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 SSBM.jpg
Universe Star Fox
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier SS (1) (North America)
SS (1) (Europe)
A wily fox that uses speed to keep enemies off balance.
—Description from Melee's manual.

Announced at E3 2001, 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, 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. Fox's main tool in his 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. 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 process and potential, many consider Fox to be arguably the hardest character to play as and master, requiring a lot of practice.

Regardless, his pros greatly outweigh his cons, and Fox is notable for being one of only four characters in the series (the other three being Pikachu in Smash 64, Falco in Melee, and Meta Knight in Brawl) to have no disadvantageous matchups, with only three (Falco, Marth and Samus) being considered even.


Fox falls into a unique archetype: He is exceptionally quick, 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 normal falling speed, tied with Captain Falcon for 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 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, 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's recovery is among the best in the game, 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 is still a fast faller but to an even greater extent with his fall speed and especially his gravity being increased significantly. Fox has seen an increase in K.O. power, recovery, and movement options, all 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. This buff alongside the introduction of wavedashing eventually became the birth of a new technique known as waveshining. When successfully performing a waveshine, Fox can easily follow-up into a range of many different attacks which makes up for the fact that Reflector no longer auto-cancels on landing. Reflector also no longer knocks down opponents whose weight is above 85 units which allows for followups and even potential infinites.

Fox has also received notable nerfs, however, with one being his Blaster. 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 the increase in K.O. power some of his moves received, some moves also have reduced K.O. power most notably his throws and smash attacks (although his smash attacks have less ending lag and his up smash is still a super effective K.O. move). Lastly, Fox's weight was significantly decreased hindering his horizontal endurance. While his higher falling speed and gravity more than 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 (although his own up throw is arguably the best in the game).

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. His has seen immense representation in tournaments with excellent results. His effectiveness at a human level however has become somewhat debatable in recent memory due to his immense level of execution resulting in some people believing that he is not the best character in the game at a human level believing that simpler and more consistent characters such as Jigglypuff are more worthy of that title.


  • 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".
  • Change Fox also received new voice samples that sound more energetic.


  • Buff Fox has an increase in his initial dash frames, which makes his dash dance significantly better.
  • Buff Fox walks significantly faster (0.45 → 1.6).
  • Buff Fox dashes significantly faster (60 → 2.2).
  • Nerf Fox's initial dash is much slower (81 → 1.9), no longer being the highest.
  • Change Fox has significantly increased falling speed (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 due to his very strong SHFFL, and makes him harder to KO vertically, but makes him more susceptible to combos.
  • Change Fox's gravity is drastically higher (4.0 → 0.23). This has the same benefits and drawbacks as his higher falling speed as well as reducing the height of his jumps.
    • Nerf As a result, Fox's jumps are lower.
  • Nerf Fox's air speed is much slower (36 → 0.83), going from third fastest out of 12 characters in Smash 64 to the 7th slowest out of 26 in Melee.
  • Nerf Fox is significantly lighter (100 → 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.
  • Change Fox's short hop is lower.
  • Buff The introduction of air dodges has immensely benefitted 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 hinders Fox's grounded approach.

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) and ending lag due to now being interruptible (FAF 19/20 → 17/19).
    • Nerf The second hit of neutral attack has a shorter duration (3 frames → 2).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has less startup lag (frame 6 → 5).
    • Nerf Forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 6-13 → 5-8) and more ending lag (FAF 24 → 27). The down angled version also has reduced base knockback (10 → 0).
  • Up tilt:
    • Buff Fox has a new up tilt: an upwards back kick. It has less startup lag (frame 6 → 5), less ending lag (FAF 24 → 23), has a sweetspot which deals more damage (9% → 12%), has stronger knockback (0 (base), 150 (scaling) → 18/140), launches opponents towards Fox (80° → 110°) and up tilt overall has better combo potential.
    • Nerf Up tilt has a shorter duration (frames 6-13 → 5-11).
  • Down tilt:
    • Nerf Down tilt has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 6-9 → 7-9). It also deals less damage (12% → 10%) and has less combo ability due to hitstun being decreased.
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has less startup lag (frame 5 → 4), less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36) and more combo ability as it now sends opponents vertically (361° → 72°). It also has increased base knockback (10 → 35 (clean), 20 (late)).
    • Nerf Dash attack has a shorter duration (frames 5-24 → 4-17) and deals less damage (10% → 7% (clean), 6% → 5% (late).
  • 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 and significantly increased vertical range.
    • Nerf It deals less damage (17% (clean), 13% (late) → 15%/12%) and knockback (0 (base), 120 (scaling) → 10/105), hindering its KO potential. It also has a shorter duration (frames 12-24 → 12-22).
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash deals more damage (16% (clean), 8% (late) → 18%/13%) improving the sourspot's KO potential and it has less ending lag (FAF 60 → 42).
    • Nerf Up smash has more startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 6-21 → 7-17). The clean hit also has decreased 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). The universally increased falling speeds and the introduction of DI further hinder its KO potential.
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash deals slightly more damage (14% → 15%) and has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 46).
    • Nerf Down smash has reduced knockback (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 20/65), hindering its edgeguarding and KO ability. It also now has a late hit which deals less damage (14% → 12%) and does not semi-spike (25° → 361°).

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. This is further exacerbated with the weakening of L-canceling.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Buff Neutral aerial has more overall utility due to Fox's lower jumps and higher gravity. It also has less ending lag (frame 50 → 42).
    • Nerf Clean neutral aerial deals less damage (14% → 12%) without full compensation on its base knockback (0 → 10).
    • Change Neutral aerial has an altered animation; Fox faces more away from his kicking-direction akin to his dash attack, and tucks in his right leg differently. The hitbox placement is also somewhat more horizontal.
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Fox has a new forward aerial; he spin kicks rapidly at a slanted-upward angle exactly five times to his right. It deals more damage than his old forward aerial (12% → 23.28%), has slightly more vertical range, and slows Fox's fall in the air, increasing its offstage safety (although this is completely negated by Fox's faster falling speed and gravity). Each hit has higher base knockback (0 → 10).
    • Nerf New forward aerial deals much less knockback due to each kick dealing less damage (12% → 7%/6%/5%/4%/3%) and has significantly less combo potential. It also now lacks edgeguarding ability and has slightly less horizontal range. It also has more ending lag (FAF 40 → 53) and is much less reliable compared to the previous forward aerial.
  • Back aerial:
    • Buff Back aerial has larger hitboxes, which are also positioned slightly more vertically, improving its spacing potential. It also deals more damage (12% (clean), 8% (late) → 15%/9%) improving its KO potential. It also has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 38) and auto-cancels earlier (frame 28 → 24).
    • Change Back aerial has an altered animation: Fox's upper body is more upright even during the ending turn (altering the pertaining hurtbox), with his left leg pointing more diagonally-downward and being a bit bent (which shrinks the pertaining hitbox).
    • 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 does slightly more damage (2% → 5% (hit 1), 15% → 16% (total)) and has increased knockback (0 (base), 135 (scaling) → 40/116 (hit 2)), improving its KO potential. Additionally, the first hit links more reliably with the second one and it has less ending lag (frame 40 → 36).
    • Nerf Up aerial has more startup lag (frame 6 → 8), is more difficult to sweetspot, and is much less useful during aerial approaches due to Fox's lower air speed. The first hit's set knockback is also lower (100 → 30), which when combined with its lower hitstun and higher landing lag when L-canceled hinders its combo ability. The second hit also deals less damage if the first hit connects due to changes to stale move negation (13% → 11%).
  • 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 Down aerial has smaller hitboxes.
    • 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 dangerous punishable on hit when not L-cancelled due to its much lower landing lag.

Grabs and Throws[edit]

  • Nerf Grabs have more startup lag (frame 6 → 7 (standing), 12 (dash)) and ending lag (FAF 16 → 31 (standing), 41 (dash)).
  • 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 is also considered the best up throw in the game due to it's chaingrab and damage racking capabilities, and easy and quick kill setups. His down throw is also used as a Tech-chaser.
  • Nerf Fox has a new forward and back throw; Fox now punches his opponent forward instead of throwing them in his new forward throw, and his new back throw has him tossing his opponent backwards while shooting him with his Blaster. The new forward and back throws deal much less damage (12% (forward), 15% (back) → 7% (both)) and their knockback wasn't compensated enough (80 (base), 60 (scaling) (both) → 35/120 (forward), 80/85 (back)) to the point where they cannot KO reliably. Additionally, back throw launches opponents at a higher angle (45° → 56°) and the second half can now be avoided with DI.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Blaster:
    • Buff Blaster fires much faster and has less lag, significantly improving Fox's approach.
    • Nerf Blaster no longer causes hitstun on opponents and deals less damage (6% → 3%), making it ineffective for stopping opponents' approaches. Laser setups and gimps are also no longer possible due to this.
      • Buff As Blaster no longer causes hitstun, it is now a very strong punish option against shield breaks and Rest.
  • 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's charging, leaving him much less vulnerable and deals more damage (16% → 25%), and it travels further and faster. It can also be used near the edge when Fox is facing it to quickly grab the edge, allowing him to stall or setup edgehogs and shine spikes. These changes collectively improve its recovery potential.
    • Nerf The dash of Fire Fox deals less damage (16% → 14%) hindering its KO potential. Fox's slower air speed, faster falling speed and his higher gravity also makes his free fall significantly less effective for recovering.
  • Reflector:
    • Buff Reflector can now be jump-cancelled, which, along with the introduction of wavedashing, allows shine combos. This also means Fox can quickly followup a grounded shine without having to go through the normal short hop animation; it can be sped up using a wavedash or simply a wavedrop. It also no longer knocks down characters whose weight is above 85 units allowing for potential infinites.
    • 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 and significantly hinders its shield pressuring potential (although this is effectively replaced with waveshining).

PAL differences[edit]

Like other characters, Fox has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which nerfed him overall, but it does not severely affect his tournament viability, as he is also ranked 1st on the PAL tier list.

  • Change Fox is lighter (75 → 73), making Fox now lighter than Kirby. This makes his survivability slightly worse, but it also allows him to tech out of Falco's down throw as well as making him slightly harder to combo.
  • 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 deals 1% less damage and has noticeably less knockback (30 (base), 112 (scaling) → 26/108).
  • Nerf Down smash deals 2% less damage (15% → 13%) and sends enemies at a slightly higher angle (25° → 30°), making it easier to DI and making it less effective for edgeguarding.
  • Nerf Fire Fox's strong hitbox is 0.75x the size, deals 2% less damage (14% → 12%) and travels less distance hindering its KO and recovery potential.


Fox's aerial attacks

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

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   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. It's combo ability into other moves makes it the best jab in the game.
1% (loop)
Forward tilt   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   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   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   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   15% (clean), 12% (late) Performs a flying hook kick. Has moderately low knockback (extremely low base knockback - 10) for a smash, 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 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. Widely considered the best u-smash in the game due to its extreme speed, extreme power, decent range, and ability to be easily set up into it. However, it is actually the second most powerful u-smash in the game, behind Pikachu's. Fox's head is intangible during the early part of the animation.
Down smash   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   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. Arguably the best nair in the game due to its combo ability and reliable setups into shine.
Forward aerial   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   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. Also one of the best back airs in the game.
Up aerial   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 u-smash give Fox an advantage against light, floaty characters, notably Jigglypuff and Kirby. Can be Smash DI'd out of however. Widely considered to be the best up air in the game due to it's juggling prowess, speed, power, and ability to be comboed into.
Down aerial   2-3% (hits 1-7) Spins around, drilling downwards with his extended foot. Useful as SHFFL'd approach, with combo potential into moves like uptilt, upsmash, and shine. It is the weakest spike in the game, with weak set knockback.
Grab Grab
Pummel   3% Knees opponent.
Forward throw   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   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   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 up air), its chaingrab ability, and it's juggle potential (up air juggles after up throw).
Down throw   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 straight down. However, this also allows it to be meteor cancelled or teched, and so tends to be overshadowed by upthrow, which has true combo followups on the majority of the cast. However, it can be used as a mixup on high percent opponent, or techchased into a KO move.
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 and is overall considered the best Recovery Up B in the game due to its distance and mix-up potential. 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).


  • 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]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
FoxHeadSSBM.png Mirror match ±0 ±0 +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 ±0 +1 +3 +2 +2 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +2 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +3 +2

As one of the only two characters in the game to not have any disadvantageous matchups (the other being Falco), Fox has, undisputably, the best matchup spread in Melee. He has only three matchups that are even, while he soft counters six characters, counters seven, and hard counters nine (second most in the game, behind Sheik). Fox's universally strong tools, such as his quick, versatile combo ability, great aerial attacks, and his very effective shine techniques, allow him to compete against any character. He even has very oppressive tools in certain matchups, such as a potential waveshine infinite that, even if performed to a limited degree, can shut down a large portion of the cast. However, Fox's very high falling speed and very low air speed undermine his otherwise relatively long recovery, making him predictable off the stage and easy to gimp and edgeguard by characters such as Falco, Jigglypuff and Marth. With his said falling speed, characters such as Marth can easily chaingrab him, and his light weight attribute makes him easy for characters such as Samus to KO horizontally.

Current metagame[edit]

It is still widely agreed that Fox has the best overall matchup spread in the game. However, there has recently been significant debate over his matchup against Marth. Some professionals argue that Marth has an easier time playing the matchup; they claim that Fox only has a true advantage at TAS levels of play, and that Marth beats Fox at the human level. Such professionals usually cite Marth's surprisingly high win rate in his favor against Fox in top-level tournament play, and the incredible prowess that top professional Marth players such as Mew2King and Zain have against Fox, with not many Fox players showing that level of dominance against Marth players. Nonetheless, the general perception of the community still suggests that the matchup is considered even for the time being.

Notable players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the 2019 MPGR, which recognizes the official top 100 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Melee.




  • Sweden Armada - One of the five gods and Europe's best player. Peach main with a strong Fox as a co-main. He retired from competitive singles on October 2018, but is still active in doubles.
  • USA CDK - A notable Fox from SoCal. Was formerly ranked as high as #46 on SSBMRank.
  • USA Crush - Best Fox in New England. He entered a few local tournaments under the tags of "Kimba" and "Bagheera" in June 2019, but hasn't been active since going on hiatus in June 2018.
  • USA Darktooth - Player from New York who has placed 25th at Shine 2018 and EVO 2018, with wins over KJH and ChuDat.
  • USA Druggedfox - Unranked in his homestate due to activity; 13th place at EVO 2016, 17th at Super Smash Con 2016, 9th at UGC Smash Open. Still active in doubles.
  • UK Fuzzyness - Formerly the second best player in the UK. Known mostly for his world record speedruns in Melee's single player modes.
  • USA Jman - The first Apex champion for Melee.
  • USA KDJ - Triple-mained with Marth and Sheik before retiring. Considered one of the strongest Melee players in the pre-Brawl era.
  • Japan Masashi - A Japanese Melee player from the pre-Brawl era once ranked 1st in Japan. Now only plays Ultimate as Cloud.
  • USA PC Chris - One of the best Melee players in the pre-Brawl era. Mained Falco, but had a very good Fox secondary.
  • USA Relno - Most technical Fox player in the world. Known for exceptionally fast and creative movement, he dominated the tech skill competition at STR2016. Currently on hiatus.
  • Netherlands Remen - One of the best players in the Netherlands. Has switched to maining Falco.
  • USA Silent Wolf - The Northwest's best player. Ranked 20th on the 2016 SSBMRank.
  • USA Syrox - The best player in Colorado. Gained significant notoriety through his Netplay skill and Eden run, where he showcased incredible technical proficiency. Currently inactive due to hand injuries.
  • Chile ZeRo - Best Chilean Fox main. Now mostly inactive in the Smash competitive scene, although he has shown interest in playing Melee competitively again.

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. In the early metagame, although dedicated Fox professionals such as Thunders and Chillin showed early signs of great technical ability, they were considered far too inconsistent; many of the top players of that era, including Ken and Azen, used Fox only as a secondary for specific matchups, and only a few dedicated mains made any impact with him in serious tournament settings.

Eventually, more dedicated Fox mains, such as PC Chris, FASTLIKETREE, KoreanDJ, and Mew2King began to revitalize his metagame, incorporating much higher levels of technical skill that not many had seen before. These players began placing within the top 8 of MLG-sponsored tournaments, and their consistency and dominance against the majority of other top professional players resulted in Sheik's dethroning from first to third place on the eighth revision of the tier list in July of 2006. Later that year, PC Chris and KoreanDJ placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the MLG Las Vegas national championships, using Fox primarily in both sets of grand finals. This cemented Fox's position on the tier list, and since then, he has never fallen from the top spot.

Some smashers, however, are currently disputing Fox's standing on the tier list. Although Fox has one of the most developed metagames and the largest notable player base in Melee by far, his players are unable to win as many tournaments as professionals of characters below him, because he is one of the hardest characters to play consistently at the top level; even the best Fox professionals frequently lose in important tournament matches due to technical errors or missed reads. Additionally, the Fox matchup is almost universally known, making it extremely difficult for newer players to find tournament success with him. However, due to Mango's victories at EVO 2013, MLG Anaheim 2014, and EVO 2014 with almost only Fox, as well as his amazing raw potential, Fox's spot on the tier list is currently considered secure.

Recent trends in the metagame have seen a major increase in the usage of Fox; he is by far the most common character in doubles matches, and the most common character in singles matches as well. Many players who mained a lower-tiered character, most notably Hax, have abandoned their former character in favor of using only Fox, and other players, such as Armada, switch to Fox when they are having trouble against certain opponents. This overwhelming presence has lead to Fox being 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, two of the "gods" — PPMD, who uses Falco/Marth, and Hungrybox, who uses Jigglypuff — have not recently used Fox against high-level opponents in tournaments.

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 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.
Fox [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.
Fox [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.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Fox Palette (SSBM).png
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.
  • Fox is the only veteran character to currently be placed first on the tier list. The other three characters who are currently first on the tier list are all newcomers in the game they hold the top position in.
  • Fox, Zelda, and Mewtwo are the only characters whose artwork when selecting them differs when selecting their costumes.
    • In Fox and Zelda's cases, their renders when selecting their alternate costumes match their official artworks, but their render when selecting them is unique.