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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 playable appearances in SSB
in Brawl
in SSB4
in Ultimate
Availability Starter
Tier B+ (11) (North America)
D (9) (Europe)

Samus (サムス, Samus) 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.

Samus is ranked 11th on the current tier list, placing her in the B+ tier, a significant improvement from her 8th (out of 12) position in Super Smash Bros. This is mainly due to her effective projectiles, supplementing her KOing power and her approaches. She also has a good air game that is complemented by a versatile 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 easily juggled and KO'd vertically. She is also highly susceptible to combos in general, due to being floaty, heavy, and tall in 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 decent matchups all-around in the current metagame.


Samus is a unique character. Although a tall heavyweight, she is unusually floaty, uncharacteristic of characters in her weight class. Her high weight (only being lighter than Bowser and Donkey Kong) lets her have amazing horizontal survivability. 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 sports one of the longest grabs 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. 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.

Samus also has a very good defensive game; Despite Samus's shield leaving her legs exposed, which can leave her vulnerable to shield stabbing, and having a poor roll, due to it's low speed, she still has very strong defensive options. For one, she has one of the best Crouch cancels in the game, due to her high weight, and having very good options out of it, such has her down smash and down tilt. Her screw attack also offers a quick and difficult-to-punish out of shield option, due to being invincible for the first couple frames of the move which helps her when getting pressured. It can also work as a combo breaker, but this can be risky if missed. Her nair is also a good combo breaking tool, due to being decently quick (frame 5) and being powerful. Her defensive game is also complimented by her amazing horizontal survivability and great recovery, which allow Samus to frequently live to very high percents against characters without strong vertical finishers (and sometimes characters with them).

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.

An icon for denoting incomplete things.

Changes from Super Smash Bros..[edit]

Samus has been significantly buffed from Smash 64 to Melee, as she was considered to fare poorly in Smash 64 due to her poor approach and lack of reliable combos. She is often considered the most buffed character from Smash 64 to Melee along with Jigglypuff. Most of her attacks have received significantly better frame data, such as a faster neutral attack and forward tilt.


  • Change The graphical upgrades of the Nintendo GameCube give Samus a more proportionate build. Her power suit is more detailed and she has a more glossy visor.
  • Change Samus has a new taunt. While Samus still lifts her arm cannon up, she performs a more elaborate pose and she no longer shakes her arm cannon while it is up.
  • Change Samus's blue team costume is now available for selection in regular gameplay instead of being locked to team battles.


  • Buff Samus walks faster (0.9067 (27.2) → 1).
  • Nerf Samus dashes much slower (1.8 (54) → 1.4), going from the 4th fastest out of 12 characters to the 11th slowest out of 26.
  • Nerf Samus' traction is slightly lower (0.0667 (2) → 0.06). Compared with the returning veterans, however, her traction is significantly lower, making it harder for her to punish out of shield.
  • Change Samus' air speed is slightly slower than her Japanese and North American Smash 64 counterparts, but slightly faster than her Australian and European Smash 64 counterparts (0.933 (28, JPN/NA) / 0.867 (26, AUS/EUR) → 0.89).
  • Nerf Samus' air acceleration is significantly lower (0.1 (3) → 0.0325), making it the slowest.
  • Nerf Samus jumps extremely lower (49.4 (1482) → 34.464), hindering her vertical recovery and ability to chase opponents above her.
    • Change Samus's short hop is drastically lower (33.2267 (996.8) → 22.75). Compared with the returning veterans, however, her short hop is much higher, going from the 3rd highest out of 12 characters to the highest out of 26.
  • Change Samus' gravity is slightly higher (0.0633 (1.9) → 0.066), going from the lowest to the second lowest.
  • Buff Samus' fast falling speed is faster (2.233 (67) → 2.3). The difference between her falling speed and fast falling speed is higher (increase: 59.5% → 64.3%).
  • Nerf Samus is significantly lighter (117.391304 (0.92) → 110), hindering her endurance.
  • Change Samus is smaller (model size multiplier: 1x → 0.88x). This makes her harder to hit but reduces the range of her attacks.
  • Buff Rolls have a longer duration (frames 4-23 → 4-30).
  • Buff Rolls have less ending lag (FAF 46 → 45) although they are still the slowest rolls.
  • Nerf The removal of teleporting slightly hinders Samus' grounded approach.
  • Buff The introduction of air dodging greatly benefits Samus as it improves her recovery and it allows her to wavedash improving her grounded mobility and making up for her slower ground speed.
  • Buff Samus can now wall jump.

Ground Attacks[edit]

  • Neutral attack:
    • Buff Neutral attack has less startup lag (frame 4 (hit 1)/7 (hit 2) → 3/5).
    • Buff The first hit has less ending lag (FAF 22 → 18).
    • Buff The first hit has larger hitboxes (3u/3u/3u → 3.5152u/3.5152u/3.5152u).
    • Change The first hit now has static hitboxes.
    • Nerf The first hit has a new animation where Samus does not stretch her arm nearly as far. This noticeably reduces its range.
    • Buff The second hit has higher base knockback (10 → 15).
    • Buff The second hit's far hitbox is larger (3.66u → 4.3u) and it is moved further away from Samus (x offset: 4 → 4.3).
    • Change The second hit has a new animation where Samus swings her arm cannon downwards much sooner. The hitboxes do not become active until Samus is already moving her cannon downwards.
      • Buff This allows the move to hit in front of Samus much sooner which makes the first hit connect more reliably into the second hit in theory (although this is compensated by the universal decrease to hitstun).
      • Nerf However, this also noticeably reduces the move's range above and behind Samus.
    • Nerf The second hit has a shorter duration (frames 7-11 → 5-7).
    • Nerf The second hit has slightly more ending lag (FAF 30 → 31).
  • Forward tilt:
    • Buff Forward tilt has less startup (frame 7 → 6) and ending lag (FAF 32 → 30).
    • Buff Forward tilt has a new animation where Samus takes a step forward, increasing its range.
    • Buff Forward tilt has larger hitboxes (3.33u/3.33u/1.82u → 3.91u/3.33u/2.3456u) and the foot hitbox has been moved further away from Samus (x offset: 6 → 7.03).
    • Buff Forward tilt now has a hitbox on Samus' back leg.
    • Nerf Forward tilt has a shorter duration (frames 7-11 → 6-8).
    • Nerf Up-angled forward tilt deals less damage (12% → 11%).
    • Nerf Forward tilt can no longer be angled slightly up or down.
  • Up tilt:
    • Nerf Up tilt now only hits opponents when Samus drops her leg, increasing its startup lag and shortening its duration (frames 8-23 (early)/24-28 (late) → 14-17).
      • Nerf This also means that the move can no longer hit opponents behind or directly above Samus.
      • Buff However, the removal of the rising hit greatly improves the move's safety, with the move no longer being easily punishable on hit.
      • Buff Additionally, the move has much less startup lag compared to the previous second hit (frame 25 → 14).
    • Buff Up tilt has a shorter total duration (FAF 44 → 35).
      • Nerf However, its total duration does not fully compensate for the move's lower startup lag compared to the previous second hit, giving it slightly more ending lag.
    • Buff Up tilt has higher base knockback (5 → 40).
    • Buff Up tilt now meteor smashes grounded opponents (361° → 270°), significantly improving its combo potential.
      • Nerf However, this also hinders its KO and edgeguarding potential against grounded opponents.
    • Buff Up tilt has slightly larger hitboxes (5u/5u → 5.0778u/5.0778u) and the foot hitbox has been moved further away from Samus (x offset: 6 → 6.2496).
    • Nerf Up tilt deals less damage against aerial opponents (13% → 12%).
  • Down tilt:
    • Change Samus has a new down tilt: a quick downwards cannon strike that fires a small explosion as opposed to a simple low sweep.
    • Buff Down tilt has less startup lag (frame 8 → 6).
      • Nerf However its total duration was unchanged, giving it more ending lag.
    • Buff Down tilt deals more damage (13% → 14%).
    • Change Down tilt has more base knockback but less knockback scaling (10 (base), 100 (scaling) → 80/60).
      • Buff This makes the move much safer at lower percents and improves its KO potential near the blast zone.
      • Nerf However, this hinders its overall KO potential.
    • Change Down tilt launches opponents vertically instead of horizontally (40° → 100°).
      • Buff This grants it combo potential; especially with its altered knockback.
      • Nerf However, this significantly hinders its edgeguarding potential.
    • Buff Down tilt has larger hitboxes (3.33u/3.33u → 3.1248u/3.5154u/5.859u), with the move having a similar amount of horizontal range despite its new animation.
    • Nerf Down tilt has a shorter duration (frames 8-12 → 6-8).
  • Dash attack:
    • Buff Dash attack has less ending lag (FAF 41 → 38).
    • Buff Dash attack deals more knockback (0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 22/105).
    • Buff The clean hit deals more damage (12% → 13%) which along with the previous change, significantly improves its KO potential.
    • Buff Dash attack has larger hitboxes (3.66u → 5.0778u (clean)/4.3u (late)), which overall gives the move more range relative to Samus despite the hitbox being positioned closer to Samus (x offset: 0.533 → 0).
    • Change Dash attack launches opponents at a higher angle (361° → 60°). This grants it vertical KO potential but hinders its horizontal KO potential as well as its edgeguarding potential.
    • Nerf Dash attack has a shorter duration (frames 7-10 (clean)/11-26 (late) → 7-9/10-16).
    • Nerf The late hit deals less damage (10% → 9%).
    • Nerf Dash attack no longer deals extra shield damage (1 → 0).
  • Forward smash:
    • Buff Forward smash has less startup lag (frame 12 → 10).
    • Buff The cannon hitbox is larger (4u → 4.3u) and is positioned further away from Samus (x offset: 4 → 5.859).
    • Change The arm hitbox is positioned closer to Samus (x offset: -2.66 → -1.953) and it has lower priority (ID# 1 → 2).
    • Nerf Forward Smash deals much less damage (20%/18%/16% → 15%/14%/13%) without full compensation on its knockback (15 (base), 100 (scaling) → 30/104). This hinders its KO potential; especially the up angled version.
    • Nerf Forward smash has more ending lag (FAF 42 → 44).
      • Nerf When combined with the changes to shieldstun, these changes drastically hinder the move's safety on shield; going from leaving Samus at a frame advantage on shield to leaving her at a rather significant disadvantage.
    • Nerf The arm hitbox launches opponents at a higher angle (40° → 361°), now matching the other hitboxes.
    • Nerf Forward smash has a new animation where Samus does not stretch her arm as far forward. This reduces the move's horizontal range despite its altered cannon hitbox; especially for the up angled version.
    • Nerf Forward smash can no longer be angled slightly up or down.
  • Up smash:
    • Buff Up smash has less startup (frame 17 → 12) and ending lag (FAF 60 → 58).
    • Change The angles for the first four hits have been altered (80° → 130° (hit 1)/120° (hit 2)/90° (hit 3)/85° (hit 4)).
    • Change The first four hits deal less knockback (22 (base), 100 (scaling) → 50/50 (hit 1), 35/50 (hit 2), 25/50 (hit 3), 30/50 (hit 4)).
      • Buff When combined with its lower damage, these changes allow up smash to connect more reliably.
      • Nerf However, this greatly hinders the already poor KO potential of the first four hits.
      • Nerf Additionally, the move still does not connect reliably against aerial opponents and it can still be easily SDIed out of.
    • Nerf Up smash deals much less damage (10% (hits 1-5)/50% (total) → 4% (hits 1-3)/5% (hit 4)/6% (hit 5)/23% (total)). The final hit's knockback was not fully compensated (22 (base), 100 (scaling) → 50/120), hindering its KO potential unless used near the upper blast zone.
    • Nerf Up smash no longer deals extra shield damage (1 → 0).
      • Nerf When combined with its much lower damage output and the changes to shields, this drastically hinders the move's shield pressuring potential; no longer leading to a guaranteed shield break if all hits connect.
  • Down smash:
    • Buff Down smash has less startup (frame 8 → 6) and ending lag (FAF 50 → 45).
    • Buff The front hit has much more base knockback but less knockback scaling (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 110/50). This improves its KO potential unless used from a very long distance away from the upper blast zone.
    • Buff The back hit deals more damage (14% → 15%).
    • Change Down smash now launches opponents towards Samus (60° → 120°).
    • Nerf Down smash has a shorter duration (frames 8-12 (front)/19-22 (back) → 6-8/14-16).
    • Nerf The back hit deals less knockback (35 (base), 80 (scaling) → 90/40).

Aerial Attacks[edit]

  • Buff All aerials except for up aerial have less landing lag (16 frames (neutral), 40 frames (forward/down), 31 frames (back) → 15 (all)).
  • Nerf All aerials auto-cancel later (frame 28 → 35 (neutral), frame 28 → 47 (forward), frame 17 → 31 (back), frame 20 → 34 (up), frame 13 → 34 (down)), although despite this, she is, along with Ness and Luigi, one of the few returning veterans who can still auto-cancel all of her aerials in a short hop.
    • Nerf When combined with the weakening of L-canceling and the changes to shields, this hinders the combo potential and safety of her aerials, as well as removing the guaranteed shield break combos Samus previously had with her aerials.
  • Neutral aerial:
    • Change Neutral aerial has a new animation where Samus stretches her leg straight forward.
    • Nerf Neutral aerial has more startup lag (frame 4 → 5).
    • Nerf Neutral aerial deals less damage (16% (clean)/13% (late) → 14%/10%), hindering its KO potential.
    • Buff Neutral aerial has less ending lag (FAF 50 → 40).
    • Buff Neutral aerial has a longer duration (frames 4-27 → 5-29).
  • Forward aerial:
    • Buff Forward aerial has less startup (frame 5 → 4) and ending lag (FAF 52 → 50).
      • Nerf However, Samus can no longer perform two forward aerials in a short hop due to her lower short hop.
    • Buff Due to forward aerial hitting five times instead of four:
      • Buff It deal more damage (20% → ≈23.2%).
      • Buff It has a longer duration (frames 5-6/12-13/19-20/26-27 → 4-5/11-12/18-19/25-26/30-31).
    • Buff The final hit has increased base knockback (0 → 20), improving its KO potential.
    • Change The first four hits of forward aerial have increased base knockback (0 → 20) and they now launch opponents vertically (361° → 85°).
    • Nerf Forward aerial has a new animation which is slightly longer than the previous animation (51 frames → 55).
  • Back aerial:
    • Change Samus's has a new back aerial with a new animation where she performs a reversed back kick and looks in front of her instead of behind her.
    • Nerf Back aerial has more startup lag with a shorter duration due to no longer possessing a late hit (frames 5-8 (clean)/9-17 (late) → 9-12).
    • Nerf Back aerial has less vertical range.
    • Nerf Back aerial now consists of a sweetspot and a sourspot. The sourspots cover Samus' leg and deal 10% (like the previous late hit) while the sweetspot deals 14% and is positioned on Samus' foot with the lowest hitbox ID.
    • Nerf Back aerial deals less knockback (0 (base), 145 (scaling) → (30/42)/100). This hinders its KO potential, no longer being the strongest back aerial.
    • Buff Back aerial has less ending lag (FAF 40 → 37).
  • Up aerial:
    • Buff Up aerial has less startup (frame 6 → 5) and ending lag (FAF 40 → 39).
    • Buff The first hit deals more damage (2% → 3%).
    • Change The first hit's angle has been altered (80° → 90°).
    • Nerf Hits 2-5 deal less damage (2% → 1%).
    • Buff Up aerial now has a proper final hit (which existed in Smash 64 but it never spawned due to its hitboxes ending the same frame they should have come out), greatly improving it safety and utility.
      • Buff Because of this, the move deals marginally more damage overall when fresh, despite the 2-5th hits dealing less damage (10% → ≈10.28%).
      • Buff This also gives the move a longer duration (frames 6-7/9-10/12-13/15-16/18-19 → 5-6/8-9/11-12/14-15/17-18/20-21).
    • Change The final hit has altered knockback (0 (base), 150 (scaling) → 40/120) and an altered angle (80° → 361°) compared to the previous unused final hit.
  • Down aerial:
    • Buff Down aerial deals more damage (14% → 16%) and has higher base knockback (0 → 30), being the fifth strongest meteor smash in Melee.
    • Nerf As with almost every meteor smash from Smash 64 to Melee, down aerial has drastically increased startup lag with a shorter duration (frames 4-12 → 18-22).
      • Buff However, its total duration was not fully compensated, giving it less ending lag.
    • Nerf Down aerial has a longer total duration (FAF 40 → 49) and a longer animation (39 frames → 54).
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes prevent Samus from performing two down aerials in a short hop (which also means that she can't auto-cancel a second down-aerial in a short hop or even a full hop).
    • Nerf Down aerial has less range which along with its increased startup lag, greatly hinders its use as a landing option.
    • Nerf Down aerial's angle has been slightly altered (-90° → 270°), which along with the introduction of meteor cancelling, significantly hinders its reliability.
  • Buff Samus now has a grab aerial, giving her an extra attack and recovery option.

Throws/other attacks[edit]

  • Grabs:
    • Buff Samus has been given an pummel, up, and down throw, giving her more options out of a grab. Her down throw in particular has strong combo potential.
    • Buff Grabs have less startup lag (frame 20 → 18) and ending lag (FAF 100 → 95 (standing), 75 (dash)).
    • Buff Standing grab has a longer duration (frames 20-38 → 18-20/21-37).
      • Nerf However, Samus' new dash grab has a shorter duration (frames 20-38 → 18-20/21-33).
    • Buff Standing grab overall covers slightly more distance than it did previously.
    • Buff Samus now has an exploit known as the Extended grapple technique, which allows her to greatly increase the range of her Grapple Beam, as well as allowing her grab to home into opponents.
    • Buff Samus' grabs have larger grabboxes during their first three active frames (3.5u/2.82u → 4.69u/4.69u).
      • Nerf However, these grabboxes are no longer attached to the grapple beam, giving the grab deceptively short range during its first three active frames.
    • Nerf The back grabbox is no longer present after the first three active frames.
    • Nerf Samus can no longer grab aerial opponents after the grab's first three active frames.
  • Change Samus' throws are now weight dependent.
  • Change Samus' throws no longer have an electric effect.
  • Forward throw:
    • Change Samus releases opponents later from forward throw (frame 9 → 15).
      • Nerf This gives the opponent more time to DI the throw.
      • Buff However, this also gives the throw less ending lag as its total duration was unchanged.
    • Nerf Forward throw deals much less damage (16% → 9%) and knockback (90 (base), 60 (scaling) → 50/45), drastically hindering its KO potential to the point where it is no longer a viable KO option.
    • Nerf Forward throw launches opponents at a higher angle (40° → 42°).
  • Back throw:
    • Change Samus releases opponents later from back throw (frame 9 → 11).
      • Nerf This gives the opponent more time to DI the throw.
      • Buff However, this also gives the throw less ending lag as its total duration was unchanged.
    • Change Back throw's angle has been slightly altered (40° → 140°).
    • Nerf Back throw deals much less damage (18% → 8%) and knockback (90 (base), 60 (scaling) → 50/42), immensely hindering its KO potential to the point where it is no longer a viable KO option.

Special Moves[edit]

  • Charge Shot:
    • Buff Charge Shot has less startup lag, with its startup lag no longer scaling depending on the level of charge (frame 17 (uncharged)/21 (fully charged) → 15 (both)).
      • Buff Because of this, Charge Shot's total duration has been subsequently reduced (FAF 46 (uncharged)/50 (fully charged) → 44 (both)).
    • Buff Charge Shot takes less time to fully charge (155 frames → 125).
    • Buff Fully charged Charge Shot deals more shield damage (1 → 3).
    • Change Samus no longer performs a small jump after using aerial Charge Shot. This makes it riskier to use off stage but safer to use on stage.
    • Nerf Charge Shot's projectile now only lasts 70 frames as opposed to having an infinite duration until it hits something or goes off screen.
    • Nerf Charge Shot deals less damage from levels 1-4 and when it is fully charged (6% (level 1)/9% (level 2)/12% (level 3)/15% (level 4)/26% (fully charged) → 5%/8%/11%/14%/25%).
    • Nerf Charge Shot deals less knockback at all levels:
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 14/42 (uncharged).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 16/46 (level 1).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 20/50 (level 2).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 24/54 (level 3).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 28/58 (level 4).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 32/62 (level 5).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 36/66 (level 6).
      • Nerf 0 (base), 100 (scaling) → 50/72 (fully charged).
    • Nerf All charge levels except for a fully charged Charge Shot no longer deal extra shield damage (1 → 0).
      • Nerf In general, the changes to shields have significantly hindered Charge Shot's shield pressuring potential; with a fully charged Charge Shot going from giving Samus a huge frame advantage (enough to give her a guaranteed grab or easy shield pressure) to leaving her at a frame disadvantage (although it is still safe on shield).
    • Nerf Charge Shot's charge cancel animation is much longer (1 frame → 8), making it riskier to cancel charge shot.
      • Buff However, this also makes it much easier for Samus to cancel her charge shot without going into shield.
  • Missile:
    • Change Like all characters, Samus now has a side special. In her case, Missile. Holding the button releases a Homing Missile, which slowly follows the opponent for a short while and then explodes when it either makes contact or when it reaches it maximum duration. Tapping the button releases a Super Missile, which flies in a straight line and is much faster and stronger than the Homing Missile. The move auto-cancels on landing. As a result, Samus has an additional projectile, improving her camping potential.
  • Screw Attack:
    • Buff Aerial Screw Attack grants much more height, improving its recovery potential.
    • Buff Screw Attack can now be reversed meaning that if Samus is facing away from the ledge, she can reverse the Screw Attack to grab the ledge.
    • Buff The first hit of grounded Screw Attack has altered knockback (120/110 (base), 1 (set), 0 (scaling) → (130/100)/0/100), allowing it to KO at higher percents, while still being to link into the rest of the move.
    • Change Screw Attack now grants intangibility rather than invincibility.
    • Change The final hit of Screw Attack now launches opponents vertically (361° → 70°).
    • Change Screw Attack now relies on momentum for how much horizontal distance it covers.
      • Buff This allows to grounded version to cover more horizontal distance in the direction Samus is facing.
      • Nerf However, this makes the aerial version cover less horizontal distance, as well as making it much harder to travel backwards.
    • Nerf Due to Screw Attack only consisting of 13/12 hits instead of 15/14:
      • Nerf It deals less damage (16% (grounded)/14% (aerial) → 12.01%/11.01%).
      • Nerf It has a shorter duration (frames 4-33 (grounded)/4-31 (aerial) → 4-29/4-27).
    • Nerf Along with retaining their high base knockback, hits 2-4 of grounded Screw Attack now have high knockback scaling rather than low set knockback (1 (set), 0 (scaling) → 0/100). This makes them connect less reliably.
    • Nerf Hits 5-12 of grounded Screw Attack deal more knockback (20/50 (base), 1 (set), 0 (scaling) → (70/40)/0/100), making them connect less reliably.
    • Nerf The first three hits of aerial Screw Attack have altered knockback (20/50 (base), 1 (set) → (25/100)/0), making them connect less reliably.
    • Nerf Hits 4-11 of aerial Screw Attack have altered knockback (20/50 (base), 1 (set) → (25/80)/0), making them connect less reliably.
    • Nerf The upper hitboxes of aerial Screw Attack have an altered angle (200° → 140°), making them connect less reliably with the rest of the move.
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes hinder Screw Attack's reliability and make it easier to escape.
    • Nerf Grounded Screw Attack grants less height.
    • Nerf Screw Attack has more landing lag (20 frames → 24).
    • Nerf The changes to shields combined with Screw Attack's reduced number of hits has hindered Screw Attack's shield pressuring potential; with the move no longer being able to lead into a guaranteed shield break.
    • Nerf If Samus is hit out of Screw Attack, she will now lose the charge for her Charge Shot.
  • Bomb:
    • Buff Bomb has less ending lag (FAF 57 → 54/46 (crouch)).
    • Buff Crouching before using Bomb will now reduce its startup lag by 2 frames (frame 10 → 8).
    • Buff Bombs now consist of a contact hit and an explosion hit rather than just an explosion; giving the move two hitboxes.
    • Buff The explosion has a longer duration (6 frames → 11).
    • Buff Bomb deals more shield damage (1 → 3+3).
    • Buff Bomb no longer disables Samus' midair jump.
    • Buff Bomb travels more horizontal distance when used on the ground.
    • Buff If Samus hits the explosion of her bombs, she will now bounce up while she's still in her morph ball (known as a bomb jump). Samus can immediately act out of a bomb jump, significantly improving Bomb's utility. Because of bomb jumping, Bomb is an even greater recovery option (especially when combined with Samus' new air dodge and grab aerial) and it has more utility as a pressuring tool.
      • Buff Bomb jumping also gives Samus access to Super wavedashing, allowing Bomb to now be used as a movement option.
    • Nerf Bombs deal less damage (9% → 4% (contact)/4% (explosion)/7% (total)) and have decreased knockback scaling (65 → 45).
    • Nerf Bomb grants less intangibility (frames 3-48 → 10-42).
    • Nerf Bombs have a shorter duration before they explode (frames 10-114 → 10-82).
    • Nerf Bomb travels less horizontal distance when used in the air.
    • Nerf Samus descends faster after using Bomb.
      • Nerf Altogether, these changes hinder Bomb's recovery potential without Bomb Jumping.
      • Buff However, the latter point improves Bomb's utility on stage.

Version history[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.


  • Nerf Extended grapple is no longer possible.
  • Nerf Can no longer bomb out of a grapple.


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

Samus's aerial attacks
  Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Straight and Cannon Hammer 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, with the final hit dealing below-average knockback. Beginning hits often don't combo into the final hit.
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 does a drill kick spin. 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. If Samus is hit during Screw Attack's animation, Her charge shot will be lost.
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.

Announcer call[edit]


  • Holds her arm cannon upright.

Idle pose[edit]

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

Crowd cheer[edit]

English Japanese
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.
  • Shoots multiple shots while kneeling, and finishes with a pose.
  • Punches twice, then fires from her Arm Cannon.
Samus-Victory1-SSBM.gif Samus-Victory2-SSBM.gif Samus-Victory3-SSBM.gif

In competitive play[edit]

Tier placement and history[edit]

Samus’s large number of buffs from her transition from 64 to Melee was immediately noticed by players, and was reflected by her high rankings in initial tier lists, hovering around 6th and 9th. This was primarily due to her improved projectile game, additional combo options, and improved recovery. Although she has a smaller playerbase than most high-tier mains, her representation and performances from dedicated mains such as HugS allowed her to remain in the higher tiers for many years. Unfortunately, innovations in other characters's metagames have been discovered, and professionals have adapted to Samus's defensive fighting style that rendered her zoning game less effective. This has resulted Samus dropping in placements through recent Melee tier lists. In the current metagame, Plup rarely uses her in high-level tournaments, and Duck has recently dropped her in favor of Sheik. As it stands, while her zoning game remains effective against the meta, her declining presence in tournaments and increasing competitive prospects towards other top-tiers has made her fare worse against the rest of the cast compared to the early metagame, and as a result she currently sits at 11th place at the bottom of B+ tier.

Most historically significant players[edit]

Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the 2019 MPGR, which recognizes the official top 100 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Melee. "HM" indicates an honorable mention on the 2019 MPGR.
See also: Category:Samus players (SSBM)

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]


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:

Classic Mode trophy
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 (8/89)
Adventure Mode [Smash] trophy
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
All-Star Mode [Smash] trophy
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 upward 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's palette swaps, with corresponding tournament mode colours.
SamusHeadSSBM.png SamusHeadPinkSSBM.png SamusHeadBlackSSBM.png SamusHeadGreenSSBM.png SamusHeadPurpleSSBM.png



  • In the instruction booklet, the screenshots of Samus' special moves are on Corneria, as opposed to the other characters, whose special moves are shown on one of their home stages.
  • Samus' render pose closely resembles the official artwork for her appearance in Smash 64.