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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate April 2022 Fighter Usage Stats!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - For North America.

Did you join the NintendoVS North American Open April 2022? This Nintendo of America officially sponsored competitive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament was free-to-enter and exclusively online for residents in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. ...And Koopa Kingdom sneaked in there. Or at least I did. I got 13th place in my region. My personal best is 9th; I think my bracket was set up that I had very winnable matches with people around my skill but I blew it.

If you're interested in watching the finals stream, you can do so at the following embedded video. Congratulations to Vendetta (Ken, Region 6), Vargoose (RO.B., Region 8), MegahogX (Mega Man, Region 5), Joshathan (R.O.B., Region 7), Many (Alex, Region 4), Pokelam (Ike, Region 1), Shoe (Region 3, Zero Suit Samus), and Fletchling (Robin, Region 2) for getting the grand prize or the first prize. For who won which prize, watch the video. (So you don't complain I spoiled the outcome to you.)



The neat thing about this tournament is that they ask participants to report the characters they used in the matches, which lets me go and add up all of the stats across the eight regions to figure out how many times each character was used. I consider this data to be representative of the online Super Smash Bros. Ultimate landscape, since the free-to-enter requirement and Nintendo's endorsement (and advertisement) means that the broadest and most representative group of players will join and participate—not just those that are highly competitive (even if the ruleset is a competitive one).

And by the way, compared to the US-only NintendoVS tournaments that happened in October 2021 (there were two), this tournament had more registrants... and WAY more people who actually showed up on the day of to play. 1538 players registered, and 1052 of those played at least one match in the ladder round that my stats in this article reflect. That's a 68.40% participation rate, which is the highest that I've recorded since I've been doing these stats where it's low-mid-50%s. (Possibly attributable to actually sending out emails to people when the tournament was starting to remind them to show up, which wasn't a practice done before.) And that's with the ladder being delayed by 30 minutes when the tournament began (the matchmaking button didn't work due to an error on the part of Battlefy, the eSports platform the tournament was hosted on). The results below represent 23,786 character interactions (divide that by two for the number of games). There were no character reporting issues—no new DLC characters means everything was ready to go before it started, unlike some past tournaments where someone forgot to make that tournament's newest DLC character available from the character picker in the site.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character fighter choice usage stats online wifi April 2022 NintendoVS


The following text list is the same information as the chart above, except more readable and searchable with CTRL + F. It features the character's name, the total number of games throughout every region's ladder round added together, the % usage out of every character, and their relative change versus the previous fighter usage stats published right after Sora's release in October 2021. Sora had shot up to the number one spot right after his release. But...
  1. Sora    1030    4.33%    0
  2. Pyra & Mythra    1014    4.26%    0
  3. Cloud    947    3.98%    7
  4. Kirby    775    3.26%    8
  5. Link    754    3.17%    11
  6. King K. Rool    747    3.14%    2
  7. Little Mac    705    2.96%    -1
  8. Joker    673    2.83%    -5
  9. Ness    595    2.50%    4
  10. Mario    583    2.45%    -3
  11. Sephiroth    573    2.41%    3
  12. Bowser    555    2.33%    -8
  13. Banjo & Kazooie    534    2.25%    -4
  14. Byleth    514    2.16%    1
  15. Piranha Plant    491    2.06%    6
  16. Terry    488    2.05%    -11
  17. Hero    486    2.04%    11
  18. Kazuya    433    1.82%    -1
  19. Steve / Alex    408    1.72%    -8
  20. Luigi    394    1.66%    5
  21. Inkling    394    1.66%    11
  22. Ganondorf    390    1.64%    2
  23. Donkey Kong    380    1.60%    3
  24. Yoshi    371    1.56%    -2
  25. Samus    371    1.56%    -7
  26. Incineroar    358    1.51%    -7
  27. Sonic    355    1.49%    -4
  28. Captain Falcon    342    1.44%    -8
  29. Lucas    312    1.31%    16
  30. Snake    295    1.24%    33
  31. R.O.B.    289    1.22%    -2
  32. Zelda    285    1.20%    34
  33. Bowser Jr.    278    1.17%    3
  34. Jigglypuff    258    1.08%    22
  35. Ridley    258    1.08%    0
  36. Roy    248    1.04%    1
  37. Young Link    244    1.03%    2
  38. King Dedede    236    0.99%    -11
  39. Ike    226    0.95%    21
  40. Falco    216    0.91%    8
  41. Toon Link    201    0.85%    1
  42. Palutena    185    0.78%    -2
  43. Pok√©mon Trainer    185    0.78%    -10
  44. Isabelle    175    0.74%    5
  45. Lucina    171    0.72%    2
  46. Pikachu    166    0.70%    -16
  47. Zero Suit Samus    166    0.70%    36
  48. Mii Gunner    160    0.67%    -5
  49. Mii Brawler    152    0.64%    15
  50. Robin    148    0.62%    18
  51. Wolf    146    0.61%    16
  52. Bayonetta    138    0.58%    -14
  53. Mewtwo    137    0.58%    -12
  54. Fox    137    0.58%    24
  55. Min Min    137    0.58%    -24
  56. Ken    135    0.57%    9
  57. Dark Pit    127    0.53%    -2
  58. PAC-MAN    126    0.53%    13
  59. Marth    123    0.52%    -25
  60. Greninja    112    0.47%    -9
  61. Corrin    109    0.46%    -17
  62. Dr. Mario    102    0.43%    19
  63. Rosalina & Luma    101    0.42%    6
  64. Mega Man    99    0.42%    -6
  65. Pit    95    0.40%    -13
  66. Mii Swordfighter    95    0.40%    -20
  67. Sheik    95    0.40%    18
  68. Chrom    93    0.39%    -6
  69. Shulk    92    0.39%    -16
  70. Peach    91    0.38%    0
  71. Lucario    88    0.37%    2
  72. Ryu    87    0.37%    -11
  73. Mr. Game & Watch    83    0.35%    -16
  74. Dark Samus    75    0.32%    -20
  75. Wario    70    0.29%    -3
  76. Ice Climbers    67    0.28%    0
  77. Olimar    66    0.28%    7
  78. Diddy Kong    66    0.28%    4
  79. Wii Fit Trainer    64    0.27%    -29
  80. Simon    61    0.26%    -21
  81. Villager    53    0.22%    -6
  82. Richter    50    0.21%    -3
  83. Meta Knight    49    0.21%    -9
  84. Duck Hunt    43    0.18%    -7
  85. Daisy    30    0.13%    -5
  86. Pichu    30    0.13%    0


The online metagame should be very stabilised since Sora released, with only one balance patch released in December 2021 that should be the last-ever balance patch. Still, I highlighted in yellow the characters that were beneficiaries of the patch... and highlighted in pink that Min Min and Pyra & Mythra got nerfed. I really don't think that impacted anything from the October 2021 post-Sora stats.

The weird thing here is that Sora is STILL #1. And Pyra and Mythra remain at a very close number two. (Obviously, their nerfs weren't relevant... though Min Min's were. Alternatively, people got bored of Min Min's playstyle and stopped using her.) Meanwhile, Joker, who has been known to be #1 in all pre-Aegis tournaments since his release, has really fallen off. Some on Twitter may even add that he's gotten “ratio'd.” I wouldn't say those last buffs made much of an impact. I should also point out, again, that this is comparing April 2022 to October 2021, and in October 2021, Canada and more importantly Mexico weren't allowed in. There are definitely some regional favourites in Mexico (which had its own region, Region 4), especially Link, who was their most-used character this time. Maybe certain content creators or Smash streamers that have gotten popular in the past six months have been using certain characters that have inspired others to use them too; I wouldn't personally know much about that.

Since we're sort of far removed from the effects of everyone wanting to try out the latest DLC character, we're in a scenario where “only” three of the top ten characters are additional downloadable content; though that opens up to eleven of the top twenty characters. There are only twelve DLC characters at all, with Min Min being the only one not in the top twenty. (She's... really far down.) That's... a lot of consolidation around those DLC characters. Now, just because they're used a lot doesn't mean that they won things—they mostly didn't. But people either THINK they can win with them, or they genuinely enjoy the more thoughtful fighter designs that went into the DLC. If only there was a smaller roster overall so every character could get that kind of attention.



What do you think about those usage stats? Upset that Sora remains the most popular character on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online? Did you expect a Joker resurgence? Is Ludwig enjoying Min Min's fall a little too much? Let's talk about it all in the comments section.

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