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Master Hand glitch

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By performing the glitch, Master Hand can be used on any stage.

The Master Hand glitch is a variant of the Name Entry glitch in Super Smash Bros. Melee that allows the player to use and control Master Hand on any stage. It is impossible to use any other non-playable characters through this glitch. Although any player is capable of being Master Hand, only the third player is capable of actually controlling him. Like any other character, Master Hand will appear with a damage percentage meter. Since he takes no knockback at all, he cannot be KO'd except in Stamina Mode. Any options that would affect knockback, such as handicap and damage ratio, will not affect Master Hand at all. There is a subglitch that can be done called the Master Hand laser glitch.

Performing the glitch[edit]

There are two ways to perform the glitch. One requires only one controller; the other requires two.

Method one (one controller)[edit]

This method works on all modes except Tournament, though the game is highly susceptible to freezing after activation.

The player must have a controller in slot 3, or Master Hand cannot be controlled. It is much easier to do if there is only one name entered. Using this controller, place the cursor over the name field on the character selection screen. Now press A and B at the same time, and the player will come to the name selection. Hold B, but release A, then go down with the cursor until they are over the "name entry field". Then press A at the right time. The game should want to go back to the menu, because the player held B, but it should also want go to the name entry screen, because they pressed A over "name entry". If performed correctly, instead of going to either of these, the game should go to the stage selection screen (or, in Single Player, straight to the game). After selecting the stage, the player will be playing as Master Hand.

Method two (two controllers)[edit]

This method is much simpler, but only works in Melee or Special Melee mode. To perform it, simply have two controllers; one as P3 and the second one in any other port. Have the controller that's not player three select a character, and then hover over the back button, while the one in the third port goes to select a name, and have them hover over the name entry button. Both controllers must then hit A at the same time, as to select their option, and if done correctly, the stage select screen will appear (there is very little leeway between selection, less than a second). On whatever stage selected, player 3 will be Master Hand.


These move names are not official and the following names are from the game's files. All directions are pressed on the D-Pad, not the Control Stick. Additionally the player cannot move him; the player can only get around by doing moves.

Move Damage Debug mode input Description
10% (startup), 30% (attack) A + D-Pad Master Hand makes a vaguely plane-like shape, then flies into the background. When Master Hand is about to launch, the fire that comes out of his wrist is a meteor smash. He attempts to fly into the player, then flies in from the right.
Flying Punch
34% A + D-Pad Master Hand flies off the screen, then appears in the background as a fist. He attempts to slam into the player, then flies back onto the stage from the top of the screen. As a meteor smash, it cannot KO grounded players until very high percentages.
Flying Slap
30%/24%/16%/12% (from earlist to latest) A + D-Pad Master Hand flies off the top of the screen, then appears in the background. He attempts to flatten the player. A powerful semi-spike if the player is inside of his palm; the ground-only shockwave produced starts with vertical knockback but flattens out with distance.
Laser Nail
9% B + D-Pad Master Hand shoots a laser beam from each of his fingertips.
Finger Bullet
10% (single pair), 6% (triple pair) B + D-Pad Master Hand makes the shape of a gun, and fires pairs of bullets. He fires one pair if he hasn't taken 150% damage yet, and three pairs if he took 150% damage or more.
13% Z +
(D-Pad Or D-Pad)
Master Hand's pummel. After 3 squeezes he will move to a throw based on the direction when executed.
Reverse Throw
18% Z + D-Pad Master Hand throws the opponent backwards with decent knockback.
Vertical Throw
20% Z + D-Pad Master Hand throws the opponent into the ground. High damage and knockback, but cannot KO under normal conditions.
Finger Drill
5% (startup), 4% (descent), 1% (each hit) R + D-Pad Master Hand flies up, then slams down while spinning in a drill-like fashion. Difficult to escape and deals high damage, but effectively no knockback.
Power Punch
24% R + D-Pad Master Hand hovers over the target, then quickly punches down with an explosive meteor smash.
Power Slap
26% R + D-Pad Master Hand slaps the ground. Buries the player.
7%, 7%, 20% R + D-Pad Master Hand pokes the air three times. The third poke is more powerful.
Floor Sweep
14% L + D-Pad Master Hand makes a sweeping motion across the platform.
Big Swipe
25% L + D-Pad Master Hand takes a big swipe across the stage.
Finger Walk
10%/12% (walk), 20% (kick) L + D-Pad Master Hand "walks" using his pointer and middle fingers. When he reaches his opponent, he "kicks" them.


Each character in the game has an ID number. When a character is selected on the character selection screen, the game loads that character's number. In this situation, Master Hand's ID number is 1A, and NONE's ID number is 21. When the player enters the character selection screen, it will default to loading each character's ID number as 1A. However, if the player hovers the character slots and generates a player chip, the character ID number will be changed to 21. This is most likely the explanation behind why the game may occasionally crash when this glitch is attempted. In order for the game to re-register that the character ID number is 1A (Master Hand) instead of 21 (NONE), the player must either 1. enter and exit the name entry screen while the chip for the intended Master Hand player is being held by the player's hand, or 2. exit then reenter the character selection screen. So if this glitch is performed and then crashes the game upon entering a match, it is most likely because the chip of the Master Hand player was created and changed the player's character ID number to 21. Also, the reason a controller must be in socket 3 is because in Classic mode (or event match 50), Master Hand is always character 3; character one is the player, and character four is reserved for Crazy Hand.


Mode Result Notes
Classic Mode Freezes after the glitch is executed. (Sometimes goes to the VS. screen before freezing the game, however, the game will not show Master Hand or the computer player's contestant picture.) Can't load. Master Hand doesn't have a contestant picture for when it shows who the player is challenging.
Adventure Mode Master Hand will fly into the center of Mushroom Kingdom (inside the hill just left of the Red Koopa Paratroopa), and will then get stuck. Using at least some of his attacks will freeze the game. While characters normally spawn on the left side of the Mushroom Kingdom stage, Master Hand is programmed to always spawn about halfway between the middle of the stage and the right-side blast line (here just to the right of the Yoshi ambush), resulting in his strange spawn position due to the long length of the stage. Master Hand cannot move other than by attacking, so he will be unable to complete the level. A few of Master Hand's attacks require an opponent to target. As Goombas and other Adventure Mode enemies aren't considered actual opposing fighters, the game freezes, as Master Hand can't target anything.
All-Star Mode The player can complete the first level normally, but Master Hand will get stuck in the Rest Area. Using the finger walk attack in the Rest Area will freeze the game. Similar to Adventure Mode, Master Hand cannot move in the Rest Area to proceed to the second level. When Master Hand attacks with the finger walk, he will have nothing to aim at in the Rest Area, causing the game to freeze.
Event Match Works on any event where the player can choose their character. His high scores go to Mario. Occasionally freezes in the middle of the event for no real reason, especially on All-Star Matches. As Master Hand cannot be KO'd, he is useful for completing difficult matches. However, he is not as useful on timed matches. Also, there are some events such as Event 7: Pokémon Battle that are more difficult to complete, as they require items or specific goals. It is possible to use the glitch on the event Final Destination Match, resulting in two Master Hands and one Crazy Hand. Once Master Hand defeats the CPU Master Hand, the player can use moves in conjunction with Crazy Hand, by inputting the D-Pad either up or right and pressing the Y Button. This will only be possible on certain moments, when Crazy Hand's fingertips are sparkling, while in his idle animation. This signals Master Hand the possibility for a team-attack. While in this state, Crazy Hand will not perform any attacks and simply stay idle for a short period of time. The player (as Master Hand) can trigger this team-attack state by flicking the C-stick in any direction, While Crazy Hand is present. Causing the latter to enter this state immediately after completing his current attack animation. However, Crazy Hand will still see the human Master Hand as an enemy and his moves in will raise Master Hand's damage percentage but won't lower Crazy Hand's stamina.
Home-Run Contest Works. The player can get Master Hand in, but his laugh and entry animation will waste at least half of the time the player has, and there is no way to get any distance.
Target Smash! Master Hand's laugh is heard, then it freezes. Can't load. Master Hand doesn't have a target test. However if this stage could load, it would go to the DUMMY stage, with no targets.
Multi-Man Melee Works. As Master Hand cannot be KO'd, Cruel Melee and Endless Melee can only be finished by quitting, though records will still be saved. Also, his high scores go to Mario. As Master Hand cannot be KO'd, he is useful for completing 100-Man Melee and 15-Minute Melee.
Training Mode Works. If the player activates Reset on the Training Menu, Master Hand begins to face right instead of left. His targeting system therefore becomes flawed, e.g. Gun will fire to the right of the opponent. Master Hand's records are given to Mario because Mario has an ID of 1, the nearest number to Master Hand's ID of 0.
Melee Works on every mode. Freezes when the match is over if Master Hand wins. Master Hand can still lose on a Coin or Bonus match by having another player get more Smash Coins (or a higher score at Bonus matches). If done so, data is shown normally on the results box, except that there is no profile image, and Master Hand's name appears as "Sheik", with the Legend of Zelda icon. Teams work. Sudden Death also works when scores are even. The game freezes after the match because it can't show Master Hand as the winner, as he doesn't have a victory pose. The reason other stuff freezes the game is unknown. One is possibly because the crowd appeals a character when they achieve enough KOs or successfully do something, but Master Hand doesn't have a "crowd cheer" voice clip. Also, if many characters are chosen on a hazardous stage like Corneria or Mute City, the game may freeze at the beginning and on Corneria, he will spawn below the blast line, causing most of his attacks to be useless, but his grab becomes a one-hit KO. If Master Hand loses a Coin or Bonus match, the records will be given to Mario.
Special Melee The game freezes when the match is over. No player can be Zelda (except in Lightning Melee, Tiny Melee, and Slo-Mo Melee). Teams work. Same as above. In Giant and Tiny Melee, Master Hand appears giant/tiny without problem, with his attacks' damage being normally changed, except that his voice won't be modified when he first appears. His controls are not affected at all in Single-Button Melee. He also becomes invisible with no problem in Invisible Melee: this is also the only instance in which he can do so, as he can't use Cloaking Devices. For some reason, Zelda can be selected in Lightning Melee and Slo-Mo Melee without the game crashing.
Camera and Stamina Both work perfectly. Again, Zelda can be selected without any problems. In Camera Mode, the player can take pictures of Master Hand and they save. Stamina Mode allows for fair matches with Master Hand as he can be KO'd (he cannot be KO'd in normal matches as he does not experience knockback). If Master Hand is defeated in Stamina Mode, he will fly off the stage exploding like in Classic Mode, except that the camera won't freeze on Master Hand, and he won't scream. However the match will end before he makes it all the way off the stage, as the announcer will shout "GAME!", except if he is defeated before another character on a battle with three or four combatants. After being KO'd, the game won't freeze, as Stamina Mode doesn't have a results screen. For some reason, Team Battles cause the game to freeze most of the time. When Master Hand grabs a character in Stamina Mode, if he defeats a character by crushing them, without being able to throw, the game will freeze.

In competitive play[edit]

The Master Hand glitch and Name Entry glitch are not explicitly mentioned in most tournament rulesets, which technically makes Master Hand legal for competitive play sometimes. However, the Name Entry glitch may still freeze the game, and since the glitch has to be done intentionally, this can constitute as attempting to disrupt gameplay, which is considered cheating in most rulesets and the tournament organizer can punish said player in whatever way they see fit even if there is no direct mention of the glitch in the rules.

There is also a potential conflict of two people wanting to be Master Hand, as only one player can control Master Hand at a time. This alone is typically enough for Master Hand to be banned to avoid any conflict and hassle in deciding who gets to use a character.

If Master Hand is allowed in a game, he may at first appear to have a considerable advantage, as he does not take knockback and thus cannot be KOed at all. This means that the only way to win against Master Hand is to survive the full eight minutes while taking less damage than him and never losing a single stock. However, even with these advantages, Master Hand's competitive viability is considered to be worse than any regular character in the game.[1][2] As typical of bosses, all of Master Hand's moves have both extremely long startup lag and ending lag, and he is unable to block or dodge opponents' attacks. This allows a skilled opponent to easily dodge all of Master Hand's telegraphed attacks, while using Master Hand's unavoidably large vulnerable periods to inflict damage, including slow high-damage attacks that would almost never successfully connect in a usual match.

Since the Master Hand glitch most often causes a major disadvantage to the player using it, few players even consider the option, preventing the situation from being a competitive issue.

Master Hand's presence in doubles is more uncertain; for example he can give his partner three extra lives (but no longer has the single-KO win condition), and his partner may prevent an opponent from dodging a Master Hand attack (but he has difficulty avoiding friendly fire in that case). He also has difficulty targeting the opponent whose port number is higher.


  • Metal Boxes, Starmen, and Lip's Stick all have their unique respective effects work on Master Hand. Screw Attacks can be thrown at him, but they have no special effect when hitting him and so will only deal damage. Master Hand can additionally utilize the effect of Super Mushrooms and Poison Mushrooms, but Master Hand making contact with them on certain stages will crash the game.
  • This glitch is the only way to normally see Master Hand's idle pose, which is never seen in regular gameplay. For Master Hand's idle pose, he simply clenches his fist. This is because when the AI controls him, he'll never stay idle long enough for the animation to play.
  • On scrolling stages like Rainbow Cruise, Icicle Mountain, or Big Blue, Master Hand moves with the screen because the game treats him as a character, not as an object.
  • Whenever Master Hand doesn't have a target to use his moves on, the only moves he can use without the game freezing are the laser move (^B), the sweep move (^L), and the smack move (>L).
  • It is possible to have a computer player Master Hand if the player has one with no selected character while using the name entry glitch.
  • The glitch was referenced on the 10th Melee tier list, with the bottom tier being called "Gengar", and being described as "Master Hand and other glitch characters".
  • When defeated on Brinstar, Master Hand will continually repeat his defeat animation.
  • As Falco and Pichu can be unlocked after completing 100-Man Melee and Event 37: Legendary Pokémon, respectively, it is possible for Master Hand to face them in the Challenger Approaching battle. Defeating them will unlock them as usual, without the game crashing.
  • When viewing detailed information of Master Hand on the results screen, none of his attacks will be counted, resulting in the records always stating that the player used each type of attack zero times. Other records, such as maximum knockback achieved and peak damage, will still be recorded as usual.


External links[edit]