Donkey Kong (PM)
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.
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
Grabs and throws
Up to date as of version 3.6.
In competitive play
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.
Donkey Kong received a selection of recolors for both of his costumes in Project+.
Z-Secret Costume: Mini Donkey Kong.
R-Secret Costume: Funky Kong.