Pikachu (SSB)

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SSB64 Icon.png
This article is about Pikachu's appearance in Super Smash Bros.. For this Pokémon in other contexts, see Pikachu.
Pikachu
in Super Smash Bros.
Pikachu
PokemonSymbol(preBrawl).svg
Universe Pokémon
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Tier S (1)
#default:
This popular Pokémon has become so famous that these days, everyone knows its name. Pikachu's electricity attacks are a real shock to any opponent.
—Super Smash Bros's instruction manual

Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. It originates from the Pokémon series, being its recognizable mascot. Pikachu is generally a light, quick character, which would serve as the archtype for some other lightweight characters in the series. Pikachu is voiced by Ikue Ōtani, who has voiced it in the anime and would keep doing so to these days.

Pikachu ranks 1st on the tier list due to having many overwhelming advantages: its mobility is among the best, with fast walking, dashing, and air speeds, though its falling speed is slightly below average. Pikachu is notable for its amazing offstage and edgeguarding game, with fast and powerful aerials that can also combo well with or without certain other moves, along with a recovery on Quick Attack that covers a long distance while also being unpredictable, as well as having some invincibility frames and the ability to easily sweetspot the edge. While its attacks are generally fast, it has a few rather powerful moves, though its moveset is overall more combo-oriented. This is evident in his solid ground game, with an up tilt that can rack up large damage by chaining into itself and can easily combo into virtually any other move as well, along with powerful smash attacks and an exceedingly powerful back throw. It also has a projectile in its Thunder Jolt, as well as Thunder, which is notable for being able to KO near the upper blast line very early; the Thunderspike technique can easily set this up.

Pikachu, however, is not perfect. It is a lightweight character, allowing for it to be KOed early than most other characters, and it can also be easily comboed by others. PIkachu also has limited options out of a tech.

Despite this, Pikachu's strengths exceed its weaknesses, and it has held the best tournament results in competitive play, alongside good representation. Pikachu's prowess in Smash 64 is considered undisputed, and it is also considered to have the best matchup spread in the game, and one of only four characters in the series (the other three being Fox in Melee, Falco in Melee, and Meta Knight in Brawl) to have no disadvantageous matchups.

Attributes[edit]

Pikachu's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.

Pikachu is a small, very quick character with fast moves, a great recovery, great finishers, a projectile, disjointed hitboxes, great comboing and edgeguarding abilities, and an exceedingly powerful back throw. Often cited as the main reason Pikachu is first on the tier list is its recovery: it is considered the best, and in many ways the only hard to edgeguard recovery in Smash 64. Its aerial game is very potent; all of its aerials inflict high damage and have good KO potential, and its back and up aerials have large disjoints making them good edgeguarding moves. Going too far offstage while edgeguarding is also not too risky for Pikachu due to its very long recovery. However, Pikachu lacks a meteor smash, unlike most other characters.

Pikachu has a variety of specials. Its Thunder Jolt is a relatively underused attack, but it can be useful potentially for edge guarding and camping. Quick Attack is by far the best recovery move in Smash 64 - as well as traveling a huge distance, it can also allow Pikachu to escape certain situations, and it can be extended so Pikachu does not lose its momentum after the second warp. If used perfectly, Pikachu has the ability to stall on the ledge infinitely, and it will be invulnerable due Quick Attack's invincibility frames. Pikachu's down special, Thunder, is a very powerful move that can be used as a finisher, but it is most notable for the Thunderspiking technique - which involves using it when the opponent is near the upper blast line for a Star KO. This is performed easiest with an up smash.

Pikachu has among the best and most versatile combo ability in the game. It has four great combo starters: up tilt, up aerial, neutral aerial, and down aerial. It also has the second fastest air speed in the game to compliment its combo ability. Its up tilt can be used to combo into itself from low to mid/mid-high percentages, or just about any other move (including a grab). It can start a combo, and can even lead into a KO move such as an up smash followed by Thunder, a grab then a back throw, or a back aerial to set up an edgeguard. The up tilt can also be followed by another up tilt for shield pressure. Its attacks, most notably its forward smash and back aerial, have strange hitboxes, with the forward smash being an excellent finisher, but being very slow compared to Pikachu's other moves. Its combo ability is accentuated by its Thunderspiking ability, as explained above. Due to quick, strong aerials, Pikachu's shield pressure is commonly considered to be the third or fourth best in the game, behind Fox, Kirby, and possibly Captain Falcon.

Isai performing the Greenhouse combo

A well known Pikachu combo is the Greenhouse combo, created by Isai. It can only be performed in the "Tent" section of Hyrule Castle. This example shows Pikachu using multiple up tilts, then a back throw to knock the opponent into the wall, then a back aerial so they bounce off the green wall towards Pikachu, then an up smash followed by a Thunderspike. Pikachu can also use multiple forward and back throws at the wall before using the up tilt.

Overall, Pikachu has excellent matchups and beats the majority of the characters in the game, with only a few even or close to even matchups. The main ones are Fox on Hyrule Castle and Captain Falcon on Dream Land. Every other matchup is at least 60-40 in Pikachu's favour.

The problems Pikachu faces are small, but still noticeable. It is moderately easy to combo, along with the fact it is light weight, despite usually being able to get out of bad situations with Quick Attack. Its up special, despite its invincibility frames and wonderful range, leaves Pikachu vulnerable if it simply warps onto the stage from above the edge due to its ending lag. Even if it is used to escape from situations, it can also leave Pikachu vulnerable if the opponent has a fast enough dashing speed so that they can reach Pikachu before it can act. If one can get over these small issues, Pikachu will be a huge asset.

Differences between game versions[edit]

Pikachu was noticeably buffed in the transition to NTSC. His dash attack is stronger, providing him with another KO option, and forward smash has more range, making it easier to hit with. Thunder Jolt, however, covers less distance, slightly worsening its projectile game. Pikachu also benefits from the changes to gameplay mechanics more than any other character, due to the higher presence of SDI allowing it to escape combos easier (despite its forward aerial being slightly less reliable for combos), whereas the removal of momentum sliding makes hits mobility one of the best. As a result, despite its worse matchup spread, Pikachu is considered to fare better than in the Japanese version.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Dash attack has more knockback.
  • Buff Forward smash has more range.

Special attacks[edit]

Moveset[edit]

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

SSB64 Pikachu.gif
Pikachu's aerial attacks
Pikachu in the Smash 64 instruction booklet.
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% Pikachu headbutts forward. Can chain into itself.
Forward tilt   11% Pikachu stands on its two hands and kicks its two feet forward.
10%
9%
Up tilt   11% Does a tail whip upwards.
Down tilt   12% A tail sweep.
Dash attack   12% Does a running headbutt while falling onto the ground.
Forward smash   18% Can be slightly aimed up or down but barely. Pikachu releases a short jolt of electricity from its cheeks. The electrical effect is in 2-D. Along with Captain Falcon and Ness, it is the 5th strongest Forward Smash in the game, KOing as early as 95%.
Up smash   18% (clean), 9% (late) Pikachu flips itself and moves its tail from front to back, hitting nearby opponents. A powerful vertical KO move, in fact the 6th strongest Up Smash in the game, KOing as early as 91%.
Down smash   16% (front), 13% (back) Does a spinning breakdance attack on the floor. Has two hits.
Neutral aerial   14% (clean), 11% (late) Pikachu sticks out its foot for a few seconds. An easily definable sex kick.
Forward aerial   21% if all hits connect, 6% (landing) Does a drill-like move forward, surrounded by electricity. 7 hits at a rate of 3% per hit, can be used as a combo starter.
Back aerial   16% (clean), 14% (late) Pikachu kicks behind itself, its small foot getting slightly larger for a short second.
Up aerial   10% A flipping upwards tail swing. Knockback angle depends on area of tail.
Down aerial   13% Does a drill-like like move downward, surrounded by electricity. Knocks opponents horizontally. Along with Link's down aerial, this is the only down aerial in SSB to lack a meteor smash hitbox.
Grab   Grabs the opponent.
Forward throw   12% Pikachu grabs the foe, flips and releases them.
Back throw   18% Pikachu puts the foe on its back and releases electricity. This throw would later become its forward throw in future Smash Bros. iterations, but a much weaker variant.
Floor attack (front) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Floor attack (back) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Edge attack (fast)   6% Is evenly good with other ledge attacks outside of Fox's and Donkey Kong's where it is considered worse.
Edge attack (slow)   6% Slowly gets up and whips its tail.
Neutral special Thunder Jolt 10% (ball), 7% (wave) Shoots a sphere of electricity diagonally downwards and when it hits the ground, it will turn into a wave. The projectile will wrap around corners, and will snake along walls and ceilings if the corners are not too sharp and the jolt lives for long enough.
Up special Quick Attack 0% Moves in two directions at warp speed. The directions can be controlled with the Control Stick, with the second warp being optional, though the direction of second warp must be at least 45 degrees different than the direction of the first warp. This is easily the best recovery move in the game due to the huge distance it covers, and the invincibility frames. Deals no damage.
Down special Thunder 12% (bolt), 16% (blast) Pikachu drops a bolt of lightning from the sky causing slight vertical knockback to any opponent in the bolt's way. Upon hitting the user, a large shockwave is created with stronger knockback than the lightning itself. Can stall Pikachu in midair if timed correctly.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Releases from a Poké Ball, similar to other Pokémon.
PikachuOnScreenAppearanceSSB.gif

Taunt[edit]

  • Turns to its left, stands on tiptoes, lowers its tail, waves its arms four times, and looks to its left then to its right, accompanied by it saying "Pika Pika!" (the "a" is much longer in the second "Pika").
Taunts-SSB-Pikachu.png

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Cheer
Pikachu Cheer NTSC SSB.ogg
Pikachu Cheer JP SSB.ogg
Description *clap* Pi-ka- *clap* -chu *clap* Pika- *clap* -chu
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A cover of a portion of the main theme of Pokémon.
  • Sleeps.
  • Scratches right ear.
  • Backflips and spins around (also his character selection animation).
PikachuPose1SSB.gif PikachuPose2SSB.gif PikachuPose3SSB.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

Matchups[edit]

International versions[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png Avg.
PikachuIcon(SSB).png Mirror match 60:40 55:45 65:35 65:35 65:35 60:40 70:30 65:35 70:30 75:25 70:30 65:35

Pikachu has incredibly favorable matchups, and has by far the best matchup average in the game in the current matchup chart with an average of 65:35. For comparison, the four characters below it on the tier list have a matchup average of 55:45. It does not have any negative nor even matchups, making Pikachu have only positive matchups on the rest of the cast (with the exception of Captain Falcon in the Japanese version). Other than that, the only two matchups that Pikachu can consider even are stage-dependent, with Fox on Hyrule Castle (who dominates the stage with his Blaster's ability to projectile camp) and Captain Falcon on Dream Land. Even then, these matchups are described as 55-45 in Pikachu's favour.

Japanese version[edit]

Super Smash Bros. (N64) Character Matchups (JPN Version)
  PikachuIcon(SSB).png KirbyIcon(SSB).png CaptainFalconIcon(SSB).png FoxIcon(SSB).png NessIcon(SSB).png MarioIcon(SSB).png SamusIcon(SSB).png JigglypuffIcon(SSB).png LinkIcon(SSB).png YoshiIcon(SSB).png LuigiIcon(SSB).png DonkeyKongIcon(SSB).png Avg.
PikachuIcon(SSB).png Mirror match 70:30 40:60 70:30 70:30 70:30 70:30 70:30 70:30 70:30 70:30 80:20 70:30

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Pikachu professionals (SSB)

Active[edit]

Inactive[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Since the beginning of the metagame of Smash 64, Pikachu has always been the character at the top of the tier list. In the third tier list, Pikachu even had its own tier at the top of the list, similarly to Meta Knight in Brawl and Fox in Melee ; this is no longer the case as of the fourth tier list, but Pikachu is still considered the best character by a significant margin.

Techniques[edit]

Pikachu performing a jab grab. The jab just before the grab can clearly be seen.
Pikachu ledge-stalling, making it invulnerable thanks to the invincibility frames of Quick Attack.

Thunderspiking[edit]

Main article: Thunderspiking

This technique involves launching the opponent to the top of the screen and using Thunder for a Star KO. The easiest way to perform this is to use an up smash. At percentages around (possibly a bit below) 100%, up smash combos into Thunder effectively, and at percentages around 140%, an up tilt can combo into Thunder. The technique can be used as a combo finisher (notably at the end of Isai's Greenhouse combo) or just for raw KOing.

Extended Quick Attack[edit]

By allowing the control stick to snap back to its neutral position before the animation of one of the warps in Quick Attack ends, Pikachu's aerial momentum will not be cancelled, allowing it to cover more horizontal distance. This can be used on either warps, and it is even possible to extend both warps, though this runs a high risk of missing the second warp. Extending the move is essential for recovering from a large distance, though the player may choose not to in certain situations, such as landing on a platform onstage on Dream Land to evade the opponent.

Jab grab[edit]

Main article: Jab grab

A technique that enables Pikachu to instantly use a grab while abusing the shield stun of its jab. This can be performed by Mario and Fox to a lesser extent. A highly useful technique in competitive play, due to allowing Pikachu to shield pressure the opponent.

Ledge-stalling[edit]

Pikachu can stall on the edge by abusing the invincibility frames of Quick Attack. This is performed by simply edge dropping, jumping, then aiming Quick Attack straight down to regrab the edge. The process can be repeated for as long as one's reflexes allow.

In Single-player[edit]

In the game's Single-player mode, Pikachu is fought on the Saffron City stage.

Description[edit]

From the Game[edit]

Pikachu
Mouse PKMN
Height 1'4"
Weight 13 lbs
When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could cause lightning storms.
(Pokédex excerpt)
Works:

Alternate costumes[edit]

Pikachu Palette (SSB).png
PikachuHeadSSB.png PikachuHeadRedSSB.png PikachuHeadBlueSSB.png PikachuHeadGreenSSB.png

Trivia[edit]

  • Some competitive players sometimes refer to Pikachu as Rat.
  • Pikachu is one of the two only characters in the game to lack a meteor smash, along with Link.
  • Most of Pikachu's static and electric effects are rendered in 2D due to technical limitations.
  • In the Japanese version, Pikachu is the only character ranked first in the tier list to have a disadvantageous matchup (against Captain Falcon).
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