Mr. Game & Watch (SSBU)
Mr. Game & Watch (Mr.ゲーム＆ウォッチ, Mr. Game & Watch) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed alongside Greninja and the rest of the returning roster on June 12th, 2018 during E3 2018. Mr. Game & Watch is classified as Fighter #26, the last fighter number of the Melee veterans.
How to unlock
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Mr. Game & Watch is a short, lightweight character that has some typical attributes of characters in his weight class, and is also a character of extremes. He has fast air speed, excellent air acceleration, a small size, and a very low crouch that allows him to evade many attacks like Marth's Shield Breaker and Simon's forward tilt. However, his jumps are very low and he has slightly above-average walking speed and below-average running speeds although his initial dash is decently fast.
Unlike most other lightweights, Mr. Game & Watch possesses attacks with large disjointed hitboxes and has numerous, powerful KO options. All of his smash attacks have very high power and low ending lag throughout, with each of them possessing unique attributes. Forward smash is among the strongest in the game if sweetspotted while having low endlag and good range, with the sweetspot being safe on shield. Up smash is also very strong, and comes with full body invincibility while the hitboxes are active. While it has slow startup, it has minimal endlag and is completely safe on shield. Down smash sends opponents at an awkward semi-spike angle offstage, while its sweetspot buries opponents long enough to lead into a forward smash, even at medium percents. It also has a very large hitbox, allowing it to easily 2-frame many recoveries, and acts as an excellent punish option on rolls. Like his other smash attacks, down smash is safe on shield when spaced properly. Overall, Mr. Game & Watch possesses an excellent arsenal of smash attacks.
Outside of his smash attacks, Mr. Game & Watch's other moves have strong KOing potential. Forward tilt comes out quickly, has a lingering hitbox, and kills under 120% by the ledge, sending characters at a semi-spike. Down tilt lowers Mr. Game & Watch's hurtbox to match his crouch, allowing him to whiff-punish certain attacks. It also possesses high power and semi-spikes opponents offstage, leading to edgeguards and killing outright at 100%. His new forward aerial's explosion kills opponents at 115% by the ledge, while his down aerial has been strengthened to become a viable kill move around 130%. Similarly, his back aerial now sends at a flatter angle, and the final hit possesses enough power to KO below 100% offstage. The clean hit on down aerial boasts a powerful meteor smash that can KO below 65%, and the late hit also deals good knockback that can KO near 130%, and even sooner if it connects near the top blast zone, courtesy of the move's upward launch angle. The move's low ending lag allows as to be used as a potent edgeguarding and landing option, giving him a deadly mixup game in the air at all times.
Oil Panic is used as Mr. Game & Watch's primary defense against camping and projectiles, as it both absorbs energy projectiles from moves such as Mega Buster and PK Fire, and reflects items like King K. Rool's Blunderbuss and Peach's Turnips. This can lead to massive advantages against certain characters—Ness, Snake, Olimar, Mega Man, and Pikachu have notable difficulty fighting Mr. Game & Watch as it severely limits their play styles and movesets. Oil Panic also has the notable ability of carrying over the charge to subsequent stocks, which can be used as a lethal finisher and even mind games. The area in which Oil Panic can absorb projectiles is also deceptively large, which allows Mr. Game & Watch to store energy into Oil Panic merely by standing close to just the edge of any energy projectile. However, Oil Panic has the glaring weakness of being filled with extremely weak moves such as Fox's blaster. This causes Mr. Game & Watch to fill Oil Panic extremely quickly, rendering its defensive value useless, and forces him to either hold onto a weak use of it, or dump it without purposefully damaging the opponent in order to use it again as a defensive tool. Oil Panic is also a potent combo finisher with nearly instantaneous startup lag, with its fairly large, lingering hitbox coming out on just frame 2, as well as extreme knockback that can kill at single digit percents when at max power (power is dependent on projectiles absorbed). It is also notably difficult to defend against a fully charged use of it, as the lingering hitbox can still hit spot dodges if timed even slightly off, and a powerful enough charge can break a full shield, allowing Mr. Game & Watch to punish with one of his powerful smash attacks.
Mr. Game & Watch also has a very potent combo and aerial juggling game. Down throw combos into Oil Panic, Judge, and neutral air at low percentages. Chef can deal massive damage if multiple 'food' items hit, allowing it to get around 30-40% off of a single edgeguard. The pan also hits opponents into the stream of meat through a semi-spike, and at high percents can launch opponents fast enough to miss the food entirely and lead to more ledge trapping. Chef's speed and pattern makes it extremely difficult for certain characters to recover, such as Ganondorf or Mario. Not only does Chef deal massive damage, but landing the move allows Mr. Game & Watch to follow up with a grab, neutral aerial, forward tilt, dash attack, and even Judge. Up tilt, though having worse range, deals high damage and combos into neutral aerial and Judge at low percentages. Once Mr. Game & Watch has his opponents above him, he can juggle them for massive damage using his up and neutral aerials. His up air acts similar to Mega Man's up air, pushing opponents upwards, albeit with much less force. All in all, Mr. Game & Watch's strong KO power is also paired with highly damaging combos and juggles.
Lastly, Mr. Game & Watch possesses a fantastic recovery option, as well as large, long-lasting and disjointed aerials. This means that he is a formidable edgeguarder and is extremely hard to gimp himself. His up special, Fire, has frame 3 startup, invincibility in its early frames, and a strong upwards hitbox on its initial hitbox, and decent launch power horizontally, allowing for early off-stage KOs if it hits opposite the blast zone. This makes it deadly, as it can stage spike unwary opponents while also easily gimping characters with poor recoveries, like Chrom. It is also an extremely useful combo breaker and one of the game's best out-of-shield options due to its fast startup and invincibility. His back aerial, Turtle Bridge, is a large, long-lasting disjointed multi-hit move that has high knockback at the final hit. The move's large disjoint beats out a lot of recoveries that have hitboxes, and the multi-hit nature of the move makes it hard to tech for stage-spikes and often drags opponents stuck in the move closer to the blast zone. For many characters, getting hit with Turtle Bridge is often fatal off-stage, as the move lingers long enough to shift the opponent closer to the blast zone before dealing the final knockback on the last hit. On the ledge, Chef punishes ledge hangers and covers getup attack and rolls (hit by the pan), forcing opponents to jump. This can easily allow Mr. Game & Watch to follow up with neutral aerial and force the opponent back off-stage. His new forward aerial can be comboed into with Chef and has strong KO potential on its own. Lastly, his up air has the notable quality of having no set limit on its distance, which can lead to interesting interactions when reflected by opponents, and subsequently by Mr. Game & Watch himself. Overall, Mr. Game & Watch is extremely deadly off the stage and at the ledge to all characters, even those with great recoveries like Pit, Rosalina & Luma, and even himself.
Despite these strengths, Mr. Game & Watch possesses a few notable weaknesses. He is tied with Squirtle being the third lightest character in the game, which, along with his floaty movement and average speed, make his horizontal and vertical endurance terrible. In addition, despite having disjointed hitboxes, his overall range is mediocre. This is worsened by the fact that many of his disjointed moves like down tilt, up tilt, and forward smash have underwhelming range for a disjoint. Characters with swords like Marth and Cloud are able to easily keep Mr. Game & Watch at arm's length and stop his approaches. Also, while his new forward air possesses more damage and knockback, it has very low priority, so any move can hit the bomb and make it disappear. This makes it unsuitable for approaching and forces Mr. Game & Watch to approach with his back air instead. It is also a much more situational move in general, due to its higher lag and delayed hitbox, as the bomb will only explode upon touching the ground or waiting for half a second. Also, none of his aerials can autocancel in a short hop. Due to this, he has a somewhat lackluster neutral game and a rather poor approach. While Mr. Game & Watch's down throw and up throw are good at starting combos, Mr. Game & Watch's throws don't KO until very high percents, with his strongest throw, down throw, KOing at around 200%. He also has mediocre defensive attributes, possessing slow and short-reaching spot dodges and rolls.
All in all, Mr. Game & Watch is a very powerful glass cannon with unique properties to a majority of his moves, and is viewed by many to be the most potent glass cannon character in the game, and possibly the series. He possesses extremely high damage output and powerful KO options while being very vulnerable himself, but is compensated for his extremely light weight and mediocre approach and defensive options with an incredible recovery, a brutal combo and juggling game, great edgeguarding, oppressive offstage presence, and explosive power through his smash attacks and Oil Panic. Overall his strengths considerably outweigh his weaknesses, making Mr. Game & Watch one of the most fragile characters, but also one of the most powerful in all of Smash.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Mr. Game & Watch has some of the most noticeable changes in the transition to Ultimate, as several of his animations have been altered to change his appearance to the games they originate from when he performs them. This has led to a massive overhaul in his moveset that goes beyond changes to aesthetic appearances, as many of these moves have been mechanically altered and, in some cases, completely reworked altogether in their purpose and utility. As a result, Mr. Game & Watch has undergone a large mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, arguably the most out of any other returning veteran; however, while these changes have weakened his most powerful tools and set-ups from SSB4, they have also greatly improved several of his more underwhelming moves in his toolkit from the previous game, and the changes to game mechanics have benefitted these changes as well. As a result, Mr. Game & Watch has been significantly buffed overall.
Mr. Game & Watch's KO and edgeguarding potential have been improved considerably. A majority of his regular moves, including forward tilt and down tilt, have much stronger knockback, with the latter now capable of KOing as early as 100%. The ability to run cancel improves the utility of these attacks further, and now gives Mr. Game & Watch quick KO options he didn't have access to SSB4. To further add to this, his smash attacks are stronger as well - down smash was significantly improved as it now has much less startup lag and is also capable of burying grounded opponents when sweetspotted, which can lead to a forward smash for early guaranteed KO setups. Forward smash also has improved knockback, and is easier to sweetspot, making it a more potent punishing move. Lastly, up smash has increased knockback scaling, a longer duration, and now renders Mr. Game & Watch completely invincible during the attack. Back aerial and down aerial are stronger, leading them to become stronger options to punish opponents who are offstage. Chef's trajectory can now be controlled, which makes it much easier to catch opponents who are trying to reach for the ledge and is now more effective keeping control of the neutral game.
Mr. Game & Watch's attacks have also increased utility overall. Changes to neutral aerial's first hits allow them to catch opponents above him more effectively, and the move's reduced landing lag means it can now be used as a KO confirm at higher percents (particularly into down tilt). Forward tilt has a much longer duration, making it an effective option for both 2-framing and spotdodging, and up tilt's hits connect into each other much more reliably, improving its consistency. Oil Panic can now reflect physical projectiles in addition to absorbing energy-based projectiles, and Judge's numbers 5, 7, 8, and 9 have improved. Mr. Game & Watch now sports a much more disjointed dash and pivot grab, giving it effective reach.
In addition to this, Mr. Game & Watch has gained two new attacks in his forward and up aerials. His forward aerial now has Mr. Game & Watch drop a bomb in front of him, based off of either Mario's Bombs Away, Bomb Sweeper, or Safebuster, all of which featured similar bombs; compared to his old forward aerial, it posseses much more versatility, as its explosion can cover the entire ledge of a stage, it can be used as a combo starter at low percentages, as a shield pressuring tool, and a landing option (as it is much safer on block), and has stronger knockback and damage output, making it a better KO move. Meanwhile, his up aerial now has Mr. Game & Watch shoot a single puff of air upwards as a projectile, functioning very similarly to Mega Man's up aerial; this projectile has much more vertical range than his old up air, and is more reliable for keeping opponents trapped in it, improving its juggling potential considerably.
Finally, Mr. Game & Watch now possesses much stronger out of shield options and juggling tools. Most notably, Fire now has a frame 3 hitbox that replaces its windbox from SSB4; it launches opponent directly upwards, and can even be followed up with a neutral aerial or up aerial to keep opponents in the air for even longer. Because of this, it is now near-universally considered as the best out of shield option and the best up special in the entire game. As well, neutral aerial and up aerial's changes allow them to keep the opponent in the air more consistently due to their lingering hitboxes, and allow them to combo into themselves at lower percents, while neutral aerial retains its decently strong knockback, allowing it to serve as an emergency KO option, even when used out of shield.
However, Mr. Game & Watch has also received a few notable nerfs. His two most potent strengths from SSB4 - his up smash and down throw setups - have been toned down considerably: down throw now deals much more knockback, removing its follow-up potential at higher percents; compounded with the changes to his up aerial, which has lost all of its KO potential, this effectively removes his strong (though inconsistent) "Toot Toot" KO confirm from SSB4, which consisted of a down throw to an up aerial. Despite the startup reduction and increased knockback to up smash, it has lost all of its invincibility frames during the move's startup, making it much less effective as an anti-air, and allows opponents to challenge it easier. While his new forward aerial possesses more utility than his old forward aerial, it has much weaker priority to the point that the bomb disappears if it gets hit and the hitbox does not completely cover it, making it a riskier option to challenge opponents in the air with.
Additionally, many of Mr. Game & Watch's new animations have resulted in hitbox reductions for several of his attacks, including forward tilt, up aerial, up tilt, and most notably, his down tilt, the latter of which is now incapable of hitting aerial opponents altogether. This reduces Mr. Game & Watch's deceptive reach, and requires him to be closer towards opponents more often than before. Judge's number 9 is also less effective since instead of not having SDI at all, it now has a double SDI multiplier, which combined with its high hitlag makes it much easier to escape and reduces its effectiveness for early KOs. Lastly, despite his improvements, Mr. Game & Watch retains some of the same issues from his SSB4 incarnation, namely his poor endurance, short reach outside of back aerial, and a lack of reliable approach options, with the buffs to his neutral aerial and Chef failing to fully address this issue.
Overall, Mr. Game & Watch generally retains much of his bait-and-punish playstyle from SSB4, though the adjustments and increased utility he received to several of his attacks, as well as his significantly improved KO power, have led him to become more of an "all-rounder" type of character to his fellow lightweight brethren. Though competitive reception of Mr. Game & Watch was initially negative overall, he has shown very strong success in the tournament scene, thanks to the efforts of players including Extra, Regi, Notty, and especially Maister. This has garnered Mr. Game & Watch a strikingly positive reception overall, where most players regard him as a lower top tier character overall in competitive play. In the end, this incarnation of Mr. Game & Watch is near universally considered to be his best iteration in the series yet.
Throws and other attacks
Mr. Game & Watch has been slightly buffed via updates; in patch update 2.0.0, forward aerial's explosion had its range increased to match the visual explosion and down aerial auto-cancels slightly earlier to match its interruptibility. 3.0.0 now has Octopus trap opponents for longer periods of time, and in patch 3.1.0, up tilt's first hit now deals weight independent set knockback, allowing it to always connect into the second hit, even at higher percents, and in 7.0.0 his shield size has been significantly increased.
For a gallery of Mr. Game & Watch's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Oil Panic scaling
The greater damage an absorbed energy-based projectile is supposed to deal, the higher damage the oil spill will deal. Oil Panic will multiply the damage per unit by 2, though the result is capped at 16%. As a result, the maximum damage Oil Panic deals is 48%. So for example, if 20%, 12% and 4% enter Oil Panic, the result will be 40% dealt not considering factors such as the 1v1 multiplier and stale-move negation. 
Strong projectiles can fill two to three bucket units at once. If a move deals 10% (eg. Trick Shot), it will fill the bucket by two units. However, if a move deals 20% (Sun Salutation at max charge), it will fill by three. For each additional unit filled in one go, 8% is deducted from the previous unit, making it deal less damage overall.
Hero's special move Snooze launches an energy-based projectile that can be absorbed despite not dealing any damage. Absorbing it fills the bucket by one unit and adds 6.7% damage to the bucket.
In competitive play
Upon the release of Ultimate, Mr. Game & Watch's competitive reception was mostly poor; this was because many players considered the nerfs he received - particularly the lack of priority on his new forward aerial, the reduction of invincibility frames on his up smash, and the loss of his "Toot-Toot" KO confirm - as significant enough to outweigh the buffs he was given. Likely as a result, most players considered him a low tier or even a bottom tier character. It later became clear that the buffs were far more significant than the nerfs. In particular, Mr. Game & Watch has a strong advantage state due to his aerial juggle game, an amazing out of shield option (as his up special is invincible on startup on frame 3), and low ending lag on his smash attacks, with down smash burying opponents, allowing for easy KOs as well. Mr. Game & Watch also sports a strong matchup spread, having positive matchups against certain high tier and top tier characters such as Pikachu, Peach, Snake, R.O.B., Fox, Ness, Captain Falcon, Inkling, Wario and Mario, but has disadvantageous matchups against characters with disjoints that outrange his (particularly swordies): Pyra and Mythra, Shulk, Cloud, Marth, Ike, Palutena, and Zero Suit Samus.
Initial results with the character were sparse. Over time, however, Mr. Game & Watch began to show strong signs of success at both a local and national level; Snickeldorf, Extra, Regi, and Skylar have made respectable placements in each of their respective regions, with Regi in particular placing 7th at Smash Factor 8. On a larger scale, however, Maister has made very strong strides on both a regional and national level, placing top 3 at several major events including Combo Breaker 2019, Ragnarok, Full Bloom 5, The Big House 9, 2GG: Kongo Saga, Smash Factor 8, Frostbite 2020, and Super Smash Con: Fall Fest. In the process of doing so, he has also taken sets off of high-level players including Light, ESAM, Dark Wizzy, MVD, yeti, Abadango, Javi, Glutonny, Dabuz, Tweek, and Samsora. Samsora and ESAM in particular have struggled against Maister, with them being 0-4 and 0-6 against Maister in sets, respectively. Maister was able to go from being unranked in the first PGRU to top 10 status in the second PGRU while solo-maining the character.
Due to Maister's strong success with the character, Mr. Game & Watch has earned a drastically more positive reception from the community, as most competitive players view him as an upper high or top tier character, with ESAM, MVD, MkLeo, and Dabuz considering him a top 10 character, and Shuton going as far to say he might be the best character in the game.
Starting in mid-March, as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine, offline tournaments were postponed with the new medium of competition being held almost entirely online. Because of the added input delay due to Ultimate's online system, Mr. Game & Watch is considered an even more viable character than he already was, thanks to his already powerful aerials, smash attacks, and out of shield game becoming much safer in neutral and in advantage. Several Mr. Game & Watch players, including Maister, Regi Shikimi, and Frido, have performed well at major online tournaments; all 3 of them were ranked on the Wi-Fi Warrior Rank v5.
Most historically significant players
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: A Long Legacy
Mr. Game & Watch fights classic characters on retro stages. They are fought in reverse order of release dates, similar to All-Star Mode in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, except for Pac-Man, who is ordered between Kirby and Duck Hunt, rather than between Donkey Kong and the Mr. Game & Watch horde.
Role in World of Light
Although Mr. Game & Watch does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Mr. Game & Watch is unlocked in the area reminiscent of PAC-MAZE of The Light Realm. He can be found by going through the teleporters to find the correct path. After finding the correct path through the maze, the player must defeat the Sidestepper and Nikki spirits blocking him.
Mr. Game & Watch'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 Mr. Game & Watch has been unlocked. Unlocking Mr. Game & Watch 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. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Fighter Showcase Video