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 veterans on June 12, 2018 and is classified as Fighter #10.

Makiko Ōmoto's portrayal of Ness from Super Smash Bros. 4 was repurposed for Ultimate. This makes Ultimate the only installment where Ness does not receive any new voice clips.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Ness being the 1st character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Kirby or any character in his unlock tree, being the 1st 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.



Ness is a very peculiar character in that he doesn't fit in any single stereotype. Although Ness has low gravity, a below-average falling speed and air speed as well as average weight, he has above average jump height and his air acceleration is among one of the best in the game, which benefits his powerful aerial combos. His walk speed is quite slow, and his initial dash and dash speed are a bit below average.

Some of Ness's most useful tools are his PSI moves, PK Flash, PK Fire, PK Thunder, and PSI Magnet. PK Flash is a relatively slow move that deals more damage the more it is charged. Since it no longer puts Ness into helplessness, PK Flash can be used to knock opponents away from edge guarding Ness or even combo into moves like up air. PK Fire is infamous for being a spammable move due to its relatively low landing lag, and the move itself is able to help set up combos, trap opponents for a grab, or simply rack up damage. PK Thunder is Ness's most useful special, as it can be used to gimp opponents off-stage or KO them from the upper blast zone. Ness can also send the tail into himself, causing him to fly forward; "PK Thunder 2" can be used to recover or to take an early stock from an unsuspecting opponent. Finally, PSI Magnet allows Ness to absorb energy projectiles to heal himself. It also has an active hitbox that deals weak knockback, allowing Ness to use it to extend combos or potentially leading into a Smash attack.

Ness has an amazing air game. His aerials are fast, have big hitboxes, can combo into each other, can KO opponents and all of them autocancel in a short hop. First, his neutral aerial comes out frame 4. It's useful for breaking combos and getting out-of-shield. It has decent knockback, making it a good edgeguarding and KOing option at higher percents. His forward aerial is good for combos, edgeguarding and approaching, his up aerial has good KO potential and is a multihit attack that deals very high damage and is great for juggling, back aerial is one of the strongest in the game if it's sweetspotted and down aerial is a slow but powerful meteor smash that can assist in combos.

Ness's grab and throw game are outstanding and among the best of the cast, with a fast grab and throws that have a high damage output and can combo and KO. His back throw is the strongest in the game along with Incineroar, Shulk (with Smash Monado Art), Dr. Mario, and Zelda, and down throw is a very good combo starter, while forward throw is useful for edgeguarding and up throw is good for juggling and pressuring with PK Thunder.

Ness's ground game, while inferior to his aerials and throws, has some perks too. His forward tilt and dash attack are strong enough to KO at high percents and the latter has significant range, making it good for approaching. His up tilt is a good combo starter at low percents and can even KO at higher percents. His down tilt is fast and spammable. It's able to do good damage, trap opponents at the ledge, two-frame, and confirm into a grab. His forward smash, which uses his baseball bat, deals high damage and the sweetspot on the tip is among the strongest forward smashes, while his up and down smashes use his yo-yo and can deal damage during their charge, are excellent for edgeguarding and have KO potential. If Ness uses his yo-yo on shielding opponent at the ledge, he can possibly break their shield. Ness is very good at edgeguarding thanks to his yo-yo smash attacks, forward aerial and PK Thunder.

However, Ness isn't without his flaws. PK Fire does good damage, but it's very easy to DI out of, laggy, and punishable on shield. While his attack hitboxes are big and powerful, they have very short range. As such, he can be heavily and easily outspaced by characters who have long disjoints, such as Shulk, Chrom, or Lucina. Aside from his poor range, Ness's below-average run and air speed, as well as his lack of a quick, long-ranged projectile, renders him relatively prone to camping. This is especially true if the character utilizes many projectiles that are not energy-based, such as Mega Man or Simon. Another noticeable issue that Ness has is his ability to get juggled rather easily. Coupled with the removal of multiple air dodges and his low falling speed, Ness is very susceptible to being juggled by quick, powerful aerials such as Palutena's up aerial, or by wide, disjointed aerials such as Ike's up aerial. Arguably the most glaring weakness of Ness, however, is his recovery. His recovery, while traveling a good distance, is extraordinarily exploitable. If he is hit while in PK Thunder 2, the distance will drastically shorten, potentially ending in a gimp. Many characters with quick aerials can even hit Ness while he is in the startup lag of PK Thunder, before he even begins to launch himself. Furthermore, PK Thunder 2 is liable to many counters, and, if struck by one, will essentially guarantee Ness's death due to its immense power.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Ness has been significantly buffed in his transition to Ultimate. Several of his moves are stronger and more useful in combos, with his forward tilt and dash attack becoming reliable KO options at high percents, his up tilt having increased combo potential, and his down tilt racking up damage much more effectively. One of his most significant buffs is his yo-yo smash attacks (up smash and down smash), not only have they regained their charging hitboxes, but can now also hang below edges, which is augmented by the ability to hold smash attacks for a longer time in Ultimate. This noticeably improves his edge-guarding ability, especially due to his up smash having drastically increased KO ability at high percents. Ness's approach and zoning tools are more effective as well, with his down aerial having more range and regaining its ability to autocancel in a short hop, PK Flash charging much more quickly and no longer causing helplessness, PK Fire having reduced lag, PK Thunder dealing more damage and knockback, and PSI Magnet gaining an offensive hitbox while maintaining his horizontal momentum.

On top of his direct buffs, Ness benefits significantly from the universal changes in Ultimate. All of his aerial attacks have drastically less landing lag, especially compared to other characters, with his neutral and down aerials having less than half their previous amount of landing lag. Combined with all of his aerials except neutral and back aerial dealing more damage and down aerial regaining its ability to autocancel in a short hop, this allows him to approach, pressure, and combo opponents far more effectively, especially with his new up aerial's ability to drag opponents down and his down aerial's stronger meteor smash, improving his already great air game. Additionally, he is one of the characters that benefits the most from the changes to air dodge mechanics. The ability to only air dodge once allows him to proficiently pressure and edgeguard opponents offstage with PK Thunder, and his directional air dodge grants him more distance than all other characters, an attribute he shares with Lucas; it not only renders him less vulnerable to juggling, but it noticeably improves his recovery by granting him a reliable mixup in place of PK Thunder 2, making him less vulnerable to being edge-guarded, which was one of his biggest weaknesses in previous Smash games.

However, Ness did recieve some nerfs, although minimal compared to his buffs. His new up aerial has less horizontal range and requires landing all hits (which start from behind and above Ness) to deal considerable damage, hindering Ness's ability to punish and juggle opponents when transitioning from air to ground; however, it may be used as a drag-down aerial as recompense. His grab game has also been moderately nerfed, with a slower, more standardized pummel that cannot rack up damage as effectively, and a down throw with more ending lag that worsens its combo potential past low percents. Lastly, his yo-yo smash attacks now only receive half as much of a power increase when charged, and PK Flash, in exchange for its much faster charge, is significantly weaker when fully charged.

Because his neutral game, punishes, edge-guarding, and recovery have become much stronger in the face of the few minute nerfs they received, Ness has become a far more dangerous fighter than he was in previous games in the series. His tournament representation in Ultimate's early metagame has been generally stronger than in Smash 4, with several players such as FOW, BestNess, Gackt, and Awestin achieving strong results with the character.


  • Change As with all veterans returning from Smash 4, 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 Ness, like many other characters, has been made much more expressive. He is much angrier in battle, and his eyes bulge and grow more circular when he is hit or frozen.
  • Change Ness has a new idle, dashing, and air dodge animation.
  • Change Ness' victory poses have been slightly altered:
    • Change When Ness poses with his bat, he swings his bat only once instead of multiple times.
    • Change Ness skips into the victory area instead of hopping in place.
    • Change He has a more astonished expression during his look-about victory pose.


  • Buff Like all characters, Ness's jumpsquat animation takes 3 frames to complete (down from 5).
  • Buff Ness runs faster (1.46265 → 1.609).
    • Buff Ness's initial dash is much faster (1.3 → 1.826).
  • Buff Ness walks slightly faster (0.8635 → 0.907).
  • Buff Ness's air speed is higher (0.9588 → 1.007).
  • Buff Ness's traction has been significantly increased (0.0546 → 0.131), now being tied for the fifth highest traction in the game.
  • Buff Ness jumps higher.
  • Buff Forward roll has less ending lag (FAF 31 → 30).
  • Nerf Forward roll grants less intangibility (frames 4-17 → 4-15).
  • Nerf Back roll has more startup with less intangibility (frames 4-17 → 5-16), and more ending lag (FAF 31 → 35).
  • Buff Spot dodge has less ending lag (FAF 28 → 26).
  • Nerf Spot dodge grants less intangibility (frames 3-18 → 3-17).
  • Buff Air dodge grants more intangibility (frames 3-28 → 3-30).
  • Nerf Air dodge has significantly more ending lag (FAF 34 → 60).
  • Buff The reintroduction of directional air dodges benefits Ness more than the rest of the cast, as his directional air dodge grants more distance compared to other characters' (a trait he shares with Lucas), and it provides him with a reliable recovery mixup to avoid leaving himself vulnerable by using PK Thunder.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff The first hit drags opponents towards Ness with the farthest hitboxes (361° → 180°), and the second hit uses a different angle throughout (70° → 361°). Both hits also have altered knockback (8 base/50 scaling → 30/20 base/25/15 scaling (hit 1), 30/20/25/20 (hit 2)). This allows for the full neutral attack to connect more reliably.
    • Buff Consecutive uses of the first hit of neutral attack are faster (9 → 7 frames).
    • Buff The first hit transitions faster into the second hit (frame 7 → 5), which transitions faster into the third hit (frame 7 → 6).
    • Nerf All hits have a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.7× (hit 1), 1.2× (hit 2), 2× (hit 3)), giving opponents more time to SDI each hit and DI the last hit.
    • Nerf The second hit deals less damage (2% → 1.5%).
    • Nerf The third hit has a shorter hitbox duration (frames 6-9 → 6-7).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has drastically increased base knockback (12 → 35), turning it into a viable KO option starting at around 155% from the center of Final Destination.
    • Buff It deals more damage when not angled (9% → 10%), no longer dealing less damage than the angled versions.
    • Nerf Forward tilt's hitboxes have been moved slightly inwards (X offset: 0.7/2.9 → 0.6/2.7), marginally reducing its range.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has less startup with a longer hitbox duration aking to Brawl(frames 7-8 → 5-8), and less ending lag (FAF 32 → 29). This improves its combo potential and allows it to function more effectively as an anti-air.
    • Buff It has more knockback scaling (126 → 140), improving the sweetspot's KO potential, while still improving the move's combo ability due to its decreased startup and ending lag combined with Ness's faster jumpsquat.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (4%/2% → 4.5%/3%).
    • Buff It can be interrupted earlier by actions besides another down tilt (FAF 14 → 12).
    • Buff Its base knockback and knockback scaling have been reversed (3/6 base/20 scaling → 20/3). This increases its safety on hit at low percents so that opponents in range can no longer shield in-between hits, improving its reliability for racking up damage.
    • Buff The increased shieldstun for tilts allows down tilt to repeatedly hit and keep opponents locked into their shields until they get out of the move's range or are shield stabbed, improving its offensive utility.
    • Nerf It no longer has a bonus trip chance, weakening its setup potential.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack's last hit has drastically increased knockback scaling (104 → 133), significantly improving its KO potential despite its lowered angle (80° → 70°).
    • Buff Dash attack's second hit now extends backwards (Z offset: 16 → 13-16), improving its ability to hit opponents next to Ness.
  • Yoyo (up smash and down smash):
    • Buff Up smash and down smash once again have their charging hitboxes from Melee and Brawl, hitting opponents repeatedly for 1% damage per hit. Unlike in those games, however, charging these moves still increases their damage, making the charging hitboxes far more useful. The yo-yo can also hang below the ledge, improving Ness's edgeguarding abilities significantly.
    • Nerf They have a lower maximum damage multiplier (1.4× → 1.2×) and cannot be held as long as most other smash attacks.
    • Change The text on the yo-yo now reads "SUPER NINTENDO 2018 MOTHER".
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash has less ending lag (FAF 56 → 53).
    • Buff It no longer possesses an early hit that deals 9%, allowing it to KO more consistently.
    • Buff It has considerably more knockback scaling (60 → 79), significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Nerf It has more startup (frame 6 → 10), no longer hitting behind Ness during its first active frames.
  • Down smash:
    • Nerf Down smash deals one hit less at both sides, increasing its startup (frame 10 → 12) and reducing its total damage (12% → 11%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have much less landing lag (18 frames → 8 (neutral), 20 → 12 (forward), 17 → 10 (back), 14 → 8 (up), 28 → 12 (down)).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Ness emits PSI from his hands when using the move. It also uses a magic effect and SFX, rather than a neutral effect with punch SFX.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage (1% → 1.5% (hits 1-3), 4% → 5.5% (hit 4); 7% → 10% (total)), with knockback scaling not fully compensated on the last hit (150 → 128), improving its KO potential.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial's outer hitbox has been moved (X offset: 2.7 → 3.7, Y offset: 0 → 2), having being moved outwards and downwards, thus improving its reach and making its height better match the inner hitbox.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Ness has a new up aerial: he waves his hand in an overhead arc while emitting PSI from his index finger. It is a multi-hit move, dealing up to five hits.
    • Buff Up aerial has a longer hitbox duration (frames 8-11 → 8-14 (hits 1-4), 15-16 (hit 5)), and more disjointed vertical range above Ness.
    • Buff It has less ending lag (FAF 42 → 34). Coupled with its longer duration and multi-hit nature (guaranteeing opponents are launched during the latest active frames), this allows it to combo into itself in the air from low to mid percents.
    • Buff The first four hits use the autolink angle (366°). This allows Ness to drag opponents down to the ground with the move and combo into several others, which is further complemented by its lower landing lag.
    • Buff It deals more total damage (13% → 2.5% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5); 15% total), with knockback compensated on the last hit if the damage from the previous hits is added (13 base/109 scaling → 40/180). Combined with its increased combo potential, this overall drastically strengthens its damage racking ability.
    • Nerf Up aerial has drastically decreased horizontal range, hindering its use for landing and approaching directly.
    • Nerf It auto-cancels later (frame 27 → 34), now matching its interruptibility.
    • Change The last hit launches at a more horizontal angle (85° → 73°). This slightly hinders its KO potential, but allows it to combo better into other moves.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has less ending lag (FAF 60 → 55).
    • Buff It deals more damage (12% → 14% (clean), 10% → 12% (late)) and knockback (20 base/70 scaling → 37/74 (clean), 70 scaling → 74 (late)), making it a significantly stronger meteor smash.
    • Buff It has a longer duration (frames 20-21 (clean)/22-25 (late) → 20-22/23-26).
    • Buff It auto-cancels earlier (frame 50 → 41), allowing Ness to auto-cancel it in a short hop much like it could in earlier Smash titles.
    • Buff The clean hit has a much larger hitbox (3.9u → 6u), making it easier to land.
    • Buff The removal of teching for grounded meteor smashes, coupled with down aerial's immensely decreased landing lag and better autocancel window significantly improve its combo potential onstage.
    • Change Down aerial uses a kick SFX instead of a magic SFX on hit.

Throws and other attacks[edit]

  • Change Ness grabs and pummels his opponents using PSI, with accompanying sound effects.
  • Grabs:
    • Nerf Standing grab has increased ending lag (FAF 35 → 38).
    • Nerf Dash grab has more startup (frame 8 → 9) and ending lag (FAF 43 → 46).
    • Nerf Dash grab doesn't extend as far (Z offset: 4-10 → 4-9.8), slightly reducing its range.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals slightly more damage (1.2% → 1.3%).
    • Nerf It has less startup (frame 3 → 1) and ending lag (FAF 10 → 7), but deals much more hitlag (4 frames → 14), drastically increasing its effective duration. This hinders its damage racking ability, no longer being one of the fastest pummels in the game.
    • Change It uses a magic effect, rather than a neutral effect.
  • Back throw:
    • Nerf Back throw releases the opponent closer to Ness, slightly reducing its KO potential.
  • Down throw:
    • Buff Down throw's first three hits have a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.5×), allowing it to execute faster.
    • Nerf It launches the opponent earlier (frame 30 → 28), and has a slightly longer duration (FAF 50 → 51), reducing its combo potential.
    • Change While the move's total damage is unchanged, it deals four hits before the throw instead of five, which have redistributed timings (frames 10/14/18/22/26 → 6/10/14/27) and damage values (0.6% (hits 1-5) → 0.5% (hits 1-3), 1.5% (hit 4)).
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).

Special moves[edit]

  • PK Flash:
    • Buff PK Flash charges and travels faster.
    • Buff It has less ending lag when uncharged (FAF 70 → 65), and significantly less startup (frame 150 → 121) and ending lag (FAF 176 → 142) when fully charged.
    • Buff It can travel through soft and semisoft platforms. It also no longer dissipates immediately upon making contact with hard platforms, allowing its full charge to be unleashed on the ground by simply holding the button, much like in Melee.
    • Buff The explosion has a longer hitbox duration (1 → 4 frames) and is larger (size multiplier: 0.9× uncharged/1.43× fully charged → 1.05×/1.8×).
    • Buff It no longer causes helplessness when used in the air, allowing Ness to hit opponents near edges from offstage without self-destructing.
    • Buff It has much more base knockback (10 → 50), with knockback scaling barely compensated (70 → 65), strengthening it at lower charge levels.
    • Nerf It deals significantly less damage when fully charged (37% → 27%), hindering its KO potential despite its increased knockback values.
    • Change PK Flash has a more aquamarine color and emits its respective EarthBound graphic (specifically the "α" form) upon detonating.
  • PK Fire:
    • Buff PK Fire has less startup (frame 21 → 18), with its total duration reduced as well (FAF 59 → 56).
    • Buff It has significantly less landing lag (30 frames → 12).
    • Buff The spark is bigger and deals more damage on its initial hit (4% → 6%).
    • Buff Due to the universal nerfs to roll intangibility frames, PK Fire can catch rolls more effectively.
    • Change The flame pillar has a faster rehit rate (11 → 7), but no longer has a hitbox that deals more damage (2%/1% → 1%). As a result, it cannot deal as much damage, but it is more consistent overall.
    • Change PK Fire pushes Ness back slightly, similar to Lucas's PK Fire.
    • Change Ness 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.
  • PK Thunder:
    • Buff PK Thunder deals more damage (8% → 11%) and has increased knockback scaling (50 → 55), allowing it to KO near the top blast line at high percents.
    • Buff The new air dodge mechanics significantly improve its edgeguarding ability, allowing Ness to mindgame opponents more reliably and force them to spend their air dodge, leaving them open to punishes.
    • Change PK Thunder now emits yellow hexagon-shaped PSI energy, more closely resembles its appearance in EarthBound.
    • Change It 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, though it also makes it more predictable to opponents.
  • PK Thunder 2:
    • Buff PK Thunder 2 travels further.
    • Buff In addition to its full intangibility during frames 1-9, it grants intangibility on Ness's head during frames 10-32, improving its safety for recovery.
    • Buff The window for using PK Thunder again after bouncing against a wall is much bigger. In addition, Ness enters the rebound animation when bouncing against the ground, instead of being knocked down, allowing him to use PK Thunder a second time.
    • Nerf When hit by PK Thunder 2, the opponent is always launched in the horizontal direction Ness is facing. This makes KOing at very low percents much less likely if the opponent gets hit behind Ness.
    • Change The clean hit triggers Special Zoom upon hitting an opponent.
  • PSI Magnet:
    • Buff PSI Magnet begins absorbing projectiles faster (frame 10 → 7), and has less ending lag (FAF 30 → 25).
    • Buff It no longer halts Ness's horizontal momentum in the air, now functioning as it did in Brawl, improving Ness' movement options.
    • Buff It has gained a hitbox close to Ness from frame 7 onward, which deals 4% damage with weak set knockback, and can rehit opponents every 10 frames. This grants the move offensive utility, and alongside the changes above, allows it to be used in combos. The lingering hitbox can also destroy weak projectiles, improving its safety when used for absorption.
    • Change PSI Magnet now emits pink diamond-shaped PSI from the center, more closely resembles its appearance in EarthBound. It also features a visible suction effect around the magnet.
  • Final Smash:
    • Change PK Starstorm summons slower meteors that spread out over the stage, similar to its Brawl iteration, but can still be aimed horizontally like the Smash 4 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.
    • 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]

Ness has recieved a mix of buffs and nerfs. Update 2.0.0, increased autocancel frames for up aerial matching the ending lag of the move and his down aerial deals more damage while keeping the knockback the same. Update 3.0.0, nerfed yo-yo charging smash attacks which was infamous for breaking shields easily. He also received buffs such as PK Flash having a larger hitbox, and physics changes to the yo-yo that improved its potential as an edge guarding tool. Update 3.1.0 reverted the yo-yo physics back to its pre-patch state, and his neutral attack connects more reliably.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff Up air autocancels earlier (frame 40 → 34), matching the move's interruptibility.
  • Buff Down air deals more damage (12% → 14% (clean), 10% → 12% (late)), albeit with its knockback compensated.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0.0

  • Nerf Up smash and down smash are automatically unleashed from charging state earlier and hit less often while charging (frames between hits: 3 → 5).
  • Buff PK Flash has a larger hitbox.
  • Buff The physics of Ness' yo-yo string are stiffer. This improves the consistency of up smash and down smash at the ledge.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.1.0

  • Buff Neutral attack 2 has more range and the hitbox is moved forward, causing it to connect into neutral attack 3 more reliably.
  • Nerf The physics of Ness' yo-yo string have been reverted back to their pre-3.0.0 properties.


  • Ness possesses a special jump. When jumping in midair, Ness will ascend in a floatier, curved trajectory. The upward momentum of Ness's double jump can be affected through various actions if timed correctly, such as aerial attacks, air dodges or special moves.

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

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% Two punches followed by a front kick. The first and second hits can lock.
Forward tilt   10% A roundhouse kick that can be angled. Surprisingly good power, KOing at around 120% at the ledge.
Up tilt   7% (spark), 5% (body) Jumps and attacks with an upward double palm thrust that produces a PSI spark from his hands. Has a sourspot located on his body that deals 5%. A decent anti-air and juggling tool.
Down tilt   4.5% (foot), 3% (toes) A swift shin kick. Extremely spammable and can be used to lock. Has a sourspot located on the tip of his foot.
Dash attack   4% (hit 1), 7% (hit 1 aerial), 2% (hit 2), 4% (hit 3) A double palm thrust that 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. The disjointed hitboxes go very far, giving it impressive range for a dash attack. The first hit is more damaging on opponents in the air.
Forward smash Batter Up! 18% (low), 20% (mid), 22% (tip), 2× damage (reflected projectiles) Swings his bat. It can reflect incoming projectiles with a high multiplier and is one of the strongest forward smashes in the game, killing most characters around 50% by the ledge. However, its lag is considerable and makes it easy to punish up close.
Up smash Around the World 1% (charge), 13% 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 an additional half of a second instead of two, and has a max charge damage multiplier of 1.2×.
Down smash Walk the Dog 1% (charge), 10% Sends his yo-yo backward and performs the "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 an additional half of a second instead of two, 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, coming out on frame 4 and acts like a sex kick. Rather useful to break combos and as an out-of-shield option. Autocancels from a short hop. It has decent knockback, making it a good edgeguarding and KOing option.
Forward aerial   1.5% (hit 1-3), 5.5% (hit 4) A double palm thrust that generates a stream of PSI sparks from his hands. Comes out on frame 8,making it tied with up aerial for the second fastest out of Ness's aerials. Decently safe on shield if Ness backs away during the attack, and it's useful to start and continue combos. Autocancels from a short hop. Can chain into itself multiple times at low percentages, making it a useful wall-of-pain tool.
Back aerial   15% (clean), 8% (late) A dropkick that produces a PSI spark. Comes out on frame 10. The clean hit is very strong, being his strongest aerial overall. Autocancels from a short hop.
Up aerial   2.5% (hits 1-4), 5% (hit 5) Waves his finger in an arc above his head while generating PSI sparkles, hitting up to 5 times. Autocancels from a short hop. A great combo tool, as its linking hits and last hit's vertical angle combine to make it a great combo extender. It can also KO well near the upper blast line at high percentages since the final hit has extremely high knockback scaling. Overall great power.
Down aerial   14% (clean), 12% (late) Twirls before kicking down into the air, producing a PSI spark. The clean hit can meteor smash, and can be used to start combos on-stage fairly reliably if landed against grounded opponents. Autocancels from a short hop. Ness's slowest aerial, coming out on frame 20.
Grab   Grabs with both hands. A fast grab with a slight amount of ending lag.
Pummel   1.3% Attacks the opponent with a discharge of PSI energy.
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, and considered the most versatile KO throw overall, as it can KO much more reliably anywhere onstage at higher percentages than most other back throws at its level of strength like Incineroar's or Dr. Mario's, due to its much higher knockback scaling.
Up throw   10% Psychokinetically spins the opponent above his head before sending them up. It leaves 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% Sweep kicks in front of and behind himself.
Floor attack (back)   7% With one hand planted on the ground, sweeps his leg behind and in front of himself.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Kicks behind and in front of himself with both legs.
Edge attack   9% 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 allows Ness to perform another PK Thunder if the player is sufficiently quick enough.

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

Down special PSI Magnet 4% per hit Surrounds Ness with a purple energy field, allowing him to absorb energy-based projectiles (such as Mario's Fireball, Fox's Blaster or Samus's Charge Shot) or explosions (including all of Snake's explosives) 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's vertical momentum slightly in the air.

Final Smash PK Starstorm 8% per hit Paula and Poo join Ness, assisting him in summoning a shower of falling stars to attack 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 that of 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]

  • Left: Walks in then looks around with a surprised expression, before rubbing the back of his head while smiling (his "character chosen" animation in Super Smash Bros., albeit much more subtle).
  • Up: Skips into the victory screen, then nods slightly, holding a pose similar to his official clay model, up taunt, and official Brawl render.
  • Right: 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]

Upon the release of Ultimate, Ness was considered to be a low-high or upper mid tier character at best and that he was on par with his Smash 4 counterpart. This was seen due to the game's most popular characters being swordfighters who have mostly been some of Ness's hardest matchups throughout the Smash series. On top of this, many players believed that the loss of him being able to airdodge multiple times and his up air having a smaller hitbox gave him a much harder time at landing and ultimately much worse than in Smash 4.

However as the metagame began to develop, it was proven that Ness has become significantly better than he was in Smash 4. The overall mechanics of Ultimate and the changes made to his aerials and specials have given Ness a significantly better neutral, advantage state, punish game, and approach options. On top of this, many of his hardest matchups from Smash 4 (most notably Rosalina & Luma and Corrin) were nerfed and are considered to be less troublesome for Ness in general. Due to him having much more frightening and versatile options, Ness has obtained great results due to BestNess and Gackt, with many professional players such as ESAM, ZeRo and Dabuz consider him to be a high tier character.

Notable players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.



Classic Mode: Home to Onett![edit]

Ness' congratulations screen.

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

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Ness NessHeadBlueSSBU.png Magicant Magicant (for 3DS / Wii U) The opponent has his 5th alternate costume equipped, referencing Ness' younger self that he encounters in Magicant. If the player is using the 5th alternate costume, default Ness NessHeadSSBU.png will appear as the enemy instead.
2 Lucas LucasHeadSSBU.png New Pork City You Call This a Utopia?!
3 R.O.B. ROBHeadPurpleSSBU.png (x3) Fourside Fourside A reference to the robots fought in the Monotoli Building.
4 Sheik SheikHeadSSBU.png Gerudo Valley Bein' Friends A reference to Dusty Dunes Desert.
5 Toon Link ToonLinkHeadBlackSSBU.png (x2) Luigi's Mansion Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise A reference to the zombies fought in Threed. When used, the only Assist Trophy summoned will be Jeff.
6 Villager VillagerHeadSSBU.png and Isabelle IsabelleHeadSSBU.png Onett Onett Theme / Winters Theme A reference to the Sharks and the dogs fought in Onett. When used, the only Assist Trophy summoned will be 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.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Ness has Smiles and Tears accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Finding Ness in World of Light

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.

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

Fighter Battle[edit]

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
Ness SSBU.png
Ness Attack 7,500 Magicant (Ω form) Magicant (for 3DS / Wii U)


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.

In Spirit battles[edit]

As the main opponent[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music
Slugger Green Glove Spirit.png
Slugger & Green Glove Yoshi series Ness NessHeadYellowSSBU.png
Lucas LucasHeadGreenSSBU.png
1,500 Yoshi's Island •Item: Beastball •The enemy starts the battle with a Home-Run Bat Obstacle Course - Yoshi's Island
Ninten Spirit.png
Ninten Earthbound series Ness Team (×4) (NessHeadWhiteSSBU.pngNessHeadYellowSSBU.pngNessHeadGreenSSBU.pngNessHeadBlueSSBU.png)
13,700 Magicant N/A •The enemy's PSI attacks have increased power
Stamina battle
•The enemy's FS Meter charges quickly
Bein' Friends
Starmen Spirit.png
Starman Earthbound series •Metal Ness NessHeadWhiteSSBU.png
4,200 Lylat Cruise •Assist Trophy Enemies (Starman)
•Item: Stars
Stamina battle
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
•The enemy is metal
Unfounded Revenge / Smashing Song of Praise
Ramblin' Evil Mushroom Earthbound series Ness NessHeadBlueSSBU.png
1,600 Distant Planet •Item: Ramblin' Evil Mushroom •The enemy starts the battle with a Ramblin' Evil Mushroom Humoresque of a Little Dog
Nico Fire Spirit.png
Nico Fire StreetPass Mii Plaza series Ness NessHeadGreenSSBU.png
Fox FoxHeadBlackSSBU.png
Sonic SonicHeadPurpleSSBU.png
1,500 Big Blue •Uncontrollable Speed •All fighters move faster and can't stop quickly Wii Sports Resort
Pitcher Batter Spirit.png
Pitcher & Batter Baseball Ness NessHeadBlueSSBU.png
Lucas LucasHeadRedSSBU.png (×2)
1,700 Pokémon Stadium 2 (Ω form) •Item Tidal Wave
•Item: Sports
•The enemy favors side smash attacks
•The enemy starts the battle with a Home-Run Bat
•Certain items will appear in large numbers
Baseball (Training)

As a minion[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
Ana spirit.png
Ana Earthbound series Villager VillagerHeadPinkSSBU.png
Ness NessHeadWhiteSSBU.png
9,200 Magicant (hazards off) N/A Stamina battle
•The enemy heals over time
Pollyanna (I Believe in You) Ninten
Flying Man Spirit.png
Flying Man Earthbound series Mii Brawler Team MiiBrawlerHeadSSBU.png (Flying Man Hat, Flying Man Outfit) (×5)
Ness NessHeadYellowSSBU.png
9,100 Magicant N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
Stamina battle
Magicant Ness
Paula Spirit.png
Paula Earthbound series Villager VillagerHeadPinkSSBU.png
Ness NessHeadWhiteSSBU.png
13,300 Onett •Sudden Final Smash •The enemy will suddenly have a Final Smash
•The enemy's PSI attacks have increased power
Stamina battle
Smiles and Tears Ness
Ness's Father.png
Ness's Father Earthbound series •Clear Snake SnakeHeadChartreuseSSBU.png
Ness NessHeadBlackSSBU.png
13,500 Onett N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
•The enemy is invisible
Humoresque of a Little Dog Ness
Komurasaki Spirit.png
Girl from Hajimari no Mori Hajimori no Mori Villager VillagerHeadGreenSSBU.png
Ness NessHeadWhiteSSBU.png
2,300 Duck Hunt (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Fog •The stage is covered in fog
•The enemy favors down specials
Yūyūki Medley Protagonist of Hajimari no Mori

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 was 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.
    • Ness is also the only one not to fight a unique boss and instead face Master Hand as his final boss.
  • Although most characters from the original Super Smash Bros. are numbered by their debut game's original release date, Captain Falcon and Ness can be considered an exception; F-Zero was originally released in 1990, four years before EarthBound. Additionally, in Super Smash Bros., Captain Falcon will always be fought first if the unlock conditions for both him and Ness are met simultaneously. However, it is also possible that Ness is numbered per the 1989 release date of EarthBound Beginnings, which is also how he is ordered in Brawl's All-Star Mode.
  • 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., that both are voiced by Makiko Ōmoto, or that both are from games developed by HAL Laboratory, Inc.
  • 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.
  • Ness's official artwork resembles a hoax that claimed he would appear in Super Smash Bros. 4 before he was actually revealed.
  • Ness is one of the only two unlockable characters in Ultimate who can be the first character unlocked in more than one way. These being through the timed based challenges and through Kirby's Classic Mode. The other character who shares this distinction is Villager.