Meta Knight (SSBU)

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This article is about Meta Knight's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For the character in other contexts, see Meta Knight.
Meta Knight
in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Meta Knight SSBU.png
Universe Kirby
Other Smash Bros. appearances in Brawl
in SSB4

Availability Unlockable
Final Smash Darkness Illusion
This fighter not only has tons of quick moves, he can perform a midair jump five times! All his special moves have a recovery aspect, so use them at the right time. His Final Smash is Darkness Illusion, which unleashes a fast series of aerial attacks.
Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site

Meta Knight (メタナイト, Meta Knight) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Meta Knight is classified as fighter #27.

As in Smash 4, Eric Newsome's portrayal of Meta Knight from Brawl was repurposed for English-releases of Ultimate. Similarly, Atsushi Kisa'ichi's portrayal from Brawl was also recycled for Japanese-releases.

How to unlock[edit]

Complete one of the following:

  • Play VS. matches, with Meta Knight being the 38th character to be unlocked.
  • Clear Classic Mode with Link or any character in his unlock tree, being the fourth character unlocked after Simon.
  • Have Meta Knight join the player's party in World of Light.

With the exception of the third method, Meta Knight must then be defeated on Halberd.


Meta Knight combines several unusual traits. He has multiple jumps, but unlike other characters who share this ability, he has strong mobility, comprising fast dashing and walking speeds, high falling speed and gravity, and average air speed. He is also the only small character to use a sword, which gives his attacks large range relative to his stature. Overall, unlike other characters with multiple jumps, Meta Knight is neither wanting for speed nor range.

As expected, Meta Knight's playstyle relies heavily on his speed, both in terms of mobility and frame data. His low, quick short hop and fast, low lag aerials allow him to continuously apply pressure to opponents at close range. He is not lacking in grounded pressure either, having a fast down-tilt that can trip, and a dash attack that can cross-up shields, and both of these moves are capable of setting up combos. If Meta Knight finds himself on the defensive, he has several options to relieve pressure, such as a fast, decently long-ranged forward-tilt for countering aerial approaches, a fast, long-lasting, and strong neutral aerial, and the fastest down aerial in the game. For attacks that are poorly spaced, he can opt for a grab, from which he has a down and forward throw that can both start combos until mid-percents, a back throw to set up edge-guards, and an up throw that can kill at very high percentages.

While his damage output per hit is not impressive, Meta Knight's speed and jumps allow him to rack up damage through combos at lower percents and chase opponents through the air through to higher damages, punishing their escape options. His dash attack and down throw can combo into an up smash or aerials at lower damages, while his up aerial can link into other aerials or his up special. Even after his opponents are launched too far for a true combo, he can continue pressuring them by punishing their air dodges and landing options through effective use of his aerials, dash attack, and up tilt. Thanks to his flexible aerial mobility, he has little trouble chasing opponents offstage, and his aerials are well-suited to edge-guarding. Neutral aerial has a lingering hitbox and strong knockback, back aerial is fast with high power, and down aerial is a safe semi-spike than can gimp unusually early.

Meta Knight's edge-guarding prowess is mainly courtesy of his recovery, which is arguably the best in the game. In addition to having five jumps and passable air speed, his special moveset is full of recovery options. Shuttle Loop, his up special and main recovery method, is fast, offers high vertical recovery, and has a large hitbox. Mach Tornado and Drill Rush travel far horizontally and with long-lasting active hitboxes, and the latter can be angled. Dimensional Cape allows Meta Knight to cover distance in any direction while invisible, and offers the option to attack upon reappearing. Such options grant him the ability to vary his recovery to make it incredibly difficult to punish him offstage, let alone gimp him.

Meta Knight does have several weaknesses. His attacks generally have very few active frames, forcing him to be extremely precise with his moves lest his opponent punish him. Despite being a lightweight, Meta Knight's falling speed, gravity and unusually round hurtbox make him highly vulnerable to combos, which combined with his low weight grants him poor overall endurance. Though he has a strong, safe-finisher in his forward smash, a fast, powerful back aerial and up smash, he has difficulty landing these moves. Forward smash has high-startup, making it easy to avoid, up smash is risky due to its ending lag, and back aerial has trouble connecting on grounded opponents. Furthermore, his up and back throws require rage and favorable positioning to kill at reasonable percentages. While Meta Knight's neutral game is fairly good, his lack of a projectile can be a thorn in his side, especially against zoning characters, such as Mega Man.

Overall, Meta Knight is at his best so long as he has his opponent in a disadvantaged state, being able to rack up damage well at lower percentages, before keeping the pressure on them through juggles and edge-guards. A player must be patient in finding an opening, as he cannot sustain much damage himself, and such patience is especially needed when his foe is at high percentages where Meta Knight may find difficulty in landing his finishers.

Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Meta Knight has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate. His already strong mobility has been improved further, and the larger hitboxes and reduced lag on his aerial attacks restore some of his spacing prowess from Brawl. The changes to air dodging and the general nerfs to recoveries across the cast greatly complement his attributes, offering more opportunities to exploit his offstage game, while his recovery and landing options remain among the best.

However, the changes to Meta Knight's dash attack, which he relied on in the previous game, have nerfed his combo and punish games. With the move having higher knockback, follow-ups are unreliable beyond lower percentages. The change also harms his KO'ing potential, making it harder to combo the move into Shuttle Loop at kill percentages. The nerfs to rage exacerbate this: while his endurance is slightly improved, he can no longer abuse the mechanic to secure early vertical KO's, and he has a harder time securing kills off of his throws. The changes to shield mechanics and introduction of parrying are another hindrance due to his reliance on multi-hit moves. Meta Knight does not benefit from the increased options out of a dash as much as other characters, since none of his tilts are reliable combo or kill moves, and outside of forward smash, his smashes are unsafe.

It is currently unknown how the changes will affect Meta Knight.


  • Change As with all veterans returning from Smash 4, Meta Knight's model features a more subdued color scheme. His mask, armor, and sword feature more detailed textures.
  • Change Galaxia's sword trails have reversed colors, using aqua with yellow accents instead of the yellow with turquoise accents from Smash 4.
  • Change Meta Knight's eyes close while using his up taunt. Additionally, the trails emitted by the tornado are colored white instead of yellow.
  • Change His Galacta Knight-inspired alternate costume more closely resembles its inspiration: his mask becomes cross-shaped with red eyes, his spikes and insignia become yellow, and Galaxia turns pink like Galacta Knight's lance. Similarly, Galaxia turns silver with a blue gem when donning the Dark Meta Knight costume, his sabatons turn a darker red as opposed to the inaccurate purple of Smash 4, and his mask gains a scar and has paler eyes, much like his Mirror World doppelgänger.
  • Change Two of Meta Knight's victory animations were altered: one has him slashing with his sword, and the other has him flying around and dropping to the ground and striking a pose.
  • Change Meta Knight has a new sidestep animation, wrapping himself in his mantle during the dodge.
  • Change Meta Knight performs his up taunt faster.
  • Change Meta Knight's wings now droop or curl up when fast falling.


  • Buff Like all characters, Meta Knight's jumpsquat animation now takes three frames to complete (down from 4).
  • Buff Meta Knight walks faster (1.18 → 1.239).
  • Buff Meta Knight dashes much faster (1.9 → 2.09).
  • Buff Meta Knight's air speed is faster (0.99 → 1.04).
  • Buff The new air dodge mechanics improve Meta Knight's juggling and edge-guarding abilities.
  • Buff Neutral air dodge's invulnerability ends 1 frame later (frame 25 → 26).
  • Nerf Neutral air dodge has much higher ending lag (FAF 31 → 47).
  • Nerf Spot dodge is slightly slower (frame 2 → 3).
    • Buff Its overall duration was not adjusted, meaning it also has 1 less frame of ending lag.
  • Nerf Forward roll's intangibility ends 1 frame earlier (frame 15 → 14).
  • Nerf Back roll has much higher ending lag (FAF 28 → 34).
  • Nerf The new shield mechanics make it easier to punish his multi-hit moves.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack has significantly faster start-up (frame 7 → 4) and ending lag (FAF 35 → 31) and its animation is faster.
      • Nerf Neutral infinite deals slightly less damage (1.2% → 1.0%).
      • Change Neutral infinite has an altered angle (60° → 361°).
  • Dash attack:
    • Nerf Dash attack has altered knockback (70 (base)/90 (growth) → 65/65/67 (base)/107 (growth)). While this makes a situational KO move at very high percentages, this reduces its combo potential past lower percentages, and making it very difficult to combo into his up special for a KO. It also has reduced range and 1 more frame of ending lag (FAF 32 → 33).
    • Buff Dash attack deals more damage (5%/6% → 7%/7%/6%).
  • Forward tilt
    • Buff Each hit has a larger hitbox.
    • Change The first two hits have altered knockback (hit 1: 8 (base)/88 (growth) → 25/20, hit 2: 8 (base)/88 (growth) → 20/20) and angles (hit 1: 68°/85° → 68°/88°, hit 2: 60°/80° → 60°/85°).
  • Change Forward smash has a modified sword trail that gives the trail spiked edges.
  • Buff Each hit of up smash deals more damage (3%/2%/4% → 4%/3%/5%), resulting in it dealing more total damage (9% → 12%), improving its KO potential, albeit with knockback growth compensated on the last hit (166 → 148).
  • Buff Down smash has a larger hitbox and deals more damage (7%(front)/10%(back) → 10%/13%), improving its KO potential, albeit with knockback growth compensated on both hits (93 (both) → 77 (front)/78 (back)).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials have reduced landing lag (neutral: 16 → 7, forward: 16 → 10, back: 18 → 11, up: 18 → 9, down: 22 → 9).
  • Buff Forward aerial, back aerial and down aerial have larger hitboxes, making it easier to hit opponents.
  • Nerf Back aerial has less knockback growth (212 → 198).
  • Change Up aerial's angles have been altered (69°/69°/52° → 67°/67°/50°), improving its combo potential into other aerials, but hinder its combo potential into itself and Shuttle Loop.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Nerf All grabs have increased ending lag (standing: FAF 32 → 37, dash: FAF 40 → 45, pivot: FAF 38 → 40).
  • Nerf Dash and pivot grabs have slower start-up (dash: frame 9 → 11, pivot: frame 9 → 12).
  • Nerf Standing grab has significantly less range.
  • Change Pummel is faster but deals less damage (3% → 1%).

Special Moves[edit]

  • Mach Tornado:
    • Change Mach Tornado has updated visual effects, now slightly resembling how it looked in Brawl.
    • Buff Mach Tornado travels faster.
    • Nerf Mach Tornado only hits once instead of being a multi-hit attack, decreasing its damage output.
    • Buff Mach Tornado has much more knockback and is capable of killing horizontally far earlier, being a very viable combo finisher and even an edgeguarding tool.[1]
  • Drill Rush:
    • Change Drill Rush's final hit now has visual effect.
    • Buff Drill Rush has an increased amount of possible hits (9 hits → 12) and minimally increased damage (1% → 1.1%), increasing it's overall damage (11% → 15.1%), increasing its KO potential, albeit with compensated knockback growth on the final hit (200 → 185).
      • Buff The hits from Drill Rush connect much better.
    • Change Drill Rush's final hit has a lower angle (60° → 40°).
    • Nerf Drill Rush now slows down significantly when hitting a shield. This hampers its ability to cross-up opponents, hindering its safety.
  • Shuttle Loop:
    • Buff Shuttle Loop goes higher.
    • Nerf Shuttle Loop's second hit connects less reliably with its first.
  • Buff Dimensional Cape travels farther, making it better for recovery.
  • Darkness Illusion:
    • Change Meta Knight has a new Final Smash, Darkness Illusion. It creates a surge of energy around Meta Knight which traps opponents, dragging them into the air, where Meta Knight clones himself to strike repeatedly, before finishing with a slash that sends opponents at a horizontal angle. It bears a resemblance to Upper Calibur, Meta Knight's strongest attack in Kirby: Star Allies, with the cross-lightning being similar to Kirby Super Star Ultra's version of Mach Tornado and Meta Knight's Shuttle Loop when combined with electricity in Kirby Star Allies.
    • Nerf The surge of energy from Darkness Illusion has less range than the cape from Galaxia Darkness. In addition, Darkness Illusion has lost the ability to hit others not trapped in the Final Smash, unlike Galaxia Darkness.

Update history[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 1.1.0

  • Nerf Dash attack has more ending lag (FAF 32 → 33).


Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.

  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack  
Forward tilt  
Up tilt  
Down tilt  
Dash attack  
Forward smash  
Up smash  
Down smash  
Neutral aerial  
Forward aerial  
Back aerial  
Up aerial  
Down aerial  
Forward throw
Back throw
Up throw
Down throw
Floor attack (front)  
Floor attack (back)  
Floor attack (trip)  
Edge attack  
Neutral special Mach Tornado
Side special Drill Rush
Up special Shuttle Loop
Down special Dimensional Cape
Final Smash Darkness Illusion

Victory poses[edit]

  • Performs three slashes with his sword, says "Come back when you can put up a fight." then warps away. (もっと強くなって来い。, Come at me when you're stronger.).
  • Flies into the scene and spreads his cape, saying "You've much yet to learn." (まだまだだな。, You're not yet ready.).
  • Performs two slashes and twirls his sword, saying " my destiny." (これも宿命だ。 This, too, was destiny.).
Based on the short recurring theme that debuted in Kirby's Adventure and played when Kirby completed a stage or defeated a boss, performed with electric guitars and in quadruple meter.

Classic Mode: Two Sides of the Same Coin[edit]

Meta Knight's opponents are fighters in a free-for-all against their dark counterparts.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 2 Links Bridge of Eldin (Ω form) Hidden Mountain & Forest The second Link is in his black costume, referencing Dark Link.
2 Pit and Dark Pit Reset Bomb Forest Dark Pit's Theme
3 2 Captain Falcons Port Town Aero Dive Fire Field The second Captain Falcon is in his red costume, referencing Blood Falcon.
4 2 Lucas New Pork City Mother 3 Love Theme The second Lucas is in his orange costume, referencing Claus.
5 Samus and Dark Samus Frigate Orpheon Multiplayer - Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
6 2 Meta Knights Fountain of Dreams The World to Win The CPU uses the Galacta Knight and Dark Meta Knight costumes. If either are used by the player, default Meta Knight takes their place.
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand and Crazy Hand Final Destination Master Hand / Crazy Hand

Role in World of Light[edit]

Although Meta Knight does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (except Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.

Meta Knight was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. To find him, the player must traverse throughout the Mysterious Dimension sub-area and is necessary to defeat to advance on toward the boss.


Meta Knight's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Meta Knight 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.

Alternate costumes[edit]

Meta Knight Palette (SSBU).png
MetaKnightHeadSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadWhiteSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadRedSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadGreenSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadNavySSBU.png MetaKnightHeadPinkSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadPurpleSSBU.png MetaKnightHeadGreySSBU.png


Character Showcase Video[edit]


  • Meta Knight's stock icon is one of four to show the character's eyes, the others being Kirby, R.O.B. and Sonic.
  • Meta Knight is the only character whose eyes glow a color other than yellow when using his Final Smash. In his case, they glow red due to his eyes already glowing yellow.
  • Meta Knight and Wario are the only playable antagonists that are not fought by their respective main protagonists in Classic Mode.


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