Ness (SSBU)

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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 1st 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]

Ness was buffed significantly for his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Among his most notable buffs are his increased damage output, his lethal up smash, his enhanced movement speed, and his expanded variety of zoning tools, which now include his yo-yo smashes. While some of his kill moves, such as his up aerial, PK Flash, and PK Thunder 2 have been nerfed, buffs to almost all of his other moves and changes to airdodge mechanics in the game make Ness a more formidable and frightening fighter.


  • 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' eyes bulge and grow more circular when he is hit or frozen.
  • Change Ness's eyes grow even angrier than they did in the previous installment.
  • 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.


  • Buff Like all characters, Ness's jumpsquat animation now takes three frames to complete (down from 5).
  • Buff Ness jumps higher.
  • Buff Ness dashes faster (1.46265 → 1.609)
  • Buff Ness' air speed has increased (0.9588→1.007).
  • Buff The new airdodge mechanics significantly improve Ness' edgeguarding with PK Thunder, allowing him to pressure opponents more reliably and force them to spend their airdodge, leaving them open to punishes.
  • Buff Ness can use the directional airdodge to recover instead of using PK Thunder, giving him a potent recovery mixup if he's close enough to ledge.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack connects more reliably.
    • Nerf Neutral attack deals slightly less damage.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt deals more damage.
    • Buff Forward tilt can trip opponents.
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Up tilt has less startup.
    • Buff Up tilt has less endlag.
    • Buff Up tilt has a larger hitbox, extending its horizontal range.
  • Down tilt:
    • Change Down tilt has an altered animation, instead of kicking fully crouched, he now get up's slightly and kicks.
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage.
    • Nerf Down tilt no longer trips opponents.
  • 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.
  • Buff Up smash deals significantly more knockback, allowing it to KO much earlier.

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 Neutral aerial has increased range.
    • Buff Neutral aerial now has disjointed hitboxes.
    • Change Ness now emits PSI from his hands to indicate the move's increased range. It also produces a magical sound effect.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial deals more damage.
    • Buff Back aerial can trip opponents.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Up aerial 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.
    • Nerf The multi-hit nature of the move makes it much more punishable when hitting a shield.
    • Nerf Up aerial has significantly reduced horizontal range and less juggling potential.
    • Buff Up aerial deals more damage when all hits connect.
    • Buff The first four hits of the up aerial have miniscule knockback, allowing for combos at a wide range of percentages.
    • Buff Up aerial has less endlag.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has reduced end lag and its animation is faster overall.
    • Buff Down aerial is much stronger.
    • Buff Down aerial 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.
    • Bug fix Down air now has proper knockback scaling in line with other spikes.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Change Ness now grabs and pummels his opponents using PSI with accompanying sound effects.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals slightly more damage.
    • Nerf Pummel is slower.
  • Nerf Down throw has more endlag, reducing its combo potential at mid-percents.

Special moves[edit]

  • PK Flash:
    • Change PK Flash is more seafoam in color and emits its respective EarthBound graphic upon detonating.
    • Buff PK Flash travels faster.
    • Buff PK Flash can now can now travel through soft and semisoft platforms.
    • Buff PK Flash no longer dissipates upon making contact with hard platforms and can instead be held on the ground until the move is fully charged.
    • Buff PK Flash's explosion has more active frames.
    • Buff PK Flash 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.
    • Nerf PK Flash deals considerably less knockback.
    • Nerf PK Flash has a much smaller hitbox.
  • 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's graphics from EarthBound.
    • Buff PK Fire does more damage on its initial hit.
    • Buff PK Fire has less startup, endlag, and much less landing lag.
    • Buff The projectile's hitbox is larger.
    • Buff The flame pillar engulfs opponents more reliably.
    • Change PK Fire pushes Ness back slightly, similar to Lucas's PK Fire.
  • PK Thunder:
    • Change PK Thunder more closely resemble its appearance in EarthBound.
    • Buff PK Thunder now has a window of intangibility during its startup frames.
    • Buff PK Thunder now has an angle indicator when the ball of lighting moves close to Ness, allowing the player to see the trajectory Ness will travel during PK Thunder 2.
    • Buff PK Thunder 2 travels further.
    • Buff PK Thunder 2 has more intangibility frames during the move, significantly improving its safety against counterattacks.
    • Nerf PK Thunder 2 deals less knockback.
  • PSI Magnet:
    • Change PSI Magnet more closely resembles its appearance in EarthBound and features a visible suction effect around the magnet.
    • Buff PSI Magnet is larger.
    • Buff PSI Magnet no longer halts Ness's horizontal momentum in the air.
    • Buff PSI Magnet 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 PSI Magnet has slightly less start-up and less endlag.
  • 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 PK Starstorm can be angled slightly left or right via the control stick, similar to its Smash 4 iteration.

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
1 Ness Magicant
2 Lucas New Pork City
3 3 R.O.B.s Fourside
4 Sheik Gerudo Valley
5 2 Dark Toon Links Luigi's Mansion
6 Villager and Isabelle Onett
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Final Destination

Role in World of Light[edit]

Galeem vaporized Ness off-screen with voluminous beams of light and imprisoned him with the rest of the fighters minus Kirby.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Ness Palette (SSBU).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.
  • Ness's yo-yo reads "SUPER NINTENDO 2018" and "MOTHER", in reference to his console of origin, Ultimate's year of release, and his home series, respectively.
  • Ultimate is the first Smash game where Ness does not receive any new voice clips.

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