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Samus (SSB)

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This article is about Samus' appearance in Super Smash Bros. For the character in other contexts, see Samus Aran.
in Super Smash Bros.
Universe Metroid
Other playable appearances in Melee
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier C (8) (North America)
? (7) (Japan)
Samus's head icon from SSB.

Samus (サムス, Samus) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. As in her games, she fights inside the hi-tech, powerful Varia Suit, giving her a strong endurance to attacks as well as varied options for attack. Her sound clips are entirely "technologic" sounds.

She is ranked 8th on the current tier list, placing her at the top of the C tier. Samus is a heavy, yet floaty, character with decent horizontal recovery. She has arguably the highest raw damage output in the game, courtesy of her many options for attacking, and due to the long range of her moves, she is able to space them well. The high damage output of her moves also translates well to her power, having many powerful finishers like her Charge Shot and her neutral and back aerials. Despite her weight, her floaty nature also allows her to not be comboed as easily as others.

However, Samus has many glaring weaknesses. One of them is her overall slow mobility: while she has a fast dashing speed, she is among the least mobile characters in the air due to her floatiness. Samus also has no reliable grounded or aerial options for approaching. Another weakness is her very sluggish frame data, with some of her moves having lots of ending lag. Altogether, this gives her an almost non-existent approach. While she seemingly has many combo starters due to said moves having low knockback, she has a low amount of combos due to her moves' ending lag. Lastly, she lacks a quick and easy-to-land KO move and relies on reads and predictable finishers to KO.

However, she is ranked higher in the Japanese version at 7th, due to the different gameplay mechanics having an impact on her moveset, and she has a notable smasher in Jouske, who achieves great results with her (despite refusing to travel to North America).


An icon for denoting incomplete things.
Samus's ending picture in Super Smash Bros.
Samus as she appears in the instruction booklet for Super Smash Bros.
Samus using Charge Shot in the Smash 64 instruction booklet.

Samus is a tall heavyweight character that is also rather floaty, an uncommon trait for most heavyweights. She has the 4th fastest dashing speed, but combined with the 4th slowest air speed, second slowest falling speed, and a long and slow roll heavily decrease her mobility. She has decent range and also has two projectiles, including Charge Shot, which covers a great distance and is fairly powerful, being quite useful for keeping opponents at bay, but requires a large amount of charging to have KO power, and Bomb, which can aid her horizontal recovery. Spacing works quite well with Samus, with her forward tilt and back aerial being useful. However, she has a high and slow short hop. Her grab is one of the three tether grabs in the game, giving it excellent range, but has sixty frames of ending lag, making it the laggiest grab in the game. Her back throw is a powerful KO throw and is also tied with Pikachu and Donkey Kong's back throws for the most damaging throw in the game. Her biggest flaw however is her notorious inability to perform a zero-to-death combo with her regular moves, though to compensate, she escapes many zero deaths with her floaty weight and Screw Attack. Her dash attack can set up tech chases, leading into a down tilt and a down air to kill; however, this is not a true combo at all percents. In addition, her down-air may not kill heavier characters such as herself or Donkey Kong.

Overall, most of Samus's moves, while doing over 10% in most cases, have a high amount of ending lag. As a result of that, she lacks easy-to-land KO options, apart from her down aerial, which is an extremely fast meteor smash. While Samus's dair is a great edgeguarding move, especially against slow recoveries like Kirby's or Jigglypuff's, she has poor to mediocre edgeguarding ability outside of it, and her primary recovery move, the Screw Attack, travels extremely short horizontal and vertical distance, giving her a very poor vertical recovery. Her horizontal recovery, while still short and predictable, is slightly aided by her floatiness and Bombs. She is vulnerable to edgeguarding herself; an aerial Charge Shot can help prevent careless edgeguards, but her recovery is slow and predictable.

Samus is known for being the only character in Smash 64 who cannot 0-death easily, though her floatiness and Screw Attack can slightly help her escape combos. Posting a legitimate Samus combo is considered to be an inside joke in the Smash 64 community, as there are players who state that Samus has no combos and that it is virtually impossible to make a combo video of her without hacking.

Because of her weaknesses, Samus has the worst matchup spread, having a losing matchup against nearly every character in the game, and also having only one even matchup, which is against Jigglypuff.

Differences between game versions[edit]

NTSC-J to NTSC-U[edit]

Samus was nerfed in her transition to NTSC-U. Samus was overall one of the least changed characters in the NTSC-U version but one change which does hinder her is that her Grounded Screw Attack has less invincibility frames, making the move much easier to challenge and beat out. Samus was also noticeably hindered by the version's universal changes, most notably the universal increase to SDI. This notably hinders Samus due to her high amount of multi-hit attacks which are now easier to escape (including her Screw Attack). Samus was also hindered by the universal decrease to shieldstun as it makes her shield break and grab setups harder. Overall, Samus is worse than in the Japanese version.

Ground attacks[edit]

  • Change The second hit of neutral attack now has a medium punch sound instead of a heavy punch.
  • Buff Up smash has increased base knockback (10 → 22).
  • Buff Up smash's near hitbox is larger (185u → 200u), allowing it to hit grounded opponents more reliably.
  • Buff Up smash's hitboxes have a longer duration (2 frames → 3).
    • Buff Altogether, these changes make up smash connect more reliably, especially at lower percents (although it is still very unreliable).

Special attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Grounded Screw Attack has fewer invincibility frames on startup (frames 1-11 → 1-5).
  • Change Screw Attack's loop hits now have a weak kick sound instead of a medium kick.

NTSC-U to PAL[edit]

Samus was nerfed in her transition to PAL. While she benefits from the Teleport glitch covering more distance, which in turn gives her a slightly better approach option, her air speed has been reduced and her back aerial's extreme power has been toned down.


  • Buff Teleport goes farther, making it a better approach option.
  • Nerf Samus' air speed has been reduced (28 → 26).

Aerial attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Back aerial has reduced knockback scaling (145 → 130).
  • Nerf Down aerial has smaller hitboxes (125u/140u → 110u/125u).


For a gallery of Samus' hitboxes, see here.

Image of Samus from official site of Super Smash Bros.
Samus's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Straight (ストレート) / Cannon Hammer (アームキャノンハンマー, Arm Cannon Hammer) 3% A jab followed by a vertical cannon swipe.
Forward tilt Spin Kick (スピンキック) 12% Does a kick forward, very fast, little ending lag. Good ground spacer.
Up tilt Heel Kick (ヒールキック) 8% (upwards), 13% (down) Brings her foot down in an axe-like way. The move has weak horizontal knockback while Samus raises her foot up while it has higher damage and knockback when her foot comes back down. The early hit is very weak to the point that it is punishable on hit while the second hit comes out very slowly and is not particularly strong either. Unlike Captain's Falcon's up tilt, Samus cannot connect both hits. It is overall one of Samus' least useful moves due to the early hit's abysmal power combined with the second hit's abysmal startup.
Down tilt Low Kick (ローキック) 13% She quickly does a grounded roundhouse kick, which knocks the foe forward. Has some KO potential at higher percentages near the ledge, can hit foes hanging onto the ledge.
Dash attack Shoulder Tackle (ショルダータックル) 12% (clean), 10% (late) Charges forward and rams opponent with shoulder. Doesn't deal much shield stun and can leave her vulnerable against opponents even at moderate percentages due to its very low knockback. However, if used correctly, it can occasionally be a combo starter.
Forward smash Gun Pod Knuckle (ガンポッドナックル) 20% She thrusts her arm cannon forward for decent knockback, is quite fast, with good range as well.
Up smash Cover Fire (ヘルファイア, Hellfire) 10% (hits 1-5), 50% (total) She aims her arm cannon upwards and shoots flames in an arch. Multi-hitting, 10% per hit. Best usage against heavier or fast falling characters as an anti-air move.
Down smash Spinning Low Kick (スピニングローキック) 16% (front), 14% (back) Does a round kick, first hits in front of Samus. Good spacing move or KOer near the ledge. KO percent wise, it is the weakest down smash in the game.
Neutral aerial Samus Kick (サムスキック) 16% (clean), 13% (late) Sex kick. Seems to be slightly angled upwards. Gets weaker the longer it's out.
Forward aerial Aerial Fire (エアリアルヘルファイア, Aerial Hellfire) 5% (hits 1-4), 20% (total) Deals 20% (1-4 hits). Not the best air move due to number of hits, and how hard it is to have all the moves connect. However, the last hit can be linked into many other moves.
Back aerial Sobat (ソバット) 14% (clean), 10% (late) A fast backwards kick with good range and speed. One of Samus's strongest finishers when sweetspotted, though it is usually difficult to land the sweetspot, due to her bad short hop and limited ways of comboing into it.
Up aerial Drill Kick (ドリルキック) 2% (hits 1-5), 10% (total) Multi-hitting upwards drill kick. 2% per hit. Due to a developer oversight that prevents the final hitbox from spawning, Samus is left very vulnerable, making this an impractical move.
Down aerial Meteor Knuckle (メテオナックル) 14% Downwards arm thrust. Swings her arm cannon downwards below her in an arch. Is a meteor smash. Overall among Samus's best finishers, being able to KO earlier than most of her other moves. Against grounded opponents, it can also lead into moves such as back aerial.
Grab Grapple Beam (グラップリングビーム, Grappling Beam) Samus, along with Link and Yoshi, has an "extended grab". She uses the Grapple Beam while standing. This allows her to grab opponents from a distance, but the grab is very laggy if it misses and can make Samus vulnerable due to its length. This can lead to various unique combos due to the large grab range.
Forward throw Grappling Throw (グラップリングスルー) 16% Grabs opponent via Grapple Beam and tosses them forward with good power. Very high base knockback and decent scaling.
Back throw Grappling Back Throw (グラップリングスルーバック) 18% Same as f-throw, but tosses them backwards and faces the position she was in before the throw. Also slightly stronger.
Floor attack (front) 6% Does a breakdance-like spin with her feet, which hits on both of her sides at the same time.
Floor attack (back) 6% Does a breakdance-like spin with her feet, which hits on both of her sides at the same time.
Edge attack (fast) 6% Gets up and kicks.
Edge attack (slow) 6% Picks herself up, leaning on arm cannon, and jabs in front.
Neutral special Charge Shot 3% (uncharged), 26% (fully charged) Chargeable in the same way as Donkey Kong's Giant Punch - pressing the B button starts charging, and the charge can be saved with the Z button, then continued by pressing B. The projectile is quite large but easy to dodge. Usually used as a combo extender or finisher.
Up special Screw Attack 2% (grounded hit 1), 1% (grounded hits 2-14), 15% (grounded total), 1% (aerial hits 1-14), 14% (aerial total) Does a Screw Attack upwards, recovery move that does multiple hits and can trap opponents to rack up damage. Useful against opponents on soft platforms above Samus.
Down special Bomb 9% Drops a Morph Ball Bomb that explodes within a few seconds. Does extremely minimal knockback, though it causes Samus to fall slightly slower than normal, meaning it can be used for horizontal recovery. However, using it before a double jump will cause Samus to be unable to perform her double jump until she lands.

Announcer call[edit]

On-screen appearance[edit]

  • Exits a Super Metroid-style save point.
Samus' opening animation in Smash 64.


  • Takes her left arm off of the arm cannon and puts her left hand on her hip, at the same time raising her right arm so that her upper arm is perpendicular to her body, and her lower arm (the cannon) is parallel to her body. She then shakes the cannon like a fist.

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Description *clap* Sam- *clap* -us Samus-u
Pitch Crowd chant Crowd chant

Victory poses[edit]

A flourish originating from Metroid that played whenever Samus got a new power-up, obtained a Power Suit upgrade, or defeated Ridley and Kraid.
  • Flashes gun towards screen.
  • Shoots fire upwards.
  • Cocks her cannon (also her character selection animation).
SamusPose1SSB.gif SamusPose2SSB.gif SamusPose3SSB.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Most Historically Significant Players[edit]

See also: Category:Samus players (SSB)

Tier placement and history[edit]

For the longest time, Samus had been seen as a bottom tier character, frequently considered the worst in the whole game. The reasons for this negative perception are her lack of a reliable 0-to-death option, a slow and ineffective grab, and an overall laggy and predictable moveset. The biggest reason is that other characters have better versions of everything she has, giving players no real reason to use her competitively.

However, the perception of Samus has shifted more recently to be more positive, as she now sits in the lower-middle tier. The reasons for this shift are her floatiness granting above average survivability and some niche but highly potent kill options, particularly against high-tiered characters. Players have been utilizing these small strengths to get far better results than years previous, aiding to the more positive perception even more.

In Single-player[edit]

In the game's Single-player mode, Samus is fought on the Planet Zebes stage. If Samus is defeated via the acid under the stage, the player will be awarded with the Acid Clear bonus, which is worth 1500 points.



Main article: Teleport (SSB)

Bomb recovery[edit]

In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Samus can bomb jump to greatly extend her horizontal recovery. In Smash 64, Samus cannot bomb jump. However, using bombs and immediately DIing towards the stage aids in her horizontal recovery to a degree, although not nearly as much as bomb jump recovery does. However, when a bomb jump is used, her double jump cannot be used until Samus lands.

Fake ledge jump[edit]

Main article: Fake ledge jumping


From the Game[edit]

Samus Aran is the toughest bounty hunter in the galaxy. Using a special suit powered by the technology of the bird people which allows her to execute daring acrobatic feats, Samus pursues the airborne life form, Metroid, throughout the universe.


  • Metroid (NES)
  • Metroid II: The Return of Samus (GB)
  • Super Metroid (SNES)

Alternate costumes[edit]

Samus Palette (SSB).png
Samus's head icon from SSB. SamusHeadPinkSSB.png SamusHeadBlackSSB.png SamusHeadGreenSSB.png SamusHeadBlueSSB.png


  • Samus is the only female character in Super Smash Bros., as Pokémon were not considered as being gendered at the time of that game's release.
  • While all other characters show their skeletons (or lack thereof) upon being hit with an electric attack, Samus's suitless outline becomes visible instead.
  • This is Samus' only appearance on the Nintendo 64. The only other playable character to share this distinction is Ness.
    • This is also their first appearance in 3D, as well as Kirby's.
  • Both Samus and Donkey Kong had their official artworks flipped horizontally on the official English website.
  • In the PAL version of the game, Samus's character description in French uses male pronouns with female ones in speculative brackets (the equivalent of "his (her?)"), in contrast to both the English and German descriptions using female pronouns throughout. This might be a reference to the instruction booklet from the original Metroid, where Samus is referred to as a "he".
  • On the Character selection screen, Samus's portrait greatly resembles her artwork from Super Metroid.
  • Samus is the only character to have a costume exclusive to team battles without it being exclusive to the green team.