Pit will pull his bow string back, and fire it when the button is released. The arrow does 3.3% uncharged and up to 8.6% charged. The player can change the direction the arrow will go while holding it - backwards, forwards, and upwards. Pit's arrows move much more quickly than other characters' arrows, and can be controlled in midair. He is not able to hold his drawn bow indefinitely in normal use; however, if the player keeps changing the direction the arrow will be released, he can hold onto it until the player stops (when he will lose the arrow, unlike Link and Toon Link).
Palutena's Arrows can actually be curved around in a full circle if controlled properly and thus avoid going off screen. Also, if two of Palutena's Arrows collide, they will cancel each other out.
This is one of the few Special moves that can perform a 180˚ and 360˚ reversal, by holding away from the direction the player is facing while charging an arrow. This does not affect attack power.
In Smash 4, the move functions the same, although the range of Pit's arrows have been drastically reduced, no longer able to curve in a full circle on large maps and only traveling almost the length of Final Destination before fading into sparkles. However, the arrows still maintain their incredible accuracy, making the distance nerf negligible. Fully charged, Pit's arrows travel much further, almost the length of two Final Destinations. However, the arrows disappear when it reaches the blast zone, removing techniques and mindgames that involve it (such as Arrow Rain).
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
The bow Pit got from Palutena after the Medusa incident. As a standard bow, it's capable of firing arrows of light that can change direction. It can also be split to form two short swords--Pit holds one sword in his right hand in a standard grip and one in his left in a reverse grip. He may hold them like this so he can shift between bow and swords without losing a beat.
A bow crafted by the goddess Palutena herself. It is said that one night, as Palutena was caring for this bow, the moon's light formed a beam and fell upon it, blessing it with power. A legendary weapon like this requires skill and training to wield effectively.
A bow crafted by the goddess Palutena herself. She worked diligently on it, and as she finished, the moon's rays focused into one great moonbeam that shone down onto the bow. Naturally, a legendary weapon like this requires great skill and a lot of training to wield effectively.
Palutena's Arrow didn't appear in a Kid Icarus game prior to Super Smash Bros. Brawl (though it does appear in the later game Kid Icarus: Uprising as the Palutena Bow, which bases much of its aesthetic on designs which debuted or appeared in Brawl), but in the original games, Pit used a bow as his trademark weapon. The move appears to be based on the Arrow of Light, one of the three Sacred Treasures used to defeat Medusa. Normally, Pit fired regular arrows. Also in the original titles, Pit could aim his bow upwards, much like how he can with the Palutena Bow in Smash Bros. Before Kid Icarus Uprising, Pit's bow did not have the ability to split into two blades. This is explained in the Subspace Emissary.