Fighter ability

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Super Smash Bros. series This article's title is unofficial.

A fighter ability, more often referred to as a passive ability, character mechanic, or character gimmick is an unofficial term used in fighting games, including the Super Smash Bros. series, that describes special mechanics specific to certain characters (and/or their clones). They can grant said fighter a passive ability, a chargeable meter, extra moves in their arsenal, or mechanics that are not directly linked to their moveset.

Because they are prevalent throughout the roster, crawling, wall clinging, wall jumps, taking damage while swimming, gameplay-affecting taunts, delayed double jumps, and multiple jumps will not appear in the following list. Additionally, certain moves (namely, Monado Arts and Pocket) have special icons on the character's HUD, but because they do not grant the user extra moves and are directly linked to that specific move, they do not truly count as fighter abilities.

List of fighter abilities[edit]

Character Ability Description
Bayonetta Bat Within During some of the early frames of a roll, spot dodge or air dodge, as well as some of the late frames of Witch Time, hitting Bayonetta causes her to transform into a flock of bats, slowing down temporarily and taking only half the usual damage with no knockback.
Bullet Arts Bayonetta's neutral attack, dash attack, tilt attacks, smash attacks, and aerial attacks each contain two variants: one in which the attack button is held and one where it is not. When the attack button is held, Bayonetta will shoot bullets that deal 0.5% each after the attack animation has ended.
Bowser Tough Guy
Super Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Bowser does not flinch when hit by attacks that deal knockback of less than 19 units, such as Luigi's Fireball and most rapid jabs.
Bowser Jr. Junior Clown Car Bowser Jr. takes 0.88× of the damage an attack would usually deal if his Junior Clown Car is hit. However, if his body is hit, he takes 1.15× of the usual damage instead. In SSB4, Bowser Jr.'s hurtbox takes priority over that of the Clown Car, but this is reversed in Ultimate.
Cloud Limit Gauge Cloud possesses a meter that fills up by dealing damage, taking damage, or using his down special, Limit Charge. Dealing 250% damage (150% in Ultimate), taking 100% damage, or using Limit Charge for 400 frames (6.67 seconds) will fill an empty meter. When the Limit Gauge is full, Cloud enters Limit Break status, which enhances his mobility while active, and causes the next special move he uses to become much more powerful, emptying the meter afterwards. In Ultimate, Limit Break also disappears if a special move is not used for 15 seconds after its activation and loses some of the gauge if hit while charging it with Limit Charge.
Donkey Kong Kong Karry Donkey Kong's forward throw allows him to walk and jump while carrying an opponent, giving him four additional "cargo throws".
Heavy Item Resistance Donkey Kong is not slowed down when carrying heavy items, and can also jump or fall off edges without dropping them. In Smash 64, he is the only character that can walk while holding a heavy item.
Hero MP Gauge The Hero has a mana system that allows him to use magic spells seen in his special moves. Each spell will deplete the mana, and the maximum amount of mana is 100. The gauge also replenishes automatically over time, or by hitting standard attacks.
Critical Hit The Hero's Smash Attacks have a 1/8 chance to deal a Critical Hit, causing the damage it deals to be doubled. Critical Hits have a reduced shield damage modifier, and critical forward and down smash have reduced base knockback.
Ice Climbers Nana/Popo The player takes full control of one Ice Climber. The other one—Nana by default—acts as a CPU-controlled clone of the leader, who usually follows the player's actions and attacks alongside the leader, but acts on their own and attempts to return to the leader if they are separated. This further allows for an advanced technique exclusive to the Ice Climbers, desynching, that allows the player to independently control both characters.
Reverse traction Normally, most characters have decreased traction on slippery surfaces. With the Ice Climbers, this is reversed; they normally have a very low traction, but their traction is unaffected when stepping on slippery surfaces, due to them wearing ice cleats.
Inkling Ink Some of Inkling's attacks — namely rapid jab, all smash attacks, forward throw, and all special moves — cover opponents in ink, causing them to take more damage from subsequent attacks depending on how much ink they have, with a maximum multiplier of 1.5×. These attacks use up Inkling's ink, and either become weaker or stop working altogether if there is no ink left. Inkling can recharge ink by pressing the special move button while shielding.
Jigglypuff Balloon shield jump Unlike other characters, when Jigglypuff's shield is broken, it is launched a significantly longer distance upward, far enough to guarantee a self-destruct on any stage if there is no ceiling above it.
Joker Rebellion Gauge Joker possesses a meter shown above his damage percentage that fills slowly over time, as well as with damage taken, the latter which is more significant if Rebel's Guard is used to block attacks. Taking 75% damage normally, blocking 30% damage with Rebel's Guard, or spending 3 minutes without getting damaged will fill an empty meter. When the Rebellion Gauge is full, Joker summons Arsene, who strengthens all attacks except for his pummel, throws, floor attacks and ledge attack. Afterward, the meter works in reverse, depleting over time and with damage taken, and causing Arsene to disappear when emptied, giving him a maximum duration of 30 seconds.
King K. Rool Belly Super Armor Several of King K. Rool's attacks — namely forward tilt, dash attack, up smash, down smash, neutral aerial, up aerial, and down aerial, as well as side taunt — have a special kind of HP-based armor on his belly during certain frames, negating knockback and halving the damage he takes if hit in that section, with the other half depleting HP from the armor instead. When the armor runs out of HP, King K. Rool is knocked down and becomes stunned, similarly to a shield break. The armor starts with 14.01 HP, and recovers 0.08 HP every 30 frames King K. Rool spends without using belly attacks.
Kirby Copy Abilities Much like in the Kirby games, Kirby can copy a character's neutral special move by using his own neutral special move, Inhale, and swallowing them. Kirby additionally dons a hat based upon the character he swallowed. However, some Copy Abilities function differently than the copied character's own neutral special, usually when said neutral special is linked to another fighter ability. Kirby can discard a Copy Ability anytime by taunting, or otherwise loses it after taking enough damage (following a short "grace period"). Kirby can also gain certain additional fighter abilities, like Hero's MP Gauge, when he copies their moves.
Link, Young Link, Toon Link, and Hero Passive shield
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. 4Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Link and his incarnations all carry a unique shield that passively blocks any reflectable projectile coming from their front while they are standing, walking (from SSB4 onward), or crouching. In Smash 64, although Link equips the Hylian Shield like in subsequent installments, it is purely aesthetic. Young Link's Deku Shield in Melee does not protect him from stronger projectiles, however. In Ultimate, the Hero can also use his shield to block projectiles in the same way, despite being otherwise mostly unrelated to the Link incarnations.
Little Mac Power Meter Little Mac can charge a meter shown above his damage percentage by dealing or taking damage, with either 333.3% damage dealt or 100% damage taken filling it. When the Power Meter is full, his neutral special, Straight Lunge, is replaced by KO Uppercut, a much faster and stronger attack that can KO at very low percents if used on the ground. The meter is emptied after KO Uppercut is used, or if Little Mac is sent tumbling by an attack.
Lucario Aura The damage output and respective knockback of Lucario's attacks increase in proportion with its own percentage. In Brawl, the damage multiplier ranges from 0.7× at 0% to 1.4× at 170%; in SSB4 and Ultimate , it ranges from 0.66× at 0% to 1.7× (in SSB4) or 1.6× (in Ultimate) at 190%. The damage multiplier is further affected by Lucario's placing or stocks compared to the opponents', increasing if it is behind and decreasing if it is ahead.
Olimar Pikmin Olimar has up to 3 Pikmin (6 in Brawl) following him, who take part in all his moves except neutral attack, dash attack, tilts, neutral aerial, floor attacks, and ledge attack. Each of the five types of Pikmin—red, yellow, blue, white, and purple—has different traits such as health, damage, effect, and range. Pikmin can be killed by enemy attacks, prompting Olimar to generate new ones by using Pikmin Pluck.
Peach and Daisy Floating When the jump button is held, Peach (and Daisy in Ultimate) can suspend herself in the air and move horizontally for up to 150 frames (2.5 seconds), giving her a unique aerial game and allowing for much greater horizontal recovery than most other characters. She can also perform aerial attacks during this state, even while holding items. Floating while near ground height allows her to perform aerial attacks where most other fighters cannot, and in Ultimate, attacks performed when floating are not affected by the short hop aerial multiplier.
Piranha Plant Footstool immunity If Piranha Plant is footstooled while crouching, it will automatically stretch upward and perform a biting attack, which has 4% base damage with vertical knockback.
Pokémon Trainer Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard Pokémon Trainer is not directly controlled by the player. Rather, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard are controlled instead, with the Trainer in the background. The only time where Pokémon Trainer will actively participate is by switching between Pokémon by using Pokémon Change. As of Ultimate, Pokémon Trainer is the only fighter who can switch between characters mid-match. In Super Smash Bros. 4, while the Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle, and Ivysaur were absent, Charizard returned as a completely separate fighter before returning to the team in Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Each of the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon has stamina points, which start at 100 and drop by 0.5 every second they are in battle. If their stamina drops below 40 points, their damage output and respective knockback is significantly lowered, with a damage multiplier ranging from 0.779× to 0.7×. Their idle stances also change to reflect this. Pokémon only recover stamina if they switch out of the battle with Pokémon Change, regaining 0.8 points per second, or if they are KOed, regaining a much larger variable amount. This mechanic did not return in Ultimate, so each Pokémon can be kept out for an indefinite amount of time with no detrimental effects.
Type effectiveness
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Much like in the Pokémon series, each of the Pokémon has a resistance and a weakness to a certain effect, taking 0.9× and 1.1× knockback from them respectively. Ivysaur is resistant to water attacks and weak to flame attacks; Charizard is resistant to grass attacks and weak to water attacks; and Squirtle is resistant to flame attacks and weak to grass attacks. This mechanic also did not return in Ultimate.
Rosalina Luma Luma follows Rosalina, who is controlled by the player, and attacks in tandem with her, using moves with different properties than Rosalina's. Luma has 50 HP (40 HP in Ultimate), and gets KOed if it is completely depleted, after which it takes 13 seconds to respawn in SSB4, and a variable amount of time in Ultimate depending on how many players are participating in the match.
Robin Durability Robin's special moves each use a unique Tome, while smash attacks and aerial attacks use the Levin Sword (except neutral aerial in SSB4). These weapons all have their own durability points, which cause Robin to discard them if used up, rendering special moves unusable, and only allowing the Bronze Sword to be used for smashes and aerials. Upon their discard, the Tomes and Levin Sword start regenerating at their own rate, and briefly appear as items that can be picked up and thrown at opponents. In Ultimate, the remaining durability points for the last-used weapon are visible above Robin's damage meter.
Ryu and Ken Input special moves Ryu can perform stronger versions of Hadoken, Shoryuken, and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku by entering his input commands from Street Fighter; this applies to Ken in Ultimate as well. They each also have special moves that can only be accessed by these commands; Ryu can perform a Shakunetsu Hadoken, while Ken can perform the roundhouse kicks Oosoto Mawashi Geri and Nata Otoshi Geri.
Tapped and held attacks Ryu and Ken's neutral attacks and tilt attacks become completely different moves depending on if the attack button is tapped or held. In Ultimate, if they are close enough to their opponent, their held neutral attack becomes a move closely resembling their held up tilt, while their tapped forward tilt becomes a completely different move.
Fixed jump arc Unlike most other characters, Ryu's air friction value is locked at 0 after jumping, and thus he will not decelerate unless the player manually inputs the opposite direction. This does not apply to other situations, such as running off a ledge or being launched; in these instances, he will gradually decelerate as usual. This also applies to Ken in Ultimate.
1-on-1 facing
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
During 1-on-1 battles, Ryu and Ken in Ultimate always automatically face the opponent, unless they turn around from a run or are in midair.
Samus/Zero Suit Samus Mid-battle transformation
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Brawl, Samus and Zero Suit Samus can switch between each other by using Zero Laser or Power Suit Samus, as well as one of two special inputs. This ability was removed in SSB4 due to the 3DS's hardware restraints, and did not return in Ultimate, making them separate characters from that point onward.
Power Suit Pieces
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
In Brawl, whenever Zero Suit Samus spawns into battle after the transformation animation, whether it be after using Zero Laser, using the special taunt input to transform into Zero Suit Samus mid-battle, or starting a match with her, she'll spawn with three Power Suit Pieces next to her, which then behave as normal throwable items that can be picked up and used by anyone. However when Zero Suit Samus spawns into battle without the transformation animation, such as when played during single-player modes where the characters' entrance animations are skipped or when spontaneously spawning in during a multi-man battle, these items will not spawn with her.
Simon and Richter Whip Hold Holding the attack button after performing neutral attack or forward tilt will cause Simon and Richter to dangle their whip in front of them. Much like Sheik's Chain in Melee and Brawl, it can be controlled manually to strike nearby opponents or cancel out weak projectiles.
Yoshi Egg Shield Yoshi uses a Yoshi Egg as his shield, rather than a bubble like the rest of the cast. This shield does not shrink, rendering him immune to shield stabbing (except in Brawl, where a small part of his hurtbox still pokes out of the shield), but is more limited than other shields depending on the game, preventing Yoshi from jumping out of it in Melee and Brawl, and from shield platform dropping in SSB4. In Smash 64 and Ultimate, Yoshi has all shield options available to him, making this shield a direct upgrade over others.
Armored double jump For the entire duration of Yoshi's double jump, he has a special type of armor. He can sustain up to 120 units of knockback. From Brawl onward, when receiving over 120 units of knockback, Yoshi will be launched normally instead of subtracting the attack's damage and the armor, unlike other characters' armors.
Zelda/Sheik Transform
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl
Zelda and Sheik can switch into each other by using their down special in Melee and Brawl. This was removed in SSB4 due to the 3DS's hardware restraints, and did not return in Ultimate, making them separate characters from that point onward.