Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List: All fighters ranked plus the best melee, sword and ranged fighters explained

Where do Joker and Piranha Plant land in our updated Super Smash Bros Ultimate tier list?

Fighting your friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has become more heated than ever, but with 72 playable characters, it can be tough to choose which character to pick and settle on.

We've done the hard work and worked out a Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List in order to help you get to grips with competitive play - including new Smash Bros DLC characters Piranha Plant and Joker.

On this page:

One of the first things that you should look out for is the general play style of the character. We've segmented these into three categories, Melee, Sword and Ranged. Be aware however, that some characters (Such as Link and all of his variants) do not generally fit into this mould.

When you have settled on which character to play as, you need to get them first - which is where our Super Smash Bros Ultimate character unlock page comes in handy. We also have some Super Smash Bros Ultimate tips if you want to brush up on the essentials, plus everything we know about Super Smash Bros Ultimate DLC.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List

We've attempted to rank every current fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate into a single list, based on their strengths, weaknesses, options for attack, recovery and general attack power.


Since this game is still in its early days, and we've not yet seen how the DLC Fighters will hold up, this list is a guideline of which characters you should consider picking up, and which ones are hot garbage.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List (Fighters ranked by Tier)

Smash Bros TierFighters
BestRoy, Marth, Lucina, Olimar, Peach, Daisy, Pikachu, Pichu, R.O.B
StrongYoshi, Mewtwo, Chrom, Inkling, Fox, Cloud, Bayonetta, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Isabelle, Villager, Ryu, Ken, Link, Young Link, Toon Link, Simon, Richter, Snake, Wii Fit Trainer, Shulk, King K.Rool, Lucario, Joker
GoodIke, Pit, Dark Pit, Corrin, Samus, Dark Samus, Falco, Wolf, Ness, Lucas, Palutena, Jigglypuff, Pokemon Trainer, Robin, Rosalina and Luma, Sonic, Zero Suit Samus, Incineroar, Zelda, Greninja, Mr Game and Watch, Mii Brawler, Mii Gunner, Mii Swordfighter, Phirana Plant, Wario, Ridley
AverageBowser Jr., Diddy Kong, Duck Hunt Duo, Ice Climbers, King Dedede, Mario, Luigi, Dr. Mario, Mega Man, Meta Knight, Pac-Man, Sheik, Captain Falcon
WeakGanondorf, Little Mac, Kirby

Between new characters and patches, here's Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List has changed since launch:

  • Joker (new - Strong)
  • Piranha Plant (new - Good)
  • Mewtwo (dropped from Best to Strong)
  • Chrom (dropped from Best to Strong)
  • Inkling (dropped from Best to Strong)
  • Fox (jumped from Good to Strong)
  • Ike (dropped from Strong to Good)
  • Wario (jumped from Average to Good)
  • Ridley (jumped from Average to Good)

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List (Fighters listed alphabetically)

Smash Bros fighterTier ranking
Bowser Jr.Average
Captain FalconAverage
ChromStrong (dropped from Best to Strong)
Daisy Best
Dark PitGood
Dark SamusGood
Diddy KongAverage
Donkey KongStrong
Dr MarioAverage
Duck Hunt DuoAverage
FoxStrong (jumped from Good to Strong)
Ice ClimbersAverage
IkeGood (dropped from Strong to Good)
InklingStrong (dropped from Best to Strong)
JokerStrong (New)
King DededeAverage
King K. RoolStrong
Little MacWeak
Mega ManAverage
Meta KnightAverage
MewtwoStrong (dropped from Best to Strong)
Mii BrawlerGood
Mii GunnerGood
Mii SwordfighterGood
Mr Game and WatchGood
Phirana PlantGood (New)
Pokemon TrainerGood
RidleyGood (jumped from Average to Good)
Rosalina and LumaGood
Toon LinkStrong
WarioGood (jumped from Average to Good)
Wii Fit TrainerStrong
Young LinkStrong
Zero Suit SamusGood

How we settled on our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List - and how good are Joker and Piranha Plant?

We categorised the characters in the upper tier on their damage, options in any moment and the effectiveness of their recoveries. While your favourite character might not be in the top two tiers, that doesn't make them not worth playing.

When looking at the bottom tier however, there are definitely some characters that you want to avoid. Ganondorf is slow, doesn't control especially well and all of his attacks come out relatively slowly.

Little Mac's recovery is weak, and he doesn't have a great range of options either. Little Mac's recovery is weak, and he doesn't have a great range of options either. When it comes to Kirby, we thought it was generally a weak character.


With the addition of the new characters, Piranha Plant and Joker, they added a new dimension to consider for this tier list. Kicking off with Piranha Plant, it's range of moves and attacks make it a potent ranged character, but it doesn't quite give you the same sort of options as the most recent addition, Joker adds.

Joker is incredibly versatile, with fantastic close range and melee attacks, in addition to a dynamic recovery. In addition to this, when you fill his gauge up and unleash his persona, Joker becomes a master of zone control, if you want to keep your enemies at bay, you can- but you can also stand toe-to-toe with some of the better melee fighters, and that's why we've categorised him in the Strong section.


Additionally, we've made some slight adjustments to character placements in our Smash Bros Tier List since launch. Some characters have shown themselves to be stronger, such as Ridley, who can become extremely powerful and even win tournaments at high level - when they were originally lower tier.

Additionally, some other characters have received a downgrade. Ike, for example has had his recovery slightly nerfed, which is a significant enough change to bump him down into another tier. These smaller changes have not significantly shaken up the meta quite yet, but with more characters and balance changes along the way, that's always subject to change.

If you're looking for a specific playstyle, then may the following sections help...

Best Melee Fighters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Melee fighters are the best at getting up close and personal with your enemies. Their normal attacks should be quick, their tilts exceptional, and smashes hit hard. A great example of a good melee fighter would be Bowser, who might have some ranged options with his firebreath, but excels at getting up close and personal to dish out some pain.

You should also consider a move often forgotten by a lot of casual Smash Players, the throw is an excellent way to chuck your enemies offstage, a great example of a character with a great throw is Ken's Roll-Back throw, as you're able to take an enemy from the last quarter of the stage, grab and roll them straight off the edge, leaving them vulnerable to your spiking smash attacks to finish them off.

Peach / Daisy

Peach/Daisy are arguable the best melee fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, with some devastating attacks with her side special, and quick tilts, you can often find yourself juggling characters in the air, or driving enough pressure on them to the side of the stage that they cannot escape.

A great bonus to any Peach/Daisy players out there is the fact that their recovery is also brilliant, with the iconic parasol dishing out damage where it causes the most pain.


Ryu / Ken

While our iconic street fighters are not in our top 'strongest' tier, that doesn't make them any less deadly up close. With their focus attack, Ryu and Ken gain armour on a single attack, and are able to crumple your opponents to the ground, meaning that this is a great counter to hard hitting single attacks or smashes.

Additionally, with their repertoire of traditional Street Fighter moves, Ryu and Ken might be a little bit stubby when it comes to their normal attacks, but it is a great starting point for someone wanting to play a melee character.


Best Sword Fighters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Sword Fighters dominate a lot of our 'Best' tier, and for good reason. Their attacks have some decent range, and they use that to use space to their advantage. Sword fighters have excellent zone control, and often can also combo you into oblivion. Many Sword Fighters also have a 'Counter', which is essentially a parry, but have to be timed excellently. So what's all the big fuss about? We go into detail with two of the best characters below.

Roy / Chrom

Roy and Chrom are more than just simple Marth clones. With fire damage side specials in addition to an excellent neutral air attack. Roy and Chrom are in our 'Best' tier, and it shows when coming face to face with them. They have incredible midair control and options, in addition to being able to dish out some incredibly hard hitting attacks. Combine that with some of the fastest running speed in the game, and you're left with an absolute beast of a character.



Ike is a tank. His movement might not be the best, but when it comes to raw attack power, he's hard to beat. Combined with handful of buffs, this is the best version of Ike yet.

Why? With a fast sweeping side special in addition to a neutral special that can be charged to erupt into three fire pillars, Ike is great when you're surrounded, or have to deal with multiple enemies, his smashes can sweep up multiple enemies, and while slow, they can KO Characters at less than 75% damage when coming out raw.


Best Ranged Fighters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Ranged Fighters are excellent at shutting down fast-moving characters and trapping those slower characters into a loop, all from a distance. Like their name might imply, they might be in a spot of trouble when up close against a good melee fighter, but with the options available to you to keep them at a distance and dish out the pain leading up to a powerful smash, Ranged Fighters are no joke.

Simon / Richter

Simon and Richter are exceptional ranged fighters. Namely, the Holy Water, Throwing Axe and Boomerang are all deadly combos for pretty much any character. With the Axes being thrown at an arc, they hit incredibly hard, and can KO high percentage characters.

Combined with the horizontal control with the boomerang, you can complete your setup by trapping them with your Holy Water and charging a whip attack. This deadly concoction can shut down almost any character.



While not quite as potent as Simon or Richter, Samus is a great beginner ranged fighter. With missiles and a chargeable blast, Samus is a good starting point to build from when it comes to fighting ranged.

She has some trouble when fighting up-close, but when practicing your ranged game with Samus, she has enough options to build from and take to a better character. Samus has value, if not just for being a great starting point to use as a ranged fighter.


Ready to get started playing as some of the above fighters? Our Super Smash Bros Ultimate character unlock can help you start getting your hands on them.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Jump to comments (18)

About the author

Sayem Ahmed

Sayem Ahmed



Digital FoundryNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super review: evolution, not revolution

More cores, more frequency and improved RAM - but just how much faster is it overall?

FeatureThe six-year story of GTA Online's long-vacant casino

The most-requested, most-rumoured location in GTA5 finally opens its doors today. What took so long?

Nintendo faces Switch Joy-Con drift class action lawsuit

UPDATE: "We take great pride in creating quality products," company responds.

You may also enjoy...

Digital FoundryNvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super review: evolution, not revolution

More cores, more frequency and improved RAM - but just how much faster is it overall?

FeatureThe six-year story of GTA Online's long-vacant casino

The most-requested, most-rumoured location in GTA5 finally opens its doors today. What took so long?

Comments (18)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments