I would like some advice. I want to learn to become a pro like other players who beat me up in Wi-Fi Basic Brawl.

I train a lot, sometimes with Ness, but I still don't get it, at all. I have played SSBB since I got my Wii in 2010 December and always use WiiFlow.

How can I become a pro at Super Smash Bros. Brawl?

  • 6
    puts on snarky Melee player personalityYou can't.*removes snarky Melee player personality* J/k :)
    – RCIX
    Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 0:48
  • One thing could be the fact that Ness is the charecter you prefer using. IMO, he is harder to use than some of the others, and his terrible recovery could easily be the downfall of many players.
    – The Man
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 16:30

6 Answers 6


So, I'll be honest. If you're playing on Wi-Fi Basic Brawl, your definition of a pro and my definition of a pro might be different sorts of skill levels. Still, there are four main mechanics in my mind which, once you get a solid grasp on, will surely make you a much stronger Brawl player in general, not just with Ness.


Spacing, probably the most important of any Smash game mechanic, is the idea of positioning yourself in a way relative to your opponent(s) that puts you at an advantage. This is a broad topic, and really something that you learn the more familiar you become with an individual character, so let's first examine the spacing of an individual move(up-tilt) before applying this to the big picture.

Ness' up-tilt is an okay move. It has a decent hit area and it seems to beat out a lot of other aerial moves characters can use, plus it sends them up into the air where you can do more damage with other moves. Now go into training mode and examine it in more detail. Knock your opponent up a few times and see how early you can connect with your up-tilt when they fall down. Try to remember that sort of space between you and your opponent when you just barely connect with your up-tilt, and always aim to keep that sort of space in future usages. The quicker you connect with that up-tilt, the less chance your opponent has to connect with another move.

Similarly, your up-air and up-smash are both powerful moves against opponents who are above you if you space them properly. Your up-air is an especially effective KO move. What does this tell us about the big picture of Ness' spacing? Get your opponent in the air and stay below them. You're in a good position most of the time and they're in a bad position most of the time, as you can punish them with your up attacks. That's the basic idea behind spacing: Learn how far away you can be from your opponent when you connect with your moves and then apply it to the big picture.


Regardless of how good your spacing is with anything, it won't mean squat if your opponent knows exactly what you're going to do each and every time. Mix up your game. Save a replay of yourself playing and look at the habits you fall into. Are you rolling a lot? That's easily punished, your opponent can read the roll and charge up a smash. When you're above your opponent, do you approach using a down aerial? That's one of the most easy things to predict; all your opponent has to do is react and punish. Change up your game accordingly. These can be useful things to do but only when used in moderation.

Similarly, once you learn to analyze your own bad habits, apply that analysis to your opponent. This is considerably more difficult, since you'll often need to do this while in the middle of a tense, fast-paced game as opposed to when you're leisurely watching yourself from the comfort of a nice seat. Watch what your opponent does when they get backed up against that ledge. See what happens when they're right above you. Observe them, wait for them to use a slow move, then punish them as hard as you can, with your most brutal, powerful attack. This isn't a game for the faint of heart.

Defensive Play

Unfortunately, brutal even though it may be, Brawl isn't a very fast-paced game. The characters are floatly and move slowly across the stage, and it can seem like it takes an eternity between thinking about doing a move and actually being able to use it. As a result of this, a significant advantage is usually given to the player who plays defensively as opposed to haphazardly bum-rushing his opponent. While this might not apply in a free for all, in a 1v1 you can easily wear your opponent's patience out using a projectile attack, such as Ness' PK Fire, forcing them to approach. This is where the above two mechanics come into play; predict your opponent and punish the heck out of them using your superb spacing. You'll certainly notice a marked improvement in your performance against individual opponents. Still, remember not to be predictable; PK Fire has a particularly long cooldown time where Ness can't do anything after using it, so be safe and be smart when you play defensive. You'll notice a marked improvement in your performance and also perhaps attract a long stream of curse words from your volatile opponent should you ever happen to meet them outside the game.


Normally I wouldn't put this along with the other three when I mention important mechanics, but with a character with such bad recovery as Ness it's particularly vital that you learn how to get back on to the stage when you're knocked off properly, or risk losing stocks at very low percentages. No matter how well you play, a lack of an ability to recover can easily overturn any advantages you may gain against your enemy.

Normally your ideal recovery with Ness is to simply avoid having to use PK thunder by double-jumping onto the ledge or stage. However, there are times where your opponent is going to press your bad situation by attacking you while you're off-stage to ensure that you die. This is where you have to learn to react by launching an aerial of your own while getting back on to that stage. If your opponent's spacing was bad or they were simply too greedy, your forward aerial or down aerial will annihilate their stock and save yours.

As a general tip, you should always save your b-up move(PK Thunder in your case) until it's absolutely necessary. This move usually has a fixed or limited trajectory, especially when compared to the freedom momentum provides to your double jump, and so it can be easily punished. This is especially true with Ness, where your opponent only has to jump into the PK Thunder's bolt to ensure your death.

Some other general things you should know:

Learn to short-hop: A short hop is simply performing the smallest possible jump from the ground, which conveniently allows you to also use an aerial against your enemy. For example, when Ness short hops he can use his forward air on an enemy who's running towards him. Since this move is very fast, deals a moderate amount of damage and has decent range, this is a very effective option for keeping your opponent at bay or punishing their mistakes. If you're just using the Wiimote controller setup, I don't think you can do this technique. If you're using the Wiimote + Nunchuck, a quick quarter circle from left to right or right to left with Tap Jump on should do the same sort of motion, although it'll be a bit more rounded. If you're using a Gamecube or a Classic controller, simply tap one of the jump buttons(Y or X), making sure to release your finger from the button as soon as possible. Here's a video involving Falco short-hopping, to give you an idea of the sort of height we're talking about.

Stop rolling: While rolling isn't always a bad option(in fact, it's often unexpected at higher levels of play), it's also very, very easily punished once your opponent knows that you like to roll. This is something that struggling players often suffer from. Try to stop rolling and do other things instead.

Learn your killing moves: You know that feeling you get sometimes when your opponent's at 200% and simply Will. Not. Die? ...and your opponent's not playing Snake or DK? Well, you can avoid that feeling if you simply learn what your options are to effectively take your opponent's stock away as soon as possible. With Ness, up-air and forward smash are two excellent options.

Think about DI: This is a more advanced technique and definitely shouldn't be a more pressing concern, but Directional Influence, or DI, is very helpful towards surviving for longer periods of time once you get the knack for it. We have a post on this site about DI which you can find here.

Don't get bogged down learning the technical ins-and-outs or advanced techniques of your character: Until you learn the basic mechanics of Brawl mentioned above, advanced techniques are effectively useless and will only hinder your progress towards getting better at Brawl. They're a nice toolset to have in your repertoire once you develop strong mechanics, but until then you'll only be taking more damage and losing more stocks trying to pull them off correctly.

So, in conclusion: Spacing, Mindgames, Defensive Play, Recovery. These are the hammer and nail of the pro player and if you can master these you'll have graduated from Wi-Fi and moved on to winning money in tourneys in no time.

Happy smashing!

  • Also the forums about super smash bros are really helpful, furthermore i would advice you to go to offline meetings, as this is a nice way of getting your help directly from the professional players and you also meet friends to play :)
    – Gigala
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 20:37
  • One more kill move: back throw. Learn it, live it, love it
    – powerj1984
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 2:57

You wanna learn how to play Brawl, huh?! Well There are a couple things you can do to help yourself. I'll make this short for you.

1.) GET OFFLINE! Playing Online in basic Brawl isn't going do anything for you because a lot of players who do basic brawls do a lot of high level moves and if they don't, they use the advantage of the internet to their best advantage.

2.) Use all of the AI levels to train. The CPU's (AI) go from 1 to 9 and level 1's are easy enough for a 3 year old to play. When I first started playing Smash Bros. (Melee) I SUCKED, but now in Brawl I can set the AI to level 9, randomize them, and have a random stage. That all came from practice upon practice with the AI to learn moves and learn common AI tactics.

3.) Pack Down your skills. Once you can beat a level 7 or so, you're good enough to fight and have a good mix of skills. BUT THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! EVERYONE has some downfall to them, for example... ME! With Ike I can spike anyone that flies off the stage and get an easy point, but often times that leads to my death! In your case go to training brawls (or endless) and practice spiking other characters, dodging objects, and figuring out what moves do the most damage and where they do the most damage. Once you feel set on everything you can think of, you have one more thing to do.

4.) That's right! Find a stage! a favorite stage is KEY to 25% of your success in Brawl, because if you're feeling confident with yourself you're bound to win. While finding your "Favorite" stage find a stage that works with your character. For example again, ANY state with an edge (Just about all of them) can work with Ike because I use his upward special to attack my way up and as I land my way on the stage I can still attack.

These are just simple but complicated (not too complicated) ways to dramatically improve your Brawl skills. I hope to battle you one day but until, Prepare Yourself!

  • 2
    Answers like these are hard to find, because even though it's very comprehensive, it's also very funny. Great answer! +1
    – childe
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 19:34
  • I am assuming complected = complicated?
    – user11502
    Commented Mar 16, 2013 at 19:36

DEFENSE, Spacing, and Mindgames are the most important things in brawl. If you can get your opponent to have no clue to what your going to do next you obviously will have a fine lead on them. Defending when at high percentages to make your opponent impatient is great to be annoying and is key to defense. Also Spacing is sooo important in any smash game because your enabling your opponent to hit you yet your hitting them. thats in the simplest way what spacing is.

  1. Defense- You cant play any video game without defense. You will just die early all the time! So, what do you do? Well, there are plenty of different ways you can block attacks in brawl. First, you can shield. you no that ora globe thing that surrounds your character, yeah thats your shield, use it to block basic attacks. you can also spot dodge which dodges grabs, air dodge which dodges aireals, and rolls which are okay in some situations.

  2. Spacing- you will tend to see the pros using spacing the most in smash. Often pros DI is very good and there spacing is rediculous. the best thing about spacing is that if you do it right, it will leave your opponent frustrated and also have great impact on your game. lets say you have only one stock left, your opponent has about 120% with 2 stocks and you just cant get that f-smash or whatever your trying to do to KO them. Spacing at this time is very crucial and also of coarse mindgames to get that KO. while your in this moment of trying to get that KO you have to avoid getting anymore damage on yourself.

  3. Mind games- Mind games are extremely fun, especially when you taunt after pulling something crazy on your opponent. Its really irritating, and they make your opponent do stupid things. For example, lets say your playing really campy, just chilling on a platform for most of the match then moving around in the air while your opponent is trying to bulid up some damage on you. After awhile this gets VERY BORING for your opponent and eventually they will start making mistakes, like throwing out up,down,foward smashes at you. at that moment thats where you come in to punish! also mind games do apply to basic approaching techniques exc.

Thats about it with smash bros. just keep practicing and practicing and practicing until your thumbs hurt ;D. -Good Luck

-SUS Wario/Mk main


You mentioned in the question that you are attempting to main Ness.

As Ness ranks 26th out of 38 in the 8th edition of the Brawl tier list, it means that many of Ness's moves have lower priority than a lot of other player's moves.

Ness also has 10 frames of extra grab-release lag, which renders him easy to chain-grab, and his smash moves are below average (more info here).

Therefore, I would consider maining another character who is higher on the tier list, but, easier to learn (e.g. Pit or Kirby)

Then move on to a top-tier character that may be more difficult to learn (e.g. Meta Knight, Snake, Marth, or Falco). Once you have mastered one of these characters, I don't think there is anyone who would not consider you a "pro".


Timing- You can learn all the moves or combinations you want, but if your adversary does something that isn't expected you'll find yourself missing. Learn to anticipate and learn your characters range. It doesn't matter how fast or strong the character you're fighting against is if they are with in your range and you know what's coming you will get off first and ultimately deal more damage.


PRACTICE! I have had mine for about 3... yup, 3 years now and I have basically mastered Kirby.

CHOOSE A CHARACTER TO USE! I ALWAYS use Kirby or occasionally Luigi... but mainly Kirby. Use one character all the time, so you can improve with them and kick butt. Characters that can fly are great and easy to master (Kirby, King Dedede, Jigglypuff, Yoshi).

CHOOSE A STAGE YOU PERFORM ON WELL! I use Pictochat, it doesn't work well with characters that can freeze (Kirby and well... thats about it..) because you can easily fall off. Pictochat, however works well with characters able to fly (Kirby, King Dedede, Yoshi, Jigglypuff and others) because characters such as Mario have one move that can help them get back up while flying characters can, well, fly. Olimar isn't that bad either.

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