How to train a Pac-Man amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Pac-Man has always been a rather interesting Figure Player — and that’s not necessarily a compliment. Back in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Pac-Man was initially one of the worst characters in the game. Eventually, a group of dedicated trainers figured out the missing piece of the puzzle: his three-hit jab. It looks like history repeats itself, because the same is true for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! If you’d like to learn more about Pac-Man’s metagame history, you can do so over at his corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!


When it comes to Spirits, Pac-Man suffers from a unique and unfortunate flaw: there isn’t a single one that boosts the strength of his smash attacks! If you’re going for a tournament-legal Pac-Man, your best bet is to leave one or two of his Spirit slots empty and bank the extra stats instead. If you have no idea what that means, please read our full Spirits guide before you continue!

  • Banned bonuses: As is the case for most fighters, Armor Knight is objectively the single greatest bonus effect you can use on Pac-Man. If you don’t already know, this bonus effect grants its user a 1.15x attack boost and a 1.8x defense boost. It does come with a drawback of 0.7x speed, but you can offset this by filling the third Spirit slot with Move Speed ↑. If you’re not worried about the speed drop, you could fill the third slot with Physical Attack ↑ to increase the strength of Pac-Man’s jab, forward tilt, and dash attack.
  • Tournament-legal bonuses: As mentioned earlier, no Spirit effect increases the power of Pac-Man’s smash attacks. However, Physical Attack ↑ does boost a few of his other moves. Pac-Man’s Fire Hydrant is one of the strongest landing options in the game, and giving him the Air Defense ↑ bonus effect makes him even tougher to contest. At this point, we’d recommend leaving your Figure Player’s third slot empty and putting the rest into its stats.
  • Raid Boss bonuses: There’s always your typical Super Armor and Great Autoheal suggestions — they work well, but your friends likely won’t want to play more than a couple matches against your Raid Boss! If you want a more balanced setup, try out Physical Attack ↑, Air Defense ↑, and Move Speed ↑ instead.

If you followed our recommendation and only gave your Pac-Man amiibo two Spirit effects, you can focus a bit more on its attack stat (2500 / 2000). Otherwise, a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) works just fine! Make sure the FP’s Spirit type is Neutral before moving to the next section. With that, you’re ready to start training!


Competitive Training

We’ve prepared a short list of each and every move a tournament-ready Pac-Man should have in its arsenal. If you’re a seasoned amiibo trainer, it’s okay to read the list and move on. Otherwise, we’ll break down each individual move and explain its role and purpose in Pac-Man’s kit. Here we go!

  • Heavy emphasis on jab and forward smash at close range
  • Medium amount of grabs at close range
  • Small amount of forward tilt at close range
  • Dash attack from a distance
  • Heavy emphasis on Fire Hydrant as a landing option
  • Heavy emphasis on down air off-stage

If you’re new to amiibo training, welcome! We’ll start with a brief overview of some basic training concepts. Here’s the run-down: never run, stay grounded (unless you’re going off-stage), and let yourself get hit every so often. That’s about it! For a more detailed explanation of these concepts, feel free to check out our general training guide. With that out of the way, scan in your Pac-Man amiibo and choose to play as Pac-Man yourself. We’re ready to start!

At close range, you’re going to want to rely on jab and forward smash. Pac-Man struggles against opponents who perfect shield his attacks, and a full three-hit jab combo is a great way to get past that! In this game, FPs often fail to block consecutive hits, even if they perfect shield the first one. As a result, you’ll see the enemy block the first hit of Pac-Man’s jab, but then drop their guard and take damage and knockback from the last two hits. Pac-Man’s forward smash is strong and has a lingering hitbox, though it’s rather easily blocked. You can use this move to catch your FP’s landings as well — that might help it get more kills later on.

Pac-Man’s grab is too slow to serve as a reliable anti-shield tool, but it still has its uses — at high percentages, back throw is a powerful kill move! Although jab and forward smash are your main close combat moves, forward tilt works every so often, too — unfortunately, it only hits once and it’s not powerful as forward smash. That’s why we prioritize jab and forward smash over forward tilt; if anything, the latter is there to keep Pac-Man’s better moves fresh.

For his dash attack, Pac-Man enters his ball form and moves forward. Its hitbox lasts for a long time and hits multiple times, making it a solid option against shields. Between jab and dash attack, Pac-Man should be able to work his way around defensive enemies. Pac-Man’s real strength, however, comes when he’s in the air above his opponent. He’s one of the only characters in the game who can turn this scenario into an advantage, and it’s all thanks to his Fire Hydrant! It’s an excellent disruption tool and hits rather hard. Of course, Pac-Man’s AI isn’t smart enough to purposefully launch the hydrant at a foe, but the move’s landing hitbox is too good to pass up. You can also add a tiny bit of landing down air and neutral air when you get closer to the ground — just make sure you place a heavy emphasis on Fire Hydrant.

Pac-Man has an excellent off-stage game! Anytime your FP is launched off-stage, chase it down with repeated down air attacks. The move doesn’t meteor smash its victims, but it does boast powerful horizontal knockback that most characters won’t be able to recover from. If your FP is too far below you when you go off-stage, you can simply drop a Fire Hydrant on its head instead. Try not to hit your FP with Power Pellet or Pac-Jump as you recover back, and vice versa — you might cause it to start using these moves on-stage, too.

As you can see, Pac-Man is a fairly unique character, but certainly not a high-tier one. During your training, you might notice that Pac-Man likes throwing cherries at the edge. Indeed, this is hard-coded, though this behavior becomes less common as you teach the FP to go off-stage more and more. The AI might also use grounded Pac-Jump at a distance to force opponents into the air, which is hard-coded as well. If your FP hits you with an up tilt, up smash, down smash, or Pac-Jump, you’re better off quitting the match. These attacks are liabilities during tournament matches, so you’ll want to avoid taking damage from them at all costs (or using them yourself). Up tilt and up smash, in particular, have minuscule horizontal range — which makes Pac-Man’s anti-air game incredibly poor. That’s why we choose to ignore them instead!

If any of these explanations confused you, you’re welcome to take a look at the general training guide we mentioned earlier. It’s chock-full of basic concepts and AI information, so you’ll no doubt find it helpful! You can also join our Discord server if you have a specific question that wasn’t answered here.


Raid Boss Training

Normally, we’d use this section to tell you that Raid Boss training is easier than competitive training. That’s not the case with Pac-Man, however — to be honest, he’s kind of a crummy Raid Boss. Pac-Man’s AI can’t use any of its special moves as well as a human player could, so we’ll be relying on his crazy-fast frame data instead. Let’s break down our full recommendations for a Raid Boss Pac-Man amiibo:

  • At close range, your best options are jab, forward tilt, and down tilt. Each of these attacks is quite fast, and though they’re normally rather weak, they’ve no doubt been juiced up by the Spirits you applied.
  • You can also sprinkle in a small number of grabs. Pac-Man’s tractor beam leaves him vulnerable if he misses, and the AI often tries to combo down throw into dash attack — which doesn’t always work. That being said, Pac-Man’s back throw is a fairly strong kill move, so that’s why we’re using a few grabs anyway.
  • Rising forward and back airs are solid neutral tools. Both are rather fast – especially forward air – and back air serves as a particularly powerful kill move off-stage. Neutral air blends both speed and power, so it should see some use here as well.
  • Mix in a small bit of forward smash and down smash. They’re somewhat slow, but Pac-Man will have trouble finishing off weakened opponents without them.

Overall, Pac-Man is hit-or-miss — most likely the latter. His anti-air game is noticeably poor, as both his up tilt and up smash attacks lack horizontal range. Regardless, feel free to experiment — Raid Boss amiibo don’t follow as strict a template as competitive ones. Some optional ideas include adding up airs, grounded Pac-Jumps, and charged Bonus Fruits. It’s up to you!



Historically, Pac-Man is one of the most overlooked Figure Players not just in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but across the entire series. With proper training, though, he’s a solid mid-tier fighter capable of contending with those who rank below him. Plenty of tournaments only allow mid-tier fighters, which means there’s still a place for Pac-Man in this metagame! Feel free to join our Discord server to access all the latest tourney listings. Check out our tournament setup guide too, while you’re at it. Until next time — happy training!

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


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