Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

Inkling 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 Inkling Guide

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

Inkling Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Inkling Image
Game Series Splatoon
Smash Bros. Debut SSBU
Fighter Number 64
Unlock Order 5
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 94 Units (48/87)
Dash Speed 1.925 (25/87)
Air Speed 1.208 (13/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.528 (45/87)
Special Attributes Crouch Walk, Wall Jump

Tier List Placement

SSBU Inkling Icon B Tier Tier

A quick character with a unique ink mechanic

Smash Ultimate Inkling is one of the quickest characters in the game, excellent in their movement and frame data. They have several versatile moves, such as their quick Nair, their down special and Fair (both good for poking), and their side specialーwhich can bury opponents to lead into an up smash. Their unique ink mechanic allows them to ink opponentsーwho will then take additional damage from incoming attacks. Inkling boasts great speed, combos, as well as recovery, making them a powerful and balanced figher.

Their main weakness comes from struggling to kill, since most of their KO options are punishable. Roller can be shielded, and since many inklings rely on it for KO's, it leaves them open to a punish. Their out of shield options are also somewhat limited, with their fastest option at 9 frames. Still, if these weaknesses are managed, Inkling is a great character with many good matchups.

See Our Tier List Here!

Inkling's Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Several good poking tools (Down Special/FAir/BAir)
・Can bury opponents with Roller to KO
・Very fast movement, and crouches when dashing, allowing them to dodge moves
・Excellent frame data
・Very good recovery
Weaknesses ・Keeping an eye on the ink tank can be challenging
・Often struggles to kill

Inkling Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Inkling Image
BowserDiddy KongDuck HuntGreninjaIce ClimbersIkeLinkLucarioLucasLuigiMega ManMii GunnerMr. Game & WatchNessPichuPokemon TrainerRosalina & LumaSamus/Dark SamusSheikSonicToon LinkVillagerWarioWolfYoung Link
Banjo & KazooieBayonettaBowser Jr.BylethCaptain FalconChromCloudCorrinDonkey KongDr. MarioFalcoHeroIsabelleJigglypuffJokerKenKing DededeKing K. RoolKirbyLittle MacLucinaMarthMeta KnightMewtwoMii BrawlerMii SwordfighterMin MinPalutenaPiranha PlantPit/Dark PitRobinRoyRyuSimon/RichterSnakeSteveTerryWii Fit TrainerZeldaZero Suit Samus

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 Inkling.
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.

Inkling Combos

Throw Combo List
Down Throw → Jab Combo
Down Throw → Short Hop → Fair
Up Throw → Full Hop → Up Air
Bread and Butter Combo List
Up Tilt → Up Tilt → Nair
Down Special → Back Throw
Side Special → Cancel Side Special → Down Special → Up Smash

Throw Combo Guides

Combo 1
Combo 2
Combo 3
Down Throw → Jab Combo
Down Throw into full jab is a short combo that works fairly well against zero to low percentage enemies.
Down Throw → Short Hop → Fair
This combo works against enemies that's on the low percentages until the middle percentage. Once the throw executes, immediately short hop into forward air for the combo to connect.
Up Throw → Full Hop → Up Air
This combo works fairly well against mid percent enemies and even until high percentages against heavies. After executing an up throw, immediately full hop into an up air to chain the combo together.

Bread and Butter Combo Guides

Combo 4
Combo 5
Combo 6
Up Tilt → Up Tilt → Nair
If you can connect the second up tilt immediately after the first, it is even possible to use it against high percent enemies.
Down Special → Back Throw
As enemies tend to block Inkling's down special, rushing after them and using a back throw ensures a full damage from both the throw and the down special. It also coats them in Ink which allows you to deal more damage to them.
Side Special → Cancel Side Special → Down Special → Up Smash
A lethal combo that can work when enemies gets buried by your side special. Beware of using this combo against low percent enemies as they can get out of getting buried easily by mashing.

How to Refill Ink as Inkling

Refill by pressing B while shielding

Ink Refill.png

When Inkling runs out of ink, they can replenish their ink tank by holding shield and pressing B. Since most of their attacks use up ink in order to do more damage to opponents, wait for a chance where you are safe from your opponent and refill!

Inkling Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

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

Inkling's out of shield options are somewhat limited. While neutral air comes out decently quick, its hitbox hits the area slightly above Inkling, making it hard to hit characters that are not extremely close, especially on shorter characters. Up smash can be used to hit an opponent directly in front of an opponent, but the later hitbox is much slower, so it is only good for opponents very close to Inkling, and whiffing the move leaves them open for a punish. Inkling benefits a lot off a grab, so it is a decent option, though at 12 frames, it is not extremely quick either.

Jab (Neutral Attack)

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
2.4 3
Jab 2 2.4 2
Jab 3 4.2 4
Rapid Jab (Multi-Hit) 0.48 4/7/10/13
Rapid Jab (Finisher) 3.0 6


Inkling's Jab is fast and is an excellent move to use to apply ink to the enemy. Anything past the 2nd hit has long endlag, so make sure to use a rapid jab after confirming that the 1st jab landed on the opponent.

Dash Attack / Tilts

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
9.6 8
Dash Attack (Weak Hit) 7.2 10
Forward Tilt
(← or → + A)
10.8 8
Up Tilt
(↑ + A)
7.2 7
Down Tilt Hit 1
(↓ + A)
3.6 5
Down Tilt Hit 2 7.2 12

Dash Attack

Inkling's dash attack is useful for chasing enemies that get knocked back horizontally, as well as a great techchase option. It can cross up shields as well, making it a good mixup option for a shielding opponent with no backward facing OOS option.

Forward Tilt

Inkling's forward tilt is a strong move with decent startup. The tip of the gun has a hitbox, making it useful for spacing out opponents.

Up Tilt

Inkling up tilt can combo into itself at lower percents, and can easily be followed up by an aerial attack. Be careful as it can't hit enemies that are small or are lying close to the ground.

Down Tilt

Inkling's down tilt is a very fast move. Since it shifts Inkling's hurtbox close to the ground, it can be used to dodge an opponent's attack while delivering one of your own. Its quick startup and long lasting hitbox make it a great grounded option.

At mid percents, it knocks back enemies slightly, and if they fail to tech, it can set up for a jab lock into a smash attack, so utilize this opportunity when it appears.

Smash Attacks

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash
(Smash ← or → + A
16.8/19.2 16
Forward Smash (Out of Ink) 14.4 16
Up Smash Hit 1
(Smash ↑ + A)
4.8 9
Up Smash Hit 2 18.0/12.0 18
Up Smash (Out of Ink) 12.0/7.2 18
Down Smash Hit 1
(Smash ↓ + A)
15.0 11
Down Smash Hit 1 - Out of Ink 12.0 11
Down Smash Hit 1 - Lingering 8.4 13
Down Smash Hit 1 - Out of Ink, Lingering 6.0 13
Down Smash Hit 2
(Smash ↓ + A)
13.2 20
Down Smash Hit 2 - Out of Ink 10.8 20
Down Smash Hit 2 - Lingering 7.2 22
Down Smash Hit 2 - Out of Ink, Lingering 4.8 22

Forward Smash

Inkling's forward smash has great range. The move also has a sweet spot at the tip which grants more knockback, but it can weaken if you run out of ink.

Up Smash

Inkling's Up Smash knocks enemies directly upward. It has rather low knockback if you fail to land the clean hit. To ensure a clean hit, make sure to hit the enemy with the 1st hit of up smash (the swinging animation that hits in front of Inkling).

Similar to forward smash, Inkling's up smash also gets weakend when you run low on ink.

Down Smash

Inkling's down smash has an excellent range. During down smash, the bucket's hit has a strong knockback, but the ink it applies to the enemy is low.

Similar to their other smash attacks, Inkling's down smash also gets weakened when they runs out of ink.


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)
14.4/12.0 10
Forward Air (Weak Hit) 8.4 12
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
12.0/9.0 7
Up Air 1
(↑ + A While Airborne)
5.4 12
Up Air 2 7.8 17
Down Air
(↓ + A While Airborne)
14.4/12.0 16

Neutral Air

Inkling's neutral air is their fastest aerial. It can hit in front and behind of Inkling, so it can be used as a get-off-me tool, but its hitbox is quite high so it's difficult to land against enemies on the ground, making it somewhat limited as an out of shield option.

Forward Air

Inkling's foward air has excellent range and a long lasting hitbox, so is mainly used as a poking tool and for edgeguards. It has long landing lag, so it's best to use the rising version of the move by pressing A+→ at the same time of your jump, to reduce the end lag.

Back Air

Inkling's back air has fast startup, a long active hitbox, good range, and short endlag. It is extremely safe on shield, making it a wonderful poking tool, as well as Inkling's best move for edgeguarding opponents offstage.

Up Air

Inkling's up air has a good vertical range. While somewhat slow on startup, it's pretty easy to hit due to its 180° degree hitbox and long active hitbox. It can be used as a KO option, and can confirm from an up throw.

Down Air

Inkling's down air has the ability to meteor smash. It cab be somewhat difficult to land a KO, with Inkling so make sure to go for a spike when an opportunity appears.


1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special - Shortest
0.36 12/16/20/24
Side Special
(← or → + B)
4.8-13.2 16
Up Special
(↑ + B)
9.6 12
Up Special - Aerial 7.2 15
Up Special - Landing 7.2 1
Down Special - No Charge
(↓ + B)
10.8 20
Down Special - Fully Charged 18 40

Neutral Special (Splattershot)

Inkling's Neutral Special is a move that shoots ink from their gun. Inked enemies take more damage, with a max multipier of 1.5x. There is a limit to the amount of ink you can use before running out and needing to recharge, so beware of overusing this move.

Side Special (Splat Roller)

Inkling's sidespecial uses a roller to run over enemies. Enemies that are hit while standing on the ground will be buried, allowing you to finish them off with a smash attack. You can cancel roller by pressing an attack button or by jumping.

Additionally, when used in the air and cancelled with a jump, that jump will not be counted as Inkling's midair jump, allowing them to jump once more after using it.

Up Special (Super Jump)

Inkling's up special is their main recovery tool. While there is no active hitbox during the jumping animation, it travels far and very quickly, so the chance of getting gimped is low. Furthermore, the landing part of the move will deal damage and apply ink to enemies, but you are vulnerable for a short time so it's suggested to aim at the ledge when using this move.

Down Special (Splat Bomb)

Inkling throws a bomb that explodes after a short while. The more you charge the move, the stronger the bomb is, and Inkling throws it in a more horizontal angle. It can be used to kill enemies off stage, or as a low risk edgeguarding tool. A useful setup is to bait a shield by throwing the bomb at an opponent, then rush in for a grab to follow up with an aerial.

At 0 ink, it becomes an ink recharge move where Inkling dives on the ground to refill their ink supply.

Grab / Throws

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.56 1
Grab (Normal) - 8
Dash Grab - 9
Pivot Grab - 10
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
6.0 22
Forward Throw (Throw) 3.6 23
Back Throw (Throw)
(← or → While Grabbing)
10.8 17
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
3.6 21
Up Throw (Throw) 3.6 22
Down Throw (Throw)
(↓ While Grabbing)
8.4 14

Forward Throw

Inkling's forward throw knocks enemies forward. It can be comboed into a dash attack or RAR back attack to rack up damage.

Back Throw

Inkling's back throw can kill enemies at high percents when standing at the ledge. Aside from that, use it to throw enemies offstage or gain stage control.

Up Throw

Inkling's up throw can be used as a combo starter. The throw can be followed up by a nair or an up air for a quick damage (up throw into up air is a KO Confirm at later percents).

Down Throw

At low percents, Inkling's Down Throw can be connected with a jab or a forward air. It may not connect against smaller enemies like Pikachu, so other throws are generally a safer option.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Killer Wail Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball Inkling pulls out a large megaphone and fires a laser at their opponents, which can be angled up or down to hit multiple opponents.

Inkling Balance Changes

Version 13.0.1 Balance Patch

etc. Reduced vulnerability when reloading ink.
Side Tilt Attack Increased power.
Extended launch distance.
Up Tilt Attack Made it easier to hit opponents on the ground.
Side Smash Attack Made it easier to hit the high-damage range.
Neutral Special Extended the distance of the shot.

Version 3.1.0 Balance Patch

Neutral Attack 3 Increased forward attack range and made it easier to hit multiple times when continuing from Neutral Attack 2.

Version 3.0.0 Balance Patch

Side Special Shortened launch distance for the attack when accelerating again.

Version 2.0.0 Balance Patch

Neutral Air Attack Shortened the amount of time you cannot grab edges after using the move.
Side Special Shortened the amount of time undamaged opponents are buried. Moved attack range back while on the ground.

How to Unlock Inkling

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
5th Fighter Unlocked (About 22 minutes of playing)
Unlocking via Classic Mode
Clear Classing Mode 1 time using Samus.
Unlocking via World of Light
Console City

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

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Inkling Alt Costumes and Skins

Inkling 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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