- This article is about Ness's appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For other uses, see Ness.
|Also appears in||Super Smash Bros.|
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Starter (Wii U)
|Final Smash||PK Starstorm|
|Number of Jumps||2|
|Can Wall Jump||No|
|Can Wall Cling||No|
|Has a Tether||No|
|Voiced by||Makiko Ōmoto|
Ness (ネス Nesu?) is an returning character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and has appeared in every installment of the Smash Bros. series thus far. He is the main protagonist of the cult hit game EarthBound, which was the only game from its series to be released outside Japan until EarthBound Beginnings.
He currently ranks 16th on the tier list. This is due to his amazing aerial game, and combo ability. He has a large midair jump, with some good KO options. He is also capable of reflecting and absorbing projectiles. However, his poor ground game and recovery prevent him from getting into a higher tier.
How to Unlock (3DS Only)
Complete the following:
- Play 10 matches.
- Beat Classic Mode.
After completing either option, you must fight and defeat Ness in Magicant. In addition to unlocking Ness after you defeat him, you will also unlock Magicant for multiplayer use.
- PK Thunder is a very versatile ability; it can be used for both recovery and anti-recovery. If used on Ness and he hits an opponent, it will cause extreme damage and knockback. Good for airdodge reads.
- PK Fire can stop combos and can also create opening combos for Ness and can setup tech chase situations.
- PSI Magnet absorbs energy projectiles and heals Ness, forcing energy-projectile users such as Samus to get into close combat.
- Has some of the best throws in-game, capable of killing at percentages where other throws are typically unable to.
- His attacks flow very naturally into each other, giving him one of the strongest combo abilities in the game.
- Has a very good aerial game due to his aerials' large range, ability to combo, juggle, kill and edgeguard and their high damage output.
- Ness being a middleweight and floaty gives him resistance to combos and dies at reasonable percents.
- Ness's small hurtbox makes him hard to hit.
- Neutral aerial is a fast move, and can set up for frame traps.
- Forward aerial comes out fast, is multi hit, has a big hitbox, maing it great for edgeguarding and allows followups into itself or his other aerials. Also great for keeping pressure.
- Back aerial is a phenomenal kill move as it comes out very fast, and when sweetspotted, has great knockback. Can also be used for frame traps due to its little to no endlag.
- Up aerial makes a great juggle move with its high damage output and a good kill move as it KOs rather early.
- PK Thunder is Ness's only recovery. PK Thunder is also guided by the player, which can lead to SDs if aimed improperly.
- In addition, if used as an offensive attack, should the projectile misses or Ness hits himself but fails to damage the target, he's left with heavy endlag, which gives the opponent an opportunity to punish.
- PK Thunder can also be reflected or absorbed, and can also be pocketed by Villager, making him fall if used to recover, causing an SD.
- PSI Magnet is useless when facing non-energy projectile users, reducing the amount of offense that he has in matches.
- Has a weak ground game with short ranged tilts and lag heavy smash attacks give him a bad ground-based approach.
- Lack of good landing options, due to them either being heavy on landing lag or being short ranged.
- Has a mediocre neutral due to the aforementioned range problems.
- Has a below average mobility, creating difficulties keeping up with faster characters.
- His double jump, while going higher than most of the other double jumps, is also slower than most of them, making it easy to interrupt.
- Down aerial is a slow move, being hard to hit with the spike hitbox and has very high endlag, making it situational and is now Ness's worst aerial.
Ness's jab is a relatively weak combo that should only be used to increase damage on the opponent. His forward tilt is an effective side kick that has good attack power and can be useful during combos. Ness's down tilt is effective for combos as well but doesn't have quite as much launch as the forward tilt. Ness's up tilt is a powerful attack with decent range above Ness; it is useful for combos and can kill most characters at around 180%.
Ness's forward smash is an extremely effective attack; it has great launch and attack power and is also a reflector. The attack is also a good kill move. His up smash covers a considerably wide range when taken into account Ness's size. It is useful as a combo finisher or can be used to continue combo strings at lower percentages. His down smash is very effective, covering a good range and dealing some good damage; it is best used for edge-guarding or for catching roll-happy opponents off-guard.
Ness's dash attack goes farther out than just in front of his hands; it has great range and catching an opponent with all hits of the attack is useful for starting or continuing combos.
Now for Ness's aerial attacks. His aerials are the most effective attacks in his arsenal, besides possibly his special moves. They all have a use.
Ness's up air is an effective juggling and kill move, killing most characters at just over 100%. His back air is also an effective kill move, killing most characters at just around 100%. The back air is also useful for combos and edge-guarding. Ness's neutral air is good for combos and a useful attack when short-hopping. His down air has good meteor power when sweet-spotted and has good attack power overall. His forward air is the best out of his aerial moves for combos. It combos into itself; Ness can usually hit an opponent three times with it, carrying them off-stage as he does so (the double jump is required to pull this off though).
His throws are all good moves, but his forward and down throws will want to be used for starting combos and his back throw for getting kills. If an opponent is climbing back onto the stage from the ledge, roll towards the ledge, grab them, and back throw. Ness is the champion of back throws, killing most characters between 80 and 95%.
Ness's special moves can be hard to hit an opponent with, but when they do coinnect, they can be very useful. It is crucial that a player not spam these moves or an opponent will be able to attack Ness during the ending lag of the attacks.
PK Flash is an extremely powerful attack but also moves quite slowly. It gets more powerful the longer a player holds down the special attack button; maneuver it towards the opponents to catch them in the blast; the center of the blast is the most powerful part and the move can kill at percentages as low as 60%. Due to its slow speed, PK Flash is hard to hit an opponent with. Ness can hit an opponent with it more reliably if they are suffering shield break or when they are helpless. PK Flash is very useful for edge-guarding; when the opponent is recovering low, move PK Flash off the edge of the stage. When they reach the peak of their recovery, release the special attack button to hit them with the blast. This is most effective with characters like Link, Falco, Mario, and Little Mac.
PK Fire can rack up lots of damage but also has some other uses. When edge-guarding, jump up and PK Fire off the stage to hit the opponent with it; the multi-hits keep them from being able to recover, giving Ness time to get in that lethal back-air. However, PK Fire has some combo uses as well. It is a great combo starter; once the move successfully hits, dash in and grab the opponent and immediately down throw. This will get them airborne, allowing Ness to unleash some neutral or forward airs.
PK Thunder is terrible as a recovery unless a player can use it accurately. If a player finds themselves close to the edge of the stage but have fallen down too far, get away from the edge (a short distance) and then use PK Thunder. However, PK Thunder has some offensive uses as well. When Ness hits himself with it and becomes an electrified human missile, it has deadly capabilities. If an opponent is recovering to the stage, PK Thunder is an effective way to edge-guard. When an opponent is hit by PK Thunder, they are hurled in the direction the projectile came from. This means when Ness uses it as they are recovering, they will be hit towards the edge. This is when Ness has the opportunity to run in for the meteor. Multiple PK Thunders can be used, but using them too often will result in Ness missing with it, leaving him vulnerable to attack. PK Thunder is also good for juggling opponents that are too high for Ness to simply jump up and up-air. When Ness is descending down on the stage, use PK Thunder and aim it towards the opponent that is on the ground; once they are hit by it and suffering the hitstun, fast fall to the ground to prevent being juggled.
Here is where we get to the projectiles I talked about earlier. PSI Magnet will absorb energy-based projectiles; fire, electricity, and lasers are fair game for the PSI Magnet. If a player finds themselves being pelted with energy-based projectiles, use PSI Magnet; it heals Ness a lot especially when absorbing Wii Fit Trainer's fully-charged Sun Salutation. If Ness is facing down lots of non-energy-based projectiles, use the forward smash, Ness's bat, to reflect them back.
Ness is a combo king, particularly in the air. Use Ness's combos effectively to trap opponents in a state of helplessness and then finish them off with one of his many kill options.
Overall, Ness's strengths greatly outshine his weaknesses and he is considered one of the top characters in the Smash 4 metagame.
Differences from Brawl
Ness has received major buffs, as well some few nerfs. Most notably, he no longer has extra frames from being grab-released. Some of Ness custom moves are now similar to Lucas's, such as one his variants of PK Flash being PK Freeze, for example.
- Faster ground and aerial speed.
- Slightly lower base jump.
- No longer suffers an extra 10 frames of grounded grab release animation.
- Many of his attacks now include PSI sparks, serving as sourspots.
- Gains PSI circles on many moves, giving him larger range on some moves, and giving him some good disjointed hitboxes.
- Jab does 2% less damage.
- Forward Tilt has more range, and does 1% more damage with slightly more knockback scaling when angled in either direction.
- Up Tilt now has increased range, with the addition of a PSI spark coming from Ness' hands. It now has a sourspot.
- Down Tilt now has a 2% sourspot at the end of Ness' foot.
- Forward Smash now only has three hitbubbles in the attack. Its base knockback has been increased slightly but its knockback scaling has more than doubled. Its tipper hitbox now has different knockback scaling values than the other hitboxes. The maximum damage has been decreased by 2% and the move has slightly lower range.
- Up Smash now deals increased damage when charged at the sacrifice of losing its charging hitbox. The earliest hitbox on the move (behind Ness) now comes out slightly faster. It is stronger in terms of knockback.
- Down Smash now deals increased damage when charged at the sacrifice of losing its charging hitbox. It has many more hitboxes (although this could easily be called a nerf) and its sweetspot is stronger. It is faster and potentially stronger in terms of knockback (which is now horizontal instead of vertical) and reliability for KO'ing.
- Dash Attack has more range and has less ending lag, but now does 3% less damage to grounded opponents.
- Neutral Aerial's sourspot, and therefore the whole move, now has a shorter duration.
- Forward Aerial does 4% less total damage.
- Back Aerial has more range, however the sweetspot window has been shortened to one frame in the attack.
- Down Aerial has a slightly different animation. There is a PSI spark in the move now. It has suffered the worst out of Ness' standard moveset in the transition between games. Although its startup and total duration are the same, its sweetspot (the Meteor Smash) window is now just a one frame window, making it much harder to land, the overall knockback is noticeably weaker and the autocancel window at the end of the move has been lengthened by a massive 21 frames (from frame 29 in Brawl to frame 50 in Smash 4), now making this move Ness' laggiest aerial and his worst overall aerial attack.
Grabs and Throws
- Grab has increased range.
- Down Throw now has PSI sparks, and deals less damage.
- Up Throw's ending lag has been significantly decreased. It also has slightly higher base knockback.
- Pivot Grab comes out slower, but now has massive disjointed range.
- PK Flash is easier to control, has less startup and ending lag, and the projectile travels faster, but causes less damage.
- PK Fire travels much farther, almost as far as Lucas' in Brawl. However, the pillar of flames is smaller.
- PK Thunder is bigger, has a larger hitbox, with increased hitstun. It is also easier to control, and has intangibility at the beginning of the attack, which means it cannot be cancelled out by an attack or a hurtbox during that period. It can, however, be absorbed or reflected. Additionally, the electric field Ness generates around his body is larger, being able to trap opponents at very close range.
- PK Thunder 2 is faster and has much more knockback scaling. Additionally, when Ness bounce-hits on a wall with PK Thunder 2, he can use PK Thunder again. This only works twice.
- PSI Magnet is much larger and has less ending lag. Additionally, it has windboxes that "sucks" projectiles into it. The field can now absorb Link and Toon Link's Bombs.
- PK Starstorm can now be aimed, similar to Lucario's Final Smash in Brawl, Aura Storm. Ness fires a thin line of meteors from the top-center of the screen. However, it has lower duration and since the player must manually aim the attack, the player no longer can move Ness freely during the Final Smash.
- Standard combo: Throws two punches and a kick, similar to Mario's. Two hits of 2%, then 4% for a total of 8%.
- Dash Attack: Hits three times with PSI circles. Three hits of 4%, 2% and 4% for a total of 10%. The first hit does 7% to aerial opponents, so the maximum damage output is 13%.
- Forward Tilt: Kicks forward with a roundhouse kick. One hit of 9%, but 10% if it's angled up or down.
- Up Tilt: Thrusts upwards with his hands using a PSI circle. The circle does 7% damage, however his hands have a sourspot hitbox of 5%.
- Down Tilt: Does a small thrusting kick. 2% if hit with the tip of his foot, and 4% anywhere else.
- Forward Smash: Swings his signature baseball bat. Has great launch power. It retains its projectile reflecting properties from previous Smash games. There are three hitboxes on this attack that will do 22%, 20% and 18%, starting from the tip of his bat.
- Up Smash: Does an "Around the World" with his yo-yo. The yo-yo will first hit behind him for 9%, then does 13% for the duration of the move.
- Down Smash: Does a "Walk the Dog" trick with his yo-yo. The yo-yo will first hit behind him, for two hits of 1%, then 10%, then in front of him for another two hits of 1%, then 10%.
- Neutral Aerial: Spins around with arms outstretched. Very fast. 11% damage at the start of the move, and 7% for the late hit.
- Forward Aerial: Gives a series of PSI shocks from his hand. Three weak hits of 1%, followed by a finishing hit of 4% for a total of 7%.
- Back Aerial: Kicks backward with both legs. Great launch power. 15% at the start of the move, then 8% after.
- Up Aerial: Sweeps upward with his head. High priority for juggling and a powerful KO move. 13%.
- Down Aerial: Charges for a moment, the unleashes a kick with psychic power downwards. The very start of the attack is a meteor smash. 12% at the start (meteor smash), then 10% after.
Grabs and Throws
- Pummel: Does a very quick headbutt. 1.2%.
- Forward Throw: Using PSI, spins the opponent around before hurling them forward. A high base knockback move that scales very, very slowly. 11%.
- Back Throw: Psychically hurls opponents backwards. It's among the most powerful throws in the game. 11%.
- Up Throw: Spins opponent above his head with PSI, then throws them up. Great for juggling. 10%.
- Down Throw: Hurls opponent beneath him and sets them on fire with PSI circles. Five hits of 0.6%, then one of 4% for a total of 7%.
|Ness's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||PK Fire||PK Flash|
|Side Special||—||PK Fire|
|Up Special||PK Thunder|
|Down Special||PSI Magnet|
|Final Smash||—||PK Starstorm|
|Ness's Custom Special Moves|
|Custom 1||Custom 2|
|Standard Special||Rising PK Flash||PK Freeze|
|Side Special||PK Bonfire||PK Fire Burst|
|Up Special||Lasting PK Thunder||Rolling PK Thunder|
|Down Special||PSI Vacuum||Forward PSI Magnet|
- Up Taunt: Nods his head and says "OK".
- Side Taunt: Holds his baseball bat in front of him.
- Down Taunt: Gives off electric sparks from his hand.
In competitive play
Tips for Ness Players
- Ness has many reliable kill moves: Back aerial, Up aerial and most importantly: Back throw. Forward Smash also, as a hard read killer. Other more situational kill moves are PK Flash and PK Thunder 2.
- Ness' PK Fire is an excellent spacing tool. It racks up damage on hit, has a 0.8x SDI multiplier and can be comboed into anything, most likely grabs, or in the case of a badly spaced PK Fire, an Fsmash.
- There are many uses for PK Thunder:
- Juggle opponents with it. It keeps them up in the air.
- Edgeguarding. The tail of PK Thunder cannot be cancelled out or otherwise be made to miss.
- You can mindgame an opponent into running in at you during PK Thunder, then hit yourself with it, into them.
- PK Thunder 2 has invincibility frames during the first half of the attack. This means that almost any attacks will collide with it and not harm you, most notably, counters like Marth's.
- Pivot grabs are excellent mindgames when your opponent has their back to the edge and is facing you. Back throw will kill much earlier in that situation.
- Ness' Neutral aerial and Forward aerial are very useful. Both can both KO at 120 when offstage. Neutral aerial is a very quick move with lots of priority and small ending lag. Forward aerial is Ness' classic spacing and zoning tool, with much range behind it.
- PK Flash is viable against players with little experience against it.
- It has trandescent priority, which means that anyone who runs at you to attack while PK Flash is near the ground will most likely trade a dash attack or a grab for the full force of PK Flash.
- It has deceptive cooldown. Pivot grabs will retaliate against hasty punishes.
- When PK Flash is only halfway charged, it can KO as early as 100%. When it loses its upwards momentum and is first coming down, it can still KO at 80%.
- Countering the move is a bad idea. If anyone pulls out a counter before PK Flash is fully charged, you can simply delay releasing the move until their invincibility frames wear out. Otherwise, you can keep holding down the special button until the move is cancelled by the ground.
- Using this move is a bad idea against characters who can absorb it.
- Hailing from Onett, a small town in Eagleland, this young boy's ordinary looks hide his psychic powers. Ness fought against the evil Giygas in Earthbound, and in Smash Bros. he unleashes some of the same PSI moves. Watch out for PK Thunder, a guided attack that can also launch Ness like a rocket!
- Earthbound (06/1995)
- Ness (Alt.)
- Ness may have psychic powers, but that doesn't mean he shies away from getting physical. His side smash packs a real punch if you hit enemies with the end of his bat, and it can even deflect projectiles! His up and down smashes also have a lot of range - Ness can land his strikes with ease!
- Earthbound (06/1995)
- PK Starstorm (Ness)
- In EarthBound, this PSI ability belonged to Poo, the Crown Prince of Dalaam and one of Ness's friends. Ness must have learned it especially for Smash Bros.! The attack makes a shower of meteors fall onto the stage, damaging any foes it hits. While the attack's in progress, Ness is invincible and can adjust the meteors' trajectory.
- Ness, alongside Jigglypuff, Bowser Jr. and Ganondorf, are the only playable characters that are unlockables in the 3DS version and starters in the Wii U version.
- Some of Ness' custom moves are aesthetically (and in some cases functionally) similar to Lucas' special moves.