Steve (スティーブ, Steve) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the second fighter from Microsoft after Banjo & Kazooie, and the eighth DLC character for Ultimate. He was confirmed as a playable character on October 1st, 2020 as the second downloadable character from Fighters Pass Vol. 2. Alex (アレックス, Alex), a Zombie (ゾンビ, Zombie), and an Enderman (エンダーマン, Enderman) also appear as alternate costumes. Steve was released on October 13th, 2020, and is classified as Fighter #77.
Steve is a fighter who possesses slightly below-average weight and very unremarkable mobility. He has the shortest jump out of the entire roster, in addition to a peculiar crouch and crawl based on Minecraft's "sneaking" mechanic where he simply hunches over, neither of which are very useful in battle. In addition to this, his walk speed, initial dash, running speed and air speed are all among the bottom 10 of the respective stats.
Taking many attributes from his home game, Steve is one of the most unique fighters on the roster. His battle strategy almost completely revolves around mining materials from the stage itself for several of his attacks, alongside crafting stronger weapons and the ability to place blocks almost everywhere within the fighting boundaries. These three attributes appear as his neutral special, Mine / Craft / Create Block. Mine can take a lot of time to get the desired materials, but Steve starts each stock with a set amount of materials for him to use, so he's not completely defenseless at the start of a fight. Craft is also fast, and in conjunction with the ability to teleport his crafting table to his current position, makes camping Steve's crafting table an ineffective strategy. Create Block is the most potent out of Steve's options and has a myriad of uses; this includes building temporary walls to interrupt opponents, stalling his recovery or his opponent's followups by standing on a floating block, blocking projectiles, mindgames, and extremely deep edgeguarding and gimping opportunities. Steve can even use the short longevity of Create Block to immediately cancel some of the lag in his grounded moves while in the air such as up smash and down smash, leading to some of the most dangerous and diverse aerial combos in the game should he be able to set it up. Create Block is thus one of Steve's essential techniques, though due to the difficulty of building and managing his resources in combat, it can take much experience to truly master.
Minecart is a powerful side special: by itself, it is a capable KO option, and can be used as a horizontal recovery tool. Uniquely, Steve can jump out of a moving minecart, turning it into a grabbing projectile that can scoop up a foe, forcing them to struggle out of it. This lets Steve follow up with attacks or edgeguard/gimp recovering opponents. By using up gold and redstone, Steve can use powered rails to accelerate his minecart and catch foes off-guard with the sudden burst of speed. Additionally, he can recover the iron used up from creating the minecart if he is the one to break it afterwards. TNT is Steve's explosive down special, and can be set off from afar by the minecart or by a redstone trail to a wooden pressure plate of Steve's creation, which is extremely useful for ledge trapping. However, it acts as a double-edged sword, as the explosion affects everyone including Steve, and the person who triggers the pressure plate takes reduced knockback from the explosion, which can be used in Steve's advantage for mind games, or against him by a crafty opponent. Additionally, Steve can safely detonate TNT if he uses down smash and properly times a buffered air dodge. Elytra requires no materials on Steve's part to use, has a hitbox upon startup, and its Brawl-like gliding mechanic allows Steve to mix up his recovery path, thwarting attempts at opposing edgeguards. While its horizontal recovery potential is almost unrivaled if used near the upper sides of the stage, it is rather poor at vertical recovery and renders him vulnerable after the initial startup. He is also unable to switch directions after using it and will enter free fall if it is angled too high or hits a solid object, making a misinputted or misangled Elytra fatal.
Apart from his specials, Steve has noticeable strengths in his other attacks. His neutral attack, forward tilt and neutral aerial all involve a rapid sword swing, but unlike Mega Man's similar attacks, Steve's does not stop until the sword in question breaks, allowing him to continue a chain of sword hits for longer in comparison and set up for combos. This rapid-hit property is also seen in his up tilt and up aerial, which can juggle into various moves. His down-tilt flint and steel is a highly useful edgeguarding tool, as its flames are affected by gravity and can repeatedly block off the ledge for a two-frame punish, in addition to absorbing weak projectiles. In the same vein, down smash has lingering hitboxes on both sides and can be used as a semi-spike, especially in combination with Create Block. Steve's forward and back aerials also possess useful perks, the former possessing meteor smash potential if the opponent is hit near the end of the swing and the latter possessing powerful knockback. While his down aerial costs iron to use, Steve's anvil deals exceptional damage and knockback and can be canceled to avoid falling along with the anvil, making edgeguarding with the move far less risky. The anvil also has high priority due to its damage, making it very powerful for contesting against attacks. It should also be noted that these attacks are further improved with high-tier tools, as gold swings faster and can combo more effectively, while diamond has excellent damage and knockback, especially when using his forward smash, forward air and back air.
Steve's grab game is also respectable. While his tether grab cannot be used to grab the ledge, it can still grab shielded opponents from afar, granting Steve another ranged option to make up for his short-ranged normal attacks. His back throw angle leaves much to be desired, but his forward throw launches foes in a semi-spike manner and, along with his up throw, have very high base knockback, but average growth, making their KO potential lackluster. His down throw uses iron to slam an anvil on an opponent, dealing very high damage for a throw and sending at a useful angle for followups; however, it becomes incredibly weak without iron, as Steve will simply fling the opponent on the ground.
Despite his strengths, Steve's attributes present flaws. His mobility is very underwhelming, having among the worst ground mobility in the game due to the combination of poor run speed and one of the worst initial dashes in the game (as opposed to most characters of this speed class usually having relatively high initial dash in contrast to their run speed). His aerial mobility is also unremarkable, having poor air speed and very low jump height, to the point where he's unable to reach the lower platforms of Battlefield without burning his double jump. Finally, Steve's crouch and crawl barely reduce his height and his hitstun animations leave him in an upright position, preventing him from ducking under attacks and leaving him vulnerable to being attacked.
His moveset has its own downsides. His down tilt and up smash leave Steve stuck until the animation is finished, making him open to a punish from the sides. While many of his core moves (such as his sword and axe moves) are very spammable, they only cover a very short distance and do not cover below or behind him, leaving Steve without a useful "get-off-me" option against combo-centric opponents, excluding using iron to summon an anvil or building a block to stall his fall, which are only effective with enough iron and within the stage's build limit, respectively. Additionally, the spammability of his moves are held back by Steve's low mobility, making it unwieldy for him to attempt rushdown tactics. His grab's range is offset by its very high ending lag, making his grab game less effective against mobile fighters, and his down throw is significantly less damaging and effective without iron.
Steve's Minecraft-revolving playstyle can also leave him in troublesome situations. If he mines more materials than his inventory can fit, he will end up discarding resources that might have otherwise been valuable. This negatively affects Create Block, as it always prioritizes the weakest block first; weak blocks can be broken very easily by hitting them with attacks or hitting the bottom side of the block, making them less effective for edgeguarding or creating a blockade. Additionally, walling off a recovering opponent may not be an effective option, as damaging hitboxes can easily plow through weaker blocks without much trouble, and hitting Steve (or placing them near the build limit) will cause his blocks to break significantly faster. His tools can break if used up enough, forcing him to mine to collect materials and craft to re-upgrade them. Furthermore, getting KO'd results in Steve's tools reverting to wood (though he keeps resources already in his inventory), and mining for materials/crafting new tools can be difficult against faster opponents, who can constantly pressure Steve and deter him from gaining resources. His reliance on materials for the majority of his strongest techniques prevents him from repeatedly using them to a greater extent, due to the glaring downsides of running out of a specific material (ex. his down air and down throw accomplishing nothing with a lack of iron). Careless use of his resources will essentially leave him with almost no useful abilities: the time needed to mine can become very detrimental when fully depleted of resources, or when barehanded/using wooden or stone tools, as it takes a significant amount of time to fully replenish resources or dig for gold/diamond.
His lack of a conventional projectile and short attacking range demands he gets in close to dish out damage, upon which fighters more suited for close combat than Steve can leave him constantly juggled. Steve's recovery, while having amazing horizontal reach, is also limited due to his low jump height, low air speed and recovery moves: Elytra takes some experience to get used to, as its mechanics can make it difficult to angle, and it can also be cut short if he bumps into an object. It is also rather mediocre vertically, with the firework's boost essentially being Steve's only means of recovering below the stage, and it doesn't reach as far as one might expect. Minecart can be used for horizontal distance, though it does not grant good distance without redstone and gold, and cannot be used without iron. His blocks cannot be placed too far out from the edges of the stage and the block Steve is standing on deteriorates faster than normal, which can limit his ability to stall offstage due to him requiring materials to do so.
Overall, Steve excels in a strange combination of close-up fighting, stage control, and fearsome edgeguarding, resulting in a large learning curve for players eager to pick him up. His toolkit gives him powerful overall abilities when mastered, some of which are not possessed by any other fighter in the roster; however, poor use of his resources can render him almost helpless and remove some of his best options, and his terrible mobility, compounded by a reliance on fairly linear options for approaching, means he faces an uphill battle against characters that outrange him, or are fast enough to weave around his defenses. Early impressions of Steve have been mixed to positive. Some players, like ESAM and Hungrybox, are optimistic due to Steve's unique strengths, especially in the hands of a player who has good resource management and a strong understanding of his abilities. Other players, like Dabuz and IzAw, believe that Steve's flaws will prevent him from being a strong character. However, players such as Salem and Aaron have cemented Steve's viability in the online meta.
Shortly after Steve was released, he received several bug fixes that fixed major game breaking glitches, as well as receiving an aesthetic change. Other than making the game and character play as intended, these bug fixes have not changed Steve in any major way.
For a gallery of Steve's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
True to Minecraft, Steve's tools can break after a certain amount of use. While similar to the durability system of Robin, there are a few differences, including the lack of a hitbox upon a tool breaking, no visible durability indication, and the need to craft replacement tools.
Steve's Up victory pose was changed in update 9.0.1; previously, Steve held the Steak even after he finished eating it.
In competitive play
Leading up to release, there was a lot of speculation for how Steve would work in Smash due to his very unique move-set compared to the rest of the roster. Many players saw a lot of potential in him, with several players going as far as to call him top tier or outright broken due to his block-creating and crafting mechanics, his glide recovery that works similarly to the infamous glide mechanic in Brawl, and his high power. After his release, players had mixed reactions to his viability. Some stated Steve is more of a high-top tier, with advantages including incredible edge guarding and a great combo game, with players like Hungrybox, ESAM, and MkLeo putting him in high-tier. Other players like Dabuz and Izaw, though, believe his weaknesses, especially his poor mobility and terrible neutral and disadvantage, make him more of a low-mid tier character or possibly one of the worst characters in the game, though this is heavily disputed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Steve was developed and released, and the general complexity of Steve as a Smash character, it may take a long time for his full potential to be realized.
In the online metagame, players who utilize Steve such as BestNess generally only play him as a secondary. However, Aaron has proven that Steve can work as a solo main online, with placements such as 5th at The Box: L4st's Box and claiming victory at The Box: Juice Box 17. In addition, at Frame Perfect Series 3: ONLINE, Salem placed 1st with mostly Steve, taking online sets off players such as MkLeo and Epic_Gabriel, further cementing his viability online.
Classic Mode: Journey to the Far Lands
Steve faces off against fighters who represent enemy mobs in Minecraft. With the exceptions of Rounds 2 and 6, all rounds are stamina battles. The title is a reference to the Far Lands, a glitch in Minecraft Java Edition before Beta 1.8 (and still existing in the Bedrock Edition) where land an extreme distance away from the starting point of a world formed large, fold-like cliffs due to overflow errors in the generation system. The final battle is against a giant Ridley and two Endermen.
Note: With the exceptions of Rounds 4 and 5, a song from the Minecraft universe is played regardless of the stage.
Role in World of Light
Due to his status as downloadable content, Steve does not have a legitimate role in World of Light. Instead, he is unlocked for use in the mode after freeing 10 fighters from Galeem's control. If loading an existing save file that meets this condition before downloading Steve, he is immediately unlocked.
Steve's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is only available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins, but only after Steve has been downloaded. Unlocking Steve 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 are purely aesthetic. Alex has a fighter spirit of her own, available exclusively through the shop. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with its artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, the Zombie and Enderman have an attack primary and neutral primary spirits respectively, but they do not have fighter spirits.
As the main opponent
As a minion