Pac-Man (パックマン), stylized in-game as PAC-MAN, is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed on June 12, 2018. Pac-Man is classified as fighter #55.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Pac-Man must then be defeated on Pac-Land.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Possibly due to his low tier status in SSB4 (46th out of 55th), Pac-Man has been significantly buffed overall in his transition to Ultimate.
One of Pac-Man's biggest buffs involves his tether grab, which was widely regarded as the worst grab in Super Smash Bros. 4 due to its lag and hitbox issues. It is now significantly faster overall, acts as one continuous hitbox instead of separate short-lasting ones, and is more in line with the cast due to the universal increase to grab ending lag, eliminating his worst weakness and giving him one of the better tether grabs in the game. Additionally, Bonus Fruit now cycles significantly faster and allows Pac-Man to charge cancel by jumping, giving him more options and speeding up a previously slow-charging projectile. If Pac-Man picks up a fruit he previously dropped, he can begin the cycle at the one he is currently holding. This technique, dubbed Fruit Recycling, allows Pac-Man to constantly pressure with his Bonus Fruits by allowing him to switch fruits and set up new combos after catching a fruit. The Bell fruit can now paralyze opponents if Z-dropped as well, granting a new item setup.
Other improvements come in the form of changes to his mobility; his overall speed is faster compared to his mediocre speed in Smash 4. His recovery reaches further, as Power Pellet is faster and less punishable, grants even more distance, has less lag on a wall collision, and no longer makes him tumble when he runs into the ground, instead allowing him to move along the floor instead. He has also received an abundance of buffs to his standard moveset: his tilt attacks have less lag, and some of his best aerial combo initiators (such as neutral aerial and forward aerial) have altered knockback, allowing his attacks to flow better into each other. The universal reduction to landing lag further improves his respectable combo ability by allowing him access to his quick aerials, while the ability to dash cancel ground moves lets him approach with his tilts.
Some of his attacks have new benefits, with moves such as down tilt being less punishable due to momentum changes, dash attack hitting one extra time while keeping its safety, down aerial connecting better and doing more damage, and his new up tilt reaching higher while also being much faster. Finally, his mediocre KO potential has been improved, as his punishable smash attacks have less startup, Power Pellet's fully charged sweetspot is much stronger, and the aforementioned buffs to Bonus Fruit allow Pac-Man to access the Key projectile more easily.
However, Pac-Man received some noticeable nerfs that affect his combo game. The mechanics of his Bonus Fruits have been changed in many ways, severely limiting the variety of item techniques he can perform: the time window for catching fruits is now very narrow, as most of the fruits disappear almost immediately after hitting an opponent, while the Cherry and Strawberry now have a set distance and no longer linger on the ground. Z-dropped fruits cannot be picked up again, and with the changes to footstools and locks, Pac-Man can no longer perform his notorious zero-to-death footstool combos. While all these changes prevent the opponent from capitalizing on his own fruits, it also makes his item-camping play even more straightforward. Fire Hydrant's physics have also been changed, as it loses more momentum and height from each bounce, making it less effective for coverage and setups when sent flying.
His new up tilt is more situational than his previous up tilt, as it can no longer hit opponents directly next to him, and it is unable to hit his Fire Hydrant to send it at a backwards angle. Neutral and forward aerials can no longer lock, removing lock followups, though this is compensated by their adjusted knockback values which allow them to combo at a wider percent range. Pac-Jump is even more exploitable than before, as opponents can now hit the trampoline to reduce its uses. Finally, Pac-Man retains many of his former issues despite his buffs, such as mediocre range and a dependence on setups to KO.
Overall, Pac-Man's moveset is now more consistent for fighting against close confrontations, and his tools have been improved to keep up with the fast pace of Ultimate. The changes overall make Pac-Man a significantly more formidable fighter, though his playstyle has less of an emphasis over item stalling and rewards item positioning and setups more than before. Though Pac-Man's representation is generally below average, has achieved strong success competitively thanks to the efforts of notable players including Tea and Sinji; both players have achieved notable results with him, including Sinji placing 9th at Pound 2019 and 7th at MomoCon 2019, and Tea placing 13th at Frostbite 2019, 5th 2GG: Prime Saga and Umebura Japan Major 2019, and 2nd at Sumabato SP 4 and Sumabato SP 6. As a result, Pac-Man has achieved a positive reception across the community overall, where notable players such as ESAM, Dabuz, and Samsora consider him to be a high tier character, with Mew2King even claiming Pac-Man is a top tier.
For a gallery of Pac-Man's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
During E3's pre-release of Ultimate, Pac-Man garnered a generally mediocre reception; this was because many players considered Pac-Man to not have significantly improved from his SSB4 counterpart outside of his buffed grab. As a result, many players thought of him as lower-mid tier, or even a low tier character, much like his standing in SSB4.
However, upon the release of Ultimate, Pac-Man has achieved increasingly strong results by both Sinji and Tea; Tea in particular has gone on to place Top 8 at multiple major and supermajors such as Umebura Japan Major 2019, 2GG: Prime Saga, Mainstage, all while taking sets off of multiple top level players. As a result, Pac-Man has achieved a significantly stronger reception from the community, where he is mostly regarded as a high or top tier character.
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: Ageless Classic
Pac-Man fights classic characters who debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System or appeared in an NES game at least once. These characters are listed in accordance to their original release date, similar to All Star-Mode in SSB4. To go with the theme, Pac-Man faces Dracula as the final boss of his route as he was the oldest boss who debuted on the NES console, like many characters in his route.
Role in World of Light
Although Pac-Man does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
By taking Marth's route, the player can find Pac-Man near a mushroom area.
PAC-MAN's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Pac-Man in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video