in Super Smash Bros.
|Other playable appearances||in Melee|
|Tier||C (8) (North America)|
? (7) (Japan)
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.
The few things that save Samus from being the worst character in the NTSC-U version are spacing, recovery, and the fact she is hard to combo. Even so, she still has mediocre matchups, as well as terrible representation and results in North America. 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).
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 DK.
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.
Differences between game versions
NTSC-J to NTSC-U
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.
- The second hit of neutral attack now has a medium punch sound instead of a heavy punch.
- Up smash has increased base knockback (10 → 22).
- Up smash's near hitbox is larger (185u → 200u), allowing it to hit grounded opponents more reliably.
- Up smash's hitboxes have a longer duration (2 frames → 3).
- Altogether, these changes make up smash connect more reliably, especially at lower percents (although it is still very unreliable).
- Grounded Screw Attack has fewer invincibility frames on startup (frames 1-11 → 1-5).
- Screw Attack's loop hits now have a weak kick sound instead of a medium kick.
NTSC-U to PAL
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.
- Teleport goes farther, making it a better approach option.
- Samus' air speed has been reduced (28 → 26).
- Back aerial has reduced knockback scaling (145 → 130).
- Down aerial has smaller hitboxes (125u/140u → 110u/125u).
For a gallery of Samus' hitboxes, see here.
|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.|
- Exits a Super Metroid-style save point.
- 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.
|Description||*clap* Sam- *clap* -us||Samus-u|
|Pitch||Crowd chant||Crowd chant|
- Flashes gun towards screen.
- Shoots fire upwards.
- Cocks her cannon (also her character selection animation).
In competitive play
Most Historically Significant Players
- See also: Category:Samus players (SSB)
- cobr - Considered one of the best Samus players in the United States, playing her and Captain Falcon, but has not competed since 2020. Has gone Samus at a decent amount of smaller tournaments such as 6th at Hitstun 6 and 9th at Snosa IV with wins over NaCl, Paco, and SotoH, and has placed Samus alongside Captain Falcon at majors such as 9th at GENESIS 5. Previously ranked 22nd on the 2018 64 League Rankings.
- emptyW - The current best Samus player in the world. Won a tournament as Samus with Low Tide City 2022, taking it over players such as CTG and Spongy. He has garnered other notable results such as 5th at Keystoned 4.5 and 9th at Keystoned VI. Currently ranked 39th on the 2021-2022 Smash 64 Power Rankings.
- HAMMERHEART - A noteworthy Samus and Jigglypuff main that now plays Kirby. Before the switch, he placed 3rd at Keystoned, 9th at The Empire Smashes Back, and 17th at Super Smash Con 2018 with wins over KD3, Fireblaster, and Razz. Ranked 43rd on the 2017 64 League Rankings back when he mained Samus.
- Jouske - One of the best overall players in Japan and is the most prolific Samus player in competitive play. Won multiple Japanese nationals such as Kanto 2012, Kanto 2013, Kansai 2013, and Kanto 2014. Has placed top 3 at almost every tournament he attended before retiring in 2016.
- meipon - The best Samus player in Japan after Josuke's retirement. Though his results are not of the same caliber as Jouske, he has still shown great results at tournaments such as 13th at Japan Smash Cup 2017 and 17th at Super Smash Con 2019.
- SotoH - One of the best Samus players in the United States. His highest placements include 3rd at Rewind II, 9th at Low Tide City 2021, and 17th at Smashtoberfest with wins over JPX, Darkhorse, and Waxy:Joe. Currently ranked 59th on the 2021-2022 Smash 64 Power Rankings.
Tier placement and history
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 the game's Single-player mode, Samus is fought on the Planet Zebes stage.
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
From the Game
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)
- 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.
|Fighters in Super Smash Bros.|
|Fighters||Captain Falcon · Donkey Kong · Fox · Jigglypuff · Kirby · Link · Luigi · Mario · Ness · Pikachu · Samus · Yoshi|
|Fighters||Samus (SSB · SSBM · SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Zero Suit Samus (SSBB · SSB4 · SSBU) · Ridley (SSBU) · Dark Samus (SSBU)|
|Assist Trophies||Metroid · Dark Samus · Mother Brain|
|Bosses||Ridley · Meta Ridley|
|Stages||Planet Zebes · Brinstar · Brinstar Depths · Frigate Orpheon · Norfair · Pyrosphere|
Brinstar Escape Shaft (Adventure Mode)
|Item||Screw Attack · Power Suit Piece|
|Enemies||Geemer · Kihunter · Metroid · Reo · FG II-Graham · Joulion · Zero|
|Other||Gunship · Kraid|
|Trophies, Stickers and Spirits||Trophies (SSBM · SSBB · SSB4) · Stickers · Spirits|
|Music||Brawl · SSB4 · Ultimate|
|Masterpieces||Metroid · Super Metroid|