Steve is all the rage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate nowadays. And by that we mean he’s the source of frustration for countless players. Along with his costume swaps — Alex, Zombie, and Enderman — Steve plays Smash unlike any other fighter. With a moveset inspired by Minecraft, it sometimes seems like he is playing another game entirely.
Neutral B is the leading cause of outrage. While grounded, Steve will mine for materials he can use to craft weapons and other tools that aid in combat. When used in the air, he will place Minecraft blocks that help wall off parts of the stage.
This campy playstyle forces opponents to chase Steve around while he is mining since he can shut down zoners with blocks. Furthermore, he becomes a nightmare up close once he gains access to Gold or Diamond weapons. His combo game is wildly efficient and his tilts and smash attacks gain deceptive power.
Thanks to his ability to switch from playing the lame game to all-out aggro, many believe Steve to be broken in the current meta. Others merely hate his unexciting playstyle and would rather see another character on screen.
With Steve seeing increased representation as offline events return, it's become essential to learn the matchup. While he is certainly a lot to deal with, we’re here to help you out with the best tips for fighting against Steve.
Tip #1: Slow down production
As soon as a game starts, the first thing almost every Steve player will do is start mining. Not only is this important for upgrading weapons, tools, and blocks, but it also ensures that he can use his full toolkit. Steve obviously needs resources to build blocks, but he must also stay stocked up for certain attacks that involve foreign objects. For example, at least 50 resource points are required to use TNT (Down B). Minecart’s (Side B) speed and power also depends on the kind of resources available.
Figuring out how to stop Steve from mining is trickier than it looks. The simple answer is to just rush him down and not give him any moment to breathe. But be warned — Steve is no pushover in close quarters. Many of his attacks are fast with little end lag and have no clear audio cues that telegraph them to opponents. Thanks to a very short jump, Steve can turn almost any juggle into a multi-hit combo. Don’t be surprised if you rush Steve down only to get beat up yourself in return.
The safest way to keep Steve from mining is to stay threatening in the mid-range. This is where he struggles the most. Outside of his fishing pole grab, he has virtually no tools that help him here. If you play a character that thrives in mid-range, you can force the fight outside of Steve’s comfort zone. If you’re able to hit him while he’s mining AND stay away from his combos, your opponent will have to switch up their entire gameplan. Although his primary win condition is very effective, Steve doesn’t have a lot of options for a Plan B.
If you have to get in closer, focus on keeping Steve from upgrading his weapons. The best way to do this is to keep him away from the crafting table where he retrieves all his tools. This is easier said than done since Steve can summon the table to his location with just a small amount of resources. You can destroy the crafting table, but another will respawn shortly after. Steve’s blocks also make zoning a rather futile way of stopping him from mining. Staying at mid-range is the best approach for keeping Steve players hesitant to mine and unable to scrap in close.
Tip #2: Get around the blocks
True to his Minecraft origins, Steve is able to place up to eight cubic blocks at a time on stage. These blocks will linger for a short time before disappearing, and their duration depends on the material used to craft them. For example, stone blocks will last longer and are more durable to enemy attacks than wooden blocks. Blocks can be used in both recovery and ledge guarding, but they are most helpful for protecting Steve while he mines.
Blocks are surprisingly sturdy against projectiles. Even a Charge Shot from Samus on full blast isn’t enough to consistently get rid of them. Still, going around the blocks makes your attack pattern too obvious. Fortunately, blocks will crumble if hit by enough melee attacks. Use safe, ranged attacks to destroy them so Steve can’t punish you after. You can even pull the old Mario Bros. strategy and jump up underneath them to destroy them with your head. Certain moves with extended hitboxes also connect with Steve through the blocks simultaneously. Most are exclusive to mid-range characters, further emphasizing their strength in the matchup.
While not the best option available, Steve players will sometimes use blocks to ledge guard. A short column of blocks at the ledge forces opponents to recover low and endure a mixup situation to get back on stage. They can also set down a row parallel to the stage to cut off the bottom of the ledge and force foes to break the blocks with their recovery. Some characters’ recovery moves aren’t strong enough to break the blocks. It is crucial to know all of your options for getting back on stage against Steve, and which situations to use them.
Tip #3: Mind the Minecart
Minecart is arguably Steve’s best move. Not only does it aid in his recovery, but it is lethal when used for offense. When the right resources are available, the cart is an explosive KO tool that excels in almost any scenario. It is even fast enough to just let loose at point-blank range with limited risk. The cart has so much utility that blocking it isn’t even a quality way to counter. You either have to avoid it or fearlessly meet it head-on.
If you eat Minecart with no shield, there’s a good chance it’ll launch you offstage. On the other hand, blocking the cart will actually put you inside it for a very unsafe ride. The only way to get out is to mash before you go careening into the blast zone, which can be hard to do at high percentages. Because of its strength and command grab-like qualities, Minecart wreaks havoc on all those unprepared.
Jumping over the Minecart is the only way to avoid it, but this gives your opponent more than enough time to react and punish. The best way to deal with the cart is to send it right back where it came from. Many characters have moves that reflect projectiles, such as Fox’s Shine (Down B) or Mario’s Cape (Side B). Reflecting the cart will send it flying back towards Steve, potentially colliding with him or trapping him inside. Steve himself has no reflector, so there isn’t a way for him to turn the cart back on you.
Parries work in a similar fashion to reflectors but usually require more precise timing. Some also include a follow-up attack even if Steve isn’t nearby, granting him the chance for an easy whiff punish. However, parries are very effective when Steve fails to jump out of the cart. If you have the guts for it, clashing an attack such as Forward Tilt with Minecart will also stop it in its tracks. Just make sure you can connect before being run over.
Tip #4: Handling explosives with ease
TNT is yet another space-controlling tool in Steve’s kit. It requires 50 resource points to use but is extremely versatile thanks to the large blast radius. TNT will detonate after a certain amount of time or if it receives 20% damage. Steve can even manually detonate it when he has redstone by creating a fire trail and pressure plate. Because of its high volatility and KO power, TNT can be a very intimidating obstacle to overcome.
Unlike blocks, projectiles work very well against TNT in neutral. Most won’t move the explosives much, but the damage dealt will speed up the detonation. Especially strong projectiles like Wolf’s Blaster (Neutral B) R.O.B.’s Robo Beam (Neutral B) deliver enough knockback to push the TNT back towards Steve. This puts pressure on him to stop mining and get away, as any explosion will hurt him too.
Steve players love to place TNT on the ledge to force opponents to choose an option before it explodes. The pyrotechnics linger after detonating so you will likely still be caught in the blast if you try to air dodge it. Instead, grab hold of the ledge and hang there for a moment. Right as the TNT is set to explode, get back on stage with an edge attack. Though normally a poor strategy since it is unsafe on shield, the maneuver grants intangibility frames that protect from the explosion.
Rolling also grants intangibility and will usually leave you just outside the blast radius. Steve players will probably opt to watch from afar to avoid the TNT themselves, so edge attacks and rolls are much safer than usual in this situation.
Best matchups against Steve
As mentioned before, mid-range specialists are the best counter-picks for Steve. Here are a few character choices with winning matchups against him.
- Cloud - Another long sword that creates a ton of problems. Charging Limit while Steve is mining also makes him think twice about playing campy.
- Hero - The only character that can force Steve to play offensively. The ever-looming threat of Command Selection (Down B) gives the game’s campiest fighter a taste of his own medicine.
- Min Min - The range on her ARMS allows her to punish Steve for mining without having to get in close. Ramram will go through all blocks, and so too will the laser from Dragon.
- Pikachu - A rushdown character with high mobility that can match Steve’s combo damage. Thundershock (Neutral B) bolts also wrap around blocks instead of being stopped by them.
- Sephiroth - His long sword allows him to pester Steve while he’s mining and can connect through blocks. His Scintilla parry may also be the single best counter to Minecart in the game.
- Zero-Suit Samus - A speedy character that dominates in mid-range. Her shiftiness and optimal reach make her very hard for Steve to hit.