A Beginner’s Guide to Smash 64

By Stef “pidgezero_one” Kischak

This article was originally published on Melee it on Me. Pidge is  a Toronto native, founder of her scene, and future TO of Smash 64 at Apex 2016. You can follow her on Twitter @pidgezero_one.

So you’re thinking about picking up Smash 64? Smash 64 is approaching its golden age. We started off 2016 with our largest North American tournament, by number of competitors registered, in the history of competitive Smash 64! The meta-game still has tons of places to go and explore – will you be next? Here is a good set of resources for you whether you want to play locally or online.

WHERE CAN I FIND PEOPLE TO PRACTICE WITH? or I DON’T LIKE THE CONTROLLER! or MY JOYSTICK SUCKS! or WHERE CAN I DISCUSS SSB64?

Beginner’s guide to getting into 64

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE NEXT TOURNAMENT?

Smash 64 Calendar

HOW DO I PLAY ONLINE? (and especially HOW DO I USE THE OFFICIAL WII U ADAPTER?)

COPY OF Pizza’s Guide to Netplay (includes help finding controllers) (note: use Mayflash GCN adapter at your own risk, there are many threads online about it malfunctioning with Project 64)
/r/smashbros guide

SO, HOW DO I PLAY? WHAT ARE THE ADVANCED TECHS AND HOW DO I DO THEM?

Watch all of these.
Watch all of these, too
There is some overlap in all these vids but they are all worth watching.
You can also view a PDF or download a PDF for advanced techs.

I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT A CERTAIN CHARACTER, WHERE DO I GO?

Character Discussion on Smashboards
Frame display tool
Character-specific frame data and staleness calculator

WHAT IS THE TIER LIST/MU CHART?

Tier list and MU chart. It should be noted that Smash 64 is arguably the most balanced game and you are encouraged to try using many characters as you get better.

ISN’T THIS JUST “HITSTUN, THE GAME” OR “ZERO TO DEATH, THE GAME”?

No. Check out this post: Common misconceptions about Smash 64

HOW ARE YOU GUYS USING A TIMER? I THOUGHT 64 COULDN’T USE A TIMER IN STOCK MATCHES?

Natively, 64 cannot use a timer in stock matches. Most major tournaments will run top 8 on an Everdrive (think flash carts for smash 64) and the 19XX rom hack, which adds an 8 minute timer to stock matches.

WHY DOESN’T ANYONE USE VIRTUAL CONSOLE OR DOLPHIN?

On the Wii, the virtual console version is prone to frame skips (RIP Fox and Link). Dolphin is overclocked to fix this problem but running a Smash 64 WAD file is more resource-intensive than Project M. N64 emulators are more accessible to lower-end computers, which contributed to Smash 64′s international popularity in the early-mid 2000s.

WHAT ARE THESE “OVERCLOCKED CONSOLES” I’VE HEARD ABOUT?

Nintendo 64 consoles do not natively run Smash 64 at full speed when there are too many objects on the screen. Doubles matches are slowed down, and there is a greater chance of missing your muscle memory inputs. Some consoles are taken apart and overclocked to be able to run doubles at full speed. There are no guides to this online that I’m aware of, but this can only be performed on consoles with a NUS-05 or NUS-08 motherboards (typically Funtastic colour consoles, except Jungle Green). If you want to do this to your console, you’ll probably have to learn from another 64 player online.

WHERE CAN I WATCH LIVE MATCHES?

Smash 64 streamer index and Salty Streams (a betting site for stream matches using virtual currency to unlock more site features)

WHAT IS THE COMMUNITY LIKE?

A beginner’s insight into Smash 64 at Apex 2015

WHO ARE THE PLAYERS I SHOULD BE FOLLOWING?

Smash 64 twitter list

I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT TOP PLAYERS!

/r/smashbros AMAs (scroll to the 64 section)

I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION!

Try here. A lot of this info is outdated but some of it is still really good.

GO FORTH AND LEARN! THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO GET INTO 64!

As always be sure to follow The Smash Writers. Guest posts like these help us to grow the Smash 64 community and help to draw people in. In the future we will be hosting many of these resources and more on a full website that’s being developed in collaboration with David “Shears” Shears, Josh “BarkSanchez” Brody, Jamie “JAMJAR” Jacobs, and Jason “Nardwell” Mani.

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