Skull Bash

From SmashWiki, the Super Smash Bros. wiki
SSBM Icon.png SSBB Icon.png SSB4 Icon.png SSBU Icon.png
Skull Bash
Skull Bash SSB4.jpeg
Pikachu using Skull Bash in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
User Pikachu
Universe Pokémon
Article on Bulbapedia Skull Bash (move)
Hold B to charge up for a high-powered attack.
—Melee's instruction manual.
Boost this attack's speed and power by holding the B Button before letting go of the button.
—Brawl's instruction manual.
Charge it to increase the power and distance.
—Smash for 3DS's foldout.
Charges up a flying headbutt.
—Description from Ultimate's Move List.
Charges up a flying headbutt that when fully charged does more damage than Pikachu's.
—Description from Ultimate's Move List.

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 Ultimate.


The user launches them self headfirst. It is similar in appearance to Luigi's Green Missile, only without the chance of a misfire and neither Pikachu nor Pichu can hold the charge infinitely, although in Melee and SSB4, Green Missile cannot be held infinitely either. The move can be charged up to increase the damage and range of the attack. In Pikachu's case, an uncharged Skull Bash deals 8% damage, while a fully charged one can deal up to 29%. Pichu's Skull Bash can be charged for longer, thus traveling further and dealing more damage and knockback, but hurts itself upon releasing (1%); when fully charged, the distance and knockback are tremendous, dealing almost 40% (close to a one-hit KO) and nearly covering the length of Final Destination. Pichu's Skull Bash is used in most Home-Run Contest strategies in lieu of the Home-Run Bat.

In 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 mid-air. 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.

Performing this move like a smash attack causes it to finish charging sooner.


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
"A flying headbutt that can be charged up." "A flying headbutt that deals multiple hits. The last hit has added launch power." "Dives sideways. Deals more damage if it hits near 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: Travels a set distance (being shorter than Skull Bash) and deals more damage near the start of the attack. It also charges and travels faster.


Skull Bash in Generation VI Pokémon games.

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 and raise its Defense stat by one stage. 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. The move's Defense-boosting capability on its first turn was not introduced in the Pokémon games until Generation II. This effect was never present in its Smash appearances.

Although Skull Bash was never an Electric-type attack, in Super Smash Bros. Melee however, 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.

The move was 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 to trade Pokémon from Generation I games. Between Generation III and Generation VI, the move is unavailable for Pikachu to learn; 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 in the games.



  • 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.