Button Smashing: Ranking the Best & Worst Smash Bros Characters for Button Mashing

Since the first entry was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1999the Super Smash Bros. series has brought together an all-star roster of Nintendo characters and allowed them to participate in a no-holds-barred brawl! Just as a major part of the game's appeal is the diverse spectrum of characters and games that are gathered together in order to duke it out, a variety of different playing styles can be utilized in order to beat out one's opponent and emerge from the battle victorious. Love it or loathe it, one of the most time-honored strategies for the fighter genre of video games is button mashing, and the Super Smash Bros. series offers plenty of options for players who favor the ancient art of emphatically and erratically depressing the controller buttons.

While seasoned button mashers will find plenty to keep them occupied in the most recent entry in the series, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there are some characters that are simply ineffective when one's strategy extends to the mashing of buttons. While these characters may emerge from battle triumphant only when a series of buttons longer than the Konami code has been accurately entered, the game is balanced such that fighters who are devastatingly effective when mashing buttons have the opportunity to unseat the victory of their complicated and precise opponents. Secure your wrist strap and check your controller warranties, because these are the 10 Super Smash Bros. characters that are most effective when mashing buttons (and the 10 fighters who button mashers should avoid).

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now


As Nintendo's archetypical player two, Luigi works well as a button masher. He may not be the most powerful fighter, but his side attack sends him propelling to the left or right and spraying fire at opponents he happens to pass by, making him a widespread threat.

The younger brother of Nintendo mascot Mario, Luigi has moves that match some of his video game appearances, including a special attack that uses the powerful Poltergust vacuum from the Luigi's Mansion series. But nowhere does Luigi embody the spirit of button mashing better than his basic attack, which sees him closing his eyes and blindly punching while stumbling forward. Go get 'em, player two!


The Hero of Time may be easy to recognize from his many appearances as the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda series, but mastering his combat style requires patience and practice. Learning to balance the use of the Master Sword with Link's inventory of powerful power-ups will leave those looking to mash buttons colder than the peaks of Snowhead.

There are several distinct versions of Link featured throughout the Super Smash Bros. series, and some of the alternate characters are more effective when it comes to mashing buttons. However, the standard Link relies heavily on well-executed combos to prove most effective, requiring more precise execution of button combinations in order to be fully utilized.


It makes sense that the perennial big bad of The Legend of Zelda series would pack a serious punch: Ganondorf holds the Triforce of Power, giving him far more strength than most puny mortals could even imagine!

Button mashers can take advantage of Ganondorf's powerful fists, which emanate dark energy as he pummels his opponents. For his final Smash, Ganondorf transforms into Ganon the Demon King, a giant pig monster who slams his twin greatswords into the ground to devastate any players on the ground. While Ganondorf is a powerhouse, he has one major limitation on his efficacy as a button masher: his slow speed means that quicker enemies have a chance of interrupting his attacks mid-swing.


Palutena made her first appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4, following her appearance in Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS. While she has the ability to fight either in the air or on the ground, this character is held by back her lumbering speed, which makes her particularly vulnerable to combo attacks from other players.

Palutena's biggest advantage when it comes to her button mashing is her reasonable ability to grab and throw other characters. Unfortunately, her roster of special attacks, which align with the powers she is capable of granting to protagonist Pit in the Kid Icarus series, do little to compensate for the character's shortcomings.


Originally appearing in the Red and Blue versions of Pokémon, released in North America in 1998, Jigglypuff has been a fixture in the Super Smash Bros. series since the first entry.

Even those who are only familiar with Jigglypuff from its appearances in the Pokémon anime will be familiar with the pocket monster's ability to sing its enemies to sleep. While this move is useful for button mashers playing as Jigglypuff, allowing for an uninterrupted attack on slumbering opponents, button mashers will want to take special note of the Pokémon's sleep move. If activated when touching another player, sleep will send Jigglypuff's opponent blasting offstage as if they were Team Rocket taking flight!


Mario's longtime antagonist and go-kart rival Bowser may be tempting for button mashers - his strength makes him a powerful contender, and his bravado ensures that everyone is well aware of that fact! But while being the King Koopa does come with myriad advantages, it also comes at a cost: Bowser is incredibly slow-moving, a fact that combines with his short reach to make him unforgiving for who are hoping to rapidly depress buttons.

While Bowser's Final Smash, Giga Bowser, does extend the parameters of his attack somewhat, the advantage is insufficient to compensate for his deficiencies here. Button Mashers should avoid this slow-moving Koopa altogether!


Although adult Link is difficult for button mashers to master due to his complicated combos, Young Link compensates for this with an increase in speed. Not quite as powerful as the adult version of the character, but with many similar moves, Young Link is more forgiving of button mashing thanks to his ability to recover and execute his next attack more swiftly.

Button mashers will want to pay particular attention to his downward attack, which allows him to place the entirety of his weight behind his sword and bring it crashing down on his opponents before quickly recovering to move on to the next challenge.


It may seem as though Pokémon Trainer would be a good choice for button mashers thanks to his trio of different Pokémon. But while Charizard, Ivysaur, and Squirtle each have their respective advantages over opponents, it takes a careful balance between the team of pocket monsters to fully utilize Pokémon Trainer's unique and versatile power set.

The versatility that multiple monsters afford Pokémon Trainer provides a distinct advantage for players who adopt a more precise fighting style. But the ability to switch characters means button mashers will want to steer clear, as accidentally swapping out Pokémon mid-attack can mean the difference between ultimate victory and smashing defeat!


The protagonist of the StarFox series has saved the Lylatt System from the cockpit of his trusty Arwing, but he's climbed out of the cockpit to make the battle more personal for the Super Smash Bros. series. Fox relies on his lightning-fast reflexes when piloting his starfighter, and he quick reaction time translates directly into the Smash arena, allowing button mashers to release a volley of relentless attacks on closeby opponents!

Of particular use to button mashing is his laser sidearm, a rapid-firing blaster that can spray enemies near and far, and while the damage it causes per hit may be slight, Fox's speed causes the damage to accumulate faster than expected.


Princess Peach uses her skirt to gain mobility in the air, easily floating across the stage from high above. While this gives a serious boost to her ability to recover from being thrown offstage, Peach's mobility on the ground is severely limited, and her attacks do not have much reach.

When combined, these two elements make it necessary to ensure Peach manages to land precisely where the player intends in order to execute her attacks most effectively, making her fighting style unsuitable for button mashing: landing too far away and executing an attack leaves the Princess open to assault from her opponents.


What makes the eponymous protagonist of the Kirby series so effective in button-mashing battle is also the defining mechanic of his games: the ability to assume the special skills (and elements of the appearance) of his enemies. By using his vacuum attack and sucking up one of the other players, a new ability can be gained, and a new attack is added to Kirby's arsenal!

In instances where the special attack Kirby has gained is ineffective for the button masher, the skill can easily be cleared and the player can try a new special attack from another character on for size.


The hero of the Metroid series has been a fixture in the Super Smash Bros. series since the first entry on the Nintendo 64. Over the course of her consistent appearances in the series, the character was eventually separated into two distinct fighters -- Samus in her power suit and Zero Suit Samus.

Each version of the character possesses a different fighting style, and while neither is particularly suited to button mashing, the clunky armor that is worn by power suit Samus makes the original incarnation of the fighter particularly unforgiving for button mashers.


Captain Falcon originally appeared as a pilot in the F-Zero racing series, and his fighting style reflects the tone of the futuristic racer, with long stretches of fast movement punctuated by brutal smash attacks! With his firey punches and kicks, Captain Falcon can prove extremely effective in the hands of a button masher.

While Captain Falcon's attacks can be readily deployed by mashing buttons, those who choose this fighting style would do well to take advantage of one of the racer's greatest asset: the most infamous taunt in all of Super Smash Bros.! Nothing is more effective in subverting your opponent's concentration than repeatedly demanding they show you their moves.


In many of the games that feature a roster of Nintendo characters, such as Mario Kart or Mario Tennis, Mario offers a well-balanced option that provides access to the game for newer players. For better or worse, this trend does not extend to the Super Smash Bros. series and button mashers would do well to avoid Nintendo's biggest star.

The players who are able to get the most out of Mario are those who are willing to invest in building combos with the character: in an embodiment of Mario's platformer roots in the Super Mario Bros., the plucky plumber does best when he's jumping breathlessly from one precarious attack to the next -- hardly a suitable fighting style for those looking to mash some buttons.


Mario's evil twin, Wario, was first introduced in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins on the Game Boy, but it was the Wario Ware games that really allowed the character to come into his own. The series revolves around Wario developing and marketing a number of bizarre minigames to earn some serious video game coin, and the frenetic pace of the Wario Ware games is reflected in the fighter's wide and unusual move set.

But button mashers will rejoice in the outspoken chaos Wario can release on a packed arena, with his motorcycle providing an especially ripe opportunity to cause madness to erupt in the middle of an already frantic battle. Wah, indeed!


Seasoned gamers were delighted when Snake, who originally appeared as the protagonist of Konami's Metal Gear series, was added to the Super Smash Bros. roster of fighters.

Snake comes fully armed with a variety of different weapons and gadgets, allowing him to leave explosives that effectively booby-trap the stage. While he may be capable of laying destruction to a number of opponents, it takes careful strategy and specific deployment of his arsenal in order to do so effectively. Button mashers will want to steer clear of the spy, as well as any suspicious cardboard boxes that seem to be projecting exclamation marks.


Donkey Kong is back and ready to kick some tail, appearing in every volume of the Super Smash Bros. series. With powerful attacks and a considerable reach, when it comes to button mashing, Donkey Kong is among the leaders of the bunch.

Donkey Kong takes advantage of his reach and strength with his whirling spin attack and devastating ground pound, both of which deal serious damage to any opponent who happens to be nearby. In addition to these effective attacks, Donkey Kong can hold an enemy he's grabbed as he saunters off a cliff, taking his opponent along with him.


First introduced as the protagonist of Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Ike is a legendary swordsman, and he can prove to be an incredibly effective fighter in the Super Smash Bros. arena. However, to achieve these results requires the player to carefully balance Ike's considerable strength against his slow speed.

While it is possible to balance Ike's clunky movement with his powerful attacks, doing so while mashing buttons is not an effective battle strategy. Button mashing with Ike effectively leads to the hero tripping over his own sword, allowing faster moving fighters to take advantage of the confusion and strike.


When the first Super Smash Bros. game was released in 1999, worldwide Pokémon fever had reached a fever pitch, so the inclusion of pocket monster mascot Pikachu in the Nintendo 64 game was essentially a given. Perhaps anticipating how recognizable the yellow electric rodent would be to virtually all players, Pikachu offers a balanced fighter that is ideal for a newcomer to the fighting festivities.

However, button mashers will also find plenty to be happy about with Pikachu, who combines speed and powerful attacks to provide a shockingly effective fight! Spam Pikachu's Thunder attack to ensure the sound of your opponent's defeat echoes in their ears long after the match has been concluded.


The young hero of Nintendo's cult classic Earthbound wields psionic abilities and proves to be one of the most difficult characters in the Super Smash Bros. roster to master. Although his attacks are immensely powerful and have considerable range, activating them requires precise timing and aiming them is even more difficult.

As if this combination weren't already prone to alienating button mashers, even Ness's recovery move requires the entry of a specific series of buttons and careful alignment in order to prove effective. For players looking to serious smash some buttons, Ness is the single worst choice on the roster!

Next Titans: 10 Things DC Fans Should Know About Lobo’s Daughter, Crush

More in Lists