Bowser (SSBU)

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This article is about Bowser's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Bowser.
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Bowser SSBU.png
Universe Mario
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Unlockable
Who's the greatest nemesis of all!? It's King Bowser! In Super Smash Bros. his power and weight make him a reliable fighter. Use his Fire Breath to keep opponents at bay, then use his damaging attacks to launch them off the stage! He transforms into Giga Bowser for his Final Smash and delivers a super powerful punch!
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Bowser (クッパ, Koopa) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was teased in a trailer released on March 8th, 2018 before being fully confirmed as playable on June 12th, 2018. As opposed to being a starter character like in previous Smash games, Bowser is now an unlockable character. He retains the realistic roar voice clips that he had in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Notice.png NOTE: SmashWiki is not speculative. Please refrain from adding detailed data values derived from pre-release gameplay footage, such as the E3 demo. Such data (damage values, launch trajectories, frame data, etc.) are subject to change before the official release.


  • Change As with all veterans returning from Smash 4, Bowser's model features a more subdued color scheme. His colors overall are slightly darker and more monotone, similar to his appearance in Melee, while his scales, hair, horns, and spikes exhibit simple detailing, similar to his design in Brawl.
  • Change Bowser has been made more expressive than previous installments with facial expressions reminiscent of his appearances in the Mario series.
  • Change Bowser has a new victory pose. He now breathes fire towards the screen before striking a pose that is similar to his Smash 4 artwork. It replaces his shell spinning victory pose.
  • Change Bowser's roaring victory pose now shows him performing a headbutt with his horns before rearing his head back to roar. His body also faces more towards the screen during said animation.
  • Change Bowser's claw slashing victory pose now shows him running up to the victory area before slashing the air with his claws.
  • Change Up and side taunts have been shortened, the latter also updated to match his upright stance.


  • Buff Universal 3-frame jumpsquat vastly improves Bowser's ground-to-air transitioning, down from 8 frames.
  • Buff Bowser's universal heavy armor (officially known as "Tough Guy") seems to be amplified, to the point where he can resist attacks like Villager's slingshot, and the linking hits of Mewtwo's up smash.
  • Nerf Bowser jumps lower.
  • Buff Standardized initial dash speeds vastly improves Bowser's ground mobility even further.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral attack is now a sumo-style palm strike followed by a punch.
    • Nerf Both hits of neutral attack deal slightly less damage.
  • Change Forward tilt is now a swung backhand punch with the arm slightly bent. The fist is enlarged while the hitbox is out, so its range appears unaltered.
  • Buff Down tilt is faster, allowing both hits to link more reliably, and the first strike can trip at low percents.
    • Nerf Down tilt deals less damage, with both hits combined now dealing less damage than the first hit in Smash 4.
  • Buff Up smash deals more damage.
  • Buff Forward smash has slightly less endlag.
  • Buff Bowser has a new down smash: a grounded claw swipe that hits forward then backward, similar to Wolf's. This improves the range of Bowser's old down smash and deals much more knockback. The animation is also much faster.
    • Nerf Down smash has fewer active frames and slightly increased start up.

Aerial attacks[edit]

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Change Grab has quicker startup but also longer endlag.
  • Change Pummel is faster but deals less damage.
  • Up throw has recieved multiple changes:
    • Buff Up throw deals more damage and knockback.
    • Nerf Up throw's increased knockback removes most of its combo potential.
    • Change Bowser now hops on the final hit of up throw.
  • Buff Down throw has faster start-up and does more damage.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Fire Breath:
    • Buff Fire Breath now causes flinching at all ranges of its hitboxes, removing the flinch-less ones from Smash 4.
    • Change Fire Breath is more vibrant in color as opposed to the more realistic flame in Smash 4.
  • Flying Slam:
    • Buff Flying Slam is faster. Its aerial variant now has the same amount of startup lag as its grounded one, and it has less startup lag outright.
    • Buff Flying Slam now K.O.'s the opponent first, making the move much more effective as a Sacrificial KO.
    • Nerf Flying Slam's grounded variant has more endlag and its aerial one no longer autocancels upon landing.
    • Change Flying Slam now spins Bowser around more dramatically on the way down and now has an explosion effect on landing.
  • Whirling Fortress:
    • Buff Grounded Whirling Fortress does more damage and has less ending lag.
    • Buff The final hitbox of aerial Whirling Fortress has significantly improved knockback, making its ending much harder to punish and now making it a KO move.
    • Buff Aerial Whirling Fortress has less landing lag.
    • Nerf Aerial Whirling Fortress travels a shorter distance.
    • Nerf Aerial Whirling Fortress deals overall less damage.
    • Change Aerial Whirling Fortress now has Bowser spin more at an angle toward the camera.
  • Buff Bowser Bomb now meteor smashes at the beginning of its descent.
  • Change Giga Bowser's functionality has drastically changed: rather than utilizing Bowser's Brawl moveset, he teleports to the background of the stage in giant form, and aims a single punch that can cause an instant Screen KO or launch opponents.

Role in World of Light[edit]

Bowser was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.

Bowser was present when Galeem unleashed its beams of light. Bowser attempted to fight back against the beams, using his Fire Breath alongside the Pokémon Trainer and his Pokémon. This effort ended up being fruitless however, as Bowser was vaporized and transformed into a spirit alongside the other fighters (except for Kirby).

Alternate costumes[edit]

Bowser Palette (SSBU).png


Character Showcase Video[edit]


  • Bowser's official artwork resembles a pose he commonly makes for Mario games, being almost identical to official art for Super Mario 64 DS, Fortune Street and Mario Party 10 (albeit mirrored in Mario Party 10).
  • Like in Smash 4, he was the first Melee newcomer to be confirmed.
  • During the segment of the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct focusing on Bowser, Sakurai states that the changes made to his Final Smash are an allusion to the boss fight with Baby Bowser at the end of Yoshi's Island.

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