Nintendo is slowly but surely released new Smash Ultimate DLC characters — we’re keeping track of the latest DLC characters, the rumors, and the release dates.
Latest update: On November 6, 2019, Nintendo released a video presentation demonstrating how to play as Terry Bogard, the latest Fighter’s Pass DLC character. He was released right after the presentation, and will be joined by additional DLC fighters beyond the original six that they’ve teased so far, along with one more character from the Fighter’s Pass. Scroll down to see our review of Terry Bogard.
The Smash Ultimate DLC characters follow a tradition started in Smash 4 where Nintendo slowly trickles out new characters for the game in the hopes of not only selling more of the hardware/games, but also keeping interest in the game alive.
Smash 4 had seven DLC characters, including Mewtwo, Lucas, Roy, and newcomers Corrin, Ryu, Cloud, and Bayonetta.
Save for Piranha Plant, all of the Ultimate DLC characters announced so far are part of the Fighters Pass. It costs $24.99, and saves you a good chunk of money in the long-run, as each fighter costs $5.99 if purchased individually.
Below are all of the details you need to know about the Smash Ultimate DLC characters, including how much they cost, where they came from, and how to play as them.
‘Smash Ultimate’ DLC characters list
DLC Character 1: Piranah Plant
Series: Piranha Plant finds his origins in the first Super Mario Bros. game as a common enemy. He sat within warp pipes, ready to chomp down on Mario and co. whenever they dared to cross his path. While he loses his warp pipe in favor of a flower pot in Ultimate, many of his moves relate back to even his first appearance in the Super Mario series.
Release date: Piranah Plant released on February 1, 2019.
Price: Free to anyone who registered their copy of Smash Ultimate on their My Nintendo account before the January 31, 2019 deadline. He is available for general purchase for $4.99, and he does not come with any stages or music.
Gameplay strategies: Piranha Plant is a defensive character who heavily relies on opponents attempting to punish his very strong moves. He is a heavy character, giving him surprisingly long survivability.
Use this survivability to your advantage as you hold out your neutral-b spike ball off-stage. It will often lure in opponents, and punish them after they hit you, as the spike ball falls right onto their heads. The ball itself has amazing knockback, even if it’s rolling slowly on the ground, not unlike the launch power of Wii Fit Trainer’s soccer ball.
His down-b gives him some super armor as he charges it, and has incredible range. Combo this with a fully charged side-b poison cloud to use the purple mist as a smokescreen, and you might just catch your opponent off-guard.
DLC Character 2: Joker
Series: Joker is the main character of Persona 5, wherein he received his introduction. He shoots small guns and stabs with knives, utilizing the power of Arsene after reaching a certain damage threshold, not unlike Little Mac’s K.O. punch.
Release date: Joker released on April 17, 2019.
Price: The Joker’s Challenger pack costs $5.99, and comes with 11 Persona music tracks, one stage based on Mementos, and new Mii Fighter costumes.
Gameplay strategies: Your goal with Joker is to rack up as many tiny combos as possible, much like when you’re playing as Sheik. Speaking of Sheik, his dragdown up air looks and acts similarly to hers, with the added benefit of his up b acting as not only a ledge tether, but also a means to drag down airborne opponents.
His Arsene Persona powers up the knockback and damage output of all of his moves, save for his throws, which remain the same. Arsene changes Joker’s down b into a counter/reflector, much like Palutena’s. He has a lot more killpower to his smash attacks in this state, and his neutral b guns shoot much faster.
DLC Character 3: The Hero
Series: Dragon Quest
Release date: The Hero released on July 30, 2019.
Gameplay strategies: The Hero is the first JRPG-like Smash Bros. character in that much of his playstyle relies on you choosing out of a list of spells via a randomized down-special menu selection. While all of the spells that pop might seem intimidating at first, it’s best to take a small bite out of The Hero strategies.
Starting with step one, understand that you shouldn’t be selecting a down-special spell in the midst of a heated battle. Rather, fight in neutral using your sword’s zoning capabilities so as to ensure your opponent is forced offstage or otherwise incapacitated. In one on one battles, this may be a bit harder, but if you’re in a Team Battle, work with your teammate to have them apply pressure as you cycle through to find the best spell.
Speaking of the best spells, your best bets are to choose the one appropriate for the situation at hand. There are some lower-cost spells that deal a decent amount of damage, such as Hatchet Man and Flame Slash, which are good for wracking up damage at lower percents. You can also choose buffing spells such as Oomph and Psyche Up to make your foray into battle that much more damaging. Be wary of Accelerate, as it does make you basically a combo of Shulk’s Jump and Speed Monados, but with less control; stay on stage to stay alive, else you’ll likely end up accidentally jumping under the stage.
Bounce is a must-have for The Hero ditto battles, in that it leaves your opponent with no other choice other than to attack you in hand-to-hand combat. When you feel like you’ve gotten your opponent up to a high enough percent (only 50-60% for most of the cast), unleash a Kaboom, Magic Burst, or the suicide bomber attack Kamikazee. Be careful to save just enough magic for your recovery, but if you’re running low and are off stage, test your luck at getting a Zoom, which will teleport you safely back on stage for a measly 8 MP.
Fully charge your up-special attack for an amazingly low recovery, or perhaps cast it at an opponent below you to toss them farther toward the blast zone. Charging neutral-special and side-special doesn’t cost anything, but unleashing them does. You can store your neutral-b charge, but your powerful side-b attack will automatically unleash in an electrical blast movement similar to Link’s grounded up-special.
Have patience, land a Snooze or a critical hit, and try not to rely on wild cards like Hocus Pocus (a randomizer spell that can do things like heal all your magic or put you to sleep) or the unreliable one-hit-KO moves Wack and Thwack. If you really want to cycle through spells in a pinch, pop the menu open and only read the first spell. If it’s not one you need, then don’t use it and get back to the battle. Keep your eyes on your opponent and not the character icons.
DLC Character 4: Banjo & Kazooie
Release date: September 4, 2019 (announced at Nintendo Direct on 9/4/2019)
Gameplay strategies: Banjo & Kazooie are not exactly the best fighter to play as. Banjo has nearly has all of the bulk of Donkey Kong’s character model, but oddly has the killpower of Sheik, and the survivability/weight of Duck Hunt Dog. His smash attacks (his up smash is the best for its multihits, his side smash is like a laggier and shorter ranged swordie side smash) remain his only ways to reliably kill, along with his side-b dash move. His projectiles are decent, with his neutral-b interrupting foes from afar, similar to Mega Man’s jab lemons. His down-b grenades surprisingly lack any killpower, making them a nearly useless tool, lest you’re able to pick one up before it explodes and gimp someone offstage ala Peach’s turnips.
His strengths come from his remaining specials: up-b and side-b. Because Banjo and Kazooie work as a pair, you’re gifted a third jump. It doesn’t exactly feel natural to have this second double-jump, but it carries you a little bit higher than any of Kirby’s extra puff jumps, making it a handy recovery tool. You’re able to charge your up-b a bit for a higher leap, with it reaching about as far as Sonic’s up-b when fully charged. You can act out of his up-b, making it a good time to use his third jump, ala Mega Man and Sonic’s recoveries. The up-b spawn platform can gimp players off stage in a fashion that is also similar to Sonic’s spring. Unfortunately, his recovery is very gimpable, as he not only cannot angle it upon charging it, but he is almost always bound to miss the ledge with his stubby little paws.
Speaking of his stubby little paws, his grab range is absolutely pathetic. I really don’t know of another character with such a horrible grab range. It’s that bad. It’s laggy if it misses (not as laggy as Pac-Man or Villager’s), but can lead to a grounding down throw (handy for setting up an up-smash kill at higher percents). His side special is invincible, and should be your go-to when it comes to both killing and getting back to stage. You have a limited power supply of your side special each stock, which will only renew itself after you’ve started a new stock.
His up-air presents some decent juggling potential, his back-air is borrowed directly from Duck Hunt Dog’s backair multihit move (along with DHD’s rapid jab), his forward air is similar to Dr. Mario’s in both power and range, and his down air… is trash. It has such weak killpower, and not only does it guarantee that you will die offstage, but it also doesn’t spike. All of the risk, without any of the reward is precisely how I would describe this lackluster addition to the Smash Ultimate DLC characters list.
DLC Character 5: Terry Bogard
Series: Fatal Fury
Release date: November 6, 2019
Gameplay strategies: Terry Bogard is far from just another Ryu clone. While Ken does majorly play a lot like Rye, SNK fighter Terry breathes a new life into the longtime fighting game champion. Complete with some interesting specials and easy to learn, difficult to master combos, Terry is more approachable than the Street Fighter characters, and perhaps is even a better character than the two.
A lot of thought went into how Terry would fit into Smash Ultimate. You can approach as him either offensively or defensively, as his neutral-b projectile is fast, and does a decent amount of damage. While it’s not quite as effective at covering all approaches as Ivysaur’s razor leaf, he is able to hold the b button for longer to perform a strong special attack.
The above is true for all of his specials, which is an element borrowed from both his Street Fighter Smash counterparts, and the arcade games that all three characters helm from. The real beauty of inputting stronger specials comes when Terry’s damage hits the 100% mark. If side or neutral b strong inputs are used in his “Go!” mode, they will have incredible kill power and range. Take advantage of this to foster in some Lucario-like comebacks.
Terry’s neutral attacks hit about as hard as Ken and Ryu’s, but are a tad bit slower. What he lacks in attack speed he makes up for in special move followups. He is able to cancel special attacks by inputting them during certain normals, such as forward air or jab. Jab, in particular, is his best means of getting a nifty combo off on an opponent, such as a strong side b or up b.
As for recovery, Terry has quite the mixup game. On top of his Little Mac-like up b, he can input side b as-is for a great rush forward approach, or input a backward side b to do a flip kick. Terry is the first character to have different moves on a side special (save for Palutena’s smash attack version of explosive flame and the Samus’ missiles/super missiles), making him a bit of an experimental character. It is a bit hard to get used to how the flip kick works, especially when attempting a recovery. Try to drift more toward the stage to flip kick back to the ledge, as opposed to away from it.
Terry’s weight fits right in the ideal anti-juggle spot, as does his fall speed. You shouldn’t have too much trouble running away from opponents such as Arsene Joker or Bayonetta, and if you do get hit by a hard hit from a heavy, you’ll be able to survive at even 40%. He can turn around a disadvantage state with a quick down air spike or forward air tap, and shouldn’t be attacked from up high; his up b doesn’t quite have the super armor of Little Mac’s, but it does have a stronger killpower.
His grab combos are nearly nonexistent, which is a shame for a character that comes from an arcade series. You can attempt a downthrow into a fakeout smash attack read, but you’ll mostly be left open, meaning that you should only ever throw an opponent off stage in an attempt for a gimp. His down throw kills a little later than his forward throw (160-200%, depending on the character’s weight), making his throws a bit more viable as kill options than Joker’s.
Terry will be able to hold his own against top tiers like Pichu, Peach, Palutena, and Lucina with his zoning and anti-air capabilities. It’s pretty hard to approach an enemy Terry, what with the variety of disadvantage and defensive options at his disposal.
He always faces his opponent (much like the Street Fighters), which mostly works to your benefit. When attempting to down tilt an enemy on ledge, you may find that he is flipping left and right in an attempt to figure out what direction the enemy clinging on to the edge is facing. Nevertheless, if you let opponents approach with some neutral b spam, followed by some mixup offensive side b (avoid smash attacks), you will be able to trip up your opponent enough to win the match.
DLC Character 6: TBA
Release date: With two and a half months in between DLC characters one and two, one can hope that this character will be released mid-Feburary 2020.
Price: Presumably $5.99
Gameplay strategies: TBA
Who will be the remaining ‘Smash Ultimate’ DLC characters?
Speculation still runs wild as to which characters will eventually make their way into the Smash-verse via the paid DLC.
Some popular picks include Geno from Super Mario RPG, Bandana Dee from the Kirby series, and Waluigi from the Super Mario series.
Third-party characters that fans are clamoring to have included as DLC characters are Shadow from the Sonic games, and Goku from the Dragon Ball Z series.
If I were a betting man, I’d say that out of those picks, Geno is the most likely. While Waluigi would be a terrible pick for many reasons, Geno would play similarly to characters like Ness, making him an easy inclusion as an echo fighter.
The remaining DLC characters will be released within 2019 and 2020.