juggling potential; and down tilt is an incredibly quick and highly spammable move that can combo into itself. Finally, Luigi's dash attack has quick startup, and with its reduced ending lag as well as its increased damage output and knockback, it is a much better move for approaching and attacking than in previous titles.
Luigi's smash attacks are all among the fastest of their kind, have below-average ending lag and are strong enough to be reliable finishers, allowing them to quickly and effectively punish opponents close to him while being difficult to punish themselves on shield. Forward smash deals extra shield damage, up smash is an effective anti-air attack due to rendering Luigi's head intangible while its hitboxes are active, and down smash is very useful for punishing rolls thanks to its minimal lag, respectable damage output, and long range. Both up smash and down smash also have set-up potential at low percents if Luigi successfully covers the opponent's options afterward.
Luigi's aerial attacks are also very useful, having fast startup, lenient auto-cancel windows, quick interruptibility (except for neutral and back aerials) and low ending lag in general. In terms of autocanceling, he can autocancel all his aerials in a short hop, can autocancel all of them except for neutral aerial in a short hop fast fall and can use forward, up and down aerials twice in a single short hop. Lastly, he can use his forward and up aerials twice in a single short hop without suffering from landing lag. Neutral aerial is a sex kick and, like in previous installments, the only one that launches opponents vertically, which benefits its clean and late hitboxes: the former is a great combo breaker and deals high damage and good knockback, making it a reliable KO option at high percents, and both are very useful combo starters when SHFF'd, with the latter working even up to high percents. Forward aerial has the fastest duration of its kind and launches at the Sakurai angle; at low to medium percentages, these traits make it very reliable for approaching or down throw-initiated combos into itself, neutral aerial and up aerial, as well as a reliable edgeguarding option at high percentages. Back aerial has the highest ending lag of Luigi's aerials by a noticeable margin, but other than fast startup, it has a powerful clean hitbox on Luigi's feet and decent range, which enable it to function as a safe and reliable KOing and edgeguarding option, or as an approach option via reverse aerial rush. Up aerial is useful for combos, since it can either extend them or, thanks to having the lowest amount of landing lag out his aerials, use its clean hitbox to start them at low percentages when SHFF'd; as already mentioned above, its generous auto-cancel window and very low ending lag allow Luigi to use it twice in a single short hop and still auto-cancel it successfully, a trait it shares with his forward aerial and Little Mac's neutral aerial. Lastly, down aerial is safe to use and has a clean hitbox which is a fast meteor smash, coming out on frame 10 and with only 16 frames of ending lag, the lowest of any meteor smash. Due to his powerful aerials with generally low lag all around, Luigi has an outstanding air game.
Luigi has an excellent grab game, though unlike Mario, he has a tether grab, using the Poltergust G-00 to grab his opponents, firing a toilet plunger at the opponent. The plunger can grab opponents from a decent distance, preventing the necessity for Luigi to get up close to his foes. It also provides Luigi with a grab aerial, where he fires the toilet plunger as a projectile that deals minor damage and knockback, giving it edgeguarding potential and some combo utility, which is further compounded by its inability to be absorbed or reflected by opponents. Like Mario, Luigi has an average pummel, being able to deal multiple hits to opponents, and still follow up with his useful throws. Luigi's forward throw deals respectable damage and is useful for repositioning opponents or setting up edgeguards against them at higher percents. Back throw also deals respectable damage and great knockback, allowing it to KO at a mere 120%, or even earlier with rage, and does not possess a noticeably long animation like Mario's, making it harder for the opponent to survive with DI. Up throw deals average damage and knockback, and possesses follow-up potential into forward or up aerials at mid percents, while having a collateral hitbox to harm bystanders. Lastly, down throw is Luigi's main combo throw, and one of his most useful attacks; it deals average knockback, has low ending lag, has a collateral hitbox before the throw that can hit bystanders, and launches at a vertical angle, enabling it to lead into potent and highly damaging combos. Down throw can combo into moves such as up tilt, up smash, all of Luigi's aerials, Super Jump Punch and Luigi Cyclone, due to its aforementioned traits.
As a pseudo-clone of Mario, Luigi has two special moves that are derived from his older brother, yet his versions deviate in noticeable ways. Fireball is a projectile that is useful for pressuring, hindering an opponent's approach, or setting up an attack. Unlike Mario's Fireball, Luigi's is unaffected by gravity and moves up and down, which makes it somewhat less effective at hindering an opponent's recovery attempt, but allows it to cover a consistent area horizontally and vertically. Compared to Mario's version, Luigi's fireballs also have a clean hit that deals more damage, and they have less ending lag, allowing him to throw another one just one frame before the clean hit ceases. Super Jump Punch has fast startup like Mario's, but propels him vertically instead of diagonally. By extension, it consists of a sweetspot and sourspot, instead of multiple hitboxes like Mario's. Its sweetspot boasts devastating power, which makes it a very potent punishment option, yet it is very risky because of its high ending lag and sourspot that is mostly useless outside of being a niche gimping tool.
Aside from these, Luigi's other special moves are completely distinct from Mario's. Green Missile deals damage and covers horizontal distance, both of which can be increased thanks to its ability to be charged, giving KO potential to the fully charged version. However, it also has a one-in-ten random chance of misfiring; in this case, it becomes even stronger than the fully charged version, and travels much further. Lastly, Luigi Cyclone grants Luigi some invincibility frames on startup, enabling him to break out of combos or contest opposing attacks effectively. It also functions as a KOing option near the upper blast line, and is a guaranteed follow-up out of down throw even at high percents; this can even be a KO combo on platforms.
However, Luigi has some notable disadvantages. He has fairly sluggish mobility, with his extremely slow air speed and floaty physics giving him trouble landing, especially against faster characters, thus possessing a subpar approach and a weakness to juggling. His range, while better than Mario, is still below average, which leaves him fairly susceptible to getting outspaced by characters with long range, such as Lucina and Shulk, and compared to Mario, his lack of a reflector makes it more difficult for him to deal with projectile camping (especially against characters such as Link, Samus, and Simon) when combined with his awkward mobility. Additionally, his poor air mobility hinders his ability to approach with his aerial attacks, as well as his recovery. On top of this, his recovery, while long-distanced, is linear, slow, predictable and is fairly susceptible to gimping, as Luigi Cyclone barely gives any additional height compared to previous games, leaving him to deal with his Super Jump Punch and Green Missile moves, the former which only travels straight upward, and the latter which has noticeable lag, cannot sweetspot edges, and relies on either charging or its random misfire chance to cover a serviceable distance.
Overall, Luigi is a solid character, though he often tends to run hot-and-cold, unlike his brother. His extremely quick frame data, air game and combos make him a force to be reckoned with, provided his opponents make careless mistakes. Luigi's combo and KO potentials are easily superior to his brother's, having many different set-ups that can deal absurdly high damage within seconds, and then completely take stocks away. However, Luigi's short range - along with his only average ground mobility, abysmal aerial mobility, and predictable side and up specials - force him to fight at close-quarters all the time, hindering both his approach and recovery.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Luigi has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, but has been slightly nerfed overall. While Luigi received numerous buffs and changes that improve his strengths and benefit him, he has also suffered from a few major nerfs; both points are also compounded by the universal changes to the game's engine, which were a mixed bag for him.
Luigi's direct nerfs have affected his playstyle quite noticeably. Particularly, Luigi Cyclone travels much less vertical distance via button mashing, removing all of its usefulness for recovery, as even with very fast mashing, Luigi barely gets any additional distance at the end of the move. Alongside the addition of windboxes to it, this also removes its ability to gimp opponents and KO them at virtually any percentage if timed correctly, which was a crucial technique to his success in Smash 4. Another notable example comes from his new grabs: although they still have only moderate ending lag for their range, they possess much more startup, and are more prone to punishment due to the ability to cancel spot dodges earlier into attacks. This makes them much riskier to use and harder to land, especially since their increased startup removes many guaranteed setups into them and severely weakens Luigi's ability to shield grab, consequently limiting his defensive game and the usage of his pivotal down throw.
In terms of indirect nerfs, the changes to air dodging have both helped and hindered Luigi, but hurt him overall: due to his floatiness, the reintroduction of directional air dodges allows him to use one for recovery in a pinch. However, due to his below-average gravity, his air dodges have drastically more ending lag relative to the rest of the cast, thus making them more punishable, and recovery mix-ups with them are almost unfeasible due to the ability to only use one before landing. When combined with his air speed remaining the second worst in the game, as well as the severe distance nerf to Luigi Cyclone, his recovery is much more linear and easier to intercept, causing Luigi to become much more prone to edgeguarding and early offstage KOs, despite Super Jump Punch and fully charged Green Missile granting slightly more distance.
However, Luigi has received several buffs, with said buffs being of greater quantity than his nerfs. In particular, some of his least useful moves in Smash 4 have been significantly buffed: down tilt can be interrupted twice as fast and deals less knockback, allowing it to poke opponents much more safely and increasing its combo potential, while his dash attack has considerably decreased ending lag and increased power. Additionally, his existing KO options have been improved overall: forward smash has higher knockback and a lower trajectory across all angles, up smash and Luigi Cyclone have increased knockback, down smash's sweetspots are easier to land, and his Super Jump Punch's signature sweetspot can KO at even lower percents. Further complementing these changes, his combo ability, already one of his strongest assets in Smash 4, has been improved as well: he has gained a new up tilt with less ending lag and more range in front of and above him, and his down throw, already one of his best moves, leads to deadlier combos due to its lower ending lag and Luigi's faster jumpsquat, having more consistent KO setups and even potential zero-to-deaths. Lastly, Luigi Cyclone has received far more utility overall despite its usage for recovery being removed: it deals greater damage with more knockback, pulling opponents in more consistently thanks to its new windboxes, having more range, and granting invincibility on startup (especially in the air, which grants it as soon as frame 1), improving both its offensive and defensive capabilities, and with the addition of the Poltergust G-00 to Luigi's moveset, not only do his grabs have more range, but he has also gained a grab aerial, firing a plunger that can set up combos and even edgeguard opponents.
Luigi also benefits from some of the universal changes. Like the rest of the veterans, Luigi has had decreased landing lag in all his aerial attacks and his mobility enhanced in most areas, but most importantly, his infamously low traction has been greatly increased, which somewhat alleviates his problems with approaching and significantly improves his out of shield options. The increased shieldstun on grounded moves in comparison to Smash 4 makes Luigi harder to punish on some of his moves, notably his newly improved down tilt. In addition, unlike most characters, Luigi has increased falling speed and gravity, which leaves him less vulnerable to juggling.
Overall, Luigi has become even more polarizing than in Smash 4: while his combo and KO capabilities have been improved, Ultimate's game engine and nerfs to crucial aspects of his toolkit have made it harder for him to take advantage of his strengths and render him easier to KO due to his worsened recovery. Luigi has achieved decent tournament success in Ultimate so far, with respectable representation from players such as Elegant and SMB, though as a whole, his tournament results are not as dominating as they were in Smash 4. This has lead to a positive reception of Luigi, although his reception has been slightly more mixed: several top players, such as Dabuz, Mew2King, ESAM, VoiD, Samsora, and ZeRo, view him as either an upper mid-tier character or a high tier character. As for now, Luigi's true viability remains uncertain, although he is still considered a viable choice.
Throws and other attacks
Luigi has received a mix of buffs and nerfs via game updates, but has been slightly buffed overall. Up aerial and Green Missile have less ending lag, which improved the former's combo potential, while up smash and Luigi Cyclone became stronger thanks to their higher knockback. Standing and pivot grabs' ranges also slightly improved via 1 frame increases to their active frames. However, down aerial has been noticeably nerfed: due to it no longer meteor smashing grounded opponents (instead behaving like in SSB4), it has lost most of its combo potential and consistency at performing zero-to-deaths. As part of update 3.0.0's near-universal nerf to projectiles, Fireball also deals less shield damage.
For a gallery of Luigi's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Initially, Luigi was seen as noticeably inferior to his appearance in Smash 4. This is because some of Luigi's most useful tools from the previous game were significantly nerfed: Luigi's new grab was initially seen in a rather negative way because it had more lag, and Luigi Cyclone almost lost the ability to grant vertical distance when mashed, weakening Luigi's recovery and removing Luigi's Cyclone gimp. Although Luigi initially had a zero-to-death combo with his down throw and aerial, update 2.0.0 would make it harder to perform. This, along with mediocre results at best, caused many people to believe that Luigi was no longer viable anymore.
Despite Luigi's perception, however, several Luigi mains such as Elegant, Navy, and SMB managed to produce many strong results as the metagame progressed. This, along with several buffs, helped improve Luigi's perception in the community, as the buffs in Luigi's transition were far more significant than previously thought, and he is now mostly seen as a upper mid-tier character to a lower high-tier character.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Luigi's Nightmares
All of Luigi's opponents are creepy or scary characters or a character using a scary alternate costume. His boss, Dracula, fits in with the theme, as he is a vampire and references the fact that Luigi prominently appeared in Simon and Richter’s reveal trailer.
Role in World of Light
Although Luigi does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, a puppet fighter of him does appear during the 'Army of puppets' cutscene. He was presumably vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Luigi was one of the many fighters who fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat, and he can be found in the Mysterious Dimension being guarded by the Link (The Legend of Zelda) spirit after awakening Meta Knight.
Luigi's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Luigi 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. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Luigi makes an appearance in various Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video