R.O.B. (ロボット, Robot) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was officially revealed on June 12th, 2018 alongside Dr. Mario, Duck Hunt, and the rest of the returning roster. R.O.B. is classified as Fighter #42.
R.O.B.'s beeping sound effects from Brawl and Smash 4 were repurposed for Ultimate.
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R.O.B. is the eighteenth heaviest character in the game, being tied with Snake and Banjo & Kazooie, thus making him a heavyweight. R.O.B. sports an above average walking speed, initial dash, and falling speed, is tied with Ike and Bowser Jr. for the 26th fastest air speed, average dashing speed, gravity, and traction, as well as the 30th highest air acceleration. This grants him mobility that is fairly average overall, yet balanced compared to most of his fellow heavyweights. This, along with several of his other attributes, most notably his extremely long-distanced recovery, noticeably set him apart from most of them.
Like in Brawl and Smash 4, R.O.B. is a zoning-oriented character with very useful projectiles to keep his opponents at bay. Robo Beam enables him to attack from considerable distance, and becomes the noticeably stronger Super Robo Beam when it is left idle for 14.3 seconds. While Robo Beam interrupts opponents faster, Super Robo Beam deals more damage and has higher knockback growth. Gyro is an auto-chargeable projectile that becomes an item when fired. Compared to Robo Beam, it has a more favorable angle for disrupting opponents, while also being more manipulable as a projectile and having greater kill power. Thanks to R.O.B.'s item throws being among the strongest in the game, Gyro is also very useful when smash thrown as an item.
Aside from his projectiles, R.O.B's ground game is also excellent. Jab comes out on frame 3 and acts as a quick move at low percentages to escape pressure situations, and it can also jab lock and combo. Forward tilt can be useful for spacing at higher percentages since it comes out on frame 7, but its usefulness ends there. Up tilt comes out on frame 4, and is very good for acting as an anti air and combos into his up air. Down tilt is R.O.B.'s single best move, as it lowers his hurtbox, has great range, is tied with jab as his fastest move at frame 3, pressures shields, trades with shield grabs, and its total active frames is only 14, meaning it is one of the safest pressuring moves in the game. It also combos into itself at lower percentages, and at higher percents it can combo into grab or dash attack, and can send opponents into a jab lock scenario for a KO at relatively low percentages. Lastly, dash attack is useful for punishing landings and whiffs, is very fast at frame 7, has decently long range, and can combo into his forward air at low to mid percentages.
R.O.B.'s air game is also great, thanks to the excellent and disjointed ranges of all but one of his aerials. Neutral aerial has large, disjointed hitboxes that make it great for covering the opponents options if they lack the range to deal with it. It's also very hard to punish out of shield, due to its damage, total landing lag (7 frames) and range. It is also a reliable combo starter at low to medium percentages when SHFF'd, as well as a useful spacing option and, to a lesser extent, a kill move. Up aerial is a great vertical kill move due to its large and long-lasting hitboxes, fast startup, and the last hit’s high knockback. Back and down aerials are R.O.B.'s most damaging aerials when sweetspotted, and they too have large hitboxes, much like neutral aerial. However, they also boast their own specific strengths. Back air has recovery potential thanks to it propelling R.O.B. forward, and it's his only aerial that can KO in neutral due to its very high knockback and huge hitbox. Not only that, but it is also one of the strongest back aerials in the game. Down air is a meteor smash that can hit below the ledge and KO very early if done so. It is also active for 6 whole frames, making it difficult to avoid for characters with linear recoveries. Lastly, forward aerial is R.O.B.'s fastest aerial coming out on frame 6, making it very spammable in neutral due to how low committal it is to use, as it is safe on shield. However, its hitbox has much shorter range and isn't disjointed.
R.O.B.'s grab game also has its uses. Forward and back throws are decent for spacing and setting up edge-guards. Back throw can also KO at the ledge at very high percents, and both can combo into dash attack or gyro at very low percents. In comparison, R.O.B.'s up throw is much more useful. It is his most damaging throw, a solid kill move (especially when boosted by rage or if he lands on a platform), and can even be used for combos at low percentages. His down throw, despite not being a kill move, is also one of his best tools for taking a stock. While it deals poor damage, it buries opponents, allowing for followups into up tilt, up air, or even up smash. However, with mashing, the opponent can typically get out before R.O.B. has any chance to act. As such, it is more of a read-based tool rather than a guaranteed method for taking a stock.
Although R.O.B. possesses a large number of strengths, he does also have a few noteworthy shortcomings. Despite having a good chunk of moves with respectable KO potential, landing his kill moves can be problematic because of them either being laggy or having unimpressive ranges, or possibly even both. The latter trait is particularly noticeable in regard to R.O.B.'s arm-based attacks, most of which have short ranges. His grab game is also hindered by his overall grab range being the shortest in the game.
In addition to R.O.B.'s hitbox issues, his hurtbox also hinders him, as it is very large and wide, meaning he can get hit by a lot of combos that other characters such as Jigglypuff would have an easier time getting away from. This also means that he has difficulty dealing with combo-oriented characters, such as Pikachu and Mario. This is further compounded by his above average falling speed, as well as his aerials' inability to reliably break combos: neutral and down aerials are very slow in terms of startup, forward and up aerials only hit in front of and above R.O.B., respectively, and back aerial is a mix of both: it has slow startup and only hits behind him.
Overall, R.O.B. is a non-traditional heavyweight zoner. His decently fast mobility and overall above average frame data allow him to easily pressure unwary opponents, and he doesn’t have too much trouble killing if he can get the advantage. While his overall range is rather small for a zoner like him, it is functional in the long run regardless. However, R.O.B. players must be very cautious, as a single combo can be all it takes to get R.O.B. in an uncomfortable position or possibly even kill him, thanks to his large size, moderately high weight, above average falling speed, and lack of options to break free from combos.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
R.O.B. has been significantly buffed overall in his transition to Ultimate. Similarly to Mario, R.O.B. has received comparatively few major changes in his transition from the previous game; however, most of these changes have majorly improved his toolkit, and he benefits from the changes made to the game's engine as well.
Arguably R.O.B.'s most impactful buff is to his Arm Rotor move. Previously universally regarded as one of the worst attacks in Smash 4, it executes faster, with reduced startup lag, much less ending lag, and larger hitboxes with improved angles that connect with each other much better. This not only significantly improves its use as an edgeguarding option, but when combined with the other changes made to his moveset, it has now become one of the most devastating combo finishers in Ultimate, granting R.O.B. potential zero-to-death combos and allowing him to KO opponents at absurdly early percentages.
Several of R.O.B.'s attacks have received quality of life changes that improve their utility. Forward smash and back aerial deal more knockback, granting them increased KO potential and toning down one of R.O.B.'s previous weaknesses. Up tilt has had its first hit's hitbox from Brawl restored, increasing its range and reliability. Down smash also launches opponents at a consistent angle, improving its consistency all around. Robo Beam has larger hitboxes and launches at lower angles, improving their effectiveness as edgeguarding options. Lastly, Gyro has been significantly buffed: it can now be returned to the dock once R.O.B. has grabbed it to charge it again and fire it with less startup, as opposed to tossing it once he has grabbed it. It can also now be jump canceled. These changes grant R.O.B. even more potential combo routes and give him more safe options against opponents.
R.O.B. also benefits from most of the universal changes to the game's engine. The universal increase in mobility and the ability to use any attack out of a run cancel allows him to close out the distance more effectively and compounds his improved up-close game. The universally increased shieldstun for grounded attacks has also been fairly beneficial to R.O.B., as it makes his very fast and decently-ranged down tilt safer on shield. The universal decrease to landing lag noticeably improves R.O.B.'s combo game as well; aside from changes made to his Arm Rotor, they make up aerial's looping hits more viable for starting combos, and neutral aerial's reduced start-up lag coupled with its decreased landing lag noticeably improves its combo potential and makes it a safer option when landing. Lastly, the changes to air dodging benefit R.O.B., as they allow him to edgeguard his opponents more effectively and use a directional air dodge out of Robo Burner to gain more distance, improving his already excellent recovery.
However, R.O.B. has received a few nerfs as well. His grab game has been weakened overall, with universal changes to grabs hindering the safety of his grabs despite his improved standing grab. His up throw has increased endlag, making follow-ups harder, and his down throw now buries, allowing for read-based follow-ups at high percents, but removing any guaranteed set-ups at low to mid percents, particularly his effective down throw-up air combo, dubbed the "Beep Boop". R.O.B. also retains a few of the same issues from his previous appearance; his unusually large size and lack of fast aerial options leave him susceptible to juggling (with the buffs to his neutral air failing to fully address this issue), his up-close game is still exploitable due to R.O.B.'s lack of attacks with disjointed range, and his recovery remains predictable and easy to hit him out of with a sufficiently ranged move.
Overall, R.O.B.'s playstyle remains fundamentally unchanged from SSB4, but changes to several of his attacks and to the game's engine have now properly cemented R.O.B. as the "jack-of-all-trades" between his fellow zoning brethren, as they give him having a far deadlier punish game compared to both of his previous appearances. R.O.B.'s results in the early metagame of Ultimate have been the strongest of any of his appearances thus far, thanks to the efforts of notable players such as 8BitMan, Dill, OCEAN, Raffi-X, WaDi and Zackray. This has lead to a strikingly positive reception from the competitive Smash community, with most players viewing him as a high tier or even top tier character, in comparison to his mid tier status in both Brawl and SSB4.
Throws and other attacks
For a gallery of R.O.B.'s hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
From the start of the game, R.O.B. has always been considered to have significantly improved from Smash 4. With better approach options, more versatile projectiles with Gyro and Robo Beam, even more threatening KO options, and an improved edgeguarding game, he has always been seen as an excellent zoner with a wide array of utility options. R.O.B. also benefits from some of the universal changes in Ultimate with the 3 frame jumpsquat and reduced landing lag on aerials. Because of this, he was immediately seen as a competitively viable character. He has consistently seen strong results and representation from players, such as WaDi, Zackray, Raffi-X, and 8BitMan. Armada, ZeRo, ESAM, and Dabuz view R.O.B. as an upper high tier or even a top tier, according to Mew2King. Additionally, R.O.B.'s match-up spread is strong as well, having even or positive match-ups against meta relevant characters such as Joker, Wolf, Shulk, Pokémon Trainer, Olimar, Pac-Man and Min Min, although he has disadvantageous match-ups against characters such as Pikachu, Mr. Game & Watch, Mario, and Young Link.
In online tournaments, which were the standard during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, causing almost all offline tournaments to switch to online, R.O.B. fares better, due to his already safe aerials and tilts being much more reliable due to lag. Many players, including Epic_Gabriel, Raffi-X, and Benny&TheJets, have performed fairly well in Wi-Fi tournaments, including various Ultimate Naifu Wars, The Quarantine Series, and The Box.
Even after offline returned, R.O.B. has continued to thrive, thanks largely to the aforementioned players, being by far the most common character at nearly every major tournament and gaining the overall best results of any character in the cast. Despite this, he notably is much less common in the later stages of bracket; while he is near-universally considered top tier due to his ubiquity, his true viability at the absolute top level of play remains questionable.
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:R.O.B. professionals (SSBU)
Classic Mode: Unreadable Expressions
R.O.B.'s opponents all wear masks or lack expressive faces. His boss, Galleom, fits in with the theme due to being a robot and lacking an expressive face.
Role in World of Light
Although R.O.B. was absent from the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
R.O.B. was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He can be found in the Mysterious Dimension sub-area, as the fighter closest to the entrance, standing in a floating island with scattered mechanical junk. To reach him, the player must first defeat the spirit of Redd as the answer to a trivia question ("Which of these spirits sells furniture?"), allowing access to the island he's in.
R.O.B.'s fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after R.O.B. has been unlocked. Unlocking R.O.B. 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. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, R.O.B. makes an appearance in a few support spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
As in SSB4, R.O.B.'s default costume switches between the 1st and 2nd costumes listed here depending on the language the game is set to. The Famicom colors are the default if the language is set to Japanese, Korean, or Chinese, while the NES colors are the default color if the language is set to any other language. Newly scanned R.O.B amiibos default to the language's default color instead of the color of the R.O.B amiibo, unlike other amiibo variants.
Fighter Showcase Video