Ness is a small-town kid and the main protagonist of the beloved game Earthbound. His ordinary looks hide his psychic PSI powers. Ness was living a normal life in the suburbs of Onett until a meteor crashed into a nearby mountain and sent him on a wild adventure. Believing in the ultimate powers of wisdom, courage, and friendship, Ness proves that some heroes come in small packages.
Section 1: Character Overview
As one of the most threatening fighters available, Ness was once a metagame-defining threat. His powerful back throw was one of the most reliable finishers in the entire game – that is, until the Improved escapability bonus became standard. Nowadays, Ness’ strongest kill move has been essentially invalidated. Even without it, he’s still a potent contender. PK Fire and PK Thunder 2 are among the best tools in his arsenal; the former links into itself and racks up incredible amounts of damage very quickly, while the latter serves as a trump card of sorts that inflicts huge damage and knockback.
However, Ness is held back by several glaring flaws. Despite being top-tier, he has trouble against several fighters; his matchups against Marth and Lucina are poor, and his matchup against Bowser is considered nearly unwinnable. Furthermore, Ness’ recovery is exploitable; fighters with projectiles (examples include Mario, Link, and King Dedede) will send them off-stage in an attempt to interrupt his up special. As mentioned before, the presence of Improved escapability hinders Ness’ otherwise stellar grab game, removing the option of his back throw as a quick and reliable kill move.
Ness is a powerful contender with endless potential. Compared to other high-tier characters, Ness requires more time and patience. Even so, he’s still a strong and viable choice who can bring you all the way to grand finals with proper training.
Section 2: Recommended Equipment
Stats & Bonuses
For more information on equipment – including instructions on how to farm for custom parts – please read our amiibo equipment guide.
Most amiibo tournaments allow and encourage equipment. In fact, over ninety percent of competitions do – but if you’d prefer to forgo custom gear and leave your amiibo ‘vanilla’, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you will need to equip your amiibo with a viable setup of stats and bonuses. The following build has been extensively tested and proven effective:
+100 Attack / +100 Defense / -80 Speed
- Forward PSI Magnet: This is a custom move version of Ness’ down special. Rather than being centered around Ness’ body, the magnet will be centered around his outstretched hand. It recovers more health from absorbed projectiles, and can even inflict damage with good timing. Forward PSI Magnet isn’t an essential choice, but is still one worth considering.
Once your amiibo’s stats, bonuses, and custom moves are refined and ready to go, your training will officially begin! If you encountered a problem while equipping your amiibo, feel free to join our Discord server to ask for help.
Section 3: Training Your Amiibo
Amiibo training is a very specific task, and for the best possible result, you will need to approach it with caution. You can’t just go all-out using combos and aerials: both are seen as “newbie tactics” by competitive trainers. Instead, you should remain grounded at all times, making sure to punish your amiibo for every aerial attack it uses against you. This is true regardless of whether or not your amiibo was fed equipment.
To help your amiibo properly utilize its moveset, you will mirror match it from Level 1 all the way to Level 50. Playing timed matches on Ω-form stages is highly recommended.
Training Tips (Equipment & Vanilla)
- Neutral options: jab, forward tilt, up smash, down smash, and side special. When it comes to early-game play, Ness has many options. His jab is fast, and should be used against opponents at point blank. Forward tilt is slower, but is stronger and can be angled. Up smash can be used as a situational catch-all, as its range covers a wide arc above the character. Down smash covers an enemy’s getup options quite well, and should be used at the stage’s edge. PK Fire is Ness’ main damage-racking move, and should be used to the point of spamming. Hit your amiibo with as many consecutive PK Fires as possible before finishing with a forward smash or PK Thunder.
- Main KO moves: forward smash, PK Thunder 2, and back throw. Ness’ forward smash is incredibly powerful, but it’s also incredibly slow. As a result, it should only be used when your amiibo is trapped in a pillar of PK Fire and is within KO range. Try to attack with the very tip of the bat. PK Thunder 2 is one of Ness’ best moves, as opposing amiibo often run right into it. Since all amiibo run Improved escapability, Ness’ back throw isn’t very useful. Regardless, you should grab your amiibo and immediately back throw (without pummeling) whenever possible.
When your amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Just like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters. For more information on training your amiibo past Level 50, follow this link.
Section 4: Conclusion & Credits
Thank you so much for reading! Although the guide may be coming to an end, your training most certainly isn’t: there’s always a way to make an amiibo stronger, and yours is no exception. If you need additional help, check out the Amiibo Mechanics & Metagame Guide. If you want to ask specific questions, you can also stop by our Discord server.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been entirely fulfilled, there are more posts here that you might like. Amiibo Training Analysis analyzes a specific aspect of the metagame in great detail. Meanwhile, the official amiibo tier list ranks each amiibo’s potential. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head back to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!