How I think you should choose your main in Smash 4 (inspired by SamuraiPanda)


Smash Cadet
Nov 5, 2017
So, after being in a character crisis ever since I started playing Smash, I've finally come up with my mains for each game. Throughout my character crisis, I've come up with some criteria for HOW you should choose your main (not WHO you should main.)

1. Don't worry about tier lists.

A lot of people think that the only way to win tournaments is if you pick a top tier character, and thus people will search all over the Internet to find the most accurate tier list they can find, whether it being an official tier list or a top player's tier list. My advice to you is to pick the character that fits your playstyle the most because no matchup is truly unwinnable. This brings me to my next point:

2. Play a character that fits your playstyle.

One problem that new players have is that they just don't know what their playstyle is. My way of finding out your playstyle is to play a match with Mario against anybody, whether it being a CPU, or online, or with a friend, and save the replay. Then, rewatch the replay and analyze it. How did you open up the match? Were you playing primarily defensively or offensively? Then, find a character who you find to specialize in that playstyle. If you were playing defensively, you may want a character like:4villager:,:4duckhunt:, or:rosalina:. If you were playing mainly offense, you may want to pick up a character like:4falcon:,:4fox:, or :4littlemac:. I recommend reading the Smashpedia article on Character archetypes to get a better understanding of what characters specialize in your playstyle.

3. Play a character you feel proud about.

Play a character you actually like as a character in their game, or perhaps play an uncommon character that you feel determined to represent. Whatever it is, find a character you feel at home with. Some people might find a character that perfectly fits their playstyle, but they don't like how the character looks, or they don't like the sounds the character makes. Just goes to show you how pride in a character can change your mind when it comes to picking a main.

4. Pick a character that you don't main in another Smash game (if you DO play another Smash game, that is.)

Don't play a character you main in another Smash game you consistently play, or better yet, don't pick a character that is good in another Smash game you play, or even better yet, don't play a character that's even IN another Smash game that you play. The less prevalent the character is in another Smash game you play, the better. However you don't need to play a Smash 4 exclusive if you also play Melee. For example, you could play Marth in Melee but play Roy in Smash 4. Roy is uncommon in Melee, but if you do play against a Roy in Melee, you could mistake his interactions and stats with that of Smash 4's. Or even worse, you could stop using Melee-specific techniques like wavwdashing and L-cancelling because you think you're playing Smash 4. To stop this, find a character that is as least prevalent as possible in another Smash game. It helps out a lot.

5. You're done!

If you've successfully taken into account all of the criteria listed above, it should be a lot easier choosing your main.

Some people think that you also need to be able to win with a character if you can even think about choosing them. Wrong! Practice makes perfect. At home, practice your Smash fundamentals against CPUs or playing Solo modes before concerning yourself with the more advanced tech. Watch Izaw's Art of Smash videos in order and gradually master each technique he talks about in them.
It will take time to master each technique, so don't rush it. Also watch the "Art of" video about your character (If Izaw made a video on it, that is.) When you're at tournaments, play friendlies all day. I cant stress that enough. It's better to play friendlies with people who are better than you to learn from your mistakes. Playing netplay is reliable but not AS reliable as going to a tournament.

All this will ensure that you can specialize in your character even if the character is bad or you can't seem to win with that character.

NOTE: Ignore character criticism! Play who you want! Also, this can apply to all Smash games, but you're gonna have to find guides for that specific Smash game, because the link I gave is for Smash 4 players only. Thank you for reading!