Captain Falcon (SSBU)
Captain Falcon (キャプテン・ファルコン, Captain Falcon) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. As with the original Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he is once again an unlockable character. Captain Falcon is classified as fighter #11.
As in Smash 4, Ryō Horikawa's portrayals of Captain Falcon from Melee and Brawl were repurposed for Ultimate. However, Horikawa briefly returned to voice Captain Falcon in Min Min's reveal trailer, though only recording eating sounds for Captain Falcon rather than new voice lines.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Captain Falcon must then be defeated on Port Town Aero Dive.
Captain Falcon is a tall medium-heavyweight character. However, despite his weight, he boasts some of the best overall mobility out of any character; he sports the second fastest dashing speed, the 7th fastest falling speed, the 11th fastest air speed, and the 14th highest gravity. His jumps and wall jumps are also very high. Strangely, though, his walking speed is rather slow, while his traction and air acceleration are around average. Lastly, while the speed of his initial dash is above average, its animation is rather slow, making his turnaround quite slow. Nonetheless, his high mobility overall, combined with his strong punish game, benefits him with a trademark speed-and-power combo.
Despite lacking a projectile, Falcon has an overall effective neutral game, courtesy of his mobility. His primary combo starter is grounded Raptor Boost; its low knockback along with its vertical launching angle and low ending lag make it a fearsome combo starter if landed, allowing it to combo into a plentiful of moves. Neutral aerial can chain into itself at low percents, and Falcon can combo it into his other aerials if he lands with the first hit. His up tilt consistently meteor smashes opponents even if they are grounded, making it not only a great combo tool, but a decent edgeguarding tool as well. One of his best combo tools is his up aerial; at a wide range of percents, it can create incredibly long chains, especially into itself due to its low base knockback and overall low lag. Alternatively, Falcon can chain his up aerial into some of his deadliest finishers, most notably into his forward aerial, the Knee Smash.
Captain Falcon, like most of his fellow medium-heavyweights also boasts excellent kill power. He also has a formidable edgeguarding ability. His up and down smashes are both excellent baiting options due to their low lag, making them safe on shield and potentially even on whiff. Even if they both have rather noticeable startup, they are also long enough to punish spot dodges reliably. His up smash in particular even functions as a situational combo starter at low percentages, which can allow Falcon to deal insane amounts of damage in just a few measly hits. While his forward smash is his least useful smash attack as a whole, even it serves well as a kill move. His forward, back, and down aerials all deal high knockback, with his forward aerial being the strongest of its type in the entire game. His down tilt, while having noticeable startup, sends at a semi-spike angle with high knockback, and it has low ending lag, making it not only a good spacing and poking tool, but also a great edgeguarding and kill move, the lattermost quirk being extremely rare for a down tilt.
Falcon’s special moves also possess multiple uses. Falcon Punch, while being extremely situational in the long run, is one of the strongest attacks in the entire game, especially when reversed on the ground, and is perfect for punishing shield breaks. As mentioned earlier, Raptor Boost is an excellent combo starter on the ground. In the air, it has the potential to meteor smash, and it also serves well as a kill move in such cases. Falcon Dive is one of the strongest command grabs in the game, and while it is linear, it does cover a decent amount of distance. All in all, it is an excellent combo finisher, despite having noticeable startup lag. Finally, Falcon Kick is effective in terms of dealing with pressure due to its speed and long-lasting hitbox, and it also possesses decent kill power when hit early on. It is also an excellent tool for returning to the stage quickly when used in the air.
However, Captain Falcon does have his fair share of weaknesses. While he is a powerhouse, most of his kill moves are difficult to land, the most prominent examples being his forward smash and Falcon Punch. His forward aerial is faster than those moves, but even then it suffers from a rather small sweetspot that lasts for only one frame, making it hard to land without an air dodge read or setup off of an up aerial. As a result, he often has to rely on edgeguarding to score KOs. Though his neutral game is good overall, his lack of a projectile leaves him susceptible to camping. While his above average weight and fast falling speed give him excellent endurance, they also leave him vulnerable to combos, which is further exacerbated by the fact that he has little to no fast options with which to break them.
Falcon’s moveset in general is also loaded with issues. As mentioned earlier, most of his kill moves are slow and tough to land, which forces him to rely on edgeguarding to KO effectively. Falcon Kick is extremely unsafe offstage due to its lag and his fast falling speed, as it is not unlikely for Falcon to self-destruct with it. While Raptor Boost can meteor smash in the air, it will leave him helpless if he misses, which could result in a self destruct. Other examples of unreliability within his moveset lie in his neutral aerial and up smash, which tends to have trouble connecting properly at high percents. His overall range, while not necessarily lacking for a brawler, is also quite short compared to other characters with good physical reach, especially due to the fact that he lacks a projectile.
While Falcon has a good ground game and an excellent air game, his grab game can be seen as mediocre. To begin with, his grab range is overall somewhat short despite his height, making it risky to throw out. His down throw, while a decent combo starter at low percentages, loses its combo potential rather quickly at higher percentages. His forward and back throws don't have much other purposes other than killing, with the former being relatively weak for a kill throw. His up throw has too much ending lag to combo properly, and it, like his forward throw, is weak for a kill throw. Overall, while Falcon’s grab game isn't outright useless, it doesn't offer too much past high percentages.
Falcon's worst problem lies in his recovery, despite his impressive air speed. His two recovery options, Falcon Dive and Raptor Boost, are linear and do not grant enough distance, especially not the latter, making them predictable and easily intercepted, while they also have small ledge sweetspots. Raptor Boost also doesn’t have a hitbox above him, which can leave him open to meteor smashes, which he usually has trouble surviving due to his linear recovery and fast falling speed. To his merit, he can reuse Falcon Dive if it connects with an opponent, and even stage spike them, though this is easily teched. However, in some offstage instances when Falcon Dive connects on a opponent, they can hit the ledge and be launched back at him and possibly even kill him if they act, which leaves him very vulnerable to gimps. Although he has the best wall jump in the game, Falcon will be in danger offstage without his double jump.
Overall, Captain Falcon is the epitome of a rushdown character; when combining his excellent mobility and combo game, he can string very long combos for huge amounts of damage. Otherwise, if he can use his kill moves wisely, he doesn’t have much trouble scoring KOs. However, one must be cautious due to his susceptibility to combos and short-distanced recovery.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Being considered a high tier character in Smash 4 (ranked 19th out of 55 characters), Captain Falcon was initially nerfed in his transition to Ultimate, but he also recieved muliple buffs in future game updates. Nonetheless, he was overall slightly nerfed due to the dramatic increase in his learning curve.
Falcon's grounded game has seen bountiful buffs in one way or another. On one hand, several of Falcon's options at close range have been improved, some of which are more rewarding by virtue of their increased combo potential. Notable examples are his neutral infinite connecting much more reliably and being therefore more effective for racking up damage; his forward tilt's lower lag and higher base knockback making it safer for spacing; his up tilt consistently meteor smashing both grounded and aerial opponents, allowing for combo extensions; and his up smash's increased damage, added leg intangibility, and reduced ending lag turning it into a high-risk, high-reward combo starter that can contest aerial approaches. A notable buff was to his neutral aerial's first hit; while it is harder to connect into the second hit at high percents, it more notably launches opponents at a more vertical angle on landing, allowing Falcon to land combos and even kill confirms with his Knee Smash, which deals far more damage if sweetspotted. On the other hand, his other options have improved KO ability, such as his dash attack, his new forward smash (despite already being remarkably powerful in Smash 4), and his down smash, the latter which now semi-spikes and hits low-profile opponents more effectively, allowing him to take stocks more reliably up close.
Furthermore, Falcon's entire special moveset has been buffed in miscellaneous ways: Falcon Punch has significantly increased knockback, making it deadlier as a hard read or shield break punish much like in previous games; Raptor Boost is a much more effective combo starter on the ground thanks to its lower knockback, endlag, and new damage-based armor on hit, and leaves Falcon less vulnerable if it connects in the air (no longer causing helplessness in such case); Falcon Dive has increased knockback and less ending lag making it safer to hit opponents with and giving him a KO option that can counter shielding opponents, as well as increased recovery distance; and Falcon Kick is faster, has increased power on the ground, and less landing lag. In addition to these direct changes, the universal changes in Ultimate benefit Falcon's rushdown oriented playstyle, having increased mobility and reduced landing lag on aerial attacks that allow him to juggle and punish opponents more effectively, the ability to use any attack out of a dash cancel further improving his grounded game, and the removal of teching grounded meteor smashes giving his up tilt and down aerial increased combo potential.
However, Captain Falcon has received significant nerfs as well, which counterbalance most of his buffs. His increased traction may help his out-of-shield weakness, but it also greatly shortens his dash grab, infamous in Smash 4 for being one of Captain Falcon's best approach punish and/or burst options due to its large ground coverage and high reward. It also affects his throws negatively, with his forward throw losing all its guaranteed combo potential, and down throw being less reliable for combos at higher percents in combination with its altered knockback despite his lower jumpsquat. Most importantly, the latter can no longer lead into semi-guaranteed KO confirms at high percents, and he has a harder time for mix-ups at the ledge. This hinders a large component of his playstyle from Smash 4, as his grab is now harder to land, less rewarding, and due to all standard grabs having increased ending lag in Ultimate, easier to punish if it misses. His up aerial may have slightly less ending lag, but it also has increased landing lag compared to other aerials (which instead had it decreased), lower damage, and a shorter duration with increased startup, weakening its KO setups and slightly worsening the ability to chain into itself repeatedly. Adding to this, his back aerial and Raptor Boost have less knockback; while the former is only slightly weaker, the latter can no longer KO at realistic percents in exchange for its increased combo ability. Meanwhile, his new forward smash, while dealing more knockback, has significantly decreased range, to the point it can sometimes miss at point-blank range if the opponent is pushed by Falcon himself.
Finally, while Falcon's playstyles benefit from some of the universal changes, other changes have negatively impacted the way he has to execute his playstyle. Namely, the tumbling animation from a footstool jump now being techable prevents him from racking up large amounts of damage and setting up KOs by repeatedly footstooling and meteor smashing opponents back up with his down aerial. Ironically, the changes to dash-dancing have also adversely affected him more than other characters; since his initial dash animation is quite slow, this causes his dash-dancing animation to be more awkward and slower-moving than other characters, and reduces its mindgame potential compared to his previous extended dash-dance in Smash 4.
Overall, Captain Falcon's buffs have improved several of his options and punish game, as well as granted him new options to utilize his speed and power. However, the nerfs to the previous options he had in Smash 4 mean he has to take higher risks at approaching and optimizing their use, which is dangerous for him, since a large number of characters in Ultimate are either zoners or have had their close-up game buffed to various degrees. As such, Falcon players have to be more cautious of their opponents in order to win the neutral game, which now gives him a higher learning curve compared to Smash 4. He was initially seen to be worse than in Smash 4 in the early metagame of Ultimate, but as the meta progressed, his representation gradually improved; some players like Fatality, NickC, Nishiya, and Ogey still showed the character had good potential, while higher ranked players like Marss and Glutonny began to use him as secondaries. In addition, game updates gave him significant buffs to help him with his power and combo ability. As of right now, he is currently considered by most players as a high tier character, although his true viability remains up for debate.
Throws and other attacks
Captain Falcon has been significantly buffed by game updates so far. In update 3.1.0, back aerial's knockback was increased, which slightly restored its KO potential after it was initially nerfed in the transition from Smash 4. Knee Smash's sweetspot and Falcon Kick's clean hit were both made easier to land, thanks to adjustments to their hitboxes. Captain Falcon's close range options and combo game were also improved: forward tilt's base knockback was increased, up tilt's lag was decreased, and Raptor Boost's uppercut gained a marginal decrease to its start-up lag alongside increases to its hitstun and the damage threshold of its armor. In 8.0.0, Raptor Boost was buffed again; the grounded version has a longer horizontal range, its old Smash 4 launch angle and decreased its knockback, allowing combos to start quicker and extend into further percents, as well as the meteor hitbox being more consistent. Additionally, down tilt and up smash were given increased knockback, dash attack has less ending lag, and Falcon Kick is much quicker and stronger on the clean hit, making it a better burst option. He was among the many characters that received a shield buff in update 7.0.0, but he also gained a small jab buff that allows it to connect better.
Overall, Captain Falcon fares much better than he did at the beginning of the metagame, however due to online tournaments currently being more prominent, his true viability still remains unknown.
Technical changelist 3.1.0
For a gallery of Captain Falcon's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Many players have noticed Captain Falcon's higher learning curve compared to Smash 4. As a result, his player base noticeably dropped, due to the fact that his once easy-to-use combos (which included his dash grab and footstool combos) became harder to use or were removed entirely as a result of the game's mechanics; the changes to his playstyle required players to be more cautious in the neutral game. Despite his lower playerbase, however, his perception was anything but bad, as initial opinions on him varied anywhere between a solid mid-tier to a solid high-tier character.
Captain Falcon has received numerous buffs throughout the game's lifespan that has gradually improved his perception over time: patch 3.1.0 made his options on his punish game more reliable, while patch 8.0.0 gave noteworthy improvements to improve his close quarters combat and his combo game. Due to these buffs, Captain Falcon has caught the attention of many players, such as ESAM, Marss, Dabuz, and Fatality, who consider him a solid high-tier character and much better than he was in the first year of Ultimate. While his overall representation is still relatively average compared to the rest of the cast, his results have begun to improve thanks to players such as Fatality and NickC.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Up Close and Personal
Captain Falcon fights opponents who specialize in close-range combat. To fit with the theme, Captain Falcon fights Giga Bowser as his final boss, the one with by far the least amount of projectiles (one).
Role in World of Light
Captain Falcon was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Captain Falcon was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. He attempted to escape in the Blue Falcon, but Galeem vaporized him and his vehicle before he could do so. He was then imprisoned by Galeem along with the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby). A puppet fighter of him can be seen behind Mario in the group of puppet fighters under Galeem's control.
Captain Falcon can be found early in the mode if the player goes through Villager's path instead of those of Marth and Sheik. He is in the middle of a racetrack that can only be traversed with the assistance of the Pico spirit.
Captain Falcon's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Captain Falcon in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video