Pichu (ピチュー, Pichu) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed alongside Jigglypuff and the rest of the returning roster on June 12th, 2018 during E3 2018. While Pichu remains a full clone of Pikachu, it is not classified as an Echo Fighter. As such, Pichu is classified as Fighter #19.
Satomi Kōrogi, Pichu's voice actress from the Pokémon anime and Melee, reprises her role with new voice clips. In addition, the 'spiky-eared' variant of Pichu (who appears as a playable character in Ultimate via Pichu's alternate costumes) is also voiced by Kōrogi rather than Shoko Nakagawa, who originally voiced the aforementioned 'spiky-eared' variant in the Pokémon anime's twelfth movie, Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Pichu must then be defeated on Pokémon Stadium 2.
Pichu is a character of extremes. As a clone of Pikachu, many of its attributes are similar, such as its even smaller size and quick mobility, though with a few noticeable differences. Pichu is the lightest character in the game, has fast walking and above average dashing speeds with average traction, above average jumping force, average air speed but being tied for the ninth highest air acceleration, and fast falling speed while being tied for the fifth highest gravity. However, it has the lowest fast fall multiplier in the game, causing its fast-falling speed to be average. Overall, these attributes give Pichu a slightly slower grounded approach than Pikachu, make its aerials not autocancel as easily and makes it more vulnerable to combos, but also gives it a much faster ground-to-air and air-to-ground approach, making its mobility as reliable as Pikachu's own.
The primary difference between Pichu and Pikachu is the former's recoil damage on its electricity-based attacks. All of Pichu's attacks with an electric effect (forward tilt, forward and down smash attacks, forward, back and down aerials, forward throw, and all special moves except Thunder if the lightning bolt doesn't strike Pichu) deal recoil damage to itself, which makes it less feasible for Pichu to overuse these attacks. To compensate for this, many of Pichu's electric attacks have either increased damage, knockback (in some cases both), or versatility. This makes it less feasible for Pichu to overuse these attacks in situations that would require their use for best results, as it could put it in a spot where the opponent may even KO Pichu with a strong enough move. Conversely, it increases the reward Pichu would receive if it can land said moves, and due to these moves increasing Pichu's percentage, this means Pichu can make effective use of rage to KO an opponent with more ease, provided it can survive long enough.
Much like Pikachu, all of Pichu's moveset aspects are solid overall, possessing very fast frame data overall and great utility throughout its moveset. An example of this is its incredibly capable aerial game. Neutral aerial is Pichu's fastest out of shield option, on top of not having much ending or landing lag, making it a viable edgeguarding option. Forward aerial deals the highest damage of Pichu's aerials and has very strong combo potential, while only having decent recoil damage. Up aerial, while being Pichu's least damaging aerial, also retains very strong vertical combo capabilities. Down aerial is Pichu's main move to meteor smash, and the late hit also lasts for a long while, making it another great edgeguarding tool, while also having only decent recoil damage. Finally, back aerial deals less damage than forward aerial, but is also Pichu's strongest aerial, a very good edgeguarding tool, only has decent recoil damage like its forward and down aerials, and plays a major component on Pichu's looping combos; by repeatedly performing a full jump while using a back aerial and comboing into a tilt attack (most notably up tilt) to repeat the process, Pichu can zero-to-death combo the opponent, though the timing for each move is very strict.
Pichu's main (but not sole) ways to set up the opponent into its strong aerial game consist of its up and down tilts, and up and down throws: both tilts are excellent combo starters, with down tilt even comboing into aerials at very high percentages, while up and down throw allow Pichu to pummel the opponent for more damage due to them being followed up from a grab; up throw is also infamous for comboing into Thunder for a reliable KO set-up. This gives Pichu a strong combo game, with many ways to start, extend or end combos much like Pikachu, though due to its moves' nature, Pichu's combo game is usually shorter-lived in exchange for raw damage.
Aside from its up and down tilts, in regards to its grounded game, it also has some interesting and useful options: forward tilt trips opponents at low percentages, can 2-frame, and has above average power at high percentages, making it a very useful set-up tool. Forward smash has the highest power of its standard moveset, lasts for a long while and, due to its multi-hit nature, can KO at an even lower percentage. Up smash is a decent anti-air that leaves Pichu's ears intangible, though it lacks in power. On the other hand, Pichu's neutral attack is mainly used for locking opponents due to its very weak knockback, and dash attack's is mostly used as a fast punish option and its low power can actually allow it to combo, though it can be risky. Its grab game is also decent - while its grabs are short-ranged, they are very fast and have the lowest ending lag in the game. As mentioned above, up and down throws have useful combo potential, with down throw usually reserved for horizontal combos, whereas up throw leads into vertical combos and can lead into Thunder as a KO set-up. Meanwhile, forward throw is Pichu's strongest throw, barely KOing at realistic percentages near the edge, which makes it a passable kill throw.
Pichu's special moveset is also varied and versatile. Thunder Jolt is a useful projectile that can reliably pressure an opponent's shield, on top of dealing low knockback and high damage (especially if started in the air). Its low ending lag also allows it to set-up into Pichu's moves if it lands during its last frames of activity. Thunder is Pichu's other projectile, though the lightning bolt itself doesn't deal much damage. As such, its primary purpose is to use the cloud's meteor smash properties to combo opponents into the shockwave part of the move when the bolt strikes Pichu - this deals the most damage to Pichu out of all its moves if this happens, so it should be used sparingly. Skull Bash and Agility serve as Pichu's recovery moves, and give it an amazing, long-distanced and unpredictable recovery - of the two, Agility deals high recoil damage if both dashes are used, but nevertheless travels an incredibly long distance and is very unpredictable due to each dash being able to be inputted in multiple directions, potentially making Pichu very hard to properly edgeguard or 2-frame. Skull Bash, on the other hand, is mostly used to extend Pichu's recovery, but it also ties in as part of Pichu's "glass cannon" playstyle as it can be charged; unlike Pikachu's own version, Pichu's fully charged Skull Bash deals immense knockback when fully charged, this being Pichu's strongest option out of a shield break.
Thanks to Pichu's attributes, one of its key strengths is its playstyle versatility - depending on the situation, it can make use of its moveset to adapt and play accordingly. Pichu's great mobility, compact size and useful projectile give it an impressive neutral game and make it slippery, allowing it to play defensively, by virtue of using a bait-and-punish oriented playstyle that allows it to avoid the opponent's attacks and gradually poke at them or outright break through their offense. However, if the situation arises, Pichu can nevertheless play very aggressively, as it also has one of the best advantage states in the game by virtue of its raw damage, excellent frame data and impressive combo ability, allowing it to pressure the opponent into commiting and retaliating accordingly, and almost all of its aerials have some sort of edgeguarding potential, which can quickly lead into a lost stock.
In spite of these strengths, Pichu still has a myriad of critical flaws, some of which are shared with Pikachu, but much more pronounced; the most notable of these is its immense frailty. While its offstage survivability is incredible thanks to its recovery's long distance and unpredictability, it has an awful survivability overall due to its ludicrously low weight, resulting in it being very easily KO'd off of a stray hit as long as the move is decently strong, and the existence of rage further pronounces this issue. Its very fast falling speed and gravity also leave it pretty vulnerable to combos (although its neutral air can remedy this issue), meaning that Pichu can also be easily put in KO percentage from one or two combos. Adding insult to injury, the recoil damage Pichu suffers from using its electric attacks can rack up very quickly if it overuses said moves, which is a flaw no other character has at the level of Pichu (some characters have only one move that can deal recoil damage), and can potentially throw it into a much more devastating position if it happens. As a result of all these issues, in spite of its excellent recovery and great mobility, Pichu's disadvantage state is poor, and if Pichu isn't able to KO the opponent, they can easily turn the tables on it, which can easily and quickly lead to a lost stock just as Pichu can potentially and quickly end one.
Another of Pichu's most notable flaws is that while its very small size results in it being slippery, it also results it in having deceptively short range (much shorter than Pikachu), requiring it to be pretty close to the opponent in order to rack up damage, which can be risky. Pichu's mobility, very quick frame data and useful projectile in Thunder Jolt can help remedy this, but the prevalence of many characters with faster mobility and/or disjoints can still give it trouble at approaching, and Thunder Jolt's recoil damage makes it unfeasible for Pichu to keep the opponent away for too much, forcing it to approach and further exacerbating its range issues, despite its reliable moveset. Furthermore, despite its moveset's higher consistency in regards to power, Pichu's range issues mean it can often have difficulty landing its otherwise powerful KO moves and set-ups, as the former aren't disjointed (with the sole exception, forward smash, still having short range), and the latter are very limited, possessing only up throw to Thunder at mid-high and high percentages, and down tilt to down aerial near the edge at mid-percentages. Pichu's edgeguarding ability, while respectable, pales in comparison to Pikachu's due to its attributes resulting in Pichu not having as much air time as Pikachu can, though this is slightly mitigated by its moves' stronger knockback.
Lastly, although its moveset is versatile, a few of Pichu's attacks still lack some notable kind of utility. Down smash, although covering on both sides of Pichu, has unremarkable range, deals recoil damage and unlike Pikachu, sends at a disappointing angle for KOing, with its higher power compared to Pikachu failing to compensate. Forward throw can have difficulty at KOing the opponent at realistic percentages due to the fact Pichu will usually find itself using it to set-up an edgeguard, whereas back throw's sole purpose is shared with forward throw.
Overall, like Pikachu, Pichu is best described as a quintessential glass cannon but sacrifices weight and attack range for more power and speed. While Pikachu can control the neutral game more aggressively and has more flexibility in its combos, Pichu is able to function in a variety of playstyles that range from a defensive, bait-and-punish oriented playstyle to a more aggressive, rushdown oriented one whenever it is needed. However, Pichu's atrocious endurance and recoil damage means that an aware opponent can dominate Pichu just as easily as it can also dominate the opponent. While both characters have similar playstyles, they differ significantly in execution, as Pichu's recoil damage requires the player to make very mindful use of their resources at hand. Regardless, Pichu's pros notably outweigh its cons, and even after the nerfs it received in game updates, Pichu is considered a very solid character in competitive play, with a dedicated playerbase consisting of players such as Nietono, VoiD, RFang, NAKAT, and Blacktwins, and it has amassed some strong tournament results in tournament play.
As in Melee, the primary difference between Pichu and Pikachu is the former's electric attacks all inflict recoil damage. Many of Pichu's attributes, such as its mobility and significantly lighter weight, differ from those of Pikachu. In addition, most of Pichu's attack and non-attack animations were given slight adjustments and overhauls in order to differentiate them from Pikachu's; for example, all of Pichu's smash attack charging animations are now completely different from Pikachu's. Almost all of Pichu's moves are also functionally different, such as down tilt or neutral aerial, making it even more unique. However, unlike previous clones, Pichu was not given many new unique moves to differentiate it from Pikachu, as the only fully unique moves it has are its forward tilt, up smash, neutral aerial, and edge attack.
All of these differences give Pichu more pronounced strengths and weaknesses when compared to Pikachu.
Pichu is capable of killing more reliably than Pikachu at earlier percentages. Some of its attacks also deal more damage than Pikachu's, but the only ones with a significant difference are its back aerial and the aerial version of Thunder Jolt. Otherwise, the damage output between the two is largely the same or with only a 1–2% difference, while some of Pikachu's attacks, like its dash attack, up aerial, and Thunder, are stronger than Pichu's. Regardless, this makes Pichu's KOing ability and damage-racking game superior to Pikachu's overall, despite the latter being shorter-lived compared to Pikachu's.
Pichu's frame data is also better on average, with its biggest advantages being on its forward tilt, down smash, and Thunder. However, there are some attacks like back aerial and Skull Bash where Pichu's frame data is worse, and only Pichu's up and down aerials autocancel in a short hop, whereas all of Pikachu's aerials can do so. Additionally, with the exception of neutral aerial, almost every other attack in Pichu's moveset has inferior range to Pikachu's equivalent attacks, including all of its tilts and smash attacks, its up aerial and Thunder.
Pikachu and Pichu's combo games are very different, with Pikachu's being much more diverse, but Pichu's being shorter lived in exchange for more damage. Pichu does not have access to Pikachu's neutral aerial, which is an incredible combo tool, and Pichu cannot chain four back aerials into each other at low percents to immediately start an edgeguard. Pichu's down throw has less advantage and stops being a combo tool earlier, and its forward aerial has less advantage and hits two times less, making it worse for dragdown combos. It also lacks Quick Attack as a combo starter and its up aerial does not have the weak hit that Pikachu's does, making it impossible to perform up aerial bridges that can carry opponents to the blast line with Pichu. Both Pikachu and Pichu have loops that use their neutral or back aerials respectively, but Pikachu's version works on more characters, is more resilient to SDI and is less situational, whereas the only advantage Pichu's version has is that it can rarely transition into a KO immediately. It also deals more damage per loop, but this is not very important as Pikachu can do more loops than Pichu in a row, making the total damage output roughly the same. However, there are some upsides to Pichu's combo game over Pikachu's: its up tilt and up aerial combo for longer, and it has more combos into Thunder to take stocks. Down tilt is also a better combo starter, but it has very low range, making it hard to use.
Finally, Pichu is extremely light and is a fast-faller with high gravity, which notoriously makes it much easier to combo and KO. Its recoil damage, while slightly toned down compared to Melee, further exacerbates Pichu's already bad survivability.
Throws and other attacks
Changes from Super Smash Bros. Melee
Since its absence from previous installments, Pichu was infamous for being by far the worst clone character in Melee due to its status as an intentional "joke character", largely due to its very low weight, recoil damage and vulnerability to chain grabbing, giving it among the worst matchups in the game and leading to its bottom-tier placement and low tournament representation. Most likely as a result of this, Pichu has been drastically buffed in its transition from Melee to Ultimate, and is arguably the most buffed character in the transition.
Pichu benefits slightly from the implementation of rage, as its electrical attacks can now slowly increase its knockback with the recoil damage it receives from them, and can potentially allow it to escape certain kill confirms that would otherwise KO it. Pichu's recoil damage itself has been somewhat toned down from Melee, making its electrical attacks less of a detriment to use. Its mobility has overall improved as well, as its walking, dashing and air speeds have increased, and its air acceleration has increased substantially. It can also crawl now, enabling Pichu to approach more easily while being able to dodge certain projectiles. Pichu also benefits from the weakening of SDI, as its multi-hit attacks are much more reliable. On another note, while its endurance is still the worst in the game as it is lighter than even Jigglypuff, its weight was nevertheless increased, allowing it to survive a little bit longer.
Despite the many buffs it received, Pichu also received a few nerfs. Some of Pichu's strongest kill options, such as its forward and up smashes, have been significantly weakened in terms of knockback, while its neutral aerial, previously considered by many to be its best move, has also been weakened in both its damage output and knockback. Pichu can also no longer chaingrab with its up throw, greatly reducing its damage-racking potential against fast-fallers. Pichu's own falling speed has not changed since Melee while its gravity has been increased, making it a fast-faller. Pichu's grounded attacks are also less effective for edgeguarding, as its down tilt, down smash and dash attack now send opponents at a much higher angle. Lastly, more of Pichu's moves (most notably its forward tilt and back aerial) use electricity, meaning that more of its moves cause recoil damage. Additionally, unlike other characters, its jumpsquat duration remains the same, while all other characters are now on par with its jumpsquat animation time of 3 frames.
Additionally, all of Pichu's buffs failed to remove some of its glaring weaknesses, with the biggest being its fragility. While taking recoil damage allows Pichu to build up rage more easily compared to other fighters, it allows Pichu to be KOed even more quickly. This is further compounded with Pichu being the lightest character in the game and possessing low falling speed. Finally, despite having a small hurtbox, Pichu is also relatively easy to combo due to its low falling speed.
Overall, Pichu's buffs greatly outweigh its nerfs. It is no longer an intentional "joke character" like in Melee; instead, it is now a very polarized glass cannon, akin to a min-maxed version of Pikachu. It has a stronger punish and edgeguarding game, but worse survivability, less range on average, a less reliable recovery and more committal options. This has led to Pichu achieving very strong results and representation during the early metagame of Ultimate, which has lead to many players viewing it as a top-tier character. In more recent times, however, due to earlier patches granting it nerfs, players such as VoiD, Nietono, RFang and NAKAT, while still placing highly at top-level tournaments, they have failed to match the same level of success that pre-patch Pichu obtained. Nevertheless, Pichu has drastically improved compared to Melee and still boasts an excellent tournament presence.
Throws and other attacks
Possibly due to its dominating status in competitive play during the early metagame of Ultimate, Pichu has been nerfed via game updates. Although its pummel was slightly buffed in update 2.0.0, it received several nerfs in update 3.1.0. Pichu's hurtbox is larger, forward smash has more ending lag, its infamously strong forward tilt has less knockback scaling, and almost all of its recoil-inducing attacks deal more recoil damage, noticeably worsening its already abysmal endurance.
Update 11.0.0 reversed some of these nerfs, changing the amount of self damage Pichu does with some of the attacks that were affected in 3.1.0. On top of that, its' ear hurtboxes received intangibility during the strong hit of its' neutral aerial, making it a slightly safer option in the air.
Overall Pichu's viability has been affected by the game updates, as evident in Pichu's strongest main - VoiD - reducing Pichu to his secondary. However, it continues to see success in tournaments, thanks to the efforts of Nietono, Nakat, blacktwins13, and RFang.
For a gallery of Pichu's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
In the early metagame, Pichu was commonly viewed as one of the best characters, if not the best, in the game thanks to its small size and powerful KO moves, including back air, Thunder, and its infamous forward tilt. These strengths allowed Pichu to have a strong player base, with players such as VoiD, NAKAT, Nietono, and Captain L performing spectacularly on a national level.
However, patch 3.1.0 would increase its size and nerf the power of its forward tilt, while increasing the amount of recoil on some of its moves. Pichu's nerfs have placed it well below Pikachu in terms of viability, and it has seen a decline in results. Many also believe it to be more difficult to win with him now than it was pre-patch, as more people are understanding the matchup. Despite the nerfs, most professionals still agree that Pichu is a strong character, and it continues to perform well, with Blacktwins placing 9th at Shine 2019, RFang placing 7th at The Big House 9, and Nietono placing 9th at Frostbite 2020. More recently, update 11.0.0 reverted some of the nerfs inflicted in update 3.1.0, potentially restoring some of Pichu's previous viability as a result.
As of now, most players view Pichu as being between a mid-tier and high-tier character.
Most historically significant players
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
See also: Category:Pichu professionals (SSBU)
Classic Mode: Lightweight Fracas
Pichu fights against opponents that are lightweights like itself, on stages that take place in the sky.
Role in World of Light
Although Pichu has been absent from the World of Light opening cutscene, it was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
To access Pichu, the player must enter the Power Plant sub-area and reach it on a platform with the use of two Zapfish, where it can then be challenged and recruited.
Pichu's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Pichu 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
As the main opponent
As a minion
Fighter Showcase Video