Smash Ultimate is finally upon us. It’s been more than four years since the last game, but Super Smash Bros. is back and now on Nintendo’s newest console, the Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot more to do this time around, too — such as the RPG-like single-player campaign called spirits mode. Smash Ultimate is far and away the most complete package we’ve ever gotten from the series. And we really mean “complete.”
The Smash Ultimate roster brings 74 different playable fighters at launch. Every single previous Smash character is back again, along with a heaping helping of fresh faces. Although that does include multiple “echo fighters”: heroes and villains that mirror other characters, with slightly different stats.
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This guide focuses on both standard Samus Aran and her echo fighter, Dark Samus.
According to Nintendo’s official description of the power-armored Samus in Smash Ultimate…
With her Charge Shot, Missile, and Bomb, Samus has three different projectiles to keep her opponents in check from a distance. When fully charged up, her Charge Shot is quite powerful. For her Final Smash, she launches a wide laser beam that can be moved up and down
And here’s what the company says about Dark Samus…
Dark Samus joins the battle as Samus’s echo fighter. With floatier movement, she’s a little different from Samus–and she doesn’t roll when dodging or jumping. If you look closely, you can see that her bombs and missiles look a little different, too.
Charge Shot (B) – Charges up a projectile while on the ground or in midair. Can keep the charge after dodging or shielding.
Missile (Side + B)- Launches a homing missile. Flicking rather than tilting the control stick launches a Super Missile
Screw Attack (Up + B) – Hits opponents several times while spinning up into the air.
Bomb (Down + B)- Drops a bomb in Morph Ball form. Flies upward if hit by the explosion.
Zero Laser (Final Smash)- Samus unleashes a massive, long-range beam. You can angle the beam up or down while firing. Fighters are drawn to the center, and the attack repeatedly hits any foes caught in its blast.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Metroid’s bounty hunter got a lot of quality-of-life help in Ultimate. Her game plan is all about keeping the opponent at arm’s reach, using a bevy of ranged weapons and utility to chip away before going in for the smash. Ultimate’s Samus Aran is faster and hits harder, so if you like playing long-range fighters, you’ll find a lot to love.
Samus has a little trouble when fighters close the distance, though. Her close-range moves can be interrupted by speedier jabs and her attacks are a bit more punishable than other combatants. Keeping the enemy out is the key to success for Samus.
Dark Samus Strengths & Weaknesses
Hold on a little bit for our thoughts on Dark Samus’s strengths and weaknesses.
Bear in mind that normal Samus is a starting fighter in Smash Ultimate, so players will be able to play as her right off the bat.
Samus has a good number of changes. First, her Charge Shot can actually be charged while she’s airborne. You can still cancel the process by jumping again or dodging, however. It also charges faster and deals more damage when fully charged.
Super Missiles (the tap ones) move more quickly, but now hover briefly before traveling forward. They’ve also been made slightly more powerful.
Zero Laser, Samus’s Final Smash, is so powerful that it now vents out the back of her suit. This exhaust deals damage to enemies behind her now.
Dark Samus Changes
Dark Samus is a new Echo Fighter of regular Samus. Most of her changes, besides the movement differences Nintendo specifies, are just visual (such as new taunts). These have a very small effect on gameplay, mostly when it comes to her hit box.
All of Samus’ outfits are pretty basic palette swaps. Most retain her signature red helmet.
Dark Samus Outfits
Be sure to check out the rest of Fanbyte’s Smash Ultimate single-player walkthroughs and multiplayer tricks.
All of our Smash Ultimate guides created with the help of Eric Van Allen.