What Characters Perform the Worst and the Best Online?

Offline Ultimate
Online Ultimate

Now that I have some juicy character data, especially from all the online data, it's time to take a look - this time, on the very obvious differences between online and offline play. If you take a look at the offline character page it's about what you expect in terms. But the online character page is this bizarre world where the best characters are... Richter, Bayonetta, and Snake!?

What?

Well, let's dive into it, and I hope you're prepared to see bar graphs - lots and lots of bar graphs. Additionally, if you want to see the raw data, I put them in big tables at the bottom.

This charts the +- in rank. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a post about how characters are ranked but essentially it's just based on winrate with some consideration for sample size.

And this charts the +- in winrate. Note that lower the better unlike the old graph (since a higher winrate is better, whereas a lower rank is better). Ignore Steve - he simply went from not having a winrate, to having one.

Just examing these figures in broad strokes, you can see that the big winners from the offline to online shift seem to be 1. projectile campers 2. heavies. But it's difficult to really get a picture with so many characters and so many numbers.

Next, let's examine the top 5 and the worst 5 sorted by rank delta.

The biggest losers

And here the biggest winners

While it seems crazy that demonstrably good characters like Joker, Lucina, Fox do so badly online in comparison, I think the biggest winners here are more interesting. Robin, Wii Fit, Mii Swordfighter - OK, sure. They have projectiles, people are bad at dodging projectiles online. But Dr. Mario? Terry? What?

But you can only learn so much looking at individual characters. To further examine what makes and breaks characters online, let's put them into groups and examine the difference across those groups.

groups = {
    'Heavies': ['Bowser', 'Donkey Kong', 'King K. Rool', 'King Dedede', 'Incineroar', 'Ganondorf'],
    'Swordies': ['Byleth', 'Chrom', 'Roy', 'Marth', 'Lucina', 'Shulk', 'Cloud', 'Corrin'],
    'Bait and Punish': ['ZSS', 'Inkling', 'Palutena', 'Joker', 'Diddy Kong', 'Greninja'],
    'Rushdown': ['Pikachu', 'Pichu', 'Fox', 'Captain Falcon', 'Sheik'],
    'Projectile Zoners': ['Samus', 'Villager', 'Snake', 'R. O. B', 'Pac-Man', 
                          'Richter', 'Simon', 'Young Link', 'Zelda', 
                          'Olimar', 'Mega Man', 'Mii Gunner', 'Mii Sword', 'Robin', 'Ness'],
    'Fighting Game': ['Ryu', 'Ken', 'Terry'],
    'Specialty': ['Pac-Man', 'Duck Hunt', 'Olimar', 'Ryu', 'Ken', 'Terry', 'Bayonetta', 'Rosalina'],
    'Sonic': ['Sonic'],
    'Spacies': ['Fox', 'Wolf', 'Falco'],
    'Mario': ['Mario', 'Luigi', 'Yoshi', 'Peach', 'Daisy'],
    'Pokemon': ['Pichu', 'Pikachu', 'P. Trainer', 'Incineroar', 'Jigglypuff', 'Greninja']
}

The first groups I chose based on gameplay characteristics. For instance, although Rob and Snake are "heavy", they don't really play like Donkey Kong or King Dedede, who are more characterized by their slow speed and large hitboxes in addition to just character weight. By 'Specialty', I mean characters that function in quite a niche way that have a small playerbase - Pac-Man is a great example, as certainly a good character, but one that plays very weirdly and not too often. I want to see if the self-selection for dedication is a boon.

The second groups were more frivolous and really just for curiosity's sake.

And here are the results:

To some extent the general sentiment among the community that characters that rely on reactions and movement like Fox do poorly when your control is marred by large input buffers and the ever present lag seems to be justified, but it is noticeable that Swordies also do really badly. The meme of "mashing swordies" doesn't seem to be that effective, at least on average.

And of course, heavies and projectile characters do better.

I also think it's interesting that Fighting Game ends up being by far the highest average rank change. Higher than "specialty", higher than Projectiles. Hm.

These are the winrate delta's. Note that because of how it was processed a negative delta means an improvement to online and vice versa. You can see that heavies are actually the group that improve the most by winrate, they just have such low winrates offline that even with the improvement the rank differential is not as high as with other characters.

It's also interesting that "Mario" and "Pokemon" gain winrate percentage from the switch, although they evidently are outpaced by their peers, since they still lose ranking.

But back onto the "why do Shotos + Terry do so much better" train, one explanation is simply that those are hard to play characters which self select for hardcore players, who thrive in the much larger pool of casuals that online play enables. For that, let's examine the average elo by group:

(These are the deltas with 1300, the baseline Elo - i.e a bar that shows 100 means the average elo is 1400)

But you see, that's not actually true, or at least it's not the complete picture. The Fighters are actually middle of the pack with a +100, Specialty is +25 Elo higher, but has a far worse average rank and winrate change. Projectile Zoners is actually near the top, to my surprise as well. I would note that using Elo for this purpose means an amplified signal, because good character -> more win -> higher player elo for mains. But in a comparative setting I think it's still valid to look at it.

So is there something inherent in Ryu, Ken, and Terry that makes them perform better online? Seems like it.


In conclusion, from this it seems that a few archetypes of characters get significantly better online.

  1. Projectile Campers - Dodge projectile hard lag

  2. Heavies - Worse players + easier to make mistakes with lag

  3. Specialty characters - self selecting for good players + no matchup experience for most players

  4. Shotos + Terry - somewhat related to above, but also some other intangibles.

Have any thoughts? Email them to me at stu2b@statsmash.io or on twitter as @stu2b50.


Raw Data

Name Offline Winrate Offline Rank Offline Pickrate Offline Wilson Online Winrate Online Rank Online Pickrate Online Wilson Winrate Delta Rank Delta
2 Joker 0.579787 2 0.074455 0.264164 0.409696 80 0.058729 0.201721 0.170092 -78
7 Lucina 0.517094 7 0.061782 0.231524 0.407487 81 0.035499 0.199737 0.109607 -74
4 Fox 0.551148 4 0.063234 0.248219 0.436169 74 0.016821 0.212133 0.114979 -70
1 Wario 0.595556 1 0.059406 0.268813 0.468966 62 0.013935 0.227775 0.126589 -61
14 Roy 0.501044 14 0.063234 0.224116 0.431755 75 0.027318 0.211215 0.069289 -61
Name Offline Winrate Offline Rank Offline Pickrate Offline Wilson Online Winrate Online Rank Online Pickrate Online Wilson Winrate Delta Rank Delta
65 Robin 0.338983 65 0.007789 0.112482 0.558398 11 0.017845 0.272903 -0.219415 54
75 Mii Sword 0.300000 75 0.001320 0.052368 0.529458 22 0.009451 0.256250 -0.229458 53
72 Dr. Mario 0.300000 72 0.002640 0.070611 0.528340 21 0.013851 0.257158 -0.228340 51
59 Wii Fit Trainer 0.372093 59 0.011353 0.134980 0.559483 9 0.022684 0.274149 -0.187390 50
73 Terry 0.333333 73 0.001584 0.066786 0.519821 24 0.028653 0.255049 -0.186488 49
Name Average Rank Delta Average Winrate Delta
8 Spacies -55.333333 0.074516
3 Rushdown -42.500000 0.042337
1 Swordies -34.875000 0.037500
10 Pokemon -26.333333 -0.018581
2 Bait and Punish -26.000000 0.014186
9 Mario -12.200000 -0.018971
7 Sonic 8.000000 -0.047939
6 Specialty 17.000000 -0.072839
4 Projectile Zoners 22.500000 -0.091789
0 Heavies 25.000000 -0.204253
5 Fighting Game 39.666667 -0.140603
Name Offline Winrate Offline Rank Offline Pickrate Offline Wilson Online Winrate Online Rank Online Pickrate Online Wilson Winrate Delta Rank Delta
0 Steve 0.000000 81 0.000396 0.000000 0.524596 36 0.005622 0.251374 -0.524596 45
79 Donkey Kong 0.161290 79 0.004092 0.034938 0.512243 35 0.036761 0.251847 -0.350953 44
77 King K. Rool 0.185185 77 0.003564 0.040201 0.489036 50 0.026999 0.239613 -0.303850 27
78 Kirby 0.190476 78 0.002772 0.037662 0.461695 65 0.019139 0.225147 -0.271219 13
75 Mii Sword 0.300000 75 0.001320 0.052368 0.529458 22 0.009451 0.256250 -0.229458 53
72 Dr. Mario 0.300000 72 0.002640 0.070611 0.528340 21 0.013851 0.257158 -0.228340 51
74 Little Mac 0.263158 74 0.002508 0.057538 0.491145 49 0.020330 0.239918 -0.227987 25
65 Robin 0.338983 65 0.007789 0.112482 0.558398 11 0.017845 0.272903 -0.219415 54
70 Incineroar 0.272727 70 0.005809 0.079759 0.480351 57 0.013319 0.233257 -0.207624 13
59 Wii Fit Trainer 0.372093 59 0.011353 0.134980 0.559483 9 0.022684 0.274149 -0.187390 50
73 Terry 0.333333 73 0.001584 0.066786 0.519821 24 0.028653 0.255049 -0.186488 49
67 Banjo 0.333333 67 0.004356 0.095695 0.508352 37 0.028554 0.249342 -0.175019 30
71 Ganondorf 0.318182 71 0.002904 0.079266 0.480622 54 0.028398 0.235557 -0.162440 17
58 Zelda 0.400000 58 0.008581 0.140299 0.548076 14 0.031984 0.269355 -0.148076 44
62 Ryu 0.411765 62 0.004488 0.126794 0.558572 15 0.006290 0.268732 -0.146807 47
76 Mii Brawler 0.333333 76 0.000792 0.046964 0.464031 66 0.006759 0.222464 -0.130697 10
69 Mewtwo 0.307692 69 0.003432 0.080076 0.436348 76 0.008864 0.210006 -0.128656 -7
55 Dark Samus 0.402597 55 0.010165 0.145593 0.524973 26 0.010330 0.254396 -0.122376 29
50 Bayonetta 0.465116 50 0.005677 0.155890 0.579643 2 0.019529 0.283730 -0.114526 48
45 Yoshi 0.403587 45 0.029439 0.167165 0.514479 31 0.045184 0.253376 -0.110892 14
52 Link 0.389706 52 0.017954 0.152167 0.497426 45 0.032088 0.244185 -0.107720 7
56 Simon 0.466667 56 0.003960 0.144394 0.573903 8 0.004608 0.274539 -0.107236 48
53 Bowser 0.382550 53 0.019670 0.150660 0.487654 48 0.056750 0.240440 -0.105104 5
22 Snake 0.473364 22 0.086733 0.214488 0.573320 3 0.048361 0.282793 -0.099956 19
43 Pac-Man 0.454545 43 0.013069 0.174416 0.553466 12 0.029905 0.271875 -0.098921 31
33 Richter 0.490196 33 0.013465 0.191140 0.587403 1 0.011934 0.285892 -0.097207 32
64 King Dedede 0.428571 64 0.002772 0.117057 0.524119 20 0.028818 0.257198 -0.095548 44
80 Byleth 0.333333 80 0.000396 0.030053 0.426172 79 0.014694 0.206778 -0.092838 1
41 Bowser Jr. 0.462963 41 0.014257 0.180221 0.555333 13 0.015731 0.270975 -0.092370 28
60 Piranha Plant 0.384615 60 0.006865 0.128080 0.473976 59 0.018435 0.231126 -0.089360 1
30 Ken 0.486486 30 0.019538 0.197858 0.575000 7 0.015516 0.280689 -0.088514 23
44 Diddy Kong 0.432624 44 0.018614 0.172241 0.519625 32 0.014848 0.253076 -0.087001 12
51 Villager 0.438596 51 0.007525 0.153183 0.524904 25 0.010583 0.254458 -0.086307 26
61 Ridley 0.400000 61 0.005281 0.127027 0.482353 56 0.014514 0.234536 -0.082353 5
40 Young Link 0.432314 40 0.030231 0.180903 0.505449 40 0.029633 0.247988 -0.073135 0
54 Mii Gunner 0.481481 54 0.003564 0.146442 0.550232 17 0.009182 0.266405 -0.068751 37
10 R. O. B. 0.504950 10 0.066667 0.226655 0.573065 4 0.049419 0.282708 -0.068114 6
48 Toon Link 0.447368 48 0.010033 0.164716 0.508677 39 0.018608 0.248358 -0.061309 9
13 Sonic 0.523013 13 0.031551 0.224123 0.570952 5 0.037799 0.281110 -0.047939 8
20 Mega Man 0.498403 20 0.041320 0.216915 0.544689 16 0.020267 0.266481 -0.046286 4
46 Daisy 0.441860 46 0.011353 0.165403 0.478348 63 0.004629 0.227539 -0.036488 -17
28 Ike 0.500000 28 0.015578 0.199056 0.536387 18 0.031242 0.263488 -0.036387 10
29 Pichu 0.465909 29 0.034851 0.198906 0.494396 47 0.015069 0.240623 -0.028487 -18
49 Hero 0.458333 49 0.006337 0.156488 0.485037 52 0.022079 0.237114 -0.026704 -3
35 Meta Knight 0.484848 35 0.013069 0.188001 0.508335 43 0.007682 0.244904 -0.023487 -8
57 Lucario 0.439024 57 0.005413 0.143607 0.462077 67 0.008222 0.222379 -0.023052 -10
19 Palutena 0.490722 19 0.064026 0.219321 0.512162 34 0.062036 0.252786 -0.021440 -15
23 Luigi 0.534653 23 0.013333 0.211054 0.555400 10 0.038343 0.273402 -0.020746 13
63 Pit 0.444444 63 0.002376 0.117162 0.457484 70 0.005282 0.218015 -0.013040 -7
6 Olimar 0.535181 6 0.061914 0.240249 0.547239 19 0.006620 0.263398 -0.012057 -13
24 Samus 0.510949 24 0.018086 0.207461 0.520610 23 0.027736 0.255361 -0.009661 1
34 Cloud 0.473684 34 0.017558 0.189723 0.481377 51 0.059399 0.237392 -0.007693 -17
38 Ice Climbers 0.509434 38 0.006997 0.181363 0.514076 38 0.009625 0.248719 -0.004642 0
16 Greninja 0.502336 16 0.056502 0.223270 0.506299 41 0.023868 0.247872 -0.003962 -25
17 Inkling 0.497727 17 0.058086 0.221430 0.497305 42 0.047868 0.244941 0.000422 -25
37 Isabelle 0.509434 37 0.006997 0.181363 0.503186 44 0.013109 0.244505 0.006248 -7
12 Game\'n\'Watch 0.522822 12 0.031815 0.224179 0.515183 33 0.032456 0.253035 0.007639 -21
15 P. Trainer 0.500000 15 0.063630 0.223694 0.492253 46 0.049954 0.242506 0.007747 -31
27 Shulk 0.493750 27 0.021122 0.202818 0.485424 53 0.017890 0.236712 0.008326 -26
8 Ness 0.524927 8 0.045017 0.230839 0.513512 29 0.060438 0.253415 0.011415 -21
39 Lucas 0.492537 39 0.008845 0.181068 0.480435 55 0.027463 0.235384 0.012102 -16
36 C. Falcon 0.462069 36 0.019142 0.186229 0.447945 69 0.027686 0.219278 0.014124 -33
21 Wolf 0.478827 21 0.081056 0.216382 0.462954 61 0.054683 0.228089 0.015874 -40
5 ZSS 0.543902 5 0.054125 0.242611 0.516895 30 0.026255 0.253379 0.027007 -25
47 Sheik 0.465517 47 0.007657 0.165181 0.435072 78 0.006403 0.207960 0.030445 -31
32 Rosalina 0.484127 32 0.016634 0.193307 0.452354 71 0.004928 0.215125 0.031773 -39
18 Duck Hunt 0.557895 18 0.012541 0.220040 0.525069 28 0.009402 0.254058 0.032826 -10
11 Mario 0.506912 11 0.057294 0.225648 0.470600 58 0.038066 0.231220 0.036313 -47
3 Peach 0.559275 3 0.094653 0.257019 0.522319 27 0.014761 0.254391 0.036956 -24
25 Chrom 0.490566 25 0.027987 0.206736 0.452545 68 0.016954 0.220263 0.038021 -43
66 Corrin 0.461538 66 0.001716 0.110337 0.409460 83 0.009143 0.196878 0.052078 -17
9 Pikachu 0.518310 9 0.046865 0.228281 0.465900 60 0.031459 0.228480 0.052410 -51
68 Dark Pit 0.500000 68 0.000792 0.088940 0.440433 72 0.009612 0.212340 0.059567 -4
31 Jigglypuff 0.495726 31 0.015446 0.196911 0.427297 77 0.031821 0.209342 0.068430 -46
14 Roy 0.501044 14 0.063234 0.224116 0.431755 75 0.027318 0.211215 0.069289 -61
26 Falco 0.503759 26 0.017558 0.203497 0.411063 82 0.014159 0.199194 0.092696 -56
7 Lucina 0.517094 7 0.061782 0.231524 0.407487 81 0.035499 0.199737 0.109607 -74
4 Fox 0.551148 4 0.063234 0.248219 0.436169 74 0.016821 0.212133 0.114979 -70
42 Marth 0.525000 42 0.005281 0.178573 0.401791 84 0.009742 0.193341 0.123209 -42
1 Wario 0.595556 1 0.059406 0.268813 0.468966 62 0.013935 0.227775 0.126589 -61
2 Joker 0.579787 2 0.074455 0.264164 0.409696 80 0.058729 0.201721 0.170092 -78