How to train a Ness amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

As seasoned trainers know all too well, Ness is one of the stronger fighters in competitive amiibo matches. This is thanks in part to his excellent special moves — contrary to popular belief, however, PK Fire is not his main claim to fame. It’s actually PK Thunder, which lets Ness juggle opponents and rack on free damage. With that said, Ness does have a few nasty matchups – particularly against Lucas and Snake. As long as Ness steers clear of his poor matchups, he can plow right through tournament brackets. For more information on Ness’ metagame history, be sure to check his corresponding wiki page — otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!


It’s important to note that only 40% of tournaments or so allow Spirits. To maximize the number of tours you can enter, you might want to keep your Ness amiibo vanilla. If you decide that you’d rather go with a Spirit setup, here are a few ideas for your resident PSI powerhouse. If Spirits are confusing to you, we’ve got a full-fledged guide you can read real quick before you continue.

  • Banned bonuses: If you’re entering a tournament that doesn’t follow our official ban list, Ness’ best setup is Super Armor. In tournament matches, his greatest weakness is being knocked off-stage and gimped at low percentages — with Super Armor, that chance is minimized.
  • Tournament-legal bonuses: If the competition you’re trying to enter does follow our ban list, you should use PSI Attack ↑, Shooting Attack ↑, and Air Defense ↑. The former two bonuses buff all of Ness’ special moves by 1.1x each, which combine for a total strength increase of 1.2x. Air Defense ↑ decreases the amount of damage Ness sustains while aerial by 30%, which gives him an easier time landing after being juggled or launched upward.
  • Raid Boss bonuses: Your best bet on a Raid Boss is the three-slot Super Armor bonus effect we mentioned earlier! As we’ll soon discuss, Ness’ AI is hard-coded to waste its double jump so that it can aim at the ledge with PK Thunder. This leaves the FP vulnerable to edgeguarders — the Super Armor bonus will help protect it as it tries to recover back. If you’d prefer not to use Super Armor, you can go with a setup including two PSI Attack ↑ effects and then Air Defense ↑.

Generally speaking, an FP’s stats aren’t as important as its bonus effects. In Ness’ case, try to keep his spread balanced (2100 / 2100). Alternatively, you could lean more heavily into attack power (2500 / 1700) to strengthen Ness’ PK Fire chains and PK Thunder juggling. As always, make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral so that it doesn’t have to face opponents with a Spirit-type advantage.

(Site Image 3) Training the strongest Ness amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Competitive Training

When it comes to competitive training, walking is key. In this game, Figure Players have a tendency to initiate a dash right into their opponent’s attack, which causes them to get hit. By teaching your FP to walk, you’re kicking its defensive game up a notch. With Ness, you’ll want to avoid off-stage play at all costs; when the FP is trying to recover back, simply attack it with PK Thunder projectiles over and over again. When it gets closer to the ledge, let loose with an uncharged down smash.

  • At close range, your priorities are forward tilts, grabs, and a sprinkle of jabs. At low percentages, you can use an up throw to set up a juggling chain. Indeed, whenever your FP is above you, use a mix of up tilt, up smash, up air, and PK Thunder projectile attacks to catch its landing. Use all four of these moves about equally, and continue juggling your FP until it lands or is KO’d.
  • From a distance, approach with a dash attack or PK Fire. We did say to walk during your training session earlier — when you go to use a dash attack, simply mash the stick in a direction and press the button to use the move and then go right back to walking. If you like, you can chain PK Fire into a dash attack. Otherwise, after hitting your FP with the flame, move in and attack with a forward tilt, up smash, or grab.
  • When your FP is really far away, don’t make a point to approach it. Stay behind and chase it down with PK Thunder until it gets close or is KO’d. By Level 50, your Ness amiibo should rarely approach you, instead opting to attack with PK Thunder from far distances. When it winds up closer to you, though, it should begin using the other attacks listed above. Remember to let yourself get hit by the moves you want it to use every so often!

If your Ness amiibo hits you with a down tilt at any point, exit the match. At high levels, the AI occasionally stands in place and attacks with several consecutive down tilts. This leaves it extremely vulnerable against other FPs, so you’ll want to do your best to minimize this habit. PK Flash is another move to be avoided; Ness’ AI cannot learn to charge it, which renders it rather useless on the whole. If you need any additional help training your FP, please read our general training guide!

With this moveset setup, your Ness amiibo will be a ranged powerhouse capable of severely punishing opponents who get too close. If his foe is too far away, they’ll get juggled with PK Thunder; if they’re too close, they’ll get hit by PK Fire or one of Ness’ grabs. There are only a few characters who can brute-force their way through this strategy, and Lucas is the most notable of them. He can simply absorb Ness’ PK Thunder projectiles with PSI Magnet to stay healthy, and then chase Ness off-stage to gimp him with an aerial move. There isn’t much Ness can do about this, so don’t feel bad if he loses to opposing Lucas FPs.

Raid Boss Training

As with all fighters both competitive and Raid Boss, Ness is best trained via mirror matches. In other words, you’ll have to play as Ness — even if you don’t consider yourself to be very good as him. Make sure your FP’s learning is on, and whatever you do, don’t let it fight another CPU-controlled character with its learning still on. You want to be in direct control of your amiibo’s training, so only switch its learn button on when you’re ready to fight it yourself. Ness’ unfortunate recovery flaw is still very much an issue in the Raid Boss realm, so remember to stay on the ground as often as you can.

  • In terms of attacks, PK Fire obliterates human opponents — especially when boosted with Spirit power. It’s okay to run and dash if you’re training a Raid Boss, so when you land a PK Fire, run up to your FP and follow up with another PK Fire, an up smash, or a forward tilt.
  • Ness’ grabs are incredibly important, too. By Level 50, your FP will have learned to combo a down throw into either two forward aerials or a reversed back air. You don’t have to teach it these combos, either — simply grab and input a throw and your amiibo will figure out the rest as it levels up.
  • At close range, forward tilt, up smash, and up tilt are solid options. All three can be used for anti-air, combos, or general combat. One thing to remember is to never charge your smash attacks — FPs tend to get carried away if they learn to do this.
  • You’re welcome to chase down your FP in the air as well! Each of Ness’ aerials come in handy, but your absolute best option is his up air. At Level 50, the AI will automatically learn to use dragdown combos using up air. No need to teach these yourself — they’re pre-programmed. Feel free to mix in some neutral and forward airs too; just a bit less of them.

During training sessions with your amiibo, you’ll probably notice it recovering in a strange matter. Indeed, Ness’ AI is hard-coded to waste its double jump and leave itself vulnerable while it charges up PK Thunder. This habit can’t be changed through any amount of training, which is why we avoid edgeguarding off-stage at all costs. Just like with the competitive section, you’ll want to avoid using or being hit by down tilt or PK Flash. As a final note, Raid Boss Ness uses less on-stage PK Thunder because human opponents have a much easier time air dodging out of the way.

(Site Image 4) Training the strongest Ness amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate


Thank you so much for reading! Ness’ optimal playstyle might sound lame – and to be honest, it is – but being lame is what competing is all about. that Ness fits right into our tier list’s higher ranks, having established himself as a powerful contender. If you still have questions even after reading the guide, feel free to become a member of our Discord community — we’ll be happy to help you out! For those looking to enter tournaments with a fully-trained Ness amiibo, check out our startup guide to learn how. Until next time — happy training!

If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.


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