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Among the Super Smash Bros. community, it is common for distinguished groups (such as the SmashBoards Back Room) to create tier lists, rankings of a character's potential in tournaments. The SmashBoards tier list is generally seen as the "official" tier list, though many other groups have created their own. The lower the number on the tier list, the greater the potential for that character to do well in tournaments.

The position/rank of a character in a tier list is decided by analyzing carefully many factors, such as:

  • The character's individual attributes (weight, falling speed, movement, damage output, recovery, etc.), moveset, pros and cons, and strategies.
  • The characters matchup against other characters and how well they perform.
    • Counters are taken into consideration, meaning how much advantage or disadvantage a character has against another. However they are not a deciding factor for the ranking.
  • The character's performance on specific stages.
  • The character's overall performance in Tournaments.

respectively). Depending on the number of characters, the amount of categories increases or decreases.

Super Smash Bros./Smash 64 Tier List

The following is the fourth official Super Smash Bros. tier list produced by the Smash 64 community. It is current as of May 12th 2015.

Super Smash Bros. Tier List
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
SSBIconPikachu.png SSBKIconKirby.png SSBIconCaptainFalcon.png SSBIconFox.png SSBIconYoshi.png SSBIconJigglypuff.png SSBIconMario.png SSBIconSamus.png SSBIconDK.png SSBIconNess.png SSBIconLink.png SSBIconLuigi.png

Super Smash Bros. Melee Tier list

The following is the thirteenth official Super Smash Bros. Melee tier list, which is also the second list to not be produced by the Smash Back Room. It is current as of March 29th 2021.

Super Smash Bros. Melee Tier List
S A B+ B-
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
SSBMIconFox.png SSBMIconMarth.png SSBMIconJigglypuff.png SSBMIconFalco.png SSBMIconSheik.png SSBMIconCaptainFalcon.png SSBMIconPeach.png SSBMIconIceClimbers.png SSBMIconPikachu.png SSBMIconYoshi.png SSBMIconSamus.png SSBMIconLuigi.png SSBMIconDoc.png
C+ C- D F
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
SSBMIconGanondorf.png SSBMIconMario.png SSBMIconDK.png SSBMIconYoungLink.png SSBMIconLink.png SSBMIconGAW.png SSBMIconMewtwo.png SSBMIconRoy.png SSBMIconPichu.png SSBMIconNess.png SSBMIconZelda.png SSBMIconKirby.png SSBMIconBowser.png

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tier list

The following is the eighth official Super Smash Bros. Brawl tier list produced by the Smash Back Room. It is current as of April 25th 2013.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tier List
  SS   S A+ A-  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Icon-metaknight.gif Icon-iceclimbers.gif Icon-olimar.gif Icon-diddykong.gif Icon-marth.gif Icon-snake.gif Icon-falco.gif
B C+ C C-
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Icon-pikachu.gif Icon-zerosuitsamus.gif Icon-wario.gif Icon-lucario.gif Icon-kingdedede.gif Icon-toonlink.gif Icon-wolf.gif Icon-fox.gif Icon-mrgame&watch.gif Icon-pit.gif Icon-rob.gif Icon-peach.gif
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Icon-kirby.gif Icon-donkeykong.gif Icon-sonic.gif Icon-ike.gif Icon-zeldasheik.gif Icon-sheik.gif Icon-ness.gif Icon-yoshi.gif
E   F
28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
Icon-luigi.gif Icon-pokemontrainer.gif Icon-lucas.gif Icon-mario.gif Icon-samus.gif Icon-bowser.gif Icon-captainfalcon.gif Icon-link.gif Icon-jigglypuff.gif Icon-zelda.gif Icon-ganondorf.gif

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U/Smash 4/Sm4sh Tier list

The following is the fourth official Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U tier list produced by the Smash Back Room. It is current as of December 11th 2017. Customized characters and Mii Fighters are not included since there is no consistent depiction for a tier list to recognize. This tier list has undergone multiple revisions since the game's initial release due to several Patch Updates which buffed or nerfed some characters and abilities, as well as the addition of new DLC characters.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Tier List [1.1.7]
  S   A
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Bayonetta Icon SSBWU.png Cloud Icon SSBWU.png Diddy Kong Icon SSBWU.png Sheik Icon SSBWU.png Rosalina & Luma Icon SSBWU.png Zero Suit Samus Icon SSBWU.png Fox Icon SSBWU.png Sonic Icon SSBWU.png Mario Icon SSBWU.png Mewtwo Icon SSBWU.png Marth Icon SSBWU.png Ryu Icon SSBWU.png
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Corrin Icon SSBWU.png Lucina Icon SSBWU.png Pikachu Icon SSBWU.png Meta Knight Icon SSBWU.png Lucario Icon SSBWU.png Luigi Icon SSBWU.png Captain Falcon Icon SSBWU.png Peach Icon SSBWU.png
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Olimar Icon SSBWU.png Donkey Kong Icon SSBWU.png Toon Link Icon SSBWU.png Bowser Icon SSBWU.png Villager Icon SSBWU.png Greninja Icon SSBWU.png Mega Man Icon SSBWU.png Ness Icon SSBWU.png Lucas Icon SSBWU.png
30 31 32 34 35 36 37 38
Duck Hunt Icon SSBWU.png Link Icon SSBWU.png Pit Icon SSBWU.png Dark Pit Icon SSBWU.png Yoshi Icon SSBWU.png Shulk Icon SSBWU.png R.O.B. Icon SSBWU.png Robin Icon SSBWU.png Samus Icon SSBWU.png
39 40 41 42 43 44 45
Mr. Game & Watch Icon SSBWU.png Ike Icon SSBWU.png Wario Icon SSBWU.png Roy Icon SSBWU.png Charizard Icon SSBWU.png Little Mac Icon SSBWU.png Palutena Icon SSBWU.png
  F   G  
46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
Pac-Man Icon SSBWU.png Falco Icon SSBWU.png Bowser Jr. Icon SSBWU.png Dr. Mario Icon SSBWU.png Kirby Icon SSBWU.png Wii Fit Trainer Icon SSBWU.png King Dedede Icon SSBWU.png Ganondorf Icon SSBWU.png Zelda Icon SSBWU.png Jigglypuff Icon SSBWU.png

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tier List

There is currently no official Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tier list produced by the Smash Back Room or a source on par with it, due largely to the lack of a Smash Back Room for Ultimate.

Controversy over the existence of Tiers

Tiers are a point of contention among members of the Smash community. The majority believe tiers exist in every Smash Bros. games as not all characters are perfectly balanced — something which would be extremely difficult to achieve in a game with such a diverse cast of characters. However, there are other players in the Smash Bros. community who disagree with the idea of tier lists or who believe they are only relevant to a specific playstyle, or due to their own character preferences. Such people are sometimes known as "anti-tier lists".

Several prominent members of the community have performed exhaustive tests on the objective qualities of certain attacks, such as speed, hitbox, duration, priority, etc. Some characters are comparatively more favorably endowed with these qualities than others, providing some degree of evidence to base tier listings. Tournament results are used to reinforce the placements of certain characters on the tier list; for example the winners of Melee tournaments most commonly use Fox, Falco, Sheik, and Marth, and the winners of Brawl tournaments most commonly use Meta Knight, Ice Climbers, Olimar, and Diddy Kong.

Many different arguments supporting the belief that tiers do not exist have been presented by anti-tiers. One common argument is that the tier list causes players to only play top tier characters, and that since low tier characters are never used, their metagames will never evolve and the community will never know if they are really just as good as the other characters, creating an obstacle of sorts for players. However, even low tier characters have tournament representation and their dedicated mains. These players put in just as much effort, if not more, compared to top tier players, to develop their characters and improve their skill, so the metagames of these characters continue to evolve. These players additionally routinely lose to players of top and high tier characters and place lower than top and high tier mains. In addition, if a player of a low tier character does exceptionally well with their character (such as by placing high in a large tournament), the tier list can be changed to raise that character higher, reflecting that the character was better than originally thought.

Another common argument is that since the tier list constantly changes, it can never be accurate and therefore is nonexistent. In response, pro-tiers argue that the tier list reflects the metagame at a certain period of time, and if a new technique is discovered that elevates a certain character's position, since the technique was never used before, it was irrelevant to previous periods of time.

Anti-tier lists also argue that since every character can be played differently and every person plays differently, any character can have strategies that make them tournament viable. Although every character has different strategies that can be used, the top-tier characters' strategies are more effective in matches than the strategies of low-tiers, and even the best strategies of low-tier characters are continually defeated.

A frequently presented argument against tiers is that the series' developers did not intend for the characters to be unbalanced, and that tiers make the game "less fun." Although most casual players and even competitive players agree that the Smash series would be better if every character was equal, this does not discredit the existence of tiers; Nintendo once admitted that tiers existed in the Smash series.

Anti-tierists additionally attempt to disprove the existence of tiers by defeating top-tier players or CPUs using low-tier characters, saying that since they can defeat top-tiers with a low-tier, tiers must not exist. However, skill level is more important than character choice in the outcome of a match, and a skilled player using a low-tier will be able to defeat a weaker player or a CPU (who, despite their fast reactions, severely underutilize the best tactics of their character and are as good as a poor player at best) using a top-tier.

The tier list is also not based on the outcome of one match and is instead based on repeated, consistent placements of characters in tournaments. The tier list is also focused on 1v1 play with no items, a restricted stage list, and players who understand and use the tactics of their character to their greatest potential, and tiers are not relevant in situations where these qualifications don't apply, like in matches with more than two players, with items, on stages not included on the list, when characters aren't fully utilized, or under any other circumstances that defy these qualifications.

Tier lists have been frowned upon by some people in the Smash Bros. scene as they see tier lists as restrictions on who will be played in tournaments, and many players seem to get upset when they see that their favorite characters are among "the worst in the game." This is not the intention of a tier list. The tier list technically does not restrict the characters played, because the tier list ranks characters based on their potential in tournaments, not who is the "best" character to play. Some also believe that it limits the ability to learn from mistakes caused by players as the failure would be pinpointed on their character that they use rather than the player's own ability. However, competitive players and many casual players would know their character's weaknesses and strengths, and a player would be able to tell when a mistake was their own fault or due to a weakness of their character, making them able to further increase their ability.

Event Hubs

The website also posts their own version of the tier lists for the smash games. The website promotes their tier lists to be determined by player voting to reflect the present day player mentality of the ever evolving tier list.

Eventhubs tier lists are generally considered to be unofficial and often faces criticism from the competitive community. Since users can vote on the character tiers, the conclusions for the tier list are based on a general (mostly casual) audience while the SmashBoards lists use professional players and tournament play to determine their conclusions. These tier lists are also intentionally designed to be fluid: meaning that the placement of the characters can shift drastically, even if no game updates alter the gameplay. However a counterargument to this is that tier lists change multiple times anyways: especially as players discover new techniques and tactics for the characters.

External Links