Tips & tricks for playing Persona 5’s Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Smashing among Phantom Thieves

Joker is finally in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and he isn’t pulling any punches. Along with the leader of the Phantom Thieves, comes his persona Arsene, a character based on the fictional gentleman thief Arsene Lupin. If you don’t know who these people are, Joker is the protagonist of Persona 5, a high-school simulator that is painstakingly accurate in all aspects. Yep, nothing unusual going on there at all…

Joker already looks to be a pretty powerful addition to the ridiculous roster of fighters. Aside from having decent movement and a pretty solid recovery move, he can also go Super Saiyan and unleash his Persona after taking enough punishment. Don’t kink-shame, let him have his fun.

Here’s a run down of his some tips and tricks on how to get the best out of this pain glutton and his special moves:

Build that Rebellion Gauge

Before we get to Joker’s abilities, he’s another character with an interesting quirk to consider. It’s not the most outlandish of mechanics, but in order to summon Arsene he has to first up a special Rebellion Gauge. You simply gain charge as you play through taking damage or if you’re behind in stock and score, so whenever you’re the underdog, basically.

There is a way that you can charge it up quicker, but we’ll come to that down (special) below.

Neutral Special (Gun)

As the old saying goes, you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and so Joker has brought both! His standard attack having slicing and dicing, but for his Neutral Special he whips out a gun.

It’s not the most exciting ability, it doesn’t travel very far and it doesn’t do much damage, but its neat trick is that you can dodge while firing it – just hold B and start moving with the left stick. This keeps you on the move and makes you more agile that some other characters, but in general it’s nice for getting those few extra hits in before an opponent reaches you.

Up Special (Grappling Hook) 

This is another straightforward one, as Joker has and uses a grappling hook. As usual, the Up Special is mostly used for recovery purposes, but it actually has a couple of other uses as well.

For starters, you can grab items with the grapple and drag them straight to you. If you prefer a more aggressive approach, you can also do the same with other fighters. This is only really useful for things above you as you use it, but it still an interesting tool in certain situations.

Side Special (Eiha) 

This is where things get interesting. Joker’s Side Special launches a magic attack that deals a small amount of damage on impact, but then continues to deal damage over time as though they’ve been poisoned. This is great as a way of deterring those chasing you or softening up your prey.

Down Special (Rebel’s Guard)

This is the easily the most important of Joker’s special moves. It reduces incoming damage and also charges up his special gauge faster than taking regular damage. You can also use Rebel’s Guard to do a small amount of damage in a similar way to a counterattack. Once the gauge is charged, he summons Arsene and that’s when Joker really gets serious.

Unleash your Persona

There’s nothing to do but fill up Joker’s Rebellion Gauge, as Arsene automatically comes out to when it’s filled. Make sure to make the most of him, because the Rebellion Gauge will drain over time and Arsene will poof back out of existence.

While Arsene floats around behind him, Joker will deal extra damage with all of his regular attacks, and all of his special attacks change as well:

  • Neutral Special becomes Gun Special – This fires in three-round bursts and does more damage.
  • Up Special becomes Wings of Rebellion – This is exceptional as a recovery move and also gives you temporary invincibility.
  • Side Special becomes Eigaon – This still deals damage over time but is a larger blast, hits multiple times and has a decent launching power.
  • Down Special becomes either Tetrakarn or Makarakarn – These reflect either melee or projectile attacks accordingly.

Don’t miss your Final Smash…

Don’t you hate it when you manage to grab the Smash Ball, only to then whiff away your Final Smash in the wrong direction? If you’re playing with Joker and miss (and don’t have super competitive friends who dislike fun), you can get a second bite of the apple. Just flick your stick back in the opposite direction and he’ll skim back along the ground looking a second time for someone to slice up, unleashing the Phantom Thieves and an All-Out Attack on your victim.

Pull off the perfect heist

Putting all of that together, the trick to playing Joker seems to be a clever use of his basic form while trying to build the Rebellion Gauge and then unleashing your strongest attacks with Arsene at your side. That’s not to say Joker isn’t a force to be reckoned with on his own, because he is, it’s just that Arsene turns him into a powerhouse with far better launch power.


With Joker’s release and abilities, I’m sure we can expect to see an awful lot of him online from this point forward! He also comes with a Persona themed Mementos stage, which changes colour based off the soundtrack music being played – the music is great, by the way! – but aside from that it’s a fairly standard stage just wrapped up in some Persona-y visuals.

If you’ve picked up Joker or the Fighters Pass in general, let us know how you’re getting on down below!

Written by
Jason can often be found reviewing indie games, usually the ones you've never heard of. Other than that he occasionally roams around a gym and also spends a lot of time squidgy his daughter's face.

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