This article is about Donkey Kong's appearance in Super Smash Bros. For other uses, see Donkey Kong.
Mario's former enemy, this mighty ape is bestowed with tremendous power and overwhelming attacks.
Super Smash Bros's instruction manual

Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング, Donkey Kong), written as DK, is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. He is known as a slow (in terms of attacks) yet powerful character, with his trademark move being the Giant Punch, which, when fully charged, deals 36% damage.

DK is ranked 9th in the tier list for his powerful moves and his infamous grab release. However, he is somewhat slow and is the largest and heaviest character in Super Smash Bros., making him viable for many combos.

Donkey Kong was heavily buffed in the international version, as in the Japanese version, he is ranked last on the tier, with a losing matchup against every other character in the game. Ganondorf later suffered this in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.


SSB64 DK.gif

Donkey Kong is the heaviest and largest character in Super Smash Bros. This means he gets hit quite easily, and he also has a poor shield cover, making him vulnerable to shield break combos such as Yoshi's Z-canceled DJC neutral aerial performed repeatedly. However, he can take many hits and high damage before being KO'd. Like most heavyweights, Donkey Kong has attacks that deal lots of damage and have strong knockback. He also has two spikes (forward and down aerials), and he has some extremely powerful finishers, including his forward smash and Giant Punch when fully charged or close to fully charged. However, his attacks are generally slow and laggy, and most of his KOs still require setup.

Contrary to popular belief, Donkey Kong has slightly above-average dash speed (although he does have a relatively slow air speed). Donkey Kong has a great grab and throw game due to having the longest non-tether grabbing horizontal range, terrific throw combos (especially when there are walls), and the infamous infinite throw trap that allows him to rack up damage easily and effectively. He also has a KO throw in his back throw. Donkey Kong has good reach, which allows for decent combos despite slow attack speed, but he lacks a projectile and a reliable way to deal with them, making his approach poor and unvaried. His Up B however also breaks projectiles, outside of Fox's laser.

For recovery, Donkey Kong's up special move, Spinning Kong, travels great horizontal distance, but has poor vertical gain, with no options to extend it. This makes him very vulnerable to meteor smashes. It should be noted that Donkey Kong is extremely vulnerable to combos due to being very large, very heavy, and falling somewhat quickly. It is however quite powerful for how fast it is, being a reliable get out of danger move.

In high level play, Donkey Kong is known for his incredible Spinning Kong and back throw gimps. On platforms, it is possible for DK to platform cancel up airs into Giant Punch or up smash. His Up B, Spinning Kong, is an amazing gimping move, with strong knockback as well as being able to out-prioritize every recovery in the game. It also has some invincibility (at the edge of his fists) which makes it quite useful to out-space opponents in the neutral game. Donkey Kong is a hard counter to Jigglypuff, as he can grab, forward throw, cargo release, and re-grab into a Giant Punch for a low percentage KO. With good timing, it is also possible to cancel his Down B after one hit, allowing him to combo into a forward air as well as a fully charged Giant Punch on all characters except for Falcon, Fox, and Yoshi. Donkey Kong however has problems with projectiles, and the top characters in the game (including Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, and Captain Falcon) combo him too heavily for him to rise on the tier list. His poor mobility also gives him a disadvantage against fast characters like Fox and Captain Falcon. Donkey Kong is usually considered to be among the best low tier characters in low tier tournaments due to his Giant Punch combos and the fact that there are not many projectile users in the low tiers (as well as his Up B being able to out-prioritize all of their projectiles.) In short, DK's main strategies in competitive play are gimps using throws, outspacing with Spinning Kong, Down B combos, grab combos into spikes and otherwise, and up air chains.

In doubles

Donkey Kong is considered to be slightly better for doubles than singles, mainly because he is better at KO'ing as some characters are forced to approach. His great reach also helps. Another good thing is that if he has a fast partner, they will be able to easily save him from large combos. He is one of the few characters with relatively good recovery. Donkey Kong is also excellent at edge-guarding and gimping, especially on Dream Land. However, his problem matchups, especially with Kirby and Pikachu, hinder many doubles matchups.


  Image Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Donkey Kong Neutral attack SSB.png   3-4% A jab followed by an uppercut. Comes out fast, but has short range.
Forward tilt Donkey Kong Forward tilt SSB.png   10-13% A straightforward punch with decent range and good knockback.
Up tilt Donkey Kong Up tilt SSB.png   10-13% DK swings one arm in an arc over his head. In terms of startuo, its the fastest up tilt in the game along with Kirby, but also contains the highest ending lag out of any up tilt.
Down tilt Donkey Kong Down tilt SSB.png   6-8% DK ducks and swings his arm at the opponent's feet. Often used as a spacing move.
Dash attack Donkey Kong Dash attack SSB.png   9-12% A very awkward move where DK sticks his foot out and stops. This move overall has bad range and duration, high amount of lag, and can easily shielded, being by far the worst dash attack in the game. This move also very low set knockback and will not hit foes that are lying on the ground.
Forward smash Donkey Kong Forward smash SSB.png   16-21% Dk reels his hand back and thrusts it forward, delivering a powerful slap at the opponent. Very noticeable start-up, but good range and excellent knockback. This move can be angled up or down.
Up smash Donkey Kong Up smash SSB.png   16-21% DK claps both hands above his head. Despite having good vertical coverage, this attack has little horizontal range. Overall, a powerful finishing move to use on opponents standing on platforms above DK.
Down smash Donkey Kong Down smash SSB.png   15-19% DK does a 360° spin while doing a split. Comes out surprisingly fast, for a move of Donkey Kong, and hits on both sides at the same time. However, it does have some ending lag.
Neutral aerial Donkey Kong Neutral aerial SSB.png   12-15% (clean), 9-12% (late) DK swirls around in the air. This attack last a long duration and is a good close-up move in the air.
Forward aerial Donkey Kong Forward aerial SSB.png   12-16% Does a front flip with both his fists clasped together, smashing them onto the opponent. A powerful meteor smash if the foe is hit near the end of the animation.
Back aerial Donkey Kong Back aerial SSB.png   12-15% (clean), 8-10% (late) DK performs a reverse dropkick with both feet. Has sex kick properties, meaning it gets weaker the longer it stays out. DK is the only character in the whose neutral aerial isn't a sex kick.
Up aerial Donkey Kong Up aerial SSB.png   9-12% DK swings one arm in an arc over his head in a similar fashion to his up tilt. Unlike his up tilt, this attack is mostly used for juggling; barely KOing above 150% in most cases.
Down aerial Donkey Kong Down aerial SSB.png   10-13% (clean), 8-10% (late) A downward strike with both feet. A near-instantaneous meteor smash that contains a longer hitbox compared to most spikes.
Grab Donkey Kong Grab SSB.png    
Forward throw Donkey Kong Forward throw SSB.png   6-8% (carry), 6-8% (throw) DK hoists the opponent on his back. He can then move around before throwing them forward. The opponent can break free of his grab by simply button mashing.
Back throw Donkey Kong Back throw SSB.png   14-18% Turns around and tosses the opponent. Powerful in terms of both damage and knockback.
Floor attack (front) Donkey Kong Floor attack (front) SSB.png   5-6% Gets up and attacks with a sweeping slap.
Floor attack (back) Donkey Kong Floor attack (back) SSB.png   5-6% Attacks on one side by forcing his body down, then picks himself up and kicks on the other side.
Edge attack (fast) Donkey Kong Edge attack (fast) SSB.png   5-6% Hoists himself onto the stage back-first, ramming into opponents. Has long range and very fast, but deals low knockback. Often considered to be a useful edge attack.
Edge attack (slow) Donkey Kong Edge attack (slow) SSB.png   5-6% Slowly climbs back onto the stage and swipes one hand forward. Has short range and deals low knockback, ironically considered to be less useful than the fast ledge attack.
Neutral special Giant Punch (SSB).png Giant Punch 11-36% DK winds up for a powerful punch. The punch gets stronger the longer DK winds up his fist, being a powerful finishing move when fully charged. The charge can be cancelled by pressing the shield button or by pressing left or right on the control stick.
Up special Spinning Kong (SSB).png Spinning Kong 9-12% (startup), 6-8% (loop), 3% (final hit) DK spins around with both arms outstretched. While this move contains poor vertical distance, it can carry DK a good distance horizontally.
Down special Hand Slap (SSB).png Hand Slap 8-10% (one slap) Delivers an earth-shaking blow to the ground, sending nearby enemies skyward. It has considerable power, consistent and repetitive damage, and a large quake hitbox. This move cannot be used in midair.


  • Turns to his right, raises his arms so that his palms are facing upwards, and shrugs while shaking his head. Oddly causes his head to become invincible to projectiles (as it turns it on it's Z-axis as if it was a roll.)

On-Screen Appearance

  • Bursts out of a DK barrel.


Super Smash Bros. Character Matchups
  SSBIconPikachu.png SSBKIconKirby.png SSBIconCaptainFalcon.png SSBIconFox.png SSBIconYoshi.png SSBIconJigglypuff.png SSBIconMario.png SSBIconSamus.png SSBIconDK.png SSBIconNess.png SSBIconLink.png SSBIconLuigi.png Avg.

In 1P Game

In the game's single-player mode, the player and two randomly chosen allies will fight a Giant DK on the Congo Jungle stage.


Infinite Throw Trap

DK has the ability to use his Forward Throw as a method to constantly stack damage to most characters. In order to do this, DK must use the Cargo Throw, but he must not throw the opponent. If the opponent wiggles out, they will likely wiggle out into DK's grab range, whereupon they can be grabbed again. This throw trap can be broken if the opponent can shake towards DK and his grab. Yoshi and Ness have the most problem getting out of the throw trap due to their different midair jump. Pikachu is the easiest to get out with due to being able to get out of it using the invincibility frames of Quick Attack.

Another infinite trap is to use Hand Slap in the lower left part of Mushroom Kingdom to continuously damage the target. However, this can easily be teched out of, and it is not allowed in tournaments anyway, because the stage is banned.

Ledge Dropping

Due to DK's laggy aerials, DK has very little comboing potential with his aerials except Down Aerial or Forward Aerial into a Throw. However, if DK drops from a ledge, DK can quickly use an Up Aerial and then land to move to do another attack. DK can also jump, use an aerial, and land on a ledge for a similar effect. As a result, on ledges, DK can juggle characters with Up Aerial that he would otherwise never be able to. However, DK may accidentally Self-destruct while attempting this, due to the ending lag in his aerials. It is recommended to only try this on Planet Zebes or the top ledge of Sector Z.

Hand Slap Resets and Down Aerial Usage

DK can also cancel the first slap of the Hand Slap by moving the Control Stick directly back after the first slap to allow him to combo it into a Back Aerial, a grab, or even a Giant Punch or Up Smash to kill the majority of the cast outside of Luigi and Jigglypuff. DK's other main killing combo outside of grab-based gimps is Down Aerial into Up Smash or Down Aerial into Down Smash.

Edge Guarding

When an opponent is off the map jump off the map facing towards the map. Use up-B to knock your opponent further from the edge and then swing back to the edge and stay there so your opponent has nothing to grab. Also, when an opponent is off the map wait at the edge and time the use of the Donkey Punch to KO an opponent.

Character description

Donkey Kong and Mario started out as arch-rivals, but they've patched things up in recent years. These days DK spends his time searching the jungle for bananas instead of kidnapping beautiful maidens. In the past few years, other members of the Kong family have cashed in on DK's fame as well, including his favorite nephew, Diddy.

Alternate Costumes

Donkey Kong's changeable palette swaps in Super Smash Bros.


  • DK is one of four characters along with Kirby, Mario, and Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros. to have a green costume not normally accessible via character select, only available if DK is in on the Green Team in Team Battle.
  • Donkey Kong, along with Yoshi, is one of two characters in Super Smash Bros. to never be portrayed with head wear in-game.
  • Donkey Kong is the only character in Super Smash Bros. that can walk while carrying a Crate or Barrel.
  • Donkey Kong is the only character in Super Smash Bros. who can appear to be giant. This makes him to be the only character in all games that has a giant form.