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Pichu (SSBM)

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This article is about Pichu's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Pichu; for information on the character of whom Pichu is a clone, see Pikachu (SSBM).
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Pichu SSBM.jpg
Universe Pokémon
Other Smash Bros. appearance in Ultimate

Availability Unlockable
Tier G (24) (North America)
H (26) (Europe)

Pichu (ピチュー, Pichu) is a Pokémon character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Pichu is the "baby" pre-evolution of Pikachu, and in Melee, Pichu has a nearly identical moveset, making it a clone.

Pichu is voiced by Satomi Koorogi, who also voiced one of the Pichu Brothers in the Pokémon anime.

Pichu is currently ranked 24th in the G tier, and is the lowest ranked clone and unlockable character in the game. Pichu possesses a surprisingly good grab game, is very quick as most of its attacks have little to no start-up lag, and also has a decent air game with a slew of powerful attacks, some even more powerful than those of its counterpart, Pikachu.

However, all of Pichu's strengths are severely outweighed by its weaknesses: poor range and being prone to chain throws despite its small size, due to the unusually high amounts of hitstun it sustains as a result of being the game's lightest character; the latter attribute also means that as the game's lightest character, all throws performed against it become very fast and short, meaning opponents recover very quickly. It takes recoil damage from its own electric attacks, hindering its KOing ability, as most of its finishing attacks involve electricity.

Pichu suffers from abysmal matchups, and it has the highest amount of very unfavorable matchups of any character in any Smash game, having a total of twelve. By comparison, Kirby, the lowest on the tier list, has seven, and Bowser, the second lowest on the tier list, has six. Furthermore, Pichu has no advantageous matchups, with three being even (against Yoshi, Kirby and Bowser), when even these matchups can be disputed at length.

It appears that Pichu is intended to be a sub-par character, since its trophy descriptions mention that it is "top of the class in weakness" and it is "best suited for handicapped matches." Indeed, this was confirmed in a development news update, shortly after the game's release.[1]

How to unlock[edit]

To unlock Pichu, players have to complete Event 37: Legendary Pokémon or play 200 VS. matches.

Upon completing either criterion, the player will fight against Pichu on Pokémon Stadium, with "Battle Theme" playing.


Pichu, as a character, falls under the archetype of being nimble, yet relatively weak; while slightly stronger than Pikachu in some cases, its moveset generally consists of attacks that deal much lower damage and knockback than Pikachu or most other characters in the cast. Due to its high traction and average falling speed, Pichu has a rather short wavedash; additionally, its quick and low-lag aerials also give Pichu a good SHFFL, much like Pikachu's. As such, Pichu can easily maneuver around stages, with very low landing lag, a small frame and a rather fast dash, as well as decent jumping power.

One of Pichu's main advantages is its perhaps surprising power. While its smashes are all of short range, all are unusually powerful considering Pichu's small frame. Its up smash and forward smash contain incredible power, being able to KO characters reliably at as little as 70 to 80 percent, while its down smash semi-spikes opponents and has invincibility frames. Pichu's Skull Bash also has surprising power and distance when charged; at full power, it deals a massive 39% damage and guarantees KOs at very low percentages, and the long distance traveled greatly aids in Pichu's recovery.

Professionals consider Pichu's neutral aerial to be the best tool in its arsenal, as it comes out very quickly and has very low ending and landing lag, especially when L-canceled. Pichu can approach enemies with neutral aerial, rack up respectable damage with long strings of it, and create pseudo-walls of pain if the player chooses to continue the strings off-stage. Aside from this, Pichu's up aerial allows it to juggle enemies into the air. Its other aerials are lackluster, but these two moves alone give Pichu quite a force in the air. Pichu also has decent throws; its forward and back throws can knock opponents off stage or set up combos, while its up and down throws can chain throw fastfallers and tech chase characters respectively.

Pichu's greatest flaw, however, is its significant range problems. All of its best and most powerful attacks are very close to its body, making it tough for Pichu to KO or inflict damage easily (especially against characters with disjointed hitboxes), having only a handful of options for approaching enemies. Although Pichu does have access to two projectiles (Thunder Jolt and Thunder), both cause recoil damage and are easily telegraphed, making them unreliable and punishable if used excessively. Pichu's grab game is also heavily hampered by its short range, at the third shortest in the game, making it difficult for players to consistently take advantage of Pichu's decent throws. Many of Pichu's poorest matchups stem from it being unable to deal with individual moves of characters (such as Sheik's forward tilt or a large portion of Marth's moveset) because it lacks tools that have enough range to counter the attacks.

Additionally, Pichu suffers from the infamous recoil damage it receives from using almost any of its attacks involving electrical hitboxes. In several of Pichu's attacks, especially those that involve electricity, at least one percent of damage is directly inflicted onto it; using Agility to recover alone adds four percent to Pichu each time it is used. This recoil damage is especially crippling to Pichu; with the lowest weight in the game (being lighter than Jigglypuff) and average falling speed, Pichu's survivability is among the worst in the game, meaning that this recoil damage, coupled with damage inflicted by the opponents, can cause Pichu to be more easily KOed than any other character in the game. Outside of making Pichu even easier to KO, the extra damage taken through recoil also reduces how long it can utilize crouch cancelling. In order for Pichu to avoid the significant drawbacks of recoil damage, players need to strike a proper balance between Pichu's electrical and non-electrical moves; as a benefit to Pichu, arguably Pichu's best KOing and comboing moves, such as its neutral air and up smash, do not use electricity, making recoil damage less of a problem if the player is careful enough not to use electrical moves, such as its forward smash and forward throw, too often.

Pichu's defensive game is also poor, with short tech rolls and a slow, short ledge roll, making it far easier for enemies to punish Pichu for attempting to dodge. Its shield is rather large for its size, however, making shield stabbing less of a problem for it. Furthermore, despite being a lightweight, Pichu is also quite vulnerable to combos (some of which are either infinite or zero-death, such as Ganondorf's chain throw) due to its abnormally high hitstun.

Differences from Pikachu[edit]

Pichu not only performs significantly worse than Pikachu, but is considered a bottom-tier character and sometimes even referred to as a joke character. Although Pichu is very small, this makes its range very low. It also has a somewhat below-average approach as its only option is Thunder Jolt to use as a projectile while Thunder isn't good either, due to being able to SDI out of the move for being multi-hit. It's also the lightest character in the game which makes it extremely easy to KO, although its small hurtbox makes this somewhat difficult. Arguably one of Pichu's biggest flaw is that it takes recoil damage from its electrical attacks, harming its survivability even more. As a result of its major flaws, it is considered to arguably be the worst clone in the game and overall one of the worst clones in the series.


  • Change Pichu's idle animations, taunt, and victory poses are all different from Pikachu's.


  • Buff Pichu can wall jump, aiding its recovery.
  • Nerf All of Pichu's electrical attacks inflict recoil damage.
  • Nerf Pichu runs slower than Pikachu (1.8 → 1.72).
  • Change Pichu's traction is higher than Pikachu's (0.09 → 0.1). This makes it easier for Pichu to punish out of shield but it also gives Pichu a shorter wavedash.
  • Nerf Pichu is significantly lighter than Pikachu (80 → 55), giving it a much lower survivability.
    • Buff This however, makes it harder to combo as well.
  • Nerf Pichu's attacks are generally weaker.
  • Change Pichu is slightly smaller than Pikachu, reducing its range and hurtbox.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All of Pichu's tilts have shorter reach than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf All three of Pichu's smash attacks deal less damage and have less reach than Pikachu's.
  • Up tilt:
    • Nerf Up-tilt deals less damage (7%/6% → 6%) and has lower knockback (45 (base)/124 (scaling) → 25/120).
  • Forward smash:
    • Nerf Forward smash strikes multiple times instead of once, and can therefore be SDI'd out of before the final blow connects.
    • Nerf Forward smash is a multi hitting move making it far less reliable than Pikachu's. It also deals less damage (21% (early), 19% (mid), 18% (late) → 2% (hits 1-5), 6% (hit 6), 14% (total)).
    • Change The final hit of Pichu's forward smash deals more knockback (25 (base)/92 (scaling) → 90/140). This improves its KO potential near the horizontal blastline however, it has less KO potential when used far away from the horizontal blastline due to its lower damage.
  • Up smash:
    • Change Pichu's up smash is completely different; it hits the opponent with its head. Similar to the Mario Brothers.
    • Buff Up smash's sweetspot has a much larger hitbox than Pikachu's (2u/3.2u/4.8u → 5.6u).
    • Nerf Up smash has more startup lag with a shorter duration due to it lacking a late hit (frames 8-17 → 9-11). It also deals less damage than Pikachu's clean hit (19%/18%/17% → 16%) and knockback (40 (base)/110/100 (scaling) → (50/40)/105).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Pichu's down smash is more reliable due to consisting of a single hit and it is a semi spike (70° → 160°, sending opponents behind it, like the first hit of Ganondorf's down smash). It also has intangibility on frames 7-10 and it deals more damage than the final hit of Pikachu's down smash (3% → 13%) making it stronger despite its decreased knockback (70 (base)/170 (scaling) → 30/70).
    • Change Pichu's down smash has one hit and it's non-electrical.
    • Nerf Down smash's new angle has removed its combo potential. It also deals slightly less damage than Pikachu's (13.83% → 13%).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Pichu's forward and back aerials deal less damage than Pikachu's.
  • Nerf Forward and down aerial deals more recoil damage than its other attacks.
  • Up aerial:
    • Change Pichu's up aerial has a consistent angle throughout the entire attack (80°/0°/120° → 80°), this improves it's combo ability against fast-fallers, but removes it's gimping ability due to not being able to semi-spike.
    • Nerf Pichu's up aerial has slightly more start-up (frame 3 → 4).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial is stronger and deals more damage.

Grabs and throws[edit]

  • Buff Grab range is slightly longer than Pikachu's, although it is still one of the shortest in the game.

Special moves[edit]

  • Skull Bash:
    • Buff Skull Bash can be charged for a longer period of time, is more powerful when fully charged, and travels a longer distance than Pikachu's.
    • Nerf Skull Bash has more ending lag than Pikachu's.
  • Agility:
    • Nerf Pichu's Agility is slower than Pikachu's Quick Attack, cannot travel as far, and inflicts neither damage nor knockback.
    • Buff Pichu's Agility can go in more directions than Pikachu's Quick Attack.
  • Thunder:
    • Nerf Thunder does less damage than Pikachu's and is a multi-hit move (hitting up to 4 times), allowing opponents to Smash DI out of the move.
    • Change Thunder has a vertical knockback angle unlike Pikachu's.


For a gallery of Pichu's hitboxes, see here.

Pichu's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% Does an extremely quick headbutt. Can easily chain into itself, and even infinite against some characters on walls.
Forward tilt   9% Plants itself on its upper paws and kicks both its feet forward. Low range and knockback, though a fast move. This attack can be angled up and down.
Up tilt   6% Swipes its tail above its body in an arc. Very low range and somewhat slow, though sets up for aerial combos and follow ups.
Down tilt   7% Swipes its tail in front of itself. Short ranged, but can act as a good method for spacing.
Dash attack   8% Jumps and headbutts forward. Has some noticeable endlag.
Forward smash   2% (hits 1-5), 6% (hit 6), 2% recoil Launches a short jolt of electricity from its cheeks. Very powerful finisher, KOs at relatively low percentages. Incredible knockback when fully charged, KOs light characters at very low damages near the edge. However, this attack can be SDI'd out of. Has transcendent priority.
Up smash   16% Headbutts upwards similar to Mario's up smash, except that Pichu's head has no intangibility frames. Decent finisher.
Down smash   13% Quickly spins in place. It has more range than it appears and has some invincibility frames at the beginning of the move, as well as being powerful.
Neutral aerial   12% (clean), 9% (late) Curls up in a ball and does somersaults in the air. Notorious for effectively comboing into itself at almost any percent. One of the best neutral airs overall for its speed and combo ability.
Forward aerial   2% (hits 1-4) with 1% recoil for every hitbox Does a barrel roll in the air, emitting sparks. Hits multiple times with minimal damage. Tied with Agility for the most recoil damage in Pichu's moveset.
Back aerial   9% Spins in a manner similar to its down smash. Relatively high ending and landing lag.
Up aerial   4% Swiftly swings its tail above itself in an arc. Can set up many combos on fast fallers. Lacks semi-spike properties compared to Pikachu's.
Down aerial   12%, 4% (landing) (1% recoil for both the attack & landing) Does a barrel roll, like its forward aerial, except that it is facing downwards. Creates a small shockwave that hurts nearby opponents when Pichu lands during the attack.
Pummel   3% (pummel), 1% recoil Zaps the opponent.
Forward throw   2% (hits 1-4), 2% (throw), 1% recoil Places the opponent on its back and shocks them, sending them forward. This throw hits multiple times and has low knockback. Oddly, this is Pichu's only throw that inflicts recoil, despite all of them dealing electrical damage.
Back throw   9% Does backwards somersaults with the opponent, then flings them behind itself.
Up throw   5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Tosses foe up and headbutts them with electricity. Decent chaingrabbing ability, especially against fast fallers.
Down throw   5% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Places the opponent on the ground, then jumps on them.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and headbutts both sides of itself.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and kicks both sides of itself.
Edge attack (fast)   8% Quickly does a cartwheel and attacks with its foot.
Edge attack (slow)   6% Slowly gets up, then flicks its tail.
Neutral special Thunder Jolt 7% (ground), 10% (aerial), 1% recoil Pichu's main projectile. Fires a jolt of electricity forward. It travels forward while bouncing along the ground, and can also travel up walls, below the edge, and along ceilings. If used in the air, it will travel diagonally down instead. Disappears after around 3 seconds. Can be used to gimp certain recoveries.
Side special Skull Bash 5-39%, 1% recoil Charges and, when the B button is released, fires itself forward like a missile. When fully charged or close to fully charged, it has KO power. The move can also be used to extend Pichu's recovery, though it does have some lag. On the ground, the attack has rather high lag and is easy to shield grab. Compared to Pikachu's Skull Bash, Pichu's Skull Bash deals more damage and covers more distance when fully charged, but takes longer to fully charge the move and suffers recoil damage.
Up special Agility 0%, 1% (recoil warp 1), 3% (recoil warp 2) Pichu's primary recovery move. Moves at warp speed in two directions that can be selected via the control stick. The main difference from Pikachu's Quick Attack is that Agility can be used in almost the same direction both times, but it deals no damage, moves slower, and inflicts recoil damage on Pichu.
Down special Thunder 4% (bolt hits 1-4), 13% (blast), 3% recoil Shouts "PICHU!", then a large thunderbolt comes down on Pichu. The move in general is rather laggy. Hits multiple times and has greater vertical knockback, while Pikachu's Thunder hits once and has greater horizontal knockback. Pichu will suffer recoil damage only if the bolt hits Pichu. Has transcendent priority.


Note: Just like Captain Falcon, Pichu's taunt will be different depending on which side it is facing, but both taunts finish at the same time and have the same IASA frames, like Captain Falcon (as both of his taunts have 60 frames apiece).

  • Left: Jumps up and down four times, while saying "Pichu!"
  • Right: Lies on the ground and squirms around, while saying "Pichu!"
Left taunt Right taunt
Pichu-Left-Taunt-SSBM.gif Pichu-Right-Taunt-SSBM.gif

Idle poses[edit]

  • Jumps while looking side to side.
  • Leans slightly forward while looking side to side for a slightly longer duration, cheerfully twitching its ears while doing so.
Pichu Idle Pose Melee 1.gif Pichu Idle Pose Melee 2.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Pi-chu! Piiii-chu!
Pitch Male Female

Victory poses[edit]

An excerpt from the main theme of Pokémon.
  • Dances excitedly then jumps around three times in a circle.
  • Jumps up twice, then jump up high a third time while spinning and waves at the screen before landing.
  • Spins around twice on one foot, then jumps up twice while clapping both its feet.
Pichu-Victory1-SSBM.gif Pichu-Victory2-SSBM.gif Pichu-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
PichuHeadSSBM.png -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -2 -3 -3 ±0 -2 -3 -3 -2 -2 -2 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 Mirror match ±0 ±0 -2

Pichu has, by far, the worst matchup spread in Melee. It is hard countered by a whopping twelve characters (the most out of any character in-game and nearly twice as much as Kirby, the character with the second-highest amount), countered by six, soft countered by four, and has only three matchups that are considered even. Even in the early metagame, Pichu was severely crippled by its light weight, a surprising vulnerability to combos (including chain throws), its overall terrible reach, and above all, moves that inflict recoil damage. This has resulted in Pichu being very easy to KO, especially against characters with powerful attacks like Fox and Captain Falcon. Several characters, like Marth and Samus, can easily outreach it (thus making it easy to space), while others can exploit its vulnerability to chain throws and combos (with Sheik and Ganondorf being notorious examples of the former category). In addition, all of its counters can take advantage of its recoil damage to bring it up to KO percentages very quickly. As such, in spite of its advantages (such as good mobility), Pichu suffers from terrible matchups overall. It is one of only two characters in-game to have no advantageous matchups (the other being Bowser) and its even matchups can be potentially seen in its opponents' favors (if by a slight margin).

Current Metagame[edit]

Pichu is widely agreed by the competitive community to have been underrated in the early stages of the metagame. While it still has awful matchups across the cast, players have recognized notable counterplay it has: With improvements in DI and SDI to escape combos, Pichu's long-reaching recovery has gives it more opportunities to come into play, somewhat offsetting its poor raw survivability. Pichu has very slightly improved its matchups against fast-fallers, as it can at least juggle them, chaingrab them on Final Destination, and attempt to carry them off-stage with a chain of neutral aerials.

Although most players no longer see it as a contender for the worst character in the game because of these improvements, Pichu is still considered to be among the worst characters in the metagame overall. Its previously established weaknesses hold it back far too much in high-level competitive play for it to succeed in all levels of play. In addition, Pichu’s metagame continues to remain stagnant due to its only players being inactive or dropping it for a better character, leaving its capabilities to be rarely seen outside of low-tier exhibitions.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Pichu professionals (SSBM)


  • USA Codeman - Has taken a game of S2J. Currently considered the best active solo main of the character, and among the very few to reach genuine competitive notability with the character.


Tier placement and history[edit]

Pichu was always seen as a joke character by the Melee community; from the start, many noted that it was completely outclassed by Pikachu, who was already considered a below-average character at the time. With its poor approach coupled with many attacks that damaged itself, including its own recovery, as well as its terrible overall reach, extremely light weight, and difficulty in putting pressure on the opponent, many professionals doubted that Pichu could ever develop a deep metagame or gain any notable professional players.

Pichu was 25th on first tier list, and has since consistently shifted from 25th to 26th and back, competing with Bowser, Kirby, and Mewtwo for the lowest placement on the tier list. It currently ranks 24th on the tier list in G tier, ahead of Bowser and Kirby, in what is currently its best ranking on the tier list. Despite this placement, there still exists debate over Pichu's tier standing; some players believe that Pichu is still the worst character in the game due to its overall worse matchup spread than either one of its "competitors" for the position. Pichu has also failed to make an impact on any significant tournaments for several years, with none of the top 96 placers of any major Melee tournament being dedicated Pichu players, and its only players are either inactive or have better characters to choose from. Conversely, some players attest that Pichu is not the worst character in the game, due to its surprisingly powerful neutral air combos and high speed compared to Bowser or Kirby. Mew2King, arguably the world's best Pichu player, notably believes that Pichu is far from the worst character in the game, ranking it 19th on his personal tier list. Additionally, Armada places it at 22nd on his own tier list.

In Single Player Modes[edit]

In Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Pichu can appear as an ordinary fighter in one on one battles, as an ally or as an opponent alongside Kirby or Pikachu, as the sole opponent in a multi-character battle or as a metal opponent in the second to last stage. Barring the metal fight, Pichu always appears on Pokémon Stadium, with its alternate music Battle Theme playing; when fought with Kirby it will appear on Fountain of Dreams instead.

In Adventure Mode[edit]

In Adventure Mode, Pichu can appear in Stage 7 on Pokémon Stadium, appearing alongside a team consisting of Pikachu and, if unlocked, Jigglypuff. Pichu's theme, Battle Theme can also play on the stage.

In All-Star Mode[edit]

In All-Star Mode, Pichu and its allies are fought on Fourside. Unlike normal gameplay, however, Battle Theme plays here.

In Event Matches[edit]

Pichu appears in the following Event Matches:

  • Event 48: Pikachu and Pichu: In this match, the player must fight against a team of two Pichus and one Pikachu. The goal is for the player to KO the two Pichus in the shortest time possible; Pikachu has infinite lives, while the player has two and the Pichus have one. The stage used in Dream Land, making the event the only one in the game to take place on a Past Stage.
  • Event 49: All-Star Match Deluxe: Pichu is the third opponent fought in this series of staged battles. The selected character battles him on the Pokémon Stadium stage with a stock of 2 while Pichu has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat it and the other five characters one-by-one with the overall time and damage: Dr. Mario, Falco, Young Link, Roy and Ganondorf.

Ending images[edit]


In addition to the normal trophy about Pichu as a character, there are two trophies about it as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star Modes respectively with Pichu on any difficulty:

Pichu (Smash Red)
Compared with Pikachu, Pichu is a tad more nimble and a little more difficult to hit. Those are the only two advantages, however, and since Pichu damages itself when it uses electrical attacks, it's best suited for handicapped matches. Even though Pichu's tough to catch, it's easy to throw its tiny frame great distances.
Pichu (Smash Blue)
Pichu is the lightest character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and it's top of the class in weakness, too! For Pichu, it's all about scampering here and there to pick up items that will help it survive. The first warp in Agility causes 1 point of damage to Pichu, and the second causes 3, so try to limit the number of times you use the move.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Pichu Palette (SSBM).png
PichuHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadRedSSBM.png PichuHeadBlueSSBM.png PichuHeadGreenSSBM.png



  1. ^ News Flash! Smash Bros. Dojo: Pichu (translated 2015-09-24; original posted 2001-12-11)

External links[edit]