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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Wii U Ness.png
  • 3DS unlock conditions: Complete Classic Mode on any intensity or play 10 Vs. matches, then defeat Ness on Magicant.

The cult favorite PSI kid returns to Smash! Even though he is one of the more unwieldy and odd characters in the game, Ness has been considerably strengthened and streamlined, making him easier to pick up and more rewarding to master. Ness's talents are fairly well-rounded, with a mix of good range from his psychic attacks, useful projectiles and strong KO moves. Ness's main strength lies in his throws, able to pull off damaging combos off of a grab and possessing the best KO throw in the game. Unfortunately, Ness's greatest weakness is his terrible recovery, one that requires some mastery and can still be easily countered by most characters. Nevertheless, Ness is a solid, balanced character suitable for novices, while still remaining a threat at higher levels of play.

Basic attributes[edit]

Ness is, as you might expect, a middleweight leaning toward the lightweight end of the spectrum. His dash speed is poor while his air speed is slightly below average, and he is one of the floatier characters in the air. Like Yoshi, Ness has an extra high midair jump to make up for his unconventional Up Special, but lacking Yoshi's heavy armor state, he has to be more careful not to get hit out of his jump early.

Moveset Analysis[edit]

Standard Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) 2 button(+2 button2 button2 button) Kid Combo Ness punches with both hands, then kicks. This is an average Standard Attack, doing quick, low damage to knock foes away. It is a good panic move when your foe is too close for comfort, but as little use otherwise. You can use it as a poke at close-range due to its sheer speed, but its low reach makes this application a bit iffy. If you want a fast, close-range move, Ness's air attacks are usually the better options.
A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button) A button(+A buttonA buttonA button)
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+A button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+2 button Sideways Kick Ness kicks in front of him. This attack can be angled by tilting the control stick up or down. Like most of Ness's normal attacks, this move's range is pretty poor, but it is still fast enough to serve as a surprise defensive move, knocking foes at close-range away. Its terrible reach makes it terrible on offense, and Ness has plenty of other strong defensive options, so this move won't see a lot of use.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button (Left control or Right control)+A button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+A button
Up lstick+A button Up nunchuk+A button Up dpad+2 button Upward Spark Ness hops up with his arms raised and charged with energy. This move has decent reach, and its weak vertical knockback suggests that it is meant for juggling and starting combos. While it can certainly do so, its poor horizontal reach is a big drawback against grounded foes, and Ness simply has a much better combo starter with Down Throw. It has enough reach to serve as a surprise anti-air, but usually isn't used for anything else.
Up lstick+A button Up control+A button Up cpad+A button
Down lstick+A button Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+2 button Rapid Stomp Ness kicks low at high speed. This move can be spammed extremely quickly, but is severely held back by its limited range and stun. Its poor reach forces you to get dangerously safe to an enemy to use it, where the move is easily countered and punished if your foe shields. It can lock opponents for a few hits, and spamming it can be used to punish spotdodges, but the many strikes quickly knock them out before you can deal decent damage. One neat feature is its ability to trip foes, which can lead to much more damaging followups.
Down lstick+A button Down control+A button Down cpad+A button
A button while dashing A button while dashing 2 button while dashing PSI Pulse Ness lunges forward while sending sparkles out of his hands. This move has nice range due to how far ahead Ness lunges, and it does good damage too boot. You'll mainly be using it as a punish, since its long range and fast shift in position makes it good for closing the distance and punishing rolls or landings. However, it is extremely punishable if shielded due to the long animation and gaps between each strike of the move, so you must not throw it out haphazardly.
A button while dashing A button while dashing A button while dashing
A button while hanging A button while hanging 2 button while hanging Ness climbs up and kicks.
A button while hanging A button while hanging A button while hanging

Smash Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
Smash (Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button Smash (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+A button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button+2 button Bat Swing Ness swings his trusty bat. The attack is strongest at the tip. Ness's baseball bat is his strongest smash attack, but also his slowest. Since it is a powerful smash attack, an obvious use is for risky early KOs. It can be shielded or avoided on reaction, so your best bet at landing this attack is from punishes. The bat can also reflect projectiles at the very moment Ness swings. It is an alternate anti-projectile measure to PSI Magnet, but requires precise timing and can't be spammed often. Its poor against spammable projectiles, but can be a nasty surprise against singular, powerful projectiles.
Smash (Left lstick or Right lstick)+A button Smash (Left control or Right control)+A button Smash (Left cpad or Right cpad)+A button
Smash Up lstick+A button Smash Up nunchuk+A button Up dpad+1 button+2 button Around the World Ness swings his yoyo over him. This is Ness's weakest smash attack, but what it lacks in power, it makes up with utility. Ness's yoyo goes in an arch over him, starting behind him and quickly spinning over to the front, giving the attack nice coverage around Ness. It is also very fast and the hitbox extends a bit away from Ness, making it pretty safe to use as well. These features make this move a great anti-air, but it can also occasionally be used as a surprise attack to launch foes into the air.
Smash Up lstick+A button Smash Up control+A button Smash Up cpad+A button
Smash Down lstick+A button Smash Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+1 button+2 button Walking the Dog Ness swings his yoyo behind, then in front of him. This smash attack is rather unique in that it starts behind Ness instead of in front, and the back hit deals more knockback. Down Smash is one of Ness's weaker KO options, but it can also be used for punishes and edgeguarding. Like most Down Smashes, hitting both sides helps you punish foes trying to roll through you. It also has nice reach and a nearly horizontal knockback angle that is hard to recover from when hit. The yoyo strikes very low to the ground and thus can be used against foes hanging from the ledge, which can have deadly effects combined with its tricky knockback angle.
Smash Down lstick+A button Smash Down control+A button Smash Down cpad+A button

Air Attacks

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png 2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Twirl Attack Ness spins around in the air with his arms extended. This move is an excellent close-range defensive attack. It comes out very quickly and hits on both sides, so it can be used to interrupt combos and launch foes to a more comfortable distance. It is a fast punish and a decent Out-of-Shield option against opponents pressuring you at close range. Its lack of range limits its offensive utility, but it can be used to end combos.
A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Right lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Front Spark Ness discharges PSI energy in front of him. This move is one of Ness's bread-and-butters, finding use in both combos and spacing. The sparks gives this move good range, and it can snag and drag foes with its multiple hits to maximize damage. It is also very quick and has a long duration, which can be used to punish whiffed aerials and airdodges. Its most well-known purpose is as a combo follow-up, able to combo out of Down Throw with ease and into itself reliably. Its good range also makes it a strong spacing tool, letting you keep foes at bay while keeping a safe distance.
Right lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Right cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Left lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png PSI Kick Ness kicks backward. Landing an early hit makes the move extra powerful. This is one of Ness's KO moves. While it doesn't have the range of Ness's Forward Air, it is pretty quick, and can occasionally be used as a poke in place of Forward Air. Your main focus with the move is to land its sweetspot, which is located at the start of the attack. If you can land it consistently, you have yourself a potent aerial KO move and a deadly edgeguarding tool.
Left lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Left cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Up lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Heavy Headbutt Ness swings his head upward. This move is another excellent aerial move. It is very quick, can hit both sides of Ness and even doubles as a KO move. It is a good combo follow-up when your foe is launched too high foe Forward Air, and can combo into other aerials at low percents. It is a good defensive option as well due to its speed and coverage, as long as you're not above your opponent, you'll be in position to retaliate with the move. Finally, it can be surprisingly strong at high percents, being able to KO early especially if close to the upper blastzone.
Up lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Up cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png
Down lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down nunchuk+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down dpad+2 buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Sneaker Stomp Ness kicks downward with PSI on his feet. Strike with the very beginning of the move to meteor smash foes. This move is the black sheep of Ness's amazing air attacks. It is a meteor smash, but not only is the downward spike really hard to land due to the strict timing, its also very weak for a meteor smash for the effort needed to land it. Outside of its terrible meteor smash, the move is still pretty bad, plagued with poor horizontal reach and long startup animation.
Down lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png


Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
A button after grab A button after grab 2 button after grab Cap Butt Ness headbutts the grabbed opponent. This move does little damage but is very quick. Extra damage off of a grab is always a nice thing, but it is especially important for Ness, since that extra 5% could secure a KO off of Back Throw.
A button after grab A button after grab A button after grab
Right lstick after grab Right nunchuk after grab Right dpad after grab Psychic Spin Ness spins the grabbed opponent, launching them forward. This move is a standard sideways throws. It has moderately high knockback no matter your opponent's damage, and will often send your enemies offstage to setup edgeguard scenarios. It is also your most damaging throw, so it can be used to deal raw damage when Down Throw combos no longer work.
Right lstick after grab Right control after grab Right cpad after grab
Left lstick after grab Left nunchuk after grab Left dpad after grab Forceful Spin Ness spins the grabbed opponent, launching them backward. Ness's infamous Back Throw is one of the best KO throws in the game. It has poor base knockback, but ridiculous knockback growth, causing its launch power to skyrocket with the opponent's damage. Having a reliable KO option from a grab is immensely useful, since you only need to land the grab to guarantee a KO, instead of slower smash attacks or high-precision sweetspots.
Left lstick after grab Left control after grab Left cpad after grab
Up lstick after grab Up nunchuk after grab Up dpad after grab Spin Launch Ness spins the grabbed opponent, sending them upward. This throw is pretty useless. When it comes to damage, either side throws will deal more of it unless they are staled. In terms of combos, Down Throw sets up aerial follow-ups with greater ease. Trying to compare KO potential, its strength is dwarfed by Back Throw's deadly knockback. Just avoid using Up Throw if you get a grab.
Up lstick after grab Up control after grab Up cpad after grab
Down lstick after grab Down nunchuk after grab Down dpad after grab Ground Blaze Ness burns the grabbed opponent with psychic energy. This is Ness's combo throw, and also easily his best combo starter. The throw launches your opponent at an angle in front of you, which lets you follow up with aerial chains from low to mid percentages. Ness's throw combos are notoriously effective, and a low percent grab can translate into a free 20% just from his Forward Air chains alone.
Down lstick after grab Down control after grab Down cpad after grab

Special Attacks[edit]

Control Attack Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
B button B button 1 button PK Flash Ness sends out concentrated psychic energy that must be held to charge, unleashing it when he releases. The projectile travels in a slightly controllable arc while charging, but cannot fall lower than the height it was initiated on. This is a pretty bad projectile. It is slow, hard to control and leaves Ness vulnerable to attacks while using it, but it has immense power when released, provided that you can actually hit someone with it. Its main use is to strike recovering foes who can't immediately retaliate against the move, but remember it can't go lower than the ledge. It also places Ness in a helpless state if used in the air, further limiting its use. The one situation it would be useful in is in chaotic battles with many players and none of them are focused on you. In this scenario, you can likely use PK Flash for long term bombardment and get some easy KOs.
B button B button B button
Rising PK Flash The projectile has a bigger radius but can only keep moving upward. This move gives Ness an actual follow-up off up-throw, but that's where it's positives end. is even slower than PK Flash and has an absolutely terrible trajectory. As it moves straight up, it is very easy for even novices to avoid, since it moves so slow and you barely have any control of it. It is worst for sneaky bombardment when attention is diverted away from you for this same reason. Finally, it is noticably weaker than the default, meaning there's not much point to connect with it. Overall, Rising PK Flash is pretty much just a worse version of an already horrible move.
PK Freeze The projectile is a lot weaker, but gives you greater control over its trajectory and freezes foes it hits. This move is much easier to use, but instead of KO power it offers a bit of utility. It is still not much better than PK Flash, as it still takes a long time to direct the projectile around. It also ends too slowly for you to combo out of a successful freeze, making the effect kind of pointless. At least it is better against recovering foes because it allows for more horizontal movement, but even then PK Thunder does the exact same job safer and more effectively.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+B button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button PK Fire Ness launches a bolt forward, diagonally downward if he's in the air. If it strikes an enemy, it will burst into a flame pillar that does multiple hits. This is a pretty good projectile when it comes to trapping foes and dealing damage, but it is very slow, which limits how often you can use it. Most of the time it is used as a punish against a whiffed attack or a roll. When you do land it, it traps foes pretty good, usually letting you get a free grab and start a combo. It is also a potent edgeguard, since the flames will drag foes down as they dissipate. The flame can trigger against certain projectiles, items or interactive terrain, so you can use it in these situations to create a lingering wall, sort of like Robin's Arcfire.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left control or Right control)+B button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+B button
PK Bonfire The move is slower and has less range, but the resulting fire pillar is stronger and lasts longer. This move sounds good on paper, but it's easy to see why it is terrible in practice. A major flaw of the custom is that the flame does more knockback. Thus, even when you successfully land the projectile, your target will not be trapped and escape immediately, resulting in overall lower damage for a slower move. This variant's purpose seems to be creating more large, lasting flames to give you more stage control, but it is too slow and too unwieldy to be a worthwhile pick.
PK Fire Burst The bolt will always travel straight even while airborne. Instead of a fire pillar, it simply explodes on hit, knocking foes away. This variant is based off of Lucas's PK Fire, but it is a bit slower than Ness's Mother 3 counterpart. It functions more like a traditional projectile, having slightly more range especially in the air, letting you spam single bolts to keep foes at a distance. It doesn't set up combos like the default PK Fire, but it is more effective against players who can escape from the flame easily.
Up lstick+B button Up nunchuk+B button Up dpad+1 button PK Thunder Ness sends out an electric projectile that can be guided with the control stick. He can guide the ball at himself to launch him with great force, a state usually called the PKT2, for PK Thunder 2. This is Ness's recovery special, and while it does travel a good distance, it is one of the easiest recoveries to edgeguard in the game. You must be able to direct the ball to launch you at any angle, and even then, your opponents have many ways to stop your recovery with ease. Reflectors and absorbers are very dangerous, as they completely counter the electric ball. Foes can also jump into the projectile or even get hit by PKT2 purposely, since doing so will cancel out the ball and the move respectively, while causing you to plummet helplessly. To alleviate this, it is advisable to start PK Thunder further from the ledge, so your foe takes longer to reach you.

Besides using it as a recovery move, PK Thunder is also a very good projectile and KO move. Since you can direct the projectile freely, you can use it to pester recovering foes while remaining safely onstage. You can turn loops with the PK Thunder near your target to make it harder to avoid. You are completely vulnerable while controlling PK Thunder, so press shield to cancel it as soon as your foe gets past it. As for KOing, PKT2 is tricky to land but very strong. If your opponent succeeds at evading your PK Thunder, you can try to direct it toward yourself instead, launching you at them just as they think they're safe for an early KO.

Up lstick+B button Up control+B button Up cpad+B button
Lasting PK Thunder The electric ball turns tighter and can travel though foes. When launching himself, Ness does less knockback on contact but pierces foes. This move sacrifices power and a bit of distance for safety. Because both the projectile and PKT2 now pierce through foes, you no longer have to worry about enemies bodyblocking your way back onstage, but reflectors and absorbers are still a lethal threat. It is also better for pestering foes since you can zap them multiple times with a single electric ball. PKT2 is not as strong as the default, but can still be a damaging punish option if you manage to land it.
Rolling PK Thunder Both the ball and Ness when launching himself is made stronger, but the distance he travels is reduced. This variant is usable, but its improvements are iffy. Ness's recovery is bad as it is, but reducing his travel distance makes it even worse by forcing you to use it closer to the stage, where opponents have an easier time reaching you. It's also slightly slower, which means it is worse as a projectile. However, a PKT2 can KO extremely early, and landing it is not too different from landing a default PKT2. If you don't mind sacrificing whatever chance you have at recovering for a risky but rewarding attack, you could probably make this custom work.
Down lstick+B button Down nunchuk+B button Down dpad+1 button PSI Magnet Ness surrounds himself with a psychic void that draws in energy projectiles to heal himself. It pushes foes away when he ends the move. This move is one of the very few special attacks that can be used to heal yourself. Against foes that have energy projectiles, it not only keeps them from prolonged projectile camping, but also helps keep your damage low. There is a slight window after ending the move where you can get punished, so watch out for anyone nearby when you use it. PSI Magnet's main flaw is its specific function. It will only ever come in use when you're fighting characters with energy projectiles, being effectively useless against everyone else. Nevertheless, as situational as it is, it is a great move in situations where it is needed.
Down lstick+B button Down control+B button Down cpad+B button
PSI Vacuum Ness can no longer absorb projectiles, but he can suck foes closer and cause an explosion when he ends the move. This variant is the preferred custom move when going up against characters with no energy projectiles to use against. Its vacuum range is surprisingly big, even though the attack is small. In fact, PSI Vacuum is mostly picked not because of its explosion, but because of its disruptive vacuum. You can use the vacuum to mess up your opponents' spacing, or keep them trapped by PK Fire. It can also be used for edgeguarding, using the vacuum to pull recovering foes away from the ledge. It still won't be used as often as Ness's other moves, but it at least gives you a functional Down Special against someone with no moves to absorb.
Forward PSI Magnet Ness holds the void in front of him, leaving his back vulnerable. Releasing the button zaps opponents in the void. This move is obviously based on Lucas's, but is a poor imitation of the version in Brawl. The Forward PSI Magnet tries to blend utility and attack, retaining your ability to absorb projectiles while also giving you an attack. However, it is worse at absorbing projectiles due to its shifter position, and the ending zap has been greatly reduced in range. Overall, you'd be better going for the other, more specialized Down Specials.


Control Info
Wii U GamePad / Pro Controller Wii Remote + Nunchuk Wii Remote (sideways)
Wii Classic Controller GameCube Controller Nintendo 3DS
Up dpad 1 button Up dpad+A button Ness says "Okay!" while nodding.
Up dpad Up dpad Up dpad
(Left dpad or Right dpad) 1 button+2 button A button Ness holds out his bat.
(Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad)
Down dpad 2 button Down dpad+A button Ness swipes his finger around, scattering PSI sparkles.
Down dpad Down dpad Down dpad

Final Smash - PK Starstorm[edit]

Ness calls down a barrage of stars from above, sending foes sideways when they are hit. This move has changed a lot from its counterpart in Brawl. The stars only take up a narrow cylindrical area, but can be slowly directed left or right to aim at enemies. Since Ness is invincible during the attack, your only concern is to guide where the stars will hit. The area of effect is just wide enough that foes can't easily roll through the whole thing. Try to sweep from inward out, progressively forcing your opponents off the stage until they have no space left to avoid it.