Ness (SSBU)

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SSBU Icon.png
This article is about Ness' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Ness.
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Ness SSBU.png
Universe EarthBound
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Final Smash PK Starstorm
Ness has a variety of moves, from long-range attacks using psychic powers known as "PSI," to short-range attacks with his bat and yo-yo. Ness can also unleash PK Thunder, a guided attack that can launch him like a rocket or help him recover!
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Ness (ネス, Ness) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed along with all other previous fighters on June 12, 2018. Ness is classified as fighter #10.

Makiko Ōmoto reprises her role as Ness through archived voice recordings from Super Smash Bros. 4.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Ness being the first character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Kirby or any character in his unlock tree, being the first character unlocked.
  • Have Ness join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, Ness must then be defeated on Onett.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

While he had already grown stronger in the previous two installments in the Super Smash Bros. series, Ness was buffed significantly for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Among his most notable buffs are his increased damage output, his enhanced movement speed, and his expanded variety of zoning tools, which now include his yo-yo smashes and his special moves. Ness also has better range and can wall out characters with poor range.

However, Ness did get some small nerfs. His up aerial has a smaller hitbox (although it can still be used as a finisher or a drag down aerial to extend combos to make up for this), and PK Thunder 2 has less killpower than it did before. His grabs have also received more starting and/or end lag, and down throw's combo potential has been worsened at higher percents.

Ness's buffs to his aerial and edge-guarding games and airdodge mechanics changes have made him a far more oppressive and frightening fighter than his previous iterations. Players such as FOW, BestNess, Gackt, Awestin, DarkMATTer, and NovaPixl have demonstrated his power in Ultimate's early metagame as they have achieved great results with the character.


  • Change Ness' model features a more subdued color scheme, and some of the detailing on his clothes and weapons are more prominent, such as the stitching on his socks.
  • Change Ness always faces the screen regardless of which direction he turns, causing his animations to be mirrored.
  • Change The text on his yo-yo now reads "SUPER NINTENDO 2018 MOTHER". The yo-yo also produces trailing aftereffects when in motion.
  • Change Many of his PSI moves now have their respective PSI graphics from EarthBound.
  • Change Ness's eyes bulge and grow more circular when he is hit or frozen.
  • Change Ness is much angrier in battle than he was in the previous installment.
  • Change Ness's dash animation is different; he now bounces slightly when dashing.
  • Change Ness has a new idle animation where he bounces in place with his arms to the side.
  • Change His air dodge now resembles its Melee iteration more closely.
  • Change Ness' victory poses have been slightly altered:
    • When Ness poses with his bat, he swings his bat only once instead of multiple times.
    • Ness skips into the victory area instead of hopping in place.
    • He has a more astonished expression during his look-about victory pose.
  • Change Ness has a new victory theme, which is a flourished, faster arrangement of the ending of "Eight Melodies" from Mother. This victory theme is also shared with Lucas.


  • Buff Like all characters, Ness's jumpsquat animation now takes three frames to complete (down from 5).
  • Buff Ness runs faster (1.46265 → 1.609).
    • Buff Ness's initial dash is faster (1.3 → 1.826).
  • Buff Ness's traction has been significantly increased (0.0546 → 0.131), and is now one of the highest traction values in the game.
  • Buff Ness walks slightly faster (0.8635 → 0.907).
  • Buff Ness's air speed is higher (0.9588 → 1.007).
  • Buff Ness jumps higher.
  • Buff The new air dodge mechanics significantly improve Ness's edgeguarding with PK Thunder, allowing him to pressure opponents more reliably and force them to spend their air dodge, leaving them open to punishes.
  • Buff Ness can use the directional air dodge to recover instead of using PK Thunder, giving him a potent recovery mixup if he's close enough to ledge.
  • Nerf Conversely, the new air dodge mechanics also render Ness more vulnerable than ever to edgeguarding.
  • Buff Directionless airdodge has more intangibility (3-28→3-30).
  • Nerf Directionless airdodge has significantly more endlag (FAF 34→60).
  • Buff Forward roll has less endlag (FAF 31→30).
  • Nerf Forward roll has less intangibility (4-17→4-15).
  • Nerf Back roll has less intangibility (4-17→5-16) and has more endlag (FAF 31→35).
  • Change The new directional airdodge has intangibility on frames 3-21 and has 99 frames of endlag.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack connects more reliably.
    • Nerf The second hit deals slightly less damage (2% → 1.5%).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Unangled Forward tilt deals more damage (9% → 10%).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Has less startup (7 → 5) and endlag (FAF 32 → 29).
    • Buff Has a larger hitbox, extending its horizontal range.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Deals more damage (4/2% → 4.5/3%).
    • Buff Has less endlag (FAF 14 → 12).
    • Nerf No longer has an increased chance to trip opponents.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff No longer has the weak 9% hitbox, allowing it to KO more consistently.
    • Buff Deals more shield damage.
    • Nerf Comes out later (frame 6 → 10), no longer hitting behind Ness.
    • Buff Has less ending lag (FAF 56 → 53).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff The strong hits deal more damage (10% → 12%).
    • Nerf Comes out later (frame 10 → 12).
  • Buff Up smash and down smash once again have their pre-SSB4 spool-up hitboxes. The yo-yo can also hang below the ledge, improving Ness's edge-guarding abilities significantly.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (Neutral: frame 18 → 8, Forward: 20 → 12, Back: 17 → 10, Up: 14 → 8, Down: 28 → 12).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Has increased range and more disjointed hitboxes.
      • Change Ness now emits PSI from his hands to indicate the move's increased range. It also produces a magical sound effect.
    • Buff Deals more knockback, making it a more reliable KO move.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Deals more damage, 1% → 1.5% (multihit), 4% → 5.5% (final hit).
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Is now a different move that has Ness waving his hand in an arc over his head while emitting PSI from his index finger, hitting 5 times.
      • Change Has reduced horizontal range, but slightly improved vertical range.
      • Buff The first four hits have minuscule knockback, allowing for combos at a wide range of percentages.
    • Buff The hitbox last longer.
    • Buff Deals more damage when all hits connect (13% → 15%).
    • Buff Has less ending lag (FAF 42 → 34).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Has reduced ending lag (FAF 60 → 55) and its animation is faster overall.
    • Buff Is much stronger, with its knockback now being more in line with other meteor smashes.
    • Buff Autocancels sooner, allowing Ness to auto-cancel it out of a shorthop much like it could in earlier Smash titles. This grants the move combo potential and greatly improves its utility.
    • Change Now uses a kick sound effect instead of a magic sound effect on hit.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Change Ness now grabs and pummels his opponents using PSI with accompanying sound effects.
  • Grab:
    • Nerf Standing grab has increased ending lag (FAF 35 → 38).
    • Nerf Dash grab has more startup (frame 8 → 9) and more ending lag (FAF 43 → 46).
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals slightly more damage.
    • Nerf Pummel is slower.
  • Nerf Down throw has slightly more ending lag (FAF 50 → 51) and the opponent is launched earlier (frame 30 → 28), reducing its combo potential and its safety in doubles.
    • Change While the total damage is unchanged, the hits are spread out differently going from 0.6% (hits 1-5), 4% (throw) to 0.5% (hits 1-3), 1.5% (hit 4), 4% (throw).

Special moves[edit]

  • PK Flash:
    • Change PK Flash has a more aquamarine color and emits its respective EarthBound graphic (specifically the "α" form) upon detonating.
    • Buff Travels faster.
    • Buff It can now travel through soft and semisoft platforms and no longer dissipates upon making contact with hard platforms and can instead be held on the ground until the move is fully charged.
    • Buff The explosion has more active frames.
    • Buff No longer causes helplessness when used in the air, this helps Ness to punish enemies near the edge that try to edgeguard him, being able to recover more safely.
    • Buff Deals more damage uncharged (9% → 11%).
    • Nerf Deals far less damage when fully charged (37% → 27%).
    • Nerf Deals less knockback.
    • Nerf Has a smaller hitbox without charge.
  • PK Fire:
    • Change Ness now uses one hand to fire the projectile while emitting a red spark from his index finger. Diamond-shaped PSI energy also rises up within the fire pillar, resembling PK Fire γ's graphics from EarthBound.
    • Buff Has less startup (21 → 18), endlag (FAF 59 → 56) and much less landing lag (30 → 12).
      • Buff The spark is bigger and does more damage on its initial hit (4% → 6%).
    • Buff Due to its improved rehit rate, the flame pillar engulfs opponents more reliably.
    • Change It pushes Ness back slightly, similar to Lucas's PK Fire.
  • PK Thunder:
    • Change PK Thunder more closely resemble its appearance in EarthBound.
    • Change Now has an angle indicator when the ball of lighting moves close to Ness. While this allows for the player to more accurately determine the trajectory Ness will travel during PK Thunder 2, it also makes the trajectory much more predictable to opponents.
    • Buff PK Thunder deals more damage (8% → 11%).
  • PK Thunder 2:
    • Change Now triggers Special Zoom upon hitting an opponent.
    • Buff Travels further.
    • Buff Has more intangibility frames during the move (Entire body frame 1-9 Head frame 10-32) , significantly improving its safety against counterattacks.
    • Buff The window for using PK Thunder again after bouncing against a wall is much bigger. In addition, Ness now also enters the rebound animation when bouncing against the ground, allowing him to use PK Thunder a second time.
  • PSI Magnet:
    • Change PSI Magnet more closely resembles its appearance in EarthBound and features a visible suction effect around the magnet.
    • Buff Has less start-up (10 → 7) and less endlag (FAF 30 → 25).
    • Buff No longer halts Ness's horizontal momentum in the air, now functioning as it did in Brawl, significantly improving Ness' movement options.
    • Buff Now has a weak hitbox on startup and deals damage to opponents who enter it. This lingering hitbox can destroy weak projectiles, improving its safety when used for absorption.
    • Buff Thanks to all the changes mentioned above, Ness can use PSI Magnet in combos.
  • Final Smash:
    • Change PK Starstorm summons slower meteors that spread out over the stage, similar to its Brawl iteration. Paula and Poo now accompany Ness during the move. PK Starstorm particle effects from EarthBound accompany each meteor, and the Sound Stone's background pattern appears in the stage's background.
    • Change However, unlike in Brawl, PK Starstorm can be angled slightly left or right via the control stick, similar to its Smash 4 iteration.
    • Buff Ness no longer sinks downward while channeling PK Starstorm while airborne. In addition, if this Final Smash was initiated while in the air, Ness is propelled upward a moderate amount at the conclusion. This can assist in recovery.

Update History[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff Up air autocancels earlier (40 → 34), matching the move's interruptibility.
  • Change Down air deals more damage (12%/10% → 14%/12%), albeit with less knockback.


Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% Punches twice then kicks. The first hit can lock at low percents.
Forward tilt   10% A roundhouse kick that can be angled.
Up tilt   7% (spark) 5% (body) Pushes upward with both hands that produces a PSI spark. Has a sourspot located on his body that deals 5%.
Down tilt   4.5% (foot), 3% (toes) A swift shin kick. Extremely spammable and can be used to jab reset. Has a sourspot located on the tip of his foot.
Dash attack   4%/3% (hit 1), 7% (hit 1 aerial), 2% (hit 2), 4% (hit 3) Sends three PSI sparks out in front of him with the third spark knocking the opponent up into the air. The first spark deals more damage to aerial targets. Good to set up juggles and pressuring from afar. Difficult to punish on shield if only the last hit connects.
Forward smash Batter Up! 18% (low), 20% (mid), 22% (tip), 2× damage (reflected projectiles) Swings his bat. It can reflect incoming projectiles and has a max threshold of 80% before breaking, resulting in Ness experiencing five full seconds of ending lag.
Up smash Around the World 1% (charge), 13%-15.6% Sends his yo-yo forward and performs an "around-the-world", hitting first in front then above and behind. It has a hitbox while charging and can hang from the ledge, but can only be held for 1 extra second instead of 2 and has a max charge damage multiplier of 1.2×.
Down smash Walk the Dog 1% (charge), 12%-14.4% Sends his yo-yo backward and "walk-the-dog" with it, hitting first behind then in front. It has a hitbox while charging and can hang from the ledge, but can only be held for 1 extra second instead of 2 and has a max charge damage multiplier of 1.2×. Might have troubles linking correctly if the opponent is at the furthest point of the back hit.
Neutral aerial   11% (clean), 7% (late) Spins diagonally in the air with his arms outstretched, emitting PSI from his hands. Quick, and acts like a sex kick. Rather useful to break combos and as an out of shield option. Autocancels from a short hop.
Forward aerial   1.5% (hit 1-3), 5.5% (hit 4) Sticks his palms out, generating a stream of PSI in front of him. Decently safe on shield if Ness retreats during the attack, useful to start and continue combos. Autocancels from a short hop.
Back aerial   15% (clean), 8% (late) A dropkick that produces a PSI spark. The clean hit is very strong. Autocancels from a short hop.
Up aerial   2.5% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) Waves his hand in an arc above his head while generating PSI sparkles, hitting up to 5 times. Autocancels from a short hop.
Down aerial   14% (clean), 12% (late) Twirls before kicking down into the air, producing a PSI spark. The clean hit can meteor smash. Autocancels from a short hop.
Grab   Grabs with both hands. Fast, but below average range.
Pummel   1.3%
Forward throw PK Throw 11% Psychokinetically swings his opponent in a small circle in front of himself before sending them off forward. Very high base knockback, but incredibly low knockback scaling, which gives it little to no KO potential even after Sudden Death percentages. It is useful for setting up an edgeguard, however, or KO'ing an opponent early on if near the blastzone.
Back throw Reverse PK Throw 11% Psychokinetically swings the opponent over his head before sending them off backward, in a diagonally upwards motion. It is the opposite of his forward throw, possessing very low base knockback but incredibly high knockback scaling, making it one of the strongest back throws in the game.
Up throw   10% Psychokinetically spins the opponent above his head before sending them up, leaving the opponent in an unfavorable position where they can be juggled, most commonly by PK Thunder.
Down throw   0.5% (hits 1-3), 1.5% (hit 4), 4% (throw) Throws the opponent onto the ground and scorches them with PK Fire. A strong combo starter, having guaranteed follow-ups into neutral aerial, forward aerial and up aerial.
Floor attack (front)   7%
Floor attack (back)   7%
Floor attack (trip)   5%
Edge attack   7% Flips onto the stage and does a sweep kick.
Neutral special PK Flash 11%-27% A green sphere of light appears above Ness and flies forward in an arc if charged. The arc it travels can be controlled, and the projectile is able to go through soft and semisoft platforms and will not dissipate upon contact with hard platforms.

The longer the special button is held, the stronger the explosion will be.

Side special PK Fire 6% (bolt), 1% (fire) Fires a yellow lightning-bolt shaped projectile, pushing back Ness slightly.

If used on the ground, it travels in a slight downward angle until it vanishes by itself or touches the ground (disappearing into a puff of smoke) or an enemy, making it explode into a quick-hitting pillar of flames.

If used in the air, it fires at a downward 45° angle.

Up special PK Thunder 11% (PK Thunder), 1% (Thunder's tail), 25% (PK Thunder 2 initial hitbox), 21% (PK Thunder 2 late hitbox) Creates a fast-moving ball of thunder that can be aimed into opponents to deal damage and launch them in the direction they got hit from, or into Ness to turn him into a very powerful human projectile.

This is referred to as PK Thunder 2. The Rocket portion of the attack has invulnerability from frame 1 to 32 and is constituted of an early and late hit. Making contact with something during PKT2 will shorten the distance traveled and slamming into a wall will let you perform another PK Thunder if you are quick enough.

The tail of the thunder projectile can be used to disrupt opponents recovering.

Down special PSI Magnet 4% on the first hit, can hit again if held Surrounds Ness with a purple energy field, allowing him to absorb energy-based projectile (like Samus' Charge Shot) or explosions and heal for 1.6× the damage he would have taken, but only at a maximum of 30% damage per projectile.

It possesses a hitbox on startup and if held, and will also slightly push back opponents on release. Upon absorption, the magnet can be canceled with a jump, roll or spotdodge. Can also be used to stall Ness' vertical momentum slightly in the air.

Final Smash PK Starstorm 8% per hit Summons stars to fall from the sky to annihilate his enemies. The comets will rain down over the stage and can be slightly aimed left and right.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Ness teleports onto the stage with PSI Teleport, ending in an explosion leaving him covered in soot which he then shakes off his body.


  • Up Taunt: Turns toward the screen and nods while saying "Okay". The pose is similar to his clay model from Earthbound.
  • Side Taunt: Swings his bat out in front of him and strikes a pose.
  • Down Taunt: Waves his hand in an S motion while emitting a stream of PSI from his finger.

Idle poses[edit]

  • Look to his right, then to his left.
  • Places his finger to his forehead before pointing it forward.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Walks in then looks around with a surprised expression, before rubbing the back of his head while smiling.
  • Skips into the victory screen, then nods slightly, holding a pose similar to his up taunt and official Brawl render.
  • Swings his bat once, then strikes a pose similar to his side taunt.
A flourished combination of the final two out of the Eight Melodies in Mother / EarthBound Beginnings.

In competitive play[edit]

Notable players[edit]

Classic Mode: Home to Onett![edit]

Ness fights opponents largely based on his journey in EarthBound in reverse from Magicant to Onett.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Ness Magicant Magicant (for 3DS / Wii U) The opponent has his 5th alternate costume equipped
2 Lucas New Pork City You Call This a Utopia?!
3 3 R.O.B.s Fourside Fourside
4 Sheik Gerudo Valley Bein' Friends
5 2 Dark Toon Links Luigi's Mansion Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise When used, the only Assist Trophy summoned is Jeff.
6 Villager and Isabelle Onett Onett Theme / Winters Theme When used, the only Assist Trophy summoned is Starman.
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Final Destination Master Hand (Less than 7.0 intensity)
Master Hand / Crazy Hand (7.0 or higher intensity)
Crazy Hand teams up with Master Hand on Intensity 7.0 or higher.

Note: Every stage plays a track from the EarthBound universe, no matter what universe the stage originates from.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Although Ness 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.

The imprisoned Ness can be found in a pink cloud area reminiscent of Magicant.


Ness's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Ness in World of Light allows the player to preview the 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.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ness Palette (SSBU).png
NessHeadSSBU.png NessHeadWhiteSSBU.png NessHeadYellowSSBU.png NessHeadGreenSSBU.png NessHeadBlueSSBU.png NessHeadBlackSSBU.png NessHeadCyanSSBU.png NessHeadPurpleSSBU.png


Character Showcase Video[edit]


  • Ness is the only one of the four original unlockable characters from Smash 64 to be playable in the E3 demo.
    • Ness is also the only one to appear on the box art. However, Captain Falcon is featured in the full group artwork.
  • Ultimate is the first Smash game where Ness does not receive any new voice clips.
  • Ness being unlocked by clearing Classic Mode as Kirby could be a reference to Ness being unlocked on Dream Land in the original Super Smash Bros. or how the two have shared the same voice actress throughout the whole series.
  • As of Ultimate's release, Ness has had more different victory themes than any other character, receiving new ones in Brawl and Ultimate, in addition to his original one from the first two games.

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