|“||This popular Pokémon has become so famous that these days, everyone knows its name. Pikachu's electricity attacks are a real shock to any opponent.||”|
|—Super Smash Bros's instruction manual|
Pikachu (ピカチュウ, Pikachu) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. It originates from the Pokémon series, being its recognizable mascot. Pikachu is generally a light, quick character, with fast walking, dashing, and air speeds, though its falling speed is slightly below average. While its attacks are generally fast, it has a few rather powerful moves, though its moveset is overall more combo-orientated.
Pikachu is currently ranked 1st on the tier list for its solid attack power, good combining ability, and arguably the best recovery in Super Smash Bros. He has unarguably the best matchup spread in the game, having a positive matchup against every other character (except Captain Falcon in the Japanese version), the only character to ever pull this off. Pikachu is also the only disadvantaged matchup for both Kirby and Mario.
This does not mean Pikachu is perfect with no flaws whatsoever. Pikachu is a lightweight, meaning it can get KO'd at lower percentages than other characters. Pikachu also lacks tech options.
Pikachu is a small, very quick character with fast moves, a great recovery, great finishers, a projectile, disjointed hitboxes, great comboing and edge-guarding abilities, and an exceedingly powerful back throw. Often cited as the main reason Pikachu is first on the tier list is its recovery: it is considered the best, and in many ways the only hard to edge-guard recovery in Super Smash Bros. Its aerial game is very potent; all of its aerials inflict high damage and have good KO potential, and its back and up aerials have large disjoints making them good edge-guarding moves. Going too far offstage while edge-guarding is also not too risky for Pikachu due to its very long recovery. However, Pikachu lacks a meteor smash, unlike most other characters.
Pikachu has a variety of specials. Its Thunder Jolt is a relatively underused attack, but it can be useful potentially for edge-guarding and camping. Quick Attack is by far the best recovery move in Super Smash Bros. - as well as traveling a huge distance, it can also allow Pikachu to escape certain situations, and it can be extended so Pikachu does not lose its momentum after the second warp. If used perfectly, Pikachu has the ability to stall on the ledge infinitely, and it will be invulnerable due to Quick Attack's invincibility frames. Pikachu's down special, Thunder, is a very powerful move that can be used as a finisher, but it is most notable for the Thunderspiking technique - which involves using it when the opponent is near the upper blast line for a Star KO. This is performed easiest with an up smash.
Pikachu has among the best and most versatile combo ability in the game. It has four great combo starters: up tilt, up aerial, neutral aerial, and down aerial. It also has the second fastest air speed in the game to compliment its combo ability. Its up tilt can be used to combo into itself from low to mid/mid-high percentages, or just about any other move (including a grab). It can start a combo, and can even lead into a KO move such as an up smash followed by Thunder, a grab then a back throw, or a back aerial to set up an edge-guard. The up tilt can also be followed by another up tilt for shield pressure. Its attacks, most notably its forward smash and back aerial, have strange hitboxes, with the forward smash being an excellent finisher, but being very slow compared to Pikachu's other moves. Its combo ability is accentuated by its Thunderspiking ability, as explained above. Due to quick, strong aerials, Pikachu's shield pressure is commonly considered to be the third or fourth best in the game, behind Fox, Kirby, and possibly Captain Falcon.
Overall, Pikachu has excellent matchups and beats the majority of the characters in the game, with only a few even or close to even matchups. The main ones are Fox on Hyrule Castle and Captain Falcon on Dream Land.
The problems Pikachu faces are small, but still noticeable. It is moderately easy to combo, along with the fact it is light weight, despite usually being able to get out of bad situations with Quick Attack. Its up special, despite its invincibility frames and wonderful range, leaves Pikachu vulnerable if it simply warps onto the stage from above the edge due to its ending lag. Even if it is used to escape from situations, it can also leave Pikachu vulnerable if the opponent has a fast enough dashing speed so that they can reach Pikachu before it can act. If one can get over these small issues, Pikachu will be a huge asset.
|Neutral attack||2%||Pikachu rams its head into the opponent. This move can chain into itself at early percents.|
|Forward tilt||↗||9-11%||Pikachu stands on its two hands and kicks both its feet forward. This move can be angled up or down.|
|Up tilt||9-11%||Pikachu whips it tail above its body in an arc.|
|Down tilt||9-12%||Performs a low tail sweep.|
|Dash attack||9-12%||Pikachu leaps forward and attacks with a headbutt.|
|Forward smash||14-18%||Pikachu leans forward and releases a short jolt of electricity from its cheeks.|
|Up smash||14-18% (clean), 7-9% (late)||Pikachu does a quick backflip, striking opponents with its tail. A powerful vertical KO move.|
|Down smash||12-16% (front), 10-13% (back)||Pikachu performs a double kick attack on both sides.|
|Neutral aerial||11-14% (clean), 9-11% (late)||Pikachu sticks one foot out for a few seconds. An easily definable sex kick.|
|Forward aerial||21% if all hits connect, 5-6% (landing)||Pikachu spirals forward with electricity shooting out of its cheeks. This attack hits multiple times and is often used as a combo starter.|
|Back aerial||12-16% (clean), 11-14% (late)||Pikachu turns and kicks horizontally. Very powerful, being both a combo starter/finisher and being one of Pikachu's main spacing moves.|
|Up aerial||8-10%||Pikachu flips in the air to strike upward with its tail.|
|Down aerial||10-13%||Pikachu spirals down toward the ground with electricity shooting out of its cheeks. Knocks opponents horizontally.|
|Forward throw||9-12%||Pikachu grabs the foe, flips and releases them. Average throw power.|
|Back throw||14-18%||Pikachu puts the foe on its back and shocks them. This throw would later become Pikachu's forward throw in future Super Smash Bros. installments.|
|Floor attack (front)||5-6%||Gets up and headbutts both sides of itself.|
|Floor attack (back)||5-6%||Performs a sweepkick while getting up.|
|Edge attack (fast)||5-6%||Pikachu flips and hammers one foot onto the floor.|
|Edge attack (slow)||5-6%||Pikachu slowly climbs up on the stage and attacks opponents with its tail.|
|Neutral special||Thunder Jolt||8-10% (ball), 6-7% (wave)||Pikachu shoot off a bouncing ball of electricity. The projectile travels forward whilst bouncing along the ground, and can also travel up walls, below the edge, and along ceilings. When this move is used in the air, Pikachu will instead shoot the sphere of electricity diagonally downwards.|
|Up special||Quick Attack||0%||Pikachu quickly moves in two directions at warp speed. The directions of each warp can be controlled with the control stick, with the second warp being optional, though the direction of second warp must be at least 45 degrees different than the direction of the first warp. This is easily the best recovery move in the game due to the huge distance it covers, and the invincibility frames. However, the dash itself deals no damage.|
|Down special||Thunder||9-12% (bolt), 12-16% (blast)||Pikachu calls down a bolt of lightning causing slight vertical knockback to any opponent in the bolt's way. When the bolt hits Pikachu, a large shockwave is created that deals more damage and stronger knockback than the bolt itself.|
- Turns to its left, stands on tiptoes, lowers its tail, waves its arms four times, and looks to its left then to its right, accompanied by it saying "Pika Pika!" (the "a" is much longer in the second "Pika").
- Gets released from a Poké Ball.
In 1P Game
In the game's Single-player mode, Pikachu is fought on the Saffron City stage.
Combos and General Strategy
Extended Quick Attack
Pikachu's already long recovery can be extended even further by letting the analog stick snap back to neutral position before the end of the second quick attack. This can also be used on the first quick attack, but runs a high risk of missing the second quick attack.
Launching the opponent straight up (usually with an Up smash) and using Thunder (Pikachu's Down B) is called "Thunder-Spiking." Thunder-Spiking is usually used as a combo finisher. Unlike Pikachu's Thunder in Super Smash Bros. Melee, Thunder in Super Smash Bros. has infinite vertical range. This technique allows Pikachu to get a vertical kill at around 40% damage sooner than just a normal Up smash.
- Mouse PKMN
- Height 1'4"
- Weight 13 lbs
- When several of these Pokémon gather, their electricity could cause lightning storms.
- (Pokédex excerpt)
- Pokémon (GB)
- Pikachu is the only character in Super Smash Bros., and one of the few characters in the series' history to not have a spike.
- Pikachu is the only character in Super Smash Bros. who carries an item in its mouth instead of its hands.
- All of Pikachu's static and electric effects are rendered in 2-D due to limitations.
- Pikachu is capable of Star KOing itself on Bonus Stages 1 and 2.