Guide: How to Play Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Persona 5’s protagonist Joker made it onto the Smash Bros. Ultimate roster on April 17. With that in mind, players are now picking up their Switch controllers and doing everything they can to master the newest character to grace the Smash Bros. Ultimate screen.

Here is a quick overview of how Joker functions in Smash Bros. Ultimate and a few tips and tricks for finding success with the character.


JokerCostumes 1
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Joker, or Ren Amamiya, was first introduced in P-Studio’s Persona 5. Empowered with “persona,” the high schooler formed the infamous Phantom Thieves of Hearts in order to explore the Metaverse and purify the hearts of malicious individuals. Just like in Persona 5, in Smash Bros. Ultimate Joker is certainly no laughing matter.

Joker is mostly a close-range fighter, though the character does have a pistol that can be used to keep mid-range opponents at bay. The character is quite mobile, though not as floaty as a character like Kirby. Still, Joker can dish out some punishing damage if operated properly.

As Joker was just released, top players are still working hard to optimize the character’s skill set. Consequently, Joker’s position within the Smash Bros. Ultimate meta will likely change with time.

If Joker turns out to not be to your liking, check out the “Top 5 Most Fun Fighters to Play in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”


Joker has a somewhat unique and powerful moveset, likely leading to the character being a quick favorite with players. Players can spam Joker’s pistol for some quick mid-range damage. Meanwhile, the character’s grappling hook functions similarly to Ivysaur’s “Vine Whip” ability. Joker’s full moveset can be seen within the video provided below.

The ability that truly sets Joker apart is Arsene. The feature functions similarly to Little Mac’s “K.O.” ability.

Whenever Joker takes damage, that damage will begin to fill the character’s “Rebellion Gauge.” When team members take damage, the gauge also fills. Once full, Joker can deplete the Rebellion Gauge in order to summon his Persona Arsene. After Arsene has been summoned, all of Joker’s moves gain buffs and new features.

With that in mind, here is a quick description of each of Joker’s special moves, his final smash and the Arsene buffed special moves.

Control InputMove NameDescription
Neutral SpecialGunThe gun can be fired in accession by holding the fire button, though it fires more quickly if tapped repeatedly. Joker can also dodge while shooting the gun.
Side SpecialEihaThis fires a low projectile that causes some damage over a period of time.
Up SpecialGrappling HookThis can be used to grab onto edges as a tether recovery. Or, the hook can be used to draw enemies closer to Joker.
Down SpecialRebel’s GuardThis helps supercharge Joker’s Rebellion gauge and ultimately summons the Persona Arsene once the gauge has been filled.
Neutral Special (Arsene)Gun SpecialOnce Arsene has been summoned, Joker can blast off rounds in three round bursts from his gun.
Side Special (Arsene) EigaonOnce Arsene has been summoned, Joker can fire a projectile that deals superior damage and launches enemies into the air.
Up Special (Arsene) Wings of RebellionOnce Arsene has been summoned, Joker can fly upwards while earning momentary damage immunity.
Down Special (Arsene) Tetrakarn and MakarakarnOnce Arsene has been summoned, Joker can counter/reflect melee and range attacks.
Final SmashAll-Out AttackJoker dashes forwards, upwards of two times, in an attempt to strike an opponent. Upon successfully striking an opponent, Joker summons the Phantom Thieves.

Tips and Tricks

Now that you have a firm understanding of Joker’s moveset, check out these quick tips and tricks for how to best utilize the character’s abilities.

  • Don’t underestimate his gun. Players are currently utilizing Joker’s gun for a large chunk of their damage output. Peppering rounds down range, after all, can be a great way to keep enemies at bay.
  • Joker’s standard ↓ + A attack is quite good at striking opponents normally just out of melee range. Make sure to utilize this sliding attack when you are looking to keep distance from approaching enemies.
  • Arsene will not be around forever. After summoning Arsene, the Persona will persist until the Rebellion Gauge has fully depleted. The gauge will slowly deplete with time.
  • Remember to always dodge when using Joker’s gun. Staying in one place is an easy way to get picked off. When peppering foes with Joker’s gun, remember to spam the characters dodge function so you can avoid damage.

If you want to see how all of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters stack up, check out our tier list here.

Hunter Boyce is a writer, which probably seems pretty obvious with "author" prominently displayed. He mostly writes about video games. However, he was previously a mixed martial arts news writer. When not writing about people pelting each other in the face or about leveling up in the latest RPG, he tends to spend his time as a web producer in Atlanta. You can shout all of your MMA and video game related quandaries at him at @SomthinClever on Twitter. Feel free to make your demands to him in ALL CAPS. He loves that.

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