Ness zps4c57497e
Series Mother icon
Final Smash PK Rockin'
Appearances Super Smash Bros. 64, Melee, Brawl, Crusade
Tier A (24)


Ness (ネス Nesu) is the main protagonist of Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan), the second game in Nintendo's cult classic Mother series. Perpetually silent, Ness is a young boy from the small town of Onett with psychic powers, and a love of steak and baseball. In Earthbound, Ness, accompanied with new friends Jeff, Paula and Poo are destined to save the world from annihilation by the alien Giygas. Ness is playable in all 3 Smash Bros. games as well as Super Smash Bros. Crusade.

Changes from Brawl to Crusade

Ness now uses a new Final Smash, PK Rockin'.


Generalizing Ness is difficult. He generally runs a unique, versatile role, employing three different projectiles with differing purposes. Generally, the moves have modest lag and decent knockback, his PK Fire leads well into other attacks, and his PK Thunder can trap opponents and lead into PK Thunder 2, one of the strongest attacks in the game. Also, PK Thunder and PK Flash both leave Ness very vulnerable because he can't move or attack when controlling these projectiles. Ness can use his PSI Magnet to absorb any energy projectile. The best for Ness, however, are his powerful throws, most notably his back throw, the only throw in Brawl that can reliably KO under 150% without relying on being on the edge and bad DI. Combining these with proper projectile use and appropriate Smash timing, and Ness can be a powerful foe. Shield Grabs tend to be a problem for Ness because of his below average standing grab range. Ness is fairly balanced in the areas of weight, falling speed, and air speed with none of them being particularly good nor particularly bad.

Ness' true game can be found by utilizing his aerials. Ness is one of the very few characters in the game who can perform two aerials in one shorthop (Double Aerial Shuffle). This requires practice though because one needs to do the aerial immediately when one jumps off the ground. His ground game is decent but not great. With slow dash speed and short range tilts, he suffers fighting people with disjointed hitboxes such as Ike or Marth. The only upside of his tilts are that they come out very quickly, which can be used to rack up damage. His forward smash, although powerful, is slow. His up smash, though weak in terms of knockback, is very versatile when used properly, being one of the only two smash attacks able to damage people while charging, the other being Ness's down smash. All of Ness's smashes also give Ness some much needed range in his ground game.

Ness is currently sitting at 24th on the official tier list for version 0.8, which is 3rd in A Tier. Ness may have many options on-stage, but his recovery is easy to exploit. The opponent can simply take the hit from his PK Thunder to render his Up B recovery useless. Also, his problems with attacking range on the ground can hurt him in certain matchups. Even so, Ness can be very aggressive on-stage and has several viable finishing options, including his powerful Back Throw. Thus, Ness takes a great deal of skill to play properly and should be used most carefully.

Ness's Normal Moves


  • A punch with the leading hand (2%), followed by a punch with the other hand (2%), followed by a reverse spin kick (5%), dealing a total of 9% damage. This is a very quick jab, but its range is rather short. It's a good panic-button type of move that can effectively create space between Ness and his foe. The first jab is active on frames 3-5.

Forward Tilt

  • Ness turns and extends his leg for a spin kick. The move is fairly fast on startup and has solid range. It also boasts good power for a tilt, dealing 11% damage and a solid amount of horizontal knockback. When a Smash attack is too slow to punish, this is a good alternative. Hitbox is active on frames 8-13.

Up Tilt

  • An upwards-facing attack where Ness extends both hands up above his head, as if raising the roof. This attack is incredibly quick and has high priority above Ness, but little horizontal range to speak of. The move is a great anti-air as well as combo starter. Deals 5-8% damage and is hits on frames 5-10.

Down Tilt

  • A fast crouching kick attack that can be rapidly chained into itself or other moves. This is Ness's fastest attack, and one of the fastest in the game, with a startup of 2 frames and total duration of only 10 frames! It's also cancelable on the fifth frame. This move will combo effectively into Ness's Jab, Up Tilt, Forward Tilt, and even Up Smash (with proper timing). The main use for this move is to apply pressure, since it's extremely easy and safe to just throw this move out without any fear of punishment. This attack causes 4% damage upon hitting and has active frames of 2-5.

Neutral Air

  • Ness spins in the air with outstetched arms, hitting enemies in front or behind him. This attack is very fast, having a 5-frame startup, and it also functions as a Sex Kick. It's a very effective move when short-hopped and can be used to break poor air chain combo attempts by opponents as well. On top of that, the move deals 10% damage and is a viable finishing move at high damage. This move's only possible downside is its 44-frame duration, but its 9-frame landing lag can be L-canceled upon landing. Hitbox is active on frames 5-22.

Forward Air

  • Ness extends both hands forward, releasing PSI energy from hit palms for a 6-hit electrical attack. It's also a very quick move, with a 5-frame startup. The move has a good disjointed hitbox in front of Ness, meaning this move will win against other characters' aerial attacks often. This is one of Ness's best attacks for offensive pressure. Hits 6 times, dealing 2% each time, for a total of 12% damage.

Back Air

  • A reverse donkey kick embued with PSI energy. This attack is a frighteningly strong finisher when the opponent is approaching 100%. It's rather quick for such a powerful move, has a rather decent amount of range, and deals powerful horizontal knockback. Deals 16% damage when sweetspotted and 6% if not. Hitbox is active on frames 11-18.

Up Air

  • A quick upwards headbutt that has great power, but short range. This is a very quick attack, having a 5-frame startup time. It's Ness's go-to vertical KO move, but it's very situational, considering the hitbox literally only consists of Ness's head. That said, it'll be limited to use in combos or punishes, since it has vitrually no priority. Even so, Ness gets a lot of mileage out of this move using his good mid-air jumps and Double Jump Cancels. Deals 13%.

Down Air

  • Ness' signature spike, a thrusting stomp kick. It's among the most powerful spikes in the game, having high base knockback. Although it is situational, landing the move is well worth the risk. Fairly useful during DJC's. Deals 13% damage and starts up in 8 frames.

Side Smash

  • Ness winds up and delivers a giant swing with his bat. This is Ness's strongest non-special finisher, dealing high damage and powerful knockback, and it has the unique property of reflecting projectiles. The move has a pretty slow startup, so it's a situational move. The most reliable way to land this attack is using it while the enemy is engulfed in PK Fire. It's pretty unsafe to just throw it out there, but the immense power on this move may allow Ness to finish off opponents early. Deals 23% when the tip of the bat hits, and 19% otherwise. The hitbox is active on frames 19-22.

Up Smash

  • A unique attack where Ness winds up his yo-yo and slings it above his head in a semi-circle. This attack has great coverage of the space on all sides of Ness, allowing him to space out foes. It also has another distinguishing property - it hits before and during its charging period! If the player holds the Smash button, the yo-yo will stay in front of Ness for a moment, hitting challengers that come into contact with it. All this being said, Up Smash is a useful move in certain situations, creating mind-games and other unique situations that may be hard for foes to deal with. Deals 4% damage with its first hit and 11% with the second. The first hit is active from frame 7 to 10 (or while charging), and the second is active from frame 11 to 29.

Down Smash

  • Ness slings his yo-yo behind and then in front of himself for a far-reaching attack. While it isn't very powerful, this Smash attack boasts the same unique properties as his Up Smash. It can be used to create a delayed hit behind Ness to catch careless adversaries. It has a huge amount of range in front of Ness, making for good surprise attacks. However, the move has a horribly slow recovery time, making it unsafe if it doesn't hit. On the whole, you'll not get as much mileage from this move as from Up Smash, but it's a decent tool to have at your disposal.

Dash Attack

  • While dashing forwards, Ness sticks out his palms and releases several pulses of PSI, hitting up to 3 times. This move is pretty fast on startup, and it is relatively safe when shielded as well. This makes it a valuable offensive tool. This move is pretty predictable though, so use it judiciously. Deals 3% with each of the first two hits, and 5% with the third, leading to a total of 11%, popping the enemy up into the air behind Ness. Startup is 5 frames.

Front Throw

  • Ness spins the opponent around using PSI, then sends them away with a flick of his hand. Deals 10% damage and moderate knockback in front of Ness. You'll only want to use this near the edge for edge-guard setups.

Back Throw

  • Ness moves the target behind himself using PSI, then sends them flying backwards while pointing his fingers out in both directions. This throw is one of the most powerful throws in the game, being a reliable finisher at ~100%. Use Ness's powerful aerials to get in on the opponent to land a grab and then this throw for a KO. Deals 12% damage and highly scaled horizontal knockback.

Up Throw

  • Ness spins and juggles the enemy over his head using PSI and sends them flying upwards. It's not a particulary powerful grab, and it's not very advantageous to place opponents directly above Ness either. Deals 9% damage and moderately low knockback.

Down Throw

  • Ness places the target on the ground and torches them with PK Fire, hitting 6 times for up to 9% damage. This move leads easily into a Fair or Nair at lower damage percentages, making it a bread-and-butter technique for Ness. Even at higher damage, the positioning created by this move is advantageous for Ness. It's the Throw you'll use most often without a doubt.

Ledge Attack

  • Ness gets up from the ledge and attacks with a orb of energy.

Ness's Special Moves

Type Name Description
Neutral Special PK Flash Hold B to charge, and let go to release a huge explosive PSI attack.
Side Special PK Fire Fire a beam that explodes into flame and traps enemies upon hitting. If used in the air, the beam is launched at a downward angle.
Up Special PK Thunder Create a thunder bolt that can be remotely steered using the directional keys. Hit Ness with it to launch him and help in recovery.
Down Special PSI Magnet Create an energy field that absorbs the energy of some projectiles, healing Ness.
Final Smash PK Rockin' Use Ness's PSI powers to attack enemies with a display of psychic fireworks.


  • Despite PK Rockin' being Ness's signature move, it was not in his moveset at all until Crusade.
  • However, people speculate that the pattern that Ness fires the PSI sparks in his down taunt in Brawl is a reference to PK Rockin'.

Notable Appearances