Sonic (ソニック, Sonic) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed as a playable character on June 12th, 2018. Sonic is classified as fighter #38.
As in Smash 4, Roger Craig Smith's portrayal of Sonic from various Sonic games and Jun'ichi Kanemaru’s portrayal of Sonic from Brawl was repurposed for the English and Japanese versions of Ultimate respectively. Alexandre Gillet, Jonathan López, Marc Stachel and Renato Novara's portrayals of Sonic from various Sonic games used in Smash 4 were also repurposed for the French, Spanish, German, and Italian versions respectively.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Sonic must then be defeated on Green Hill Zone.
Sonic is a lightweight who, staying true to his home series, has very fast mobility. He possesses the fastest dash speed in the game, the seventh-fastest walk speed, the 12th fastest air speed (tied with Mario, Donkey Kong, Little Mac and Inkling), and the highest traction. Combined with his above-average falling speed, Sonic can move across the stage at blinding speeds despite his slow air acceleration. In addition, he can also wall jump.
Sonic's special moves are quite useful. Spin Dash and Spin Charge allow him to not only move across stages at varying speed, but also do damage on contact, and can both follow up into an aerial attack, or uncharged Homing Attack. Despite their very similar looking appearance in functions, they both have different strengths and uses for various different situations.
Spin Dash allows Sonic to jump around the stage while charging or holding the charge of the move, and can be released in the air, and the hop at the start of the move allows Sonic to "spinshot" on ground as well as in the air, with it being the side special making it more ideal for aiming the spin shot to recover. The initial jump can also help Sonic avoid certain things like projectiles by hopping over them, it however loses this initial hop if fully charged. Spin Dash also has a moment of intangibility on startup.
While Spin Dash is a one-hit move that mostly knocks opponents into the air, Spin Charge on the other hand hits multiple times, carrying the opponent, and moves a little faster, making it a good alternative for dashing. Jumping out of Spin Charge also has Sonic hop while spinning, making him a jumping hitbox. Also, due to charging up by pushing the Special Move button repeatedly, it can be charged up to full power faster than Spin Dash. Spin Charge can also perform a "spinshot", although it can only be done while airborne.
Both give Sonic additional protection when recovering and combo into other moves. The mobility of both in tandem with Sonic's already impressive speed make him capable of quickly adding on damage to unprepared opponents from anywhere on the stage, and they can clank and cancel out the effects of certain moves, such as Snake's C4 or Yoshi's Egg Roll. Both moves can be blocked by shield, making them a bit unsafe and committal or predictable, as Spin Dash can only be canceled with a jump and Spin Charge can only be canceled by jumping or stopping pressing the Special Move button. However, they can bypass shields if fully-charged.
Homing Attack deals a varying amount of damage, homes in on the nearest opponent and is good for punishing laggy moves and edge-guard breaking. Its uncharged state also has potential to combo and its charged state has K.O. potential at higher percents. Spring Jump is a useful recovery that grants intangibility at the start, goes very high, and is one of few recovery moves that do not cause a helpless state, enabling Sonic to attack and dodge during his descent and even extend his recovery with a directional air dodge. The spring that is dropped can be useful both on-stage and off-stage by allowing him to pressure and gimp opponents, respectively.
Sonic also has a powerful air game. Neutral aerial is a great combo starter when SHFF'd, as a result of its long-lasting hitbox, low landing lag, and launching angle. Forward aerial is useful for edge-guarding and, in certain instances, can combo into itself on-stage at low percentages, thanks to its auto-canceling window and Sonic's fast air speed. Up aerial possesses KO potential near the upper blast line and is great for combos, while its auto-canceling window makes it deceptively safe. Back aerial's clean hitbox is powerful, making it one of his few reliable KOing options like his up aerial, and coupled with its strength within Sonic's kit, also makes it his best aerial finisher. Lastly, down aerial is a stall-then-fall; although it is Sonic's least effective aerial, it has noticeably less ending lag compared to other stall-then-falls, and its initial hitbox meteor smashes aerial opponents.
Sonic's neutral attack, tilts, and throws have decent damage outputs and good speed, making them hard to punish. His grab game is decent overall: While none of Sonic's grabs excel in speed and each of them have average ranges, they are still fairly easy to land thanks to his outstanding speed. Sonic's pummel is also quick and has an average damage output, allowing him to rack up a fair amount of damage before throwing an opponent. Down throw is a semi-spike that has high base knockback, whichs make it excellent for setting up edge-guards and tech-chases. Back throw also has high base knockback and KOs much earlier than his other throws, especially if it is used while near the edge. It also moves Sonic backward, which makes it useful for setting up an immediate edge-guard attempt. Up tilt can be reversed on startup, and hit opponents through platforms above Sonic, and his Forward Smash has a bit of a deceptively large range due to him stepping forward during the punch.
Up throw is a reliable combo starter, having decently damaging combos beginning at 0%, as well as Spring Jump-assisted aerial combos beginning at medium percentages. It also has KO potential, although it only KOs reliably at very high percentages when used on high platforms, such as Battlefield's top platform, as well as stages with low upper blast zones. Lastly, forward throw is his least useful throw, as its primary utility is for forcing the opponent away from him. Like up throw, it can also function as a KOing option, albeit only when used on the edge at very high percentages.
Mastering Sonic's running game is crucial to Sonic's ability to perform at higher levels, and is one of the factors that makes him so difficult to play competitively. Sonic users take advantage of a variety of dash or dash-related techniques that are seldom used by other characters. Dash-dancing can be extremely useful for mind games in Sonic's gameplay, such as by running in one direction and then quickly turning the other way around to bait an opponent or catch them off-guard. It is often regarded by Sonic players that it is better to run away from the opponent and run back than to use roll-dodges to avoid opponents. This allows the player to avoid damage, not be as easily punished, have more control over their actions, and be able to punish their opponent's attacks. Dash-dance pivots (consisting of fox-trotting away from the opponent, then quickly dash-dancing backwards) are particularly effective for this, as they can cause almost immediate turnarounds and then grabs can then be used to punish opponents.
Sonic has some weaknesses, the most noticeable of which is his KO potential. His KO potential is held back by his most reliable KOing options (smash attacks, and clean back aerial) requiring good positioning and having noticeable start-up and ending lag. His forward and up smashes are also burdened with low base knockback, which forces them to be used for KO attempts later instead of earlier and down smash, while having decent start up, has high ending lag, making it easy to punish if missed. Despite his outstanding mobility, Sonic may struggle to land due to his very slow air acceleration, leaving him susceptible to juggling.
Sonic can also have difficulty dealing with camping, since any ground-level projectile can severely limit his movement options. While Homing Attack and Spin Dash are his best options in getting through said projectiles, they can be reacted to and even predicted. Some of his attacks are also very punishable should they miss, and thus allow openings for opponents to punish him. His recovery is also predictable with Spring Jump as his only vertical recovery option, as its linearity makes him susceptible to gimps even at relatively low percentages. Finally, Sonic can be susceptible to early KOs due to his light weight.
Much like in Brawl, Sonic's matchups are difficult to define, as they vary greatly from player to player, possibly moreso than for any other character. Depending on the play-style of the Sonic, he can have a decent matchup against almost any character in the game, even at competitive levels. Because of his prowess for mindgaming and switching up tactics, as well as the inherent strengths and weaknesses to each style of play, some Sonic mains argue that Sonic has no truly disadvantageous matchups as a character, and that his matchups are much more heavily influenced by playstyle than his actual attributes.
In all, Sonic has a great offensive play, has a strong neutral game, a good off-stage presence, and can very rapidly damage his opponents, but can have some trouble KOing.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Likely due to his top-tier status in Smash 4, Sonic has been noticeably nerfed overall in transition to Ultimate. His biggest nerf was to his Spin Dash, which is no longer able to be shield canceled and no longer goes through shield unless being fully charged, making it less safe of a move. His up aerial also doesn't connect as reliably and Spring Jump provides less intangibility, making him easier to edgeguard him. Some of Sonic's kill moves were also made worse making him not nearly as consistent at killing.
However, he received some useful buffs, such as his down tilt and up throw having more combo potential and his aerials having significantly less landing lag, improving his combo game when combined with the universal jump squat reduction and faster jump speed. His Homing Attack has also been greatly buffed, as it comes out much faster when the button is pressed, does more damage and knockback when fully charged and locks on opponents better and can even potentially combo if uncharged, as well as gaining KO potential at high percents if fully charged.
While Sonic still retains his powerful attributes and combo game, he now relies on offensive play rather than defensive, and cannot depend as heavily on Spin Dash to approach opponents as he did before. Unfortunately, the buffs do not properly compensate for this as he lacks the tools to pressure his opponents as most of his tools have a "high-risk medium/low reward" factor which makes his overall playstyle awkward since his flaws are much more noticeable since his notorious defensive play is significantly worse than Smash 4. Due to this, Sonic is considered to be worse than his iteration in Smash 4 with a majority of his player base abandoning him for other characters. Although he initially had decent results at the beginning of Ultimate's early metagame with KEN winning Midwest Mayhem Ultimate and placing well in Japan while solely using Sonic along with Sonix, Sonido, and 6WX performing well with him, his results have somewhat perished as he hasn't done nearly as well as other characters. Due to his nerfs from Smash 4, his declining results, and the patch updates failing to address his core issues; Sonic's overall perception has been poor with ESAM claiming he is low-mid tier and VoiD claiming that he's a low tier character. On a more positive note, ZeRo claims him to be a high tier and Mew2King put him on the top of his mid tier. As such, Sonic's true viability remains questionable.
Sonic has been buffed via game updates. Sonic's forward tilt connects more reliably and back aerial has less landing lag, making him less vulnerable upon landing with it should it not be autocanceled. Super Sonic has also received multiple buffs.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Classic Mode: At the Speed of Sound
Note: Every stage other than the final round plays a track from the Sonic universe, no matter what universe the stage originated from.
Role in World of Light
Sonic was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to assist in defeating an army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Sonic was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. While attempting to run away, Sonic noticed Pikachu doing the same and reached his hand towards Pikachu in an attempt to save it, but both he and Pikachu were vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment.
Sonic was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He appears in the Sacred Land sub-area as one of the fighters that block the Master Sword, making him one of the obligatory unlocks.
He is later seen standing next to Mario, as the heroes prepare their last stand against Galeem and Dharkon.
Sonic's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Sonic 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. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Sonic makes an appearance in a few Primary Spirits in other forms.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video
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