Fox (フォックス, Fox) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He and the previous fighters were revealed on June 12, 2018. His fighter number is #07.
Mike West, Fox's English voice actor from Star Fox 64 and Star Fox 64 3D onward reprises his role with new, lower-pitched voice clips akin to his portrayal from Star Fox Zero and Starlink: Battle for Atlas. In the Japanese version, Fox is voiced by Takashi Ōhara, his voice actor in the Japanese versions of Star Fox 64 3D and Star Fox Zero, replacing Kenji Nojima from Brawl and SSB4.
Fox is a lightweight, hit-and-run type character with excellent grounded mobility and good frame data for the majority of his moveset. Fox is incredibly mobile: He possesses the fifth-fastest dashing speed, third-fastest walking speed, 32nd fastest air speed, 21st highest air acceleration, the highest falling (and thus fast falling) speed and gravity in the game, with the latter two allowing him to quickly move from the air to the ground with ease. These attributes allow him to keep up with almost any opponent while additionally making him very difficult to punish.
In terms of attack speed, almost all of Fox's moves have less than 10 frames of startup lag, which greatly helps him with approaching and comboing, while some of them are decently powerful despite of their quick startup. All of his grounded moves excluding smash attacks have both low startup and ending lag, which allows them to connect and flow into each other extremely easily. All of his aerials also have quick startup lag, with some of them being able to auto-cancel from a short hop (back aerial, up aerial), or have low landing lag (neutral aerial, back aerial), and alongside his fast falling speed, give him a good aerial approach and shield pressure.
Another one of Fox's biggest strengths is his combo potential. Almost all of his moves can combo into each other and he even has several KO confirms. Though a majority of his combos are not as lengthy compared to other characters like Sheik, the higher damage output makes up for it.
Fox's tilts are an important part of his combo game. Forward tilt, while mostly used for spacing, can be used as a combo starter at low to mid percentages and can start tech chases at higher percentages, giving Fox an opportunity to extend his combos if the opponent fails to tech or if the tech is read properly. Up tilt can combo into itself and can lead to other grounded moves or aerials. Down tilt is one of Fox's best combo starters despite it being difficult to connect, and can combo into most of his aerials and up smash at various percentages. Dash attack is quick and is one of his best moves for whiff punishes, with its early hit being able to combo into several moves (most notably neutral aerial) or start a 50:50 scenario into his forward aerial or up aerial, while the late hit can set up into up smash as a KO confirm at high percentages.
Fox's aerials are also a huge staple of his moveset, arguably being the most important part of his combo game. All of his aerials have either average or above-average damage output and they can combo into other aerials and some grounded moves, including smash attacks. Neutral aerial has very high speed, as well as low knockback, all of which allow it to combo into other moves even at high percentages, and allows it to serve as a reliable KO setup, with the weak hit of neutral aerial being able to lead into an up smash. Forward aerial can combo into up aerial and can drag opponents down if Fox lands before ending the move, allowing for jab lock/tech chase opportunities and can even drag the opponents down offstage, which can gimp certain characters. Back aerial can combo into grounded moves at lower percentages and is useful for shield pressure and KOing at high percentages. Up aerial deals the highest amount of damage and can combo into itself, making it a great juggling move. Additionally, it can serve as an effective KO move, which makes it arguably his most potent aerial, due to the number of moves that can combo into it. Down aerial can pressure shields and can lead into other aerials if autocanceled. The landing hit launches opponents at a low angle and can setup into up smash as a KO confirm.
His grab and throw game is below average but is nonetheless an important part of Fox's arsenal. Fox's grab is fast and has decent ending lag, but has low range, requiring Fox to be very close to the opponent. His pummel, while weak, is very fast, allowing him to slightly damage the opponent before throwing and is effective for unstaling other moves. None of his throws are true combo starters (barring down throw at low percentages if the opponent DIs in), but can help with setting up juggles and combos if the opponent's reaction is read properly.
Fox's special moves have several uses. His Blaster, while it lacks hitstun and deals low damage at a longer range, is quick and helps with forcing the approaches while unstaling his moves without drastically reducing the effectiveness of the projectiles. Fox Illusion is one of his two recovery moves, covers a good horizontal distance and doesn't leave him helpless. It can be used to start combos or even KO outright at really high percentages with the grounded version. Fire Fox covers great distance, can be angled and deals high damage if all of the hits connect, and with the high knockback, it can stage spike reckless edge guarders. Reflector is quick, reflects projectiles and is one of the only reflectors that can be held indefinitely. It has intangibility and hitbox on startup, which can help with breaking out of combos or gimping weak recoveries offstage. It also reduces Fox's falling speed, giving him a landing or recovery mix-up potential.
Fox has a good KO potential despite his attributes. Fox's up smash has a quick startup, has high knockback on clean hit, good range and even has few setups into it, making it his primary KO move. Forward smash, while fairly weak at lower percentages, has decent knockback growth and end lag. It's best used for punishing the regular ledge getup because of the good range and lasting hitbox. Down smash is his quickest smash attack, which makes it useful for covering rolls. It can also 2-frame punish the opponents, all while sending them at a semispike angle. Up aerial deals high knockback and can KO at reasonable percentages if the opponent is above the ground. Back aerial, while noticeably weaker compared to his fellows Falco and Wolf, still has decent knockback and launches at a semi spike angle, and is his safest KO move.
However, he has several notable weaknesses. His primary weaknesses are endurance and recovery. He's the fifth lightest character in the game, in addition to being taller than other characters in his weight class (though still relatively small) and has the highest falling speed and gravity, which makes him extremely susceptible to combos and getting KOd early, which gives him a terrible disadvantage state and one of the worst survivabilities out of all the cast. His recovery, while covering a great distance, is nonetheless linear and predictable. Fox Illusion can't be angled and can only change the drift after the hitboxes end, which can be intercepted with most moves. Fire Fox has a very slow startup and is linear, which makes him very vulnerable to stage spikes and meteor smashes and causes him to get KOd extremely early offstage. Reflector can only stall once, which lessens the mix-up options. His air dodges have among the shortest distances in the game, making them ineffective for the recovery, and coupled with the falling speed, air dodging below the stage is almost always fatal.
Despite possessing moves with high knockback, he can struggle KOing the opponents. Up smash has a high-end lag and is hard to land without a read or setup. Neutral aerial, which is used to KO confirm into the up smash, can be predictable and only true combos at certain percentages without tumbling the opponent, unless it gets stale, while down aerial has high landing lag and can sometimes send the opponents at a different angle. Forward or down smash are also hard to land and deal unimpressive knockback at mid-high percentages and the latter has low reach. Up aerial is predictable, has narrow hitboxes, can stale if used frequently and the second hit can sometimes even miss after hitting with the first one. Back aerial has a small hitbox, short duration, is angled somewhat high, making it hard to land, especially on short characters. All of his KO moves deal unimpressive shield damage and because the moves can stale on shield, this can make the opponent shield more often and cause his moves to KO even later. Fox Illusion stops on shield, which can make it punishable if used predictably. In addition, none of his throws are viable KO options, which further exacerbates the unreliability of KOing. Since he has high falling speed, high-end lag on his aerials and slow vertical recovery, edge guarding with Fox is risky and can put him in an even more vulnerable position. In addition, while the rage can help with KOing to a certain extent, he doesn't benefit from it as much as heavier characters, who can usually survive for much longer and gain more rage in return.
Overall, Fox is a glass cannon character. He can approach the opponents with his proficient movement and attack speed, which allows him to quickly deal high damage to opponents and KO them with several of his finishers. However, the player must stay unpredictable and not let himself get punished, otherwise, he can suffer from high damaging combos and get KOd very early.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Possibly because of his top tier status in Super Smash Bros. 4 (7th out of 55th tied with Sonic), Fox has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in his transition to Ultimate, being nerfed overall. All of his aerials have less landing lag, and his general mobility has seen improvements due to the game's new engine changes. His primary KO options (such as up smash) have received buffs as well, granting him access to some new kill setups that weren't possible in his previous iterations. His down tilt has an altered knockback and angle, making it a more viable combo starter. Fox greatly benefits from the engine changes and new mechanics, with run cancelling allowing him to approach with his great grounded options and revamped air dodges making his powerful juggling options even more oppressive. In addition, the startup time on his Reflector has been cut in half and has intangibility on startup, allowing him to escape combos easier and edgeguard more safely.
However, Fox also received many glaring nerfs as well, the most significant ones being to his recovery and ability to combo into his finishers. Fire Fox's travel distance is now slightly shorter, Reflector only allows stalling once, and Fox Illusion no longer bypasses shields and travels slightly shorter. This makes it much more difficult for him to bypass and cross-up opponents on stage, while also making it much easier for him to be punished and even more vulnerable to edgeguards. In addition, while Fox benefits from the general changes in Ultimate, it also makes his offstage survivability more exploitable. He is also lighter and has a higher gravity than before, matching his gravity in Melee and worsening his already terrible endurance.
While he has improved KO potential thanks to forward and up smashes gaining more knockback, he lost several KO confirms due to the general changes in Ultimate all while several of his moves, such as up tilt and down tilt had their launch angle changed, and combined in addition to reeling animation no longer being untechable, with down aerial no longer being frame cancellable and removing jab cancel setups and other moves have received other negative changes: forward tilt's altered knockback reduces its combo potential, almost completely removes its locking potential while also reducing its KO potential, up tilt can no longer 2-frame, has less range, and its sourspot take priority over the sweetspots and have more knockback, worsening both its damage potential and combo ability combined with the new angle, and dash attack, while faster and having increased shieldstun, can no longer cross up due to the changes to jostling, hindering its safety. Also, Fox's already poor grab game is now even worse, with his grabs having even less range, back throw being worse for edgeguarding and the faster knockback physics completely removing down throw's combo potential when combined with its unfavorable angle and Fox's slower initial dash. Lastly, up smash's animation is faster with the hitbox duration unchanged, making the clean hit harder to land, while also no longer giving intangibility to Fox's head, thus making harder and less consistent for him to KO opportunents compared to SSB4.
The changes to perfect shields both benefit and hinder Fox. He arguably benefits from the revamped perfect shield the most because of possessing very quick moves like up tilt or up smash, while perfect shield is ineffective against the quick multi-hit attacks, like Fox's down aerial. In contrast, it also makes the opponent easier to retaliate against otherwise hard to punish moves, like neutral aerial, forcing Fox to use one of his staple moves less predictably.
Overall, Fox's already tremendous strengths and advantages are now even better than they used to be, but his key weaknesses are significantly more exploitable, which many agree outweigh the new advantages, as he has an even harder time getting out of disadvantage, making him a much more polarizing character. As a whole, however, Fox continues to have a high amount of representation in the competitive scene, and has still achieved noteworthy results in the early metagame of Ultimate thanks to the efforts of notable players including Light, Lui$, ZD, and Eon. Light in particular has notably defeated high level players including Nairo, Samsora, Marss, Dabuz, Glutonny, and MKLeo, while also placing 2nd at Glitch 7 - Minus World, 3rd at 2GG: Prime Saga, 5th at GENESIS 6 and Frostbite 2019, and 7th at EVO 2019 and Super Smash Con 2019. Because of this, his competitive reception has been positive overall, where many players including ESAM, Dabuz, Mew2King, Dark Wizzy, Armada, and VoiD view him as a upper high or top tier character just like in SSB4. As a result, Fox is one of the few top tier veterans alongside Mario and Zero Suit Samus to consistently place well. As of now, Fox remains as a viable character, but the player has to play more carefully due to some of his combos being weakened and his weaknesses being more exploitable.
Throws and other attacks
Fox has received some fairly minor adjustments in-game updates. The biggest change was his shielding animation no longer changing after being hit in 7.0.0, making him harder to shield poke. These changes have had little to no impact on Fox's viability, and he continues to be considered a high-tier character by top-level players.
For a gallery of Fox's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Ejects from an Arwing.
In competitive play
In stark contrast to pre-release Ultimate, where it was speculated that Fox would be an unviable character and possibly even one of the worst characters in the game, Fox has achieved notable results since the game's release from professionals such as Light and ZD, which has caused him to achieve a positive reception from most players. Light has made to Top 8 in nearly every large tournament in most of Ultimate's lifespan, including both GENESIS 6 and GENESIS 7, EVO 2019, Super Smash Con 2019, and 2GG: Kongo Saga. This is widely due to all of the indirect benefits Fox received from the game's engine as well. This has led many top players to believe that Fox is a top tier character, with many ranking him among the top 10-15 characters in the game, with some arguing that he could potentially be top 5. However, this is debatable as Fox's representation in the current metagame is still lower than many other characters considered top tier such as Snake, Joker, and Palutena. Furthermore, Fox's results have steadily dropped in comparison to the early days of Ultimate, as several players have either gotten worse results with him such as Light, completely dropped Fox such as Larry Lurr, or have picked up other characters such as Eon to cover Fox's bad matchups. Regardless, he's still considered a viable character with strong results and solid representation in the current meta.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Spaceborne Smash
Fox's opponents are all space travelers. Every round plays music from the opponents’ home series, except for Round 4, which plays music from Star Fox.
Character unlock tree
Fox's Classic Mode character unlock tree includes the following characters in order:
Each character can be unlocked by clearing Fox's Classic Mode, or the Classic Mode of any preceding character, if all preceding characters have been unlocked. Once all the above characters are unlocked, clearing Classic Mode with any of them will default to Mario's character unlock tree, starting with Sonic.
Role in World of Light
Fox was among the fighters that were gathered on the cliffside to defeat the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, he was issuing orders to the other fighters while pointing his blaster at Galeem's Master Hand army, telling them "Don't let a single one [of the Master Hands] get away." Fox was also present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. He was vaporized offscreen and was placed under Galeem's imprisonment alongside the other fighters (excluding Kirby). A puppet fighter cloned from him is later seen along with ones cloned from Simon, Mario and other fighters.
Fox is unlocked near a heart-shaped lake. The player must defeat either Nyna's or Panther Caroso's spirit to access his unlock battle. Unlocking Fox will allow the player to access the red switch which opens the red gate leading towards the Temple of Light sub-area as well as clearing a path blocked by rocks. This makes him one of the few mandatory fighter unlocks.
He is later seen again alongside Mario and several other fighters, making their last stand against Galeem and Dharkon. In the bad ending where Galeem emerges victorious against Dharkon, Fox is among the fighters witnessing the world becoming engulfed in light, with Samus and Bowser by his side.
Fox's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode, depicting his Star Fox Zero artwork. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Fox in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a Fighter Spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Fox makes an appearance in a Support Spirit.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video