Samus (SSBM)

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This article is about Samus' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Samus Aran.
in Super Smash Bros. Melee
Samus Aran
Universe Metroid
Other Smash Bros. appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
Availability Starter
Tier C (10) (North America)
D (9) (Europe)
A space warrior with an arsenal of long-range projectile weapons.
—Melee's instruction manual

Samus Aran (サムス・アラン, Samus Aran) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Returning as a veteran from the previous game, Samus, similarly to Link, reprises her role as a short-ranged fighter with numerous ranged options. In addition, she received some powerful buffs, causing her to improve from a bottom-tiered character in Super Smash Bros. to a high-mid tiered character in Melee.

Samus is currently ranked 10th on the current tier list, placing her in high-mid tier, a significant improvement from her 8th place position in Super Smash Bros.. This is mainly due to her numerous and effective projectiles, which adds to her KOing power and her approach on the ground. She also has a good air game, complimented with a powerful back aerial. Samus' recovery is among the best in the game; her bomb jumps, ability to wall jump, grappling beam, and heavy weight all contribute to making her among the toughest characters to KO horizontally. She also possesses techniques exclusive to her, such as the Super Wavedash and Extended Grapple, that aid her approach on opponents. However, she is floaty, allowing her to be juggled and KO'd vertically easily,. She also happens to be easy to combo in general due to being floaty, and heavy with a tall stature. Her primary combo starter, her grab, is also very laggy if it misses, though it can be extended in the NTSC version. Regardless, Samus has a large amount of advantageous matchups, three of which are close to unloseable (against Roy, Yoshi and Pichu).


Samus is a unique character. Although a tall heavyweight, she is unusually floaty, uncharacteristic of characters in her weight class. Her slow falling speed (the second slowest in the game, tied with Zelda) allows her recovery to travel more distance and gives her better potential combo game. However, it also makes her more susceptible to vertical KOs, even with her high weight, and it also gives her a poor SHFFL.

Arguably Samus's most valuable asset is her high range. While lacking a disjointed hitbox, Samus has a variety of long-reaching attacks and long-ranged projectiles that can assist with her ground-based approach. Charge Shot can quickly become one of her most powerful attacks, while her Missiles can act as both an approach option when non-tapped and as a powerful finisher when tapped. Samus's average traction and low falling speed also grant her a long wavedash that can mesh well with her long-ranged smash attacks, as well as her modestly-ranged tilts; assuming the player has particularly good timing, Samus also has access to the longest wavedash in the game, the Super Wavedash, which can also potentially surprise enemies due to its speed. While laggy, Samus is also owner of the longest grab in the game, and a technique unique to the NTSC release of the game can allow her to extend its reach by three, in addition to allowing it to home in on enemies.

Samus's recovery is also among the longest and most flexible in all the game. While Screw Attack grants relatively little horizontal and vertical distance, its multiple hitboxes can potentially frustrate edgeguarders, especially due to its final blow. Samus, however, owns arguably more options for her recovery than any other character in the game. Her average air speed and low falling speed aid her approach toward ledges, while her natural ability to wall-jump can aid her recovery on stages with walls underneath the ledge, such as Fountain of Dreams or Dream Land. Samus's down special, her bombs, can allow her to bomb-jump onto the stage without the loss of jumps, and her grab air can allow her to enter "safe zones" underneath the stage, as well as acting another long recovery technique. Owing to these variety of options, edgeguarding against Samus can be extremely difficult, especially for characters with poor recoveries. For Samus herself, this long recovery also grants her a powerful edgeguarding game of her own, aided by her fast and powerful neutral and back aerial attacks.

Despite having a good approach on the ground, Samus's aerial approach suffers due to her strange variety of attributes. Her below average falling speed and high jumps give her a poor SHFFL, despite the presence of low ending lag for her aerials when L-canceled. Her low falling speed also can prevent her from quickly pursuing enemies that have been knocked into the ground; as such, Samus can have particular difficulty in comboing fast-fallers, even with her variety of throws. Tying into this, Samus's grab is extremely laggy and can easily be punished if she fails to grab an opponent with it;

Samus also has a very poor defensive game; Samus's shield cannot easily cover her body and thus invites shield stabbing. While boasting an average sidestep dodge, Samus's rolling dodge is among the worst in the game, due to its low speed. While Screw Attack can potentially act as a decent out of shield option, Samus's other options are slow and laggy, such as her up smash and grab.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee[edit]

Samus has been significantly buffed from Smash 64 to Melee. She is often considered the most buffed character from Smash 64 to Melee along with Jigglypuff, due to increased power, attack speed, range, combo ability, and recovery, and by going from a low tier to a semi-viable tournament contender.


  • Buff Her attacks are generally faster in terms of both startup and ending lag.
  • Buff Samus has faster air speed (28 → 0.89) .
  • Buff Has much more combo ability, though still not too favorable.
  • Buff Significantly improved recovery with many more options, due to Screw Attack giving much more vertical distance, and her now being able to bomb jump and wall grapple (the latter of which is further improved by the directional air dodge).
  • Nerf Samus dashes slower (54 → 1.4).
  • Nerf Samus walks slower (0.34 → 1).
  • Change Samus is significantly lighter (117 → 110), which hinders her endurance, but makes her harder to combo.
  • Nerf Samus is floatier (42 → 1.4), which when combined with her already worsened endurance, worsens her vertical endurance even further.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Buff Up tilt now meteor smashes grounded opponents, making it more useful for both combos and KOing.
  • Buff Samus has a new down tilt: a quick downwards cannon strike thats fires a small explosion at the opponent's feet. It is more powerful than her old down tilt, being able to KO under 150%.
  • Change Old down tilt's animation is now used as down smash's animation.
  • Buff Dash attack is stronger and due to its improved knockback, it no longer leaves Samus in a vulnerable position at moderate percentages.
  • Nerf Dash attack no longer deals extra shield damage.
  • Nerf Up smash has a significantly lower maximum damage potential (50% → 29%), and the individual hits no longer deal extra shield damage.
  • Buff Down smash is faster and more powerful.

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Nerf Back aerial is slower and has less range and power (though it is still quite powerful when sweetspotted).
  • Buff Down aerial is much stronger, being the fifth strongest meteor smash in Melee.
  • Nerf As with almost every meteor smash from Smash 64 to Melee, down aerial has much slower startup.
  • Buff Forward aerial hits one more time and deals more damage.

Grabs and Throws[edit]

  • Buff Samus has been given an up and down throw, giving her more options out of a grab and combo potential.
  • Buff Samus can perform the Extended grapple technique, allowing her to greatly increase the range of her Grapple Beam.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Buff Fully charged Charge Shot now deals extra shield damage.
  • Nerf Charge Shot now dissipates after traveling a certain amount of distance, rather than continuing on forever until it hits something.
  • Buff Like all characters, Samus now has a side special. In her case, it is called Missile, it gives her a new projectile, greatly improving her projectile arsenal and projectile camping abilities.
  • Nerf Screw Attack is unable to "trap" opponents within the multiple hits as easily.
  • Buff Bomb no longer disables Samus's midair jump before landing when used in midair. It also deals extra shield damage, and is a better gimping move on recovering opponents near the edge, due to the generally faster falling speeds in Melee.

PAL differences[edit]

Like some other characters, Samus has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee, which nerfed her overall, as she can no longer use the Extended grapple or bomb out of a grapple. Additionally she now losses her Charge Shot charge when hit out of Screw Attack (a similar thing occurs when Donkey Kong is hit out of his Spinning Kong in the NTSC version, where he loses all of his giant punch charge when hit out of it).

  • Nerf Extended grapple is no longer possible.
  • Nerf Can no longer bomb out of a grapple.
  • Nerf Charge Shot charge is lost if Samus is hit out of Screw Attack.


For a gallery of Samus's hitboxes, see here.

Samus's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack   3% A quick jab followed by an axe-like jab with her arm cannon. The second hit can be easily shielded or shield grabbed, making it difficult to connect both hits.
Forward tilt   11% Does a spinning horizontal kick forward. Excellent in stopping close-up foes, useful spacing move.
Up tilt   13% (grounded), 12% (aerial) Raises her leg and brings it down. Very similar animation to Captain Falcon's up tilt. It is a meteor smash according to the game, but it only works on grounded opponents, making it an unconventional meteor smash. The meteor can KO grounded opponents at high percentages, and can combo into a back aerial at moderate percentages. Hits aerial opponents horizontally.
Down tilt   14% Brings her arm cannon down and fires a small explosion. Powerful, excellent option out of a crouch cancel. Can KO under 150%.
Dash attack   13% (clean), 9% (late) Does a shoulder tackle. This is the most powerful dash attack in Melee, being able to KO under 150%. It is also suitable for combos at low percentages, especially if the sourspot connects.
Forward smash   15% Thrusts her arm cannon in forward. Somewhat fast (fastest forward smash in Melee, hitting on frame 10, along with Marth, but Samus's f-smash has much lower ending lag), great knockback for a low damaging attack (30 base knockback, 108 knockback growth).
Up smash Cover Fire 4% (hits 1-3), 5% (hit 4), 6% (hit 5) (≈21.29% total) Fires five bursts in an arc above herself. Below-average knockback.
Down smash   16% (front), 15% (back) Does a low 360° sweep kick. Fast and has good knockback, hitting opponents up and behind Samus (110 base knockback, 50 knockback growth).
Neutral aerial   14% (clean), 10% (late) Does a sex kick. Good horizontal knockback and useful for edgeguarding.
Forward aerial   5% (hits 1-5) (≈23.2% total) Fires several explosions in front of her with her arm cannon.
Back aerial   14% (foot), 10% (leg) Kicks her foot behind her. The sweetspot is at her foot, which deals more damage and knockback. A useful move for edgeguarding. This is the third most powerful back aerial in the game, beaten by Zelda and Ganondorf.
Up aerial   3% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-5), 4% (hit 6) (≈10.28% total) Brings her legs above her body and spins. Leads into a Missile well.
Down aerial   16% Swings her arm cannon in an arc below her. It is the fifth most powerful meteor smash in Melee and has a wide hitbox. A commonly used attack due to its strong power, ease of landing, and low risk. The meteor can KO grounded opponents at 115%.
Grab aerial Grapple Beam 4% Shoots out a long energy beam. This attack has transcendent priority.
Grab Grapple Beam Sends out her Grapple Beam to catch the opponent. It is the longest grab in the game.
Pummel   3% Chops the opponent with her free hand. Somewhat fast.
Forward throw   9% Brings her opponent up with her Grapple Beam and launches them forward.
Back throw   8% Launches opponent behind herself.
Up throw   7% Holds opponent above herself with her Grapple Beam, then launches them upward.
Down throw   6% Violently picks the foe up with her Grapple Beam and slams them to the ground. With its very low knockback scaling, it can combo into a jab reset, up tilt, dash attack, or Charge Shot at virtually any percentage (though the latter doesn't work against Young Link, due to his high rebound height after being thrown down). This makes it a useful combo setup move at low percentages and KO setup at high percentages.
Floor attack (front)   6% Gets up and kicks on both sides.
Floor attack (back)   6% Gets up and kicks on both sides.
Edge attack (fast)   10% Climbs onto the stage and kicks.
Edge attack (slow)   10% Climbs onto the stage and punches with her arm cannon.
Neutral special Charge Shot 3-25% When the B button is pressed, Samus will start charging a ball of energy that gets larger, stronger, and faster the more charged it is. Pressing the B button during the charge will cancel the charge and fire the shot, while pressing the L or R button will cancel the charge and allow Samus to store her current charge. This can be resumed by pressing B again. When fully charged, it has KO potential. If used in the air, Samus will immediately fire the shot, regardless of its charge level and how long B is held for.
Side special Missile 5% (homing missile), 12% (Super Missile) Fires a missile that travels forward. The missile can either be a homing missile (when B is pressed while tilting the control stick) or a Super Missile (when B is pressed while smashing the control stick forward). Super Missiles travel straight forward instead of homing in the opponent, and are faster and stronger than homing missiles. Super Missiles produce decent knockback.
Up special Screw Attack Ground: 2% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-12) (≈12.01% total)
Air: 1% (hits 1-12) (≈11.01% total)
Shoots up into the air while spinning around rapidly via the "Screw Attack" ability from the Metroid series. It consists of multiple hits, though it does very little knockback, with its primary use being a recovery move, giving decent vertical distance. As with most multi-hit moves that operate similarly, it can be SDI'd out of rather easily. In the PAL version of the game, if Samus is hit during Screw Attack's animation, any charging of her Charge Shot will be cancelled.
Down special Bomb 4% (contact & explosion) Goes into Morph Ball mode and drops a timed bomb that explodes in a few seconds. It produces little damage and knockback, though it can be used as a bomb jump to improve Samus's recovery distance horizontally. It also produces a weak semi-spike, though the hitstun allows it to gimp characters with poor recoveries.


  • Holds her arm cannon upright.

Idle pose[edit]

  • Puts up arm cannon.
Samus Idle Pose Melee.gif

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
Samus Cheer NTSC Melee.ogg
Samus Cheer JP Melee.ogg
Description Sa-mus Sa-mus! Sa-mu-s!
Pitch Group chant Group chant

Victory poses[edit]

An orchestrated flourish originating from Metroid that played whenever Samus got a new power-up, obtained a Power Suit upgrade, or defeated Ridley and Kraid.
  • Side kick flexes and readies her Arm Cannon.
  • Punches twice, then fires from her Arm Cannon.
  • Shoots multiple shots while kneeling, and finishes with a pose.
Samus-Victory1-SSBM.gif Samus-Victory2-SSBM.gif Samus-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In Competitive play[edit]


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  FoxHeadSSBM.png FalcoHeadSSBM.png MarthHeadSSBM.png SheikHeadSSBM.png JigglypuffHeadSSBM.png PeachHeadSSBM.png IceClimbersHeadSSBM.png CaptainFalconHeadSSBM.png PikachuHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadSSBM.png DrMarioHeadSSBM.png YoshiHeadSSBM.png LuigiHeadSSBM.png GanondorfHeadSSBM.png MarioHeadSSBM.png YoungLinkHeadSSBM.png DonkeyKongHeadSSBM.png LinkHeadSSBM.png MrGame&WatchHeadSSBM.png RoyHeadSSBM.png MewtwoHeadSSBM.png ZeldaHeadSSBM.png NessHeadSSBM.png PichuHeadSSBM.png BowserHeadSSBM.png KirbyHeadSSBM.png Avg.
SamusHeadSSBM.png ±0 ±0 -1 -1 -1 ±0 +1 -1 ±0 Mirror match ±0 +3 +1 -1 +1 +1 -1 -1 +1 +3 +1 ±0 +2 +3 +2 +2 +1

Samus has a positive matchup spread. She is soft countered by 7 characters, has 6 even matchups, soft counters 6 characters, counters 3, and hard counters 3. Her projectiles help her in many matchups, winning her the Ice Climbers matchup and making the Fox and Falco matchup even. She has a hard time against characters who are good at approaching and who can combo her, such as Sheik and Marth.

Notable players[edit]

See also: Category:Samus professionals (SSBM)


  • France Cyr - Known as the best Samus in France.
  • Sweden Daydee - The best Samus in Scandinavia.
  • USA Darrell - The best Samus in NorCal and 92nd on the 2016 SSBMRank.
  • USA Duck - The best solo Samus main.
  • USA ESAM - Best solo Samus in Florida/Carolina.
  • USA HugS - Considered the father of Samus, along with Wes.
  • USA Minty - Ranked in New York City.
  • Japan Nanashi - Best Samus in Japan.
  • Germany quiKsilver - Best Samus in Germany.
  • USA ThePrime - Ranked high in Washington.
  • USA Wes - Formerly the best Samus with HugS, still to Samus in New York.


  • USA Dark Mike - One of the best Samus mains in NorCal, died in 2014.
  • USA DJ Nintendo - Former Samus secondary, uses a lot of other characters.
  • USA Phanna - Known for innovating the Super Wavedash.
  • USA Plup - Managed to reach 6th on the SSBMRank -- making him the top non-god at that time -- with Samus, and was formerly regarded as the world's best Samus player by many before he switched to Sheik in early 2015. Still is considered the best Samus, as he pulls out the character from time to time, notably placing 5th at Shine 2017 going solo Samus.
  • USA Taj - Used Samus as a counterpick.

Tier placement and history[edit]

Samus received a large amount of buffs from her transition from Smash Bros 64 to Melee, and was ranked quite high in initial tier lists, hovering around the 6th and 9th places. This was largely due to her improved projectile game, combo game, and improved recovery. Although with a much smaller player base than most high-tier mains, her representation and performances from dedicated mains such as HugS saw her remain in the higher tiers for many years to come. Innovations in other character's meta-games being discovered and adaptation to Samus's defensive fighting style has seen Samus fall in placings through recent Melee tier lists. However, she remains a very powerful fighter with dedicated mains such as Duck and split mains such as Plup continuing to make significant impacts with her. She currently sits at 10th place, in the High-mid tier alongside Pikachu.

In 1-P Mode[edit]

Classic Mode[edit]

In Classic Mode, Samus can appear as an ordinary opponent, as an ally or opponent in the team battles, alongside either Captain Falcon or Fox, as a giant opponent, or as a metal opponent. When alone she appears either on Brinstar or Brinstar Depths, while when on a team with Captain Falcon she appears on Big Blue.

Adventure Mode[edit]

Samus is once again fought on the Brinstar stage, after Samus is beaten, the planet will start to explode and the player must evacuate to Samus's ship before the planet explodes, if not they will lose a life.

All-Star Mode[edit]

Samus and her allies are fought on Brinstar.

Event Matches[edit]

Samus is featured in the following event matches:

  • Event 3: Bomb-fest: The player chooses any character and must defeat Link and Samus on Princess Peach's Castle. Link and Samus will only use their bomb special moves, and only items that create explosions (such as the Motion-Sensor Bomb and the Bob-omb) will spawn on the stage.
  • Event 8: Hot Date on Brinstar: The player chooses any character and must defeat Samus in a three-stock match on the Brinstar. The player starts and respawns with 102% damage, while Samus starts and respawns with 130%.
  • Event 15: Girl Power: The player chooses any character and must defeat Samus, Peach, and Zelda in a two-stock match on Fountain of Dreams. The character the player chooses is tiny, while the female combatants are normal sized.
  • Event 17: Bounty Hunters: The player plays as Samus, teamed up with Captain Falcon (with Friendly Fire turned off), and must defeat Bowser before Captain Falcon does on Jungle Japes. The event results in failure if Captain Falcon delivers the finishing blow or if Bowser self-destructs.
  • Event 20: All-Star Match 2: Samus is the first opponent the player must fight in this series of staged battles. The player battles her on Brinstar, which will transition to the next stage if Samus gets defeated. With a timer of four minutes, the player must defeat her along with Link, Zelda, Captain Falcon, and Fox.
  • Event 27: Cold Armor: The player uses Samus must defeat three metal Samuses on the Brinstar Depths. The player-controlled Samus has one stock, while each metal Samus have two.
  • Event 36: Space Travelers: The player uses Ness must defeat Samus, Kirby, Fox, Captain Falcon and Falco. The player battles the first three characters on Fourside and battles the last two on Battlefield.

Ending Images[edit]

Trophy descriptions[edit]

In addition to the normal trophy about Samus as a character, there are two trophies about her as a fighter, unlocked by completing both Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Samus on any difficulty:

Samus Aran
This intergalactic bounty hunter's full name is Samus Aran. Clad in a Power Suit made by the Chozo race and infused with their enhanced blood, she cleared the planet Zebes of a Metroid infestation. Samus is an orphan, the sole survivor of a Space Pirate raid that destroyed an Earth colony named K-2L.
  • Metroid 08/89
Samus Aran [Smash]
Samus has an abundance of projectile weapons, making her a long-distance attack specialist. The most powerful weapon in her arsenal is her Charge Shot, but be warned: it can be reflected. Her missiles have homing capabilities, but when fired as Smash Attacks, they fly on a straight trajectory and have boosted power.
  • B: Charge Shot
  • Smash B: Missile
Samus Aran [Smash]
While Samus's arsenal of missile weapons is indeed formidable, her enemies are in for a rude awakening if they guard against nothing else. Her Grappling Beam captures foes and latches on to walls, and the Screw Attack drags foes upwards in a series of spins that doubles as a recovery move. Samus can also use her Bombs to perform Bomb Jumps.
  • Up & B: Screw Attack
  • Down & B: Bomb

Alternate costumes[edit]

Samus Palette (SSBM).png
SamusHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadPinkSSBM.png SamusHeadBlackSSBM.png SamusHeadGreenSSBM.png SamusHeadPurpleSSBM.png


  • This is the only game where Samus is not placed in the lower parts of the tier list.

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