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Ness (PM)

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in Project M
Ness SSBB.jpg
PPlus Ness.png
Pajama Ness.png

Universe EarthBound
Base game appearance Brawl
Moveset inspiration Ness (SSBM), Ness (SSB)
Alternate costume Pajama Ness

Ness is a playable character in the Brawl mod Project M and is ranked 19th out of 41 on the official official tier list, at the top of B tier. This is an improvement over his placements in Melee and Brawl where he was 23rd out of 26 and 26th out of 38, respectively. He ranks slightly lower in Project+, being ranked 27th in the official tier list, now in the middle of the B tier.

His placing on the tier list comes from having one of the best punishes in the game, as well as a solid neutral. However, he is held back due to a susceptibility to crouch canceling from most of his moves, being easily outranged by a lot of the cast, and a recovery which is generally easy to edgeguard despite sending him far.


Ness is a flexible character suiting both aggressive and zoning oriented playstyles. With an average weight and fall speed, he remains somewhat susceptible and exasperates his unreliable recover. His aerial moves lead into each other well, giving him a strong combo game once he can get his opponent off the ground.

Ness's smash attacks all have unusual properties. His forward smash can reflect projectiles if timed correctly, and deals extreme damage and knockback if the sweetspot near the tip of the bat is hit, similar to Marth's Sword. It can be angled up or down by a few degrees if the control stick is tilted during startup. The down angled forward smash is especially useful for intercepting opponents attempting to sweetspot the ledge.

His up smash involves his yo-yo, sending it whipping around his body in a circle. Although it does not grow stronger as it is charged, it maintains a weak hitbox on the yo-yo, sitting in front of and disjointed from Ness's body. This makes it useful for flinching approaching opponents comboing into the strong hit on upward swing the up smash release. The upswing itself is useful for intercepting aerial opponents due to it's disjoint. These combined properties mean that this move is useful near the ledge. Hanging the yo-yo off of the ledge can make it difficult for some characters to sweetspot and if the opponent passes close above or in front of Ness he can still intercept without moving. However, it can no longer be used to perform the yo-yo glitch like it could in Melee.

Ness's down smash is similar to his up smash when charging, except that the weak hitbox comes out behind him. This makes it useful if Ness is being pursued on the ground. The release drags opponents in front of Ness, setting up for an aerial follow up.

His forward tilt is a quick kick that is useful in it tight situations where there is no time to initiate a smash attack, while still putting space between Ness and his opponent.

Down tilt is fast and combos into itself if the opponent does not smash DI. Against experienced opponents only a few hits are possible to land, but the move retains usefulness in that it can be used to mix up timing before using a different move.

Up tilt is useful for its high base knockback at low percents. Useful for aerial followups, but does however lose out to double jump cancelled up air for sheer utility.

Ness's aerial moves have a mix of their properties from Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

His neutral aerial comes out quickly and deals moderate knockback, making it one of Ness's best moves. It is very similar to Peach's neutral air. In addition to being a good choice for interrupting combos, it can also serve as a K.O. move in many situations. On stages with narrower blast lines, hitting an opponent with neutral air on stage, than following with another off stage can K.O. an opponent by pushing them into the side blast line at medium low percents. Characters with short recoveries can also be killed very early regardless of the distance to the blast line.

His forward air has multiple disjointed weak hits, making a useful combo starter, before chaining another forward air to continue the combo, or a neutral air to launch opponents away. It is also useful for dragging opponents down to the ground before using a grab or grounded attack.

Ness's back aerial is very strong when sweetspotted, and is a great aerial for getting a K.O. off of the side blast lines. It easily combos out of down throw at lower percents setting up for an edgeguard. It can be used as in a reverse aerial rush, giving it similar utility to Captain Falcon's knee somewhat reduced due to Ness's slower speed.

His up aerial is a juggling move at lower percentages, and makes a great combo finisher for foes above the upper blast line at higher percentages. This is often possible after landing a down air on a grounded opponent at high percentages, due to the high hitstun of an opponent bounced off the ground.

Ness's down aerial now functions similarly to how it did in Super Smash Bros. The move is a powerful, quick, and easy to sweetspot meteor smash, making it effective for edgeguarding opponents. In addition it has great utility out of shield and for pressuring shielding opponents. If two players are shielding back to back, Ness can jump and use down air to cover his escape upwards or pressure his opponent's shield.

Ness's ability to double jump cancel advances his already potent air game by giving him even more combo options and allowing him to do multiple aerials in quick succession close to the ground.

Ness's specials are vastly improved from their other iterations.

PK Fire is Ness's primary offensive projectile allowing him to control space and prevent opponents from approaching recklessly. Ness fires it horizontally when grounded, and downward diagonally when in the air. Upon hitting an opponent, projectile or destructible object, the projectile ignites. It deals doing one strong hit, followed by successive weak hits, and engulfs opponent in place. Ness maintains momentum after using PK Fire in the air, making the move useful for protection when landing.

PSI Magnet inflicts damage and Ness can jump out of it, giving the move a pseudo-waveshine capability while greatly advancing his combo game.

PK Flash does not travel as high and has a much faster but still very slow startup, but it travels very quickly if Ness sends it forward. Fully charged it covers a very large area and launches very powerfully upwards. Though difficult to time, it can cover the ledge while an opponent is trying to recover and force opponents to recover low or air stall. It is a very large commitment as the long cool down prevents Ness from moving in time to attempt another edgeguard, even if PK Flash forces the opponents with a slow recovery close to the blast zone. Regardless, it still remains an effective finisher or edgeguarding move in certain matchups.

Ness's up special PK Thunder, has two phases. The first phase, is much more useful than in previous games. It has a hitbox on its tail allowing it to trap opponents in certain situations. The angle of collision determines the angle at which Ness is launched. PK Thunder can also be used as an offensive projectile to juggle or KO airborne opponents or knock grounded opponents closer to Ness. Characters with slow recoveries are especcially vulnerable to it while trying to recover. It does competes with PK Flash in this utility though. The second phase in which Ness's movement takes place occurs if Ness directs his thunder into himself. PK Thunder 2 deals massive damage and knockback and sends Ness a very far distance, at the cost of being easy to gimp, relatively hard to control, and having a huge amount of ending lag. The ending lag can be mitigated by sweetspotting the ledge with PK Thunder 2, however this can be difficult. Furthermore, projectiles that are not transcendent can destroy the PK Thunder and leave Ness helpless. PK Thunder can also be used as an offensive projectile to juggle or KO airborne opponents or knock grounded opponents closer to Ness.

Ness's grab game is generally effective. His back throw is a very reliable move at higher percents. Ness's forward throw has very low knockback scaling, giving it a decent launch power even at 0 setting up for very early edgeguarding. Up and down throws both can be used as combo starters, sending opponents into the air and setting up for an aerial attack depending on the weight, damage, and fall speed of the opponent. Ness's grab range is very short, limiting the usefulness of his standing grab.

Ness's recovery, despite its length, has significant weakness as it can be intercepted before and after initiation. Additionally, his relatively floaty falling speed makes him vulnerable to many vertical finishers (i.e. Fox's up air) and gives him some difficulty getting back to the stage. Ness tends to fare poorly against characters with large disjoins and a strong edgeguarding game. Marth and Ivysaur are notable examples. Characters with fast, solid projectiles like Sheik can make it very difficult for him to recover low because of the long start up time of his recovery. He also has limited options for dealing with pressure, giving him weaknesses against fast characters with aggressive playstyles. Ness tends to have favorable match ups against heavy, larger, slower characters due to the extensive length of combos he can pull off on them, and the strength of his zoning tools.

Changes from Melee to PM[edit]

Ness received many considerable buffs from Melee to Project M, having many more options for racking up damage and KOing.

Ness's down aerial in Project M.
Ness's down aerial in Project M.


  • Change Forward smash's sourspot produces the "wooden bat" SFX from Brawl, while the sweetspot displays a ping sound like in Melee and Smash 64.
  • Change Ness now has a Smash Taunt that can be done using his up taunt: he poses at the screen and a "photo" flash is displayed, based on the iconic Fuzzy Pickles moments in his origin game, EarthBound.


  • Buff Ness dashes faster (1.4 → 1.6).
  • Buff Ness's air speed is faster (0.93 → 1.05).
  • Buff Ness retains his double jump cancel ability, though it is now optional; just pressing and then releasing the jump button when attacking will cause him to DJC, while holding the jump button causes him to perform a rising aerial, just like characters who cannot use this technique. Special moves will always DJC.
  • Buff Midair jump speed increased.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Buff Down tilt now sends opponents at a more vertical angle, making it able to combo into other moves at higher percentages.
  • Nerf Due to an increased base knockback, down tilt can no longer infinite.
  • Buff Forward smash has slightly more range and is much more powerful (went from on par with Mario's when tipped to being slightly stronger than Captain Falcon's forward smash).
  • Buff Up smash is much faster and deals better damage and knockback, being more reliable at juggling and KOing.
  • Buff Down smash covers more distance and also deals higher damage and knockback, serving as a powerful on-stage edge-guarding tool.
  • Buff Both up and down smashes can now be held even when near an edge.
  • Bug fix Yoyo/Jacket glitch has been fixed.

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral aerial has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 5-23 → 4-23). It also has less landing lag (22 frames → 14) and auto-cancels one frame sooner (frame 27 → 26).
  • Change Forward aerial's hits deal altered damage (3% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) 15.74% (total) → 4% (hits 1-2), 2% (hits 3-4), 3% (hit 5), 15% (total)). The final hit deals less knockback improving its combo potential but hindering its KO potential.
  • Nerf Back aerial's sweetspot deals less damage (16% → 15%).
  • Buff Up aerial (109 → 118) and the sweetspot of back aerial (100 → 115) have increased knockback scaling.
  • Buff Down aerial is now closer to its Smash 64 counterpart, greatly reducing its startup (frame 20 → 5) and ending lag (frame 60 → 38) though it is still slower than it's 64 counterpart. It also has much higher knockback scaling (70 → 90 (clean), 80 (late)) and deals 2% more damage (12% → 14%). It also has less landing lag (28 frames → 20).
  • Nerf Down aerial now has a weaker late hit and it has much less base knockback (90 → 40 (clean), 20 (late)) making it less effective at lower percents. Its auto-cancel window is also much smaller (frame <19 29> → <3 >35) making it auto-cancel later and no longer making it auto-cancel the entire time the hitbox isn't active.

Grabs and Throws[edit]

  • Buff Dash grab range from Melee increased.
  • Buff Back throw has more knockback scaling (130 → 135).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Buff PK Flash moves farther horizontally and is faster, greatly improving its use as an edgeguarding move. It also no longer enforces helplessness if used in the air.
  • Nerf PK Flash, though retaining its powerful knockback, is smaller and deals much less damage.
  • Buff PK Fire's flame effect has the same power as in Brawl. Ness also keeps his forward momentum when using it in midair. The move can additionally "Fobble": the knockback of other hitboxes that hit within a 3 frame window of one of the PK Fire's repeating hitboxes gets completely canceled due to Project M's new knockback engine, allowing the player to rack up deadly amounts of damage.
    • Nerf The pillar has been reduced from being active for 100 frames to being active for 45 frames.
  • Buff PK Thunder 2 travels farther and keeps its hitbox throughout the move.
  • Buff Ness can jump out of PSI Magnet (like how the space animals can jump out of their Reflectors), and the move additionally deals consecutive damage, with a strong initial hit that sends foes above Ness and link into aerial attacks. When absorbing a projectile, he can also cancel the move to go into the ending animation afterwards, preventing rapid-fire projectiles such as Fox's Blaster from trapping him into the move indefinitely.



  • Buff Ness' PK Flash no longer puts him in a helpless state.


  • Buff Dash attack cannot be DI'd down or shielded in between hits.
  • Buff Up tilt has better coverage in front of Ness, and can be interrupted earlier.
  • Buff Down tilt can be interrupted into itself quickly like in Melee and Brawl.
  • Buff Forward smash can now be angled, and its tipper hit has increased knockback scaling.
  • Buff PK Flash can be charged for slightly longer.
  • Buff PK Fire travels for slightly longer.
  • Buff PK Thunder has a hitbox during startup, and the thunderbolt no longer vanishes when entering the horizontal blast lines. It also no longer dies when Ness is hit, and instead becomes unfriendly towards any player and continuing in the same direction before he got hit.
  • Buff PK Thunder 2 travels a bit faster over the same distance, and its hitboxes have more coverage over Ness.
  • Buff PSI Magnet's healing multiplier was slightly increased, and the move can be jumped out of. It additionally causes Ness to float for much longer at the start when used in midair.
  • Buff PSI Magnet was given damaging hitboxes; a weak launching one at the start, then repeated non-flinching ones afterwards.
  • Nerf Down throw has more ending lag.
  • Nerf PK Thunder does not clip stages as easily.
  • Nerf PSI Magnet's absorb collision is decreased in size (matching the graphic better).
  • Change Midair jump animation touched up near the end.
  • Change Forward air animation touched up near the end.
  • Change Back air animation touched up.
  • Change Dash grab has a new animation.
  • Change Up Smash Taunt implemented.


  • Buff Up tilt has a slightly reduced cooldown.
  • Buff Up and down smashes' refresh time between hits while charging has been slightly reduced.
  • Buff PSI Magnet can be released during the absorb lag to go into the end animation afterwards, preventing rapid hitting projectiles like Fox's Blaster shots that can re-hit before the absorb lag ends from trapping him into it indefinitely. The absorb lag was also reduced greatly.
  • Nerf Pivot grab has more startup, matching other pivot grabs.
  • Nerf PSI Magnet no longer allows Ness to roll, sidestep or jump upon absorbing a projectile while grounded.


  • Buff Forward tilt has less endlag.
    • Change It has a more horizontal angle.
    • Nerf It deals slightly less knockback.
  • Buff PK Thunder can no longer hit Shy Guys and Smashville balloons.
  • Nerf PK Thunder 2 has a constant landing lag of 20 frames instead of it being height dependent.
  • Buff PK Thunder 2 can now be properly edge cancelled.
  • Nerf PK Fire no longer activates on shielded opponents.
    • Buff Opponents can no longer shield between the fireball hit and 1st pillar hit.
  • Nerf PK Fire pillar duration has been reduced by half.
  • Change PK Fire's bolt now does 8% but the three pillar hits does 1% each to compensate.
  • Buff PK Fire pillar has higher gravity, preventing opponents from whiffing between the first few hits.
  • Nerf Can no longer reverse ledge grab after missing PK Thunder 1.
  • Nerf The knockback values for Ness' down throw has been altered making it a slightly worse combo starter.
  • Change Dash attack, forward aerial, and PK Thunder all have normal hitlag.

v3.6 Beta[edit]

  • Buff While using PK Thunder 2, Ness can now reverse ledge-grab at the peak.
  • Buff PSI Magnet causes more damage and has more base knockback.
    • Buff The move's knockback growth has been significantly decreased, making it a better combo tool at higher percents.
  • Buff Down throw has slightly higher base knockback, but less knockback growth which enables followups at higher percents.
  • Nerf Up and down smash charging hitboxes have less base knockback.
  • Nerf Up and down smash charging hitboxes have had their angles changed, making it harder to gimp with them.
  • Change Forward aerial now does more damage at the beginning of the move and less later on, as opposed to doing the same amount of damage the whole way through.


Up to date as of version 3.6.

Name Damage Description
Neutral attack 3% Punches twice, then kicks.
Forward tilt 12% Kicks forwards with a foot. This can be angled up or down.
Up tilt 7% Quickly extends both his arms upwards. Can be used to juggle fast fallers up to 70% which can then lead into an aerial attack. Ness's head is intangible when performing the attack.
Down tilt 3% Kicks his foot out slightly. Short ranged attack, but can be used in quick succession.
Dash attack 5% (hit 1), 4% (hits 2-3) Runs forward and creates three disjointed PSI bubbles from his hands. The first two hits have a semi-spike trajectory, while the last hit sends opponents straight upwards which can lead into aerials.
Forward smash 18% (body),20% (bat base), 22% (bat mid), 24% (bat tip) Takes out his bat and swings it the opponent horizontally. The sweetspot is located at the bat's tip. The bat can reflect projectiles.
Up smash 2% (charging hits 1-7), 12% (swing) Takes out his yo-yo and swings it above him, performing the "around the world trick". Pretty fast for an up smash; covering a wide area above his head. It is also affected slightly by gravity when used near an edge. Can be charged, but doing so does not increase the attack's damage.
Down smash 2% (hits 1-7 [hold]), 12% (swing) Takes out his yo-yo and swings it across the floor, performing the "walk the dog" trick. Strong power, can be used to safely edge-guard from the stage. Similar to his up smash, the yo-yo doesn't increase in damage or in knockback when it's "charging".
Neutral aerial 11% (clean), 8% (late) Spins diagonally in the air with arms stretched out. Has good knockback and is very fast with high combo potential, but has poor range.
Forward aerial 4% (hits 1-2), 2% (hits 3-4), 3% (hit 5) Sticks his palms out, sending a stream of PSI sparks in front of him. This move hits multiple times, making it harder to so towards enemies at high percents.
Back aerial 15% (clean), 10% (late) Thrusts both his feet backwards. The sweetspot deals electrical damage and possess high KO potential.
Up aerial 13% Headbutts upwards. Good for juggling at lower percents and a good KO move at higher percents.
Down aerial 14% Kicks one foot downwards. A fast meteor smash, useful for edge-guarding. Combined with double-jump canceling and L-canceling, it can also pressure shields efficiently.
Grab Grabs the opponent with both hands. The fastest grab in the game, but has short reach.
Pummel 3% Headbutts the opponent.
Forward throw 11% Psychokinetically swings his opponent in a small circle in front of himself before sending them off forward.
Back throw 11% Psychokinetically swings the opponent over his head before sending them off backwards, in a diagonally upwards motion. Has low base knockback, but a surprisingly strong knockback scaling, becoming a powerful KO move and also one of the strongest throws in the game.
Up throw 10% Psychokinetically spins the opponent above his head before sending them up. Can chain grab at very low percentage and set up for aerial followups.
Down throw 1% (hits 1-5), 4% (throw) Throws the opponent onto the ground and scorches them with PK Fire.
Floor attack (front) 6% Does a low kick going from back to front.
Floor attack (back) 6% Does a low kick going from back to front.
Floor attack (trip) 5% Kicks with both of his feet from back to front.
Edge attack (fast) 6% (body), 8% (foot) Fips onto the stage and does a sweep kick.
Edge attack (slow) 10% Slowly climbs up onto stage and throws out a punch.
Neutral special PK Flash 8-22% Ness generates a green ball of light that slowly rises vertically above Ness before descending. The downward arc can be controlled by moving either left or right on the control stick. This can be used as an effective edge-guarding move, due to its range and power. The explosion can be absorbed and reflected, though the latter only affects Ness if he's close to it.
Side special PK Fire 8% (bolt), 1% (pillar hits 1-5) Ness shoots a lighting bolt forward that bursts into a pillar of flames upon hitting a foe. When used in midair, Ness instead shoots it at a diagonally downward angle while keeping his forward momentum. The pillar is affected by gravity and can be hit by attacks. The bolt vanishes upon hitting a surface, and can be reflected or absorbed.
Up special PK Thunder 4% (startup), 8% (thunder head), 1% (thunder tail)
PK Thunder 2: 25% (clean), 21% (mid), 15% (late)
Ness produces ball of lightning from his head, which he can then control freely. When the projectile is first produced, a brief hitbox covers his body, repelling foes attempting to stop the attack. If the projectile hits Ness, he will be propelled in the same direction it was last travelling in, surrounded by a powerful electric hitbox, known as PK Thunder 2. If the tip of the projectile hits a surface, foe, a disjointed hitbox that deals knockback, or gets absorbed, the projectile will disappear and leave Ness helpless (in midair). If the projectile is reflected or if Ness is hit while controlling the beam, he will lose control of the projectile and will continue flying in the same direction he was guiding it in. When hitting a wall or ceiling with PK Thunder 2, Ness will either travel parallel to it or rebound off it, depending on how perpendicular to the wall he was when he blasted into it. When PK Thunder 2 is launched towards the ground, he will lie on the floor. Though an effective recovery move, it's difficult to recover with it between tall walls (such as the buildings in Fourside).
Down special PSI Magnet 6% (startup), 2% (loop), heals 1.6x the damage of absorbed projectiles Ness creates a purple energy field around him which allows him to absorb all energy-based projectiles. As an attack, it first launches enemies diagonally upwards, then hits consecutively with no knockback. When used in the air, it resets Ness's falling speed. He can jump out of the ending lag of the move to string it together with aerials.
Final Smash PK Starstorm 20% (each star) Ness calls down a rain of stars from the sky, yelling "PK... Starstorm!"

In competitive play[edit]

Notable tech[edit]

Labbing Discord Tech Post

Notable players[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Project M[edit]

Ness' alternate costume is his blue-striped pajamas he wears in the beginning of EarthBound and while in Magicant in the international releases of EarthBound.

3.5 gave Ness' pajamas additional recolors to be used for team battles, and a purple costume based off of Yes Man Junior.

Ness' alternate costumes in PM
NessHeadSSBB.png NessHeadWhiteSSBB.png NessHeadYellowSSBB.png NessHeadGreenSSBB.png NessHeadBlueSSBB.png NessHeadPurpleSSBB.png NessHeadPurplePM.png
NessHeadPajamaPM.png NessHeadPajamaRedPM.png NessHeadPajamaGreenPM.png


Ness receives more recolors in Project+ inspired by other characters from the Earthbound franchise.

  • Pink: Inspired by Paula from Earthbound. The shirt includes her sprite.
  • Brown: Inspired by the Runaway Dog, an enemy from Earthbound. The shirt includes its sprite.
  • Black and White: Inspired by Starman from Earthbound. The shirt includes the Starman's button.
  • Black and Orange (Pajamas): Inspired by the visual effects of certain PSI attacks from Earthbound.
Ness' alternate costumes in P+

Z-Secret Costume (Poo): Wears an alternate costume inspired by Poo from Earthbound. The costume includes his headband.

R-Secret Costume (Ninten): An alternate costume that turns Ness into Ninten, the protagonist of Earthbound Beginnings.


  • Prior to 3.6, there existed two cosmetic issues:
    • If Ness gained a Smash Ball while in any of his pajama costumes, there will appear to be an eerie dark area over his eyes. This has been fixed in the 3.6 update.
    • This issue also happened when Ness performs his Smash Taunt, even if it is not in his alternate costumes. This glitch still exists, but there are unofficial patches that exist to address this problem.
  • While in his pajamas costume, Ness wields the Cracked bat, the first bat he received in EarthBound as a gift from his sister.
  • Coincidentally, some of Ness's new mechanics in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are the same ones used in Project M:
    • PK Flash no longer makes Ness helpless.
    • PSI Magnet has a damaging hitbox that functions as a pseudo-shine.
    • His up and down yo-yo smashes hang below ledges.
  • Ness's Project Plus render resembles a fake render of Ness for Smash 4.