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Fox (SSBM)

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This article is about Fox's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Fox McCloud.
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Fox McCloud in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Universe Star Fox
Other playable appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier S (1) (North America)
SS (1) (Europe)

Fox (フォックス, Fox) is a playable starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

His Japanese voice actor, Shinobu Satouchi, reprises his role as Fox across all versions of the game, providing new and more energetic voice clips.

Fox currently ranks 1st on the Melee tier list, a moderate improvement from his already high 4th ranking in Smash 64 and is his best placement in the series to date. He is emblematic of speed, possessing fast attacks that also give him excellent comboing and damaging abilities. Overall, he can dominate foes with his quick movement and overpowering offense in all areas of his game. He also boasts numerous approaching methods, giving him some of the best neutral game options among the entire cast. He has access to effective, long-distance recovery options in Fire Fox and Fox Illusion. He has KO options and setups at a wide variety of percentages, and his high falling speed makes him resilient to vertical KOs. His aerial game also includes several low-lag yet effective and powerful moves to complement his ground game, especially when SHFFL'd, and is incredibly effective at approaching and edgeguarding. The main reason for Fox's success, however, is his Reflector (also known as the "shine"), which is one of the most versatile tools in the game. Aside from its intended purpose, the Reflector activates on frame 1 (making it the fastest move in the game), has set knockback, and can be jump canceled; this allows for shine spike gimps, neutral stance resets, getup option mixups, and even combos when wavedashing is incorporated.

Despite being ranked first, Fox is not flawless. One of Fox’s primary weaknesses is his rather short reach, due to his lack of disjointed hitboxes outside of his Shine. As such, he gets outspaced by other top tiers, especially in aerial combat, though his fast movement can compensate for this. His high falling speed makes him very easy to combo and chaingrab off of a single conversion from the opponent, and his light weight can result in extremely early horizontal KOs if the player's DI is poor. Although he boasts long-distance recovery options, their linear paths makes it easier for certain characters like Marth to predict his recovery path and edge guard or gimp him. Fox also has an extremely high technical learning curve, as most of his techniques require extremely nimble fingers and fast reaction time. Also, due to his aforementioned flaws, Fox is considered to be a glass cannon, where he could lose a stock if a single mistake is made, giving him a high cerebral learning curve. So while Fox has incredible fighting prowess and potential, many consider Fox to be arguably the hardest character to play as and master, requiring a lot of practice. Although Fox can rack up damage quickly, his combo game is rather unreliable, as many of his strings rely on tech-chasing and DI mixups rather than guaranteed hits. Fox also lacks a good combo finisher in his kit, as his shine spike is extremely situational and cannot be properly used to end his combos. Unlike other top tiers, such as Falco, Marth, Sheik, and Captain Falcon, who can net a kill off of starting a combo at mid percents, Fox's best option after a combo is to create an edgeguard situation (usually with his back aerial), which gives the opponent a chance to recover. As such, Fox relies on getting a kill confirm at high percents to net KOs if he can't successfully edgeguard or shine spike his opponents.

Regardless, his pros greatly outweigh his cons, and Fox’s excellent all-around offensive and defensive presence mixed with his blazing speed grant him a terrific matchup chart all-around.


Fox falls into a unique archetype: He is an exceptionally quick lightweight, yet he is equipped with a plethora of viable finishers. He has the second fastest dashing speed (which remedies his low air speed somewhat), tied with Marth for the fastest walking speed, the third fastest falling speed, the second fastest fast falling speed, fast dash-dancing, and fast attacks. His low traction and fast jump (only 3 frames before he leaves the ground) gives him a fast, moderately long wavedash.

Fox's primary reason for his top-tier placing is his unparalleled comboing and damaging ability, helped by a powerful approach game. His fast fall and low, fast short hop contribute to an extremely quick SHFFL, which can let him almost effortlessly start combos or act as a deadly approach option. Additionally, Fox's specials act as powerful ways to aid this; his Reflector comes out on frame 1, and makes for a potential combo starter, as well as a potential infinite combo with his waveshine infinite, and his Blaster is an almost unstoppable damage-racking method, due to its long range, inability to cause hitstun, high speed and its ability to be combined with Fox's short hop as part of the short hop laser technique. Additionally, a majority of Fox's attacks inflict significant damage while being very fast as well; his neutral aerial, back aerial, and tilts are especially notable in this regard, with the remainder of his aerials having little ending lag.

Additionally, despite his lightweight status and incredible frame-data, Fox's KO ability is also among the best in the game, with numerous powerful vertical finishers in his arsenal, most notably his up smash and up aerial, both of which are among the most powerful in the game with huge hitboxes. Fox's Reflector also makes for a valuable tool for KOing, due to its set, semi-spike knockback properties that makes it extremely useful for edgeguarding or gimping. Its instantaneous startup time and its ability to be jump-cancelled also means that it is of very low risk to use off the edge. While not the strongest, Fox's forward smash is an effective horizontal finisher at higher damage percentages, capable of KOing even heavyweights like Bowser under 150%.

While not the best, Fox's grab game is decent. His throws' low knockback allow him to set up potentially lethal combos. His up throw can lead into a sweet spotted up aerial, one of Fox's primary KO methods, and can even chain throw fast fallers. His forward and back throws force opponents a fair distance off the stage, aptly setting up opportunities for Fox to use his smashes, aerials, or shine spikes to edgeguard. In rare situations, Fox can use his down throw to meteor smash his opponents off the edge of a stage. Despite this, Fox's grab range is average, though his high dashing speed gives him a potential method to "extend" its range. Fox also cannot reliably chain grab at higher percentages, though he retains his ability to hit most opponents out of his up throw with guaranteed aerials, depending on DI.

Despite being a top-tiered character and considered among the most powerful in Melee, Fox is not completely infallible. Because he is a light fast faller, he suffers more hitstun but less vertical knockback. As such, nearly every character can juggle or chaingrab him for decent damage or even to KO percents with little chance for Fox to escape (Marth and Peach being notorious for having deadly chaingrab combos on Fox at Final Destination). As a result, Fox can be considered somewhat of a glass cannon, as while his attack prowess is high, a single blunder by the player can cause the loss of a stock.

In addition to an ease of being comboed, Fox also suffers from a rather exploitable recovery. On paper, despite being a fast faller with poor air speed and the highest gravity value amongst the fighters, Fox has a good recovery overall, as his two options, Fire Fox and Fox Illusion, both travel extremely long distances. He can also mix up his recovery options by angling Fire Fox in nearly any direction, shortening his Fox Illusion, or wall jumping on certain stages, making the opponent second-guess themselves about where they should be on the stage to intercept Fox's recovery. However, such techniques are also extremely dangerous if incorrectly spaced, as if the opponent obtains the correct read or gets into a position where they can hit him out of his recovery, Fox will most likely not be able to recover again. A multitude of attacks can intercept both moves, such as Mario's Cape or Falco's down aerial, and top-tiered characters generally have the options to cover several of Fox's recovery options at once, or even chase Fox off-stage before he even has the chance to recover.

Changes from Super Smash Bros.[edit]

Fox received a mix of buffs and nerfs upon making the transition between games, but was buffed overall. Fox’s archetype as a fast faller is more pronounced with his fall speed and gravity significantly increasing. Fox now has stronger KO power, recovery, and movement options thanks to the introduction of wavedashing. Fox also received a new special move, known as Fox Illusion, which can be used as an alternate recovery option, allowing for recovery mix-ups and making up for his reduced air speed and increased falling speed. Another noteworthy buff is his Reflector, as it can now be jump-cancelled, enabling him to perform advanced techniques such as waveshining. Reflector also no longer knocks down opponents whose weight is above 85 units, allowing for followups and even potential infinites.

Fox has also received notable nerfs, however. Although Blaster's projectile travels faster and can fire rapidly, it deals less damage overall and can no longer deal knockback, making it slightly less effective for camping. This also means that Blaster can no longer be used to gimp opponents or lead into followups. Fox also suffered a decrease in his air speed, limiting his recovery. Despite some of his moves becoming more powerful, some of his toolkit has become noticeably weaker: while his up smash is still a deadly finisher, its lower KOing power means that he will need to rack up more damage in order to close out stocks faster. Lastly, Fox's weight was significantly decreased, hindering his horizontal endurance. While his higher falling speed and gravity make up for his vertical endurance, they make him even more susceptible to combos, and the inclusion of up and down throws have made him very susceptible to chain grabs.

Overall, Fox's strengths clearly outweigh his flaws, and the changes to Melee's mechanics greatly benefit him overall. As a result, he is considered to be one of the few characters that were truly buffed, alongside Samus and Jigglypuff and many believe that he is the greatest character in the game at his maximum potential. He has seen immense representation in tournaments with excellent results.


  • Change The graphical upgrades of the Nintendo GameCube give Fox a more proportionate build. He is taller and thinner. His fur is now orange and his boots are more detailed.
  • Change Fox received a new taunt. He leans back, moves his left hand up and down and yells "come on".
    • Nerf This new taunt has much more ending lag (FAF 60 → 110), making it riskier to use.
  • Change Fox also received new voice samples that sound more energetic.


  • Buff Fox walks much faster (1.2 (36) → 1.6).
  • Buff Fox dashes faster (2 (60) → 2.2).
    • Nerf However, Fox's initial dash is significantly slower (2.7 (81) → 1.9), no longer being the highest.
  • Buff Fox's traction is higher (0.0667 (2) → 0.08), making it easier for him to punish out of shield.
  • Nerf Fox's air speed is much slower (1.2 (36) → 0.83), going from 3rd fastest out of 12 characters to the 7th slowest out of 26.
    • Buff However, his aerial approach is much greater due to the fact that jumps now carry momentum from a dash, combined with Fox's lower short hop, as well as with him gaining the ability to fast fall while performing an aerial.
  • Buff Fox's air acceleration has been unchanged (0.08 (2.4) → 0.08). Compared with the returning veterans, however, his air acceleration is significantly higher, going from the 4th lowest out of 12 characters to the 2nd highest out of 26.
  • Nerf Fox jumps drastically lower (42.5 (1275) → 31.28), hindering his vertical recovery and ability to chase opponents above him.
    • Change Fox's short hop is also drastically lower (22.8 (684) → 10.65), improves his ability to hit opponents low on the ground with short hop aerials, as well as his ability to quickly land and continue aerial pressure, but also hinders his ability to auto-cancel his aerials.
  • Change Fox's gravity is drastically higher (0.133 (4) → 0.23). This has the same benefits and drawbacks as his higher falling speed as well as reducing the height of his jumps.
  • Change Fox falls significantly faster (2 (60) → 2.8), to the point where it is now almost as high as his fast falling speed in the previous game. His increased falling speed aids his approach and pressure ability due to his very strong SHFFL, and makes him harder to KO vertically, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
    • Nerf Fox's fast falling speed is also faster (3.2 (96) → 3.4). However, the difference between his falling speed and fast falling speed is much lower (increase: 60% → 21.4%), which makes it more predictable when landing and gives him fewer options in the air.
  • Nerf Fox is catastrophically lighter (100 (1) → 75), drastically hindering his horizontal endurance. His increased falling speed and gravity give him greater vertical endurance despite this change but they make him even more susceptible to combos.
  • Nerf Fox's snout and the darker portion of his tail now have hurtboxes. This make Fox easier to hit.
  • Buff The introduction of air dodges has immensely benefited Fox as it gives him access to wavedashing and wavelanding and his fast jumping and falling speed allow him to make excellent use of wavedashing.
  • Buff The introduction of meteor cancelling significantly improves Fox's endurance against meteor smashes while not hindering him as he does not possess a meteor smash.
  • Nerf The removal of teleporting slightly hinders Fox's grounded approach, although his greater ground speed more than makes up for it.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff The first two hits of neutral attack have less startup lag (frame 3 (hit 1)/4 (hit 2) → 2/3), with their total durations reduced accordingly (FAF 18/20 → 17/19).
    • Buff The first two hits transition faster (frame 10 (both) → 6 (hit 1)/7 (hit 2)).
    • Buff The loop hits have less startup lag (frame 10 → 9).
    • Buff The loop hits have a shorter ending animation (14 frames → 9).
    • Buff The loop hits have gained an additional hitbox on Fox's leg.
    • Change The loop hits angles have been slightly altered (80° → 78°).
    • Nerf The second hit has a shorter duration (frames 4-6 → 3-4).
    • Nerf The universal decrease to hitstun combined with the introduction of DI has hindered the first two hit's jab cancelling potential although it still remains one of the most effective jab cancels in the game.
    • Nerf The loop hits far hitbox has been moved closer to Fox (x offset: 8.33 → 5.08). Because of this, the far hitbox now covers the tip of Fox's foot, rather than being positioned completely in front of Fox.
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has less startup lag (frame 6 → 5).
    • Buff Forward tilt now has a hitbox which covers Fox's leg.
    • Buff The down angled version deals more damage (8% → 9%) and no longer has weak set knockback (10 → 0).
    • Nerf Forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 6-13 → 5-8). As its total duration was unchanged, this increases its ending lag.
    • Nerf Forward tilt has smaller hitboxes (3.33u/3.33u → 2.73u/3.12u/2.34u) and the far hitbox has been moved closer to Fox (x offset: 4.66 → 4.1).
    • Nerf The far hitbox now has transcendent priority, hindering forward tilt's safety when spaced.
    • Nerf The up angled version deals less damage (11% → 9%).
    • Nerf Forward tilt can no longer be angled slightly up or down.
  • Up tilt:
    • Change Up tilt has a new animation where Fox kicks backwards.
    • Buff Up tilt has less startup lag (frame 6 → 5) with its total duration reduced accordingly (FAF 24 → 23).
    • Buff Up tilt has altered knockback (0 (base), 150 (scaling) → 18/140), which makes it a better combo tool at lower percents while not significantly sacrificing its KO power.
    • Buff Up tilt now has a sweetspot which deals more damage to grounded opponents (9% → 12%), significantly improving its KO potential despite its lower angle (80° → 110°).
      • Buff Additionally, the grounded sweetspot launches opponents towards Fox, granting it setup potential.
      • Buff Additionally, while the aerial sweetspot does not deal more damage, it does launch opponents at a more favorable angle (80° → 84°).
    • Nerf Up tilt has a shorter duration (frames 6-13 → 5-11).
    • Nerf Up tilt has smaller hitboxes (3.33u/5.82u → 5.08u/3.52u/3.12u).
    • Nerf Up tilt has less combo potential overall not only due to the universal decrease to hitstun/the introduction of DI but also because the move hits behind Fox, making it more difficult for Fox to use many of his other attacks unless the grounded sweetspot connects.
  • Down tilt:
    • Buff Down tilt has less ending lag (FAF 30 → 28).
    • Change Down tilt has received a middle hitbox which sends opponents at an 80° angle.
    • Nerf Down tilt has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 6-9 → 7-9).
    • Nerf Down tilt deals less damage (12% → 10%), hindering its KO potential.
      • Nerf Despite this, it still has worse combo potential overall due to the universal decrease to hitstun/the introduction of DI.
    • Nerf Down tilt has smaller hitboxes (3.66u/3.66u → 2.73u/2.73u/3.12u) and the far hitbox has been moved closer to Fox (z offset: 6.66 → 5.47).
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has less startup (frame 5 → 4) and ending lag (FAF 41 → 36).
    • Buff Dash attack now sends opponents vertically (361° → 72°) and it has increased base knockback (10 → 35 (clean), 20 (late)). When combined with its lower ending lag, this significantly improves its combo potential.
      • Nerf However, its new angle hinders its edgeguarding potential.
    • Nerf Dash attack has a shorter duration (frames 5-24 → 4-17).
    • Nerf Dash attack deals less damage (10% → 7% (clean), 6% → 5% (late), hindering its KO potential.
      • Buff However, this further improves its combo potential.
    • Nerf The foot hitbox has been moved closer to Fox (x offset: 4.66 → 3.9 (clean)/3.12 (late)).
    • Nerf The late hit has smaller hitboxes (3.82u/3.82u → 2.73u/2.73u).
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Fox has a new forward smash: a tumbling-spinning back kick from a turning leap that moves him forward. It has less ending lag (FAF 52 → 40) than his previous forward smash.
    • Buff Forward smash now consists of three hitboxes rather than one, improving its range overall despite its smaller hitboxes (4.66u → 3.52u/3.12u/2.34u).
    • Nerf Forward smash deals less damage (17% (clean), 13% (late) → 15%/12%) and knockback (0 (base), 120 (scaling) → 10/105 (clean), 2/100 (late)), hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf Forward smash has a shorter duration (frames 12-24 → 12-22).
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash deals more damage (16% (clean), 8% (late) → 18%/13%). The late hit's knockback was not compensated, significantly improving its KO potential.
    • Buff Up smash has much less ending lag (FAF 60 → 42).
    • Nerf Up smash has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 6-9 (clean)/10-21 (late) → 7-9/10-17).
    • Nerf The clean hit deals less knockback (25 (base), 140 (scaling) → 30/112), hindering its KO potential despite its increased damage (although it is still one of the strongest up smashes in the game).
    • Nerf Due to his snout gaining a hurtbox, Fox's snout is now exposed while his head is intangible, making up smash's head intangibility less effective.
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash deals more damage (14% → 15%).
    • Buff Down smash has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 46).
    • Buff Down smash has larger hitboxes (4.33u/4.33u → 4.69u/4.69u) which have been positioned slightly further out (x offset: 3/3 → 3.02/3.02).
    • Nerf Down smash deals less knockback (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 20/65), hindering its edgeguarding and KO potential despite its higher damage.
    • Nerf Down smash now has sourspots on the top of Fox's legs which deal less damage (14% → 12%), knockback (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 20/65) and do not semi-spike (25° → 361°).
    • Nerf Down smash now only grants intangibility to Fox's legs during its first active frame rather than throughout its entire startup (frames 1-6 → 6). This removes down smash's ability to be used to avoid low hitting attacks.

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials except back aerial have less landing lag (16 frames → 15 (neutral), 30 frames → 22 (forward), 40 frames → 18 (up/down)).
  • Nerf All aerials except back aerial auto-cancel later (frame 32 → 37 (neutral), frame 24 → 49 (forward), frame 24 → 31 (down), frame 14 → 26 (up)). When combined with his lower short hop and higher gravity, Fox can no longer auto-cancel any of his aerials out of a short hop.
    • Nerf When combined with the weakening of L-cancelling, this significantly hinders the safety and combo potential of Fox's aerials although his aerial pressure is even greater than before due to his faster falling speed and his ability to fast fall during an aerial.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Neutral aerial has a slightly altered animation; Fox faces more away from his kicking-direction akin to his dash attack, and tucks in his right leg differently.
    • Buff Neutral aerial has more overall utility due to Fox's lower jumps and higher gravity, making it a much more effective approach and pressure tool.
    • Buff Neutral aerial has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 42).
    • Nerf The clean hit deals less damage (14% → 12%) without full compensation on its base knockback (0 → 10).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Change Fox has a new forward aerial; he spin kicks rapidly at a slanted-upward angle exactly five times to his right.
    • Buff It is a multi hitting attack which overall deals more damage than his old forward aerial (12% (clean)/8% (late) → 7% (hit 1)/5% (hit 2)/6% (hit 3)/4% (hit 4)/3% (hit 5)/23.28% (total)).
    • Buff Forward aerial's foot hitbox has been positioned further forward (x offset: 4 → 4.69) which along with its new animation, slightly increases forward aerial's vertical range.
      • Nerf However, the new animation also decreases its horizontal range despite this.
    • Nerf Each hit is fairly slow, they still launch opponents horizontally and they have strong knockback for a multi hit, making the move incredibly unreliable (as opposed to be very consistent).
    • Nerf The final hit only received an increase to its base knockback (0 → 50), hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf Despite it now being a weaker multi hit, forward aerial has significantly less combo potential due to the universal decrease to hitstun/introduction of DI/weakening of L-cancelling.
    • Nerf Each hit has a fairly short duration which along with the long gap between each hit, makes forward aerial much more awkward to land.
    • Nerf Forward aerial has more ending lag (FAF 40 → 53) and a longer animation (39 frames → 59).
      • Nerf As a result of these changes, forward aerial has lost almost all of the utility it had in the previous game, now being one of Fox's worst moves.
  • Back aerial:
    • Change Back aerial has an altered animation: Fox's body is more upright while performing the move, with his legs being positioned in a less straight angle. As its hitboxes were not adjusted, this improves back aerial's vertical range but reduces its horizontal range.
    • Buff Back aerial deals more damage (12% (clean back), 8% (front/late) → 15%/9%) improving its KO potential.
    • Buff Back aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 38).
    • Buff Back aerial auto-cancels earlier (frame 28 → 24).
      • Nerf However, it no longer auto-cancels as soon as its hitboxes are no longer active.
    • Nerf Back aerial has a shorter duration (frames 4-27 → 4-19).
    • Nerf Back aerial has more landing lag (15 frames → 20).
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial's first hit deals more damage (2% → 5%), increasing its overall damage potential (15% → 16%).
    • Buff The second hit has less startup lag with a longer duration (frames 12-13 → 11-14).
    • Buff The second hit has more base knockback but less knockback scaling (0 (base), 135 (scaling) → 40/116). This makes it safer on hit at lower percents and improves its overall KO potential, especially near the upper blastzone.
    • Buff Up aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36).
    • Nerf The first hit has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 6-11 → 8-9).
      • Buff However, this improves its ability to link into the second hit.
    • Nerf The first hit has much lower set knockback (100 → 30), which when combined with the universal decrease to hitstun and the weakening of L-cancelling has completely removed its combo ability and removes its infinite.
    • Nerf Up aerial has smaller hitboxes (5.33u/5.66u → 4.3u/4.3u.4.3u (hit 1), 5.66u/6.16u → 3.66u/4.89u/4.89u (hit 2) and the foot hitbox has been positioned closer to Fox (x offset: 3.66 → 3.12 (hit 1)/0 (hit 2)). This hinders its juggling potential, as well as its ability to hit opponents below Fox (especially the first hit when combined with its increased startup lag).
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial's upper hitbox deals more damage (2% → 3%), which increases the move's maximum damage potential (14% → 19.38%).
    • Change Down aerial's angle has been slightly altered (-70° → 290°).
    • Nerf Down aerial has more startup lag (frame 4 → 5).
      • Buff However, its total duration was unchanged, decreasing its ending lag by one frame.
    • Nerf The foot hitbox has been moved closer to Fox (z offset: 3.33 → 0), decreasing its range.
    • Nerf Due to the universal decrease to hitstun, down aerial deals less hitstun (20 frames → 15 frames average). When combined with the weakening of L-cancelling and its worse auto-cancel window, this hinders down aerial's followup potential. Most notably, Fox can no longer land a guaranteed up smash on characters who weight more than 82 units.
      • Buff However despite this, the move is no longer dangerously punishable on hit when not L-cancelled due to its much lower landing lag.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Grab:
    • Buff Fox has been given a pummel, an up and a down throw, providing him with more options during and after a grab. Fox's up throw in particular is considered the best up throw in the game due to it's chaingrab and damage racking capabilities, and easy and quick KO setups. His down throw is also useful as a Tech-chaser.
    • Nerf Grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 → 7 (standing), 12 (dash)) and ending lag (FAF 16 → 31 (standing), 41 (dash)).
    • Nerf Fox's main grabbox is smaller (4.33u → 3.91u) and it is not positioned as far out which along with grab's new animation, reduces its range.
    • Buff Fox's grabs have a longer duration (frame 6 → 7-8/12-13) and Fox now has a new grabbox which is closer to him, making it easier for him to grab opponents inside of him.
  • Forward throw:
    • Buff Forward throw now has an initial hit, which deals 4%. This allows forward throw to build up more damage on the grabbed opponent, as well as hit bystanders if they are close enough.
    • Buff As with all throws, forward throw gains invincibility sooner (frame 4 → 1).
      • Nerf However because of this, Fox is no longer invincible when he is throwing his opponent.
    • Change Fox releases his opponent from forward throw one frame later (frame 10 → 11), with the new hitbox occurring on frame 10 instead.
    • Nerf Forward throw deals less damage (12% → 3%) without full compensation on its knockback (80 (base), 60 (scaling) → 35/130), greatly hindering its already below average KO potential, especially at the ledge.
  • Back throw:
    • Buff Fox has a new back throw where he now throws his opponent behind him and shoots them with 3 lasers. These new lasers (theoretically) improve back throw's damage racking potential.
      • Nerf However, these lasers can be avoided with DI, making the throw deal a measly 2% if this occurs.
    • Buff As with all throws, back throw gains invincibility sooner (frame 4 → 1).
      • Nerf However, it has less invincibility (frames 4-12 → 1-8).
    • Change Fox releases his opponent from back throw much sooner (frame 19 → 9).
      • Buff This makes back throw harder to DI.
      • Nerf However, this also increases its ending lag as its total duration was not fully compensated (FAF 40 → 39).
    • Change Back throw is now weight dependent.
      • Buff This makes the throw faster against lighter characters, granting it less ending lag than its Smash 64 counterpart when used on the lightest characters.
      • Nerf However, this makes the throw slower against heavier characters.
    • Nerf Back throw deals much less damage (15% → 2% (throw)/2% (lasers)/7% (total)) without full compensation on the throw's knockback scaling (60 → 85), immensely hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf Back throw launches opponents at a higher angle (45° → 56°), which further hinders its edgeguarding potential along with its drastically reduced knockback.
    • Nerf Back throw has lost its collateral hitbox. While the lasers can hit bystanders, they deal no knockback, making them much less effective than the previous collateral hitbox.
  • Floor attacks:
    • Buff Floor attacks have increased intangibility (frames 1-24 (front)/1-23 (back) → 1-26 (both)).
    • Buff Floor attacks no longer have set knockback (60 (set), 100 (scaling) → 80 (base)/50), with Fox's floor atatcks no longer being the weakest in the game.
  • Front floor attack:
    • Buff Front floor attack has larger hitboxes (3u/4u → 6.25u/3.91u/3.91u).
    • Buff Front floor attack now anti-rebounding priority.
    • Nerf Front floor attack has a shorter duration (frames 19-21 (back)/25-27 (front) → 19-20/25-26).
  • Back floor attack:
    • Buff Back floor attack has larger hitboxes (3u/4u → 7.03u/3.91u/3.91u (front), 4.69u/6.25u/6.25u (back)).
    • Buff Back floor attack now has transcendent priority.
  • Edge attacks:
    • Buff Edge attacks deal more damage (4% → 8%/6%).
    • Buff Edge attacks deal more shield damage (0 → 1).
    • Nerf Edge attacks have decreased set knockback (100 → 90).
  • Fast edge attack:
    • Buff Fast edge attack has larger hitboxes (4.66u/2.5u → 4.69u/4.69u/4.69u).
    • Nerf Fast edge attack has decreased intangibility (frames 1-22 → 1-21).
    • Nerf Fast edge attack has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 24-39 → 25-34).
  • Slow edge attack:
    • Buff Slow edge attack has larger hitboxes (4.66u/2.5u → 3.12u/4.69u/4.69u).
    • Buff Slow edge attack has less startup (frame 69 → 57) and ending lag (FAF 90 → 70).
    • Nerf Slow edge attack has decreased intangibility (frames 1-60 → 1-53).
    • Nerf Slow edge attack has a shorter duration (frames 69-75 → 57-59).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Blaster:
    • Change "Blaster Shot" has been renamed to simply "Blaster".
    • Buff Blaster has much less startup (frame 25 (ground)/15 (aerial) → 12/10) and ending lag (FAF 55 (ground)/45 (aerial) → 41/37).
    • Buff Blaster's repeat window has been altered (frames 29-54 (ground)/15-44 (aerial) → 4-16/4-14). This means that Fox no longer has to perform frame perfect inputs in order to shoot lasers as quickly as possible, as well as preventing Fox from potentially firing another laser in a situation where it could be fatal.
    • Buff Blaster now has three separate animations, a beginning, middle and ending animation. The middle animation is 10 frames long, allowing Fox to shoot lasers every 10 frames, regardless of if he is in the air or on the ground.
    • Buff Fox can now fast fall while performing Blaster.
    • Buff The lasers travel faster.
    • Buff The lasers now consist of four larger hitboxes (0.66u → 1.17u/1.17u/1.17u/1.56u).
      • Buff Altogether, these changes significantly speed up Fox's rate of fire and they generally improve Fox's approach with lasers although despite these changes, Fox can still only fire two lasers in a short hop due to his much lower short hop.
    • Nerf The lasers deals less damage (6% → 3%).
    • Nerf The lasers no longer cause hitstun on opponents (1 (set), 100 (scaling) → 0/0). This makes lasers ineffective for stopping opponents' approaches, as well as removing their setup and edgeguarding potential.
      • Buff However, when combined with Fox's greater firing rate, this makes lasers a great damaging racking option against shield breaks and Rest.
    • Nerf The lasers no longer have an infinite duration, now only lasting 34 frames.
  • Fox Illusion:
    • Change Like all of the other characters, Fox has a side special. In his case, it is Fox Illusion. Fox Illusion gives him an additional recovery option, and also makes his horizontal recovery considerably quicker.
  • Fire Fox:
    • Buff Fire Fox now has hitboxes while it is charging, which leaves Fox much less vulnerable and increases Fire Fox's maximum damage potential (16% → 2% (hits 1-7)/14% (hit 8)/25% (total)).
    • Buff Fire Fox has a larger hitbox (3u → 4u).
    • Buff Fire Fox travels further and faster.
    • Buff Fox can now grab the ledge while charging Fire Fox. When combined with the fact that ledge intangibility is no longer cancelled when letting go of the ledge, this also Fox to safely stall at the ledge where he will be completely intangible if timed correctly, allowing him to stall or setup edgehogs and shine spikes.
    • Buff Fox can now grab ledges from behind after dashing with Fire Fox.
    • Buff Fire Fox has less landing lag (12 frames → 6/3).
    • Nerf Fire Fox's dash deals less damage (16% → 14%) hindering its KO potential.
    • Nerf Fire Fox can no longer be edge cancelled after the dash.
    • Nerf Fox's slower air speed, faster falling speed and higher gravity makes his free fall significantly less effective for recovering, which was previously Fox's best method to recover.
  • Reflector:
    • Change Reflector has a new hold animation where Fox now shakes while his reflector is constantly flashing, rathering than just standing still with his arms up.
    • Buff Reflector has a larger hitbox (6u → 8u).
    • Buff Reflector can now be jump-cancelled, which, along with the introduction of wavedashing and jump cancelled grabs, significantly improves its utility outside of landing.
      • Buff This also means Fox can quickly followup a grounded shine without having to go through the normal short hop animation, making shine a faster option to use in the neutral.
    • Buff Due to the changes to the tumble threshold, Reflector will no longer knock down characters who weight over 85 units, which grants it incredible combo potential on a majority of the cast, leading into an up smash, a grab or even another shine for a potential infinite.
      • Nerf However this along with the universal reduction to hitstun/the introduction of DI and the introduction of wall teching has hindered Fox's shine spiking potential (although it is still an incredible edgeguarding tool and the ability to jump cancel the shine allows to be used at even lower stage positions than it could before).
    • Buff Fox can now drop through platforms while using Reflector.
      • Buff This can be used to set up a Shine mine where the reflector will be active on frames 2-3 but in a random set up position on stage. This can be used as a niche edgeguarding technique.
      • Buff Overall, these changes combined with Fox's greater mobility grant Shine even greater utility than it already had.
    • Nerf Reflector no longer auto-cancels on landing. While this allows Fox to keep holding out reflector when he lands to reflect projectiles, this also makes the move much more punishable if he lands with it.
      • Nerf This along with the changes to shields have hindered its shield pressuring potential, with shine no longer being able to lead into a guaranteed shield break (although it still remains one of the best shield pressuring tools in the game).
    • Nerf Reflector has a smaller reflection hitbox (11.66u → 8.5u).
    • Nerf Reflector has a lower reflection multiplier (1.8x → 1.5x), regaining its multiplier from the Japanese version of Smash 64.
    • Nerf Reflector has more ending lag after reflecting a projectile (FAF 25 → 39).

Version history[edit]

Fox has received a bunch of nerfs in the PAL version of Melee, being arguably the most nerfed character. The nerfs mainly impact his survivability. He is lighter and his recovery less effective, and slightly weaken the KO power of some of his moves. Additionally, although this is not a direct nerf, Fox is no longer able to waveshine Marth, due to the latter's reduced weight. Despite this, his tournament viability is not severely affected, as he is also ranked 1st on the PAL tier list (though recently, this has become more debatable).


  • Nerf Fox is lighter (75 → 73), which hinders his endurance.
    • Buff However, this allows him to tech out of Falco's down throw.
  • Nerf Dash attack's late hit has a shorter duration (10 frames → 9) and sends opponents at a less vertical angle (72° → 55°).
  • Nerf Up smash's clean hit deals less damage (18% → 17%) and knockback (30 (base), 112 (scaling) → 26/108), noticeably hindering its KO potential.
  • Nerf Down smash's sweetspots deal 2% less damage (15% → 13%) and send enemies at a slightly higher angle (25° → 30°), significantly hindering its KO and egdeguarding potential.
  • Nerf Fire Fox's main hitbox is smaller (4u → 3u), much like its Smash 64 counterpart.
  • Nerf Fire Fox's main hitbox deals 2% less damage (14% → 12%), hindering its KO potential.
  • Nerf Fire Fox's initial speed is greater (3.8 → 4.2) however, it starts losing speed sooner (6 frames → 2) and its maximum momentum to stop has been increased (0.1 → 0.114). Because of this, Fire Fox loses speed sooner and at a faster rate. As a result, it travels about 75% the distance, hindering its recovery potential.
  • Change Fire Fox is coded to have more landing lag (18 frames → 20) although this has no effect, as the move still only has 3 frames of landing lag.


Fox's aerial attacks

For a gallery of Fox's hitboxes, see here.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Jab (ジャブ) / Straight (ストレート) / Rapid Kick (ラピッドキック) 4% A quick jab that can combo into several other attacks, including an up smash. Very useful against shields, to jab reset, and into shine cancels. The second jab makes Fox move forward a bit and is followed by a flurry of rapid kicks. Its combo ability into other moves makes it the best jab in the game.
1% (loop)
Forward tilt Fox Kick (フォックスウィップ, Fox Whip) 9% Sticks his foot out to the side. This is best used for a quick close-ranged spacing move. This move can be aimed up or down.
Up tilt Back Kick (バックキック) 12% (foot grounded), 9% (leg & foot aerial) Performs a quick and surprisingly strong vertical back kick. It covers Fox's whole body; thus, it makes Fox and his vertically-aimed foot a hitbox. Its speed, power, and hitbox make it great for close-up spacing. It can easily combo into itself, up air, and up smash. Used as part as a chain-grab against fast-fallers with it being connected to his up throw. Begins to KO at around 120% on mostly the floaty lightweights. Fox's foot deals more damage on grounded opponents.
Down tilt Fox Sweep (フォックススイープ) 10% Performs a sweeping tail lash. Moderately fast. Can combo at mid-percentages into aerials. It can also become a somewhat solid finisher at higher percentages.
Dash attack Jumping Side Kick (ジャンピングサイドキック) 7% (clean), 5% (late) Runs forward and sticks his leg out. Good combo ability, especially into an up smash. Very vulnerable to crouch canceling.
Forward smash Roundhouse Kick (回し蹴り) 15% (clean), 12% (late) Performs a flying hook kick. Has rather low knockback (extremely low base knockback - 10) for a smash attack, though it is fast, and is actually quite reliable at higher percentages (very high knockback scaling - 105), KOing usually at around 120%.
Up smash Flip Kick (サマーソルトキック, Somersault Kick) 18%/17% (clean NTSC/PAL), 13% (late) Performs a bicycle kick. This move is very fast, and when used on the ground while facing the foe, it has very high vertical knockback. It is very reliable at mid-high damages. Shine into up smash is very useful for KOs. Considered one of the best up smashes in the game due to its extreme speed, extreme power, decent range, and ability to be easily set up into it. It is the second most powerful up smash in the game, behind Pikachu's. Fox's head is intangible during the early part of the animation.
Down smash Fox Split (フォックス スプリット) 15%/13% (feet NTSC/PAL), 12% (legs) Does a split kick, hitting on both of his sides. It is fast and has moderate knockback, sending opponents on a semi-spike trajectory. Useful for edgeguarding and spacing. Both of Fox's legs are intangible near the start of the move.
Neutral aerial Flying Kick (飛び蹴り) 12% (clean), 9% (late) Sticks his foot out, a simple sex kick. A very quick aerial, good against shields and great power when it first comes out. One of the best neutral airs in the game due to its combo ability and reliable setups into shine.
Forward aerial Tornado Kick (トルネードキック) 7% (hit 1), 5% (hit 2), 6% (hit 3), 4% (hit 4), 3% (hit 5) Kicks forward five times. Good knockback when all hits connect. Regrettably, this move is very awkward due to the short amount of forward distance, short range of the move, and bad physics of the kicks being chained together. All hits are extremely hard to connect without a good set-up, especially on lighter characters.
Back aerial Reverse Spin Kick (リバーススピンキック) 15% (clean right leg), 9% (clean left leg, late) Does a quick no-look kick backwards while recovering in a turn, with sex kick properties. Great knockback on early hit, and one of Fox's best edgeguarding and KO moves.
Up aerial McCloud Flip (テイル&レッグ, Tail & Leg) 5% (hit 1), 13% (hit 2) Whips his tail up and kicks immediately after. A very high knockback move, good vertical finisher, can combo out of an up throw on virtually everyone. It and his up smash give Fox an advantage against light, floaty characters, notably Jigglypuff and Kirby. Can be Smash DI'd out of however. Considered to be one of the best up airs in the game due to it's juggling prowess, speed, power, and ability to be comboed into.
Down aerial Air Drill (エアドリル) 2-3% (hits 1-7) Spins around, drilling downwards with his extended foot. Useful as a SHFFL'd approach option, with combo potential into moves like up tilt, up smash, and shine. It is the weakest spike in the game, with weak set knockback.
Grab Grab (つかみ)
Pummel Knee () 3% Knees opponent.
Forward throw Elbow Bash (エルボーバッシュ) 4% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Punches the opponent forward. Despite its generally poor combo ability, it can chain-grab on some heavy characters. It is best used for forcing opponents offstage, setting up an edgeguard.
Back throw Skeet Blaster (スキートブラスター) 2% (throw), 2% (shots) Throws backwards and shoots the opponent with his Blaster. Used mainly for setting up edgeguards off-stage, though really not many other uses besides mixing up a Fox player's throw game.
Up throw Star Blaster (スターブラスター) 2% (throw), 2% (shots) Throws the opponent into the air and shoots them with his Blaster. It can chain-grab fast fallers at lower percentages and combo into moves such as up tilt, up aerial, and up smash. Often considered the best up throw in the game due to its easy kill setups (notably up throw to up air), its chaingrab ability, and its juggle potential (up air juggles after up throw).
Down throw Floor Blaster (フロアブラスター) 1% (shots), 1% (throw) Throws the opponent into the ground and shoots them with his Blaster. Has meteor smash properties, and if performed at the edge of a stage or platform, can send the opponent plummeting down. This is useful as a mixup at high percents or as a tech chase into a KO move. However, this also allows it to be meteor cancelled or teched, and faces competition with up throw, which has true combo followups on the majority of the cast.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and kicks on both sides.
Floor attack (back)   6% Punches forwards, then kicks backwards.
Edge attack (fast)   6% (body), 8% (legs) Throws himself onto the stage with both feet sticking out.
Edge attack (slow)   6% (body), 8% (legs) Slowly gets up and kicks in front.
Neutral special Blaster 2-3% Fox fires a laser from his Blaster. The fastest projectile used by any character in the game, but does not make opponents flinch, unlike in the previous game. It is mainly used from long range as short hop lasers to build up damage. If used on the ground, there is ending lag. This attack has transcendent priority.
Side special Fox Illusion 7% Fox dashes forward, leaving an afterimage behind him. A fairly quick but linear horizontal recovery move. Can be shortened at three different distances by pressing the B button again on specific frames.
Up special Fire Fox 2% (charge loop), 14%/12% (dash NTSC/PAL) Fox charges up in flames and blasts off in a direction, which can be controlled with the control stick. Unreliable as an attack due to the charge time, but can damage opponents during this. Less predictable than Illusion given its ability to change angles, but still a linear move. Techniques such as changing the angle and sweetspotting can keep Fox's opponent guessing. Has next to no landing lag, making it hard to punish on landing. Its distance was nerfed in the PAL version of Melee.
Down special Reflector 5% (startup), 1.5x damage for reflected projectiles Informally referred to as the Shine, it reflects any projectiles that hit it back at the opponent who fired them for 1.5x damage and knockback. This move has low base knockback, but is an extremely useful semi-spike as it can push opponents offstage while edgeguarding, to prevent them from recovering. Due to the set knockback, it has guaranteed followups on much of the cast at any percentage. The move can be jump cancelled to avoid the ending lag, allowing Fox to quickly jump up off stage, and it also gives him access to the waveshine technique. Reflector is invincible and active on the first frame of the animation, and thus considered one of the best Down B's in the game (along with Falco's).

Announcer call[edit]


  • Fox crouches and says "Come on!", beckoning with his left hand. With Japanese as the set language, he says かかってこい! (Come at me!)
  • Smash taunt: Fox can do a Star Fox conversation that can only be used on Corneria or Venom by quickly tapping Down on the control pad (for one frame). This taunt can only be used once per match.
Taunt Smash taunt
Fox-Taunt-SSBM.gif Taunts-Melee-Fox-SmashTaunt.png

Idle pose[edit]

  • Slightly looks towards his right side and twitches his ears.
Fox Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Gooooooo Fox! Fox! *claps three times*
Pitch Group chant Male

Victory poses[edit]

A rendition of a portion of the main theme of Star Fox 64.
  • Swirls gun into holster and says, "Mission Complete!"; 作戦終了! which translates to "Operation complete!"
  • Points his Blaster to his left, kneels down and points his Blaster to his right, stands up and says, "Mission Complete!"; これより帰還する。 which roughly translates to "On my way back from here."
  • If the language is set to Japanese and Fox wins against Falco, he may say 気にするなよ、ファルコ。, which roughly translates to "Don't worry about it, Falco."
  • Crosses his arms while closing his eyes, quickly looks upward while raising his tail and says, "Mission Complete!"; 作戦終了! which translates to "Operation complete!" This is his based off his character chosen animation and taunt from Super Smash Bros.
Fox-Victory1-SSBM.gif Fox-Victory2-SSBM.gif Fox-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Most historically significant players[edit]

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See also: Category:Fox players (SSBM)
  • Sweden Armada - One of the Five Gods; Armada initially developed Fox as a counterpick to the Jigglypuff matchup (instead of his usual Peach), but his Fox eventually saw use against a variety of matchups and players. His Fox is often described as a perfect balance of aggressive and passive play, and he is the namesake of the "Armada Shine," a perfectly timed shine spike against an opposing Fox while charging their up special.
  • USA Chillin - Widely credited as the inventor of the Fox metagame during Melee's early lifetime, Chillin was known for pioneering many of Fox's essential techniques, such as waveshine combos and falling up aerials, as well as taking sets off of Ken, the best player in the world at the time.
  • USA Cody Schwab - The best Fox player in the world post-quarantine, with supermajor victories at Smash Summit 12,Smash Summit 13,and Battle of BC 5; known for his impressive utilization of Fox's recovery options, as well as his prowess in the Jigglypuff and Marth matchups.
  • USA Colbol - One of the best Fox players in the world, known for placing 10th on the SSBMRank 2014, and his 5th place finish at Apex 2014, which was one of the strongest placings for a solo Fox main at the time.
  • USA Druggedfox - Known for his heavy reaction and punished based playstyle. Among his significant results include 13th place at EVO 2016, 17th at Super Smash Con 2016, 9th at UGC Smash Open.
  • USA Fiction - Best solo Fox main in SoCal before switching to Falco in 2021.
  • USA Hax$ - Originally a Captain Falcon main until his switch to Fox in 2014, achieving 8th on the SSBMRank 2014 with only Fox. Widely renowned as an extremely technical Fox player, frequently using the notoriously difficult multishines in competitive matches.
  • Germany Ice - While active, was known as one of the best players in Europe behind Armada and Leffen, and had numerous top eight finishes in North American tournaments, including 3rd at The Big House 6.
  • USA Jman - Jman was known for peaking at just below the skill of the Five Gods during his prime from 2009 to 2011, having taken sets off of Mang0, Mew2King, and PPMD, and was the strongest solo Fox main since Chillin.
  • USA KDJ - Triple-mained with Marth and Sheik before retiring. Considered one of the strongest Melee players in the pre-Brawl era.
  • Sweden Leffen - Widely regarded as one of the greatest Fox players of all time, and following his rise to dominance in 2015, became the first solo Fox main ever to become a consistent tournament threat. His 3rd place on the SSBMRank 2015 was the highest ever finish for a solo Fox main on a global rankings. Known for his strong neutral game, consistent execution of ledgedashes and other advanced techniques, and his prowess in the Peach matchup, especially vs. Armada.
  • USA Lucky - One of the best solo Fox mains in SoCal, known for his extensive consistent placements and longevity throughout the 2010s, with victories over Hungrybox, Mang0, Mew2King, and PPMD.
  • USA Mang0 - One of the Five Gods, known for switching from Jigglypuff to Fox along with a Falco co-main. Mang0 is known for his free-flowing combo game and heavily read-based playstyle. His victories at EVO 2013 and EVO 2014 (using primarily Fox) are regarded as two of the most significant supermajor wins for Fox in the game's history.
  • USA Mew2King - One of the Five Gods; while more known for his Marth and Sheik, Mew2King achieved consistent top eight placings in majors throughout 2006 with solo Fox, and continued to use the character as strong secondary in certain matchups, particularly against Jigglypuff.
  • Canada moky - The best Fox player in Canada, who rose to become a top ten player worldwide in 2023, placing 3rd at GENESIS 9, and has victories over Hungrybox, Cody Schwab, and Leffen. moky is most well known for his exceptional tech chasing ability.
  • USA PC Chris - One of the best Melee players in the pre-Brawl era, with multiple first place finishes during his prime, most notably at MLG Las Vegas 2006. Dual mained Falco and Fox.
  • USA Plup - Co-mains with Sheik. Usually uses Fox against Jigglypuff, but sometimes has solo Fox showings, mostly at smaller tournaments.
  • Canada Ryan Ford - One of the best players in Canada. Has wins on n0ne, Drephen, and Soonsay.
  • USA SFAT - Best Fox main in NorCal and one of the top Fox players in the world, known for consistently placing top ten in global rankings throughout the 2010s.
  • USA Silent Wolf - Formerly the Pacific Northwest's best player before retiring, known for his highly technical playstyle and proficiency in the Peach matchup.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Fox has been a top-tiered character, along with Falco and Sheik, since the very first Melee tier list, and has never fallen below third place. However, he was not at the top of the list for the first seven revisions, as Sheik was then considered to be the best character in the game. Many of the top players in the early metagame, including Ken and Azen, used Fox only as a secondary for specific matchups; solo Fox mains such as Chillin, on the other hand, were not as successful nationally. Eventually, more dedicated Fox mains, such as PC Chris, FASTLIKETREE, KoreanDJ, and Mew2King, began to revitalize his metagame by pushing Fox's technical ceiling. They began placing within the top 8 of MLG-sponsored tournaments, and their consistency and dominance in the scene resulted in Sheik's dethroning from first to third place on the eighth revision of the tier list in July of 2006, with Fox taking the top spot. Later that year, PC Chris and KoreanDJ placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the MLG Las Vegas national championships, using Fox primarily in Grand Finals, which cemented his position on the list.

During the Brawl era, however, some smashers began to dispute Fox's standing on the tier list. They argued that Fox was only the best character theoretically, and that other characters had become much more consistent than him over these years of play. Many of Fox's best players had retired, with the exception of Mew2King, who began using other characters more often. There were certainly still many solo Fox mains in the top cut of Melee players, but without the strongest players of the MLG era spearheading further Fox development, few of them could actually win supermajor-level events. Players began developing rigorous counterplay to Fox, such as SDI-ing out of his up throw to up aerial combo, making it extremely difficult for newer players to find tournament success with him. Of the "Five Gods" who rose to prominence in the era, only the aforementioned Mew2King and Mango used Fox during this time; the latter did not even start as a Fox main, making his name with Jigglypuff and Falco.

Without updates to the tier list for years after 2010, Fox seemingly remained at the top; however, Mango's dominance with Falco, as well as many top 10-level Falco mains emerging such as Zhu and fellow "God" PPMD, made many believe that Falco would become the superior character. Although solo Fox mains showed glimpses of brilliance, such as Jman's top 3 finish at Apex 2009, none of them could match the overall consistency of the Five Gods until Mango himself picked Fox up in 2011. Once Mango began succeeding with solo Fox in 2013, however, opinions on Fox began to change once again; after Mango's victories at Kings of Cali 2, Zenith 2013, IMPULSE 2013, and EVO 2013 with nearly only Fox, the Smash Back Room panelists voted Fox as 1st on the eleventh tier list, albeit by a small margin (an average rank of 1.39 to Falco's 1.68) due to lingering opinions about Falco from years past. These notions would soon completely fade as metagame trends resulted in more Fox usage at the top level than had ever been seen before. He became the most common character in doubles matches by far, and the most common character in singles matches as well.

The meteoric rise of Leffen in 2014 and 2015 as a solo Fox main, along with Mango's continued dominance, solidified many players' opinions about Fox's place at the top of the metagame. Many players who mained a lower-ranked character, most notably Hax, even abandoned their former character in favor of using only Fox, and other players, such as Armada, picked up Fox as a co-main to alleviate trouble against certain opponents. This heavily increased presence led panelists to rank Fox as decisively 1st on the tier list, which caused him to be placed in his own tier at the top of the most recent tier list (much akin to Pikachu in the previous iterations of the 64 tier list or Meta Knight in Brawl). However, his tier placement was met with some backlash; community members argued that designating Fox as "SS-tier" implied that he was overwhelmingly superior to the rest of the cast, when the true power gap between the top 3 characters was not actually that large, and that Fox was merely the most common and clear #1 out of them.

Starting in 2017, the rise of Hungrybox and Zain as contenders for #1 in the world caused some in the Melee community to re-evaluate Fox's status as the undisputed best in the game. Zain's dominance over Fox professionals with his Marth, in particular, called into serious question the pre-existing notion that Fox had no losing matchups. As the technical requirement of the game at a competitive level continued to grow, many players viewed the stamina aspect of playing over a long tournament as growing in importance, citing that Fox players tend to burn out in later stages due to having to play a technically demanding character across many sets, and that such external factors should be taken into consideration on a tier list.

However, Fox players have continued to redevelop their character equally as hard in response; starting in 2022, top Fox mains such as Mang0 and Cody Schwab began consistently defeating Zain and Hungrybox in tournament once more, with Cody being the highest ranked solo Fox main on the 2022 SSBMRank. Today, most community members view Fox as the best character in the game, clearly ahead of Marth, Jigglypuff, and Falco, as he has overall the strongest matchup spread against the other top tiers.

PAL viability[edit]

Fox was nerfed in the PAL version of Melee. While his nerfs seem insignificant, they actually affect his matchups more than most other nerfed characters. The nerf to his up smash allows several characters to barely survive in that version where they would not have been able to in NTSC, forcing Fox mains to learn later KO percentages for it; at those percentages, however, some up smash setups are no longer guaranteed. Fox's nerfed recovery also weakens his off-stage game, as he can no longer travel as far off-stage to intercept enemies, and hinders his survivability, especially against characters who retain their edgeguarding ability, such as Sheik and Marth. The nerf to his weight exacerbates his decreased survivability, but as a positive note, allows him to escape combos more easily.

Fox's matchups against other top-tiered characters become slightly less advantageous in PAL. For example, many professionals believe that Falco wins against Fox overall, as Fox's nerfs allow Falco to survive much longer and KO Fox earlier, while Falco himself is not significantly hindered by his own PAL nerfs. Fox's matchup against Marth, in particular, is much harder, as he is no longer guaranteed a grab out of a waveshine due to Marth's weight changes. Thus, Fox needs to work much harder for a grab setup, hindering his damage racking ability against equally skilled players. However, Marth retains his fantastic punish game against fastfallers and has a much easier time edgeguarding Fox due to his aforementioned recovery nerfs. Along with harder matchups against Peach and even Captain Falcon, some PAL professionals have vouched that Falco or Marth is the best in that particular version of Melee instead. Regardless, Fox still performs very well in PAL regions of Melee, and maintains first place in his own tier on the most recent PAL tier list.

Fox players who travel to attend large tournaments, such as Leffen, are forced to adjust to these changes in gameplay, which can be an obstacle when fighting in a foreign country or continent. A handful of these players own copies of both the PAL and NTSC versions of the game to allow practice before international tournaments, mainly to practice executing certain Fox-specific setups that are impossible in the PAL version but present in the NTSC version, or to practice accommodating for the lack of these setups with backup strategies.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Fox can appear as an ordinary opponent, an ally or opponent in team battles, alongside Falco, Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong or Samus, or as a metal opponent. In Fox's appearances, he appears on Corneria or Venom as a regular opponent, and on Battlefield as a metal opponent. In team battles, he appears on Mute City with Captain Falcon, on Kongo Jungle with Donkey Kong, and on Brinstar with Samus.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Fox appears on Stage 6 of the Adventure Mode on Corneria. In the first part of the stage, the player battles Fox, who will try and avoid the player. After defeating Fox once, the player will have to face him again, this time on offense donning his red costume and featuring "trigger happy" Arwings, which fire at the stage considerably more often. Additionally, there is a chance that the player will fight Falco instead of Fox, if the former is unlocked.

All-Star Mode[edit]

Fox and his allies are fought on Corneria.

Event Matches[edit]

Fox is featured in the following event matches:

Ending Images[edit]


In addition to the normal trophy about Fox as a character, there are two trophies about him as a fighter, unlocked by completing both Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Fox on any difficulty:

Fox McCloud trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Classic Mode trophy
Fox McCloud
Fox McCloud is the leader of a band of adventurers-for-hire known as Star Fox. Fox and his fellow pilots Peppy, Slippy, and Falco patrol the Lylat system in their mother ship, the Great Fox. From the cockpit of his Arwing, Fox leads the ceaseless pursuit of the evil scientist Andross, who doomed Fox's father.
Star Fox (3/93)
Fox McCloud trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Adventure Mode [Smash] trophy
Fox McCloud [Smash]
Fox is among the quickest and nimblest of the Smash Bros. characters. His speed is offset by low firepower, however, and he's better at one-on-one fights than melees with multiple foes. His Blaster is unique: it does damage, but it doesn't make enemies flinch. His Fox Illusion is best used as a surprise attack.
B: Blaster
Smash B: Fox Illusion
Fox McCloud trophy from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
All-Star Mode [Smash] trophy
Fox McCloud [Smash]
Fox falls quickly, so he's a tough target to strike from below; however, this advantage can work against him when he goes flying sideways. You can use the Control Stick to set the direction of the Fire Fox technique while it's charging up. On a side note, Fox is also much lighter than he was in the N64 Super Smash Bros. game.
Up & B: Fire Fox
Down & B: Reflector

Alternate costumes[edit]

Fox's palette swaps, with corresponding tournament mode colours.
FoxHeadSSBM.png FoxHeadRedSSBM.png FoxHeadBlueSSBM.png FoxHeadGreenSSBM.png



  • Fox is one of the only characters in Melee that can do a wall infinite, along with Ness, Pikachu, Link, and Pichu.
  • Fox is the only character to have completely lost his forward and back throws from Super Smash Bros. to Melee. Kirby and Jigglypuff both gained new forward throws in Melee, but their former forward throws were moved to be their up throws instead.
  • Fox is the only character in Melee with two soft-damage groans.
  • In Melee, Fox uses his tail as a support while firing his Blaster, but not in later games.
  • Fox in Melee and Meta Knight in Brawl are the only characters to have ever been in the SS tier.
    • Fox in Melee is currently the only veteran to be ranked at the very top of the tier list (Sheik in Smash 4 was ranked #1 in early tier lists, but has since moved down to 4th).

External links[edit]