Many smash players out there might go around thinking that what they need to level up their game is a new, better controller. Some go out and buy expensive controllers with “no input delay” or “extra sensible analogs”, but the thing is, you don’t really need all that.
When you go and check some other fighting games you’ll quickly notice that most of the professionals, if not all, use what’s called a fighting stick. It’s one of those big controllers that look just as if you’re holding a smaller version of an arcade machine controller. But Super Smash Brothers is not like most other fighting games, it needs some very specific controllers input, you can look at anyone playing smash and you’ll realize in no time that none of them use those fighting sticks
In this article, we are going to be talking about what controllers a professional Super Smash Player such as ZeRo uses. But if you want to cut to the chase…
What controller does ZeRo use? The professional Super Smash Brothers player Zero uses a classic GameCube controller. He recommends it for all of the Smash games regardless of what console they’re on.
Classic GameCube controllers are hard to come by new. You can check them out here on Amazon (if they’re in stock) or search around for used controllers at game stores.
We’ll talk more about why ZerO uses this controller later, but first let’s talk a little about who ZeRo is.
ZeRo, one of the greatest Smash Players of All Time
Gonzalo Barrios, better known as ZeRo, is a professional Smasher. He was born in Chile in 1995. He started playing Super Smash Bros Melee back in 2006, and in the following years he started competing in local smash tournaments as well as traveling around Chile, Argentina and the United States in order to compete in several regional and international Smash tournaments.
In 2011-2012 he got sponsored by vVv Gaming, a company based in Los Angeles, and since then he began participating in professional eSport events. His rising was so accelerated that by early 2014, he was estimated to be earning around $40,000 a year. He kept rising and rising in fame and popularity even though in 2016 he had to go on a forced hiatus due to a medical issue that prevented him from playing for a few months.
He is considered to be the best Super Smash Bros. Wii U player in the world. He then retired in early 2018, however in November he announced his return to the competitive smash scene, joining competitive tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He is now a part of the Tempo Storm eSports team.
In 2016 he was featured in the Gamer’s Edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for having 56 consecutive Smash tournament victories. He is also the only player in the world to earn more than $100,000 playing Super Smash Bros. Wii U.
Being Great at Smash is More than a Controller
Well, as we mentioned in the beginning, it’s not only about the controller, but it’s mostly in the player. He explains that, for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate there is only one controller type you should never use: The Joy-cons.
Why not use the joy-con?
He explains that the main reason is the lack of buttons for command-input. Using an individual Joy-con sideways is the worst way possible to play Smash he says. There is no C-stick and only two triggers, also it is incredibly small. He also explains that the analogs and the controller itself doesn’t feel sturdy enough, as if they are going to break if he tries to play seriously.
Apparently the joy-cons should only be used when playing for fun or maybe sometimes with friends, but expecting to use them for competitive gameplay is a no-go.
What you should use
The Nintendo Switch Pro-Controller (see on Amazon) is a nice choice since it has all the buttons you might ever need for playing smash. It has nice and sturdy analog, excellent feedback when pressing the buttons and it is even said to have the least latency or delay amongst all the controllers.
The shape and button location is very comfortable and it is wireless, which can be a pro for many gamers out there. Also you already probably have one, and you connect it directly to your Switch, without the need of a special adapter or anything like that. Some of the pros really just go for this as a first option, and of course, it is a much better option than the Joy-cons. But now we are going to be talking about the controller the pros really use
What the Pros Use – The GameCube controller
This is the controller the biggest Smash players of them all use, the big one. The original GameCube controller has been used by the majority of smash players ever since it came out. Starting on Super Smash Bros. Melee, the GameCube controller just has something special about it.
ZeRo, like many other professional Smash players, recommends using the GameCube controller for pretty much any of the Smash games. The button-placement of the controller did strike as a little bit odd when it first released, however once you get used to it you just cannot leave it. The C-stick is rather small but its location directly below the giant A button allows quick shifts, and the conveniently placed X and Y buttons are placed very near the thumb so it’s incredibly comfortable.
Even Nintendo knows that this controller is the player’s choice when it comes to Smash, and you can see that by the way they just keep releasing the same controller over and over again. Even though neither the Wii U nor the Switch natively have the ports for the controllers, they just went ahead and made and made an adapter and released “new version” of the classic GameCube controller labeled as the Smash Controller.
In case you are out there trying to find which controller you should get to “get better” at Smash, well then just go ahead and pick up the good ol’ GameCube Controller. And adjust the settings to your liking. You don’t need to go out and buy a super expensive controller in order to get better at Smash, you just need to truly dedicate yourself to get better at it.
In case you are not really sure about a nice way to set up your controller, there’s actually a video of ZeRo himself walking you through the way he sets his controller for a pro-gaming experience