This Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sonic Guide makes up a part of our series of detailed character guides for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Below, we cover everything including the general playstyle of the character and their entire moveset. In our SSBU Sonic Guide, we talk about what changes have been brought on board for Sonic including his moves, combos, playing as Sonic, and countering him.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sonic
Super Smash Bros Ultimate Sonic is the 17th character you’ll unlock through VS. Matches. He is quite unique in his play-style and is a technical one since you will need to focus on spacing and footsies.
As expected, Sonic is the fastest character on ground in the game; while being subpar in the air. Compared to Smash 4, Sonic has been nerfed overall; However, he has received a couple of buffs such as his neutral attack.
This puts Sonic out of the top 10 best characters in the game, but he’s still a good character to play nonetheless.
Sonic controls the pace of the fight. His speed allows you to get to anywhere on the platform whenever you want. He’s a lot more aggressive than he was in the previous game.
Every whiffed attack from the opponent presents an opportunity for attack, since the window of attack, no matter how small, can still be capitalized thanks to Sonic’s movement speed.
His speedy dashes can always get him out of harm’s way and into the opponent’s when the need be.
The unpredictability of his spin attacks always keeps the opponent on the guess. Since he can transition into various moves, including a grab from his spinning state, the opponents may need to be vigilant at all times.
Another thing which Sonic excels at in this game is catching landings due to his great speed. With his dash attacks, you can easily scoop the opponent up.
Lastly, he has a good range of his attacks and some special moves of his grant him invincibility during their attack animation.
How to Play Sonic
The most important thing you need to remember while playing as Sonic is that you’re faster than everyone else. You need to use your immense speed to your advantage by putting pressure on the opponent. This can be done by strafing, faking attacks etc.
This will force the opponent to react by either shielding, jumping or attacking. If they shield, you can grab them easily. If they jump, you can catch them with your dash attack. If they perform an attack, you can easily punish it.
Try and stay in the center of the platform as much as you can and bait out attacks from the opponent.
Another important thing which you need to keep in mind when playing with Sonic is that you have to be patient while approaching with him. You cannot engage with the opponent because Sonic’s animations are quite slow, allowing the opponent to easily prepare themselves to dodge your attack.
Sonic is especially slow and predictable in the air. You have to always play at a certain range (basically from the roll distance).
When you have the lead, don’t get too excited. Just keep up the same strategy of baiting out attacks. That’s always the way to go.
As mentioned previously, Sonic is very vulnerable while in the air. If the opponent starts to juggle you, it’ll be really difficult for you to land. You must save your jumps so if this happens, you’ll have the option to retreat to the edge.
Sonic’s long-range attacks and his speed make him a force to be reckoned with when it comes to edge-guarding. When you’re trying to edge-guard stay on the platform and retain your control of it instead of jumping off.
While edge-guarding, you have a few kill options. For example, if the opponent is at 90%, you can do Fast Fall > Neutral Air which will kill them. Your Forward Tilt also kills at 150%.
If you’re the one being edge-guarded, you have quite a lot of ways to get back up due to your insane speed. You can Side B, Jump and then do a Back Air to get back up.
Your Homing Attack and Spin Dash are some more easy ways to get back up on the platform.
Neutral Air > Up Air > Neutral Air does about 30% damage.
Soft Neutral Air > Back Air does a lot of damage and is also a kill setup on edge.
Spin Dash > Neutral Air does 30% damage, but it isn’t a true combo like it was in Smash 4.
Spin Dash > Back Air starts to work from about 30%.
Spin Dash > Homing Attack is an excellent combo as it pretty much works at all percentages. Remember to be within range while performing this combo as the Homing Attack has 70 frames of ending lag, making it easily punishable.
Spin Dash > Homing Attack (Reverse) > Falling Up Air > Grab > Neutral Air. This insane true combo does about 47% damage.
Spin Dash/Charge > Down Air is an easy kill setup.
The first Neutral Attack deals 2 damage and can be extended into a multiple-hit jab combo to put pressure on the opponent. It also allows him to follow up with a mix-up after the full combo, like a grab or one of the special moves. They have low knockback but have hitstun modifiers, allowing the second attack to lock enemies.
The second and third Neutral Attacks deal 1.5 and 4 damage respectively, with the latter also knocking the enemy away by a fair amount at a low angle, which can make it knock opponents off the stage quite efficiently. It can also be used to set up tech-chases.
The Dash Attack (6 damage) though punishable on block or whiff, can be used to catch retreating opponents and can be followed up with an air attack if the move hits late at just the right time. This attack is now a simple lunge kick having no spin attack before it. So, it only hits the opponent once. One downside to this attack is its low angle, which can make it difficult to execute a KO with it.
On the defensive side of things, Sonic can perform any of the three invincible attacks to fend off the pressure and get out of tight spots.
His Ledge Attack deals 9 damage while the wake-up face-up and facedown attacks inflict 7 and 6 points of damage respectively.
The Side Tilt Attack (4+7 damage) is useful against missed ledge attacks of the foes and will launch the opponent away, so this also serves as a defensive move.
It is unsafe on the block but boasts a good range while remaining hard to punish if it has spaced properly thanks to its small hurt-box.
The Up Tilt is very unsafe on block or whiff but if it connects, not only will it do 2+6 damage but will put the opponent in a juggle state for follow up attacks.
It also works best for enemies vertically above you so when they are airborne and descending down, go for the move. Lastly, the Down Tilt (6 damage) will also launch enemies at an upward angle for a combo to be started. Sonic won’t slide forward after the move finishes, so spacing will be less dangerous.
Even on the block, it’s usually safe and if the hit connects at 30% damage value of the foe, you can get a Dash Attack or a hop forward air attack in the out of the subsequent exchange.
The Side Smash attack (14 damage) carries an up angled and down angled variation with the latter having a good range so can punish ledge attacks. Both the variations are unsafe, but if charged up, they cannot be punished easily.
The Up Smash is a five hit combo with the first and last strikes dealing 5 and 3 damage and the three in between deal 6 damage each.
The move starts with initial invincible frames but is punishable after if blocked. The last hit will launch enemies vertically upwards. The last hit of this attack has high knockback scaling, making it a good option to execute KOs.
The Down Smash is a split-kicks attack that distributes a large hitbox to either side of Sonic. For 12 damage, you can punish an opponent’s dash-in attempts or while they are running away.
Its front hit has very high knockback scaling while the back hit deals high damage. You can absolutely not throw it out blankly as it is highly punishable on block.
Grab attack deals 1.3 damage, and Sonic can quickly move in to be in the range of the attack. The front and back throws, both with 7 damage, are slow to come out and act typically for positional importance. All of Sonic’s grab have quite a bit of ending lag.
The Forward throw tosses the enemy horizontally, which can set up a good edgeguarding position for you.
The Up throw deals 6 damage and leads to follow up for good combo potential. The down throw (8 damage) will put the opponent in a wake-up tech knockdown.
The damage from Sonic’s Pummel attack has been decreased from 2% to 1.3% and it deals more hitlag. However, it has significantly less startup and ending lag.
Neutral Air Attack
This attack with 12 damage sees Sonic spinning in the air as he knocks everything in his path. The good amount of active frames make the move long lasting.
Forward Air Attack
This is a six-hit combo with the first five strikes inflicting 0.8 damage and the last one dealing 3 damage. The last hit also launches enemies away, so the forward air attack serves as a combo finisher to Down Tilt and neutral air attack.
Back Air Attack
This is a highly damaging (14 damage) extended kick attack which will knock airborne enemies away. However, it has very low knockback scaling, which can make it pretty difficult to KO with it.
Though it is slow to come out, you can hop back air just before you land so you can perform another back air attack to put short-hopping enemies in kind of a loop if they are not careful enough.
Up Air Attack
This is a two-hit combo (3+8 damage) which is quick to come out and will put opponents into a juggle state. You can also cancel short hop up air into fast fall by tapping it.
Delaying the hop up air into fast fall will result in the foe being hit by the second hit of the up air attack that will, in turn, launch enemies for a follow-up attack that would be safe even if it were blocked.
Down Air Attack
The dive kick type attack with 8 damage is punishable on block. If the attack connects early, it will result in a meteor smash for even more damage.
The homing attack will lock onto the nearest foe and Sonic will spin in that direction to cause devastating damage. Sonic charges straight at the opponent with this attack, and there will be a reticle on the enemy before the attack hits so it’s hard to miss with it.
The more you charge the special move and then release, the greater the damage and knockback with the former property maxing out at 20. As you’re charging it, Sonic will move upwards.
However, be aware that if blocked you will bounce off and even be knocked out of the stage if you have not spaced the move properly.
At some percentages, you can use this attack to start a combo as it has low ending lag.
The Spin Dash is one of the most important tools for Sonic from which he can cancel into multiple other special moves or aerial attacks.
During the starting frames, this side special grants Sonic invincibility and the longer he charges the move, the greater the amount of damage he can inflict on the opponents (up to 11 damage).
The move can be charged for up to two seconds. Sonic will launch by himself if you don’t release him even after charging for two seconds. However, there’s a trick to charge the attack longer by jumping up into the air and then charging, as Sonic won’t launch himself until he touches the ground.
The Spring Jump attack has two variations: grounded and aerial. Both involve the use of a spring to propel Sonic and his foes into the air. The grounded version will allow you to bounce off it twice and deal aerial attacks.
If you perform the Spring Jump while airborne, it will act as a projectile falling down to deal damage (4 damage). This is especially useful against enemies near the ledge.
Since foes can also be bounced off the spring, you can use this tactically to bring them up in the air to follow up with aerial strikes or certain special moves like the airborne Spring Jump.
Lastly, it should be noted that during the initial frames of the move, Sonic is granted invincibility.
The Spin Charge is charged by holding the down directional input and then inputting the Special button as fast as you can to reach the max charge (yellow glow). Once fully charge, you can release the directional button to perform the move. It can be charged for up to 3 seconds.
The charge can be canceled into a jump to initiate an aerial attack. You can also spin in the opposite direction before you fully charge it.
Compared to the Spin Dash attack, the Spin Charge comes out much faster and will continue to persist even after the hit. Even in the air, the attack can be canceled into an aerial attack.
Thanks to the variety of moves you can follow up the Down Special attack with, the opponents are kept guessing with a lot of mix-ups at your disposal.
Utilizing the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic turns into his superior yellow version, Super Sonic. Moving across the full screen, in both directions, at full speed, Super Sonic clears all enemies in his path.
The angle can also be adjusted for the rush with a slight up or slight down angle.
If you come into contact with the enemy while you turn back into your normal form, the enemy will take some damage and knockback.