Pac-Man is a cultural icon whose popularity has crossed the globe for more than 30 years. The yellow, circular hero first starred in the game Pac-Man, which is recognized as the “Most Successful Coin-Operated Arcade Game” by Guinness World Records. His journey through the maze of gaming infamy is far from over! Waka Waka!
Section 1: Character Overview
At first, trainers didn’t see much potential in Pac-Man. For many months, he was overlooked in favor of known top-tiers Bowser and Ganondorf. But when the community decided to ban the Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield bonuses, the character received an unexpected surge in viability. In the same vein as Link and Luigi, Pac-Man’s strongest asset is his jab. It’s fast, safe on shield, and can be thrown out with minimal risk. His smash attacks, while lacking in power and speed, have disjointed range and are effective enough to get the job done. Pac-Man has an amazing set of special moves: the character’s AI has trouble utilizing them, but they still come in handy. Bonus Fruits give Pac-Man access to seven different projectiles, and each one has its own unique movement pattern. Power Pellet, his side special, serves as a useful attack and a great recovery maneuver. Speaking of recovery, Pac-Man’s up special, Pac-Jump, grants acceptable vertical and horizontal distances.
However, Pac-Man suffers from a slew of unfortunate flaws, most of which stem from problems in the CPU’s AI. For one, it often fails to charge its Bonus Fruits, and prefers to use the cherry. The AI rarely (if ever) recovers with Power Pellet, and opts to use Pac-Jump instead even though these moves can be used in tandem with each other. On the subject of Pac-Jump, Pac-Man occasionally fails to recover, bouncing on the trampoline once instead of three times. Furthermore, the AI tends to use Fire Hydrant to cover its landing. Once placed, it does not detect the hydrant, and thus cannot launch it on purpose. However, Pac-Man’s greatest flaw is his grab: it’s unarguably the worst in the game, and leaves him vulnerable if missed.
Assuming Pac-Man has access to the Dire Hydrant and Power Pac-Jump custom moves, he’s perfectly viable in the current metagame. Most tournament entries are prepared to fight top-tier contenders such as Marth and Cloud – they often fail to prepare for Pac-Man, seeing as he’s so seldom used. As a result, the element of surprise is on Pac-Man’s side, and this gives him a slight advantage.
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:
+60 Attack / +50 Defense / +10 Speed
- Power Pac-Jump: This is a custom move version of Pac-Man’s up special, and it acts as a more traditional recovery. Pac-Man jumps once with increased height, and the trampoline doesn’t stick around. Choosing Power Pac-Jump ensures that your amiibo will successfully recover.
- Dire Hydrant: This is a custom move version of Pac-Man’s down special, and it’s absolutely essential to the character’s success. Dire Hydrant drops a hydrant that explodes on impact with an opponent or surface. It creates much less confusion and increases Pac-Man’s consistency.
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, and neutral special. Jab is one of Pac-Man’s most important assets. In any kind of situation, jab is always a safe option, and should be your primary damage-racker. Forward tilt is a bit stronger, but it’s also slower. When using your Bonus Fruits, prioritize the orange, the apple, and the key. Don’t use the cherry.
- Main KO moves: forward smash and up smash. Pac-Man’s forward smash is his strongest move, but it’s still lacking in power. His up smash isn’t much better. Even so, they’re Pac-Man’s only kill moves, and should be used sparingly.
- Moves to avoid: grab and down special. Pac-Man’s grab is the slowest in the game and does not bring him any benefits whatsoever. Dire Hydrant serves to prevent Pac-Man from using his down special altogether, and is not a viable attack on its own.
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!