Link (SSB4)

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This article is about Link's appearance in Super Smash Bros. 4. For the character in other contexts, see Link.
in Super Smash Bros. 4
Universe The Legend of Zelda
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Melee
in Brawl
Availability Starter
Final Smash Triforce Slash
Tier D (31)

Link (リンク, Link) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. 4. His return to the series was announced during the E3 Nintendo Direct on June 11th, 2013.[1] He was also among the first wave of amiibo that are compatible with SSB4. Akira Sasanuma reprises his role as Link's voice actor, albeit via voice clips recycled from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Link is currently ranked 31st out of 55 on the tier list, placing him in the D tier. In addition to rendering Link as the second highest ranking mid-tier character, this is a significant improvement over his bottom-tier placement in Brawl, where he was ranked 35th out of 38. Link possesses multiple projectiles in the form of his Hero's Bow, Gale Boomerang and Bomb, each of which serve as great tools for combos, camping, gimping, and disrupting approaches. Aside from his projectiles, Link's Master Sword grants him disjointed range and above average power.

In addition to his retained strengths, his recovery has been greatly buffed from Brawl, thanks to Spin Attack and Clawshot covering noticeably more distance, and Bomb's shorter fuse improving its recovery potential. As a heavyweight, his respectable durability allows him to take advantage of the rage mechanic introduced in SSB4, which further bolsters his already powerful attacks.

However, Link remains held back by his relatively sluggish frame data. He has moves that are quite easily punishable if they are whiffed, while his heavy weight and slow mobility without Bomb Sliding render him vulnerable to combos, especially from the fast, rushdown-oriented characters that are prevalent in the metagame. Despite Link's new assets, several of his fellow veterans gained more significant buffs, which downplays the effects that his own buffs grant him in competitive play.

While Link's early tournament results were mediocre at best, he has managed to attain a dedicated playerbase that consists of professionals such as Izaw, Scizor, Sova Unknown and T, who have managed to achieve top 8 and 16 placements more frequently, even at the national level. T, in particular, has demonstrated Link's viability: in addition to placing 3rd at 2GGC: Civil War, one of the most competitive SSB4 tournaments in the world, he was ranked 32nd on Panda Global Rankings' v3 list.



Link is a heavyweight and the majority of his attributes are largely reflective of his weight class. His only attribute that is atypical of a heavyweight is his walking speed, which is above average. Like his alternate timeline counterpart, Link possesses two shields instead of just one. In Link's case, he wields the Hylian Shield, which blocks opposing projectiles if he is standing still or walking.[2] Like Toon Link, Link also wields his respective version of the Master Sword, which grants him disjointed range and above average strength, the latter of which is most evident in his forward tilt, smash attacks, dash attack and Spin Attack. However, his forward, up and down aerials also boast impressive power while possessing certain traits: his forward and back aerials can hit twice, his up aerial has a long-lasting hitbox, and his down aerial can meteor smash.

Link is one of the handful of characters in SSB4 with a tether grab, with his Clawshot being a useful supplement not to his recovery, but also to his zoning and combo games. Although its damage output has been lowered since Brawl, Clawshot still boasts impressive range, has no landing lag, and comes out even faster than before as an attack. It also assists his combo game, due to his down throw's impressive combo potential, while his up throw possesses KO potential. Lastly and most importantly, Clawshot is a pivotal part of Link's recovery, especially due to his sluggish mobility.

Link's special moves all have their uses. Hero's Bow is a strong option against characters who struggle at approaching and is good for providing long-ranged pressure. Gale Boomerang is a decent spacing option and has follow-up potential upon contact or via its wind-based drag effect. Gale Boomerang's drag effect also grants it gimping potential in the form of Gale Guarding. Spin Attack's overall recovery distance has noticeably improved since Brawl, while its already impressive power has been further increased, which in turn improves its KO potential or as a way to punish rolls. However, Link's Bomb is perhaps the most versatile weapon within his arsenal due to its utility. Throwing a Bomb at an opponent can cause enough hitstun to help Link's approach and/or set up combos. Conversely, if the opponent shields it, the Bomb simply bounces off, allowing it to be used for spacing. Even holding a Bomb long enough for it to explode can be useful; while doing so damages Link, it gives him a small vertical boost and removes him from being helpless, aiding his recovery and/or allowing him to break out of combos. Like in Brawl, his bombs can also be used for a technique called Bomb Sliding, which noticeably supplements his ground mobility. When combined with the overall fastest item throw animations in the game, Link's Bomb allows him to pressure opponents at a deceptively fast speed.

Despite his benefits, Link retains some of his flaws from his previous appearances. Even though his recovery has been noticeably improved after formerly being one of his most significant flaws in Brawl, it still limits how far he can go offstage safely. Link is also still susceptible to combos from faster characters, such as Sheik. As a result, he must make good use of reads, spacing camping to avoid giving the advantage to such characters. His neutral aerial also allows him to break out of many combos, although its start-up lag is merely average for a sex kick. As a tether, his grab is quite slow and punishable when whiffed. In addition, Link's KO potential is hindered by lag, particularly in regard to his forward tilt, dash attack, forward aerial and down aerial.

Overall, Link is a beginner-friendly character that is capable at both spacing and camping. However, unlike his fellow beginner-friendly characters Mario, Pit and Cloud, Link is a generally defensive character who relies on appropriate use of both camping and his combo game to be successful, which is often dependent on the matchup. Additionally, his techniques can be difficult to utilize at higher levels of play, especially because of the speedy and combo-oriented characters that are prevalent in the metagame.

Changes from Brawl[edit]

Link has been buffed significantly in the transition from Brawl to SSB4. As he received many faster and stronger attacks in exchange for slightly lowered damage outputs, these buffs overall outweigh the nerfs. Both his ground and aerial games have been improved, and his combo game has strengthened as a whole. His grab game has also considerably improved, with some grabs having better angle placements or knockback altogether. He also is a potent edgeguarder, with his down aerial now being capable of meteor smashing to go alongside his other offensive options against opponents on the edge. Additionally, significant buffs to Spin Attack and Clawshot improve his recovery, which in turn further improves his excellent endurance. Lastly, his camping game has also been improved due to his projectiles, most notably Bomb, being buffed in certain ways.

Link also benefits from the general physics changes brought about by SSB4. The edge trump mechanic further improves his recovery, while the rage mechanic further boosts his power and can be utilized well due to his excellent endurance. Lastly, Link is one of the only characters to not be noticeably affected by the general nerf to camping. Ultimately, Link is significantly better than how he was in Brawl and is arguably better than he was was in Melee, although his current viability is somewhat debatable due to the majority of the returning cast having also been buffed to varying degrees.


  • Change Due to the aesthetic used in SSB4, Link's overall color scheme is significantly more vibrant, and his hair is of a significantly higher visual quality than in Brawl. Link's hair is also sandy blonde, instead of blonde.
  • Change Link has a new idle pose. He now readies his sword-wielding arm by slightly rearing it back while keeping his Hylian Shield in front of himself, instead of twirling the Master Sword by his side and bringing his shield-wielding arm to his side. Link also always holds his Hylian Shield in front of himself during his other idle poses. However, he will revert to his idle poses from Brawl while holding a small item.
  • Change The Master Sword's trail is now sky blue with white accents and produces afterimages, instead of being a sky blue blur.
  • Change The Hylian Shield's metal decals and rim are now silver and polished, instead of gray and tarnished.


  • Nerf Link walks slower (1.2 → 1.188).
  • Buff Link dashes faster (1.328 → 1.3944).
  • Buff Link's air speed is faster (0.8084 → 0.88).
  • Buff Link's fast falling speed is faster (2.666 → 3.04), improving his air game and making him less susceptible to juggling.
  • Change Link's gravity is higher (0.089 → 0.096). This slightly improves his aerial mobility, but slightly hinders his horizontal endurance.
  • Buff Rolls have decreased ending lag (frame 38 → 31).
  • Nerf Sidestep has increased ending lag (frame 23 → 28).
  • Buff Air dodge has decreased ending lag (frame 50 → 34).
  • Nerf Rolls and sidestep have decreased intangibility frames (frames 4-19 → 4-17 (rolls), frames 2-20 → 3-18 (sidestep)).
  • Change Backward roll's animation has changed. It is now based on the backflip used by the Hero of Time.
  • Buff Dashing item throw's animation is faster (8 frames → 18), making it the fastest in the game. This improves his item-based zoning potential.
  • Buff The Hylian Shield now blocks projectiles even while Link is walking. Additionally, it now always protects his front while he is idle, thanks to his idle poses' updated animations. Lastly, Link now raises it when a projectile or an explosion hits it.[2] Altogether, these changes significantly improve its reliability.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change Neutral attack's first and second hits deal less damage (4% (hit 1)/3% (hit 2) → 2.5% (both)). This improves their jab canceling potentials, but hinders their damage racking potentials.
  • Buff Forward tilt has decreased ending lag (frame 40 → 38).
  • Buff Down tilt deals 1% less damage (12% → 11%), although its knockback growth was somewhat compensated (50 → 62/30). It also has decreased start-up (frame 13 → 11) and ending lag (frame 32 → 29). Altogether, these changes improve its combo potential. It will also now always meteor smash the opponent should they be close enough to the ledge, improving its reliability.
  • Nerf Down tilt has drastically reduced base knockback, now not being able to KO offstage opponents until well beyond 100%. It also cannot meteor smash opponents on the ledge (excluding Charizard).
  • Buff Link has a new dash attack, the Jump Attack from The Legend of Zelda series. Compared to the previous dash attack, it deals more damage (10%/12%/11% → 14%/13%/12%) and knockback (30 (base)/80 (growth)/0 (set) → 70 (base)/85/77 (growth)/85 (set)), making it better at KOing. It also has significantly larger hitboxes. Like the previous dash attack, it has favorable launching angles (90°/80°/70°/60° → 45°/50°/55°), which make it equally ideal for follow-ups.
  • Nerf Dash attack has more start-up (frame 8 → 20) and ending lag compared to the previous dash attack.
  • Nerf Forward smash deals less damage (15%/14% (hit 1)/17%/20% (hit 2) → 14% (hit 1)/13%/12% (hit 2)) and its second hit has increased ending lag (frame 50 → 68).
  • Buff Forward smash has altered knockback (25 (base)/90 (growth) → 47/100 (hit 1), 20/25/30 (base)/90 (growth) → 85/89 (hit 2)), improving its KO potential. Its new knockback values also allow its non-tippered first hit to combo into its second hit, similarly to Toon Link's forward smash.
  • Buff Parts of forward smash are now irreversible.
  • Change Forward smash's sourspot has been re-positioned.
  • Change The window of time that the attack button can be pressed after forward smash's first hit has been significantly tightened. This decreases the possibility of accidentally using its second hit, but makes it so that the delay between the first and second hits cannot be abused before using the second hit.
  • Buff Up smash's last hit deals 1% more damage (10%/9%/8% → 11%/10%/9%) and has altered knockback (70 (base)/80 (growth) → 60/96), improving its KO potential. Up smash's hits also connect together better.
  • Buff Down smash has altered knockback (26 (base)/90 (growth) → 40/88 (hit 1), 20 (base)/90 (growth) → 80/63 (hit 2)), improving its KO potential.
  • Buff Due to its angles being altered (75° (both) → 78° (hit 1)/30° (hit 2)), down smash's second hit is now a semi-spike.

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Change Clean neutral aerial no longer has a consistent damage output (10% → 11%/9%).
  • Buff Neutral aerial's duration has increased (frames 7-27 → 7-31).
  • Nerf Neutral aerial autocancels later (frames 1-6, 32> → 1-3, 36>).
  • Buff Forward aerial deals more damage (9% (hit 1)/12% (hit 2) → 11%/13%) and has altered knockback (5 (base)/100 (growth) → 20/130 (hit 1), 20 (base)/110 (growth) → 30/100 (hit 2)), improving its KO potential.
  • Nerf Forward aerial is interruptible 2 frames later (frame 48 → 50).
  • Nerf Back aerial deals less damage (4% (hit 1)/7% (hit 2) → 3%/5%) and each hit has a shorter duration (4 frames → 3 (hit 1), 6 frames → 5 frames (hit 2)).
  • Buff Up aerial has decreased landing lag (30 frames → 23).
  • Buff Up aerial has an altered animation. Link now leans further backward while performing the Up Thrust. This makes improves its range and makes his hurtbox narrower.
  • Nerf Clean and late down aerial deal less damage (22% (clean)/18% (late) → 18%/15%). Down aerial is also more difficult to land and all of its hits have decreased base knockback (40/30 → 30 (early, clean), 40/50 → 30 (late, bounce)), hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Down aerial's bouncing hit deals 3% more damage (8% → 11%). Additionally, it can now meteor smash during start-up,[3] similarly to Toon Link's down aerial in Brawl. However, it does not meteor smash grounded opponents, allowing it to connect into its second hit. Lastly, it has decreased landing lag (50 frames → 32) and increased range, improving its safety.
  • Nerf Grab aerial deals less damage (4% (hit 1)/6% (hit 2) → 2.5%/4%) and has increased start-up lag (frame 11 → 12).
  • Buff Grab aerial has significantly increased range as a tether recovery, significantly improving its recovery potential. It also transitions faster as an attack (frames 11-16 (hit 1)/frames 23-24 (hit 2) → 12-21/22-23).

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Buff All grabs have decreased ending lag (frame 86 (standing)/frame 96 (dash/pivot) → 62 (standing)/66 (dash)/67 (pivot)).
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Wii UPrior to update 1.0.8, Clawshot came out earlier and went limp when fully extended, but also ended faster. However, this was merely aesthetic.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSClawshot flies and retracts in a straight line like the Hookshot in SSB. However, this is merely aesthetic.
  • Buff Forward throw has decreased ending lag (frame 39 → 34).
  • Buff Down throw deals 1% less damage (7% → 6%), has decreased knockback growth (90 → 85), and its angle has been altered (110° → 83°). Altogether, these changes significantly improve its combo potential.
  • Change Link has a new edge attack, a crouching thrust that resembles the Crouch Stab used by the Hero of Time.

Special moves[edit]

  • Buff Hero's Bow charges faster and has increased knockback (7 (base)/50 (growth) → 10/66), improving its spacing potential.
  • Nerf Quickdrawing has been removed, hindering Hero's Bow's utility.
  • Buff Gale Boomerang has slightly improved follow-up potential at close range and at low percentages.
  • Buff Uncharged Spin Attack deals 2% more damage (12% → 14%) and has increased knockback growth (72 (hit 1)/80 (hits 2-3) → 86 (early, clean)/82 (late)), improving its KO potential. It also has decreased start-up lag (frame 12 → 8).
  • Nerf Spin Attack's back half KOs 19% later.
  • Buff Due to consisting of nine hits instead of five, aerial Spin Attack deals 8% more damage (14% → 22%). Additionally, its last hit has increased knockback growth (160 → 200), significantly improving its KO potential. Lastly, it covers much more vertical and horizontal distance, Link retains much more momentum upon performing it, and it can now hit an opponent behind him, significantly improving its recovery potential and safety.
  • Change Spin Attack's animation has slightly changed. Link now spins while swinging the Master Sword in a slight undulating motion, causing the hitboxes to move around while doing so.
  • Buff The weakening of SDI makes aerial Spin Attack significantly more difficult to escape from.
  • Change Bomb deals 1% more damage at Link's feet or an opponent's feet when thrown from the ground (7% → 8%). It also deals consistent damage at Link's feet or an opponent's feet when smash thrown in the air (5%-9% → 9%).
  • Buff Bombs no longer damage Link if they explode by colliding with an opponent or another projectile and are more durable, improving their follow-up potential and safety. They also have shorter fuses, improving their recovery potential.
  • Nerf Bomb's explosion is now absorbable.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Wii UBomb is slightly larger. However, this is merely aesthetic.
  • Nerf Triforce Slash deals 23% less damage (83% → 60%).

Update history[edit]

Link has been heavily buffed via game updates. In update 1.0.4, the knockback of the first hit of his forward smash was lowered, allowing it to connect better into the second hit. In update 1.0.6 though, he received a mix of buffs and nerfs, which hindered his KO and damage racking potentials, but improved his range and combo game. However, update 1.0.8 brought Link significant buffs in the form of a much more effective grab game and better KOing options, the latter of which helped mitigate the nerfs to his KOing potential that update 1.0.6 brought. In update 1.1.0, his grab game was buffed by slightly decreasing the start-up lag of his dash and pivot grabs. Updates 1.1.3 and 1.1.5 also brought several buffs, which further increased his already high KO potential. Lastly, he was indirectly buffed due to the changes on the shield mechanics in updates 1.1.0 and 1.1.1, as the increased shieldstun and the fact that hitlag modifiers now apply on shielding opponents improve Link's close-range game by making his moves safer on shield. Altogether, these buffs have resulted in Link being viewed as a better character than how he was in Brawl and even better than during the initial release of SSB4, much like Samus.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.4

  • Buff Non-tipped forward smash's first hit's base knockback decreased: 60 → 47. This allows it connect together better with the second hit.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS 1.0.5

  • Buff Hylian Shield now blocks Blasters, improving its reliability.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DSQuickfire Bow and Power Bow now function like they do in the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U version.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.6

  • Nerf Neutral attack's first hit's hitbox duration decreased: 27 frames → 19 and its interruptibility frames have been removed. These changes remove its jab cancel "death combo".[1]
  • Change Down tilt's knockback growth decreased. This improves its combo potential, but hinders its KO potential.
  • Nerf Aside from Charizard, down tilt no longer meteor smashes an opponent hanging on an edge.
  • Nerf Non-tipped dash attack deals 1% less damage: 13% → 12% and its knockback growth decreased: 78 → 72, hindering its KO potential.
  • Buff Dash attack's start-up lag decreased: frame 21 → 20.
  • Change Forward smash's sourspot placement adjusted.
  • Buff Parts of forward smash have been made irreversible.
  • Buff Down aerial's range increased.
  • Change Uncharged Spin Attack deals 2% more damage: 12% → 14%, although its back hit's knockback was compensated. This improves its front hit's KO potential, but hinders its back half's KO potential.
  • Buff Spin Attack's start-up: frame 11 (front)/frame 13 (back) → 8/10 and ending lag decreased: frame 86 → 82.
  • Change Spin Attack and Shocking Spin Attack's second hitboxes' Z-offsets increased: 6.6u → 7u.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.0.8

  • Change Down tilt deals 1% less damage: 12% → 11%, its knockback decreased, and its start-up lag decreased. These changes improve its combo potential, but hinder its KO potential.
  • Buff Up smash's hits connect together better.
  • Buff Clawshot's range has been doubled and it now grabs an opponent before falling to the ground.
  • Change Super Smash Bros. for Wii UClawshot now behaves like it does in the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS version.
  • Buff All grabs' ending lag decreased: frame 66/frame 77/frame 79 → 62/66/67.
  • Buff Grab's start-up lag decreased: frame 14 → 12.
  • Buff Forward throw's ending lag decreased: frame 39 → 34.
  • Buff Down throw deals 1% less damage: 7% → 6% and its angle altered: 110° → 83°, significantly improving its combo potential.
  • Buff Spin Attack's knockback growth increased: 84 (stage 1)/80 (stage 2)/80 (stage 3) → 86/86/82, improving its KO potential.
  • Buff Stage 2 Shocking Spin Attack's knockback growth increased: 80 → 82, improving its KO potential.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.0

  • Buff Dash and pivot grabs' start-up lag decreased: frame 15 (dash)/frame 16 (pivot) → 14/15.
  • Change Spin Attack's hitbox placements adjusted.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.1

  • Buff Shocking Spin deals more damage: 14%/9%/7%/5% → 16%/11%/8%/6% and it received an additional hitbox that deals 14%.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.3

  • Buff Forward smash second hit knockback growth: 85 → 89.
  • Change Down smash first hit angle: 75° → 78°.
  • Buff Down smash's first hit's knockback altered: 26 (base)/90 (growth) → 40/88. This allows it to KO slightly earlier.
  • Buff Forward aerial first hit damage: 8% → 11%.
  • Buff Forward aerial first hit base knockback: 10 → 20.
  • Nerf Forward aerial first hit knockback growth: 132 → 130.
  • Buff Forward aerial second damage: 10% → 13%.
  • Nerf Forward aerial second hit knockback growth: 105 → 100.
  • Change Down aerial no longer meteor smashes grounded opponents.
  • Buff Down aerial has a new early hitbox designed to hit only grounded opponents; it deals less knockback (25 base/40 growth) and launches at an angle of 55° instead of meteor smashing. This allows Link to hit foes a second time with the attack right after bouncing off them, dealing a massive amount of damage (26% if both hits connect), which works until they reach about 60% damage.
  • Buff Down aerial's second bounce deals more damage: 8% → 11%.
  • Buff Spin Attack and Shocking Spin are slightly faster.

Super Smash Bros. 4 1.1.5

  • Buff Down smash hit 2 KBG: 57 → 63
  • Buff Dash attack KBG: 78/72 → 85/77
  • Change Dash attack angles: 45/60/70° → 45/50/55°


  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   2.5% A downward slash, followed by an outward slash, followed by a thrust. It is a natural combo with fast start-up and low knockback, but can also be jab canceled, with notable follow-ups including down tilt, a grab, or Spin Attack. It is based on the final series of strikes that the Hero of Time deals to Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Forward tilt   13% A lunging downward slash. It has moderate start-up, but has good range and above average knockback for a tilt attack. This attack resembles the Z-Targeting slash used by Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Up tilt   9% An overhead arcing slash. Has good juggling potential at low percentages, good combo potential at medium percentages, and decent KO potential at high percentages.
Down tilt   11% A kneeling inward slash. Deals vertical knockback, which grants it good combo potential, while its fast start-up and ending lag makes it somewhat safe on shield. It can also meteor smash opponents in contact with the base of the Master Sword to Link's arm, except for those hanging on edges.
Dash attack   14% (tip), 13%/12% (non-tip) The Jump Attack. Has high horizontal knockback when tipped and vertical knockback when hit close, and will KO at early percentages. Has high start-up and ending lag, making it very punishable if whiffed or used recklessly.
Forward smash   14% (tip), 7% (non-tip) A two-handed, lunging downward slash. If the attack button is pressed again, Link will perform a single-handed outward slash. The first hit deals respectable damage and knockback at the blade's tip, but only deals half as much damage with much lower knockback when not tipped; however, the non-tipped hit is a natural combo into the second slash. Conversely, the second hit deals more consistent damage overall and is relatively powerful, but has heavy ending lag.
13% (tip), 12% (non-tip)
Up smash   4% (hit 1), 3% (hit 2), 11%/10%/9% (hit 3) Three overhead arcing slashes. The first two hits naturally combo into each other, while the third hit finishes the combo. Covers a wide range and can KO before 100%, but has high ending lag.
Down smash   17%/16%/14% (hit 1), 12%/11%/10% (hit 2) A kneeling inward slash in front of himself, followed by a kneeling outward slash behind himself. The first hit launches opponents at a vertical trajectory while having slightly increased damage and knockback the closer one is to Link. Conversely, the second hit is a powerful semi-spike that deals slightly more damage and knockback on the Master Sword's blade.
Neutral aerial   11%/9% (clean), 6% (late) A flying kick. It is a sex kick with relatively fast start-up and little landing lag. Deals more damage and knockback in its first few active frames, especially at Link's foot, while its late hitbox deals minimal knockback. Overall, this is one of Link's most useful moves, as it allows him to break opponents' combos or start his own.
Forward aerial   11% (hit 1), 13% (hit 2) Two alternating, spinning outward slashes. The first hit has more knockback, while the second hit can only connect if the first hit does not or if the opponent has low damage. Has good KOing potential.
Back aerial   3% (hit 1), 5% (hit 2) A hook kick followed by a mid-level roundhouse kick. Link's fastest aerial and has very little landing lag, but is one of his least damaging attacks.
Up aerial   15% (clean), 13% (late) The Up Thrust. It has moderate landing lag unless used alongside a full hop. It is quite powerful and has a long-lasting hitbox that is difficult to dodge, making it a good KOing and juggling option.
Down aerial   15% (early), 18% (clean), 15% (late), 11% (bounce) The Down Thrust. It has a different knockback angle against grounded opponents, which allows Link to "bounce" on targets and hit them twice for a large amount of damage (26%), provided he is not fast falling. The early hit is a powerful meteor smash against aerial opponents. Has a strong non-meteor smash hitbox afterward that is capable of KOing under 130%. However, it is more difficult to land the clean hit than the early hit, as it requires Link to hit with the rising hilt during its start-up, or immediately after the early hit, but before the weak hit.
Grab aerial Clawshot 2.5% (hit 1), 4% (hit 2) Fires his Clawshot forward. Has great range and very little landing lag. Link can cancel his air dodge at any point via his tether, though it will not cancel the landing lag suffered from the dodge. The Clawshot also serves as a tether recovery that auto-snaps the edge.
Grab Clawshot Fires his Clawshot forward. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the chain snaps straight back once fully extended, like the Hookshot from SSB. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the chain drags on the ground like his Hookshot did in Melee and Brawl. The Clawshot grants each of Link's grabs very long ranges. However, each of his grabs have high start-up and ending lag due to being tether grabs.
Pummel   2.1% Hits the opponent with the Master Sword's pommel. A fairly fast pummel.
Forward throw   3% (hit 1), 4% (throw) A front kick. Mainly used to launch opponents off-stage, but has little utility beyond that.
Back throw   3% (hit 1), 4% (throw) A back kick. Mainly used to launch opponents off-stage, but has little utility beyond that.
Up throw   5%/4% (hit 1), 2% (throw) Raises the opponent overhead and slashes them upward. Has relatively high knockback growth, which allows it to KO around 170% without rage.
Down throw   3% (hit 1), 3% (throw) Pins the opponent to the ground and then performs an elbow drop. It can combo reliably into his up tilt, up smash, and aerial attacks.
Floor attack (front)   7% Slashes in front of himself and then behind himself.
Floor attack (back)   7% Slashes in front of himself and then behind himself.
Floor attack (trip)   5% Slashes in front of himself and then behind himself.
Edge attack   7% The Crouch Stab from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Performs a thrust while climbing up.
Neutral special Default Hero's Bow 4% (uncharged), 12% (fully charged) Wields his Hero's Bow and fires an arrow forward. Charging increases the arrow's speed, distance and damage output; at full charge, the arrow flies almost completely straight and covers a very long distance. Good for gimping recoveries or simply pressuring opponents from afar.
Custom 1 Power Bow 4% (uncharged), 20% (fully charged) The arrow has considerable knockback when fully charged, to the point of KOing at medium to high percentages. However, this comes at the cost of heavily increasing the charge time of the move. Additionally, uncharged or partially charged arrows have extremely short ranges and low power, as they drop near Link's feet.
Custom 2 Quickfire Bow 4% (uncharged), 8% (fully charged) Fires magical arrows that charge quickly and travel in a straight line. Uncharged arrows are decently spammable due to being fired faster, but charged arrows have a lower maximum damage output. The arrows also have shorter range.
Side special Default Gale Boomerang 7% (near), 5% (middle), — (far/return) Throws the Gale Boomerang, which flies forward and then returns to Link. It damages opponents as it flies away and pulls opponents toward him during its return. It can be angled up or down, while a smash throw (which is similar to when performing the input for a smash attack) increases the distance it can travel. Unlike Boomerang, a reflected Gale Boomerang is not threatening to Link, as it will only fly past him with its non-damaging windbox. It has set-up potential, albeit only at close range and at low percentages.
Custom 1 Boomerang 9% (near), 7% (middle), 5% (far), 3% (return) The Gale Boomerang functions like the Boomerang, as it deals damage upon returning instead of pulling an opponent toward him. It deals more damage and, like in SSB and Melee, it damages opponents upon returning. It can also be aimed easier, but deals less knockback.
Custom 2 Ripping Boomerang 4% (near), 2% (middle), 1.5% (far), 0.7% (return) Has much shorter range and deals less damage, but hits multiple times and stuns the opponent, which makes it ideal for set-ups.
Up special Default Spin Attack 12%/9%/7%/5% (grounded), 4% (aerial hit 1), 2% (aerial hits 2-8), 4% (aerial hit 9) A spinning, outward slash. Much like in the The Legend of Zelda series, it is a powerful attack, even while uncharged. Conversely, an aerial Spin Attack is a series of spinning, inward slashes and is Link's primary recovery move, as it covers a respectable amount of vertical distance, but minimal horizontal distance.
Custom 1 Shocking Spin 16%/11%/12%/8%/6% (grounded), 4% (aerial hit 1), 1% (aerial hits 2-4), 6% (aerial hit 5), 14% (additional hitbox) An electrical version that deals more damage and knockback. However, it grants much less distance and has poor horizontal momentum, making it function very similarly to how Spin Attack did in SSB and Brawl. The aerial version can semi-spike, but cannot hit backward.
Custom 2 Whirling Leap Deals no damage, but grants even greater vertical and horizontal distance, to the point that Link can perform multiple left and right movements without relying on momentum. The grounded version also makes Link leap into the air.
Down special Default Bomb 5% (grounded and aerial throws/smash throws at body), 8% (grounded throw/smash throw at feet), 9% (aerial throw/smash throw at feet) Pulls out a Bomb. It explodes 3.66 seconds (220 frames) after being pulled out, or upon contact with a surface, an attack, or an opponent. The explosion can hurt Link unless it hits an opponent first. When used skillfully, the explosion can remove Link from helplessness and thus allow him to perform an extra Spin Attack, improving his recovery. Oddly, it will deal more damage when it hits the opponent's feet.
Custom 1 Giant Bomb 8%-10% (grounded and aerial throws/smash throws at body, feet) A massive Bomb with a large explosion hitbox, which deals more damage and knockback. However, it cannot explode when thrown at the opponent, and instead explodes based on time or an attack. Deals damage based on range.
Custom 2 Meteor Bomb 5%, 7% (grounded throw/smash throw at body), 8% (grounded throw/smash throw at feet), 5% (aerial throw/smash throw at body), 6% (aerial throw/smash throw at feet) A smaller and weaker Bomb with a much shorter fuse. However, it meteor smashes anyone hit with moderate knockback. As a result, it is not practical for recoveries in any way, as it simply meteor smash Link, though it allows him to survive vertical KOs longer with luck. On the ground, it will halt opponents in their tracks due to its considerable hitstun.
Final Smash Triforce Slash 1% (hit 1), 3% (hits 2-15), 2% (hit 16), 15% (hit 17) Emits a thin beam of light from the Triforce of Courage symbol on the back of his hand to stun an opponent in front of himself. If the beam comes in contact with an opponent, Link dashes forward and performs a barrage of slashes while they are trapped in a Triforce-shaped energy field before concluding with an outward slash that shatters the energy field and launches them. Although its damage output has lowered since Brawl, it is still among the most powerful Final Smashes in the game. It can hit multiple opponents, but all non-trapped opponents are launched out the energy field after the penultimate hit.

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Appears from within a whirlwind and equips the Master Sword and Hylian Shield. It may be based on the warping animation seen upon using the Recorder.


  • Up taunt: Swings the Master Sword twice and twirls it behind him before sheathing it. It is very similar to his victory pose in Twilight Princess, which he performs after learning a Hidden Skill or defeating a boss/particularly difficult enemies.
  • Side taunt: Link takes out a fairy from his pocket, which proceeds to fly around him as he watches it until it returns to his pocket. While the fairy's design is based on the fairy cursor seen in the Wii version of Twilight Princess, it could also be a reference to Navi, the fairy companion of the Link from Ocarina of Time.
  • Down taunt: Assumes a Fujian White Crane-like stance while rearing the Master Sword behind his head. Originates from SSB and may be loosely based on the attacking pose used by the Link from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Up taunt Side taunt Down taunt
LinkUpTauntSSB4.jpg LinkSideTauntSSB4.jpg LinkDownTauntSSB4.jpg

Idle poses[edit]

  • Assumes a battle ready stance.
  • Looks behind himself.
LinkIdlePose1WiiU.jpg LinkIdlePose2WiiU.jpg

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Link Cheer NTSC SSB4.ogg
Link Cheer JP SSB4.ogg
Description Link! Link! Link! Rin-ku!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestral remix of the theme that plays when Link obtains a Triforce Piece in The Legend of Zelda and has since become the main theme of The Legend of Zelda series.
  • Swings the Master Sword three times and then looks to the right. It is based on his "character chosen" animation in SSB, albeit ending with him facing a different direction.
  • Swings the Master Sword once, twirls it behind his head, then sheathes it while looking at the camera. Like his up taunt, it is based on his victory pose from Twilight Princess.
  • Thrusts the Master Sword forward, holds it up to his face, then thrusts it upward while emitting a kiai.
LinkPose1WiiU.gif LinkPose2WiiU.gif LinkPose3WiiU.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Official Custom Moveset Project[edit]

Character Custom sets available
LinkHeadSSB4-U.png Link 1211 1213 2211 2213 1311
1313 2311 2313 1231 3211

Notable players[edit]


  • Italy BlueLink - One of the best Link players in Europe prior to his retirement. Formerly ranked 1st on the Italian Power Rankings.
  • Chile Drigo Toes - One of the best Link players in South America prior to his retirement. His results can be found here.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Since SSB4's release, Link's nimbler mobility, stronger projectile game, higher power and improved range saw him perceived as noticeably better than his appearance in Brawl and, according to some players, a mid-tier character like his ancestor was in Melee. However, opinions on Link started to decline in light of more developed metagames and higher popularity of certain other characters, whereas Link's representation in competitive play remained rather poor. This culminated in him being ranked 42nd on the first tier list.

Opinions on Link, however, started to improve after certain respectable placings by dedicated mains, such as Izaw and Scizor. This resulted in him being ranked 43rd on the second tier list, after the inclusion of Corrin and Bayonetta. Thanks to T notably achieving strong results with Link after the second tier list, Link was ranked 39th on the third tier list. This resulted in him being reassessed as a mid-tier character, while his placement itself was also very similar to his ancestor's in Melee.

After T placed 3rd at 2GGC: Civil War, one of the most competitive tournaments in SSB4's lifespan, Link's perception has further improved, to the point that he is viewed as deserving to be in the upper portion of the mid-tier. This has been reflected in the fourth and current tier list, in which Link is ranked 31st.


ntsc Green tunic? Pointy hat? Yep, it's Link, all right! In this game, his sword and shield make for effective attacking and blocking, and his bow, bombs, and boomerang will spice up any battle. He's even brought his Clawshot for grabbing enemies and edges. Jeez, just how much stuff can Link carry?
pal Green clothes? Pointy hat? Yep, it's Link, all right! In this game, his sword and shield make for effective attacking and blocking, and his bow, bombs, and boomerang will spice up any battle. He's even brought his Clawshot for grabbing enemies and edges. The hero of Hyrule is really kitted out for a brawl!
NES: The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
SNES: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (04/1992)
Link (Alt.)
ntsc If Link was on a desert island and could only pick one item, it'd be his powerful sword. This weapon is key to his down-air attack, a move with great launching potential and the ability to strike twice. He can also strike twice with his side smash—the second blow deals more damage and launches harder.
pal Of all of his weapons, Link's sword may be the most lethal. His down air attack has incredible launching power. What's more, he'll bounce up afterwards, allowing for a follow-up strike. His side smash can also be followed up with a more powerful second blow that sends foes flying - just press the button again straight away.
NES: The Legend of Zelda (08/1987)
SNES: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (04/1992)
Triforce Slash (Link)
ntsc Link makes use of the Triforce of Courage to trap foes, and then he launches a 16-blow combo. The final mighty blow has the power to launch opponents off the stage. When Link prepares the attack, the ray of light he emits must strike a rival, or the attack will fail. Shielding will do nothing to stop this powerful attack.
pal Link traps a foe in mid-air with the power of the Triforce of Courage, then he delivers a 16-strike sword combo. The final strike has formidable launching power. If the ray of light at the start of the attack doesn't hit, the whole thing ends there. Helpfully, though, the ray of light's range and speed are incredible, and shields won't block it.

In Event Matches[edit]

Solo Events[edit]

Co-op Events[edit]

Alternate costumes[edit]

Link Palette (SSB4).png
LinkHeadSSB4-U.png LinkHeadRedSSB4-U.png LinkHeadBlueSSB4-U.png LinkHeadPurpleSSB4-U.png LinkHeadYellowSSB4-U.png LinkHeadBlackSSB4-U.png LinkHeadWhiteSSB4-U.png LinkHeadGreySSB4-U.png



Link's bind pose in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
  • During Link's first victory animation, his eyebrows appear lighter than usual, only to revert to their original shade of color once the animation ends.
  • In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, a glitch prior to update 1.1.0 enabled the player to see characters' bind poses. In Link's case, it could be seen that his bind pose was modeled in an unusual way, without forming a "T" shape like other bind poses.
    • This pose can still be seen even post-update 1.1.0, albeit only during the Master Core battle. If one looks close enough when Master Shadow begins to form, Link's bind pose is used instead of a normal falling pose.
  • Link's alt. trophies in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS appear very similar to his ancestor's All-Star and Adventure Mode trophies, respectively, in Super Smash Bros. Melee.


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