Fighter ability

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Super Smash Bros. series This article's title is unofficial.
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The reason given for the move is: Since Gimmicks don’t have an official name, the next best thing should probably be to use the most common fan name rather than making one up. (Discuss)

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.

List of single fighter abilities[edit]

Certain moves (such as Monado Arts, Pocket, or Wonderwing) are commonly associated as that character's "gimmick", and in some cases have special icons on a 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.

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, and it also provides him with 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 Hero will consume mana to perform his special moves. Every special move performed will deplete the mana, and the maximum amount of mana is 100. The gauge also replenishes automatically over time, or by landing standard attacks. While accessing the menu of four random spells out of the 21 possible spells from his Command Selection down special, the gauge will not refill until the move is either canceled or timed out, or whenever a spell is selected and used.
Critical Hit Hero's smash attacks have a 1/8 chance of triggering a critical hit, resulting in them dealing twice as much damage and becoming extremely powerful. To compensate, however, they all have a reduced shield damage modifier during this state, while his critical hit forward and down smashes 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 very low traction, but their traction is improved 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 his 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.
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—have 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 can suspend themselves in the air and move horizontally for up to 150 frames (2.5 seconds), giving them a unique aerial game and allowing for much greater horizontal recovery than most other characters. They can also perform aerial attacks during this state, even while holding items. Floating while near ground height allows them 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 attack 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.
Stamina
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 and Ken can perform stronger versions of Hadoken, Shoryuken, and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku by entering input commands from Street Fighter. 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 and Ken's air friction value is locked at 0 after jumping, and thus they 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, they will gradually decelerate as usual.
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 (or his Echo Fighter, Richter) to dangle his whip in front of him. Much like Sheik's Chain in Melee and Brawl, it can be controlled manually to strike nearby opponents or cancel out weak projectiles.
Terry Input special moves Terry can perform stronger versions of Burning Knuckle, Crack Shoot, and Power Dunk by entering his input commands from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters. If Terry holds down before using Rising Tackle, it will gain full-body intangibility, as well as increased height and damage. Additionally, Terry can only perform his Super Special Moves, Power Geyser and Buster Wolf, via command inputs.
Forward and Backward Specials Terry can use two different side specials, depending on the direction of the side special input. Using side special in the direction he is facing will use Burning Knuckle, while using side special in the opposite direction will use Crack Shoot.
Super Special Moves When Terry's percentage is at least 100% in a stock or timed match, or he has no more than 30% of his HP in a Stamina battle, he can perform two super moves in the form of Power Geyser and Buster Wolf. Both moves can only be performed while grounded. A GO! next to his fighter portrait will appear when both moves are ready to use.
Dodge Attack Pressing the attack button immediately after performing a spot dodge will make Terry perform a counterattack. This move is similar to his up tilt, but renders his entire upper body intangible.
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 In Smash 64 and Melee, Yoshi posesses a special type of armor during the entire duration of his double jump that subtracts 120 units of knockback, with Yoshi not flinching at all if the result is negative. From Brawl onward, this is replaced with standard knockback-based armor, with Yoshi instead taking the full knockback if this threshold is exceeded.
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.

List of shared fighter abilities[edit]

In addition to the above, certain mechanics and abilities are present on multiple non-clone fighters, but are not universal throughout the roster.

Ability Description Characters
1-on-1 facing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate During 1-on-1 battles, certain fighters always and automatically face the opponent, unless they turn around from a run or are in midair. Ryu, Ken, Terry
Crawling While crouching, certain fighters can move while staying low to the ground, allowing them to potentially avoid some attacks or projectiles. As when crouching, crawling characters only have access to down tilt and down special as immediate offensive options. See this list
Delayed double jumps Certain fighters have double jumps that have a short pause before applying a slower and constant upwards boost, controlled by animation rather than an immediate velocity change. In many cases, the jump is launched at from an arc, rather than straight upward. Depending on the game, the floatiness of such second jumps allows for several techniques such as double jump canceling and rising aerials. Ness, Lucas, Mewtwo, Yoshi Super Smash Bros.Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl, Peach Super Smash Bros. Melee
Gliding Super Smash Bros. Brawl Holding the jump button while certain characters are in midair will cause them to glide. This allows them to have an additional "glide attack". Meta Knight, Pit, Charizard
Grab aerial While all fighters can not grab in midair, certain fighters can activate the grab in midair to attack instead of grab. With the exception of Luigi's, all grab attacks can also act as a tether recovery See this list
Hydrophobia Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Certain fighters will take continuous damage while swimming, and enter a special animation distinct from other swimming animations. This does not affect how long they can swim. Charizard, Incineroar, Inkling, Sonic
Multiple double jumps While most fighters can only jump once before touching the ground, certain fighters can jump two to five times without touching the ground. The amount of jumps is dependent on the fighter. See this list
Passive shield Certain fighters are equipped with a special shield that passively blocks any reflectable projectile coming from their front while standing, walking or crouching. The shield will not block projectiles if the fighter is holding an item. Link’s shield in Smash 64 is purely aesthetic. Link (since Super Smash Bros. Melee), Young Link, Toon Link, Hero
Taunt attack Certain fighters have taunts with hitboxes, effectively making them double as an attack. Luigi, Snake, Greninja
Wall jumping Certain fighters can briefly cling to a wall, then jump off with a small amount of invincibility frames. Each consecutive wall jump is smaller than the last. Certain fighters can cling for an extended period of time, known as wall clinging. See this list