Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

Young Link Guide: Matchup Chart and Combos

July 2022 Major Tier List Update!
13.0 Best Character Tier List

Patch Notes and Updates
All Update and Patch Note History
Ver. 13.0.1 Patch Notes and Balance Changes

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Young Link Guide

This is a guide to using Young Link in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Young Link bread and butter combos, how to unlock, frame data and moveset, alt costumes, as well as Young Link matchups, counters, and tier list placement can all be found here.

Young Link Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Young Link
Young Link Image
Game Series The Legend of Zelda
Smash Bros. Debut Super Smash Bros. Melee
Fighter Number 22
Unlock Order 8
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 88 Units (66/87)
Dash Speed 1.749 (41/87)
Air Speed 0.966 (64/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.88 (13/87)
Special Attributes Wall Jump, Tether

Tier List Placement

SSBU Young Link Icon A Tier Tier

A quick and nimble mid-range zoner with a strong combo game

Young Link of SSBU has the ability to make full use of his many projectiles to out zone his opponents. His basic game plan is to tack on damage using his arrows and boomerang, then fighting up close with Nair and Up-B into Uair. While it is true that Young Link cannot take stocks until his opponent reaches pretty high percents, he generally does not have a very hard time getting them there.

See Our Tier List Here!

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Excellent at zoning (→+B, ↓+B, B)
・Fast movement
・Can sometimes get out of combos or dodge attacks thanks to his small size
・Very little lag to many of his attacks
Weaknesses ・Struggles against swordies and characters who can outrange him
・Mediocre grab game (slow start-up and limited follow-ups)
・Mediocre recovery (can be gimped or edge guarded)
・Doesn't take stocks until very high percents

Young Link Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Young Link Image
BylethFalcoFoxHeroIkeInklingKenLucarioMarioMarthMega ManMin MinMr. Game & WatchOlimarPac-ManPichuPit/Dark PitRosalina & LumaSimon/RichterSnakeSonicTerryToon LinkWarioZero Suit Samus
Banjo & KazooieBowserBowser Jr.Captain FalconDiddy KongDr. MarioDuck HuntGreninjaIsabelleJigglypuffKirbyLucasLuigiMeta KnightMewtwoMii BrawlerMii GunnerMii SwordfighterNessPeach/DaisyPiranha PlantPokemon TrainerR.O.B.RobinRyuSamus/Dark SamusSheikSteveVillagerWii Fit TrainerYoshiZelda
BayonettaDonkey KongGanondorfIncineroarKing DededeKing K. RoolLittle MacRidley

Notes About Matchup Chart

1. -2 = Disadvantage. -1 = Slight Disadvantage or Even. 0 = Even. +1 = Slight Advantage or Even. +2 = Advantage.
2. The matchup chart was based around both the opinions of professional players of each character, as well as our own experience through playing Young Link.
3. Characters within each tier are unordered
4. Pokemon Trainer's individual Pokemon (Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard) as well as Echo fighters with no significant difference than their regular counterpart are not shown.
5. For other characters who are not shown here, we are still investigating the matchup.

Good Matchups for Young Link

Young Link is quick, has several projectiles, as well as access to good OoS options. Therefore, he will do really well against slow moving characters with large hurtboxes, especially if they lack any kind of projectile to contest him. The majority of his +2 matchups are heavies that struggle with Young Link's zoning, speed, and frame data.

Young Link Counters

Young Link's hardest matchups are against characters that can outrange him. He will struggle against characters like Shulk, Cloud, or Chrom, as they are quick and have large hitboxes that prevent Young Link from approaching easily. Reflectors and moves such as Palutena/Wolf's Nair (which can both beat out his own Nair) are one way of limiting Young Link's options.

How to Beat Young Link

Intercept him offstage

Young Link's neutral is extremely good thanks to his moveset and mobility, his poor air speed and mediocre recovery makes him extremely vulnerable offstage. While Young Link can recover a pretty decent distance thanks to his up special (combined with Bomb Recovering) and tether, he will have a very hard time making it back if he gets hit offstage.

Put Young Link offstage, then use a projectile of move that will hit above his recovery's hitbox to prevent him from recovering. If you have a counter, you can also jump offstage and use the counter right before he makes it back to shut his recovery down. His tether recovery can be intercepted as well, by making use of a long lasting hitbox on his way back.

Deal with his projectiles

Projectiles are an integral part of Young Link's gameplay, so you will have to find a way to deal with them. If your character has a reflector, this is rather easyーjust don't be too predictable in using it, or Young Link can counter it. If your character does not have a reflector, you'll instead need to play patiently, and look for patterns in how he uses his specials.

Careful use of shielding, spotdodging, as well as jumping are the key to manuevering around Young Link's projectiles to find an opening. Once you have made your way in, keep the pressure up and don't let him get too far away.

Outrange him

As stated in the counters section, Young Link struggles against characters with superior range. His small sword has nothing on the likes of Cloud's Buster Sword, or Shulk's Monado, etc. After getting up close to Young Link, you need to control your spacing so that your attacks have enough range to reach him, but he can't easily hit you.

Bait out moves for a punish

Young Link has great frame data, and can be hard to punish, although it is by no means impossible. Since Young Link has such good out of shield options, many YLink players rely heavily on punishing opponents who attack his shield. If you can bait him into using his spin attack out of shield without getting sucked into it, you can run in after it ends for a grab or other fast attack. Watch to see what the opponent's preferred OOS option is, and try to punish it after baiting it with a jump towards him as he is shielding.

In addition to spin attack and hookshot (grab) both being punishable, there are a few other moves to look out for. All of Young Link's smash attacks have significant startup and endlag, so if you notice your opponent throwing these out a lot, shield and punish. Additionally, many Young Link players are reckless with his down aerial, especially when their opponent is at a high percent. Bait this out from the ground, step out of the way, then punish with a quick move or grab as soon as he lands.

Young Link Combos

Bread and Butter Combos
Up B → Up Air
Down Throw → Up Air
Down Tilt / Side Special → Forward Air
Advanced Combos
Down B → Bomb Toss → Foward Air
Foward Air (Hit 1)→ Fast Fall → Up Smash / Down Smash
(Fails if second hit of Fair comes out)
Back Air → Fast Fall → Back Air →Fast Fall →Back Air →Fast Fall →Grounded Up B → Up Air

Young Link Bread and Butter Combos

Combo 1
Combo 2
Combo 3
Up B → Up Air
Often denoted as “the milkshake”. Works from 0% to upper mid percents, and deals about 30%. Depending on various factors such as angle, opponent % and weight, etc. the launch angle will sometimes send your opponent too far left or right to uair. Bair can be used here instead, but just note that it is not a true combo if this happens.
Down Throw → Up Air
Works from 0% to mid percents. Young Link's grab is usually best for reads, but can also be used to follow up a close range arrow. Easy and reliable grab combo.
Down Tilt → Forward Air
This combo works at almost any percent, and can also be comboed into from boomerang. At KO percents, Dtilt can combo into both Fair or an aerial Up B to end the opponent's stock. With Dtilt's low lag, use it on a shielding opponent, then spot dodge their attempt to counter you, and follow up with a dtilt into fair or up B.

Young Link Advanced Combos

Combo 4
Combo 5
Combo 6
Down B → Bomb Toss → Forward Air
This combo works above mid percents. This combo will even allow you to take an opponent's stocks, so try and use it when you can.
Forward Air (1)→ Fast Fall → Up Smash
This combo works at upper mid percents. After hitting the peak of a jump, use fair and then immediately fast fall, then follow-up with an immediate up smash when landing.
Back Air → Fast Fall → Back Air → Fast Fall → Back Air → Fast Fall → Up B → Up Air
This combo can be used to deal about 60% damage from 0%. This combo utilizes several fast falls, so you are going to need to practice it a lot before you can pull it off in a real match with ease.

Young Link Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Neutral Air 7 Frames
Up Air 8 Frames
Up B 9 Frames
Bomb Throw (Forward) 9 Frames
Back Air 9 Frames
Up Smash 10 Frames

Generally speaking, Up B out of shield is your go to at lower to mid percents as Young Link, because it will combo into up air for an easy 30%. Nair is his fastest option, and very good if the opponent has reached KO percent and is very close. Up Smash is a bit slower than the others, and missing it will leave you very punishable, but successfully landing it may take your opponent's stock if their % is high enough

Jab (Light Attack)

Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Jab 1
2.4 4 2 12
Jab 2 1.8 6 2 9
Jab 3 4.2 6 2 28
Rapid Jab (Multi-Hit) 0.36 3 - -
Rapid Jab (Finisher) 4.0 4 2 40


Young Link's jab is pretty quick, especially when compared to his other grounded options. In particular, it is a good landing option after soft nair-ing an opponent's shield when you are worried they will shield grab.

Dash Attack / Tilt Attacks

Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
13.2/12 8 3 24
Forward Tilt
(← or → + A)
14.4/13.2 10 3 21
Up Tilt
(↑ + A)
9.6 9 6 17
Down Tilt
(↓ + A)
12/8.4 9 2 16

Dash Attack

Young Link's dash attack has pretty low startup, although it is a bit laggy. It is best used for catching enemy landings, or as a quick burst option. It can even KO at higher percents (near the ledge).

Forward Tilt

Young Link's FTilt has a pretty good hit box, so it is good for hitting a dashing opponent. Its reach is not all that great though, so you cannot always rely on it to hit.

Up Tilt

Young Link's up tilt covers a lot of space. It covers the entire 180 Degree area above Young Link, so it is good at snuffing out jumps, or when used as an anti-air. The back hit of it is also a combo tool, and can lead into back air.

Down Tilt

Young Link's down tilt has both a quick startup, and low endlag. Although oits range is not super big, it is one of Young Link's best combo tools due to the angle it sends opponents, and can be followed up with a forward air or Up B (mid-air). If using it on shield, you can spotdodge when you are anticipating a grab, allowing you to throw out another one right after. In general, this is a very safe move on shield.

Smash Attacks

Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Forward Smash (1)
(Smash ← or → + A)
7.2 15 2 31
Forward Smash (2) 14.4/12 11 2 27
Up Smash (1)
(Smash ↑ + A)
3.6 10 5 -
Up Smash (2) 3.6 25 5 -
Up Smash (3) 9.6/8.4/6 41 5 24
Down Smash (1)
(Smash ↓ + A)
15.6/12 9 2 -
Down Smash (2) 14.4/10.8 21 2 27

Forward Smash

Young Link's forward smash is a strong two-hit move that can KO opponents. Unlike most smash attacks, you need to press the A button (or smash button) twice in order to use both hits. The window for inputting the second hit is pretty long, so you can sometimes throw the first hit on an opponent's shield and delay the second until they drop their shield, if you expect them to try and punish your first hit. Generally speaking, this is a slow move though, and it is best used for jab locks, punishes, or a hard read. It can also be comboed into from the first hit of back air.

Up Smash

Young Link's up smash has a very wide range to catch opponents. Like his up tilt, he strikes to cover a 180 degree angle. This attack consists of three hits, and has a long active hitbox. However, because of how long this attack is, you are extremely punishable if you miss. Mostly only use it as an out of shield option, or when you are sure it will hit. It can also be comboed into from the first hit of back air.

Down Smash

Of all his smashes, down smash is Young Link's quickest one. While it is still by no means safe, it is the hardest to punish. It is not as strong as his other smash attacks, but it sometimes can catch a foe doing normal getup from ledge, or finish off a foe stalling on a ledge after their invulnerability has run up. It is also good for a quick punish, and can cover a roll, since it hits both sides. It can be comboed into from the landing first hit of forward air.


Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Neutral Air (Strong)
(A + no direction while airborne)
12 4 2 -
Neutral Air (Weak Hit) 6.0 6 22 8
Forward Air (1)
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
6.0 6 2 -
Forward Air (2) 9.6 24 2 15
Back Air (1)
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
6.0 6 3 -
Back Air (2) 8.4 18 3 9
Up Air (Early)
(↑ + A While Airborne)
18 5 3 -
Up Air (Late) 14.4 8 42 10
Down Air (Early)
(↓ + A While Airborne)
21.6 13 3 -
Down Air (Late) 18 16 49 15
Down Air (Pogo) 10.8 - 34 15
Zair (Mid-Air Tether Attack) 4.8 11 8 55

Neutral Air

Neutral air is one of Young Link's best moves in his kit, and possibly one of the best Nairs in the game, thanks to its quick startup, long active hitbox, and low end lag. It is a good Get-Off-Me option, and can even be used to break from untrue combos. The strong hit will KO around 120%, and it is one of Young Link's best out of shield options. In general, this move can be used in a ton of situations, and its utility should not be underestimated. It is -2 on shield for the strong hit and -3 for the weak one.

Forward Air

Young Link's forward air is a high damaging multi-hit attack. The first hit of it can be combined with a fast fall to combo into dtilt/nair/dsmash, and the full attack is one of Young Link's best KO options. It can snuff out jumps, but for the most part, you should lead into it with a confirm like boomerang or dtilt. When spaced properly, it is very safe on shield (-3/-2).

Back Air

Young Link's back air has low startup and is good for comboing. The first hit can lead into things like up tilt/ftilt when fast falled. Additionally, it is a pretty fast out of shield option, and it is pretty safe on an opponent's shield (-3). Although it does not KO until very high percents, it is still an excellent tool for extending combos, and can even be used to stage spike or edgeguard. The first hit will combo into a number of moves, including up or forward smash.

Up Air

Young Link's up air comes out quick, deals good damage, and has a decent hit box. For the most part, it is used as a combo finisher after a grounded up B or down throw. It also can KO, so comboing into it from down tilt or up special around 100% can usually take stocks. It is decent for juggling and poking opponents on platforms, and through a bit risky, it can be fast falled to land on opponents and start combos.

Down Air

Young Link's down air deals good damage, and has a great hit box. While it is a bit slower than his other aerials, the hit box itself is very long and has high priority, so it can turn a disadvantage situation into a KO for you. While this move is very good when it hits, it is pretty predictable and easy to punish, so be sure that you are mainly only using it as a mixup, rather than trying to take every stock with it.

Z Air

When used in the air, Young Link's grab is a weak but fast tool that can be used to lead into other moves like Nair, DA, or USmash. It is very safe on shield (-3), but a bit hard to land properly. In addition, it can be used as a tether recovery, which will snap to the ledge when you are in range.

Young Link Specials

Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Neutral Special
4.8 14 - 23
Neutral Special
(Fully Charged)
14.4 - - 23
Side Special
(← or → + B)
13.2 27 3 16
Side Special
8.4 30 53 -
Side Special
2.4 83 71 -
Up Special (Multi-Hit)
(↑ + B)
1.2 9 39 -
Up Special (Finisher) 3.6 49 1 21
Up Special (Hit 1) 3.6 8 3 -
Up Special (Aerial Hit 2-6) 2.4 12/16/19/22/31 2/3 -
Up Special (Hit 7) 3.6 47 5 -
Down Special (Bomb Pull)l
(↓ + B)
- 17 - -
Down Special (Explosion)l
(Hit 1-4)
1/3/5/7 - -

Neutral B (Fire Arrow)

Fire Arrows are Young Link's neutral special. By holding B longer, the arrow will fly further and deal more damage. It can generally reach opponents on the stage even without holding B, so it is one of your main neutral tools. Hitting an opponent bounces them up, which can be comboed with a nair, fair, or even dair for big-body opponents.

Forward B (Boomerang)

Young Link's side B is the boomerang. This deals a good amount of damage, and can hit your opponents when you first throw it out, as well as on the return. By holding up or down when throwing it out, you can alter the angle that it flies.

This tool is great for keeping opponents from rushing in at you, and it is also one of Young Link's most important combat tools, so use it as much as possible.

Up B (Spin Attack)

This attack spins around Young Link and sends the opponent above. It can even be charged when grounded by holding B, to deal more damage. It is also Young Link's recovery when used in the air, and catching opponents with this will send them up and away.

This is one of Young Link's best out of shield options and combo tools. Shielding an attack, then countering with an OOS Up B and subsequent combo is essential to a Young Link's gameplay. In addition, Boomerang and Dtilt both combo into aerial Up B, and this is a great KO option once the opponent's HP gets a bit over 100%.

Down B (Bomb)

Down B will pull out a bomb, which Young Link can then use as an item and throw at the opponent. It detonates after about 4 seconds, or when making impact with something else. It will collide with other thrown items and cancel them both out. Additionally, when thrown at a charge shot from Samus, Lucario, Mewtwo, etc, they both cancel each other out, so it can shield him from this type of enemy. They are good for comboing, and also ledge trapping, by simply laying them near the ledge or throwing them directly at it.

Bombs can also be used to extend Young Link's recovery. If you pull bomb as soon as you are sent off stage, after using your double jump and Up B, the bomb will usually detonate, freeing you to use another Up B or even hookshot. While it takes a little practice to get used to the timing, it is a great way to both extend your recovery and mix up your route.

Grabs and Throws

Damage Startup Frames Active Frames Cooldown Frames
Pummel 1.2 1 1 -
Grab (Normal) - 12 7 33
Dash Grab - 14 7 40
Pivot Grab - 15 7 35
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
3.6 11 2 -
Forward Throw (Throw) 3.6 13 - -
Back Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
3.6 11 2 -
Back Throw (Throw) 3.6 13 - -
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
4.8 26 2 -
Up Throw (Throw) 2.4 29 - -
Down Throw (Hitbox)
(↓ While Grabbing)
3.6 22
Down Throw (Throw) 3.6 28 2 -


Young Link uses the hookshot for his grab. It has better reach than most grabs, but it has a long startup, and grabbing out of shield while usually be spotdodged and then punished.

Using this move in the air (Zair) near a ledge will automatically grab on, and then pressing A will snap you to the ledge. This is very good for mixing up your recovery, as opposed to going for Up B every time. It can also be used as an attack (Zair) to space out opponents and start combos (see aerials above.)

Forward Throw

Forward throw is mostly just used for gaining stage control, or throwing your opponent off stage. It does not combo into anything, but if you are near the ledge, it can KO around 150%.

Back Throw

Back throw is also just used for gaining stage control, or throwing your opponent off stage. It does not combo into anything.

Up Throw

Up throw will throw the opponent straight up, often allowing for a follow-up with Up B or up air. It will also KO off the top from around 180%.

Down Throw

This is generally your go to throw at lower percents, due to the fact that it combos easily into up air, back air, up special, etc.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Triforce Slash Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball Catches an opponent directly in front of him in a Triforce and unleashes a barrage of attacks, with the final hit dealing heavy knockback (nearby opponents may also get sucked in and take damage as well.
Will have no effect if no one is in front of him, so be sure to face an opponent before activating.

Young Link Balance Changes

Version 12.0.0 Balance Patch

Up Smash Attack Made it easier to hit multiple times.

Version 10.1.0 Balance Patch

Up Special Made it easier to hit multiple times when using the move in the air. Fix

Version 7.0 Balance Patch

Jab 1 Decreased startup frames. Buff
Up Smash Increased launch distance. Buff
Up Air Increased launch distance. Buff
Forward throw Increased launch distance. Buff
Other Increased attack speed for midair grab.
Adjusted launch angle for midair grab.
Increased the amount of time opponents will be in the damage animation.
Increased shield size.

Version 4.0 Balance Patch

Basic Movement Can shield stun shuffle when blocking a projectile with his shield. Fix

Version 3.0 Balance Patch

Neutral Special Reduced the power against shields. Nerf
Side Special Reduced the power against shields. Nerf

Changes from SSBM

Down B
(↓+ B)
Less time until detonation

How to Unlock Young Link

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
8th Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking Marth, let 10 minutes pass OR play another battle in smash after soft-resetting OR return to the menu from World of Light
Unlocking via Classic Mode
Clear Classing Mode 6 times using Link.
Unlocking via World of Light
Sacred Land / Lost Forest

There are three ways to unlock Young Link. Completing any of these, then defeating Young Link when they appear in the “a New Challenger Appears” screen will allow you to use them afterward.

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Young Link Alt Costumes and Skins

Young Link Reveal Trailer

Smash Ultimate Character Guides

List of Fighters
Tier List
Tier List
Unlocking Characters
Unlocking Fighters

Character Stat Lists

Character Stats
Weights of All Characters Run Speeds of All Characters
Air Speeds of All Characters Fast Fall Speeds of All Characters


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