This is where you can find out which character best suits you, and how to use them in the best possible way. For character-specific strategies, see the individual character pages.
Characters are supposed to fight the way they were meant to. This means that light characters aren't supposed to use the tactics of a heavy character, or vice-versa. There is no ultimate strategy suitable for all characters, or that any type of character is any better than any other. The strategies of characters are completely dependent on the weight class of the character. All characters are to be treated not only evenly, but differently, as they all have different characteristics and fighting styles.
This page unfolds each and every character; their ideal strategy, their fighting style, and other things that are helpful for those of you who are unsure about their playing style and which character you should use.
Picking the perfect Character
This is the most important part of the game. After unlocking all the characters, there are 35 in total, not including those that can transform. (Samus into Zero Suit and back to Power suit, Pokémon Trainer's three different Pokémon, and Zelda/Sheik) So, picking one or two that are just perfect for you can sometimes be a challenge.
The first question to ask yourself is what fighting style do you like? There are many types. Fast combos, projectiles, slow but strong smash attacks, among others. But if you're not sure as to which type you prefer, you should probably experiment with them all. An easy way to do this is by going to training mode and just looking at all their attacks, but there's no telling what situation you'll be put in during a brawl, and the training isn't the best for exploring all of those. It's recommended by many that when you first start playing the game, you go to The Subspace Emissary. That way you use almost every character. The only downside is that to use some characters, you have to finish the game.
Another option is the Multi-Man Brawl. Here, you can see how all the character's moves affect your opponents. But there's a downside to this too: the Alloys you fight in the Multi-Man Brawls are launched much further than normal, although you can still see how much damage the attacks inflict.
The final option is arguably the best: Just brawl! Pick a character and use them in a 2 or 3 minute brawl against the easiest available CPU-controlled character.
The point is: just experiment with every possible situation, then start making the Computer harder and harder but continue to experiment. Doing a Solo Classic Mode with all the characters not only allows you to unlock secrets, but it also allows you to experiment. And whenever you unlock a character, test them a few times; see if you like them.
Strategies for Specific Classes
This section will help you find the perfect strategy for your chosen character(s).
Light characters are all about Speed and Combos. These two aspects of a character's attacks are vital and are your biggest asset when fighting. Even more important are combos you design yourself, such as throwing someone up and hitting them whilst in the air, jumping up again and hitting them higher, and higher with every move. This is known as juggling. Combos are important for light characters but speed is also important. In terms of light characters: the faster, the better.
Because light characters are light; they are generally launched further than heavy characters when hit. So they tend to have very good recovery moves. For example: Mr. Game & Watch is one of, if not the lightest, characters in the game. So, he is launched the furthest, but he also has an excellent recovery move! Not only does it send him flying high up into the sky; but he can glide back down slowly afterwards, and not only that; but it's one of the few recovery moves in the game that doesn't leave him vulnerable after use.
Shielding is another useful strategy: Get into the hang of shielding, then rolling or dodging, and repeating the process. This is a good strategy for most characters but Light ones more than others.
Obviously Medium characters are in the middle, they can have powerful attacks that take a while to charge and then leave them slightly vulnerable, but they often have fast combos that build up damage slowly, so the question people ask a lot is; "When I use a Medium character, should I use a strong attack, or a fast one?" This really depends on not only your playing style, but the weight of your character. All medium characters are about the same in terms of weight, but there are also sub classes: Very Light, Medium-light, Medium-Heavy, and very Heavy. So if your medium character feels lighter, treat them as a light character; with fast combos and other speedy attacks. And vice versa: If your medium character is heavier than usual, treat them like a heavy character.
But, for a character like Mario or Luigi who are almost exactly in the Middle, what do you do? Luigi does have a combo. (Down Special) But, he has no 'strong' attacks that follow the characteristics of a heavy character.
If you can't decide by judging on the weight of the characters, look at their moves. Samus Aran's Standard Special move appears to be a strong attack, and her Up special move is a fast combo. But, don't assume her standard Special move is a strong one. Just because it's strong when you charge it up, doesn't mean it's strong when you don't. On the other hand, Donkey Kong's Standard Special Move is also a chargeable one, but when you don't charge it up a lot, it still deals a lot of damage, and it's slow as well. So the final thing to remember is: When you're deciding if your character is best as a light or a Heavy, don't think too much about the actual damage of the attacks, think of the speed they execute at. Donkey Kong's punch takes a long time to execute but Samus' power shot is very fast to execute for such a powerful move.
There is a very popular strategy for heavy characters; and most people rely on it every time they use a heavy character:
This is known as the three P's:
Patience is all about waiting for the right moment to strike; many heavy character moves leave the character vulnerable for some time, so don't go attacking all the time, wait for the time to strike.
Precision is the next most important thing. When you do get a chance to attack, make sure you actually hit your opponent! Too many times people wait for ages to get the right chance to strike, and then they completely miss their opponent, which is very unfortunate, because they immediately effectively lose the game; they needed to attack so badly but they wasted it when they got the chance.
Power: As mentioned above, you don't get that many chances to strike, so if you get a perfect opportunity, don't waste it by using a weak attack. You're a heavy character, you're renowned for having the strongest attacks in the game! If you're going to attack, do it properly and unleash your most powerful moves!
- Light — Speed and combos (don't forget to shield every now and then)
- Medium — Follow the sub weight class of your character, and if not, look at your moves and the speed at which they execute.
- Heavy — Patience, Precision, Power (in order of importance)