Smash Ultimate tier list: The most complained-about fighters in the game


There are few things Smash Twitter loves to do more than complain. On any given day you’ll find various tweets about outlawing characters, nerfing certain moves, or just plain salt. Interestingly enough, this treatment is not handed out evenly. 


Though Ultimate is often lauded for its balance, that doesn’t keep some fighters from being attacked on social media. To help highlight who is currently all the rage on Smash Twitter, here is a comprehensive tier list based on how much people complain about the character. 


  • Steve
  • Kazuya
  • Hero


No fighting game sub-community calls for banning a character more than Smash. But honestly, it's hard to blame them. The traumatizing memories of Bayonetta and Cloud in Smash 4 (not to mention Ice Climbers in Brawl) are still fresh in their psyche. When both were nerfed into oblivion for Ultimate, there was a time of peace and balance. That was until Fighters Pass Vol. 2 came along and sent Smash Twitter back into the dark ages.


Steve and his Minecraft cohorts were first to arrive. They quickly invaded the subconscious of every player, some to the point of mania. You don’t have to look far for a Tweet complaining about Steve, whether it's for his lame playstyle or explosive moveset. He dominates Smash Twitter on a daily basis, though for all the wrong reasons.



As if Steve wasn't bad enough, the second DLC pack also blindsided us with the original King of the Iron Fist. Kazuya Mishima incited pandemonium in his release trailer and has never looked back. Thanks to insane combos that dealt absurd damage, the Tekken representative can take a stock with just a few touches. He continues to wreak havoc on the Smash community, especially those hesitant to pick up a pocket zoner.   



There is some evidence that the panic behind Steve and Kazuya is merely a fad. Players screamed for Hero’s ban upon release due to their explosive RNG-based moveset. However, the opinion of them has soured and now they aren’t even considered high-tier. Still, maybe banning them isn't such a bad idea because no win with Hero ever seems fair. 

“You’re Carried by…”

  • Pikachu
  • Wolf
  • R.O.B.
  • Joker


If you play a top-tier character, then you’re likely to be labeled “carried” by Smash Twitter. All is silent when pro players use the best options available, but for the average player there’s apparently no excuse. Some anonymous eggs will never hand out top-player status if it is earned with a top-tier. However, players who live by the “work smarter not harder” mantra ignore the high road and go for the win no matter what. 


Pikachu does just about everything better than any other character in Smash. Plus they're an adorable, transcendent gaming icon beloved worldwide. Siding against them is just plain foolish, but hubris is high in the Smash community. Few players other than the bald and wise ESAM main Pikachu.



Wolf and R.O.B. are probably the most common character picks in any given Smash tournament. Wolf even made many Fox and Falco players turn their backs on the StarFox squad. R.O.B. is for the truly emotionless who are only concerned with winning. They take each stock in silence and with a blank expression on their face, as it's all simply part of their programming. 



Remember when Joker dominated Ultimate? Time sure does fly. Perhaps it was just MkLeo making him look overpowered, as he tends to do with any character. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of players out there riding Joker's (more like Arsene's) coat tail to the end of brackets. 

“Char is Braindead, takes no skill”

  • Palutena
  • Min-Min
  • Roy
  • Aegis


This group overlaps a bit with the carried tier, only these characters are substantially easier to play. They can win matches by spamming a few moves and don’t take a ton of technical skill to master. Losing to a “braindead” character stings worse because there’s absolutely no way the opponent put in the better effort to win. On the other hand, players who main them will argue that they are actually limited in some way. 


When Palutena isn’t zoning with Autoreticle (Neutral B) or Explosive Flame (Side B), you can bet on her using an aerial. Bair and Nair are all she needs in neutral, with the occasional Up Air sprinkled in. Meanwhile, Min-Min literally has like five moves. Her lengthy range lets her zone opponents out without the need for projectiles. Oh, and she can effectively edge guard from the middle of the stage. 



Roy’s gameplan is simple: run up and press something. His speed, power, and intense yelling are enough to intimidate any foe. The sweet spot on his sword also gives him sneaky zero-to-death potential.


If Pyra and Mythra’s recovery wasn’t so abysmal, they might’ve vaulted up into the banned tier. Their combined traits offer a near-complete package for a swordy in Smash. Furthermore, lazy players don't really have to learn how to play both of them. It’s perfectly possible to solo Pyra or Mythra and still win. 

“Sooo Boooooring”

  • Sonic
  • Ness
  • Snake


Smashers who main these characters swear they’re fun to play, but good luck convincing anyone else. A collective sigh of disapproval often erupts after one of these fighters is chosen during a tournament. Some are so mind-numbing that viewers plan their daily tasks around the house for when such a snooze-fest will be on-stream. As seen with HungryBox in Melee, a boring playstyle is the quickest way to become a villain in the eyes of the Smash community. 


Without a doubt, every Smasher’s first choice for the dullest character in Ultimate is Sonic. Very few enjoy watching the SEGA mascot’s campy hit and run playstyle. It doesn’t help that three of his four Special Moves are more or less the exact same visually. 


Despite Sonic being the fastest character in the game, his matches often drag on forever. This becomes even worse if he ever gains a substantial lead, in which he will just run away from most neutral interactions. Furthermore, all these problems are magnified online. Chasing around a laggy Sonic will have your head spinning faster than the sleep-inducing Hedgehog himself.



Ness is another fighter who viewers tend to grumble over. While he has a fairly balanced toolkit, something about the kid psychic just makes you want to take a nap. Perhaps it's just because we’ve been seeing PK Fires, yo-yos, and baseball bats since the very first Super Smash Bros. And let’s be honest, it’s easy to hate that smug little smirk Ness keeps on his face. 


Snake has a valid argument for being way more entertaining than either Sonic or Ness, but that won’t let him escape this tier. The one they call the “Legendary Soldier” mostly just throws grenades from afar while shutting off a portion of the stage with C4. Snake also keeps his opponent from making highlight reel edgeguard plays since his recovery takes him high above the stage. Truth be told, the most entertaining moments from Snake are when he KOs himself with his own C4. 


“Come At Me, You Coward!”

  • Samus
  • Olimar
  • Mega Man


Zoners excel when they’re operating from far away pelting their foes with projectiles. They use a lot of annoying mind games and generally avoid close-range interactions. While no one thinks zoners are broken, they do get tired of constantly pursuing their opponent or looking for a way in. It’s also never fun to get KO’d by something flying from full-screen.


Samus and her Dark twin are the blueprint for this archetype. Their Day 1 tech takes just three easy steps to trap foes in a loop of insanity:


  1. Load up Charge Shot from full-screen away, instilling fear in opponent
  2. Wait for opponent to panic and rush in to stop you from gaining full Charge Shot
  3. Meet them halfway with an early Charge Shot 


At higher levels, this cheap tactic wears off and the power-suited bounty hunters take a more balanced approach. However, their wide array of kill moves only generate more complaints from those who won't just pocket Olimar.



Speaking of the crazed littled spaceman, Olimar is an oppressive zoner who bombards opponents with his Pikmin minions. His strange silence and willingness to sacrifice Pikmin to earn a victory make you wonder what dark thoughts are stirring in his head. Latching Pikmin can deal serious damage if they connect and some characters don’t have reliable moves to shake them off. The ever-looming Purple Pikmin changes a standard projectile into a devastating torpedo with the power of a Smash Attack.


Mega Man’s jab is a projectile. That tells you right away that he has no plans for scrapping up close. Mega Man’s zoning tools are so robust that other zoners hate chasing him around too. His Forward Smash even acts like a powerful projectile, albeit with limited range.    

“We Need Buffs!”

  • Sheik
  • Mewtwo
  • Ganondorf


Not every complaint on Smash Twitter is of the salty variety. Every now and then, there are actually cries for help. Many players who main low-tier characters plead on Twitter for them to receive buffs. Some were popular high-tiers in previous games and their loyalists would rather weather the nerfs than let go. 


Sheik and Mewtwo are examples of fighters who excelled in Smash 4 but now struggle in Ultimate. Players who main them are likely to say they are just one minor buff away from regaining top-tier status. For Sheik, the gripes are for her low damage output and few kill confirms that make taking stocks seem like a massive chore. 



Mewtwo is a glass cannon who can rack up damage in a hurry but can also die before reaching 100%. Their large tail adds to their hitbox, making them much easier to hit than other characters. This combined with the tail’s increased vulnerability and Mewtwo’s floaty nature makes them a sitting Psyduck when in disadvantage. 



And then there’s Ganondorf. What did the Gerudo tyrant ever do to Sakurai? After being mid-tier in Melee, Ganon has remained at the absolute bottom of tier lists for Brawl, Smash 4, and now Ultimate. In fact, he is widely regarded to be the only non-viable tournament character in the current meta. On the bright side, Ganon might have found a niche in Doubles action since his brute recklessness has fewer consequences.  



Which characters do you have the biggest beef with? Let us know!

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