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Donkey Kong (PM)

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Donkey Kong
in Project M
Donkey Kong SSBB.jpg
PPlus DK.png
Boxer DK PM.png

Symbol of the DK series.
Universe Donkey Kong
Base game appearance Brawl
Moveset inspiration Donkey Kong (SSBM)
Alternate costume Punch-Out!! Outfit

Donkey Kong is a playable character in the Brawl mod Project M. In Project M, Donkey Kong was remade as a buffed version of his Melee counterpart.

Donkey Kong is currently ranked 11th out of 41 on the official tier list, placing him in the higher half of the A- tier. This position is significantly higher than his Melee and Brawl placements, where he was 16th out of 26 and 21st out of 38, respectively. In the official Project+ tier list, Donkey Kong ranks 15th in the A tier, a slight drop from his Project M placement but nevertheless a noticeable improvement over his Melee and Brawl counterparts.


Donkey Kong falls under the generic super heavyweight archetype, boasting slow but powerful attacks. What sets Donkey Kong apart is his surprisingly fast dashing speed, a fast falling speed (making him one of the only two fast-fallers to be heavyweight, alongside Captain Falcon), an average air speed, and decent attack reach. As a result of his weight (he is the second heaviest, being second only to Bowser) and falling speed, Donkey Kong inherits the second best horizontal and third best vertical endurance, losing only to Bowser horizontally and Captain Falcon and Wolf vertically. Donkey Kong has a unique throw that allows him to carry opponents on his back. He is able to walk in either direction, jump, and throw in any direction while he has an opponent in cargo. The up throw out of cargo is notorious for setting up both combos and KOs, especially on fast-fallers. Donkey Kong has many moves with decent range like his back air and his Hand Slap, the latter of which is great at tech chasing, as it can cover multiple options at once. With his heavy damage and knockback-dealing moves and his aerial and grab combos, Donkey Kong does not have much trouble setting up a hit with his forward aerial, his Giant Punch, or any of his other powerful finishers.

Donkey Kong is one of the strongest fighters in the game, possessing a myriad of reliable and powerful finishers in his repertoire. His unusually fast mobility, combined with his power, allows him to execute devastating combos. Donkey Kong's aerial game is above average, as his array of aerial attacks have great utility and strength. His forward and down aerials send his opponents downwards, with the latter being a strong meteor smash (especially with his foot) and the former being a powerful spike with the late hitbox. He also has incredibly deadly options out of shield.

However, Donkey Kong suffers from approach issues. A combination of a long jump squat and an above average traction gives him a slow and short wavedash. Additionally, while his high weight and falling speed make him difficult to KO off the stage horizontally and vertically, said factors also make him easy to combo, an issue compounded by his large size. Additionally, while Donkey Kong has an above-average horizontal recovery in Spinning Kong, the move is among the worst in terms of vertical distance. Donkey Kong's greatest weakness, however, may be his lack of means to combat projectiles. As a large target, Donkey Kong is forced to play aggressively against projectile users, who may have the ability to punish Donkey Kong if he gets close.

Changes from Melee to PM[edit]


  • Change Most of Donkey Kong's attacks involving his arms or head have new hit SFX.


  • Buff Donkey Kong dashes slightly faster (1.6 → 1.8), now running as fast as Marth, Pikachu, and Sheik.
  • Buff Most attacks retain their Arm Intangibility from Brawl.
  • Buff Most arm bases attacks have had their hitboxes adjusted to cover his whole arm, where as in Melee most of the said hitboxes failed to do so, this greatly improves Donkey Kong's overall range and spacing capabilities.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change Jab 1 has more base knockback (0 → 1).
  • Buff Jab 1 has less start-up (Frame 5 → 3).
  • Buff Up tilt has less ending lag (IASA 40 → 36).
  • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (7% → 9%) and has higher knockback (10 (base)/80 (growth) → 25/95).
  • Buff Forward smash's sweetspot has slightly more base knockback (22 → 30).
  • Buff Up smash has slightly more knockback growth (93 → 98).
  • Buff Dash attack has been changed. It is now a roll similar to that of the Donkey Kong Country series. It acts much like the original one, but has light armor and can roll off edges and platforms similar to Kirby's Melee dash attack. Can be jumped out of in midair. The move has more utility overall than the old dash attack.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff Neutral aerial has more range and has less startup (frame 10 → 7).
    • Buff Neutral aerial's animation has been slightly altered where Donkey Kong stretches out his arms more, further improving it's range.
  • Buff Forward aerial comes out faster (frame 25 → 22) and has more KO potential, and its late hitbox now spikes opponents instead of meteor smashes, meaning it cannot be meteor canceled anymore.
  • Buff Up aerial has a longer duration (3 frames → 4).
  • Buff Down aerial's ending lag has been shortened.

Grabs and throws[edit]

  • Buff Back throw's knockback has increased, making it a reliable KO move against light characters.

Special moves[edit]



  • Buff Donkey Kong's cargo drop from platforms glitch has been fixed
  • Bug fix Fixed Donkey Kong's dash attack grabbing the edge bug
  • Buff Donkey Kong is now be able to Fastfall his dash attack when it goes offstage
  • Change Donkey Kong's Up-Aerial received an animation adjustment


  • Buff Donkey Kong's Dash and Run slightly increased in speed
  • Buff Donkey Kong's Jab 1 comes out faster and links better into Jab 2
  • Buff Donkey Kong's Jab 2 hitbox sends at a higher trajectory than previously
  • Buff Donkey Kong's Neutral-Air has better coverage and comes out slightly sooner
  • Buff Donkey Kong's Cargo hold mashing formula adjusted, and it is no longer possible to break out by holding up or down on the control stick
  • Buff Donkey Kong's Up-B can now be reversed on the ground during startup
  • Nerf Donkey Kong's Forward-Air reduced slightly in damage and knockback, and a misplaced hitbox was moved from his body to his arm
  • Nerf Donkey Kong's Down-B knockback has been adjusted, extra shield damage removed, and is slightly less safe on block
  • Change Donkey Kong's hurtboxes adjusted
  • Change Donkey Kong's Forward-Air spike sends slightly outward like other spikes do to be outside meteor trajectory range
  • Change Donkey Kong's Down-Air leg hitbox position adjusted
  • Change Donkey Kong's Up-B multihits hit at the same times as they did in Melee


  • Buff Back-Aerial's sweetspot damage increased slightly. Duration on weaker hit increased slightly
  • Buff Cargo Hold is now fastfallable
  • Buff Fixed an issue with dropping through a platform while Cargo Holding an item
  • Nerf Forward-Aerial damage and knockback reduced slightly
  • Nerf Dash-Grab distance reduced significantly. Grab boxes adjusted to better match animation
  • Nerf Pivot Grab range reduced slightly
  • Nerf Neutral-B shoulder hit damage/knockback decreased significantly
  • Nerf Down-B range reduced significantly, graphical effects adjusted to match. Damage reduced slightly, knockback mostly compensated. Outer hitboxes send very slightly inward instead of straight up
  • Change Neutral-B graphical effect visible at the appropriate time
  • Change Dash Attack duration reduced slightly. Strong hit damage increased slightly. Armor changed from 6/3% damage to Light Armor throughout. Grounded version can now be Jump Canceled a few frames after the hitbox terminates


  • Buff Jab1 links more reliably into Jab2
  • Nerf Grounded Dash Attack Jump-Cancel removed
  • Nerf Neutral-Air bone invincibility duration reduced significantly
  • Change Dash Attack (ground & air) sweet/sourspot roles reversed from previously. Sweetspot now sends upward and has slightly less duration, sourspot sends outward
  • Change Up-B travels less horizontal distance, but gains more height. SDI multipliers on grounded multi-hits reduced to be normalized


  • Nerf All aerials except down aerial are weaker, having reduced damage and knockback.
  • Nerf Can no longer jump cancel when using a grounded dash attack.
  • Change Arm invincibility in Giant Punch changed to intangibility to remove hitlag when interacted with an opponent's attack.
  • Change Arm invincibility in grounded Spinning Kong changed to intangibility to remove hitlag when interacted with an opponent's attack.
  • Buff Wavedashing ability significantly improved.



  • Change White costume's tie is made blue as a reference to Super Kong in Donkey Kong Country Returns.


  • Change Headbutt's angle for both grounded and aerial changed from 290 and 315, respectively, to 300.


Up to date as of version 3.6.

Name Damage Description
Neutral attack 4% Donkey Kong performs a quick cross punch followed by an uppercut.
Forward tilt 12% Donkey Kong quickly swats nearby foes with his outstretched hand. Donkey Kong's extended arm is intangible while the hitboxes are out, allowing it to be used safely against most other attacks. This move can be aimed up or down.
Up tilt 9% (hand), 10% (arm), 11% (shoulder) Donkey Kong quickly swipes his hand in the air. Fast with a good arch range. Again, DK's arm cannot be injured while the hitboxes are out.
Down tilt Slouch Slap 9% Donkey Kong does a quick swat across the ground.
Dash attack 10% (clean), 7% (late) Donkey Kong performs a rolling attack similar to that of the Donkey Kong Country series. This move has light armor and can roll off edges and platforms.
Forward smash 18%-19% (body), 20% (hands), 21% (arms) Donkey Kong performs a very forceful clap with both hands.
Up smash 18% (hands), 16% (body) Donkey Kong claps both his hands above his head. This move has great vertical reach, but will fail to hit a nearby enemy due to its poor horizontal range. One of the strongest up smashes in the game. Both of DK's arms and his head are intangible while the hitboxes are out.
Down smash 16% (close), 17% (far) Donkey Kong performs a double back-handed punch by bringing both his closed fists down 90° at both sides. Both of DK's arms are intangible while the hitboxes are out.
Neutral aerial 14% (clean), 10% (late) Donkey Kong quickly spins with his arms extended.
Forward aerial 17% Donkey Kong puts his fists together above his head, and then does a powerful ax-handle smash. This move sends enemies downwards the moment Donkey Kong swings his arms in front of his face. However, unlike in Melee, this move is now a spike rather than a meteor smash, meaning it can no longer be meteor-canceled.
Back aerial 13% (clean), 9% (late) Donkey Kong performs a quick kick directed behind him that lingers briefly.
Up aerial 14% Donkey Kong performs a quick headbutt upwards. A great juggling move.
Down aerial 16% (foot), 13% (body) Donkey Kong performs a downward stomp whilst holding his arms up in a macho pose. Serves as a meteor smash should it hit.
Pummel 3% A fairly quick slap.
Forward throw Kong Karry 6% (breakout), 9% (forward & back throw), 7% (up throw), 6% (down throw) Donkey Kong cradles the opponent on his back, allowing him to move and jump around while still holding the victim. Then, he can perform any of the following throws listed below.

Forward: Tosses the opponent forward.
Back: Tosses the opponent behind him.
Up: Tosses the opponent upwards. Can chain grab fastfallers.
Down: Tosses the opponent forward like a bowling ball.

Back throw 11% Donkey Kong swings his arm back and throws the opponent.
Up throw 9% Donkey Kong throws the opponent upwards.
Down throw 7% Donkey Kong slams the opponent onto the ground with his hand.
Floor attack (front) 6% Donkey Kong gets up and swats both sides of himself.
Floor attack (back) 6% Donkey Kong gets up and claps once both sides of himself.
Floor attack (trip) 5% Gets up and does a wind-up spin around the floor.
Edge attack (fast) 8% Donkey Kong throws his rear at the opponent.
Edge attack (slow) 10% Donkey Kong slowly climbs onto the stage and swats forward.
Neutral special Giant Punch 12%/10% (uncharged), +2% per windup, 28%/30% (fully charged ground), 25%/27% (fully charged air) Donkey Kong winds up and thrusts out his arm as a potentially powerful attack. The attack is at fully charged after eleven windups and gains invincibility frames right before he unleashes the punch. The attack itself has good range and decent speed.
Side special Headbutt 8% (bury), 10% (grounded), 14% (aerial) Donkey Kong slams his head downward. When performed on a grounded opponent, they will be buried and will remain submerged the more damage they have taken. Like with his forward air, this attack was changed from a meteor to a spike (270° to 300°).
Up special Spinning Kong Ground: 12% (startup), 8% (loop early), 3% (loop late)
Air: 10% (startup), 4-5% (loop early), 2% (loop late)
Donkey Kong spins in the air, getting great horizontal distance, but little distance vertically. Donkey Kong gains invincibility frames during the startup of this move.
Down special Hand Slap 12% Donkey Kong repeatedly slaps his hands against the ground, causing earth-shaking vibrations in the process. This attack gives him some protection from opponents while grounded due to its good range but cannot hit airborne opponents. This move cannot be used in the air.
Final Smash Konga Beat Varies Donkey Kong takes out a pair of bongos and begin to play them to the beat of "DK Island Swing", sending out shock-waves in the process. The attacks range and power is determined by the player's input. The player must push the attack button in succession with the song's beat in order have the greater range and power.

In competitive play[edit]

Notable tech[edit]

Labbing Discord Tech Post

Most historically significant players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the PMRank 2019, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Project M during 2019.

See also: Category:Donkey Kong players (PM)

  • USA King Koney - Ranked 6th on the Connecticut Project M Power Rankings. Placed 17th at Blacklisted 3 and 49th at The Bigger Balc.
  • USA Nogh (#26)
  • USA ThundeRzReiGN (#2) - One of the best players in the world, and the best Donkey Kong main in the world. Formerly ranked 1st on PMRank 2016 and PMRank 2017.
  • Australia Sora - One of the best Australian Project M players. Ranked 2nd on the Australian Project M Power Rankings.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Project M[edit]

Donkey Kong has an alternate costume based on his secret boss fight in the Wii version of Punch-Out!! The costume has no gameplay effects. It also has green and blue recolors so that it can be used in Team Battles. The green color on Donkey Kong third Punch Out!! outfit is based on Little Mac and His default white recolor, however, has its necktie changed from red to blue, in reference to Super Kong from Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Donkey Kong's alternate costumes in PM
DonkeyKongHeadSSBB.png DonkeyKongHeadBlackSSBB.png DonkeyKongHeadRedSSBB.png DonkeyKongHeadBlueSSBB.png DonkeyKongHeadGreenSSBB.png DonkeyKongHeadWhiteSSBB.png
DonkeyKongHeadPM.png DonkeyKongHeadBluePM.png DonkeyKongHeadGreenPM.png


Donkey Kong received a selection of recolors for both of his costumes in Project+. His standard costumes include colors similar to his Donkey Kong 64 multiplayer costumes. The pink Boxer costume is based on the character Junior (II) from the NES game Donkey Kong Jr. Math.

Donkey Kong's alternate costumes in P+

All Costumes:


Black: Resembles the fur colors of real-life gorillas, as well as Donkey Kong's appearance in Donkey Kong Country's Two-Player Contest mode.

Red: Resembles Donkey Kong's original sprite from the similarly-titled arcade game, Donkey Kong.

Blue: Resembles one of Donkey Kong's alternate color schemes from Donkey Kong 64, as well as a similar alternate color scheme when Right is pressed on the D-Pad when selecting him in Mario Golf.


White: Resembles a Super Kong clone of Donkey Kong from Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Pink: Similar to his red costume, but with a lighter color scheme and a white-and-red necktie. Coincidentally, Nintendo and Illumination would use a similar coloration for Fire Donkey Kong, albeit with white highlights on his ankle fur, wrist fur, and the top of his head fur, in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.


Neon Green


Boxer: Inspired by Donkey Kong's appearance in the Mac's Last Stand game mode of the Wii version of Punch-Out!!. The major difference is that his necktie is replaced by a championship belt resembling a Banana Coin, a pair of red and yellow trunks, and bandages on his face that, prior to Version 2.3 of Project+, were a part of his costume. Since Version 2.3, the bandages become part of a damage system similar to those of Little Mac.

Boxer Blue

Boxer Green: Vaguely resembles Little Mac.

Boxer Pink: Resembles Junior (II), a character found exclusively in the multiplayer of Donkey Kong Jr. Math.

Boxer Yellow: Vaguely resembles Disco Kid, a boxer exclusive to the Wii version of Punch-Out!!.

Z-Secret Costume: Mini Donkey Kong: Based on the Mini Donkey Kong toys that first appeared in Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis.

R-Secret Costume: Funky Kong: Based on Funky Kong, a surfer dude member of the Kong family with a similar build to Donkey Kong who first appeared in Donkey Kong Country. The costume is based on the character's redesign from DK: King of Swing, which itself is partly based on his appearance in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble, minus the toolbelt and shoes.


  • Donkey Kong is one of the only two characters to be equipped with two spikes, alongside Roy, who coincidentally shares the same falling speed.