Ice Climbers Guide: Matchup Chart and Combos | How to Make Ice Climbers Desync | Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Ice Climbers Guide

This is a guide to Ice Climbers in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Everything about Ice Climbers, including bread and butter combos, how to unlock, how to descync, alt costumes and skins, as well as Ice Climbers matchups and counters can be found here.

Ice Climbers Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Ice Climbers
Ice Climbers Image
Game Series Ice Climber
Smash Bros. Debut Super Smash Bros. Melee
Fighter Number 15
Unlock Order 10
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 92 Units (53/87)
Dash Speed 1.53 (72/87)
Air Speed 0.83 (86/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.08 (80/87)
Special Attributes None

Tier List Placement

SSBU Ice Climbers Icon C Tier Tier

A unique puppet-type duo character

Ice Climbers in Smash Ultimate have the unique property of being two characters that function as one. When they are together, they will do whatever moves you input, and when separated, Nana will be controlled by the CPU until the pair reunites. While they no longer can wobble or chain grab opponents like in previous games, they still have deadly combo potential, and can deal massive damage when attacking simultaneously.

Ice Climbers are a high execution character, with lots of potential if enough practice is put in, including learning how to desync them (shown below). While together, they are a rather powerful duo, but if Nana (the AI controlled partner) is KO'ed, then Popo will be alone and severly limited in his gameplan. When alone, Ice Climbers' recovery, damage output, and KO power are all significantly reduced, so it's vital to make sure your opponent does not take out your partner.

See Our Tier List Here!

Ice Climbers' Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Very powerful attacks when together (attacks hit twice)
・Acting as a pair gives them large hitboxes
・Very powerful combos and grab game
Weaknesses ・Terrible recovery when separated, and very weak overall when alone
・Very hard to fully take advantage of

How to Make Ice Climbers Desync

Down Throw Desync

Ice Climbers Down Throw Desync.gif
Ice Climbers can be desynced with down throw. The second the opponent is thrown to the ground, if you perform another move, you will desync.

Up Air Desync

Ice Climbers Up Air Desync.gif
Ice Climbers can be desynced with an up air. If up air is quickly performed 2 times in a row, you will desync.

Dash Cancel Desync

Ice Climbers Dash Cancel Desync.gif
Ice Climbers can be desynced by dash canceling. While dashing, flick the stick backwards in the opposite direction and perform a tilt attack to desync.

Ledge Desync

Ice Climbers Ledge Desync.gif
Ice Climbers can be desynced via the ledge. When Ice Climbers fall from the ledge, dodging towards the stage will cause them to desync.

Ice Climbers Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Ice Climbers Image
GreninjaHeroMega ManMii GunnerMii SwordfighterMin MinPac-ManPiranha PlantSephirothShulkSimon/RichterSnakeVillagerZero Suit Samus
Banjo & KazooieBylethChromCloudDuck HuntIkeIsabelleJokerLinkLucasLucinaMeta KnightMewtwoMr. Game & WatchOlimarPalutenaPikachuR.O.B.RobinRosalina & LumaRoySamus/Dark SamusSteveToon LinkYoshiYoung LinkZelda
BowserBowser Jr.Captain FalconCorrinDiddy KongDonkey KongDr. MarioFalcoGanondorfIncineroarInklingJigglypuffKenKing DededeKing K. RoolKirbyLittle MacLucarioMarioMarthMii BrawlerNessPeach/DaisyPit/Dark PitPokemon TrainerRidleyRyuSonicTerryWii Fit TrainerWolf

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 Ice Climbers.
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.

Ice Climbers Combos

Bread and Butter Combos
Dash Attack→Up Air
Up Tilt→Up Air
Down Throw→Side Smash
Advanced Combos
Down Throw→Foward Roll→N-air→Side Special→Down Throw→F-air
Down Throw→Down Special→Short Hop Down Special→Short Hot Down Special→Short Hop Down Special

Bread and Butter Combos

Dash Attack→Up Air

This combo works at various percents. This is an easy combo that can do around 30% in damage.

Up Tilt→Up Air

This combo works on opponents at low percents. This is an easy combo that can do around 30% in damage.

Down Throw→Side Smash

This combo works on opponents at low percents. Immediately after the down throw, input the down smash.

Advanced Combos

Down Throw→Foward Roll→N-air→Side Special→Down Throw→F-air

A combo for opponents at low percents. It involves desyncing by using a forward roll right after down throw. This is a rather tough one to pull off, so be sure and practice in training mode.

Down Throw→Down Special→Short Hop Down Special→Short Hot Down Special→Short Hop Down Special

Another low percent combo. This one involves desyncing by using down special right after a down throw. If your opponent is unable to SDI out of it, this combo can deal a ton of damage.

Ice Climbers Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Neutral Air 9 Frames
Up Air 10 Frames
Back Air 11 Frames
Shield Grab 12 Frames
Up Smash 12 Frames

Ice Climbers don't have any extremely quick out of shield options, with their fastest one (nair) coming out in 9 frames. It won't be able to punish everything, so exert caution when using it on safely spaced moves. For opponents attacking from above, up smash is a decent option. When possible, shield grabbing is the best punish for unsafe moves, as Ice Climbers can convert a lot off of a single grab.

Jab (Neutral Attack)

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
2.4 4
Jab 2 4.2 4


A two part attack where both climbers swing their hammer forward. At 4 frames of startup, it's a decent get-off-me tool.

Dash Attack / Tilts

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
7.2 11
Forward Tilt
(← or → + A)
10.8 9
Up Tilt Hit 1-5
(↑ + A)
0.96 8/11/14/17/20
Up Tilt Hit 6 4.8 23
Down Tilt
(↓ + A)
7.2 8

Dash Attack

Ice Climbers' dash attack sends opponents upward, which can lead into combos.

Forward Tilt

Forward tilt sends an opponent away, and can be used to keep opponents from getting in too close. At higher percents, it has good knockback, and can even KO.

Up Tilt

Ice Climbers' up tilt sends opponents upward, which can combo into up air, etc.

Down Tilt

Ice Climbers' down tilt has similar range to forward tilt, but deals less damage. It is good for poking an opponent from a distance since it comes out so quick, and can even edgeguard an offstage opponent in some scenarios.

Smash Attacks

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash
(Smash ← or → + A)
14.4 11
Up Smash 1
(Smash ↑ + A)
13.2 12
Down Smash
(Smash ↓ + A)
15.6 9

Forward Smash

Ice Climbers' forward smash deals great damage and knockback, and if both climbers' attacks connect, it can KO very early.

Up Smash

Ice Climbers' up smash is another powerful move, which will send opponents upward. After freezing an opponent with blizzard (down B), you can follow up with an up smash, which will KO in some cases.

Down Smash

If both Ice Climbers are alive, they will both attack in different directions. Like most down smashes, it comes out fairly quick, and can be used to cover rolls.


1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Air
(A + no direction while airborne)
8.4 6
Forward Air
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
14.4 19
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
12.0 8
Up Air 1
(↑ + A While Airborne)
10.8 7
Down Air
(↓ + A While Airborne)
9.6 12

Neutral Air

Neutral Air is the Ice Climbers' fastest aerial. The entire area around their body becomes a hitbox, so it is a good get-off-me tool up close, and can also be used to edgeguard. While it doesn't have the best range, it is -4 on shield, making it a good poking tool.

Forward Air

Ice Climbers' forward air has a meteor hitbox on it, so it can be used offstage for spikes. It has somewhat slow startup, but pretty low endlag for a spike, so it is a good move to aim for an early offstage KO with. The move is -5 on shield, making it relatively safe when spaced.

Back Air

Ice Climbers' back air is very safe on shield (-3), and has decent range, making it a good tool for pressuring shields. It can also be used to desync.

Up Air

Ice Climbers' up air comes out quick and has very little endlag. An excellent juggling tool, use this move to rack up damage on opponents in disadvantage.

Down Air

Ice Climbers' down air has a lingering and powerful hitbox which can be used to strike opponents from above. It is very unsafe on shield (-16), so be careful not to whiff it, or you may be punished.


1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special
(B) - Ice Shot
4.2 18/19
Side Special
(← or → + B) - Both
2.64 10/14/18/23/28/34/40
Side Special - Both, Final 4.8 51
Side Special - Alone 1.56 10/13/15/18/21/24/28/32/37/42
Side Special - Alone, Final 2.4 49
Up Special
(↑ + B)
19.2 16
Down Special
(↓ + B)
2.16 16/21/26/31/36/41/46/51/56

Neutral Special (Ice Shot)

Ice Climbers' neutral special is a move that shoots ice straight forward (one for each Ice Climber). It is mainly used for poking from a distance and racking up damage. It can be used to edgeguard opponents offstage. Hitting an opponent up close with it at high percents will freeze them, allowing for a follow up.

Side Special (Squall Hammer)

Ice Climbers' side special causes them to spin around while attacking, and can be moved left or right, and also lifted by mashing the special button. The distance that they move is decreased when only one Ice Climber is present, and it will have noticeable endlag, so be careful not to whiff it. In general, its fast startup makes it a good approach tool for the Ice Climbers.

Up Special (Belay)

Up special is primarily used for recovering. It allows them to recover a great distance when both climbers are present, but it becomes very poor when only one uses it. If the partner hits an opponent during the jump, it deals heavy knockback, and can even KO.

Down Special (Blizzard)

Down Special will freeze opponents, which can lead to a follow-up. If you are able to make use of desyncing, this move can rack up a ton of damage on an opponent.

Grabs and Throws

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.2 1
Grab (Normal) - 8
Dash Grab - 10
Pivot Grab - 10
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
3.6 24
Forward Throw (Throw) 6.0 25
Back Throw (Throw) 7.2 18
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
3.6 25
Up Throw (Throw) 6.0 27
Down Throw (Throw) 7.2 37

Forward Throw

Ice Climbers' forward throw is used for stage control, and putting opponents offstage. It does not KO or combo into anything.

Back Throw

Ice Climbers' back throw is also used for stage control, and putting opponents offstage. Like forward throw, it does not KO or combo into anything.

Up Throw

Up throw will put opponents into the air. Against characters with poor disadvantage, ths can allow you to go after them and juggle with an up air.

Down Throw

Down throw is the Ice Climbers' primary throw, as it is useful as a combo starter. When used together with desyncing, it can allow you to rack up lots of percent on an opponent.

Final Smash

Attack Name How to Use Effect
Iceberg Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball Sends out a giant iceberg in the middle of the stage.
Deals knockback and can freeze opponents, and can also KO opponents who are at higher percents.

Ice Climbers Balance Changes

Version 13.0.1 Balance Patch

Dash Attack Increased attack speed.
Down Smash Attack Extended launch distance.
Up Special Up SpecialIncreased attack speed.
Increased the speed of the edge-grab range detection.

Version 8.0.0 Balance Patch

Final Smash Made the opponent's movements slower during the initial slowdown period.
Increased the speed at which the iceberg will appear.
Increased attack range near the peak of the iceberg.
Made it easier to grab on to the condor.

Version 7.0.0 Balance Patch

Other Increased shield size.

Version 3.1.0 Balance Patch

Basic Movements Ice Climbers will now recover midair jumps the same way as other fighters.
Basic Movements Nana will no longer jump when pressing the jump button right after a grab.

Version 3.0.0 Balance Patch

FS Meter Extended launch distance.

Version 2.0.0 Balance Patch

Basic Movements Nana and Popo will follow each other more when separated.
Up Special Made it easier to grab edges.

Major Changes From Brawl

When grabbing an opponent, Nana will watch from behind (without grabbing). Can no longer chain grab = Nerf.
Down Special
(↓ + B)
Both Ice Climbers aim forward, and the amount of time opponents are frozen has increased. Buff.
Neutral Special
() B)
Ice can be reflected back at the Ice Climbers. Can now damage the Ice Climbers as well = Nerf.

How to Unlock Ice Climbers

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
10th Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking WiiFit Trainer, 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 2 times using Link.
Unlocking via World of Light
Frozen Mountain

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

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Ice Climbers Alt Costumes and Skins

Ice Climbers 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

    Walkthrough Menu

    Bee apology
    Please participate in our
    site improvement survey 06/2023
    Would you assist in
    improving Game8's site?
    Bee june
    This survey will take about 1 minute.
    Your answers will help us to improve our website.
    The information collected through this survey will be used for the purpose of improving our services. In addition, the information will only be disclosed a part of a statistic in a format that will not allow identification of personal information.
    Begin Survey

    All rights reserved