This article is about Donkey Kong's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see Donkey Kong.
His charged punch is one of the strongest attacks in the game! In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, his Final Smash has been updated from Konga Beat to a flurry of punches!
—Description from the Super Smash Blog.

Donkey Kong (ドンキーコング, Donkey Kong) is a veteran fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, first playable in Super Smash Bros. He was confirmed to return on June 12, 2018 during E3 2018. Donkey Kong remains relatively the same, although he now has updated facial expressions and a new Final Smash called Jungle Rush.

Like Diddy Kong and King K. Rool, instead of being played by actor Takashi Nagasako, he uses realistic gorilla sounds.



  • Overall strong attacks with high damage and knockback.
  • Extreme weight gives him high survivability.
  • Decent range on many attacks thanks to his long arms.
  • Forward aerial, Down aerial, Down special, and Side special can meteor smash opponents.
  • Possesses the Cargo Throw, allowing him to carry opponents around the stage and it is a good combo throw.
  • Possesses Super Armor on neutral special, side special, and up special.
  • Strong throws.


  • Considerable lag on many attacks.
  • Large hurtbox makes him vulnerable to combos and juggling.
  • Poor vertical recovery.
  • Struggles against enemies with lots of projectiles and enemies capable of easily applying rushdown pressure.
  • No projectiles.


Changes from SSBWU/3DS


  • Up taunt has an altered animation.

Ground Attacks

  • Down tilt has an own altered animation.
  • Forward smash has an altered animation.
  • Up smash hits grounded opponents significantly more effectively.

Aerial Attacks

  • Forward aerial has an altered animation without a flip, significantly reducing the move's lag.

Grabs and Throws

  • During his pummel, Donkey Kong now chops the opponent's body instead of their head.
  • Cargo throw has an altered animation that involves hauling the opponent over one shoulder.

Special Attacks

  • Donkey Kong does more circular arm motions when charging Giant Punch, gradually gets angrier as he does so, and strikes a different pose when releasing the punch. Additionally, he can now punch with both arms due to his mirrored stance, and the aerial version no longer renders him helpless.
  • Headbutt now has super armor.
  • Aerial Spinning Kong now has a finishing blow.
  • His new Final Smash now involves throwing a barrage of punches at his opponents in a similar fashion to Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.


Ground Attacks


  • Neutral Attack: A hook followed by an uppercut. Has impressive power for a neutral attack but still rather weak overall.
  • Forward Tilt: A backhanded slap. Does not KO well but its high range makes it good for spacing.
  • Up Tilt: An overhead arcing swipe.
  • Down Tilt (Slouch Slap): A crouching swat. Its high speed and chance to trip opponents make it an excellent combo starter.
  • Dash Attack: The Roll Attack, his signature attack from Donkey Kong Country.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: A lunging clap. Is the fastest but weakest forward smash among the super heavyweight characters.
  • Up Smash: An overhead clap.
  • Down Smash: Raises his arms overhead and then quickly swings them downward to perform forearm clubs.

Other attacks

  • Floor Attack (Front): Performs a swat before getting up.
  • Floor Attack (Back): Claps in front of himself and then in front of himself while getting up.
  • Floor Attack (Trip): Throws a spinning, wind-up punch while getting up.
  • Ledge Attack: Performs a forearm club while getting up.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral aerial: Quickly spins around to perform discus clotheslines with both arms, similarly to Spinning Kong.
  • Forward aerial: A double axe handle. Its sweetspot is an extremely powerful meteor smash, one of the strongest in the entire game; it can KO opponents offstage at ludicrously early percentages. Its sourspot launches opponents horizontally and is still quite strong.
  • Back aerial: A back kick. Its combination of speed and power makes it a versatile attack overall.
  • Up aerial: An upward headbutt. It is a premiere follow up from cargo up throw at low percents
  • Down aerial: A stomp. The sweetspot on his foot is an extremely powerful meteor smash. The sourspot on his leg launches opponents diagonally.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel: A slap.
  • Forward Throw (Kong Karry): Donkey Kong hauls the opponent over one shoulder which allows him to move and jump while carrying the opponent. This gives Donkey Kong access to four throws that are unique from his regular throws. If the opponent is not thrown after a certain time or if they mash out, they can escape the cargo throw. Kong Karry has its own unique Grab mash frame equation, that being 163 + Ceiling[3.2 * Opponent's %] - 18 * N (valid inputs) - n (time held before cargo + previous mash before cargo). For the time held and the previous mash, the Ultimate grab equation would have to be used, which is 89 + Ceiling[1.7 * Opponent's %] - floor[14.4 or 8 (Button or Directional mashing) * N (valid inputs)] holding frames.
    • Forward: Donkey Kong hurls the opponent forward at a steep angle. Can stage spike effectively if he faces the stage.
    • Back: Heaves the opponent backward with both hands, launching them at a very high angle. This is his strongest cargo throw.
    • Up: Heaves the opponent upward. It combos well into up aerial at low percents.
    • Down: A bear hug.
  • Back Throw: Flings the opponent backward.
  • Up Throw: Heaves the opponent upward with one arm.
  • Down Throw: Shoves the opponent into the ground with one arm. Virtually useless compared to his other throws.

Special Moves

Donkey Kong's Special Moves
SSB Melee Brawl SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Giant Punch
Side Special Headbutt
Up Special Spinning Kong
Down Special Hand Slap
Final Smash Konga Beat Jungle Rush


  • Up Taunt: Beats his chest while scowling.
  • Side Taunt: Shakes himself while sporting a humorous expression.
  • Down Taunt: Faces the camera while shrugging and looking confused.

On-Screen Appearance

Idle Poses

Victory Poses

In competitive play

Donkey Kong was met in the E3 demo build with a degree of cautious optimism. Although players could no longer easily perform the "Ding Dong" combo (now requiring much more precise timing), along with similar throw-based kill confirms from Smash 4, Donkey Kong players were willing to do away with this in favor of better frame data, speed, damage, and hitboxes, most notably on his tilts and dash attack, and hoped that he would play differently from Bowser. Though DK was considered one of the worst heavyweights from the demo, thought to be only marginally better than Ridley, players were excited for Donkey Kong's opportunities in competitive play.

Upon the game's release, however, DK fell out of favor very quickly, for a number of reasons. The biggest issue is his low-percent safety: many of Donkey Kong's moves are punishable on hit at early percents, making his neutral rather egregious in a meta favoring speed and punish games. His already poor disadvantage state was also made even worse due to his later hurtbox and his out of shield options remaining poor. Although Donkey Kong has been buffed in patches, none of Donkey Kong's biggest flaws were addressed. As a result, in the current metagame, he sees use as an occasional counterpick, but not much beyond that; however, some players have been able to come to terms with his flaws and get impressive results, namely YMCA, Runes, HIKARU, ShiNe, Sou, DKwill, and Doctor A Ness. As such, he is commonly ranked as a low tier with some players such as Dabuz and ESAM ranking him as one of the absolute worst characters in the entire game.

Classic Mode: Journey to New Donk City

Donkey Kong's path presumably refers to New Donk City Hall being the final stage. After defeating Diddy Kong, he becomes Donkey Kong's partner for the rest of the mode.

Round Opponent Stage Music
1 Diddy Kong Kongo Jungle Jungle Level (64)
2 King K. Rool Kongo Jungle Gang-Plank Galleon
3 Wario and Captain Falcon Pilotwings Gear Getaway
4 Ness and Lucas Onett The Map Page / Bonus Level
5 Male and Female Inklings Moray Towers Donkey Kong / Donkey Kong Jr. Medley
6 Mario and Luigi New Donk City Hall New Donk City
Final Master Hand New Donk City Hall (Omega form) Master Hand / Crazy Hand

Role in World of Light

Donkey Kong was among the fighters that were summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.

During the opening cutscene, Donkey Kong was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Galeem's light beams vaporized Donkey Kong offscreen, placing him under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.

He can be rescued in a jungle segment of World of Light on a space that looks like the treehouse he lives in on his series. In his fight, he is a grab spirit who has 3300 power.

In Spirit Battles

As the Main Opponent

  • Goomba (Tiny; x5)
  • Barrel Train
  • Flies & Hand (Giant)
  • Rabbid Kong (Bunny)
  • Donkey Kong & Lady (Giant)
  • Donkey Kong Jr. (Tiny and Giant)
  • Cranky Kong
  • Swanky Kong
  • Wrinkly Kong (Clear)
  • Chunky Kong
  • Rambi
  • Professor Chops
  • Ninja Kong
  • Goron
  • Darunia
  • Daruk
  • Bonkers
  • Gengar
  • Abomasnow
  • Landorus (Therian Forme)
  • Bewear
  • Polar Bear
  • Purple Pikmin (Tiny; x10)
  • Mr. Sandman
  • Blanka
  • Master Giant (Giant)
  • Muddy Mole
  • Sumo Brothers (Giant; x2)

As a Minion

  • Pauline
  • Funky Kong
  • Zelda (Breath of the Wild)
  • Hockey Players

Palette Swaps

800px-Donkey Kong Palette (SSBU).png


External links

DKSymbol.svg Donkey Kong universe
Characters Donkey Kong (64  · Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Diddy Kong (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
King K. Rool (Ultimate)
Side Characters Boss Giant Donkey Kong
Assist Trophy Klaptrap
Mii Fighter Costumes King K. Rool  · Dixie Kong
Background characters Cranky Kong
Stage Hazards Klaptrap  · Donkey Kong
Enemies Kritter  · Tiki Buzz
Other Funky Kong
Stages Kongo Jungle  · Kongo Falls  · Jungle Japes  · Rumble Falls  · 75m  · Jungle Hijinxs
Items Hammer  · Barrel Cannon  · Spring  · Peanut
Music List List of Music (Donkey Kong series)
Song "Gang-Plank Galleon"
Collectibles Trophies Melee Trophies  · Brawl Trophies  · 3DS Trophies  · Wii U Trophies
Stickers List of Stickers (Donkey Kong series)
Spirits List of spirits (Donkey Kong series)
Masterpiece Donkey Kong
Related universes Mario  · Yoshi  · Wario  · Wrecking Crew