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.
Pikachu
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Pikachu SSBU.png
PokemonSymbol.svg
Universe Pokémon
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
(Unlockable in World of Light)
Final Smash Volt Tackle
PikachuHeadSSBU.png
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 SSB4, Ikue Ōtani's portrayal of Pikachu from Brawl was repurposed for Ultimate.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Despite being a strong character in Smash 4, Pikachu has been buffed during the transition. Its overall speed has been increased and most of his moves have much less ending and landing lag, increasing Pikachu's combo potency. Its most significant buff is its altered neutral air and down air, the former now acting like Mewtwo's neutral air and having combo potential, and the latter obtaining the ability to meteor spike.

However, Pikachu is not without its nerfs, the most significant being the increased starting and ending lag on his grabs and the altered knockback of up throw, which worsens its combo potential.

Nevertheless, Pikachu is still an excellent character in Ultimate that has significantly improved, but it is unknown where it will end up in the long run.

Aesthetics[edit]

  • Change Pikachu has a more subdued color scheme. It more closely resembles its appearance in recent mainline Pokémon games.
  • Change Pikachu is more expressive. It now appears angry during many attacks.
  • Change Pikachu's cheeks flash white when it uses electric attacks.
  • Change Pikachu always faces the screen regardless of which direction it turns, causing all of its animations to be mirrored.
  • Change Pikachu only waves once during its side taunt, shortening its duration. Down taunt is also faster.
  • Change Two new costumes featuring the female Pikachu design, which has a heart-shaped tail, have been added. These replace its white and cyan costumes from SSB4.

Attributes[edit]

  • Buff Like all characters, Pikachu's jumpsquat animation now 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).

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral attack has slightly increased range.
  • Buff Neutral attack has less endlag (FAF 22 → 18).
  • Change Forward tilt now has an electric effect.
  • Change Up tilt has an altered animation, with Pikachu scooting its backside up to hit with its tail.
  • Buff Down tilt deals slightly more knockback.
    • Change Down tilt has an altered animation, with Pikachu's tail standing more upright at the end.
  • Buff Dash attack's sweetspot deals more damage (10% → 11%) and significantly more knockback.
    • Buff Dash attack has much less endlag (FAF 50 → 36).
  • Buff Forward smash has increased range.
    • Buff Forward smash's late hitbox is active for a significantly longer time (frames 21-22 → 20-29).
    • Nerf Forward smash has more endlag (FAF 49 → 54).
  • Buff Up smash has slightly less startup (11 → 10) and endlag (FAF 46 → 45).
    • Nerf Up smash deals less knockback.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have less landing lag (Neutral: frame 24 → 9, Forward: 15 → 12, Back: 30 → 18, Up: 24 → 14, Down: 40 → 22).
  • Change Neutral aerial is a new attack that has Pikachu emitting an electric surge around itself, hitting multiple times, similar to Mewtwo's neutral aerial.
    • Buff New neutral aerial is more useful for starting combos, enabling loops with down throw and up tilt.
    • Buff New neutral aerial deals slightly more damage if all hits connect (8.5% → 8.9%).
    • Nerf New neutral aerial has slightly less range.
  • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage if all hits connect (9.8% → 11.8%).
    • Buff Forward aerial's final hit deals more knockback, now being able to KO at high percents.
  • Buff Back aerial's animation is quicker, giving it less ending lag (FAF 59 → 44).
    • Buff Back aerial now auto-cancels out of a shorthop.
    • Change Back aerial's final hit deals less knockback. This improves its combo potential but makes it a worse KO option.
    • Change Back aerial has an altered ending animation, with Pikachu spreading out its limbs while in a more upright position.
  • Buff Up aerial's sweetspot deals more damage (5% → 6%) and knockback, causing it to KO at high percents.
  • Buff Down aerial can meteor smash opponents and deals slightly more damage if it connects early (12% → 13%).
    • Buff Down aerial's landing hitbox is active for a slightly longer period of time (frames 1-2 → 1-3).

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Change Pikachu now grabs and pummels with one hand. When pummeling, it now headbutts the victim as well instead of just using electricity.
  • Nerf Standing grab and dash grab have more startup (stand/dash: 6/8 → 7/11) and endlag (stand/dash: FAF 28/35 → 37/45).
  • Nerf Pummel deals less damage (1.9% → 1%).
  • Change Forward throw has slightly more vertical knockback.[1] This makes it more useful as an edgeguard setup but reduces its combo potential.
  • Buff Up throw deals more damage (4% → 8%) and has altered knockback, granting it KO potential under 200%.
    • Nerf The altered knockback also reduces its combo potential, especially with Thunder.
  • Nerf Down throw deals less damage (8% → 5%).
  • Buff Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Thunder Jolt:
    • Buff Thunder Jolt has less ending lag (FAF 58 → 52).
  • Skull Bash:
    • Buff Skull Bash deals slightly more damage (6%/21% → 6.2%/21.4%) and has less endlag in the air (FAF 81 → 75) and on hit (FAF 45 → 22).
    • Buff Skull Bash can now be input like a smash attack to deal higher damage (6.2% → 10%) and travel more distance when uncharged.
    • Buff Skull Bash causes Pikachu to bounce back when it hits an opponent, making it safer to use.
    • Nerf Skull Bash travels a shorter distance and has more endlag on the ground (FAF 89 → 97).
  • Quick Attack:
    • Bug fix Quick Attack no longer has RCO lag.
    • Change Quick Attack now has an angle indicator to telegraph Pikachu's trajectory. This may help prevent missed directional inputs but makes Pikachu's movement more predictable.
    • Change Quick Attack deals slightly more knockback, launching opponents more effectively but reducing its combo potential.
  • Thunder:
    • Buff Thunder deals more knockback.
    • Change Thunder produces a yellow rather than blue lightning bolt. When struck by the bolt, Pikachu glows a bright yellow while flashing a dark tint.
  • Volt Tackle:
    • Change Volt Tackle now 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, now 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. Pikachu may also self-destruct.

Moveset[edit]

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. Has minimal startup lag (frame 2) and low cooldown, making it spammable and combo into itself easily. Can lock.
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.
9%
8%
Up tilt   5% An overhead tail swipe, starting from behind Pikachu. An excellent combo starter, comboing into itself at low percents and into his aerials at low to mid percents. A powerful juggling tool. Has moderate startup lag, however, as it does not hit opponents in front of him until frames 9-10, depending on their size.
Down tilt   6% Lays down and sweeps its tail in front of him. Has long horizontal reach and low lag, making it somewhat spammable. Can trip at low percents.
Dash attack   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 center of the ball deals the most damage and knockback, having high horizontal KO potential. The trail deals the second most damage and the least knockback, and the tip deals the least damage and second most knockback. Has very high range, with a hitbox the 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%. Also has high lag.
Up smash   13% (early sourspot), 14% (early sweetspot), 7% (late sourspot), 11% (late sweetspot) An overhead tail swipe. Unlike his up tilt, starts in front of him and has good vertical KO potential. The early hit comes out somewhat quickly (frame 10) and lasts until Pikachu's tail goes back behind him. Both sweetspots are located on Pikachu's body, and are 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, deals minimal damage and knockback (especially the sourspot).
Down smash Electric Flower 2% (hits 1-5), 3% (hit 6), 13% (total) Charges its tail with electricity before spinning it around, shocking opponents. 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. Also has the least start-up out of all its smash attacks.
Neutral aerial   1.8% (hits 1-3), 3.5% (hit 4) Poses while charging itself with electricity, shocking nearby opponents. Hits 4 times. One of Pikachu's most versatile tools; it is useful for breaking out of combos due to its very fast startup (frame 3), can combo into itself offstage at very low percent, can be used to drag down opponents for edgeguarding offstage, or for comboing into jab, up tilt, forward tilt, down tilt, grab, or even up smash. Autocancels in a short hop.
Forward aerial   1.4% (hits 1-5), 4.8% (hit 6) Spins its forward with an electrically charged head, shocking opponents. Hits 6 times. Has low startup and landing lag, making it an effective spacing option. The multiple hits and long duration make it an effective aerial for SHFFing.
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. Can drag down opponents, and has a semi-spike hitbox when landing.
Up aerial   6% (early), 4% (late) An overhead tail swipe, starting from behind Pikachu. A good combo starter, 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 is a powerful meteor smash, while the late hit has good horizontal knockback. Has a landing hitbox which is a somewhat weak semi-spike.
Grab   Reaches out. Pikachu will have a scared look if it misses. Pikachu's grab is fast, but has low range.
Pummel   1% Headbutts the opponent, shocking them with electricity.
Forward throw   2% (hits 1-5) Lays opponent on its tail and shocks them. Has little utility outside of racking damage.
Back throw   9% Rolls backwards before launching the opponent. 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. Has high knockback, KOing middleweights around 165% at the edge of Final Destination.
Up throw   3% (hit 1), 5% (throw) Heaves opponent onto its head and headbutts it upwards. A good low percent combo throw, and can lead to a lethal KO confirm into thunder if Pikachu reads the opponent's DI.
Down throw   5% Lays opponent on the ground and performs a senton. A good combo starter comboing into every aerial except down aerial reliably from low to mid percent, allowing Pikachu to start chains.
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% (early), 5% (late), 4.8% (aerial) Shoots a ball of electricity. A very useful projectile, as it deals good damage, moves quickly, and can be used repeatedly. 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 annoy opponents trying to recover by using thunder jolt 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. 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. Can also be used to punish shield breaks due to its high knockback when charged; however, it has high ending lag. Stronger if inputted like a smash attack.
Up special Quick Attack 2% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2) Zips upward at high speeds, dealing damage to opponents on contact. Can be angled; if angled in a different direction after the first time it is used, Pikachu will use it again. A good option for mobility.
Down special Thunder 6% (thunderbolt meteor), 8% (thunderbolt), 15% (contact) Calls down a bolt of lightning from the sky. If the bolt strikes Pikachu, he'll be launched up and create an electric explosion around it, dealing massive knockback. If an opponent is struck near the top of the bolt, they're launched down into Pikachu; otherwise, they're launched upwards. Has high ending lag.
Final Smash Volt Tackle 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.

Classic Mode: I Choose You![edit]

Pikachu fights against other Pokémon on various Pokémon stages.

Round Opponent Stage Music
1 Pokémon Trainer Saffron City Pokémon Gym/Evolution - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue
2 6 Jigglypuff Pokémon Stadium 2 Road to Viridian City - Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue
3 Pichu and Spiky-eared Pichu Prism Tower Pokémon Gold / Pokémon Silver Medley
4 Lucario Spear Pillar Battle! (Dialga/Palkia) / Spear Pillar
5 Greninja Kalos Pokémon League Battle! (Wild Pokémon) - Pokémon X / Pokémon Y
6 Incineroar Pokémon Stadium The Battle at the Summit!
Bonus Stage
Final Mewtwo, then Master Hand Final Destination Pokémon Red / Pokémon Blue Medley

Note: A Maxim Tomato appears after defeating Mewtwo in the final round.

Character unlock tree[edit]

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

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]

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

During the opening cutscene, Pikachu was present 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 awake it.

Spirits[edit]

Pikachu's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are 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 Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. 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.

Alternate costumes[edit]

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

Gallery[edit]

Character Showcase Video[edit]

Trivia[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 the 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.

References[edit]


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