Ryu attacks using a powerful uppercut of the same name while announcing "SHORYUKEN!!". A successful hit causes a visual effect resembling a spray of white ink around the opponent. The move has almost no startup, making it incredibly difficult to predict, but has severe ending lag if it misses, making it a high risk, high reward move. Similar to Ryu's other special moves, the damage dealt and height gained by the move increases if the button is held as opposed to just tapped: the tapped version deals 13% and KO's at 160%, while the held version deals 15% and KO's at 110%, and is a powerful vertical KO option at high percentages. The knockback and damage dealt by the move decreases over its animation, meaning it is most powerful during the first few attack frames. As it gives Ryu a height boost, it is his primary vertical recovery move, especially the held version.
Ryu technically becomes helpless only after he travels the same distance downwards as he has jumped. However, due to this move's massive endlag, he cannot do anything—not even maneuver in the air—between the end of the upwards animation and the beginning of helplessness.
If a player uses a heavy up tilt and then inputs a Shoryuken (by either Up B or Input), the end lag cancels out and immediately makes Ryu use the move. This is a very effective combo at low percentages, although useless later on. However, many combos can come out of it at higher percentages.
While Ken's Shoryuken has a more diagonal angle, making it KO opponents later than Ryu’s, it remains powerful throughout the entire attack as opposed to the later hits of Ryu’s, deals more damage on a full connect, and travels more horizontally, making it a useful anti-air option. Ken can also perform a Heavy Shoryuken (強昇龍拳, Strong Rising Dragon Fist) when using the held version of the move, which has a flame effect and hits multiple times.
As with all of Ryu's special moves excluding his down special, performing the move's original arcade input (side, down, and diagonally down, in a Z pattern, followed by either attack button) increases its power, to 15% and 18% for the tapped and held version respectively. When the player successfully performs an Input Shoryuken, Ryu's fist will flash at the peak of his jump, the attack gains a white ink-like trail, and he announces the attack's name in a fiercer voice. Additionally, the Input Shoryuken gains 6 frames of invincibility (instead of the 3 frames with the default version, which also starts on frame 3), and halved landing lag is given as a bonus.
The held Input Shoryuken is Ryu's strongest move, KOing as early as 66%. However, the jagged diagonal pattern required makes it quite complicated to perform even compared to Ryu's other Input specials, as wrongly moving the control stick will penalize the player with either an accidental dash attack, Focus Attack or Input Hadoken. It is common for players to misinput (especially offstage, which can cause an accidental SD) or use it too late as an attack despite its incredible power. Generally, the easiest way to perform it is when standing still, running towards the opponent, or after a tapped tilt attack.
If the Shoryuken is input on the negative edge—i.e. by holding the attack button and releasing after performing the input—the weakest input Shoryuken will be performed, dealing 15%.
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
Like the other DLC characters, Ryu lacks custom move variations.
The Shoryuken (known colloquially as the "Dragon Punch") is one of the special moves used by Ryu, Ken, and various other characters in the Street Fighter series. It is a rising uppercut, involving the user jumping off the floor with a fist raised and a full body spin. Ryu's Shoryuken hits only once, and knocks the opponent down. Though it possesses invincibility across its many incarnations, it is very unsafe on whiff and block at higher strengths, leaving the user vulnerable during its recovery.
Since Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, Ken has had the ability to perform a fire-based Shoryuken with the Heavy Punch button, something that is incorporated into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The name of Ken's advanced Shoryuken in Ultimate, Heavy Shoryuken, refers to the original method of executing it with the Heavy attack button.
This is one of the more codifying moves in fighting games, as a high number of characters, even in other series, possess similar attacks (that is, an upward rising attack with starting invincibility), with these moves often being dubbed as "Dragon Punch"-type moves; the Smash Bros. series itself is no exception, considering its many recovery-type up special moves. However, it also codifies the archetype of special moves that are meant to be used as anti-airs; other characters in games with this kind of move may be able to perform their versions in midair, something Ryu and Ken cannot do in most Street Fighter titles.