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Skull Bash

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Skull Bash
Pikachu Side B SSBU.gif
Pichu Side B SSBU.gif

Skull Bash in Ultimate.
Users Pikachu
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Skull Bash (move)

Skull Bash (ロケットずつき, Rocket Headbutt) is the side special move used by Pikachu since Super Smash Bros. Melee, as well as Pichu in Melee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


The user launches itself headfirst. The move can be charged to increase the damage and range of the attack. In Ultimate, performing this move like a smash attack causes it to start with some charge, thus dealing more damage and fully charging sooner.

Pikachu's uncharged Skull Bash deals 4%Super Smash Bros. Melee/7%Super Smash Bros. Brawl/6%Super Smash Bros. 4/6.2% (tilt), 10% (smash)Super Smash Bros. Ultimate damage, while a fully-charged one can deal up to 29%Super Smash Bros. Melee/25%Super Smash Bros. Brawl/21%Super Smash Bros. 4/21.4%Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Pichu's Skull Bash can be charged for longer, thus traveling further and dealing more damage and knockback, but hurts itself upon releasing (1%Super Smash Bros. Melee/1.8%Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). Pichu's uncharged Skull Bash deals 5%Super Smash Bros. Melee/4% (tilt), 7.8% (smash)Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, while fully-charged deals 39%Super Smash Bros. Melee/33%Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. When fully charged, the distance and knockback are tremendous and nearly covers the entire length of Final Destination in Melee or fully traveling the entire length of Big Battlefield in Ultimate. In Melee, Pichu's Skull Bash is used in most Home-Run Contest strategies in lieu of the Home-Run Bat.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Skull Bash charges much faster than in Melee, and is an excellent move to recover with, as Pikachu does not enter a helpless state after using it in midair. When fully charged, Pikachu will go about as far as the size of Final Destination. Even with its great distance, it's not used too often as Pikachu falls at a quick speed and the move itself is predictable, making the high landing lag all the more punishable.

Skull Bash is functionally similar to Luigi's Green Missile, except Skull Bash cannot "misfire".

Instructional quotes[edit]

Super Smash Bros. Melee instruction booklet PikachuHeadSSBM.png Hold B to charge up for a high-powered attack.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl instruction booklet PikachuHeadSSBB.png Boost this attack's speed and power by holding the B Button before letting go of the button.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS case foldout PikachuHeadSSB4-3.png Charge it to increase the power and distance.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Move List PikachuHeadSSBU.png Charges up a flying headbutt.
PichuHeadSSBU.png Charges up a flying headbutt that when fully charged does more damage than Pikachu's.


Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:

1. Skull Bash 2. Shocking Skull Bash 3. Heavy Skull Bash
NTSC "A flying headbutt that can be charged up."

PAL "A sideways dive that can be charged up."

NTSC "A flying headbutt that deals multiple hits. The last hit has added launch power."

PAL "Dives sideways, dealing multiple electrical hits. The last hit has added launch power."

NTSC "Dives sideways. Deals more damage if it hits near the start of the attack."

PAL "Dives sideways. Deals more damage if it hits closer to the start of the attack."

  1. Skull Bash: Default.
  2. Shocking Skull Bash: Has an electric effect and hits multiple times, with the last hit dealing more knockback. Has more ending lag.
  3. Heavy Skull Bash: Charges and travels faster, but the distance granted doesn't increase with charge. Damage output increases the closer Pikachu is to the opponent. As the name implies this move is much more powerful compared to the other side specials especially when hitting someone at the beginning, with a fully charged Heavy Skull Bash dealing 32% damage and massive knockback (KOing Mario at 25% from the center of Final Destination.) Recovery wise it doesn't travel as much distance as the other side specials, but oddly if the move is used immediately out of hitstun the distance granted is drastically increased.


Skull Bash being used by Pikachu in Pokémon Red.

Skull Bash is based on a move with the same name in the Pokémon games. It is a physical Normal-type attack introduced in Generation I. In the games, Skull Bash is a two-turn attack. On the first turn, the Pokémon using the move tucks its head in to prepare the attack. On the second turn, the Pokémon launches forward to ram the foe with its head. The attack is very powerful; however, its two-turn nature makes it somewhat inefficient; this is referenced by the ability to charge the move. In Generation II onwards, Skull Bash raises the user's Defense stat by one stage, but this effect has never been present in its Smash appearances, with no damage reduction effects present.

Although Skull Bash was never an Electric-type attack, in Super Smash Bros. Melee, both Pichu's and Pikachu's Skull Bashes have electrical properties. This was fixed in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which Pikachu's Skull Bash has a neutral effect. It also produces a small explosion behind Pikachu when used, similar to the explosive animation used for Skull Bash in the Pokémon games.

Skull Bash is available to Pikachu only by using TM40 in Generation I. It can, however, still have the move in Generation II games (the generation Melee was closest to), as they allow trading Pokémon between the two generations through the Time Capsule. Between Generation III and Generation VI, the move was unavailable for Pikachu to learn, as no TM was available and it's impossible to transfer Pokémon between Generations II and III. As of Generation VII, however, Pikachu can have Skull Bash if it is transferred from one of the Generation I games on the Virtual Console. Pichu, on the other hand, has never been able to learn Skull Bash, as it cannot be passed down as an Egg Move and has never been made a TM move for it to learn. As of Generation IX, Skull Bash was removed and not usable.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ロケットずつき
UK English Skull Bash
France French Coud'Krâne
Germany German Schädelwumme
Spain Spanish Cabezazo
Italy Italian Capocciata
China Chinese (Simplified) 火箭头锤
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) 火箭頭錘
South Korea Korean 로케트박치기
Netherlands Dutch Schedelbeuk
Russia Russian Лобовой Таран


  • In Melee, CPU Pikachu and Pichu will not use Skull Bash to recover; they will only use Quick Attack and Agility, respectively. Similarly, all other CPUs in this game (excluding Luigi) only use their up special moves to recover.
    • They will also never charge Skull Bash. This also applies for many other attacks that require button holding, such as smash attacks.

Technical details[edit]