Captain Falcon (SSBM)

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This article is about Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For other uses, see Captain Falcon.
Captain Falcon
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Captain Falcon SSBM.jpg
Universe F-Zero
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier B (8) (North America)
C (7) (Europe)
A bounty hunter who boasts speed and power.
—Melee's instruction manual

Announced at E3 2001, Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン, Captain Falcon), shortened as C. Falcon on the victory screen and character select screen is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Ryo Horikawa reprises his role as Captain Falcon from Melee, with recycled voice clips taken from SSB, but a bit more low pitched.

Captain Falcon currently ranks 8th out of 26 on the Melee tier list, in the B tier. While this is considered to be a minor drop compared to his previous placement in Smash 64, where he was ranked 3rd out of 12, he still ranks rather high likewise in the Smash 64 tier list because he retains his incredible comboing abilities; he has a fast falling speed and air speed, and the single fastest dash speed of all characters, giving him one of the best SHFFLs in the game. This also makes him the highest ranked of the heavyweights. His fast falling speed and heavyweight status make him the most resistant character to vertical KOs. His speed, fast rolls, and Raptor Boost enable an excellent dodging and tech-chasing game. Falcon also has multiple quick KO moves, most notably his Knee Smash, forward smash, and down aerial, all of which can be powerful combo finishers. Against other high- and top-tier opponents, however, Falcon is susceptible to chain grabs and combos due to his high falling speed. He is also prone to edgeguarding, since he has a predictable recovery that, like in Smash 64, cannot grab ledge-hanging enemies. Falcon lacks a projectile, impairing his approach in some matchups, while most of his attacks have long startup and lack extended hitbox duration, making his approaches very committal in general. As such, Falcon is considered to have one of the most inconsistent neutral games among the higher tier characters. Regardless of his weaknesses, Captain Falcon still has an impressive number of winning matchups, including six that are near-unloseable.


Captain Falcon is arguably the fastest character in the game. He has the single fastest dash speed, the second fastest falling speed (behind Falco), and one of the fastest lateral air speeds in the game. These traits, coupled with his high traction, good jumping prowess, the ability to wall jump, and the longest dash dance (because of his many dash initiation frames) give Captain Falcon great approach options, a short but quick wavedash, and the best moonwalk in the game.

Despite lacking a projectile, Captain Falcon's attacks and speediness enable great approach options to KO and combo reliably and efficiently. Many of Falcon's attacks have fairly long startup, but they deal incredible damage and knockback, have great range, and have little ending lag. His low short-hop, very fast falling speed, and aerials that reliably chain into one another makes for an excellent SHFFL, giving him a great damage rate and a multitude of approaches and combo finishers.

His aerials are fast and powerful and allow for many approach and KO options. The second hit of his neutral aerial has sex kick properties and can be SHFFLed very easily. His forward aerial, the (Knee Smash), is arguably Captain Falcon's best move. It can chain into one another through a series of well-timed sweetspots and sourspots, dealing high damage with little startup and KOing at damage percentages as low as 60%. It can be a combo starter and finisher. His back aerial is a quick and powerful backhand punch that is useful for edgeguarding. His up aerial is a high-reaching, strong bicycle kick with very fast startup (5 frames), and can be used for edgeguarding or as an out-of-shield option. His down aerial is the fourth most powerful meteor smash in the game. It has minor startup, high hitstun, and can chain itself into another down air by SHFFLing. If the down aerial hits above Captain Falcon's waist, then it acts as the most powerful spike in the game, though landing this sweetspot requires good spacing and timing.

All of Captain Falcon's smash attacks can be powerful combo starters and finishers with high KOing potential. Captain Falcon's forward smash, despite its fairly long startup, is the third most powerful forward smash in the game in terms of damage and knockback and is an excellent combo finisher and reading tool. His down smash is his fastest, dealing great horizontal knockback, and his up smash can flexibly act as a combo starter and finisher.

A combo notoriously difficult to execute is the infamous Sacred Combo, a two-hit combo involving his Knee Smash followed by a midair Falcon Punch, before the hitstun of the previous attack wears off. If executed correctly, the opponent is likely to be KO'd. However, there are severe consequences if Falcon makes a mistake while performing this technique; it's possible for him to jump too far while performing the Falcon Punch, which will result in a self-destruct.

Despite having a poor grab range (the sixth shortest in the game), Falcon's grab game is among the most flexible and devastating in Melee; his forward and back throws can easily send opponents off the stage at higher percents and create an edgeguard situation, while his up and down throws can be used to start combos and chain grabs.

One of Captain Falcon's glaring and famous weaknesses is his mediocre-at-best recovery. He has high air speed, but the distance that he can cover is drastically shortened by his fast falling speed. He is prone to edgeguarding because his recovery move cannot grab edgehoggers. He can extend his horizontal recovery by performing an uninterrupted Falcon Kick in the air; this gives him back his midair jump, but it usually forces him to recover from the bottom blast line, as the Falcon Kick sends him very far down. Using Raptor Boost is a decent horizontal recovery option, but it grants nonexistent vertical height and cannot instantly snap to the ledge. It also halts recovery immediately if it connects with anything in midair, sending him down the bottom blast line.

Besides somewhat crippling his horizontal recovery, Captain Falcon's fast falling speed also acts as a double-edged sword; while it does grant him a very good combo game and the best vertical knockback resistance in the game due to his above average weight, he is also prone to chain grabs such as Pikachu's and Peach's up throws; combos that utilize moves with decent vertical knockback, such as up tilts and up aerials, are also easier to land on Captain Falcon due to his relatively large hurtbox.

Overall, Captain Falcon is a tank with gifted speed; he can deal a lot of damage and take as much punishment, while having one of the fastest movement speeds in the game. Players must take advantage of this speed and quickly adapt to their opponents to fully utilize his abilities.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee[edit]

In the transition from Smash 64 to Melee, Captain Falcon gained multiple buffs and nerfs, but was slightly buffed overall, His recovery has been considerably improved due to his higher air speed, Falcon Kick giving him his double jump back and Falcon Dive covering more distance. His forward aerial is now his Knee smash which has excellent KO potential and combo ability. Captain Falcon's grounded movement is better than ever due to his faster dash speed and he has access to new movement options such as wavedashing and moonwalking. Lastly, many of his attacks have reduced ending lag and some of his attacks also have increased KO power (such as forward smash, down smash and the aforementioned Knee smash).

Falcon has also received some significant nerfs however. His up aerial is no longer an extremely powerful juggling tool (although it is still one of his best moves) and his throws are less reliable at comboing into up aerial depending on the character (although he now has the potential to chain grab or tech chase his opponents out of his down throw) while his back throw has much lower KO potential. His combo game in general is less consistent and effective with some of his other moves having reduced combo potential (such as up smash and down aerial which also have drastically increased startup lag and are less reliable as his up smash no longer consists of one hit and down aerial can now be meteor-canceled). His specials are also worse in various ways. Falcon Punch is slower giving it less combo potential, Falcon Dive is considerably weaker and Falcon Kick now decays over time making it less effective from afar.

Nevertheless, Captain Falcon is one of the stronger characters in Melee and has seen a fair amount of success in tournaments.


  • Change Captain Falcon has a new idle pose along with his one from Smash 64, which was also altered.
  • Change Captain Falcon has new and higher quality voice samples, though he is still voiced by Ryō Horikawa.
  • Change Captain Falcon’s default color is now dark blue instead of purple.
  • Change Captain Falcon’s green and blue palette swaps from Smash 64 are now accessible through normal battle instead of just Team Battles.
  • Change Captain Falcon's taunt has a new voice clip (although later games would go back to using the same voice clip as in Smash 64).


  • Change Captain Falcon is lighter (108 → 104), which hinders his endurance, but makes him harder to combo.
  • Nerf Captain Falcon walks slower (0.32 → 0.85).
  • Buff Captain Falcon dashes slightly faster (70 (JPN), 75 (US/PAL) → 2.3).
  • Buff Captain Falcon's air speed is much faster (31 → 1.12).
  • Buff Better dash-dancing ability, plus the addition of moonwalking and wavedashing, give him more movement options.
  • Buff Many of his attacks are stronger and faster in terms of ending lag due to added IASA frames.
  • Change Captain Falcon falls much faster (60 (JPN), 66 (US/PAL) → 2.9), which combined with his weight, gives him the best vertical endurance in Melee, ousting Donkey Kong (who has the second highest vertical endurance). However, this does make him more susceptible to combos.
  • Buff Added chaingrab options and faster air speed give him even more combo options, despite the significantly lowered hitstun in Melee.
  • Nerf His attacks have generally slower startup.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Buff The first hit of neutral attack has less startup lag (frame 5 → 3).
  • Nerf The first hit of neutral attack deals less damage (2% → 3%) and the second hit has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 4-7 → 5-7) and has more ending lag (frame 20 → 21).
  • Buff Gentleman is better at tech-chasing and has improved ability to followup with other moves, as it sends opponents on a more favorable angle, deals more damage (4% → 8% (clean), 6% (late)), has much more knockback (40 (base), 30 (scaling) → 20/100) (can KO at 200%), has a longer duration (frames 5-9 → 5-11) and has much less ending lag (frame 32 → 23).
  • Change Gentleman also has a more exaggerated animation.
  • Nerf Gentleman now requires precise timing to be performed without Falcon performing his neutral infinite (in NTSC versions) making it more difficult to utilise.
  • Buff Neutral infinite's animation is altered: Captain Falcon kneels down forward a bit more, as well as having his punches reach a bit further. Neutral infinite also has less startup (frame 10 → 5) and ending lag (frame 61 → 56).
  • Buff New forward tilt: Captain Falcon performs an inward roundhouse spin kick. It has slightly more range than the previous one and it has higher base knockback (6 → 10).
  • Nerf New forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 9-15 → 9-11) and deals less damage (15%/13%/12% → 12%/11%/10%).
  • Nerf Up tilt only hits once increasing its startup lag (frame 8 → 17) and making it deal 10% less damage (9% (hit 1), 14% (hit 2) → 13%).
    • Buff However, this also removes the chances of his opponents being able to SDI out of the stronger hit. It also deals more knockback (20 (base) → 50) and has less ending lag (frame 40 → 38).
  • Buff Captain Falcon has a new down tilt: a leg sweep. It has significantly more combo ability than the previous down tilt due to sending opponents at a more vertical angle (30° → 80°/70°/60°). It also deals more damage (11% → 12%) with its knockback scaling compensated (80 → 75) and has more range.
  • Nerf New down tilt has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 8-15 → 10-15) and has more ending lag (frame 31 → 35). Its new angle also hinders its edgeguarding potential.
  • Buff Dash attack has less ending lag (frame 41 → 38).
  • Nerf Dash attack has a shorter duration (frames 7-26 → 7-16) and deals less damage (12% (clean), 9% (late) → 10%/7%) and knockback (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 22/90).
  • Nerf Captain Falcon has a new forward smash: an advancing elbow thrust in a single move. It has slightly less reach and slightly more start-up lag with its duration lowered by half (frames 16-23 → 18-21).
  • Buff New forward smash deals more knockback (20 (base) → 24) and damage (19%/18%/17% → 21%/20%/19%), being the 3rd most powerful forward smash in Melee. It also has less ending lag (frame 62 → 60).
  • Buff Captain Falcon has a new up smash: a jumping-spinning double kick aimed vertically upward, has significantly more knockback (90 (base), 40 (scaling) → 25, 128/126/110 (hit 2) and is no longer the weakest up smash, now being the 7th most powerful up smash in Melee if both kicks connect. Compared with his old up smash, it also has less ending lag (frame 44 → 40) and its maximum damage output is higher (17% → 26%).
  • Nerf New up smash can no longer combo reliably, and has drastically less utility. It also has significantly more startup lag (frame 4 → 21) and is less reliable due to consisting of two hits.
  • Buff Captain Falcon has a new down smash: a fast swinging kick that hits forwards with an inward punt and backwards with a back thrusting kick. It has much more vertical range and it launches opponents horizontally (60° → 361°). It also has less ending lag (frame 48 → 45) and it deals more damage (16% (front), 14% (back) → 18%/16%) improving its KO potential.
  • Nerf New down smash has more startup lag and the first hit has a shorter duration (frames 8-12 (front), 19-22 (back) → 19-22/29-32). It can also no longer hit characters hanging on ledges and the back hit has reduced base knockback (25 → 20).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All aerials except for back aerial auto-cancel later (frame 27 → 34 (neutral), frame 28 → 35 (forward), frame 19 → 22 (up), frame 24 → 36 (down)). Neutral, forward and down aerials can no longer auto-cancel in a short hop and when combined with the weakening of L-canceling, this makes them more punishable when landing and reduces their follow up potential.
  • Change Forward aerial from Smash 64 is now his neutral aerial in Melee and the first hit now has set knockback and launches opponents vertically (361° → 82°/78°/74°). It also has an altered animation where Falcon kicks with his right leg first, then left leg all while turning to his right, as opposed to the other way around (with right leg first and left leg last). It is also angled more diagonally upwards.
    • Buff Due to this, neutral aerial is much more reliable for combos. It also has less ending lag (frame 50 → 45).
    • Nerf Neutral aerial has smaller hitboxes, more startup lag and a significantly shorter duration (frames 4-27 → 7-12/20-29). it also deals less damage than his old neutral aerial (16% (clean), 13% (late) → 6% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2), 12% (total)) and is far less reliable than his previous neutral aerial. It also has far less KO and edgeguarding potential compared to his previous neutral aerial as the second hit's knockback wasn't compensated enough (20 (base) → 40).
  • Buff Captain Falcon has a new forward aerial: an electric knee thrust known as the Knee Smash. It deals significantly stronger knockback if hit clean (20 (base), 80 (scaling) (hit 2) → 24/100) making it a far more reliable KO move, and is still a useful combo move if hit late. It also has less ending lag (frame 45 → 36).
  • Nerf Forward aerial has less range and deals less damage (10% (hit 1), 12% (hit 2) → 18% (clean), 6% (late). It also has more startup lag (frame 7 → 14).
  • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage and knockback (16% → 14% (clean), 8% (late) and now has a weaker late hit hindering its KO potential. It also has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 7-18 → 10-18)
  • Buff Back aerial's reduced ending lag (frame 35 → 29) and aforementioned reduced power makes it a significantly better combo move. It also auto-cancels earlier (frame 28 → 21).
  • Nerf Up aerial's clean hit sends opponents at a more horizontal angle (80° → 361°) granting it less combo ability and lower versatility no longer being a viable juggling tool. It is generally much harder to combo into moves such as other aerials, itself and Falcon's specials due to the sweetspot's aforementioned altered angle, the higher falling speeds in Melee, its decreased hitstun and its decreased vertical range. All of up aerial's hitboxes deal less damage (16% → 13%/12%/10%/8%/6%) and the semi-spike part of the move deals much less knockback (10 (base), 100 (scaling) → 8/6 (base), 80 (scaling)) and provides much less hitstun, although it still remains one of his most useful moves. Up aerial also has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 5-13 → 6-13).
  • Buff Up aerial can now edgeguard when hit clean due to its altered angle. It also has less ending lag (frame 34 → 30).
  • Buff Down aerial has larger hitboxes, along with more range, damage (14% → 16%), and knockback (0 (base) → 40), being the fourth most powerful meteor smash in Melee.
  • Nerf As with all meteor smashes from returning veterans, Down aerial has significantly increased startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 7-24 → 16-20). It now sends opponents at a different angle (-80° → 270°/290°) which allows the move to be meteor canceled unless the highest hitbox on his body (nicknamed the Nipple spike) connects greatly hindering its reliability. It also has less combo ability due to the weakening of L-canceling.

Grabs and Throws[edit]

  • Buff Like all Super Smash Bros. veterans, Captain Falcon has been given a pummel, up throw and a down throw, significantly improving his attack options out of a grab.
  • Nerf As with all returning veterans without a tether grab, Falcon's grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 → 7 (standing), 11 (dash)) and ending lag (frame 16 → 31 (standing), 41 (dash)).
  • Change Forward throw from Smash 64 is now his down throw in Melee. Captain Falcon also keeps both his feet on the ground as opposed to leaning forward enough to bring his following foot off the ground like in 64. Its damage (12% → 7%) and knockback (100 (base), 50 (scaling) → 75/34) have been greatly reduced which hinders its combo potential but grants it chain grabbing and tech chase potential. It also launches opponents at a slightly lower angle (70° → 65°).
  • Nerf New forward throw deals less damage (12% → 9%) and knockback (100 (base), 50 (scaling) → 29/105).
  • Nerf Back throw deals much less damage (16% → 9%) and knockback (100 (base), 50 (scaling) → 14/130).
  • Change Back throw's angle has been altered (361° → 45°).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Change Falcon Punch no longer does consistent damage (24%→23%/25%/27%).
  • Buff Falcon Punch has more range and the sweetspot is stronger.
  • Nerf Falcon Punch has much slower startup (frame 42 → 52) and ending lag (frame 90 → 100), removing its use for recovery and drastically reducing its combo finishing ability (although its still a good combo finisher, such as in the Sacred Combo). It also has less knockback scaling (120 → 102) and it is more punishable against shield.
  • Change Falcon Punch now has a flame effect and an altered animation on both ground and midair.
  • Change Captain Falcon now has a side special: the Raptor Boost. It is a dash that, when connects, does a flaming uppercut, which can act as a great tech-chaser and combo-starter; but on the flipside, is somewhat easy to punish and isn't a viable horizontal recovery option.
  • Buff Falcon Dive travels more distance. It also now has a disjointed grabbox on the first active frame (frame 13) that only affects grounded opponents, making it a useful surprise move to utilize.
  • Nerf Falcon Dive deals less damage (20% → 5% (hit), 12% (throw), 15% (total) and its base knockback wasn't fully compensated (30 → 40), not KO'ing opponents unless used near the blast line. The hitbox also has a shorter duration (frames 13-44 → 13-33). Due to the introduction of wall teching, the opponent can now easily wall tech Falcon Dive if they get caught by the grab and hit the underside of the stage and they can punish Falcon for it.
  • Buff Grounded Falcon Kick travels further and has increased base knockback (40 → 50). Falcon Kick also restores his double jump when used in midair.
  • Nerf Falcon Kick has more startup lag and a shorter duration (frames 12-31 → 14-32 (grounded), 15-29 (aerial) and it decays over time dealing less damage and knockback the further Falcon travels before connecting it.

PAL differences[edit]

Like some other characters, Captain Falcon was slightly changed in the PAL version of Melee.

  • Buff Gentleman can be performed without the jab infinite by simply pressing the A button three times.
  • Nerf Soft hit of Knee Smash deals 3% less damage (6% → 3%) and has less base knockback (35 → 30).


Captain Falcon's aerial attacks

For a gallery of Captain Falcon's hitboxes, see here.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2% The first two hits are fast and somewhat short-ranged jabs, which are good for disrupting an enemy's approach. The third hit is the Gentleman knee. The jab combo finishes with a series of fast, weak punches.
8% (clean), 6% (late)
1% (loop)
Forward tilt   12% (leg), 11% (body) Does a roundhouse kick that can be angled up or down. Fast with decent range. There is not a significant amount of combo options from this move because of its horizontal hit trajectory, low knockback (though it has good knockback for a forward tilt) and stun time, and wind-down lag. One can try to follow up with a u-air or a jump-canceled grab, and even a dash-canceled d-tilt or Raptor Boost, but they are not true combos and can be countered by every character. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance or used after a pivot as a surprise attack to keep enemies away. A forward tilt, angled upward, can stun enemies long enough from an u-throw/d-throw that it can lead to a Knee Smash.
10% (leg), 11% (body)
Up tilt   13% Brings his leg up and brings it down in an axe-like fashion. It has incredible range, able to out range many of Marth's tilts. This move has good horizontal knockback and like his f-tilt, is difficult to combo from. Due to its low trajectory, one can often follow off the edge of a platform or stage with a falling n-air or non-sweetspotted fair edgeguard, but this is not a true combo. It may be a good idea to wavedash slightly forward to maintain pressure, and enter a defensive stance. Most players use this move as an edgeguard technique since the heel can extend below the platform.
Down tilt   12% Does a quick sweep kick. This move is a great vertical launcher. Compared to Falcon's other launchers, it has relatively high ending lag. However, it can combo at most percentages into a SHFFLed n-air, which can lead into other combos. Fox and Falco can often be regrabbed from a down tilt at medium percentages, and their side special moves can be intercepted by Falcon's down tilt if they try to sweetspot the ledge. This move can also combo into a Knee Smash and u-air, depending on knockback and DI.
Dash attack   10% (clean), 7% (late) Shoulder tackles forward. Strongest when it comes out, weaker afterward. Fairly fast, good for knocking the foe away from the ledge to follow with an aerial attack or edgeguard, with proper mindgaming/prediction.
Forward smash   21% Reels his elbow back and thrusts it forward, dealing powerful flame damage. Excellent knockback even when uncharged with good horizontal and vertical launching power, making it hard to DI. Somewhat fast as well. Uncharged usually KOs around 100%+. This attack is the 3rd most powerful forward smash in the game. This move can be angled, dealing more damage when angled up.
Up smash   8%/14% (hit 1), 13%/12% (hit 2) Performs a spinning double kick. A fast and powerful move, though is short ranged. The second hit sometimes has difficulty connecting, as with Ganondorf's. This is Captain Falcon's most powerful move damage-wise (when fully charged).
Down smash   18% (front), 16% (back) Quickly kicks forward then backward. Small noticeable startup, but good speed and knockback.
Neutral aerial   5-6% (hit 1), 7% (hit 2) His f-air from SSB64, kicks forward twice. A good two-hit combo starter, though the second hit is difficult to land.
Forward aerial Knee Smash 18% (clean), 6%/3% (late NTSC/PAL) Sticks out his knee. If it lands during the initial frames, the victim is zapped and is sent in a difficult-to-DI-out-of semi-spike trajectory (32 degrees to be exact). If it lands any other time, the move is very weak with little knockback, though it can be chained into another Knee Smash. An extremely powerful move when it lands a clean hit; it is often regarded as one of the most powerful and useful moves in the game, and undoubtedly the most powerful forward aerial of Melee (though, in terms of knockback, its the third most powerful forward aerial in the game, after Zelda and Dr. Mario). This move is the usual end to most of Falcon's aerial combos, or even to use against grounded foes in an aerial assault. Easily KOs at damage percentages as low as 60% off the edge.
Back aerial   14% (clean), 8% (late) Does a quick backhand punch from behind. Good power and speed, often used as an edgeguarding move. Weak if the opponent is hit late in the attack.
Up aerial   13%/12% (clean), 12%/10% (late) Does a midair bicycle kick and sticks his feet out. Knockback direction depends on what angle the move hits the foe, though strong nonetheless. Also good for juggling, and edgeguarding if hit near the end of the attack.
Down aerial   16% Stomps below him for good downward knockback and high hitstun. Minor startup and ending lag. Can nipple spike if hit within the torso region, making it a spike and even more powerful (the most powerful spike in the game). If used on a grounded opponent, this move is a great combo starter, and can KO at high percentages. One of the strongest meteor smashes in the game.
Pummel   3% Knees opponent in the torso region.
Forward throw   5% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Punches foe forward.
Back throw   5% (hit 1), 4% (throw) Kicks foe behind. Knockback is usually hard to follow-up or combo with unless over a ledge.
Up throw   4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Punches foe upward. Can lead into various moves or tech chases at low percentages, as the opponent usually falls straight down. At higher percentages, aerial followups are easier to land.
Down throw   7% Crushes foe to the floor. Depending on opponent percentage, fall speed, and DI, can lead into aerial combos or tech chase regrabs. Can chaingrab more floaty characters (such as Ganondorf).
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and flips while kicking.
Floor attack (back)   6% Stands on both hands and does a spinning double kick.
Edge attack (fast)   10% Picks himself up and kicks forward.
Edge attack (slow)   8% Slowly gets up and punches in front of him.
Neutral special Falcon Punch 27% (close), 25% (mid), 23% (far) Winds up then releases a powerful, fiery punch, with his fists engulfed in a falcon-shaped flame. Deals very high damage and knockback, and is the finisher move after an fair in the Sacred Combo. However, it is much slower than in SSB64 and is extremely predictable and punishable (the charging can also be cancelled by most attacks).
Side special Raptor Boost 7% Dashes forward. If he doesn't hit an opponent, he falls over. If he hits an opponent on the ground, he launches a fiery uppercut, knocking them into the air. If he hits an opponent while in midair, he punches downward, meteor smashing them. However, this move always makes him helpless, so it is very risky to use offstage.
Up special Falcon Dive 5% (grab), 12% (release), 6% (breakout) Leaps upwards, a recovery move that can also grab the ledge even if Captain Falcon if facing the opposite direction. Normally makes him helpless, but if he grabs an opponent, he releases them with a fiery blow and will be able to use the move again.
Down special Falcon Kick 15%/13%/9% (ground), 15%/13%/11% (air), 9% (landing) Rushes forward while performing a fiery kick. If he goes off a ledge, he continues dashing forward. If started in midair, he kicks down at a diagonal angle. Restores his midair jump, making it a useful move for horizontal recovery at long distances.


Note: Captain Falcon and Pichu are the only characters in the game to have two different taunt animations.

  • Left: Faces to his right, salutes and exclaims "Show me your moves!"
  • Right: Faces the camera, salutes and exclaims "Show me your moves!"
Left taunt Right taunt
CaptainFalcon-Left-Taunt-SSBM.gif CaptainFalcon-Right-Taunt-SSBM.gif

Idle poses[edit]

  • Makes a battle pose where he leans forward and thrusts his arm out.
  • Makes another battle pose where he crouches slightly and thrusts his elbow out.
Captain Falcon Idle Pose Melee 1.gif Captain Falcon Idle Pose Melee 2.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Falcon! *claps three times* Cap-tain! Fal-con!
Pitch Group chant Mixed chant

Victory poses[edit]

An electric guitar-based cover of the music that plays when a character finishes a race in F-Zero X.
  • Performs a jumping spinning kick, landing in a kneeling pose.
  • Kneels and thrusts his chest forward, shouting.
  • Crouches low, then performs a spinning hook kick.
Falcon-Victory1-SSBM.gif Falcon-Victory2-SSBM.gif Falcon-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png -2 -2 ±0 -1 -1 +1 ±0 Mirror match ±0 +1 +1 +2 +1 +1 +1 +2 +1 +3 +2 +2 +3 +2 +3 +3 +3 +3 +1

Captain Falcon has strong matchups. He is countered only by Fox and Falco, soft countered only by Sheik and Jigglypuff, has 3 even matchups, soft counters 7, counters 5, and hard counters 6. He does well against relatively floaty characters, such as Peach and Dr. Mario, as he combos these characters the easiest at mid-percents. He also has favorable matchups against slower characters, such as Yoshi and Ganondorf. His even matchups with Marth, Ice Climbers, and Pikachu are widely disputed; Marth has superior range and attack speed, while Captain Falcon has a much more solid combo game on Marth than Marth does on Captain Falcon. The Ice Climbers have intricate setups into Wobbles and even inescapable handoffs on Captain Falcon, but he can just as easily separate them with his stronger moves. Pikachu can juggle Captain Falcon for long periods of time, but is otherwise lacking the range to consistently win the neutral game.

He has some trouble against characters that can either edgeguard him efficiently or outprioritize his moves, such as Jigglypuff and Sheik. Fox and Falco in particular can do both of these as well as combo Captain Falcon consistently, as he can be juggled very easily; Falco is notable for easily disrupting Captain Falcon with effective use of his lasers, leading many to regard Falco as his worst matchup. However, it is not impossible to win against the space animals, as Captain Falcon can combo them in return if he wins the neutral game. While the ease of juggling Captain Falcon can be exploited by Pikachu and even lower tier characters such as Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and Mewtwo, they usually lack something the space animals do not, allowing Captain Falcon to gain the upper hand regardless. Overall, Captain Falcon has a good matchup spread, and can win against any character.

Notable players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Summer 2019 MPGR, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Melee from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.


  • USA $mike
  • France Alox - Ranked 10th on the French Power Rankings.
  • USA Captain Smuckers
  • USA Darkrain
  • France DjaGoF - Best Falcon in France, Ranked 7th on the French Power Rankings
  • UK Fuzzyness
  • USA Gahtzu (#22) - One of the best Captain Falcon players in the world.
  • USA Gravy
  • Japan Gucci - Best Falcon in Japan
  • Netherlands Jeapie
  • USA Lord
  • USA Lucky - Top Fox player in SoCal. Occasionally picks Falcon which he is nicknamed Batman.
  • USA Mafia
  • USA Mango - One of the five gods and the undisputed best player in SoCal. Occasionally picks Falcon in tournaments.
  • Canada n0ne (#29) - Having placed 18th on the 2016 SSBMRank and having beaten a god twice in a row has made him one of the three best Falcon players, along with Wizzrobe and S2J. n0ne is the first Falcon to have beaten Mew2King in a decade, taking two sets in a row at GOML 2016 and UGC Smash Open. n0ne is known for his very creative and aggressive style, as well as his high-risk/high-reward punishes. His common use of often successful reads and his multitude of mixups are what set him apart from the other top Falcons. There is also a combo known as "The n0ne" (Reverse Back Air to Knee), which n0ne says he uses a lot because it was a popular Falcon combo in Nicaragua, which is where he used to live. Although his high-risk/high-reward punishes often fail him getting back on to the stage, along with having a subpar neutral game compared to the other two, he is still considered among the best with them. He is arguably the most technical Captain Falcon player in the world.
  • USA SilentSpectre - Along with Tang, SilentSpectre was responsible for the immensely famous Wombo Combo. He is also one of most influential old-school Falcons, along with Isai, Darkrain, and Scar, who popularized the fast-paced and aggressive playstyle of Captain Falcon.
  • USA S2J (#9) - Ranked 16th on both the 2015 SSBMRank and 2016 SSBMRank, S2J is known as one of the three best Falcon players, along with Wizzrobe and n0ne. He has been considered one of the best Falcons for almost half a decade. He is known for his unorthodox, aggressive style and his crazy punish game, which has coined the term "Johnny Stock". His fiery zero-to-death combos and ridiculously creative and strong punish game are what sets him apart from the other top Falcons. Although his edgeguarding game is still lacking compared to the other two, he is still considered among them.
  • USA Westballz - Westballz has a pocket Falcon whom he notably landed a sacred combo with. He is ranked 8th on the 2016 SSBMRank.
  • USA Wizzrobe (#2) - Wizzrobe has become the most consistent and strongest Falcon to date, ranking 12th on the 2016 SSBMRank. His recent success and consistency has made him one of the three best Falcon players, along with S2J and n0ne. He is known for his safe and optimal style, which is a style popularized by the 20GX crew. This style includes optimal tech chases, edgeguards, and followups, as well as safe and consistent neutral game and punish game, which is what sets Wizzrobe apart from the other top Falcons. As such, he is now considered to be the best Captain Falcon player in the world.


  • USA Hax - Ranked 19th on the 2015 SSBMRank, Hax was considered the best Falcon player in the world before he retired him in favor of Fox. While playing Falcon, Hax popularized "Haxdashing", which is a strong ledge option, especially for Falcon. Haxdashing was a technique that Hax did to ledge stall, refresh ledge invincibility, and to mix up from the edge. Despite being a strong ledge option and mix up, Haxdashing is hard to master because of the particular waveland angle and the window to perform it ideally. Hax showed how technical and precise Captain Falcon could be, making him an unforgettable contribution to Falcon's metagame.
  • USA Isai - Was regarded as the best Melee Captain Falcon player in the world in his prime. Although his placings at Melee singles tournaments lowered over time, he is one of the few players to have defeated former Melee world champion Ken multiple times.
  • USA Scar - Ranked 89th on the 2014 SSBMRank. He is now known primarily as a commentator.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Captain Falcon was considered a low tier character on the first tier list; inexperienced panelists felt he was inferior to his Super Smash Bros. counterpart, and failed to overcome the high technical skill demands required to play him. Captain Falcon then moved up to the middle tier, but was not recognized as being a solid character until one year after Melee began being played competitively. Dedicated Falcon mains such as Isai showed how powerful his comboing abilities were, and how well he could KO out of a combo with the deadly Knee Smash. Falcon mains began placing very high in tournaments, inching him up the list into the high tier as old high tier characters, such as Mario and Luigi, began falling. Today, although Captain Falcon does not often win tournaments, he is one of the most common characters that place within the top rankings, resulting in him being at a solid 8th place on the current tier list, being placed below the Ice Climbers for the first time.

PAL viability[edit]

Captain Falcon only received two changes in the transition to PAL, the more welcome of the two being that the Gentleman can now be done with just three A button presses, without any extra inputs or timing alterations required. The other nerfed his soft Knee Smash, making it hit only half as hard as the NTSC soft Knee Smash. The Gentleman is now much easier to perform and Captain Falcon's jab combo is overall a much more viable damage racking option than it is in NTSC. The nerf to the soft Knee Smash, however, prevents a guaranteed followup into another Knee Smash, slightly weakening Falcon's edgeguarding and combo potential, though this can be worked around by using up aerial instead. With almost all of the characters who would years later be above him in the tier list receiving nerfs (particularly Fox and Sheik), he fares better in those respective matchups, but due to considerably less representation of Captain Falcon in Europe, he remains at 7th place.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

Captain Falcon appears in a one-on-one, as an ally, on a team with Fox, Falco, or Samus, in a giant, multi-man, or metal battle. Captain Falcon appears in Mute City or Big Blue except in the metal battle where he appears on Battlefield.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Captain Falcon appears in the second portion of Stage 8: F-Zero Grand Prix.

All-Star Mode[edit]

Captain Falcon and his allies are fought on Mute City.

Event Matches[edit]

Captain Falcon is featured in the following event matches:

  • Event 5: Spare Change: The player controls Ness and fights Captain Falcon in a coin battle on Onett. The player must collect 200 coins within 80 seconds in order to clear the event.
  • Event 12: Seconds, Anyone?: The player chooses any character and must defeat Captain Falcon within 7 seconds in a one-stock match on Mute City. Both players start with 100% damage.
  • Event 17: Bounty Hunters: The player controls Samus, allied with Captain Falcon, and must deliver the finishing blow to Bowser on Jungle Japes. The event results in failure if Captain Falcon delivers the finishing blow or if Bowser self-destructs.
  • Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Captain Falcon is the fourth opponent to be fought in this series of staged battles. The player battles him on Mute City, which will transition to the next stage if Captain Falcon gets defeated. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat him along with Samus, Link, Zelda, and Fox.
  • Event 33: Lethal Marathon: As Captain Falcon, the player must race to the finish of F-Zero Grand Prix similar to Adventure Mode. However, the gameplay is sped up and the F-Zero racers can deliver almost a one-hit KO.
  • Event 36: Space Travelers: The player uses Ness must defeat Samus, Kirby, Fox, Captain Falcon and Falco. The player battles the first three characters on Fourside and battles the last two on Battlefield.
  • Event 43: Birds of Prey: As Fox, the player must defeat Captain Falcon and Falco in a two-stock match on Big Blue.

Ending images[edit]


In addition to the normal trophy about Captain Falcon as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing both Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Captain Falcon on any difficulty:

Captain Falcon
Usually a relentless bounty hunter, Captain Falcon shifts gears to become a race pilot once the F-Zero Grand Prix begins. His beloved racer, the Blue Falcon, can exceed the speed of sound, and he knows how to drive it; he'll go down as one of the all time-greats. Now 36 years old, Captain Falcon wears his F-Zero X visor.
  • F-Zero 08/91
Captain Falcon [Smash]
Falcon's style is a balanced combination of raw power and speed. His attacks are slow, but when combined with Falcon's high mobility, he's a formidable combat force. The Falcon Punch packs the highest degree of destructive power, while the explosive Raptor Boost can be used to smash airborne foes into the depths.
  • B: Falcon Punch
  • Smash B: Raptor Boost
Captain Falcon [Smash]
The Knee Smash, used in midair on foes in front of you, is slow and has a short reach, but if it connects, it'll send foes flying a long way on a low trajectory. Falcon uses his Falcon Dive to grab an enemy in midair and fling them away with an explosive blast. He can do this technique repeatedly without landing, so it can also be used as a recovery move.
  • Up & B: Falcon Dive
  • Down & B: Falcon Kick

Alternate costumes[edit]

Captain Falcon Palette (SSBM).png
CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadBlackSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadRedSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadWhiteSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadGreenSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadBlueSSBM.png



  • Captain Falcon is the only character to have every single smash attack changed from Smash 64 to Melee.
  • While Captain Falcon's normal air speed is a great 1.12, by jumping while running he can start off with an airspeed of 2.1, notably faster than any other character's best airspeed and even almost all characters' running speeds (except his own dashing speed and Fox's).
  • Captain Falcon and Pichu are the only characters in Melee to possess two taunts.
  • Captain Falcon's red costume (the costume resembling his evil clone, "Blood Falcon") has a different logo on the back of his outfit, being a skull with bird wings and text that reads "BLOOD HAWK" (Blood Falcon's F-Zero machine).
    • In the Japanese version of Melee, the text instead reads "HELL HAWK".
  • Captain Falcon is one of the two characters who was unlockable in Smash 64 that became a starter in Melee, the other being Ness.
  • Captain Falcon's ECB (Environmental Collision Box) varies in size depending on the costume being used. His default costume has the smallest ECB, while his green costume has the largest. He is the only character in the game known to have gameplay differences depending on costume.
  • Mr. Game & Watch, Captain Falcon and Young Link are the only characters in Melee that don't finish their defeat noises upon being KO'd horizontally or falling.
  • When Captain Falcon is selected on the character select screen, one of his attack voice clips is played very quietly, to the point where it is usually barely audible when the music is turned off due to being drowned out by the announcer. As shown by the debug menu's Sound Test, every character has one of these, but only Captain Falcon's isn't silent. The clip also isn't present in the regular Sound Test.

External links[edit]