He ranks third on the tier list, mainly due to his very quick movement speed and versatile combo ability. He has the second fastest dashing and falling speeds in the game, along with the fastest walking speed, and the third fastest air speed, allowing him to get around very quickly, which not only helps with evading opponents, but also to get around during combos. His combo moves typically include his up tilt, down tilt, down aerial, the first hit of his jab, etc. He is able to rack up damage in a variety of ways such as up tilt chains and dair→d-tilt→repeat chains. Fox is known for his Blaster, among the best projectiles in the game for numerous reasons - its hitstun allows Fox to effortlessly counter opponent approaches, while it also helps him approach. The lag of the move can also be avoided using the techniques short hop laser and ledgehopped double laser. While the majority of Fox's moves are low power, combo-orientated moves, he does have high power attacks such as his up smash (effective ground finisher that can be setup easily) and up aerial (an effective aerial finisher). Fox additionally has multiple quick, low power aerials which can easily combo offstage and reliably edgeguard opponents, along with an effective semi-spike in his down smash and a set knockback semi-spike in his shine, notable for the shine spike technique. Fox has overall great matchups, heavily countering four characters, and is on par with Pikachu for the best set of matchups on Hyrule Castle.
Fox has an over-reliance on his up smash and up aerial for onstage KOs however, and his only reliable way to finish off the opponent outside those moves is edgeguarding. Fox is additionally a vulnerable character to combos - despite his moderate weight and size, his fast falling speed makes him vulnerable to characters such as Pikachu and Kirby, who can easily get Fox offstage, where his predictable and linear recovery, along with his fast falling speed, puts him in a bad position offstage. To prevent 0-death combos, Fox relies on his great projectile camping ability to prevent opponents from getting near, using his very quick movement speed to get around the stage, while he can start a combo on the opponent when they are left vulnerable. This is the main reason why Fox is so much more effective on Hyrule Castle than Dream Land. With Hyrule becoming less of a neutral stage in competitive play, Fox's effectiveness could could be more limited in the future, though he remains one of the top viable characters in the game.
Fox is a character who is all about speed. He has the second fastest dashing speed (second only to Captain Falcon), third fastest air speed (behind Yoshi and Pikachu), the third fastest falling speed, a fast roll, and generally very fast attacks in terms of both startup and ending lag. Fox also has a good and useful short hop, which he can easily performed Z-cancelled aerials out of quickly. Fox can sometimes have trouble KOing because the majority of his attacks have low knockback, excluding his up smash and up aerial, which he sometimes relies on for KO'ing onstage. This problem is bigger against characters with strong vertical endurance, such as Captain Falcon and other Foxes. The up smash can easily KO most characters under around 90% (KOs at 76% on Dream Land), and can be combo'd into in a variety of ways, such as the using a Z-cancelled down aerial (which can be used during aerial approaches), or the first hit of his jab, then using the move while the opponent is in hitstun. The up aerial is mainly used as an aerial combo finisher, but can be used on its own as an effective aerial finisher. However, the generally low knockback of Fox's attacks means that he has amazing combo potential, having the ability to zero-death many other characters. Both Fox's forward and back throws can additionally chaingrab at very low percentages and combo into moves such as dash attack, short hop laser, or short hop double laser. They are also effective in the "tent" portion of Hyrule Castle, easily being able to rack up damage and lead into an up aerial for a KO. Additionally, though Fox can have trouble KOing onstage, he does have a pretty strong edgeguarding ability. His forward and back aerials can easily be used in offstage aerial combos or combo'd into from a move such as an up tilt at certain percentages, and his neutral aerial is a pretty powerful aerial when it first comes out. He also has two effective semi-spikes - down smash (best used near the edge), and his shine (which allows the shine spike technique, and can also be used just after an edge drop to cover the area around Fox).
Fox's Blaster is an extremely useful projectile that covers a very large distance and causes opponents to flinch. This allows him to combo from a considerable distance (as it will stun the opponent, and Fox's very fast dashing speed allows him to get to them quickly). Due to its hitstun, it can prevent enemy approaches, and it can also be used while approaching to give the opponent a hard time. Fox can use the Blaster to easily and effectively outcamp characters on Hyrule Castle, though this isn't as effective on smaller stages like Dream Land. His Reflector is also a reliable way to deal with projectiles and projectile camping from opponents.
On the downside, Fox has problems with his recovery like many characters in the game. His fast falling speed and predictable and linear recovery make him easy to edgeguard and combo offstage into a meteor smash or powerful aerial finisher. His primary recovery move, Fire Fox, additionally requires chargeup time, and cannot damage opponents during that time, leaving Fox vulnerable; it is also possibly to hit him out of the move using a projectile such as Thunder Jolt to gimp him repeatedly. With the correct timing, hitting him out of Fire Fox while moving is also possible. Fox's aforementioned problems with recovering also put him in a bad position when too far offstage, so he must be careful when combo'ing offstage against characters who are able to fight back easily such as Pikachu and Mario. Fox is also vulnerable to combos that work on fastfallers, but due to his average weight, he is conversely resistant to combos effective on lightweights.
Fox overall has excellent matchups, and heavily counters four characters. Fox overall has the best setup of matchups on Hyrule Castle, but doesn't do as well on Dream Land as there isn't nearly as much room to camp and space, allowing the opponent to approach easier, and get him offstage easier, putting him in a bad position.
 In Doubles
Fox is considered to be slightly worse in doubles than singles as it is more difficult to laser camp. Fox's recovery is an issue and the fact that he has problem gimping is also a bad thing. Fox is one of the better characters at starting combos, though. He is considered a good combo with Ness, as Fox can laser Ness's PSI Magnet to help him recover damage. Fox is an overwhelm based character in teams, helping his partner combo, and using an up smash or up aerial to KO. Fox is also a great team partner for Pikachu and Captain Falcon due to his aerials and up smash being able to mix very well with Pikachu's recovery and Falcon's air game and combo ability.
If facing left, Fox crosses his arms, looks toward the player and makes a "hmph" sound. If facing right, the posture is reversed so that Fox looks away from the player. (This posture returns in a slightly altered form as one of Fox's victory poses in Melee and Brawl Vs. battles.)
 In Competitive play
Fox has an above average matchup spread on Dream Land, despite being solidly countered by Pikachu and having some trouble against Kirby and Captain Falcon. Fox does very well against floaty characters, who he can KO early with his powerful vertical finishers in his up smash and up aerial. His fast falling speed and subpar recovery makes him a target for combos leading to edgeguards, which are easily performable by characters such as Pikachu and Falcon. Dream Land, being a somewhat small stage, means he doesn't have much room to evade characters with disjointed moves and great spacing ability. The reason why Fox's matchups are so much better on Hyrule Castle (on par with Pikachu's for being the best matchup spread on that stage) is because he can simply projectile camp to prevent opponent approaches, giving him difficulty getting up to Fox and starting combos on him. Fox's very fast dashing and air speed also allow him to get around fairly quickly, meaning he can outrun characters with subpar movement speed such as Mario and go up close to combo then when they're left vulnerable. Fox has a close to even matchup against Pikachu on Hyrule, with this and Falcon on Dream Land being the only close to even matchups against Pikachu in the game.
 Notable players
 Short hop laser
A very useful and frequently used technique that is great for approaching and stopping opponents' approaches alike. It is performed by simply short hopping, then firing a laser. If one's reflexes allow it, it is possible to fire two lasers in one short hop, known as short hop double laser (SHDL). As the lasers cause hitstun on the opponent, it can give characters without projectiles and/or reliable ways to deal with them serious trouble approaching, plus the stun can allow laser followups, which can can be used for combos to rack damage (at low percentages) or to lead into a move like an up smash for raw KOing.
 Ledgehopped double laser
Similar to the short hop laser, only this is done by edge dropping, jumping, then firing one or two lasers while moving onto the stage. Very similar uses to the short hop laser, but obviously for different situations.
A technique that allows Fox to slide forward a short distance. Fox can attack, jump, or perform other actions out of the slide (it even allows him to go offstage), and with it giving him some speed, it can be used for movement, though simply dashing is usually quicker due to Fox's very high dashing speed.
 Shine spike
An edgeguarding technique that simply involves using the shine offstage on an opponent. Its semi-spike trajectory and set knockback make it effective for edgeguarding and gimping alike. It can be used on its own or combo'd into via moves such as up tilt or down tilt.
 Dash turnaround ledgegrab
Fox is the only character in the game along with Ness who can use the turnaround animation of his full sprint to grab a ledge. This is due to his turnaround animation changing the faced direction before the character "brakes".
 From the Game
Following his dead father's footsteps as the young leader of the Star Fox Team, Fox McCloud's piloting of the super-high-performance combat ship ARWING for the Lylatian System is still fresh in our memories. His one weakness may be his difficulty earning the trust of his teammates.
 From the Instruction Booklet
Following in his father's footsteps, Fox McCloud is the young leader of the Star Fox Team. With his trusty blaster, he plunges head-first into battle.