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Kirby (SSB)

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This article is about Kirby's appearance in Super Smash Bros.. For the character in other contexts, see Kirby.
in Super Smash Bros.
Universe Kirby
Other playable appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier S (2) (North America)
? (2) (Japan)
Kirby's head icon from SSB.

Kirby (カービィ, Kirby) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. He is known for being a small, light character with quick and often surprisingly long ranged attacks, as well as surprisingly strong moves and a great recovery. He is voiced by Makiko Ōmoto, which would go on to keep voicing him in all subsequent video game appearances to date.

Kirby ranks 2nd on the current tier list and is his best tier placement in the series. Kirby has strong, fast attacks that can KO at damages below 100%, such as his forward smash, and he has a great edgeguarding game, due to his long recovery and powerful aerials, particularly his down aerial. Kirby also has several methods to space against opponents, with his back aerial and forward aerial having large disjointed hitboxes that have significant combo potential, and his up tilt is notably considered one of the best attacks in the game due to its large range, high speed, good combo ability, and ability to break shields.

However, Kirby's primary weakness consists of his recovery. Despite being long-distanced, he has few options for returning to the stage, creating a slow, linear recovery that can be easily intercepted. Furthermore, Kirby's combination of having a light weight and being rather floaty makes him vulnerable to juggling and vertical KOs. Kirby's combo game is also predictable against certain characters, being reliant on solely his up tilt and forward aerial on such characters, and these two attacks do not complement each other very well.

Regardless of these weaknesses, Kirby's strengths outweigh his weaknesses by a considerable margin, and he has had very strong tournament results alongside above-average representation.


Kirby's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.
Kirby using Final Cutter in the Smash 64 instruction booklet.

Kirby is a small, light, and somewhat floaty character. He is relatively difficult to combo horizontally and offstage, though is vulnerable to juggling and many vertical KO techniques (as well as not being too hard to KO horizontally either). His "signature move" is Swallow, which allows him to use an opponent's neutral special move and copy their appearance.

In general, Kirby possesses quick yet powerful moves. Some of his moves are infamous for possessing high range and being able to space well, most notably his up tilt (which covers the range of more than one Kirby both horizontally behind him and vertically), as well as his forward and back aerials. This makes a Kirby playing defensively correctly rather difficult to punish. However, Kirby's defensive ability is hindered slightly by his average to below average movement speed, with average dashing and walking speeds, low air speed, and below average falling speed. Kirby's smashes are powerful, especially his forward smash, which is by far the best forward smash in the game due to being the most powerful, having quick startup (though it has a bit of ending lag), and being an excellent punish or panic option. Kirby's throws are also fairly powerful, with his good grab allowing him to utilize them efficiently.

Kirby's up tilt and forward aerial are especially useful combo moves. The former can easily chain into itself at lower percentages and lead into aerials, a forward smash, or a up smash, while the latter is a great damage racker, being a very fast multi-hit move with the first few hits having set knockback, allowing them to lead into the final hit easily. The move can deal over 20% damage, and if the final hit isn't landed, it sets up a jab that can jab cancel into a grab to rack up further damage.

Kirby has an excellent recovery and offstage game. He has five midair jumps, and his Final Cutter not only extends his vertical recovery even more but allows Kirby to also move to the side while using it by tilting the control stick. While his recovery travels a spectacular distance (only rivaled by Pikachu's recovery), it is somewhat predictable, due to being on the slow side and Kirby's slow air speed. His aerials can be used to edgeguard or guard break easily, especially his down aerial, which is a strong meteor smash that can also drag opponents down at lower percentages. With Kirby's aforementioned excellent vertical recovery, it is also easy to recover from.

Kirby's main weaknesses are his light weight and floatiness, somewhat lack of reliable combo options outside the basic up tilt and forward aerial, and a lack of ways to KO onstage outside forward smash. He is additionally easy to juggle, being vulnerable to vertical combos from Fox, Captain Falcon, and others to a lesser extent.

Differences between game versions[edit]

Kirby was noticeably nerfed in his transition to NTSC-U. Despite his smaller size resulting on him being harder to hit (while not compromising his moves' huge range), a few of his moves deal less damage making them weaker. His recovery distance is shorter, due to Final Cutter covering less horizontal distance. Lastly, the higher presence of SDI makes Kirby's moves easier to escape, while the removal of momentum sliding hurts Kirby's approach, enforcing a slightly more defensive playstyle. Nevertheless, due to Kirby's immense strengths not being immensely toned down, he is still one of the most viable characters in the game despite the nerfs.


  • Change Kirby is smaller (0.94 → 0.91). This gives his attacks less range but also makes him harder to hit (granted he has not performed the bigger Kirby glitch).
  • Nerf Rolls are shorter.
  • Nerf The removal of momentum sliding slightly hurts Kirby's approach.

Ground moves[edit]

  • Change Neutral attack's second hit now uses a weak punch sound instead of a medium punch sound.
  • Change Neutral attack's loop hits launch opponents at a slightly lower angle (70° → 65°).
  • Nerf Neutral attack's loop hits have smaller hitboxes (90u → 50u) and the far hitbox has been moved closer to Kirby (x offset: 200 → 165).
  • Nerf Up and down smash both deal 2% less damage (18% (up)/20% (down) → 16%/18%) and have decreased base knockback (24 (up)/40 (down) → 20/30).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Up aerial deals less damage on the clean and mid hits (12% clean/9% mid → 10%/8%).
  • Nerf Up aerial has a smaller hitbox (150u → 105u).


  • Change Forward throw sends at a higher, more diagonal angle (45° → 70°), granting it vertical KO ability but hindering its horizontal KO potential and hindering its ability to set up edgeguards.
  • Buff Forward throw has increased base knockback (80 → 100).
  • Buff Forward throw has gained a collateral hit when Kirby lands.
  • Buff Kirby releases opponents from forward throw later (frame 56 → 58), decreasing its ending lag.

Special attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Final Cutter covers less distance when used on the ground (without the bigger Kirby glitch) due to Kirby's smaller size.
  • Nerf Stone deals 2% less damage (22% → 20%) and has decreased knockback scaling (78 → 70).


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

Image of Kirby from the official site of Super Smash Bros.
Kirby's up tilt, showing its huge disjointed hitbox.
Comparing Kirby's up tilt change in hitbox caused by an aerial up-B.
Kirby's hurtboxes while ducking.
Kirby's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Vulcan Jab 3% Two quick jabs, followed by a series of very fast, very weak punches. The two jabs have short range, though the second has better range than most neutral attacks. The attack is based on the Vulcan Jab from the Fighter ability. The second hit can lead into a down tilt at higher percents.
1% per punch
Forward tilt   11% Rather short range, but fast. Can be angled for a 1% change in damage either way.
Up tilt   14% (clean), 10% (late) Kicks vertically upwards, slightly behind himself. Considered one of the best attacks in the game due to its extremely fast speed, deceptively long range and its great damage racking and shield pressuring potential (leading to easy shield breaks when fresh). The move can easily combo at low percents and it can even KO at high percents. If up tilt is done after using the bigger Kirby glitch, Kirby's hitbox reach is raised by about 9%.
Down tilt   9% Puts his foot out with a slightly longer duration compared to most down tilts in the game. Has quick startup lag, deceptively long range and sends opponents at a very low semi-spike angle, making it great for edgeguarding. It does have the highest ending lag and the least shield damage/stun out of all of Kirby's tilts though, making it unsafe on shield when used at close range. The move is still highly solid however, due to its great range and edgeguarding potential.
Dash attack   10% (clean), 8% (late) Crashes into his opponents. This move is fast and can potentially be used in combos, though it is unsafe on shield.
Forward smash Smash Kick 17% (clean), 12% (late) Advances forward with a strong kick. This attack is based on the Spin Kick from the Fighter ability. This is the fastest forward smash in the game, coming out on frame 10, in addition to having relatively low ending lag. In terms of KO power, this is the strongest non-angled forward smash in Smash 64 (excluding Link's forward smash in the European version), KOing middleweights at 86% at the center of Dream Land. The move does have a weaker late hit however. Easily one of the best forward smashes in the game due to its speed, power and range.
Up smash   16% (clean), 18% (NTSC-J clean), 12% (late) A bicycle kick that is very similar to Fox's and Pikachu's, but with slower start-up and slightly less knockback. The move can hit opponents on higher platforms (on Dream Land) if the bigger Kirby glitch is used. Serves its purpose as a hard hitting anti-air. It is also noticeably stronger in the Japanese version.
Down smash   18% (clean), 20% (NTSC-J clean), 10% (late) Spins with his feet flat on the ground with decent duration, this move is a semi-spike with decent power. It is Kirby's fastest (in terms of startup lag) but weakest and laggiest Smash attack. It is much more powerful in the Japanese version.
Neutral aerial   15% (clean), 10% (late), 3% (landing) Extends body with feet out and arms out, making Kirby's whole body a hitbox. Sex kick properties, with the move becoming much weaker after its first few frames. It comes out on frame 3 and it has great power and range, being the second strongest neutral aerial in the game. These traits make it a useful OoS move and a good finisher/spacing move.
Forward aerial   2% (hits-1-7), 6% (hit 8), 20% (total), 3% (landing) Does a drill kick with his feet in front of him. 7 hits, 2%/hit, 6% on the 8th. The multi hits on their own can easily lead into an up tilt or a forward smash and they can potentially be used to edgeguard. The final hit is more powerful and can potentially lead into a forward smash at KO percents (especially when stale).
Back aerial   16% (clean), 12% (late) Puts both of his feet behind him, making a viable move for edgeguarding. Has low startup lag, good KO power, a long lasting hitbox and great range. A landing back aerial can lead into an up tilt and the late hit can even potentially lead into a forward smash for a KO. It is overall an excellent spacing move, to the point where it flat out invalidates slower characters.
Up aerial Twinkle Star 10% (clean), 12% (NTSC-J clean), 8% (mid), 9% (NTSC-J mid), 6% (late), 3% (landing) Spins around. This move would be his neutral aerial in later Super Smash Bros. games. Has set knockback and extreme lag, easily making it Kirby's worst aerial and most likely his worst move overall. It can lead into some of Kirby's KO moves against certain characters although Kirby is still better off using his forward aerial for KO setups or his neutral/back aerials as raw KO moves.
Down aerial   3% (hits 1-10), 30% (total), 3% (landing) Does a drill attack with his two feet below him. 3% per hit, up to 10 hits for a total of 30%. The move is a fast meteor smash, which can drag opponents down, as well as being easy for Kirby to recover from. Has higher knockback than other drill kicks, making it excellent at edgeguarding but it is not as reliable on stage due to this. Has great shield pressuring potential and is overall a very useful move.
Forward throw Air Drop 13% (throw), 7% (NTSC-U/PAL collateral) Jumps high in the air and brings the target with him, similar to Ninja Kirby's Air Drop in Kirby Super Star, and slams them down from an explosive drop. One of the few f-throws to launch foes upward. Has good knockback for a forward throw. Can be used as a sacrificial KO when used at the ledge. Sends the opponent to the side in the Japanese version.
Back throw   16% Performs a backward suplex, slamming the opponent behind him. Sends the foe upwards and behind Kirby at an angle. The attack is based on the Backdrop ability from Kirby's Adventure. One of the least effective back throws in the game in terms of KO potential due to its vertical launch angle however, this also makes it a rather effective option for setting up tech chases and generally granting Kirby stage control.
Floor attack (front) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Floor attack (back) 6% Kicks on both sides and gets up.
Edge attack (fast) 4% Flips whilst getting back on stage.
Edge attack (slow) 4% Slowly picks himself up and slides forward, like his dash attack.
Neutral special Swallow 6% (swallow), 10% (spit), 17% (spit out characters to bystanders) If Kirby inhales an opponent, he can either copy their ability (gains their neutral special move and a hat resembling them by pressing the B button; see here for a list of Copy Abilities) or spit the opponent out as a projectile by pressing the A button, dealing damage to bystanders.
Up special Final Cutter 8% (ascent), 2% (descent), 6% (shockwave) Swings upward with his Final Cutter and falls down. The cutter can deal damage, and it also emits a shockwave when it lands. Used for recovery, along with Kirby's five midair jumps. Meteor smashes anyone below it with powerful set knockback. If an aerial up special is performed by Kirby, his original body size multiplier goes from 0.91 (0.94 in the Japanese version) and it becomes 1.0. This is known as the bigger Kirby glitch, which increases the range of his attacks although it makes him easier to hit and it makes his sacrificial KOes less reliable.
Down special Stone 20%, 22% (NTSC-J) Transforms into a stone. If used in the air, it has a damaging hitbox and Kirby falls down until he reaches the ground. It has solid KO power, although it was much more powerful in the Japanese version.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Crash-lands a Warp Star into the ground, the warp star explodes, and Kirby does multiple 360° flips backward and lands on his feet.
Kirby's opening animation in Smash 64.


  • Turns to his right, puts his feet away and stands on tiptoes, inflates, looks up a little and says "Hi!" in a teasing manner while waving his arms three times in the air. If Kirby has an ability from an opponent while using this move, it gets discarded.

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description Kir - by! *claps 3 times* Kaa - *clap* bii! *clap*
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

A cover of the "Stage Complete" music that originated in Kirby's Dream Land.
  • Does several handstands across screen.
  • Slides and dances across screen (a reference to his end-of-level dances in Kirby's Adventure).
KirbyPose1SSB.gif KirbyPose2SSB.gif

In Competitive play[edit]

An icon for denoting incomplete things.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Kirby professionals (SSB)

Numbers in brackets indicate position in 64 League Rankings 2017



Kikoushi (Kirby) edgeguarding Isai (Pikachu) with the Final Cutter

Inhale Sacrificial KO[edit]

Kirby can use his Inhale move on opponents and fall to the map's bottom blast zone for a sacrificial KO. However, Kirby can "spit out" his opponent under the stage (particularly useful on Dream Land) and then recover. Yoshi is the only character who is practically guaranteed not to be able to recover from this.

Final Cutter spike[edit]

The Final Cutter can spike opponents on the way down during its initial frames (approximately until the same height from which the Final Cutter was initiated).

Kirby's Sliding Up B Glitch[edit]

Mainly affects only the Japanese version, there is also a glitch called Kirby's Sliding Up B done by Dashing, wait for the dash to finish which is about 14 frames, turning instantly, and then do an Up+B 20 frames after you decided to do so. This is similar to Teleporting but is harder and is generally limited to flashy play/TASing. This was discovered by DSGnoll, a Japanese smash 64 players. The video, as popularized by Jpheal, a well known TAS player. In the non-Japanese version, the milder version of the up b slide travels less further and is not as useful.

In Single Player[edit]

Kirby appears as an opponent in the seventh stage of Single Player mode. The stage takes place in Dream Land and pits the player against a Kirby team of 8 Kirbys. Each of the eight Kirbys sports a unique hat (with the exception of one, which will be normal Kirby or one of the four unlockable characters after they've been unlocked) corresponding to each of the eight starter characters in the game. Except for the average and unlockable character Kirbys, they all appear in the selection screen order of the respective character whose power they copied. Keeping this in mind, if the player manages to defeat them in the right order (Mario, DK, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Fox, Pikachu, regular/random unlockable), he will be awarded the 25,000-point bonus Kirby Ranks.


From the Game[edit]

The 8-inch high Kirby hails from a distant, peaceful star. Like his simplistic appearance, he is an easily-understood character. True to his instincts, Kirby eats when he gets hungry and sleeps as soon as he grows tired. Nevertheless, Kirby remains a formidable opponent. In addition to his distinct flying and swallowing skills, he also has the ability to copy enemy attacks for ever-changing action.


  • Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
  • Kirby's Pinball Land (GB)
  • Kirby Super Star (SNES) (Kirby's Fan Pak in the Australian PAL version; correctly spelled as "Fun" in the European version)

Alternate costumes[edit]

Kirby Palette (SSB).png
Kirby's head icon from SSB. KirbyHeadYellowSSB.png KirbyHeadBlueSSB.png KirbyHeadRedSSB.png KirbyHeadGreenSSB.png


  • Kirby's shield stance is similar to his block stance in Kirby Super Star. When it is done with Mirror Kirby, he uses the orb shield just like the shields in Smash Bros.
  • When Kirby hits a wall, lands on the ground, or does certain moves, small stars are emitted, similar to how they look in the Kirby games, thus giving authenticity to his origin.
  • Kirby shares many of his attack animations with Jigglypuff, such as the ducking animation, neutral aerial and tumbling animation.
  • While other characters perform a victory pose when selected on the character selection screen in Smash 64, Kirby uses a unique animation for this, being the only character to do so. This pose would also be used for one of his taunts in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
    • In addition, Smash 64 Kirby is the only character in any Super Smash Bros. title to have only two victory poses, as opposed to three.
  • Kirby is one of four characters to have a green costume exclusive to team battle, the others being Mario, Captain Falcon, and Donkey Kong.
  • When Kirby gets hit by an electric attack, his frightened eyes can be seen.