Super Smash Bros. series
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Fighter ability

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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, an ammunition system, or other mechanics that are not directly linked to their standard moveset. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, many fighter abilities have a special icon on the character's damage meter and/or a separate section in the character's Move List.

Certain moves and mechanics can be described as a character's "gimmick", but aren't strictly fighter abilities due to being too universal or restricted to a single move. Specifically, this applies to the following:

  • Special moves whose function is self-contained, but have their own section in the Move List or otherwise receive special treatment in-game:
  • Common properties of hitboxes or universal animations that are simply more prominent in specific characters' movesets (e.g. Pichu's recoil, Marth's tipper, Jigglypuff's self-sacrificial shield jump).
    • Most occurences of armor (however, armor that pulls from a shared resource or that can occur outside of attacks will be listed).
  • Purely aesthetic mechanics, such as Steve's ability to look up and down by tilting the control stick, or Pit and Mega Man's idle animations slightly changing depending on what move they used last.

List of fighter abilities[edit]

Game icons indicate that the mechanic was only used in those specific games.

Single fighters and clones[edit]

Character Ability Description
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 the 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, the gauge is now visible on the Damage meter at all times; however, the Limit Break status now disappears if a special move is not used for 15 seconds after its activation, and Cloud actually loses some of the Limit Gauge if he is 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 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 and Popo in specific alternate costumes — acts as a CPU-controlled clone of the leader, who usually follows the player's actions and attacks alongside the leader with a slight delay, 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.
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 is more significant if Rebel's Guard is used to block attacks. If Joker is attacked while using Rebel's Guard, Rebellion gauge will fill up 2.5× faster while taking 0.4× regular damage. Taking 75% damage normally, blocking 30% damage with Rebel's Guard, or spending 3 minutes without getting damaged will fill an empty meter. (These are default values; the Rebellion Gauge fills more quickly if Joker is not in first place.) When the Rebellion Gauge is full, Joker summons Arsène, who strengthens all attacks except for his pummel, throws, floor attacks, and ledge attack. Arsène also changes Joker's special moves to either be more powerful, like Gun Special and Eigaon, or have different properties, like Wings of Rebellion and Tetrakarn/Makarakarn. After Arsène activates, the meter works in reverse, depleting over time and with damage taken, and causing Arsène 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 his 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 popped into the air (if on the ground), falls straight down, and becomes stunned upon landing, similarly to a shield break. The armor starts with 18.01 HP (effectively 36.02 due to taking half damage), and recovers 0.08 HP every 16 frames King K. Rool spends without using belly attacks.
Kirby Copy Abilities Much like in his home series, 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") or running out of resources (for Robin and Inkling's neutral specials only). Kirby can also gain some other fighter abilities, like Hero's MP Gauge, when he copies their moves.
Little Mac Power Meter Little Mac has a meter that resembles in presentation and functionality to the Knockout Punch mechanic found in the arcade and Super Nintendo installments of the Punch-Out!! franchise. The meter is shown above his damage percentage and fills 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. KO Uppercut wins exchanges with almost every option, including Shields, moves with reflection, and Counters. The only options that KO Uppercut will not win are actions that make the opponent Invincible or Intangible. 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 1.67× (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. The aura ability should not be confused with Aura (effect), which is a property of certain attacks where opponents temporarily emit blue flame-like energy after being hit. While attacks like Kirby's Copy ability of Lucario and Richter's Holy Water have an aura affect, Richter and Kirby themselves do not have the aura ability.
Min Min ARMS Change Min Min can switch her right ARM to Ramram, Megawatt, or Dragon via her down special, which in turn changes the power and range of her neutral and side specials.
Powered up Dragon Min Min's left Dragon ARM can become stronger, indicated by its larger appearance and flames billowing from it. As in ARMS, this happens after Min Min throws an opponent, though this can also happen once she gains access to her Final Smash. When powered up, her Dragon ARM's punch and laser will both become stronger for 20 seconds.
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, by entering water deep enough for Olimar to swim in (with the exception of blue Pikmin, which do not die when Olimar begins swimming), or by crossing the bottom blast zone after being thrown, requiring Olimar to generate new ones by using Pikmin Pluck.
Peach and Daisy Floating When the jump button is held, Peach and Daisy can completely suspend their vertical momentum in midair and move entirely horizontally for up to 150 frames (2.5 seconds), giving them a shared unique aerial game and allowing for much greater horizontal recovery than most other characters. It is also possible to perform aerial attacks during this state, even while holding items such as Vegetables. Floating while near ground height allows both characters 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, even when the float is initiated directly from a short hop.
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 Stamina
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Each of the Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon has stamina points, which starts at 100 and drops by 0.5 for every second they are in battle, while additionally losing 0.5 stamina points every time any attack is inputted. If their stamina drops below 40 points, the damage output and respective knockback of all their attacks is significantly lowered, with a damage multiplier starting at 0.779×, that decreases increasingly farther the lower their stamina drops beyond this point, down to a minimum multiplier of 0.7× at 0 stamina. Their idle stances also change to a tired-looking stance to reflect this. Pokémon only recover stamina if they switch out of the battle with Pokémon Change, regaining 0.8 points per second they are not in battle, or if they are KO'd, regaining a much larger variable amount (determined by a formula of 100 − (0.3 × (100 − previous stamina), which results in them gaining 70% of their missing stamina back). 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. In Ultimate, Luma will gain a 1.5x attack multiplier whenever it is launched away from Rosalina.
Ryu and Ken Fixed jump arc Unlike most other characters, Ryu 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.
Sephiroth Winged Form Sephiroth will unfurl his black wing when at high enough percents (with the activation percent being lower if Sephiroth has less stocks or points than his opponents, and higher if Sephiroth has more stocks or points). This gives him an increase to his horizontal mobility, makes his attacks deal more damage without any knockback compensation, gives him an extra midair jump, and grants damage-based armor to all of his smash attacks. He loses his wing upon being KOed or scoring a KO, though if his percentage is high enough or he is a significant enough stock or point disadvantage, the Winged Form remains active even after KOing an opponent.
Steve Crafting Steve can upgrade his weapons at a crafting table, which starts off where Steve spawns, but can be moved with a shield + special input. The crafting table can be damaged and eventually destroyed by most non-projectile attacks, but will respawn after a short time or when Steve next performs a shield + special input; the shield + special input will also repair the crafting table if it is damaged. However, spawning or moving the crafting table will cost Steve some materials. The order of materials is wood, stone, iron, gold, and diamond, with each successive material being stronger than the last (except for gold, which is only as strong as wood, but is faster than the rest). Whenever Steve loses a stock and when the match starts, his weapons revert to wood. All weapons are crafted and upgraded simultaneously. Upgrading a weapon does not cause it to revert to its previous form upon breaking.
Terry 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 starting 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 and with command inputs. A flashing "GO!" icon above his damage meter 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.
Villager and Isabelle Net-activated Pocket Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Villager and Isabelle's shared grab can pocket items similarly to their shared neutral special. However, the item can only be released by activating their neutral specials normally. Despite Villager having the same grab in SSB4, it could not act as his neutral special. In Ultimate, an icon representing the pocketed item will appear in the top-left corner of the Damage meter as long as it is pocketed.
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, and instead darkens over time to indicate the shield is weakening. While this shield can still be broken, the fact that it will not shrink renders 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, Melee, and Ultimate, Yoshi possesses 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, or otherwise only receiving the knockback difference. In Brawl and Smash 4, this was replaced with standard knockback-based armor, with Yoshi instead taking the full knockback if this threshold is exceeded.
Zero Suit Samus 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 will 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.


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 in Ultimate, certain fighters will always and automatically face the opponent, unless they turn around from a run or are in midair. This makes it easier to perform the desired command input special moves, but makes moves like Back aerial less practical and more niche. Ryu, Ken, Terry
Ammunition Certain characters require materials to use some of their moves. Inkling can continue using weaker versions of any move that use ink that deal less damage and do not apply the ink effect, with the exception of her down special and neutral special, and can reload by either a shield + special input or by using her neutral special with zero ink. Hero's special moves require an MP Gauge that regenerates automatically when he has less than 100 MP. His down special gives a menu of four random spells out of 21 that pauses the MP regeneration and has a set MP cost for each spell, while his other three specials can be charged into three variants each, with the stronger variants requiring more MP. Steve can replenish materials with his neutral special on the ground, and cannot use moves that require materials if he does not have the sufficient material, with the exception of his down throw, which becomes weaker. Inkling, Hero, Steve
Command Input Special Moves Characters can access upgraded versions of their special moves or unique special moves by moving the Control stick in a specific motion, then pressing a button in a specific window of time. While these versions are more complicated to activate, they are more powerful to compensate. Additionally, certain characters may have command input moves that do not have a special move counterpart. 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
Dodge leniency During some of the early frames of a roll, spot dodge, or air dodge, or in Bayonetta's case some of the late frames of Witch Time as well, certain fighters will perform unique dodging animations and take only half the usual damage with no knockback. The mechanic has different names depending on the fighter; Bayonetta's is called Bat Within, while Mythra's is called Foresight. Bayonetta, Mythra
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
Durability Certain fighters' moves can only be used a certain number of times before running out of durability. Robin's weapons lose durability once the weapon is used and replenish over time once that weapon runs out of durability, Steve's only lose durability if its hitbox connects and can be replenished by replacing damaged tools and weapons at a crafting table, while Banjo & Kazooie's golden feathers only replenish between KOs. Once Robin's weapons lose durability, they become a throwable item, but special moves can not be used if the required tome is regenerating, and aerial and smash attacks can only use the Bronze Sword if the Levin Sword is regenerating. Banjo & Kazooie's Wonderwing may only be used five times per stock before running out of durability, as any further attempts will cause the duo to stumble. Steve can use his fists as weaker versions of his regular attacks or a slower way to mine if a weapon or tool runs out of durability. Robin, Banjo & Kazooie, Steve
Gliding Super Smash Bros. Brawl In 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". In Ultimate, Steve has a pseudo-glide that functions similar to previous glides, but it is his dedicated Up special and he has no glide attack. Meta Knight, Pit, Charizard
Grab aerial While no fighter can grab in midair (outside of command grabs), certain fighters can activate the grab in midair to attack instead of grab. This move is also sometimes referred to as a Zair, due to players typically pressing the Z Button while airborne to preform the move. With the exception of Luigi's, all grab attacks can also act as a tether recovery. Also unique to Luigi is that his grab will become a projectile if it fails to grab regardless of it is used in the air or the ground. See this list
Hydrophobia Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Certain fighters will take continuous damage while swimming, and will be in their drowning animation for as long as they swim. This does not affect how long they can swim. Charizard, Incineroar, Inkling, Sonic
Mid-battle transformation Certain fighters are able to switch into a completely different fighter via one of their special moves. Zelda/Sheik, Squirtle/Ivysaur/Charizard, and Pyra/Mythra switch with their down specials, while Samus/Zero Suit Samus switch after using their Final Smashes, in addition to Samus being able to transform into her Zero Suit form by inputting a Smash Taunt (though she cannot transform back into her Power Suit form through this method). While Zelda, Sheik, Samus and Zero Suit Samus were all split into seperate characters in Smash 4 along with Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle, and Ivysaur being absent, Charizard appeared as a separate fighter before returning to the team in Ultimate. In Ultimate, despite all characters listed here being present, the only veteran who regained the ability to transform was Pokémon Trainer. Zelda/SheikSuper Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. Brawl, Samus/Zero Suit SamusSuper Smash Bros. Brawl, Pokémon Trainer (Squirtle/Ivysaur/Charizard)Super Smash Bros. BrawlSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pyra/Mythra
Moving neutral attack Certain fighters can use their neutral attack while moving and jumping, in effect acting as their side tilt and neutral aerial as well.
In the case of Min Min, Punch does not act as her neutral aerial, but rather as her forward and back aerial, as well as forward smash, held neutral special, and side special.
Mega Man, Min Min, Steve
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
Special + Shield Input Certain fighters can utilise a combination input of Special attack and Shield to perform a unique special ability. Inkling refills their ink gauge while Steve summons his crafting table. Inkling, Steve
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
Smash attack penalties Super Smash Bros. Ultimate While most characters in Ultimate can hold fully-charged smash attacks for up to 120 frames, Min Min's forward smash can only be held for 30 frames, and all of Bayonetta and Olimar's smashes, Mega Man and Villager's forward smashes, and Ness's up and down smashes can only be held for 60 frames. Additionally, all of these attacks except Min Min's forward smash have a 1.2x damage multiplier when fully charged instead of the usual 1.4x. Bayonetta, Mega Man, Min Min, Ness, Olimar, Villager
Tapped and held attacks Ryu and Ken's neutral attacks and tilt attacks, as well as the neutral attacks of Min Min, Simon, and Richter, become completely different moves depending on if the attack button is tapped or held. In the case of Simon and Richter, their held neutral attack can be controlled manually to strike nearby opponents or cancel out weak projectiles, while their tapped neutral attack acts as a standard rapid jab. Bayonetta's neutral attack, dash attack, tilt attacks, and aerial attacks all activate Bullet Arts when the attack button is held, which causes her to shoot bullets that deal 0.5% each after the attack animation has ended, and any attack where Min Min uses either Dragon ARM will fire a laser if the respective attack button is held after the attack animation ends. In Ultimate, if Ryu or Ken 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. Ryu, Ken, Bayonetta, Simon, Richter, Min Min
Taunt attack Certain fighters have taunts with hitboxes, effectively making them double as an attack. While most taunts in Ultimate can be canceled, taunt attacks can not. 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. See this list
Wall clinging A special variation of wall jumping where certain wall jumpers can stay on a wall for an extended period of time before jumping off. See this list


  • In Mr. Sakurai Presents "Pyra/Mythra", Sakurai points out Pyra's Flare Smash as her unique ability and counterpart to Mythra's Foresight but in practice it is an enhanced forward smash.