Roy (ロイ, Roy) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, officially confirmed on June 12th, 2018. Roy is classified as fighter #25.
This is the first time in the Super Smash Bros. series where Roy is not left voiced in Japanese in all regions. In international releases, Roy is now voiced by Ray Chase, who reprises his role from Fire Emblem Heroes. Jun Fukuyama's portrayal of Roy from Smash 4 was repurposed for the Japanese version of Ultimate.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Roy must then be defeated on Castle Siege.
Roy is a middleweight swordfighter, although his main attributes deviate heavily from other fellow middleweights; he boasts excellent mobility with very fast dashing, air, and falling speeds, but has an only slightly above-average walking speed and a fairly slow air acceleration. Roy has an attribute unique to him that other swordfighters do not have which is his inverse tipper; contrary to Marth specifically, his Binding Blade does the most damage if attacking near the sword's hilt, although it does weak damage and knockback when otherwise tippered. While this gives Roy effectively bigger sweetspots than those who rely on a tipper to deal maximum damage, it weakens his spacing abilities despite being a swordfighter.
Roy's greatest strength is his KO potential, which is very high when compared to other middleweights, and can even be comparable to the power of some of the harder-hitting heavyweight fighters in the roster, such as Bowser and Incineroar. In conjunction with his overall fast frame data for a swordfighter, he can inflict large amounts of damage in a short amount of time. Neutral attack can catch aggressive approaches due to its speed and deceptively large hitbox, and can efficiently set up into his more powerful normal attacks. His forward tilt, up tilt, and forward smash are all very fast startup-wise, with each being among the strongest attacks of their kind; notably, forward smash can KO under 50% with rage near the ledge, even if uncharged. However, they each have noticeable ending lag. His up smash is an effective anti-air attack due to its quick startup, along with his sword arm gaining intangibility throughout its rather long duration.
Roy's KO potential also extends to his air game, with quick, powerful and damaging aerials; his neutral aerial is a useful combo starter, especially when using the first hit by itself on landing, which allows him to add extra damage to his combos and even open up KO setups at high percentages. His forward aerial autocancels in a short hop and is overall very quick, allowing him to even perform a wall of pain. At high percentages, it also boasts KO potential. Back aerial has the rare and deceptive quality of turning Roy around, as well as being rather quick despite its power, KOing at around 130% from center-stage. Up aerial is Roy's fastest aerial startup-wise, and is a reliable juggling move due to its large hitbox and average knockback, and can even KO by itself at high percentages. Lastly, down aerial is a strong meteor smash when sweetspotted and boasts decent KO potential when sweetspotted on-stage.
Roy is also extremely effective at shield pressure and mixups. Many of his aerials and his down tilt are safe on shield against shield grabs, allowing him to pressure the opponent's shield until they choose an option to escape, which Roy can then punish. Jab is a useful as a followup tool to shield pressure to catch the enemy coming out of shield and can lead into kill confirms such as jab into back air, forward air, or up air. Neutral air is also very effective as a crossup attack on characters who lack out of shield options that hit behind them. Up air can also function as a combo starter and is safe on shield, and leads into different followups dependent on whether the sweetspot or the sourspot connects. Roy can also simply grab opponents for shielding against him; he has simple but efficient throw combos such as down throw into neutral air or up air depending on percent. Roy even possesses some shield break setups if the opponent is not careful, rewarding Roy with a Flare Blade punish.
Roy's special moveset maintains his sheer speed and KO power; Flare Blade is known for being one of the strongest single-hitting attacks in the game, with the capability to one-hit KO any fighter in the game when fully charged. Combined with its ability to be reversed and its extremely high knockback, it adds up to be a very potent edgeguarding and ledge trapping tool, and has deceptively low ending lag despite its power to avoid punishment. Double-Edge Dance is a quick and efficient damage-racking series of high-speed sword slashes, along with being a reliable finisher at higher percentages if sweetspotted; it is fast enough for each hit to connect reliably and catch spot dodges. His main recovery move, Blazer, is an excellent out of shield option, due to gaining super armor on startup and having decent knockback growth when grounded. Lastly, his Counter may have a short window of active frames compared to other counterattacks, but it makes up for being one of the strongest counters in the game with a large 1.35x damage multiplier.
Despite Roy's numerous strengths, he has noticeable weaknesses. His biggest flaw stems from his own inverse tipper attribute; by relying on close-quarters attacks to deal damage, it gives him below-average effective reach compared to other swordfighters due to the sword's tip dealing weak knockback and damage. Roy thus cannot rely on a spacing playstyle in spite of his status as a swordwielder, since his sourspotted attacks are less reliable as combo starters. This forces him to get dangerously close to the opponent in order for his attacks to properly start combos and deal more damage. This is further worsened by many of his attacks having high ending lag, which makes Roy very punishable if his attacks are simply thrown out without caution. In all, he cannot perform optimally when spacing with the tip of his sword, but cannot afford to make mistakes when at close range without running the risk of massive punishment.
Lastly, Roy's offstage endurance is poor. His fast falling speed makes him fairly susceptible to combos, and as none of his moves are generally reliable enough to consistently break combos, many characters with reliable combo moves can rack up large amounts of damage and easily force him off-stage. To add to this issue, Roy's only recovery move, Blazer, is fairly ineffective despite his impressive mobility: although it offers excellent protection, can be angled, and covers a decent amount of horizontal distance, it covers little vertical distance, does not sweetspot ledges until the latter half of its duration, lacks the grounded version's super armor, and is predictable, leaving him prone to gimping, especially against characters with a reliable gimping projectile or counter. When coupled with his fast falling speed, he is highly susceptible to meteor smashes, and even a sufficiently strong semi-spike can launch him too far away to recover. Multihit moves that trade with Blazer's hitboxes can also semi spike Roy and gimp him.
Overall, Roy is an unconventional swordfighter who falls under the bait-and-punish and rushdown archetypes; the objective of his playstyle is to overwhelm his enemy by closing the distance between them quickly, then to deal large amounts of damage with fast attacks without leaving Roy himself open to punishment while remaining in close-range.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Roy was infamous for being the lowest ranked DLC character in SSB4, due to his poor, committal approach, unsafe aerials (especially compared to other fellow sword-wielding characters), along with his own "inverse tipper" attribute hindering his spacing abilities, which collectively resulted in his lower mid tier placement in said game, alongside having very little tournament representation and few notable results, similarly to his appearance in Melee. Likely as a result, Roy has been heavily buffed in his transition to Ultimate, and he's the only DLC veteran to be buffed in the transition.
Roy's most significant improvements are indirect, as he benefits noticeably from the changes to the universal gameplay mechanics in Ultimate. The ability to use any grounded move out of a dash and the decreased landing lag on his aerials greatly improve his combo, air game, and rushdown abilities, and give him less trouble at KOing. Complementing this, the universal mobility increase benefits Roy's core strategy of closing the distance on his opponents and landing hits with the hilt of the Binding Blade, as well as helping alleviate his vulnerability to camping. These buffs also help to further counterbalance his main weakness: the need to approach at dangerously close ranges in order to deal optimal damage and knockback, which is a flaw that had plagued him in previous games and was not present in his other fellow swordfighters.
Some of Roy's useful buffs are also direct. Moves like his dash attack, forward tilt, forward, back and up aerials, and Double-Edge Dance have increased power, significantly increasing his options at higher percentages and further toning down his trouble at KOing. Furthermore, KO confirms with his neutral attack and the first hit of neutral aerial or a sourspotted up aerial have become much more consistent and reliable. A small amount of his moves have also had their hitbox placements improved, which is notable in his forward smash and Double-Edge Dance, the former of which can now hit opponents in the lower platforms of Battlefield. His air game in general has improved due to improvements to all his aerials: forward aerial can now autocancel in a short hop like in Melee and has received knockback and angle adjustments that make it better for both combos and KOs, neutral and back aerials are stronger, up aerial has gained KO potential and down aerial has larger sweetspots.
However, while Roy has received comparatively few nerfs during the transition, a few of them are significant. His double jump now covers less distance, which slightly worsens his recovery and combo potentials. His forward and down throws also have less followups and combo potential due to the former's increased ending lag and the latter's increased knockback. Blazer now needs to travel half its maximum distance before it can sweetspot ledges and also deals less knockback, reducing its use as a KO option. Finally, Roy still has some of his flaws from past games, such as mediocre offstage survivability, a vulnerability to combos, and an ineffective spacing game.
Overall, Roy's core playstyle remains fundamentally the same as it was in SSB4, though due to his substantial buffs, he is considered to be much more viable and much less polarizing than he was in any of his previous playable appearances, as he now has enough raw power, range, and speed to play aggressively up close. He commands a moderately sizable playerbase and strong tournament results in competitive play, due to smashers like Goblin, Stroder, and Salt One achieving success with him; however, Roy's results, while strong, have not been nearly as bountiful as other top tier and high tier characters at the topmost level of play, and he also has an Echo Fighter in Chrom, who is considered to be just as good as him due to the latter's lower risk and higher consistency at the cost of power and recovery. As such, while Roy is seen as a competitively viable high tier character (and some even see him as a top tier character), his definitive tier placement is a bit debatable.
Throws and other attacks
Roy has been slightly buffed by the game updates. Down aerial auto-cancels 3 frames earlier, the multiple hits for Blazer and up smash connect more reliably, and dash grab has more range. Roy's approach and defense also indirectly benefit from and the universal nerf of projectiles.
For a gallery of Roy's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Since the release of Ultimate, Roy looked promising in the meta, due to the universal increased landing lag on aerials and using tilts out of a dash, which drastically fixed one of his biggest weaknesses. Along with his excellent mobility and one of the strongest KO Power in the game, many professionals believed that Roy could potentially be a top tier. However, people also noticed that his echo fighter Chrom, despite having less power along with having a significantly worse recovery (one of the worst in the game) than Roy, is more consistent due to the lack of sour spot which made him noticeably better at spacing than Roy, along with a notorious sacrificial KO from his forward aerial to Soaring Slash. As such, Chrom is widely agreed to be one of the best characters in the game and is considered to be better than Roy. Despite this however, Roy still achieved many noteworthy results and is still agreed to be significantly improved from Smash 4, as he’s near universally agreed to be a high tier.
Chrom would later received a nerf to his Soaring Slash, which made it so that it’ll KO himself before his opponent when performing a Sacrificial KO. Since then, most professionals’ opinions on whether if Roy or Chrom is better has been mixed, but the general consensus is that Roy is very slightly better due to his better KO power and his better recovery, both Roy and Chrom however are somewhat overlooked in favor of Lucina, who was quickly gaining prominence in competitive play as one of the best swordfighters in the game. Despite this however, Roy continued to find success in the meta, and is still agreed to be a high tier.
In more recent times, while Roy is still agreed to be a high tier, some players are starting to believe that Roy could potentially be a top tier, due to him achieving consistent success through players, such as Goblin, Kola, Stroder, and Cyro. Notably, Mew2King and Salem both view Roy as the best swordfighter in the game.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: A Journey of Swords
Roy's opponents consist of entirely sword-fighters, with the exception of the final round.
Role in World of Light
Although Roy does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Presumably, Roy fell temporarily under Dharkon's control after Galeem was first defeated, the narration of Dharkon's introduction being vague on how many fighters he stole from Galeem.
Roy appears in The Final Battle as one of the last fighters imprisoned by Galeem. He is one of the few obligatory unlocks. Defeating him leads to a fight with Master Hand and the subsequent reveal of Bayonetta's location.
Roy's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 coins. Unlocking Roy 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.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video