- This article is about Fox's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Fox McCloud. Also, for information about Fox's clone, see Falco (SSBM).
||A wily fox that uses speed to keep enemies off balance.
|—Description from Melee's manual.
Announced at E3 2001, Fox (フォックス, Fokkusu) is a playable starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He is emblematic of speed and he can dominate foes with his rapid attacks, quick movement and overpowering offense in all areas of his game. He is placed 1st on the Melee tier list due to these advantages.
Fox, true to being on the top of the tier list, is an extremely efficient fighter, with fast attacks, unparalleled comboing and damaging ability, and numerous options to approach the opponent. His aerial game is almost unsurpassed when SHFFL'd, and his shine combos are extremely effective. He can KO effectively on all four sides of the screen, and his high falling speed makes him resilient to vertical KOs. Despite being top tier, Fox is not flawless. He has an extremely high learning curve, requiring fast reflexes to properly use his shine and SHFFL combos. Additionally, his high falling speed makes him very easy to chain grab, he suffers from a poor recovery due to his low air speed and high falling speed, and his light weight makes him vulnerable to KOs. Regardless, his pros outshine his cons, and Fox is notable for being one of only four characters in the series (the other three being Pikachu in Smash 64, Falco in Melee, and Meta Knight in Brawl) to have no disadvantageous matchups, with only three (Falco, Marth and Samus) being considered even.
Fox falls into a unique archetype: He is notoriously fast, yet he is equipped with a plethora of viable finishers. He has the second fastest dashing speed, tied with Marth for the fastest walking speed, the fastest normal falling speed, the third fastest fast falling speed, fast dash-dancing, and fast attacks. His low traction is balanced with his fast falling speed and low air speed, all of which give him a fast, moderately long wavedash.
One of the reasons why Fox is ranked 1st is his unparalleled comboing and damaging ability, helped by an powerful approach game. His fast fall and low, fast short hop contribute to an extremely quick SHFFL, which can let him almost effortlessly start combos or act as a deadly approach option. Additionally, Fox's specials act as powerful ways to aid this; his Reflector makes for a potential combo starter, as well as a potential infinite combo with his waveshine infinite, and his blaster is an almost unstoppable damage-racking method, due to its long range, inability to cause hitstun, high speed and its ability to be combined with Fox's short hop as part of the short hop laser technique. Additionally, a majority of Fox's attacks inflict significant damage while being very fast as well; his neutral aerial, back aerial, and tilts are especially notable in this regard, with the remainder of his aerials having little ending lag.
Additionally, Fox's KO ability is also amazing, with plenty of powerful vertical finishers in his arsenal, most notable his up smash and up aerial, both of which are among the most powerful in the game with huge hitboxes. Fox's Reflector also makes for a valuable tool for KOing, due to its set, semi-spike knockback properties, which makes it extremely useful for edgeguarding or gimping. Additionally, its almost-instantaneous startup time (with only 1 frame of start-up, the attack is one of the fastest in the game), it is of very low risk to use off the edge.
While not the best, Fox's grab game is decent. His throws' low knockback allow him to set up potentially lethal combos. His up throw can lead into a sweet spotted up aerial, one of Fox's primary KO methods, and can even chain throw fast fallers. His forward and back throws force opponents a fair distance off the stage, aptly setting up opportunities for Fox to use his smashes, aerials, or shine spikes to edgeguard. In rare situations, Fox can use his down throw to meteor smash his opponents off the edge of a stage. Unfortunately, Fox's grab range is decidedly average. He cannot reliably chain grab at higher percentages as most of Fox's throws send opponents a considerable distance away from him, allowing anyone with good SDI to escape combos.
Fox, however, is not invincible, and his flaws can cause significant errors in tournament play. Notably, Fox's properties of being a fast faller with low air speed causes him to be among the most easily chaingrabbed characters in the game, particularly by characters such as Marth and Peach. Additionally, Fox can be very easy to combo if the opponent moves fast enough, which is exacerbated by his poor air speed.
Fox also suffers from a poor recovery; his high falling speed makes him fall far before he can recover, and his low air speed prevents him from moving closer to the edge. Fox's third jump of Fire Fox is relatively long, but it is also linear in nature and predictable; a multitude of attacks can easily intercept it, such as Mario's Cape. While Fox also has the ability to recover with Fox Illusion, it too is linear and predictable in nature.
For a gallery of Fox's hitboxes, see here.
|Neutral attack 1
||A quick jab.
|Neutral attack 2
||Another quick jab. A versatile jab that can combo into several other attacks, including u-smash. Very useful against shields, to jab reset, and into shine cancels. More useful against lightweights than heavyweights (such as Jigglypuff). The second jab makes Fox move forward a bit.
|Neutral attack 3
||1% per kick
||A series of fast kicks. Not very useful due to the lag and very little damage.
||4-9% depending on angling
||Sticks foot out to the side. This is best used for a quick close-ranged spacing move.
||Performs a quick and surprisingly strong vertical back kick. It covers Fox's whole body; thus, it makes Fox and his vertically-aimed foot a hitbox. Its speed, power, and hitbox make it great for close-up spacing. It can easily combo into itself, up air, and up smash. Used as part as a chain-grab against fast-fallers with it being connected to his up throw. Begins to KO at around 120% on mostly the floaty lightweights.
||Performs a sweeping tail lash. Moderately fast. Can combo at mid-percentages into aerials. It can also become a somewhat solid finisher at higher percentages.
||Jumping Side Kick
||Runs forward and sticks a foot out. Good combo ability, especially into up smash. Very vulnerable to crouch canceling.
||12-15% uncharged, 16-20% fully charged
||Performs a flying hook kick. Has moderately low knockback (extremely low base knockback - 10) for a smash, though it is fast, and is actually quite reliable at higher percentages (very high knockback scaling - 105), KOing usually at around 120%.
||18% uncharged, 24% fully charged, 13-17% behind
||Performs a back flip kick. This move is very fast, and when used on the ground while facing the foe, it has very high vertical knockback. It is very reliable at mid-high damages. Shine into up smash is very useful for KOs. Often considered the best u-smash in the game due to its extreme speed, extreme power, and decent range. However, it is actually the second most powerful u-smash in the game, behind Pikachu's.
||15% uncharged, 20% fully charged
||Does a split, hitting on both of his sides. It is fast and has moderate knockback, sending opponents on a semi-spike trajectory. Useful for edgeguarding and spacing.
||Sticks foot out, simple sex kick. A very quick aerial. Very good against shields and great power when it first comes out.
||17% if all hits connect
||Kicks forward five times. Good knockback when all hits connect. Regrettably, this move is very awkward due to the short amount of forward distance, short range of the move, and bad physics of the kicks being chained together. All hits are extremely hard to connect without a good set-up, especially on lighter characters.
||Reverse Spin Kick
||Does a quick no-look kick backwards, with sex kick properties. Great knockback when it first comes out, and one of Fox's best edgeguarding moves.
||17% if both hits connect
||Whips his tail up and kicks immediately after. A very high knockback move, good vertical finisher, can combo out of up throw on virtually everyone. It and the u-smash give Fox an advantage against light, floaty characters, notably Jigglypuff and Kirby. Can be Smash DI'd out of however.
||19% if all hits connect
||Spins around, drilling downwards with his feet. It can combo into up smash and out of up tilt. Useful into shines as well. It is the weakest spike in the game, giving almost no knockback when it is used on an opponent, and the knockback being set. However, when it is used on a wire frame or a handicapped opponent, it sends them strongly diagonally downwards, like a spike. Using this move will not win any of the meteor smash bonuses with it, and it sends the opponent diagonally downwards and not straight down, giving proof that it is a spike.
||2-3% per pummel
||Punches the opponent forward. Despite its generally poor combo ability, it can chain-grab on some heavy characters. It is best used for forcing opponents offstage, setting up an edgeguard.
||Throws backwards and shoots the opponent with his Blaster. Used mainly for setting up edgeguards off-stage, though really not many other uses besides mixing up a Fox player's throw game.
||Throws the opponent into the air and shoots them with his Blaster. It can easily combo into up tilt, up aerial, and up smash. If wavedashes are properly used between throws, it can also chain-grab fast fallers at lower percentages; however, it can be Smash DI'd out of the chain-grab.
||Throws the opponent into the ground and shoots them with his blaster. This throw does not make opponents bounce off the ground like other down throws (except Falco who also uses this throw) because it sends opponents straight downward, meaning that it can meteor smash over the ledge if Fox's body is partially overlapping it. Not useful due to being able to tech out of it, but players can read techs for KOs. Can lead into u-tilt or a shine.
|Floor attack (front)
||Gets up and kicks on both sides.
|Floor attack (back)
||Gets up and kicks on both sides.
|Edge attack (fast)
||Throws himself onto the stage with both feet sticking out.
|Edge attack (slow)
||Slowly gets up and kicks in front.
||3% per laser
||Fox fires a laser from his Blaster. The fastest projectile used by any character in the game, but it does not make opponents flinch, unlike in the previous game. It is mainly used from long range as short hop lasers or short hop double lasers to camp and bring up damage for an u-throw into uair combo or a u-smash. If used on the ground, there is ending lag.
||Fox dashes forward, leaving an afterimage behind him. Fox's quickest and safest horizontal recovery move. If B is quickly pressed again just after starting the move, it will be canceled and Fox will not dash forward. However, if this is done in midair, he keeps his momentum.
||Fox charges up in flames and blasts off in a direction, this can be controlled with the Control Stick. Unreliable as an attack due to the charge time. Can damage opponents during the charging. This move should only be used for vertical recovery, or to safely get onto the stage while going over an attacking opponent.
||Informally referred to as the Shine, it reflects any projectiles that hit it right back at the opponent who fired them. This move has low set knockback, but is an extremely useful semi-spike as it can drag opponents offstage while edgeguarding, to prevent them from recovering - it stuns them as well. Due to the set knockback, it can be done at any percentage. This knocks opponent onto the ground on the stage, and can follow up with a move such as a u-tilt, u-smash, or another shine. The move can be jump cancelled to avoid the ending lag, allowing Fox to quickly jump up offstage (after using a spike, for example), and it also gives him access to the waveshine technique, wavedashing out of the shine.
- Fox crouches and says "Come on!", gesturing with an open hand for others to come to him. Switching the language to Japanese will cause him to say "kakatte koi!" instead (which means the same thing).
Smash Taunt: Fox can do a Star Fox conversation that can only be used on Corneria or Venom by quickly tapping Down on the Control pad. This taunt can only be used once per match.
As one of the only two characters in the game to not have any disadvantageous matchups (the other being Falco), Fox has, indisputably, the best matchup spread in Melee. He has only three matchups that are even, while he soft counters six characters, counters seven, and hard counters nine. Fox has many advantages that help him against any character, such as his quick, versatile combo ability, great aerial attacks, and his very effective shine techniques, including a potential waveshine infinite that, even if performed to a limited degree, can shut down a large portion of the cast. Fox, however, does suffer from flaws; his very high falling speed and very low air speed undermine his otherwise relatively long recovery, making him predictable off the stage and easy to gimp and edgeguard by characters such as Falco, Jigglypuff and Marth. With his said falling speed, characters such as Marth can easily chaingrab him, and his light weight attribute makes him easy for characters such as Samus to KO.
 Notable players
- See also: Category:Fox professionals (SSBM)
 Tier placement and history
Along with Falco and Sheik, Fox has been a top tier since the very first Melee tier list but was not at the top of the list where Sheik was for the first seven tier lists. It wasn't until Fox and Falco's great potential was recognized and eventually Sheik was dethroned from first to currently third by Fox and Falco currently taking second by the eighth tier list of July 2006. However, while it is true that Fox is currently at the top of the tier list based off of potential, he is in dispute for being the best character in practice; while many players main him and place relatively high in tournaments, professional Fox players aren't able to win as many tournaments as professionals of characters below him, as Fox is extremely hard to play successfully due to the huge plateau of technical skill required to master him. Regardless, due to his strengths and amazing matchups, Fox still holds on to the top spot on the Melee tier list.
 In single-player modes
Fox can appear in ordinary one-on-one matches, as an opponent or ally in team battles (paired up with either Falco, Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong or Samus), or as an opponent in the metal fight. In these cases, Fox either appears on Venom or Corneria; in the team battles, he appears on Big Blue when with Captain Falcon, on Brinstar with Samus, on Kongo Jungle with Donkey Kong, and on Battlefield in the metal battle.
Fox appears in Stage 6 of the Adventure Mode, on Corneria; in the stage, the player has to fight against Fox once, then a second time. In the second time, however, the stage features "trigger happy" Arwings, which fire at the stage considerably more often. Additionally, Fox returns with a different Palette swap.
In All-Star Mode, Fox and his allies are fought on the stage Corneria.
Fox appears in the following event matches:
- Event 13: Yoshi's Egg: As Yoshi, the player must protect the Yoshi's Egg item from harm for 55 seconds from a team of Fox, Donkey Kong and Pikachu on the Rainbow Cruise stage.
- Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Fox is the last opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. Their character battles him on the Corneria stage, and the player's character has 2 stock while Fox has 1. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him and the other four characters with the overall time and life they have: Samus, Link, Zelda, Captain Falcon.
- Event 23: Slippy's Invention: In this event, the player must fight against Fox and Falco on Venom, in a standard two stock match; however, the two are under the effects of a Cloaking Device during the entire match, though they can still be damaged.
- Event 36: Space Travelers: As Ness, the player must defeat five opponents in a row: Samus, Kirby, Fox, Captain Falcon, and Falco. In the first three opponents, the fights are done on Onett; after this, the player is then sent to Battlefield to fight against the last two.
- Event 43: Birds of Prey: In this event, the player, as Fox, must fight against a team of Falco and Captain Falcon on the stage Big Blue. Everyone has two lives, but there is also a time limit of two minutes.
 Ending images
 Changes from Smash 64 to Melee
Fox generally did not get nerfed or buffed as a character in Melee, as he still remains very high on the tier list (despite him not being buffed or nerfed, he is higher on the Melee tier list than he is on the Smash 64 one; 1st in Melee and 3rd in Smash 64).
- Most attacks are generally faster and stronger.
- Increased falling speed aids his approach due to his very strong SHFFL.
- Neutral aerial has stronger knockback.
- Back aerial has stronger knockback and is better at edgeguarding.
- Down aerial has less landing lag.
- Blaster fires much faster, and has rapid-fire capabilities, improving his approach.
- Fox Illusion gives him an additional recovery option.
- Reflector can now be jump-cancelled, which, along with the introduction of waveshining, allows shine combos.
- Fire Fox can damage opponents while charging (leaving Fox less vulnerable), and it travels further and faster.
- Air speed is much slower, going from among the fastest in Smash 64 to among the slowest in Melee.
- Much lighter, making him generally easier to KO.
- New forward smash has much weaker knockback.
- Down smash doesn't semi-spike as effectively due to its reduced knockback.
- New forward aerial is much weaker and has much less utility.
- Up aerial is more difficult to sweetspot.
- New back throw has weaker knockback.
- Blaster no longer causes hitstun on opponents, making it less effective for stopping opponents' approaches and removing laser followups.
- New forward throw.
In terms of cosmetic changes, Fox's appearance is based on his appearance in Star Fox rather than Star Fox 64, he has a new taunt (his taunt in Smash 64 is used for one of his victory poses in Melee), and his new voice samples are more energetic in sound.
 PAL differences
Like other characters, Fox has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.
- Weight no longer 75, so can tech out of Falco's down throw.
- Forward aerial has more range.
- Weight reduced from 75 to 73, making Fox lighter than Kirby.
- Up smash deals 1% less damage.
- Down smash deals 2% less damage.
- Fire Fox's strong hitbox deals 2% less damage and travels less distance.
 Trophy Descriptions
In addition to the normal trophy about Fox as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Fox on any difficulty:
- Fox (Classic)
- "Fox McCloud is the leader of a band of adventurers-for-hire known as Star Fox. Fox and his fellow pilots Peppy, Slippy, and Falco patrol the Lylat system in their mother ship, the Great Fox. From the cockpit of his Arwing, Fox leads the ceaseless pursuit of the evil scientist Andross, who doomed Fox's father."
- Fox (Adventure)
- Fox is among the quickest and nimblest of the Smash Bros. characters. His speed is offset by low firepower, however, and he's better at one-on-one fights than melees with multiple foes. His Blaster is unique: it does damage but it doesn't make enemies flinch. His Fox illusion is best used as a surprise attack.
- B: Blaster
- Smash B: Fox Illusion
- Fox (All-Star)
- Fox falls quickly, so he's a tough target to strike from below; however, this advantage can work against him when he goes flying sideways. You can use the Control Stick to set the direction of the Fire Fox technique while it's charging up. On a side note, Fox is also much lighter than he was in the N64 Super Smash Bros. game.
- Up & B: Fire Fox
- Down & B: Reflector
Fox's changeable clothing in Melee
- Fox is one of the only characters in Melee that can do a wall infinite, along with Ness, Pikachu, and Pichu.
- Fox is the only character to have completely lost his forward and back throws from Super Smash Bros. to Melee. Kirby and Jigglypuff both gained new forward throws in Melee, but their former forward throws were moved to be their up throws instead.
- For all three victory poses, Fox is the only character in Melee who says the same quote - "Mission Complete." Although, if the Language setting is changed to Japanese, he says multiple different quotes.
- Fox is the only character in Melee with two medium-damage groans.
- Contrary to popular belief, Fox's taunt in SSB is not used for one of his victory taunts in Melee. It was simply replaced by a new one.