When used, Captain Falcon pauses for a split second as he rears back with his left fist held behind and above him in a stance, before dashing a short distance forwards along the ground in a sliding-glide. If he hits an enemy, he proceeds to unleash a fiery uppercut, which pops opponents up into the air with knockback ranging from below-average to very powerful depending on the game. If Captain Falcon does not hit a target during the dash, he falls down and is easily punished. In an even worse case, if he falls off an edge with this move in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, he immediately becomes helpless and is very likely to self-destruct. In Super Smash Bros. 4 this no longer happens, as he will either stop at the edge or, if he was there already, dash off the edge, with the attack thereafter being treated as aerial.
During the dash, the move has an inert collision detection hitbox that cannot clank with opposing attacks and does not possess a damaging hitbox unless it connects, leading to the misconception that Raptor Boost has inherently low priority. For this reason, as well as its aforementioned endlag if it whiffs, this move sees much more use in tech-chasing than approaching, due to its duration and range. Additionally, it can be comboed directly into an up aerial or Captain Falcon's Knee Smash to achieve KOs in Melee. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it can instead combo into up aerial, back aerial, neutral aerial, or up tilt, the latter near the ledge, to score KOs.
When used in the air, the move changes from an uppercut to an overhand punch, acting as a meteor smash. Prior to Ultimate, Captain Falcon becomes helpless at the end of the move whether or not it connects; as a result it is very risky to use in midair. In Melee, Captain Falcon's momentum instantly halts when he hits an opponent, making the move difficult to survive using in any case. In late games, however, he bounces over the meteor smashed opponent and keeps a bit of sideways momentum. In SSB4, an airborne Raptor Boost does not meteor smash unless the opponent is directly under Falcon, making it less reliable in the air, but in an Ultimate patch the meteor hitbox was made easier to land. In Ultimate, an aerial Raptor Boost no longer leaves Captain Falcon helpless if its hitbox is activated, a trait borrowed from his other major recovery move, Falcon Dive.
In Melee, Raptor Boost was unable to grab ledges, making it somewhat poor for horizontal recovery. This issue was remedied in Brawl and subsequent games.
In all NTSC versions of Melee there was also a bug that caused Falcon to temporarily disable projectiles intersecting with the hitboxes that control the moves activation. This let Falcon pass through many projectiles, unless they connected in a location not covered by these hitboxes, like his rear leg. This bug was fixed in PAL.
In SSB4, Raptor Boost was significantly buffed in knockback, being the strongest iteration of the move to date. While still a decent combo starter at lower percents, it has been seen earning decisive KOs under 125% on the majority of the cast. To combat this new utility, it has more ending lag when it connects with an opponent or a shield.
In Ultimate, the grounded version deals significantly less knockback, removing its KOing ability in exchange for becoming a reliable combo starter at higher percents, even boasting KO confirms into some moves. It also now grants Falcon 10% (12% in 1v1) damage-based armor on contact, from frames 1-5.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
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