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Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS Wii U Pikachu.png

The mascot of Pokémon is back for the fourth installment of Smash Bros., and brings with it its classic lightning-fast kit. With high mobility, quick attacks, small size and good projectiles, Pikachu is perfectly built for its light weight category, letting it weave around enemy attacks while striking with fast combos. The same strengths come with the same weaknesses, and Pikachu still has to contend with its poor melee range, having only its tiny limbs and tail for physical attacks. Not only is Pikachu lightweight, and therefore easier to KO, it also has trouble getting KOs of its own, which can be very detrimental if the battle drags on for long enough, and even fatal if the opponent's moves are pretty strong (like Mario and Link). Nevertheless, Pikachu is a strong choice for any player that prefers speed and maneuverability, standing among the likes of Fox and Sonic as one of the most mobile characters in the game.

Basic Attributes[edit]

Pikachu is, without a doubt, fast, having the one of the fastest dashing speeds and above average walking speed. Its jump are fairly high and it falls moderately quickly. Pikachu is one of the lightest characters in the game, making it easy to knock out, but it is also one of the smallest characters in the game, which makes it easier to sneak around attacks. Pikachu's evasive options are pretty average. Its crouch does gives it a very low profile owing to its already small size, and it has a relatively fast crawl to let it advance under projectiles. Note that Pikachu's tail is raised when crawling backward, meaning that some attacks might hit you if crawling back when they wouldn't if you were crouching or crawling forward. Finally, Pikachu has a wall jump, making its already flexible recovery even better.


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) Rapid Headbutt Pikachu strikes with its head repeatedly, dealing low damage and gradually hitting foes away. This move is very quick both to come out and end, which means it doesn't require much commitment or risk to use, although its range is pretty poor. You can use it occasionally to rack up minor damage, although you will usually get around three hits before knocking your foe too far. On foes that are knocked down, you can also jab lock them for a few inescapable hits before they get back up. The move has a very small chance to trip foes, which gives you a chance for an extra follow-up.
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 Handstand Kick Pikachu kicks forward with both feet, knocking foes sideways. The attack can be angled up or down, doing slightly higher or lower damage and knockback respectively. This move is decently fast and has fair knockback, but it has very small range due to Pikachu's stubby feet, forcing you to be really close to your foe to hit. It is a good move to pivot cancel out of a dash, letting you save Side Smash for KOs.
(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 Tail Swipe Pikachu swings its tail in an arch over itself, dealing weak upward knockback. This is one of Pikachu's bread and butter moves, able to chain into itself and set up combos and juggles. It has relatively good reach among Pikachu's standard attacks, and its arc could be used to punish opponents trying to roll through you. It is also a decent anti-air as well. Use this often to try and get a combo going.
Up lstick+A button Up control+A button Up cpad+A button
Down lstick+A button Down nunchuk+A button Down dpad+2 button Tail Sweep Pikachu sweeps its tail across the ground, knocking foes away. This move is slightly slower than Pikachu's Strong Side attack, but it has much better range as it uses Pikachu's tail. You can use it to create some distance between you and your opponent, or use it near the ledge as a weak edgeguard. The move has a slight chance of tripping your foes, giving you a free follow-up when it happens.
Down lstick+A button Down control+A button Down cpad+A button
A button while dashing A button while dashing 2 button while dashing Lunge Headbutt Pikachu lunges forward, hitting with its whole body. The move is stronger at the start than when hitting late. At low percentages, its sideways knockback could set up follow ups, as opponents are sent in the same direction as Pikachu's lunge, keeping them close for potential follow ups. At higher percentages, it becomes less effective, mostly used for the lunging effect to hit foes just out of range. It is one of Pikachu's slower attacks in terms of endlag, so using it carelessly will leave you open to counterattacks.
A button while dashing A button while dashing A button while dashing
A button while hanging A button while hanging 2 button while hanging Pikachu gets up and swings its tail.
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 Close Discharge Pikachu shoots out a close-range ball of electricity to attack. The move is strongest at the center of the electric ball, slightly weaker at Pikachu's face, and weaker still at the tip of the sphere. This is one of Pikachu's most powerful moves, naturally making it a move for getting KOs. However, its knockback is rather lackluster for a KO move unless you hit with the sweetspot, requiring you to have good spacing to get earlier KOs. Using pivot cancels out of short dashes can help, as you can use backward dashes to reposition yourself before you strike.
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 Tail Strike Pikachu strikes hard with its tail in an arch over it. This is another one of Pikachu's KO moves, but it loses power if you hit opponents with the tip of Pikachu's tail or near the end of the attack. You need to land the move consistently on foes at the start of the attack for the move to reliably KO. As an Up Smash, you can use it out of a dash or as an out-of-shield option to increase your chances of hitting with it. Be careful when using it out of a dash, since the short slide from the momentum of the dash could cause you to miss the move's sweetspot.
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 Electric Spin Pikachu spins around covered with electricity, trapping nearby enemies for multiple hits before launching them away. This move doesn't have a lot of KO power, but it makes up for it in utility. This move is great for punishing opponents that like to spam rolls, as its long duration and ability to trap opponents will usually let it catch opponents rolling around you. It also chips away at shields, although your opponent could counter attack if they manage to shield the whole move. Due to the move's fairly long duration, try not to miss with it or you'll leave yourself open to attacks.
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 Curl Spin Pikachu spins around, hitting with its whole body. The attack is stronger at the start then at the end. This move comes out extremely quickly, making it great for breaking combos or for air-to-air trades. It also lasts long enough that you can use it to punish airdodges. You can also use it to end combos or follow up on attacks, as the move's single strong hit makes it more reliable as a combo finisher than Pikachu's other air attacks. This feature makes it useful for offstage edgeguarding as well.
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 Bolt Corkscrew Pikachu spins forward, enveloped with electricity to hit foes multiple times. Doesn't have the best reach, but its good for racking up damage. If you land during the weaker hits of the move, you can usually follow it up with an attack. In the air, it doesn't really combo into anything, as the move knocks foes a bit too far away. It can be used as an edgeguard by fast falling during the move, dragging foes downward with you.
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 Pika Copter Pikachu spins with its limbs extended, doing multiple hits on opponents. The final hit is moderately strong, but landing before the final hit occurs will still knock foes away, just with weaker knockback. This move is quite awkward, since it has a significantly longer duration than Forward Air and doesn't trap opponents as well. This long duration could make it useful for catching airdodging enemies. You can also move laterally during the move letting you drag foes around, or fast fall to drag them lower when offstage.
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 Tail Swing Pikachu swipes its tail in an arch above it, doing weak upward knockback. Another excellent combo move, this attack is basically Pikachu's Strong Up Attack in the air. It is very fast and can chain into itself or combo into Pikachu's other air attacks. Use this very often for its combo potential. It's wide arc also makes it a decent anti-air as well. Learn to judge when opponents might be able to escape from an Up Air juggle, so you can finish the combo with another aerial at the right time.
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 Lightning Strike Pikachu headbutts downward, knocking foes sideways. If Pikachu lands during the attack, nearby foes will be knocked away with weak knockback. Another good edgeguard move, although this move has a bit of startup delay. It does last moderately long, so it should hit if your enemy mistimes their airdodge. It can also be used on stage for its surprising horizontal range and good knockback, but it is a bit riskier as you could land too early and leave yourself vulnerable to attacks during the landing animation.
Down lstick+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down control+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png Down cpad+A buttonControl-Modifier-Air.png

Throws

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 Static Pikachu discharges weak electricity at the grabbed opponent. This move does low damage for a grab attack, but it is very fast, giving it slightly above average damage output compared to other grab attacks. If there's no other foes around when you grab an opponent, it never hurts to shock them a few times for extra damage before throwing.
A button after grab A button after grab A button after grab
Right lstick after grab Right nunchuk after grab Right dpad after grab Electric Bed Pikachu shocks the grabbed foe a few times on its back before launching them forward. This is Pikachu's most damaging throw, and it has a pretty good knockback trajectory. At lower percentages, it launches opponents forward and not far above the ground, letting you follow up with attacks if you're quick enough. At higher percentages, you can use this to set up edgeguards if you're closer to a ledge facing forward.
Right lstick after grab Right control after grab Right cpad after grab
Left lstick after grab Left nunchuk after grab Left dpad after grab Pika Tumble Pikachu rolls backward and tosses the grabbed foe. This sideways throw is more conventional, doing just enough knockback to toss foes a safe distance away. You will usually use this to set up edgeguards, especially because Pikachu rolls backward when using the move, leaving you and your opponent closer to the edge when the throw occurs.
Left lstick after grab Left control after grab Left cpad after grab
Up lstick after grab Up nunchuk after grab Up dpad after grab Jump Headbutt Pikachu knocks the grabbed foe on to its head and headbutts them upward. This is Pikachu's least damaging throw, probably meant to set up combos and juggles. However, Pikachu's Down Throw both does more damage and is more suitable for combos due to its low knockback and trajectory. You can use it at higher percentages to set up Thunder hits, but it doesn't do enough stun for both moves to reliably combo into each other.
Up lstick after grab Up control after grab Up cpad after grab
Down lstick after grab Down nunchuk after grab Down dpad after grab Pika Crush Pikachu knocks the grabbed foe into the ground and slams them with its whole body. Pikachu's Down Throw functions like many others of its kind, hitting opponents at a weak upward angle that is perfect for follow-ups. This is the go-to throw whenever you grab a foe at low percent, as you can set up Strong Up Attacks and any aerial attack that will let you rack up more damage than using your other throws.
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 Thunder Jolt Pikachu discharges an electric projectile which bounces along the ground. The projectile will move diagonally downward when used from the air, reverting to its grounded version once it touches a surface. This is Pikachu's standard projectile, and can be used like with any other projectile. You can use it to annoy foes from a distance, although the move isn't very spammable due to its moderate endlag. The airborne version can be used against recovering foes as an edgeguard. You can also use it to facilitate an approach, running up behind a Thunder Jolt as it reaches an enemy and responding to your opponent's reaction to the projectile. Try using short platforms and walls to your advantage, as the projectile will cling to them as well, making it harder to evade. As a general tip, using it from midair is almost always preferable to using it on the ground, as Pikachu can still move laterally during the move's animation, whereas you're forced to remain stationary for the grounded version.
B button B button B button
Thunder Wave Pikachu releases a concentrated electric projectile which travels a lower distance and does less damage, but paralyzes foes briefly. This move functions much like Zero Suit Samus's Paralyzer, and opponents will be stunned for longer at higher percentages. This projectile is not as good for ranged harassment, but in turn becomes useful for setting up combos or KO moves. Pikachu is stuck in the move's animation a bit longer, and you have to be closer to your opponent to land the stun, so you're far from guaranteed a free attack when you use the move. However, that extra stun time will often come in handy at high percentages, giving you more time to set up properly spaced smash attacks for the KO.
Thunder Shock Pikachu discharges an electric projectile that moves horizontally with a slight downward angle, no matter if used on the ground or in the air. The projectile explodes once it reaches max range, doing more damage and knockback. This move functions even more like a traditional projectile than Thunder Jolt, having a conventional trajectory and being better at a distance. Thunder Shock rewards good positioning and spacing, with a sweetspot that requires precision to land. It also has a pretty long animation like Pikachu's other projectiles, so you can't spam it liberally. However, once you can land it consistently, you will gain a powerful mid-range attack. A sweetspotted Thunder Shock can even KO foes at around 90% offstage, giving it some extra use as an edgeguard.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left nunchuk or Right nunchuk)+B button (Left dpad or Right dpad)+1 button Skull Bash Pikachu launches itself forward, headbutting the first foe it hits. Pikachu can charge up the move to increase its distance and power. Tapping the control stick like when inputting a smash attack instead of tilting it will let you use a partially charged Skull Bash instantly. This move is a bit awkward for an attack, as it is one of Pikachu's more sluggish moves. It doesn't go very far or hit very hard uncharged, and has poor KO potential even when fully-charged, while charging it in the first place makes the move telegraphed. Pikachu also takes a while to recover from the attack even if it hits an opponent, limiting follow-up options and leaving you vulnerable to counterattacks. It does have uses for recovery though, since it goes pretty far when charged and doesn't put you into helpless state. Combined with Quick Attack, Pikachu has one of the furthest recoveries of any character in the game.
(Left lstick or Right lstick)+B button (Left control or Right control)+B button (Left cpad or Right cpad)+B button
Shocking Skull Bash Pikachu spins forward surrounded by electricity, dragging foes along with multiple strikes. It takes significantly longer before Pikachu can act out of the move, making it more risky if missed. This is basically a stronger version of Pikachu's Forward Air attack, just extremely sluggish. The move can sometimes fail to chain into subsequent hits if your opponent is too close, leaving you wide open to attacks. Like many custom special variants that can pierce through opponents, this move is best used when fighting multiple opponents, as you can charge up and tack on more damage with your foes' attentions divided. Like the default Skull Bash, this move can be used for recovery purposes, although its extremely long ending animation makes it a lot less effective for this role.
Heavy Skull Bash Pikachu now always travels a set distance regardless of how much the move is charged, in exchange for greater speed and power. This Skull Bash variant is arguably the best as a direct attack, as it moves much faster and packs a fair amount of power uncharged. The damage and knockback of the move quickly degrades from distance, so it is more of a close-range attack. An uncharged hit can serve as a KO move at around 120% point blank, giving Pikachu an additional KO option. However, you are still vulnerable to attacks if the move misses or if your foe shields it, so use it sparingly. The reduced distance of the Heavy Skull Bash doesn't impact its use as a recovery too much, as you don't have to charge it and you can act moderately quickly after using it.
Up lstick+B button Up nunchuk+B button Up dpad+1 button Quick Attack Pikachu quickly moves in the inputted direction. If a directional input is made in another angle, Pikachu with lunge forward a second time in that direction, putting Pikachu into a helpless state afterward. The move does low damage and knockback to enemies in its path. This is Pikachu's recovery move, one of the best in the game due to its sheer speed, distance and flexibility. As its recovery is so great, Pikachu can go for more risky offstage edgeguards and still make it back to the stage. Try to master the move's direction change, as it will greatly increase the move's effectiveness, letting you recover on to the stage at a myriad of odd angles. It can be used onstage for mobility purposes as well, letting you reach positions on the stage at blinding speed. You can also use it as an attack, zipping in and out to annoy opponents at mid-range.
Up lstick+B button Up control+B button Up cpad+B button
Meteor Quick Attack Pikachu travels less distance and takes longer to switch directions, but opponents hit during the move will be struck down by a meteor smash. The meteor effect is stronger at the start and when Pikachu changes directions. This move is very obviously meant for direct attacks, and it is quite suitable for players that often use Quick Attack for speedy chip damage, especially offstage. The meteor effect at the sweetspots are quite potent, making it an excellent edgeguarding tool, but it is easier to strike opponents with the direction change than with the start of the move. It does take some practice to get used to, since the window for changing directions is different from the default Quick Attack, which can certainly throw you off if you're used to the default or switch between special move variants often.
Quick Feet Pikachu combines the distance and damage of both strikes in a normal quick attack into one, single lunge. This variant's main trade off is the inability to change directions, as it still travels an extremely far distance, and is faster than the regular Quick Attack because you travel the distance of two zips of Quick Attack in the timespan of just one zip. You lose some flexibility without the directional change, but you can still recover easily whenever you have a clear shot to the ledge. It is not as safe as a direct attack, since you can't zip in and retreat quickly. However, you can use it to cover a lot of distance, good for punishing foes using slow attacks at long range or just as a surprise approach.
Down lstick+B button Down nunchuk+B button Down dpad+1 button Thunder Pikachu summons a thundercloud above it and calls down a bolt of lightning. Foes hit by the start of the move will be meteor smashed. If the lightning bolt hits Pikachu, it will do increased damage and knockback and has a wider radius. Strangely, the bolt can move through some platforms at a certain distance above Pikachu but will be stopped by all platforms lower down. This is Pikachu's second projectile, being mainly vertical instead of horizontal. The move is somewhat ineffective in direct combat, because even though the storm cloud is summoned practically instantly, it takes a while for the bolt to reach the ground. The attack caused by the bolt hitting Pikachu is certainly strong, but is also easily anticipated and leaves you open to counterattacks. It can be used to punish airdodges for characters with low lateral air speed due to the move's long duration, or used offstage, moving out of the way of the lightning to have it extend into the abyss for edgeguarding. The meteor smash at the start of the move makes it less effective for Thunderspiking, a tactic in previous games that let Pikachu KO foes off the top with the start of Thunder. However, the meteor smash can combo into the strong hit of Thunder when it strikes Pikachu. At high percentages, this can serve as a KO move, if you're accurate enough to land it.
Down lstick+B button Down control+B button Down cpad+B button
Thunder Burst After a short delay, Pikachu discharges electricity all around it. The attack has multiple hits, two initial hits that stun and trap enemies, followed by a strong hit that knocks them away. This move deals a lot of knockback, enough to make it a potent KO move, but it is very slow. You really can't use it carelessly and expect it to hit, as there is a significant delay before the discharge occurs. Only use it when you see a big opening in your opponent's defense, or if you predict a dodge maneuver that puts your foe right next to you. Note that the discharge doesn't fall at the same speed as you when used in midair, so it has potential as an anti-air attack.
Distant Thunder Pikachu creates its raincloud higher up. The resulting bolt has greater vertical range but takes longer to strike Pikachu. This move is more suited for players used to sniping foes with Thunderspikes in previous games. The raincloud is so high up that it is usually offscreen, reducing the chances of missing an opponent that has just been knocked upward but making it impractical as a direct attack in most situations. While opponents can always airdodge or move away from the bolt, good prediction and precision will let you nab several KOs at enemies high up.

Taunts

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 Pikachu surrounds itself with electricity, as if charging up.
Up dpad Up dpad Up dpad
(Left dpad or Right dpad) 1 button+2 button A button Pikachu waves at the screen two times.
(Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad) (Left dpad or Right dpad)
Down dpad 2 button Down dpad+A button Pikachu lies on the floor and rolls around.
Down dpad Down dpad Down dpad

Final Smash - Volt Tackle[edit]

Pikachu turns into a huge ball of electricity and flies around, shocking opponents. You can press either attack button to discharge electricity all around you, doing more damage and knockback against opponent's nearby. Pikachu might seem difficult to control during the move, but that is because you aren't actually directly controlling him. During Volt Tackle, you can see a smaller, purple ball alongside the main blue ball. This is the object you actually control, and the large blue ball used for attacks moves relative to the purple ball as if tied with an elastic band. This elasticity gradually gets weaker near the end of the Final Smash. For better control, this means that you must learn to use the purple ball to sling Pikachu around and hit people. Even though the purple ball cannot go through walls and solid platforms, the blue ball can. It isn't easy to get KOs with this Final Smash, but you can do it with enough practice. Focus on hitting one opponent multiple times offstage until they cannot recover back.