The main thing you want to concentrate on when you first start Smash is not dying. This will be the focus of this guide.
1) Before playing, make sure you have a profile name. Go into options on your profile name and turn Tap Up Jump OFF. This will keep you from accidentally jumping around (or off a cliff).
2) While you're at it turn Items OFF too. Its hard to learn how to properly control your character when you have a bunch of stuff falling from the sky and exploding everywhere. The less noise you have on screen, the easier it is for concentrate on your movements.
|As cute as this is, resist the urge and turn all items OFF, including Smash Balls.|
4) Some characters have moves which put them into Free Fall mode. When a character is in Free Fall, they cannot jump anymore. This means that you have to be very careful with characters who often go into this mode after a move, as its easy to accidentally kill yourself with them. These characters are: MetaKnight, Jigglypuff, the space animals (Fox, Falco, Wolf), and Ike.
|Stay Away from me. I tend to fall asleep a lot ... in mid-air.|
6) Don't forget that you can block attacks. If you hold down block and press Left or Right, you will Roll. When you roll, you are invincible for part of the roll. If you hold down block and press Down, you will do a spot dodge, which means you'll be invincible for a short time but you won't move. Rolling and Spot Dodging are important survival tools, so make sure you practice them.
7) Speaking of which, get some practice. I don't necessarily mean you should have some one on one time with the training room (although that's never a bad idea), but like, if Law and I are in a heated combat, take the opportunity to practice jumping around while everyone is ignoring you. Trying to interrupt us is only going to get you killed. The best practice you can do when learning the game, is jumping off the edge and then using your Up+B to get back onto the ledge. Learning how to recovery properly is very important, this is the best practice you can do.
8) The following characters are good beginning characters, they are straight forward and don't tend to kill themselves a lot: Mario, Luigi, Zelda, Link, Toon Link, Pikachu, Kirby, and Pit.
9) While you may be focusing on staying alive, keep in mind that sometimes you might have to actually kill someone. The easiest way to do this is with the C-Stick. The C-Stick is a shortcut to a character's smash attack, which are powerful finishing blows. Spamming the C-Stick is not the best strategy in the world, but it works. People might call you a n00b, but you are one, so who cares.
Okay begginers, go forth and ... not die as much ...