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Pikachu (SSBU)

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This article is about Pikachu's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Pikachu.
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Pikachu SSBU.png
Pikachu-Alt7 SSBU.png

Universe Pokémon
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Final Smash Volt Tackle
This fierce fighter uses electric moves like Thunder Jolt and Thunder. Pikachu Libre is one of the alternate costumes and you can tell she's female by the shape of her tail.
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Pikachu is classified as fighter #08.

As in Smash 4, Ikue Ōtani's portrayals of Pikachu from Melee and Brawl were repurposed for Ultimate.


Pikachu is a small lightweight, tied with Kirby, Olimar, and Mewtwo for the seventh lightest fighter. It has overall good mobility, possessing fast walking and dashing speeds, high jumps, is tied for the ninth-highest air acceleration and has the fourth-highest traction, but slightly above average falling speed and gravity and below-average airspeed. Due to its fast mobility, a good projectile in Thunder Jolt, good frame data and some of the fastest defensive options, Pikachu has a good approach and great neutral game.

Pikachu has a decent grab and throw game despite its poor grab range. It has a fast pummel and its forward and back throws are good for edgeguarding and up and down throws are good for combos, with the former being able to KO at around 170%. It has a strong combo game, with moves such as up tilt, its aerials attacks and its throws that can start, extend or end combos reliably, and along with Thunder Jolt, that is good for pressuring the opponent. It also has a strong recovery: Skull Bash and Quick Attack both travel a long distance and the former does not leave it helpless, while the latter can be angled and Pikachu jolts twice, although it cannot be done in the same direction. This makes Pikachu's recovery one of the best in the game, as it is long-distanced and its Quick Attack can be unpredictable.

Pikachu's biggest strength, however, is its amazing air game and dominant edgeguarding game, with the latter being considered among the best of the cast: all of Pikachu's aerials can autocancel in a short hop and its neutral, forward, back and up aerials are fast, all of them except for the latter are multihits that can combo into each other, with their extremely low ending lag making them excellent for combos, edgeguarding, and potential zero-to-deaths, while down aerial can meteor smash in its first two active frames and is fast for its category, while up aerial is good for juggling. Pikachu's down aerial also is its only aerial with over 20 frames of ending lag. As a result, Pikachu has strong zero-to-death potential.

Pikachu is not without weaknesses, however: it has poor range outside of forward smash and down tilt, with many attacks either having small hitboxes or the hitboxes are placed too close to its body, thus it fares poorly with characters with long disjointed range and many projectiles, such as Simon or Young Link. It also has very poor endurance, due to being light and falling faster than the characters around its weight class. It also bears inconsistent KO power: forward and up smash are burdened by several sourspots, with the former being stronger in the mid hit, while its forward tilt, forward and back aerials and its up and back throws are unfit for KOing until around 150% or above, and while Thunder is powerful, it's slow and has high ending lag, giving it many unreliable finishers and poor KO ability. To make this worse, Pikachu doesn't have setups for its KO moves outside of up throw into Thunder, which is not reliable at high percents, and Thunder itself requires good timing to use, as while it can meteor smash to lead into the discharge it emits when it hits Pikachu, this only works near the cloud, or else it will launch opponents away from the attack and the opponent can punish Pikachu. Due to its reliance on Thunder Jolt, it also has a disadvantage against characters with reflectors. It also has a notable disadvantage against Ness, Lucas, Mii Gunner, and Mr. Game & Watch, due to its projectiles being energy-based, they can absorb its projectiles and recover damage.

While Quick Attack is very good for recovery purposes, it's not the best approach option, as it's unsafe on shield and can be punished by moves that are fast enough, and Skull Bash has high ending lag and can be reacted to.

Overall, Pikachu's strengths outweigh its weaknesses and it is regularly considered a top-tier or even a contender for the best character in the game.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

At the end of SSB4's metagame, Pikachu was considered a high-tier character (ranked 15th out of 55 characters). In its transition to Ultimate, Pikachu has been heavily buffed. All of its moveset's aspects were greatly improved during its transition, in addition to its moveset benefitting noticeably from the changes to gameplay mechanics.

Pikachu's largest buffs arguably come from its improved speed: its already above-average mobility has been increased, many of its moves have less ending lag, and its aerials have drastically reduced landing lag; while the former and latter buffs are shared with the rest of the cast, they especially benefit Pikachu, the former due to its small size and the latter since its aerials had among the highest landing lag in SSB4. These buffs improve Pikachu's neutral game and overall comboing capabilities plus, due to its "pancaking" during many of their landing animations, allow it to avoid mistimed attacks with more ease and retaliate. To further complement this, its already great air game was enhanced as well: Pikachu has a new neutral aerial that acts similarly to Mewtwo's own and has much more combo potential; both forward and up aerials have increased KO power, alleviating one of Pikachu's biggest weaknesses in SSB4; back aerial auto-cancels from a short hop, now consistently launches opponents behind Pikachu, and has a faster animation, which gives it combo potential into itself several times at low percentages, to the point it's able to perform a pseudo-Wall of Pain with the move; and down aerial now has a clean hitbox that meteor smashes opponents, further improving Pikachu's aerial KOing ability.

Although not as buffed as its aerial game, Pikachu's other moves have also seen noteworthy improvements. In particular, dash attack has increased KO power and significantly increased shieldstun, to the point it is now unpunishable on shield. Forward smash has increased range, making it a more dangerous tool for trapping opponents on the edge; up smash's strong hit lasts longer, making it more reliable for KOing; and down smash will always send opponents in the direction Pikachu faces and at a lower angle, making it more useful, as well as gaining a KO confirm into it from Pikachu's new neutral aerial. Pikachu's standing grab extends farther; down throw now inflicts additional hit lag on the opponent on release, improving its combo ability; and up throw has increased knockback, allowing it to KO at high percentages. On top of this, some of its special moves were significantly buffed, as Thunder Jolt has less ending lag, which improves Pikachu's neutral game and grants it a trapping option if opponents shield it from far away; Skull Bash has drastically reduced ending lag on hit, making it much safer unless it is perfect shielded; and Thunder's cloud hitbox deals set knockback, allowing it to connect consistently into the discharge, which also inflicts much more knockback.

Finally, Pikachu notably benefits from the changes to game mechanics. The new limits to air dodges and smaller edge sweetspot sizes make Pikachu's already great edgeguarding prowess more dangerous, especially with down aerial's new meteor smash hitbox, its stronger aerial attacks all-around, and improved primary projectile in Thunder Jolt; they also don't impair its disadvantage state much thanks to its long-distanced and unpredictable recovery. The changes to air dodging also make its on-stage offense even more effective, which combined with its improved mobility, streamlined jumpsquat, and reintroduction of dash-dancing allow it to chase opponents, giving it an excellent combo game that has the potential of causing zero-to-death combos. The nerfs to rage also notably improves its poor endurance, while not nerfing its KOing ability due to its stronger moveset.

In spite of mostly receiving drastic buffs, Pikachu is not without a few nerfs. The most significant nerf Pikachu has received is the removal of Quick Attack canceling, which noticeably reduces its mobility and approach options, making it more predictable. The changes to neutral aerial, in lieu of an improved combo game, also remove its KO potential. The increased startup and ending lag on its grabs, and dash grab and pivot grab not reaching as far, limit the benefits its grab game has received. Lastly, up throw's altered knockback, while giving it KO potential, makes it more difficult for Pikachu to combo into Thunder. Outside of these nerfs, however, other nerfs Pikachu received have generally been minor, while a good amount of the buffs it received make up for said shortcomings, most notably its improved neutral game.

In the end, Pikachu's entire moveset has seen drastic improvements all-around, it benefits significantly from the new engine, and its limited KOing ability was mostly alleviated, causing its buffs to severely outweigh the nerfs it received. Although Pikachu still suffers from the same weaknesses that plagued it in SSB4, such as short-range, poor endurance, and still limited KOing ability, its improved strengths now more than compensate for its shortcomings, arguably cementing it as the most viable threat between its fellow "fragile speedster" brethren, alongside its clone Pichu. While Pikachu is not as common as some other top- or high-tier characters, it has still received strong results in competitive play, courtesy of players like ESAM and Captain L. This has led to a very strikingly positive reception of Pikachu, with many top players describing it as a top 5 character in the game (if not the single best character); a few players such as ZeRo have gone as far as consider Pikachu broken, although this is debatable with characters such as Joker, Peach or Snake receiving consistently better results than it. Regardless, Pikachu is considered much better than in SSB4, and has fared significantly better overall than in previous games (bar its appearance in SSB64).


  • Change Due to the aesthetic used in Ultimate, Pikachu's model has a more subdued color scheme, more closely resembling its appearance in recent mainline Pokémon games.
  • Change Two new costumes featuring the female Pikachu design, which has a heart-shaped tail, have been added. These replace its goggles and Choice Band costumes from SSB4, partially due to reintroduction of Pichu as a playable character.
  • Change Pikachu faces the foreground at an angle, instead of facing directly forward. In addition, it always faces the screen regardless of which direction it turns, causing all of its animations to be mirrored.
  • Change Like other fighters, Pikachu is significantly more expressive. It appears much angrier during some animations, such as neutral air and shielding; it also frowns when attacking or hit, unlike in Smash 4 where it had a permanent smile.
  • Change Pikachu's cheeks flash white when it uses electric attacks.
  • Change Pikachu only waves once during its side taunt, shortening its duration. Down taunt is also faster.
    • Change For its side taunt, the voice clip duration of the second "Pika" has been shortened; cutting off prematurely.
  • Change All of Pikachu's tail-based attacks now use a slap SFX rather than a kick SFX.


  • Buff Like all characters, Pikachu's jumpsquat animation takes 3 frames to complete (down from 4).
  • Buff Pikachu walks slightly faster (1.24 → 1.302).
  • Buff Pikachu runs faster (1.85325 → 2.039).
    • Buff Pikachu's initial dash is faster (1.8 → 1.98).
  • Buff Pikachu's air speed is slightly higher (0.9118 → 0.957).
  • Buff Pikachu's traction is significantly higher (0.0596 → 0.132), being the fourth highest in the game.
  • Nerf Both rolls have more ending lag (FAF 27 → 29 (forward), 34 (back)).
  • Buff Back roll grants more intangibility (frames 4-14 → 4-15).
  • Nerf Spot dodge has more startup (frame 2 → 3).
  • Buff Air dodge grants more intangibility (frames 2-25 → 2-26).
  • Nerf Air dodge has significantly more ending lag (FAF 31 → 51).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack has less ending lag (FAF 22 → 18).
    • Buff It deals less knockback (10/9/8 base/45 scaling → 12/18 base/20/30 scaling). Combined with the increased traction across the cast, this allows Pikachu to connect more hits against opponents before they are pushed out of range.
    • Buff The sweetspot and mid-strength hitboxes have been moved very slightly forward (Z offset: 7 (sweetspot)/9.5 (mid) → 7.2/9.6), marginally improving their range and thus the move's overall damage output, while the changes to jostle mechanics make up for the hitboxes not reaching in as far as a result.
  • Forward tilt:
  • Up tilt:
    • Change Up tilt has an altered animation, with Pikachu scooting its backside up to hit with its tail. This causes it to have less range behind Pikachu, but more range in front of Pikachu.
      • Nerf Because of this, it can no longer hit opponents hanging at the ledge.
    • Nerf The middle hitbox is marginally smaller (3.84u → 3.8u).
  • Down tilt:
    • Change Down tilt has an altered animation, with Pikachu's tail standing more upright at the end.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has significantly less ending lag (FAF 50 → 36).
    • Buff It has gained a shieldstun multiplier of 1.8×. Combined with its reduced ending lag and the increased shieldstun for ground attacks, this makes it much safer on shield, with the clean hit being only barely punishable by a shield grab.
    • Buff The clean hit deals more damage (10% → 11%) with knockback scaling not fully compensated (90 → 88), improving its KO potential.
    • Nerf Its hitboxes have a shorter duration (frames 6-9 (clean)/10-16 (late) → 6-8/9-12).
    • Nerf It has a higher hitlag multiplier (1.2× (clean), 1× (late) → 1.5×), making it much easier to DI.
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff All portions of forward smash have more horizontal range during their latest active frames (Z offset: 9.2 → 11.2 (early), 15.6 → 18.6 (clean), 23 → 25 (late)).
    • Buff The early hit has a shorter duration, which causes the clean and late hits to be active earlier, and the late hit has a longer duration (frames 15-17 (early)/18-20 (clean)/21-22 (late) → 15-16/17-19/20-29).
    • Nerf Forward smash has more ending lag (FAF 49 → 54).
    • Nerf The clean hit and the late hit during its latest active frames have a smaller hitbox (4.1u → 3.6u (clean), 5.2u → 4u (late)).
    • Nerf The clean hit has less base knockback during its first frame (60 → 50), making its KO ability less consistent.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash's early hit has a longer duration, with the late hit having a shorter duration instead (frames 10-11 (early)/12-13 (clean)/14-17 (late) → 10-12/13-14/15-17).
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash's looping hits have a lower SDI multiplier (0.8× → 0.5×) and launch opponents closer to Pikachu (170° → 178°), allowing them to connect more reliably.
    • Buff The last hit always sends in the direction Pikachu is facing, and launches at a more horizontal angle (50° → 37°), improving its KO and edgeguarding potential.
    • Change The last hit has slightly less base knockback (55 → 51), but more knockback scaling (190 → 192).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have much less landing lag (24 frames → 9 (neutral), 15 → 12 (forward), 30 → 18 (back), 24 → 14 (up), 40 → 22 (down)).
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Pikachu has a new neutral aerial: it discharges electricity around itself, hitting 4 times, similarly to Mewtwo's neutral aerial.
    • Buff Neutral aerial has a longer duration (frames 3-5 (clean)/6-20 (late) → 3-6, 9-12, 15-18, 21-22) with its total duration is unchanged, reducing its ending lag.
    • Buff The first three hits use the autolink angle (367°). This allows Pikachu to drag opponents down with the move and combo into many of its ground attacks, which is further complemented by its lower landing lag.
    • Buff The last hit launches at a more vertical angle (361° → 60°). Combined with its multi-hit nature, this significantly improves its combo potential.
    • Buff It deals slightly more damage if all hits connect (8.5% (clean), 5.5% (late) → 1.8% (hits 1-3), 3.5% (hit 4); 8.9% total).
    • Change Its hitboxes have altered size (7u (clean hit), 4.5u (late hit) → 5.5u (looping hits), 6u (last hit)), increasing its range compared to the previous late hit, but making the hitboxes smaller than the previous clean hit.
    • Nerf It auto-cancels slightly later (frame 35 → 37), although it can still auto-cancel in a short hop.
    • Nerf Due to it hitting multiple times, the launching hit deals less damage (8.5% → 3.5%) with knockback not fully compensated (30 base/104 scaling → 50/140), no longer KOing at realistic percentages.
    • Change It has a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.8×).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial hits six times instead of five, and deals more damage if all hits connect (1.7% (hits 1-4), 3% (hit 5) → 1.4% (hits 1-5), 4.8% (hit 6); total: 9.8% → 11.8%).
    • Buff It has lower hitlag multipliers (0.7× → 0.5× (looping hits), 2.2× → 1.5× (last hit)), making it harder to SDI out of.
    • Buff The looping hits have different angles (74°/280° → 35°/310°/60°/290°), allowing them to connect better.
    • Buff The last hit deals less base knockback (50 → 40), but has more knockback scaling (150 → 154), which alongside its higher damage output improves its combo and KO potential.
    • Nerf It has slightly more startup lag (frame 10 → 11).
      • Buff However, its total duration is unchanged, giving it one frame less ending lag.
    • Change The hits' timings have been altered (frames 10-12, 14-16, 18-20, 22-24, 26 → 11-25 (rehit rate: 3), 27).
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 48 → 38), allowing it to auto-cancel in a short hop.
    • Buff The last hit always sends behind Pikachu, making it easier to combo and edgeguard with.
    • Buff The looping hits have larger hitboxes (3.5u/3.5u → 4.2u/4.2u), allowing them to connect better.
    • Change The last hit has less knockback scaling (180 → 160), increasing its combo potential, but reducing its KO potential.
    • Change It hits six times instead of eight with its damage compensated (0.8% (hits 1-7), 3% (hit 8) → 1% (hits 1-5), 3.6% (hit 6)) and its animation has been sped up.
      • Buff This drastically reduces its ending lag (FAF 59 → 44), significantly improving its combo potential to the point it can combo into itself several times at low percents.
      • Nerf However, this shortens the duration of its hitboxes (frames 4-33 → 4-25).
    • Change It has an altered ending animation, with Pikachu spreading out its limbs while in a more upright position.
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial's clean hit deals more damage (5%/4% → 6%/5%) with no compensation on knockback, allowing it to KO at very high percents.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial has gained a clean hit during its first two active frames, which deals more damage (12% → 13%) and meteor smashes opponents (361° → 270°), with knockback not properly compensated (20 base/84 scaling → 16/86). This allows it to start combos onstage and improves Pikachu's edgeguarding ability.
    • Nerf Due to this clean hitbox being smaller (5.7u → 5.5u), the move's range on startup is reduced.

Throws and other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff Standing grab has a larger hitbox (3.1u → 4u), slightly increasing its range despite extending slightly less far horizontally (Z2 offset: 8.1u → 7.9u).
    • Nerf All grabs have more startup (frame 6/8/9 (standing/dash/pivot) → 7/11/12) and ending lag (FAF 28/35/33 → 37/45/40).
    • Nerf Dash and pivot grab do not extend as far horizontally (Z2 offset: 9.8u → 9u (dash), 13.4u → 12.7u (pivot)), reducing their range.
    • Change Pikachu grabs the opponent with one hand instead of two.
  • Pummel:
    • Buff Pummel deals more hitlag (3 frames → 12), but has less startup (frame 3 → 1) and significantly less ending lag (FAF 16 → 6), slightly shortening its duration.
    • Nerf It deals less damage (1.9% → 1%).
    • Change When pummeling, Pikachu headbutts the victim as well instead of just using electricity.
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff Forward throw no longer has any hitlag, executing faster as a result.
  • Back throw:
    • Nerf Back throw releases the opponent faster (frame 31 → 26), with its total duration unchanged. This increases its ending lag and shortens the distance Pikachu moves back before throwing, making it less effective for setting up edgeguards, while still giving the opponent enough time to DI.
    • Change The throw's speed is no longer weight-dependent.
  • Up throw:
    • Buff Up throw deals more damage (1% → 3% (hit 1), 3% → 5% (throw), 4% → 8% total) with knockback scaling not fully compensated (150 → 129), granting it KO potential at around 170%.
    • Buff The first hit deals knockback to bystanders, rather than simply damaging them, making the move safer to use in doubles play.
    • Nerf Its increased knockback reduces its combo potential, especially into Thunder.
  • Down throw:
    • Buff Down throw inflicts 9 frames of hitlag on the opponent upon release. While making it easier to DI, this noticeably improves its combo potential.
    • Nerf The first hit is coded to disappear on the same frame it comes out. As a result, the throw deals less damage (8% → 5%) and no longer hits bystanders, but oddly enough, Pikachu and the thrown opponent still experience hitlag from the first hit.
    • Change It launches at a slightly more vertical angle (80° → 83°).
  • Edge attack:
    • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).
    • Buff It has increased intangibility (frames 1-20 → 1-25).
    • Nerf It has more ending lag (FAF 54 → 56).

Special moves[edit]

  • Thunder Jolt:
    • Buff Thunder Jolt has less ending lag (FAF 58 → 52).
    • Nerf It has less base knockback (25 → 18 (grounded), 45 → 35 (aerial)).
    • Nerf It has negative shield damage (0 → -2.5/-2/-1.5/-1 (grounded), -1.9 (aerial)).
  • Skull Bash:
    • Buff Skull Bash deals marginally more damage when uncharged (6.1714% → 6.2%) and has more knockback scaling at all charges (62 → 78).
    • Buff It has less ending lag it if doesn't hit an opponent (FAF 81 → 75).
    • Buff If the move hits an opponent, it causes Pikachu to bounce back in a recoil animation with much less ending lag (FAF 45 → 22), even if the opponent shields it, making it safer to use.
  • Quick Attack:
    • Bug fix Quick Attack no longer has RCO lag.
    • Buff Pikachu's body no longer stretches as much during the move, which means opponents cannot hit Pikachu by attacking the space above it.
    • Nerf Quick Attack cancelling is no longer possible, hindering Pikachu's approach options, especially from the ledge.
    • Change It has an angle indicator to telegraph Pikachu's trajectory. This may help prevent missed directional inputs, but makes Pikachu's movement more predictable.
  • Thunder:
    • Buff Thunder's discharge has more knockback scaling (66 → 77), improving its KO potential.
    • Buff The meteor smash at the cloud deals set knockback (74 base/60 scaling → 55 base/125 set/60 scaling), allowing it to connect more consistently into the discharge.
    • Change When struck by the bolt, Pikachu glows a bright yellow while flashing a dark tint, much like its depiction in the Pokémon anime.
  • Volt Tackle:
    • Change Volt Tackle involves Pikachu dashing forward quickly while surrounded by a ball of electricity. If this initial attack connects, Pikachu traps the opponent in place and speeds around the stage at different angles, racking up damage before launching opponents with an electric blast at the end of the move.
    • Buff Volt Tackle is easier to control, requiring only a single button press rather than having to control Pikachu's slippery movement.
    • Nerf Pikachu can no longer chase down opponents if the initial attack misses, and may self-destruct if initiated too close to the edge.

Update history[edit]

Pikachu has been slightly buffed via game updates. Its grab game was slightly improved, thanks to a faster pummel and larger grabboxes. The only nerf it has recieved so far is Thunder Jolt's shield damage being slightly decreased as part of a near-universal nerf to projectiles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 2.0.0

  • Buff Pummel deals less hitlag (14 frames → 12), shortening its duration.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0.0

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.1.0

  • Buff Standing grab has more range (hitboxes: 3.1u → 4.0u (against grounded opponents), 1.55u → 2.0u (against aerial opponents)).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 7.0.0

  • Buff Overall shield size has been increased.


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

Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Headbutt 1.4% (near), 1.2% (mid), 1% (far) Quickly headbutts forward. While it has minimal startup lag by coming out on frame 2 and can jab lock, it cannot combo into itself easily due to opponents falling out of the move easily when spammed and being able to punish Pikachu for the move. Other moves such as down tilt or dash attack are better options since Pikachu does not have a finisher for its jab and its jab lock follow-ups are poor.
Forward tilt   10% An electrified double kick performed from the baby freeze, a variation of the freeze breakdancing move. It deals more damage when angled upward, and the lower angles semi-spike. Deals moderate knockback; the unangled version KOs Mario around 155% at the edge of Final Destination.
Up tilt   5% An overhead tail swipe, starting from behind Pikachu. An excellent combo starter, comboing into itself at low percents and into Pikachu's aerials at low to mid percents. A powerful juggling tool. It has moderate startup lag, however, as it does not hit opponents in front of Pikachu until frames 9-10, depending on their size.
Down tilt   6% Lays down and sweeps its tail in front of itself. It has good horizontal reach and very low ending lag, making it somewhat spammable. It can cause tripping at low percents.
Dash attack Running Headbutt 11% (clean), 6% (late) A battering ram. The early hitbox deals solid damage and good knockback, allowing it to KO middleweights around 135% on Final Destination. It also has fairly low startup lag (frame 6), and the early hitbox lasts deceptively long. However, the late hitbox has no KO potential at any reasonable percent, and the high ending lag prevents either hit from comboing.
Forward smash   15% (early), 18% (clean), 12% (late) Rears its head back before leaning forward and releasing a large orb of electricity in front of it, leaving a trail of electricity. The early hit comes out on frame 15, the clean hit on frame 17 and the late hit on frame 20. The center of the ball deals the most damage and knockback, having high horizontal KO potential. The trail does the second most damage and the least knockback, and the tip does the least damage and second most knockback. It has good range, with a hitbox close to the size of Pikachu. The uncharged sweetspot KOs Mario around 80% at the edge of Final Destination, although the early hit doesn't KO until 105% and the late hit until 100%, giving the attack several sourspots and making it very inconsistent. It also has a long duration and noticeable ending lag (25 frames, when counting the latest hit), making it very easy to punish if shielded or dodged.
Up smash   14% (early, body), 13% (early, tail), 11% (clean), 7% (late) An overhead tail swipe. Unlike Pikachu's up tilt, it starts in front of it and has good vertical KO potential. The early hit comes out somewhat quickly (frame 10) and lasts until Pikachu's tail goes above it, after which the clean hit lasts until the tail goes behind it. The early hit's sweetspot is located on Pikachu's body and is very difficult to land outside a shield break punish. The early sweetspot KOs middleweights around 115% on Final Destination, while the early sourspot KOs around 125%. The late hit, however, does minimal damage and knockback.
Down smash Electric Flower 2% (hits 1-5), 3% (hit 6) Charges its tail with electricity before spinning it around, shocking opponents. It has the least damage potential out of all its smash attacks, dealing only 13%. It KOs middleweights around 95% at the edge of Final Destination and deals good horizontal knockback. It also has the least startup out of all its smash attacks, coming out on frame 8, but its 42 frames of ending lag make it very punishable if used poorly.
Neutral aerial   1.8% (hits 1-3), 3.5% (hit 4) Poses while charging itself with electricity, shocking nearby opponents. It hits 4 times, with the final hit having weak knockback. One of Pikachu's most versatile tools; it is useful for breaking out of combos due to its very fast startup (frame 3) a generously low amount of ending lag (17 frames), it's notorious for its combo ability into itself or into other aerials until high percents and to drag down opponents for edgeguarding offstage, and can also combo into jab, up tilt, forward tilt, down tilt, grab, or even up smash due to its low ending lag. Like all of Pikachu's other aerials, it can autocancel in a short hop.
Forward aerial   1.4% (hits 1-5), 4.8% (hit 6) Spins forward with an electrically charged head, shocking opponents. Moderate startup lag at frame 11 and hits 6 times. Has low landing lag, and extremely low ending lag (15 frames), the lowest of Pikachu's aerials, making it an effective spacing option, but has two very small looping hitboxes, which are very close to Pikachu's head and don't use the auto-link angle, thus having terrible range and unlike Pichu's version, the hits don't always connect properly because they don't launch at the auto-link angle. The multiple hits and long duration make it an effective aerial for SHFFing. Due to its lenient amount of ending lag, it is an excellent combo and edgeguarding option and can connect into a down aerial for meteor smashing or combo into other aerials.
Back aerial Glider 1% (hits 1-5), 3.6% (hit 6), 4% (landing) Spins around horizontally, hitting multiple times, with a pose at the end to launch foes. Very fast, coming out on frame 4 with a long active duration and very low ending lag (18 frames) and can hit all around Pikachu, but its below average knockback makes it unreliable for KOing until very high percentages and has poor range, only hitting opponents close to Pikachu. Not helping is its 18 frames of landing lag. To compensate, it is excellent for combos, and at low percents, it can combo into itself multiple times. It can drag down opponents and has a landing hitbox.
Up aerial   6% (clean, tail), 5% (clean, tip), 4% (late) An overhead tail swipe, starting from behind Pikachu. Extremely fast, coming out on frame 4, with very low ending lag (19 frames) as it autocancels and is interruptible at frame 27. A solid combo starter, useful for juggling or comboing into itself and other aerials at low percents. Has low horizontal knockback.
Down aerial Electric Screw 13% (clean), 12% (late), 4% (landing) Points down and spins its head downwards, launching opponents. The clean hit lasts for two frames and is a powerful meteor smash, while the late hit has good horizontal knockback. It has low ending lag with 22 frames of vulnerability, but it's the highest of Pikachu's aerials. Has a landing hitbox. However, it has 22 frames of landing lag.
Grab   Reaches out. Pikachu will have a scared look if it misses. Fast but has low range.
Pummel   1% Headbutts the opponent, shocking them with electricity.
Forward throw   2% (hits 1-5) Lays the opponent on its tail and shocks them. It's Pikachu's most damaging throw, but too weak to KO and not fit for combos either, thus having little utility outside its high damage output.
Back throw   9% Rolls backward before launching the opponent with a tomoe nage, a throw used in judo. Very good for setting up edgeguards, as it has high base knockback and the animation means opponents near the center will end up being launched near the edge, but it is unimpressive as a KOing option as it only starts KOing middleweights around 165% at the edge of Final Destination.
Up throw   3% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Heaves the opponent onto its head and headbutts it upwards. A good low percent combo throw. Has decent knockback growth, making it Pikachu's best KOing throw, as it KOs opponents at around 170%. However, its KO setup with Thunder is less consistent due to its higher knockback.
Down throw   5% Lays the opponent on the ground and performs a senton. A good combo starter comboing into every aerial except down aerial reliably from low to mid percents, allowing Pikachu to start chains. The move has a hitbox that gets deleted on the same frame it's activated due to an oversight.
Floor attack (front)   7% Spins its tail around itself while getting up.
Floor attack (back)   7% Spins its tail around itself while getting up.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Spins its tail around itself while getting up.
Edge attack   9% Swings its tail in an overhead arcing motion while climbing up.
Neutral special Thunder Jolt 6% (clean), 5% (mid), 4% (late), 4.8% (aerial) Shoots a ball of electricity. A very useful projectile, as it deals good damage, moves quickly, and can be spammed. When it goes over the edge, it sticks to the platform it's on, looping around until its lifespan is over or it hits the bottom of a soft platform. This property allows it to be used to pressure opponents trying to recover by using it near the edge and hitting them when they attempt to grab it.
Side special Skull Bash 6.2% (uncharged), 10% (uncharged smash input), 21.4% (fully charged) Charges up before launching forward at a high velocity. It can be charged to increased damage, knockback, and distance. Useful for horizontal recovery, as it has a hitbox protecting it, high horizontal distance, and can sweetspot the ledge. It can also be used to punish shield breaks due to its high knockback when charged; however, it has high ending lag. If inputted like a smash attack, it immediately starts with some charge.
Up special Quick Attack 2% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2) Zips upward at high speeds, dealing damage to opponents on contact. It can be angled; if angled in a different direction after the first time it is used, Pikachu will use it again. It covers great distances and can be unpredictable if used well, but it leaves Pikachu helpless. It's also an approach option, however, in this case, it can be predictable and it is unsafe on shield. Pikachu also cannot use the Quick Attack canceling technique anymore.
Down special Thunder 15% (shockwave), 8% (thunderbolt), 6% (thunderbolt meteor) Calls down a bolt of lightning from the sky. If the bolt strikes Pikachu, it will create an electric explosion around itself, dealing massive knockback and granting Pikachu intangibility for 10 frames. If an opponent is struck near the top of the bolt or at the cloud, they're launched down into Pikachu and will get hit by the discharge as well; otherwise, they're launched upwards. Has high ending lag if the bolt doesn't strike Pikachu. The thunderbolt becomes active on frame 13, but there is a long gap before the discharge, and thus, it's easy to attack Pikachu before the thunderbolt hits it and is very vulnerable to counters.
Final Smash Volt Tackle 0.3% (6 hits during startup), 1% (initial hit), 1.5% (loop), 20% (launch) Surrounds itself with electricity before dashing forwards. If it connects, Pikachu will barrage the opponents caught with repeated strikes in this form before launching them.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Emerges from a Poké Ball, then briefly discharges electricity around itself.


  • Up taunt: Charges up its cheeks with electricity and glares at the screen, saying "Piii..."
  • Side taunt: Waves at the screen with one paw, yelling "Pika Pika!"
  • Down taunt: Lies on the ground, curls and rolls around, saying "Pikaaa...!"

Idle poses[edit]

  • Scratches its right ear.
  • Stands up straight, then looks left, and then right, twitching its ears.

Victory poses[edit]

  • Left: Backflips and spins. This resembles its "character chosen" animation in Super Smash Bros..
  • Up: Ears perk, scratches its right ear.
  • Right: Sleeps.
A small excerpt of the title theme of Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green Versions, a track which would go on to become the Pokémon main theme and the title theme for the entire series.

In competitive play[edit]

Even before the game was released, Pikachu's buffs to its strengths caused players to think of it as one of the best characters in the game and even claims that stated Pikachu was broken during the demo. It is also notable for beating the vast majority of the roster, with only a few troublesome exceptions, such as Mr. Game and Watch, Ness, and Mario. This perception became more evident especially after the 3.1.0 nerfs to Pichu, Wolf, Olimar and Peach, as many top players consider Pikachu to be either the single best in the game or among one of the best, alongside Joker, Peach, Palutena, Wario, and Zero Suit Samus. Players such as MkLeo, VoiD, and ZeRo believe that Pikachu is a top 5 character, and the best Pikachu player in the world, ESAM, thinks Pikachu is the best character in the game; as time went on, more and more top players began agreeing with ESAM. Despite these claims and high reception from top players, as with Brawl and Smash 4, Pikachu has a slightly smaller playerbase and smaller high placements in majors compared to many other top tiers and even to Pichu's, with ESAM being the only Pikachu player to have consistently high placements in majors.

Notable players[edit]

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.



Classic Mode: I Choose You![edit]

Pikachu's congratulations screen.

Pikachu fights against other Pokémon on various Pokémon stages, with Poké Balls as the only available item. Excluding Mewtwo, the opponents are ordered by their National Pokédex number. The title is a reference to Ash Ketchum's signature catchphrase in the Pokémon anime, which doubles as the title of the first episode and the 20th movie.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Pokémon Trainer PokémonTrainerHeadSSBU.png Saffron City Pokémon Gym/Evolution - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue
2 Jigglypuff (x6) JigglypuffHeadSSBU.pngJigglypuffHeadRedSSBU.pngJigglypuffHeadWhiteSSBU.pngJigglypuffHeadBlueSSBU.pngJigglypuffHeadGreenSSBU.pngJigglypuffHeadPinkSSBU.png Pokémon Stadium 2 Road to Viridian City - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue
3 Pichu (x2) PichuHeadSSBU.pngPichuHeadSpikySSBU.png Prism Tower Pokémon Gold / Pokémon Silver Medley Likely a reference to the Pichu brothers from the Pokémon anime.
4 Lucario LucarioHeadSSBU.png Spear Pillar Battle! (Dialga/Palkia) / Spear Pillar
5 Greninja GreninjaHeadSSBU.png Kalos Pokémon League Battle! (Wild Pokémon) - Pokémon X / Pokémon Y
6 Incineroar IncineroarHeadSSBU.png Pokémon Stadium The Battle at the Summit!
Bonus Stage
Final Mewtwo MewtwoHeadSSBU.png, then Master Hand Final Destination Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue Medley (Mewtwo)
Master Hand (Master Hand)
A Maxim Tomato appears after defeating Mewtwo.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as Pikachu has Road to Viridian City - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue accompany the credits.

Character unlock tree[edit]

Pikachu's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:

  1. Villager
  2. Shulk
  3. R.O.B.
  4. Mega Man
  5. Isabelle
  6. Mr. Game & Watch
  7. Pichu

Each character can be unlocked by clearing Pikachu's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Finding Pikachu in World of Light

Pikachu was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight an army of Master Hands.

During the opening cutscene, Pikachu was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. While attempting to run away, Pikachu was noticed by Sonic, who slowed down for Pikachu in an attempt to save it. However, both of them were vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters, except for Kirby.

Pikachu can later be found stuck on an island that can only be accessed by falling into the current of a waterfall, then the player must confront the spirit of Esna before they can battle to awaken it.

Fighter Battle[edit]

No. Image Name Type Power Stage Music
Pikachu SSBU.png
3,300 Pokémon Stadium (Ω form) Main Theme - Pokémon Red & Pokémon Blue (Melee)


Pikachu's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Pikachu 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. Its Pikachu Libre outfit has a Fighter Spirit of its own, available through the shop. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.

Additionally, Pikachu makes an appearance in a few Support Spirits.

In Spirit battles[edit]

As the main opponent[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
Mouser Super Mario Series Pikachu PikachuHeadGlassesSSBU.png
2,000 Mushroom Kingdom II (Battlefield form) •Item: Bob-omb •The enemy is easily distracted by items
•The enemy starts the battle with a Bob-omb
Boss Theme - Super Mario Bros. 2
Honey Queen Spirit.png
Honey Queen Super Mario Series •Giant Pikachu PikachuHeadYellowSSBU.png
3,300 Mario Galaxy •Item: Beehive •Timed stamina battle
•The enemy is giant
Gusty Garden Galaxy
Zinger Donkey Kong Country Series Pikachu PikachuHeadYellowSSBU.png
1,800 The Great Cave Offensive (Ω form) •Item: Unira •The enemy's throwing-type items have increased power Stickerbush Symphony
Little Mouser Spirit.png
Little Mouser Yoshi Series Pikachu PikachuHeadGreenSSBU.png
1,700 Yoshi's Island •Item: Throwing Types •The enemy's throwing-type items have increased power
•The enemy has increased move speed
Flower Field
Rick Spirit.png
Rick Kirby Series Pikachu PikachuHeadGreenSSBU.png
Kirby KirbyHeadYellowSSBU.png
4,100 Green Greens •Hazard: Ice Floor •The floor is frozen
•The enemy starts the battle with a Fire Flower
•The enemy has increased move speed
Planet Popstar
Moley Spirit.png
Moley Kirby Series •Giant Pikachu PikachuHeadGlassesSSBU.png
2,200 The Great Cave Offensive (Battlefield form) •Item: Pitfall •The enemy is giant Squeak Squad Theme
Alolan Raichu Pokémon Series Pikachu PikachuHeadFemaleSSBU.png
4,100 Tortimer Island (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Zap Floor •The floor is electrified
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Alolan Raichu)
Battle! (Trainer) - Pokémon Sun / Pokémon Moon
Mimikyu Pokémon Series Pikachu PikachuHeadFemaleSSBU.png
3,700 Luigi's Mansion •Sudden Damage •You take serious damage
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Mimikyu)
Main Theme - Luigi's Mansion (Brawl)
Tapu Koko Spirit.png
Tapu Koko Pokémon Series Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
9,600 Temple (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Zap Floor •The floor is electrified
•The enemy's electric attacks have increased power
•Only certain Pokémon will emerge from Poké Balls (Tapu Koko)
Battle! (Island Kahuna)
Detective Pikachu Pokémon Series Pikachu Team PikachuHeadGlassesSSBU.png (×4)
4,100 Gamer (Book stacks layout, hazards off) N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win
•Timed battle
Elec Man Spirit.png
Elec Man Mega Man Series Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
4,400 Wily Castle (Battlefield form) •Hazard: Zap Floor •The floor is electrified
•The enemy's electric attacks have increased power
Stamina battle
Guts Man Stage
Great Zapfish Splatoon Series •Giant Pikachu PikachuHeadGreenSSBU.png
9,800 Prism Tower (Ω form) •Hazard: Zap Floor •The floor is electrified
•The enemy's electric attacks have increased power
•The enemy is giant
Splattack! (Remix)
Reporter & Wrestler Rhythm Heaven Series Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
4,100 Boxing Ring (Battlefield form) •Assist Trophy Enemies (Yuri Kozukata)
•Easy to Launch
•You are easy to launch
•Hostile assist trophies will appear
Title Theme - Punch-Out!! (Wii) Wrestler
Let's Go Pikachu Spirit.png
Partner Pikachu Pokémon Series Pikachu PikachuHeadRedSSBU.png
Mii Brawler MiiBrawlerHeadSSBU.png (Moveset 1??3, SSB T-shirt)
8,000 Saffron City •Sudden Final Smash
•Item: Poké Ball
•The enemy will suddenly have a Final Smash when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy's electric attacks have increased power
Stamina battle
Main Theme - Pokémon Red & Pokémon Blue (Melee)
Morgana Persona 5.png
Morgana Persona Series Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
•Giant Incineroar IncineroarHeadGreySSBU.png
11,500 Mementos (hazards off) •Hazard: Heavy Wind •Defeat the main fighter to win
•Dangerously high winds are in effect after a little while
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
Last Surprise
Morpeko Pokémon Series Pikachu PikachuHeadSSBU.png
2,000 Boxing Ring •Metal Shift
•Item: Food
•The enemy will occasionally turn metal
•The enemy's electric attacks have increased power
•The enemy favors special moves
Battle! (Wild Pokémon) - Pokémon Sun / Pokémon Moon
Olivia Spirit.png
Olivia Paper Mario Series Pikachu PikachuHeadSSBU.png
Mario MarioHeadSSBU.png
•Tiny Bowser BowserHeadSSBU.png
3,700 Paper Mario •Defense ↑
•Attack Power ↑
•Item: Bob-omb
•The enemy has increased attack power when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy has increased defense when the enemy's at high damage
•The enemy favors air attacks
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd (*)
Battle! - Paper Mario: Color Splash

As a minion[edit]

Spirit Battle parameters Inspiration
No. Image Name Series Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power Stage Rules Conditions Music Character
SSBU Spirits Gandrayda.png
Gandrayda Metroid Series Dark Samus DarkSamusHeadPurpleSSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadBlueSSBU.png
1,800 Frigate Orpheon N/A •Take your strongest team into this no-frills battle Multiplayer - Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Gandrayda's electric powers
Kracko Kirby Series King Dedede KingDededeHeadGreySSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadBlueSSBU.png (×2)
3,500 Skyworld (clouds only) N/A •Defeat the main fighter to win Boss Theme Medley - Kirby Series Kracko's lightning attack, or various enemies summoned by Kracko (e.g. Waddle Doos)
Raikou, Entei, & Suicune Pokémon Series Greninja GreninjaHeadVioletSSBU.png
Incineroar IncineroarHeadWhiteSSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
9,900 Suzaku Castle •Hazard: Lava Floor •The floor is lava Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue Medley Raikou
Dribble Spitz Spirit.png
Dribble & Spitz WarioWare Series Wario WarioHeadClassicCyanSSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadGreenSSBU.png
4,000 Saffron City •Uncontrollable Speed •All fighters move faster and can't stop quickly after a little while
•The enemy favors side specials
WarioWare, Inc. Spitz
Phantom Thieves Spirit.png
Phantom Thieves of Hearts Persona Series Joker JokerHeadSSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png
Captain Falcon CaptainFalconHeadBlackSSBU.png
Zero Suit Samus ZeroSuitSamusHeadRedSSBU.png
Chrom ChromHeadBlackSSBU.png
Sheik SheikHeadBlackSSBU.png
13,300 Mementos (Haru Okumura background, hazards off) •Sudden Final Smash
•Item: Daybreak Parts
•The enemy will suddenly have a Final Smash when the enemy's at high damage
•Reinforcements will appear during the battle
Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There Morgana
Great Sabrecub DRAGON QUEST Series Pichu PichuHeadSpikySSBU.png
•Giant Pikachu PikachuHeadFemaleSSBU.png
2,900 Gaur Plain (Ω form) •Item: Soccer Ball •Defeat the main fighter to win
Stamina battle
•The enemy shields often
Marching through the Fields Great Sabrecat
Kyo Kusanagi.png
Kyo Kusanagi THE KING OF FIGHTERS Series Captain Falcon CaptainFalconHeadBlackSSBU.png
Pikachu PikachuHeadSSBU.png
Donkey Kong DonkeyKongHeadWhiteSSBU.png
9,500 King of Fighters Stadium •Jump Power ↓ •The enemy's explosion and fire attacks have increased power
•Reinforcements will appear after an enemy is KO'd
•All fighters have reduced jump power
ESAKA!! - KOF 2002 UM Benimaru Nikaido

Alternate costumes[edit]

Pikachu Palette (SSBU).png
PikachuHeadSSBU.png PikachuHeadRedSSBU.png PikachuHeadGreenSSBU.png PikachuHeadYellowSSBU.png PikachuHeadBlueSSBU.png PikachuHeadGlassesSSBU.png PikachuHeadFemaleSSBU.png PikachuHeadLibreSSBU.png


Character Showcase Video[edit]


  • This is the first time Pikachu was not the first Pokémon character to be explicitly announced for a new Smash title, with Mewtwo being confirmed before it.
  • Pikachu's pose in its official artwork resembles its front sprite in Generation III Pokémon games.
  • In the E3 demo of the game, Pikachu's portrait used its in-game model as opposed to its official artwork. This was also the case with Link, Mario and Villager.
  • Pikachu's alternate costume featuring goggles has been removed and returned to Pichu, who was the original owner of said palette swap in Melee.
  • Pikachu, in comparison to the other starters, has the least amount of characters in its unlock tree, having only seven characters as opposed to the standard eight.
  • Pikachu is the only character in the entire roster to have two different facial expressions when standard grab and dash grab are missed. It dons a scared look when it whiffs the former, while the latter will have it have a more irritated expression respectively.
  • Due to its new Pikachu Libre costume and another one of its alternate costumes, Pikachu is now the only member of the Original 12 to change sex between costumes, as well as the first of the Original 12 to technically be a different character in one of its costumes (while characters like Link and Captain Falcon, have costumes resembling distinct characters before like Fierce Deity Link or Blood Falcon, clear differences show them to not be the real thing, such as maintaining the same body underneath their clothes or a difference in shoes).
  • It is possible that Pikachu's stock icon is a reference to the Pokémon's 20th Anniversary emblem, which features a simplified Pikachu face formed from the starter Pokémon, including Pikachu, from Generation I to Generation VI.