Rivals of Aether: The 20 Best Custom Workshop Characters To Try

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I’d say Rivals of Aether shines for its gorgeous pixel art and fluid animation. It also has a fantastic roster of characters including the Shovel Knight, and Ori from Ori and the Blind Forest.

And while the game’s base character roster isn’t extensive, it can rival even Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if you count the custom characters made by fans.

So let’s take a look at some of the best fan-made custom character mods to bolster your fighter ranks.


20. Morshu

Morshu from Rivals of Aether

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The old Zelda Sat-Am cartoon had some bold character designs – including the somewhat grotesque fat merchant Morshu.

This shrewd businessman went viral thanks to a hilarious clip of him marketing his wares with an awful lot of movement and hand gesturing.

In the clip, he talks about his bombs, rope, and lamp oil – so his RoA character uses those too.

This is an elite character, and a true connoisseur made it.


19. The Great Papyrus

The Great Papyrus character in ROA

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Undertale is an amazing game that will remain relevant in the collective imagination for years to come.

One way you can pay homage to this generation-defining game is by getting the Great Papyrus as a fighter in RoA.

He was one of the best characters in Undertale.

And he’s just as powerful, popular, and prestigious in Rivals of Aether.

He’s ready to put some backbone into battle with his bone-themed attacks, and he even comes with a stage where he’ll shine the brightest.

This Papyrus is a polished, well-balanced character. And he’s just as charming as the original.


18. Ash

Ash character screenshot

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Original Rivals of Aether character designer Andy Ayala lent his own OC catgirl Ash for a new custom character.

Not only does she look gorgeous, but she has a feisty personality and a lot of claw – as expected from a boxing tiger.

She’s all about moving around fast and striking unexpectedly before your opponent can react.

She has great moves that reflect her boxing background, and everything is gorgeously animated.


17. Untitled Goose

Untitled Goose ROA character

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What better character to bring into your Rivals of Aether than the bringer of pain, the invincible tormentor, the quacking chaos – the goose from Untitled Goose Game.

This “cute on the outside but horrible on the inside” goose lives to ruin everyone else’s days.

They do it with the dedication of a sportsman. And for the most part, they succeed.

This humble goose doesn’t have the flashiest moves. But geese are plenty dangerous without any extra magic.


16. Ryu Hayabusa

Ryu Hayabusa in ROA

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There isn’t a ninja more reliable than the bad-ass Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series.

His sprites’ colors in this fantastic custom character mod resemble his older incarnations, where blue was a prominent color rather than the darker tones seen in more recent games.

Besides regular ninja stuff like throwing shurikens and teleporting, Ryu will use his Shadow Clones and fire-summoning abilities to establish his dominance on the battlefield.

It’s a great fast-paced character for people who like the challenge of landing precise moves.


15. Vergil

Vergil from Rivals of Aether

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Devil May Cry’s Dante’s big brother is a legendary swordsman and the Son of Sparda.

If he really tried, he could take on any other character in Rivals of Aether.

To give them a chance, he’ll fight without leaving his white plastic chair. And from this throne he’ll swing his Yamato for hard-hitting (but easy-to-interrupt) moves.

Most of his special attacks cost meter to use.

But he can activate Devil Trigger after some criteria are met, which lets him spam them without restrictions.

Considering how absurd he looks, it’s a very polished and balanced character.


14. Kirby

Kirby Rivals of Aether character

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Some people will only play as Kirby in every Super Smash Bros. game they touch.

Well now they can even stay faithful to the pink blob in Rivals of Aether.

The Star Warrior plays exactly as you’d expect him to – that is, just like he does in Super Smash Bros.

He can even inhale and swallow his enemies to acquire their abilities. And it’ll even work with most outstanding custom characters, too!

If you’re into gimmicky characters that can perform well in a competitive setting, you’ll love Kirby.


13. Natsumi

Natsumi ROA screenshot

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Flash animation used to be this great big thing back when I was younger.

People used it in games, short films, and all sorts of interesting projects back in the day.

This mod pays homage to the ancient craft by introducing a character from a famous 2003 flash animation called Natsumi Step!

Natsumi has a fun moveset that should be accessible to any player.

You might have trouble watching the original animation nowadays, considering Flash isn’t easily supported anymore, but you can remember Natsumi through this character.


12. Samurai Knight

Samurai Knight from Rivals of Aether

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The Shovel Knight DLC character for RoA was a major reason I gave the game a chance back in the day.

And this fantastic re-skin of the shovel-wielding warrior is great to spice things up.

Instead of risking making a badly balanced or just boring character, this mod’s developer focused on creating an aesthetically pleasing transformation.

Clad in traditional heavy Samurai armor, this character will gracefully swing his katana to victory.

Well, considering he moves the blade exactly like Shovel Knight moves his shovel, maybe it isn’t so graceful – but it looks great.

The new animations just scream “bushido”.


11. Steve

Steve from Minecraft - Rivals of Aether character

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If it exists, there’s a Minecraft-themed mod for it.

Rivals of Aether is no exception.

Despite looking a little less blocky than Steve should, in my honest opinion, this character is definitely high-quality.

He can place blocks, throw TNT, shoot arrows, and much more.

Having played as Steve in RoA, I can’t believe it took Nintendo so long to get him in SSB. Ultimate.

This character is relatively balanced, but you need to learn his tricks.

Playing against Steve can be horrible at first. But he’s not really all that powerful.


10. Frisk

Frisk from Undertale in Rivals of Aether

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The main character from Undertale persuades their way into the fray.

Most people played through Undertale like pacifists. So Frisk is generally thought about as calm and peace-loving.

That said, a Genocide playthrough taught me they had everything in them to be murderous psychopaths – and some of that strength is passed onto the RoA character.

My favorite part about Frisk is that they actually wield Flowey as a weapon, shooting “friendship pellets” at Frisk’s opponents.

After getting to know the character better in Undertale, this is a bizarre sight.


9. Chara

Chara custom character in ROA

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Before Frisk ever fell into the monsters’ world where Undertale takes place, there was a first child – Chara.

Unlike Frisk, Chara is a murderous psychopath by nature – and they definitely fight like one.

Their Undertale-themed moves resemble Frisk’s. And they actually do a great job of representing the game’s aesthetic and fighting style.


8. The Drifter

The Drifter ROA screenshot

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One of the best indie games I’ve played in the last few years is Heart Machine’s Hyperlight Drifter.

We’ll never get such a grassroots character in SSB. Ultimate – but this custom RoA character is just as good.

It’s a re-sprite of Clairen, so don’t expect anything too unusual in the way of special attacks.

This mod’s biggest selling point for me has to be the amazing color palettes.

I never thought a black and white Drifter could look so good.


7. Peacock

Peacock Rivals of Aether character

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Coming in from the wild, wild lands of the Skullgirls series comes Peacock – a half-robot, half old-school cartoon character.

But a 100% adorable anti-skullgirl bio-mechanical weapon.

Her character is based on how she looks on the Skullgirls games. But in this mod she has brand-new abilities exclusive to Rivals of Aether.

With guns, blades, bombs, and even elephants at her disposal, Peacock is really packing heat.

Peacock can also perform an air dash toward her enemy as she can in most Skullgirls games, which really increases her already major combo potential.


6. Reckless Safety Notice Man

Reckless Safety Notice Man in ROA

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The Reckless Safety Notice Man is one of the most unexpected new characters for RoA.

But I’m all for it!

I always thought you needed to be a brute to really hurt anyone or break anything with the good-old Wiimote. Well, this is that brute – the faceless silhouette from the Wii’s safety notices – and he’s got some pretty unsafe moves.

Some of his best moves include flailing recklessly (a danger for nearby flatscreen TVs) and throwing a bowling ball like you would in Wii Sports.


5. 100% Accurate Fox

100% Accurate Fox ROA screenshot

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Back when Super Smash Bros. Melee was released, it became evident that a single character had the power to take them all on – Fox.

This is not that fox.

This version of Nintendo’s classic fox cyborg space pilot is so badly-drawn and disproportionate, it’s actually part of the charm.

Whereas “Fox only” would indicate a high degree of seriousness in an SSB Melee match, a 4-player all-Fox match would be a hilarious affair in RoA.


4. Speedrunner Link

Speedrunner Link in Rivals of Aether

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From the same artistic current as 100% Accurate Fox comes Speedrunner Link – based on the hero’s look in Breath of the Wild.

This ridiculous caricature of Link has plenty of regular weapons and abilities you’d expect from the Hyrule warrior, but it’s his joke moves that make this mod shine above the competition.

I nearly lost it when I saw the shield bounce glitch as a fighting game move.

He can fly a bit with his paraglider, and even move metal cubes around with Magnesis as he would in Breath of the Wild.

And his combo potential is also remarkable.


3. Terra

Terra from Final Fantasy - Rivals of Aether custom character

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One of the most tasteful characters you can get on your RoA is Terra, the rebel Magitek Knight from Final Fantasy VI.

Each of her moves has beautiful and fluid animations – and the visual effects for special attacks such as Blizzara, Fira, and her upward Tornado are just amazing.

These powerful spells can give you the edge in a fight. But you’ll have to wait for MP to recharge if you abuse them.

The bored look on her sprite’s eyes reminds me a lot of official Final Fantasy artwork, and it drives me nuts.


2. SM64 Mario

SM64 Mario - custom character in ROA

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If you’re going to get the Big N’s main boy into your game, it has to be the Super Mario 64 version.

This low-poly Mario is an iconic part of my childhood.

And I know I’m not alone.

The world-famous plumber got even more mainstream appeal worldwide after his first 3D outing.

This RoA character mod can perform a triple jump just like in SM64, and he’ll grab opponents and throw them like he does to Bowser in boss battles.

It also looks gorgeous. This character captures the appeal of Mario’s low-poly model brilliantly.

It was clearly made by someone who really loves SM64.


1. 2B

2B from Nier - Custom Rivals of Aether Character

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I really enjoyed getting 2B as a character in Soulcalibur VI.

And now, everyone’s favorite delicious YoRHa android comes to Rivals of Aether as well.

This incredible custom character moves and fights just like 2B in NieR: Automata.

She even carries her two floating swords, and can freely control her Pod to provide ranged support, among plenty of other mechanics.

Her special attacks are all gorgeous 2D reproductions of her NieR: Automata moves. I mean, really accurate.

The spritework here is also fantastic, and you can really end up mesmerized by the artist’s talent.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.