Announced at E3 2001, Sheik is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. She transforms from Zelda by using her down special move (Transform), and can transform back. By holding A at the stage loading screen, Zelda will automatically transform into Sheik at the start of a match.
She used to be first on the Melee tier list until the eighth version of it, where Fox now currently takes the top spot. Sheik now ranks third on the tier list, in the S tier primarily due to her chain throw, excellent combos, a great finisher in her f-air, a very good approach due to fast aerials and high jumps, and one of the best edgeguarding games in Melee. Sheik, however, suffers from a relatively short and predictable recovery, as well as a rather short but quick wavedash.
Sheik falls into the character archetype of being incredibly fast, sacrificing some KO power. Sheik generally follows this, with fast dash, high falling speed, and good jumping prowess. Sheik, however, has poor air speed and a rather high short hop. As a result of having high traction and a high falling speed, Sheik has a rather short wavedash.
Sheik is notable for having among the best comboing ability in the game, regardless of her low air speed. Her tilts come out fast and all send the opponents straight into the air; her smash attacks and dash attack also have this property. Sheik's throws also easily chain into combos, even with good DI on the opponent's part. Sheik's aerials are also powerful, with good hitstun, but generally have low duration, and low starting and ending lag, giving her many options in the air; due to her very fast dash and good jumping prowess, Sheik can also easily pursue other characters when they've been sent into the air. Sheik's general speed gives her fantastic options on the ground and in the air, making her approach fast and unpredictable.
Sheik also has one of the best projectiles in the game, Needle Storm; the needles are quick to charge, can travel quickly when thrown, and can cut through or stop most other projectiles in the game. Needles also have high hitstun and low knockback, making them good for distracting foes, and they can easily and effectively edgeguard characters.
Sheik's throwing game is possibly the best in the game. Her up throw can easily chain into other combos, and at high percentages, an almost guaranteed hit into her powerful up aerial attack, and her back and forward throws can easily set up edgeguards, due to their resulting trajectories. Sheik's down throw, however, is the most feared in all the game; in NTSC regions, it can chain into itself on almost every character in the game, allowing Sheik to be among few characters to have a zero-to-death combo ability against most of the cast.
Sheik's edgeguarding game is also among the best in the game. While she lacks a spike like Falco or Marth, Sheik's good jumping prowess and fast, powerful aerials give her amazing options off the edge; her forward air is particularly notable for this, and with a midair jump, the player can easily chain the move into itself. Sheik also has two sex kicks (her neutral and back air), as well as two vertical finishers (her up and down air) and one of the best semi-spikes in the game (her forward air), giving Sheik among the most varied aerial KO options in the game. Due to their low-lag and high power, all are of relatively low-risk to use off the edge.
Sheik, however, doesn't have a flawless approach; despite a high falling speed and very fast, low-lag aerials, Sheik suffers from a sub-par SHFFL, due to her high short hop. Although her wavedash can be performed quickly, it is rather short.
Sheik also suffers from a poor, predictable recovery, despite her high midair jump and fast aerial attacks that can aggravate edgeguarders. Vanish does not give significant vertical or horizontal distance, and when she reappears, there is no offensive hitbox, allowing easy edgeguarding. Sheik's fast falling speed and low air speed worsens Sheik's recovery. Sheik can wall jump, but its use is situational, dependent on the stage, and is shorter than most others due to Sheik's fast falling speed.
Unlike other high-tiered characters, Sheik also lacks a particularly powerful KO move, relying heavily edgeguarding to garner KOs; Sheik's down and forward smashes are weak for an attack of their type, and her up smash is also weak when sourspotted. In most cases, she is reliant on her forward and up air to KO, and these require rather high percentages to do so. Sheik also lacks a spike or meteor smash of any type, making gimp KOs more difficult to perform.
For a gallery of Sheik's hitboxes, see here.
 In Competitive play
Sheik has one of the best matchup spreads in the game. She is soft countered by three characters, has one even matchup, soft counters six characters, counters five, and hard counters ten. She generally has a large advantage against characters who she can 0-death with her down throw chaingrab, including Bowser, Donkey Kong, Ganondorf, Link, Mr. Game & Watch, Ness, Pichu, Pikachu, Roy, Sheik, and Young Link, most of whom she hard counters (obviously outside of Sheik due to it being a mirror match), with a few being solid countered due to having reliable approaching and spacing options, allowing them to avoid being grabbed easier. She has trouble the most against characters who can camp and avoid her approach options easily, mostly Fox, Jigglypuff, and Falco. Overall, Sheik wins against the majority of the characters in the game.
 Notable players
 Tier placement and history
Sheik has always been a high/top tier character, similar to Fox and Falco. For the first five years of the Melee metagame, Sheik was considered the best character in the game, ranking at the top of every tier list up until the eighth (July 2006). Her chain throwing ability was considered especially powerful in the early metagame. In fact, at some points, players believed Sheik was so good that they contemplated banning her. With the incredible potential of Fox and Falco eventually being realized, along with Marth and Jigglypuff rising up the tier list, Sheik dropped to third place in the high tier in the eighth tier list. However, she still remained around the third and fourth spots, and is still considered one of the best characters, being ranked third in the eleventh and current tier list (as of July 2013).
 PAL differences
Like other characters, Sheik has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.
 In single-player modes
 In Classic Mode
Sheik herself can only be fought if the opponent is Zelda; animations left on the disc, however, suggest that she could have immediately began matches against the player, instead of having to wait for Zelda to transform.
 In Adventure Mode
Sheik's sole appearance in the Adventure Mode is in the second portion of Stage 3, the Underground Maze. The player has to fight against Zelda on the Temple stage; Sheik can be fought if Zelda transforms.
 In All-Star Mode
In All-Star Mode, Zelda/Sheik and her allies are fought on the Temple stage.
 In Event Matches
Sheik is featured in the following event matches:
 Ending images
Sheik and Zelda share ending images for the one-player modes, as well as the same cinematic; clearing the mode with one also gives the player both of their trophies.
 Trophy information
This is Zelda's alter ego. Using a variation of the name of the ancient Sheikah tribe, she appears before Link and teaches him melodies instrumental to his success. It's believed that she's not just a quick-change artist, but rather that she is able to instantaneously alter her clothing and her eye and skin color by using her magical skills.
Game: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [11/98]
 Smash Red
Strategically switching between Zelda and Sheik is key. Compared to her Zelda form, Sheik is nimble and has gorgeous moves, but she lacks a strong knockout attack. The number of needles thrown in Needle Storm is based on how long you hold the B Button before releasing it. Use the Control Stick to wave the Chain after brandishing it.
 Smash Blue
The best strategy to use when playing as Sheik is to let her flow from one powerful attack into another, like a river of quicksilver. Zelda has some techniques with more punch, however, so in one-on-one battles, use Transform as needed. Sheik only travels a short way when using Vanish, but the move comes with a small explosion that damages foes around her.