Finding Your Main in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Academy: 104

When it comes to figuring out who to use as your fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it is easier for some than it is for others. If you are an experienced player who is familiar with how the game works, you probably can play several characters at a high level and every character decently. However, if you don’t consider yourself an experienced player and are just beginning playing the game, it might be wise to master one character and perfect your playstyle with them. In the Smash community, your best character is called your “main,” and your main is often the character that a player uses in competitive tournaments. It is crucial to get a main in Smash so that you can have a fighter that you know you can perform well consistently. Whether you want bragging rights over friends or want to play online/competitively, you need a main in Smash. In this article, I’m going to be giving some tips and some dos and don’ts in finding your main in Ultimate and some general advice as to what you should be doing to figure out which character fits you best. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Don’t make up your mind too quickly

If you are first beginning to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I wouldn’t recommend picking your main too quickly. Enter the game with an open mind and try out as many different characters if you can. If you pick out your “main” before you are even comfortable playing that character, you might waste your time on one that doesn’t fit your specific playstyle. Spend your time unlocking and trying different characters when you first start playing the game rather than sticking with one for the whole time. Trying out multiple characters as you are just getting started will allow you to figure out your playstyle and which characters align with how you play.

Don’t pick solely from tier lists


Credit: Nintendo

A common mistake that someone might make is picking their main based on a character’s rank on a tier list. There are dozens of Smash Ultimate character tier lists online that rank the characters from best to worst. These lists are generally in regards to competitive play and not the game in general. Some characters might be high in competitive play but are harder to grasp for the casual player. A great example of this is Olimar. He is often ranked towards the top in most Smash tier lists; however, he might not be the best choice for a beginner. Olimar is the lightest character in the game, and not knowing how to use him properly could result in the player getting themselves KOed easily. Going solely off of tier lists also alienates you from picking a fighter that you might like that is towards the bottom of most tier lists. For example, Duck Hunt is a character that is generally ranked low on most tier lists. However, I consider Duck Hunt to be one of my best characters. It is better to decide which characters you like to play on your own rather than going solely off of what a list tells you online.

Figure out your playstyle

Duck Hunt

Credit: Nintendo

The more matches and characters that you try out in the game, the easier it will become to identify your play style. There are several different ways of playing the game, and there are many characters that align with each style of play. If you enjoy being defensive and keeping your opponent at a distance, projectile-based characters might be the choice for you. Sword characters are another type of fighter, and using them generally requires an aggressive playstyle. There are also heavy-hitting characters that are slower but deal more damage with their blows. Some characters might not fit into any of these categories, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try them out.

If you’ve found that you are defensive and often use projectiles, I’d recommend going with any of the Links, Simon, Richter, Snake, Duck Hunt, or Olimar. All of these characters have great projectiles and long-ranged attacks. Once you get comfortable with one of these characters, you can use your projectiles to combo and edge-guard your opponent. My personal favorite out of this group is Dunk Hunt. He has a surprisingly effective smash attack and a variety of projectile attacks that are sure to keep your opponent on their toes. However, he is rather weak; therefore, I wouldn’t recommend him to someone just starting. Link is an excellent option for a beginner, as he too has several projectiles and matches them with strong striking-power from his longsword.

If you are all about big KOs and hit power, I’d recommend playing with Donkey Kong, Bowser, Ganondorf, or King K. Rool. Each of these characters has potent smash attacks and special attacks. These characters are all generally very slow and have an average to below-average recovery. K. Rool is a bit different, as he also offers several projectile attacks and has one of the best recoveries in the game. My favorite out of this group has to be Ganondorf. Although he is one of the slowest characters in the game, he makes up for it with his power. Almost all of his moves can KO at around 80%. I have lost a match against Ganondorf at less than 80% from a simple up air, which was infuriating, saying the least. Nonetheless, try out these characters if you want to deal damage quickly.

If you enjoy using sword characters, I’d recommend going with Roy, Marth, Lucina, or Cloud. These are just the sword characters that I have had the most success with, and they each have their unique qualities. Marth and Lucina are both speedy, fast-striking characters. They are excellent at following their opponents and dealing with quick damage, almost like a lion stalking its prey. My favorite of the two is Lucina, although they are nearly identical characters. Roy is more of a heavy hitter than Marth and Lucina but gives up some speed as a result. I enjoy using Roy as he is a reasonably basic sword character who can deal significant damage. Cloud is a bit different from the rest, but he is a character I’d recommend to someone just starting the game. He has powerful smash attacks and a “limit charge,” which allows him to charge up a powerful special move. The only knock on these characters is that most of them lack projectiles and reliable recovery.


I cannot decide who your main should or shouldn’t be. The only right way to find out is by playing the game and deciding for yourself. However, I do recommend following some of my guidelines if you find yourself struggling who to choose. Also, it’s okay not to have one particular character that you consider your best. For the longest time, I didn’t have a real main but had several characters with which I was comfortable playing. Overall, I hope that these suggestions help somebody out there struggling to figure out their main. And if this article was any help, please beat up on your friends with your new main for me.

I am a rising junior at Butler University with a Sports Media major and a minor in Strategic Communication. I was born and raised in Bethesda, MD right outside Washington DC, and I’ve been a huge DC sports fan my whole life. I’ve been lucky enough to see both the Nats and Caps win titles in my lifetime, however I have a feeling that my Redskins and Wizards won’t be joining them as champions anytime soon.

Hot eSports Academy Stories