Project M is often touted as the best balanced competitive Smash mod ever made. P+, or Project Plus, is an additional balance and re-skin patch for Project M to reinvigorate support from its loyal community.
So how do these iconic Smash fighters stack up against each other? In this tier list, we attempt to answer that. The idea is to create a definitive ranking of the most viable fighters in the game – useful for both beginners and seasoned veterans.
Take note that any fighter is a potential S-tier IF the player using it spends an insane number of hours perfecting its skillset.
This list looks at the tools each fighter is given and judges their strength through that.
With that out of the way, let’s dive right in.
Table of ContentsShow
These are considered the best fighters in the game right now. They shape the game’s competitive meta with their varying tools and excellent utility.
|Wolf||It’s no secret that Wolf has the best projectile attack in the game. It allows him to effectively zone and setup opponents out of the neutral position to his advantage.|
The trick to his laser is that it moves slow enough to allow Wolf to wave land/dash with it. This maneuver always spells trouble for the opponent because it’s so tough to defend against, let alone punish.
|Peach||Princess Peach floats right into the top tier thanks to her awesome air control and combo potential. Her down smash is something opponents always want to watch out for.|
Peach can also take a surprising amount of damage before being in trouble, which adds to her survivability.
|Captain Falcon||With a decent recovery and powerful combo potential, Captain Falcon can dispatch opponents quickly. What’s impressive is that Captain Falcon is an accessible fighter with huge potential. You can be a beginner, pick him up for the first time, and still have a blast.|
Despite this, he offers so much more for players who spend time with him.
|Wario||Despite his weight, Wario is surprisingly springy and agile. He has great combos that he caps off with a down B, which in most cases, finishes off an opponent. Wario also has some tools for survival. He drifts well in the air – a trait that adds to his wonderful recovery.|
Overall, Wario is a complete fighter with very few flaws.
|Meta Knight||Harkening back to the SSB Brawl days, Meta Knight is a powerful aerial fighter with excellent recovery options. Unlike in Brawl, he isn’t too overpowered anymore. The balance he received in P+ is just the right amount. Due to being lightweight, Meta Knight may lack survivability.|
He does make up for it with fast movement, excellent mobility, and overwhelming offensive prowess. If you’re looking for a glass cannon character, this is the one for you.
|Mewtwo||For professional players out there, Mewtwo’s your guy. He’s a highly technical fighter, which may turn off some players, but the road to mastering his style is worth it. His air drift is unique yet so effective in off-stage/near-ledge encounters.|
The range on his attacks is also better than most fighters’, removing some of the risks involved when committing to combos.
These are excellent fighters that are given complete tools to hold their own against any matchup.
They have a few flaws that bar them from the top tier, but they still constitute most of the game’s competitive meta despite this.
|Sheik||A huge part of Sheik’s advantage stems from the fact that she’s easy to pick up even for beginners. She’s an agile fighter with long combos and great recovery options.|
By design, Sheik lacks in the damage department, but skilled players capitalize on her disruptive combo chains.
|Sonic||True to his speedy nature, Sonic is everything you want in a rushdown offensive fighter. His combos flow smoothly because of quick animations. He can set attacks up out of neutral, near the ledge, or even in midair.|
He also has serviceable recovery to mitigate some of the punishment you’ll get when you whiff your attacks.
|Marth||Marth is a nightmare for floaty characters like Peach, Jigglypuff, and Ness. He’s a quick fighter with more range on his normal attacks than others, thanks to his sword. Marth’s calling card is his aerial rushes then finishing off with that devastating up smash.|
If you want to main Marth, you’d do well to practice this combo.
|Zero Suit Samus||Zero Suit Samus almost rivals Sheik in terms of raw agility. She has more powerful attacks but needs more mastery to pull off completely. She can blast through defenses in close range and zone other fighters from mid-range.|
|Mario||Mario is a mix-up king in P+. He’s good in everything including recovery, survivability, disjointed attacks, and aerial dominance (looking at you, f-air).|
Despite being good at most aspects, Mario doesn’t have that unique mechanic that can propel him to the top tier, though.
|Fox||Fox is not in S-tier is because people would argue to use Wolf instead, and they’re not wrong about that. Fox has the same, yet inferior projectile to Wolf (still effective). He has great recovery, good combos, and he has no glaring flaws.|
If Fox gets tweaked and offers more diversity from Wolf, then he’d easily be in the top tier as well.
|Donkey Kong||Donkey Kong has very strong attacks, decent speed, and a serviceable recovery. The only downside to him is his huge hitbox, but this isn’t a big issue since his added weight prevents him from losing stock early.|
|Bowser||Bowser’s not for everybody. His slow and disjointed combos may throw off some people, but underneath all that is a beast with tons of armor and offensive tools at his disposal.|
He can recover easily, spew flames as projectiles, and take stock at lower percentages due to his insane damage output. Bowser mains prefer to play defensively until they’ve determined the right time to take that stock.
|Diddy Kong||Even when he was gutted in P+, Diddy is still a good fighter. His projectiles are good at setting up opponents for the rushdown. His bananas are good for either zoning or resetting a bad encounter to neutral.|
He’s not as good as he once was, but Diddy still dominates when skilled players are using him.
These are great fighters that have solid all-around mechanics or can excel in their niche roles perfectly.
|Lucas||Lucas’s amazing combo tools force an aggressive playstyle to those who use him. He excels at baiting opponents to whiff then punishing them with his hyper-fire. His movement is also top-notch. Where Lucas falters is his survivability.|
He’s light and floaty – something a lot of players can easily counter. His recovery’s also only so-so.
|Ice Climbers||Ice Climbers are one of the hardest fighters to master because you’re basically controlling two fighters at once. Once you get past this initial hurdle, you’ll find a very rewarding fighter who can combo onto spikes off stage.|
|Pikachu||Pikachu is a speedy technical fighter who is surprisingly heavier than one would expect. Because of this, partnered with great recovery and ledge trapping options, this electric mouse is an oppressive force once it gets going.|
|Olimar||Olimar hits hard. He can rack up damage quickly and take stock at relatively lower percentages.|
What hinders him is his awful recovery and a heavy influence of chance on his attacks.
|Samus||Samus is a defensive fighter who does well against aerial fighters. Her projectiles help keep a nice distance between her and the opponent – until she sees an opening to initiate combos out of her amazing grab.|
She’s a solid fighter but a bit on the slow side.
|Ike||Like Marth but heavier, Ike is a more technical fighter who rewards precise play. He has great combos and powerful Smash attacks that take stock at lower percentages when charged. The main argument against Ike is that people would rather use the faster, more accessible, Marth.|
Once he gets his time to shine in tournaments, however, Ike might be promoted to higher tiers.
|Falco||Between Wolf, Fox, and him, Falco seems to have drawn the shortest straw. He has the worst recovery of the three and his projectile is not impressive at all.|
In all other aspects, he’s similar, but if that’s the case then it would be wise to just pick Wolf or Fox.
|Snake||Making Snake shine entails many hours of practice and near-perfect execution in fights. He likes to accumulate percentage using his sticky grenades, then moves in for the stock with hard-hitting smash attacks. In terms of survivability, Snake is amazing.|
He can use his stickies to launch him back on stage. Overall, he is a strong fighter hindered by his high skill cap.
|Toon Link||Toon Link is a true zoner. He can use his arrows and bombs to effectively lock up an area while inflicting chip damage to opponents.|
He’s a light and small character so he’s at a disadvantage against opponents who just want to straight-up brawl in the middle of the arena.
On paper, these fighters have average tools to help them win fights. It would take players more time and effort to string consistent wins with these fighters.
|Ivysaur||Ivysaur relies on combos and mid-ranged zoning to put pressure on opponents. The problem with this is that he doesn’t do well when he’s the one being backed into a corner.|
|Lucario||Another combo-reliant fighter, Lucario is an agile striker who’s very rewarding once you take the time to master him. He has a very high skill cap due to the fighting game homage inserted in his moves.|
You won’t see a lot of Lucario mains in competitive, which is an advantage because then people won’t know how to counter him once you pull him out of your pocket.
|Pit||Pit is your average fighter with decent tools across the board. He’s a perfect second or pocket pick, but not a main. Pick him if you like aerial fighters with long combo chains.|
|Charizard||Charizard is a heavy, floaty fighter who relies on mix-ups to rack up some percentage damage.|
He’s surprisingly agile for his size and he has decent projectiles.
|Ness||Ness is an excellent fighter on paper. He has all the tools to damage and put out an opponent. Good recovery and decent movement. The problem is that he gets penalized so much against fighters like Marth, Ike, or Link.|
His matchups are so bad against certain characters that it’s easy to drop him off in a tournament.
|Zelda||Zelda’s a great zoner that can finish off opponents with her fast and heavy smash attacks. In that regard, she should be played as an all-out offensive fighter. She doesn’t have many options when she’s the one on the defensive, however.|
She’s lightweight AND slow as well, meaning it’s easier to take stock from her.
|Link||If Link is lighter and faster, he would be Marth with great zoning options. That’s not the case though, so Link suffers heavily from quicker opponents.|
He still has serviceable tools, but he won’t be able to use them if he’s trapped in an enemy combo (which happens most of the time).
|R.O.B.||R.O.B. is all about space control and ledge guarding. His top and lasers do very well against most fighters.|
He has an excellent recovery tool that can be used to setup punishes as well. R.O.B. suffers from the same disadvantages as Link. He’s a heavy, slow, and big target that will be combo food for skilled players.
|Mr. Game & Watch||G&W used to be in S-tier because of his extremely long combo chains. P+ has significantly nerfed him to oblivion. He’s still a good choice, especially if you were a G&W main before P+.|
He’s not as dominant as he once was, but you can still get some wins with him if you’re crafty enough.
These fighters have very niche uses and even then, are risky picks each time. Use them if you’re confident in your Smash abilities.
|Ganondorf||Ganon excels in raw offensive power. Once he gets close enough, he can do a lot of damage with combos out of grabs. His smash attacks and his side special are effective in finishing off enemies. Ganon’s weakness is zoners or any other fighter with decent range on them.|
He’s easy to camp, which causes a lot of matchups to be against him.
|Luigi||Luigi has very good tools for aerial battles. His wavedash is quick and covers a lot of space – adding to his mobility. On every other aspect, Luigi suffers from slow animations. He’s also on the floaty side of things with little defensive options.|
|Knuckles||Knuckles thrives in close-quarters combat. He’s like a slower version of Lucario. Since he’s the odd one out of the canon Smash universe, there’s still a lot of potential to develop.|
With repeated usage and exposure in top tournaments, Knuckles may move higher on this list.
|King Dedede||Dedede has good movement due to wave and waddle dashes that are just tough to deal with it. The excellence ends there, however, as he has powerful but slow attacks. His combos are too disjointed to rush opponents. He’s also a big floaty target, which often places him on the losing end of a matchup.|
|Squirtle||Squirtle is an agile combo fighter with decent recovery options. He can build up damage quickly, especially if you land your combos (this is a big IF because Squirtle has poor range).|
The problem is that he doesn’t have a lot of heavy-hitting moves that can finish off opponents.
|Roy||In the same vein as Ike, Roy suffers much of his pitfalls as well. He’s strong with good range but his slow movement leaves him vulnerable to combos. It doesn’t help that he has a subpar recovery.|
These fighters are considered the worst for competitive play. They’re usable, but inherently have bad matchups against the rest of the roster.
|Yoshi||There’s not a lot of Yoshi mains in the top stage of competitive play. His double jump is a bad recovery option because it leaves him vulnerable to ledge guards every time.|
|Kirby||Kirby is a light and floaty fighter who always seems to have trouble taking stock. He doesn’t have a lot of zoning options, making him a one-dimensional fighter at close range.|
His ability to copy opponents’ abilities is a bit of a gimmick and requires a lot of skill (with luck sprinkled) to use effectively.
|Jigglypuff||The Puff is only a slightly stronger version of Kirby. He suffers from the same defensive trappings, but at least he has better offensive tools.|
Jigglypuff can pull off flashy combos and finish it off with a well-timed Rest, but the amount of skill it takes to execute this is too high for the average player.