Super Smash Bros Ultimate Ridley Guide – How to Play, Moves List, Counters

A guide to help you with Super Smash Bros Ultimate Ridley including the moves list and counters.

This guide makes up a part of our series of detailed character guides for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. In our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Ridley Guide, we talk about what changes have been brought on board for the character including the animations, moves and counter picks.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Ridley

Using his razor sharp claws and the long pointy tail, Ridley can execute attacks from distances that might come as a little jarring for some foes. Being a new addition to the series, Ridley, making his way from the Metroid series, is an unlockable character.

Overall, Ridley is quick foe that can cover distance quickly on ground and can also be a threat in air thanks to his soaring or triple jump ability. His projectile game is strong and can put a lot of pressure on the foe.

Unlocking Ridley

In the World of Light mode, you will need to defeat both the Frankenstein and Fleaman spirit in Dracula’s Castle before you have Ridley join the team. This is just before you venture into the World of Dark.

You can also unlock Ridley by completing the Classic Mode as Lucina or simply just play through the versus mode a sufficient number of times. The last two methods will require the player to defeat Ridley on Norfair stage before the dragon-like creature can be unlocked.

Move Set

His three neutral attacks deal 2, 1.5 and 5 damage respectively. If the Attack button is tapped rapidly, then a combo is initiated with rapid strikes from Ridley’s tail. Holding down the button will continue the attack; even on whiff and releasing it will serve as a last strike that launches the enemy away.

The dash attack is a bit slow to start and its ability to launch enemies away makes it impossible to follow up with other attacks. The damage potential, however, is good with 12 points of damage you can inflict. The ledge and wake up attacks deal 10 and 7 damage respectively and thanks to both attacks being invincible, they serve as defensive moves.

Tilt Attacks
Though the side tilt attack (13 dmg) can be angled up or down, performing it fully horizontally gives the best range. Moreover, the damage and knockback caused by the tip of the tail is immense and can even KO enemies. The up-tilt (9 damage) grants brief invincibility to the upper wing of Ridley and the move itself has low start-up.

The hit-box is big enough such that both the front and rear of Ridley are covered so the move serves as an effective anti-air. The Down Tilt (9 dmg) is a low-attack that has good horizontal range and will launch enemies for follow-up attacks.

Smash Attacks
The side smash attack (20 dmg) sees Ridley send out a breath of powerful fire projectile that though is slow to initiate, it has incredible range and will knockback enemies by a fair amount on hit. The Up smash attack (17 dmg) launches enemies at high angles while granting Ridley invincibility around the legs region.

This is a flash-kick like move with a decent hitbox. Finally, the down smash (16 dmg) is for fending off the pressure as Ridley pounds the ground to send out a shockwave. However, make no mistake, the move is extremely punishable on whiff and is very slow to initiate as well.

The grab attack has good range but slow start up and deals 1.6 damage. The front and back throws with 9 and 11 damage respectively act typically for positional importance. The Up throw (12 dmg) puts foes in a juggle state for follow up attacks.

The down throw is an important tool in Ridley’s tool-set and he can follow up with a forward air or occasionally (at 30% damage value of opponents) with up smash for a good amount of damage. Ridley’s ground game is comprised of these dash grabs as at other times, you will be focusing on aerial assault and projectiles.

Air Attacks
The Neutral attack (12 dmg) has minimal lag and start-up requirement. Furthermore, it covers a good angle and can be linked into fast-fall. The forward air attack is a three-hit combo (5+5+7 dmg) which lacks in range but makes up for it in terms of a fast start-up. The back air (15 dmg) is a good air-to-air attack that though will not persist for long, but deals the most damage out of the other aerial attacks.

The Up air attack (12 dmg) puts enemies in a juggle state and will guarantee combos for grounded and foes descending from the air. A typical follow up is forward air attack.

Lastly, the down air attack (14 dmg) is a dive-kick move and remains active until Ridley lands on the ground. Early hit will cause the meteor smash effect while at specific angles; a neutral attack combo can be performed subsequently.

Special Attacks
The neutral special (5.7 dmg + 4.4 for falloff), Plasma Breath, allows Ridley to send out a maximum of five fire balls from his mouth, depending on how long he charges the move. This attack can quickly become the case of ‘a taste of your own medicine’ as during the charge, the hurtbox grows bigger as Ridley continues to charge.

Landing the hit at his mouth region will deal up to 24% damage to Ridley as a result of an explosion. It is therefore highly recommended to keep your distance while charging the attack.

The side special, Space Pirate Rush, is a unique grab attack that cannot be guarded against. The damage you perform and the ability for the foe to shake out of the grab depends on the difference between the damage values of the two combatants.

The larger the difference, in favor of the opponent, the more damage Ridley dishes out and the harder it is for the opponent to shake out of the attack animation. The drag sequence can be aborted by pressing any button. You can also perform this move in the air to remain airborne for longer.

The up special, Wing Blitz allows Ridley to enter a stance in air from which he can transition into a left or right charge attack (16 dmg), a dive kick (15 +5 area-of-effect damage) or a soaring anti-air move (18 dmg). The direction is determined by the directional buttons (down for dive kick etc.) With the exception of the down variant, all other directional Wing Blitz attacks grant Ridley invincibility around his head region.

Lastly, the down special, Skewer, though slow to charge up, will deal an insane amount of damage, 40 points and then put foes into a dizzy state for a follow up with neutral attack combo. The trick here is to space yourself well enough so the tip of the tail hits the opponent, otherwise the damage is brought down to only 5 points.

Final Smash
The Plasma Screen final smash attack sees Ridley soar horizontally and then perform a destructive plasma beam that can completely destroy up to two opponents, KO them if they are lying at 100% or more damage value.

Judging closely by the playstyle of Simon, you are advised to choose the following Spirits sorted by decreasing precedence. Overall, the following Spirits increase the physical strength so melee based attacks and aerial ones are given a boost.

  • Chun-Li
  • Weezing
  • Rathalos
  • Shine Sprite

Counter Picks

Ridley’s ground and aerial game is strong thanks to the range of his smash and special attacks. Here are some good counter characters that will give you an upper hand when battling against Ridley.

  • Captain Falcon
  • Pikachu
  • Simon or Ritcher
  • Young Link
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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...