This article is about King Dedede's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see King Dedede.

He's not very fast, but he's one of few heavyweight fighters with great recovery. Apparently, his first defeat by Kirby inspired him to train hard to learn a move called Hovering, which allows him to float after taking a deep breath.
—Description from the Super Smash Blog.

King Dedede is a veteran fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, first playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was confirmed to return on June 12, 2018 during E3 2018. King Dedede is classified as Fighter #39.

King Dedede’s voice clips from Super Smash Bros. 4, where he was voiced by series creator Masahiro Sakurai, have been repurposed for Ultimate.

When he challenges the player, he is fought at Fountain of Dreams.

How To unlock

play VS. matches, with King Dedede being the 30th character to be unlocked. Clear Classic Mode with Donkey Kong or any character in his unlock tree, being the 4th character unlocked after Rosalina & Luma. Have King Dedede join the player's party in World of Light. King Dedede must then be defeated on Fountain of Dreams (the Ω form is used in World of Light).



  • Extremely high weight.
  • Powerful smash attacks with great range.
  • All of his attacks save for up tilt, down tilt, neutral aerial, and dash attack have disjointed hitboxes.
  • All smash attacks, neutral Aerial, Jet Hammer and Super Dedede Jump have transcendent priority.
  • Forward tilt has the highest range of all forward tilts in the whole game.
  • Very strong dash attack.
  • Decent standard ground and aerial attacks which have good damage and range.
  • Powerful combo throw potential.
  • Has many attacks that inflict high shield damage.
  • Has one of the highest vertical recoveries in the game.
  • Can perform sacrificial KO's with Inhale.
  • Gordo Toss can be launched at different speeds and angles, forcing opponents to be on their guard. If it hits a ledge corner it can be stuck for a few seconds, making it useful for edge guarding.
  • Jet Hammer can land KOs at early percentages, especially when fully charged.
  • Down aerial and Super Dedede Jump can meteor smash opponents.
  • Inhale can be used to inhale or reflect most projectiles.


  • Large frame, having big hurtboxes.
  • Poor frame data overall.
  • Despite having multiple jumps, King Dedede has atrocious air speed.
  • Very slow running speed.
  • Considerable lag on his most powerful attacks.
  • High landing lag in most aerials.
  • Very high falling speed, which combined with his massive size makes him an easy combo target.
  • Has problem dealing with other zoners and campers.
  • His Smash Attacks are slow. Additionally Forward and Up Smashes deal very low knockback if they hit with the sourspots on the handle.
  • Predictable recovery. Also, Dedede becomes helpless if the player cancels Super Dedede Jump, leaving him extremely vulnerable.
  • Super Dedede Jump, while providing massive vertical recovery, will not allow Dedede to cling onto ledges after he starts descending, even when he is within close range of one.
  • Gordo Toss has low priority, and can be easily reflected back at Dedede by practically any attack in the game.


King Dedede is tied for the third heaviest character in the game alongside Donkey Kong, making him a super heavyweight. King Dedede shares some typical attributes with other heavyweights, such as a high damage output, high KO potential, great endurance, quick falling and fast falling speeds (both tied for second and third fastest respectively), overall sluggish mobility, large size and a high susceptibility to combos. In addition to having an average initial dash and the thirtieth highest gravity, he has the twenty-eighth slowest walking speed, eleventh slowest dashing speed, the worst air speed in the game, and the fourth slowest air acceleration. To counteract these flaws, however, King Dedede is gifted with four midair jumps.

As a super-heavyweight, King Dedede has immense endurance, both vertically and horizontally. His massive weight makes him difficult to launch, and his incredibly fast falling speed lets him return to the ground quickly. Despite having the worst air mobility, his four midair jumps and Super Dedede Jump, the latter of which travels a very long vertical distance and has super armor during its ascent and descent, gives him great recovery for a heavyweight. Super Dedede Jump also has a meteor smash hitbox during its descent, making it risky to intercept if he recovers high. His tech rolls are unusually long-distanced for a character of his size, making him difficult to tech-chase. Finally, King Dedede's trademark hammer grants him a long disjoint in many of his attacks, allowing him to safely space his opponents, especially if they are slow and have worse range than him.

True to a super heavyweight character, King Dedede is gifted with an abundance of finishers. King Dedede's dash attack is a notable example, as it deals huge damage, and reliably KOs under 100%, while being able to KO as low as below 60% near the ledge. King Dedede's smash attacks all possess great power, great disjointed range, and transcendent priority, while having their own perks: forward smash can reliably KO from 60% and below in most situations, has deceptively short ending lag for an attack of its power, while also being able to deal severe shield damage; up smash reliably KOs from anywhere on-stage around 100ish% without rage, while covering a large space all-around Dedede; lastly, down smash is his fastest smash attack in his arsenal and covers significant horizontal distance around both sides of Dedede, while easily KOing below 100% near the ledge and around 125% from center.

The rest of King Dedede's grounded moveset comes with merits: neutral attack can be useful for racking up damage, while the finisher's unique vertical knockback allows this move to KO at 150% under rage. King Dedede's forward tilt sports good range and startup lag, while its multiple hits are effective for dealing damage and starting combos, while also trapping rolling or floor-bound opponents; up tilt has quick startup lag and good range, allowing it to combo into itself while dealing good damage and leaving King Dedede's body and head intangible; lastly, down tilt deals good damage and has good range, being able to pursue opponents or retreat from them.

King Dedede's aerial game is also decent, thanks to his multiple midair jumps which allow him to stall and bait reactions from opponents. Neutral air is his fastest aerial due to coming out on frame 7, which can disrupt enemy combos, and its late hit can also set up combos for Dedede himself, such as up tilt or up air. Forward air has a lot of range in front of Dedede, which is good for spacing with its decent startup speed, and can wall of pain at lower percents. Back air is a potent kill option with a good range behind Dedede, which is also a good option for spacing and landing. Up air can beat out a lot of down aerials thanks to its long-range, and it also has strong KO potential. Down air, when sweetspotted, is a powerful meteor smash offstage, but its use in general is limited due to its slow startup and small awkward hitbox.

King Dedede's grab game has perks of its own. Although his grab has merely average range, this problem can be mitigated by dash grabbing. His pummel is good for racking up on damage, due to its quick speed, which is especially deadly at high percentages; forward throw has good edgeguarding potential, being able to follow up with Gordo Toss; back throw is Dedede's strongest throw, dealing the most damage and knockback while having limited degrees of damage racking and edgeguarding potential; up throw can also be used to launch opponents into previously thrown Gordos, and can follow up with an up aerial; lastly, down throw's low damage and knockback lend it great combo potential, easily stringing into itself, and initiating combos with Dedede's neutral, forward, and back aerials.

King Dedede's special moves have decent utility as well. Inhale acts as a strong command grab that can be B-Reversed for landing options against shielding opponents on the ground or on platforms above Dedede. The spit can force opponents into a recovery state by sending them offstage or even spit them under the stage, which is perhaps where Dedede is strongest. Inhale also doubles as a reflector, allowing him to contest against projectile campers. The Gordos from Gordo Throw act as powerful stage control options with KO potential in their own right at 140% and above and can set up deadly ledge traps. Lastly, Jet Hammer is an effective punishing tool with heavy armor that does very high damage and knockback, and with a max charge, it can break full shields.

In spite of these strengths, King Dedede still has noteworthy drawbacks. King Dedede's biggest problem is his approach, which is among the worst in the game. His mobility is sluggish, especially in the air, giving King Dedede immense difficulty catching up to or retreating from his opponents. King Dedede's below-average dashing speed also makes him over-reliant on fox-trotting to cover grounded distances, which itself is somewhat predictable.

Although King Dedede's fast falling speed allows him to easily return to the ground, his slow air speed, large hurtbox, heavy weight and lack of fast-enough escape options renders him vulnerable to combos and juggling. King Dedede's recovery is further hampered by his aforementioned slow air speed and fast falling speed, often forcing him to use his Super Dedede Jump to return onstage. Super Dedede Jump itself, in spite of traveling high, also causes King Dedede to descend very quickly; this, coupled with its limited horizontal maneuverability, renders Super Dedede Jump unreliable for recovering at certain distances offstage.

King Dedede's other specials can work against him as well. Inhale has high ending lag, allowing other characters to easily punish him after he finishes the move. Gordo Toss's Gordos can be reflected back at King Dedede from any attack that does 2% or higher, dealing immense damage to him and potentially resulting in a self-induced KO, requiring him to exercise caution or utilize Inhale on his reflected Gordos. Jet Hammer also takes a long time to charge, leaving King Dedede susceptible to attack, and its high ending lag leaves him vulnerable to punishment from his opponents.

Overall, King Dedede's high weight, endurance, range, and power allow him to punish his opponents with relative ease and survive for a very long time, but his poor overall mobility makes King Dedede's approach somewhat abysmal and renders his recovery somewhat predictable and overly reliant on Super Dedede Jump. Dedede players should be careful to not make a mistake, or else they might potentially risk getting heavily punished.

Changes from SSBWU/3DS


Ground Attacks

  • Down tilt can move left or right no matter the direction he faces when he crouches.

Air Attacks

  • Back air now has King Dedede swing his hammer horizontally instead of vertically.

Grabs and Throws

  • Pummel is faster.

Special Attacks


Ground Attacks


  • Neutral Attack: Swings his hammer in front of him twice and then spins the hammer before launching the opponent with a final upward swing. Has high power for a neutral attack, killing most characters at around 150%.
  • Forward Tilt: Thrusts his hammer forward while spinning it. Has extremely high range and hits multiple times, making it a good spacing tool.
  • Up Tilt: Sets his hammer down to perform a headbutt upwards. One of the strongest up tilts in the entire game.
  • Down Tilt: King Dedede rolls himself forward to tackle opponents. His fastest move overall, coming out at frame 6.
  • Dash Attack (Belly Flop): His signature belly flop tackle. Is extremely slow and powerful, easily killing opponents at low percentages.

Smash Attacks

  • Forward Smash: Rears back and slams his hammer down in front of him. It is the strongest forward smash in the game in terms of both damage and knockback, being surpassed only by Lucario with maximum aura.
  • Up Smash: Swings his hammer above him. Deals high vertical knockback and can hit opponents behind Dedede.
  • Down Smash: Swings his hammer around himself. Dedede's fastest but weakest smash attack. It launches opponents at a low angle.

Other attacks

  • Floor Attack (Front): Sweeps his foot around himself from front to back.
  • Floor Attack (Back): Kicks in front of himself and then behind himself.
  • Floor Attack (Trip): Swings his hammer in front of himself and then behind himself.
  • Ledge Attack: Kicks with his foot while climbing up.

Aerial Attacks

  • Neutral aerial: A splash. The clean hit has KO potential at high percentages while the late hit has plenty of follow-ups, especially when fast falled.
  • Forward aerial: Swings his hammer downward in front of himself. Effective for edgeguarding purposes.
  • Back aerial: Swings his hammer horizontally behind himself. Very strong, KOing reliably around 120%.
  • Up aerial: Thrusts his hammer above himself while spinning it. It is good at juggling opponents and also quite strong for a multi-hit move.
  • Down aerial: Swings his hammer downward below himself. The sweetspot meteor smashes aerial opponents while launching grounded opponents horizontally. King Dedede's slowest aerial.

Grabs and Throws

  • Grab: Reaches out with his hand. Average range.
  • Pummel: Headbutts the enemy. Slow but damaging.
  • Forward Throw: Hits the opponent with his hammer forward. Can launch opponents into a thrown Gordo and has KO potential at very high percentages.
  • Back Throw: Turns around and hits the opponent with his hammer behind himself. Dedede's strongest throw, but good DI heavily reduces its kill potential.
  • Up Throw: Hits the opponent upward with a jump set, a volleyball technique. Easily combos into up aerial at low percentages. King Dedede's weakest throw.
  • Down Throw: Slams the opponent into the ground with one hand. It has loads of combo potential, mainly into aerial attacks.

Update History

King Dedede received a mix of buffs, nerfs and glitch fixes via game updates, but was buffed slightly overall. The most notable nerfs were to Gordo Throw: update 2.0.0 shrunk the Gordos' hitboxes, while update 3.0.0 both lowered their shield damage output and removed the Gordo-boosted Super Dedede Jump. Moreover, this same update further toned down King Dedede's ability to pressure shields by removing forward smash's ability to hit grounded characters twice, which removed its ability to instantly break shields.

Following these nerfs, update 7.0.0 would mark the first time King Dedede was buffed in Ultimate, as his shield was enlarged as part of a near-universal buff. Update 8.0.0 continued this trend by buffing some of King Dedede's moves, primarily in regard to KO potential. Up tilt's damage output was increased noticeably, and down tilt's launching angle was lowered. As a result, both moves now function as strong, yet reasonably fast KO options when they are sweetspotted, which King Dedede was sorely lacking up to that point. Forward aerial and especially up aerial gained higher knockback: in addition to improving their KO potentials, with down throw to up aerial now being a KO confirm, this also improved forward aerial's edge-guarding potential.

In addition to his improved offense, King Dedede's defense was improved slightly, thanks to Inhale's decreased start-up lag and enlarged grabboxes making it more reliable at catching projectiles and approaches. Lastly, update 11.0.0 buffed Gordo Throw in a few ways: its decreased ending lag and Dedede's faster reflection timing have collectively made it safer, and its edge-guarding potential was improved thanks to the Gordos' increased chance of sticking to edges.

Overall, King Dedede fares slightly better than he did at the launch of Ultimate. Although Dedede retains a lot of his fundamental flaws and did not improve as much as other tepidly received characters that were also buffed via updates, his buffs have nevertheless improved his KO potential and, to a lesser degree, his defensive potential.

Special Moves

King Dedede's Special Moves
Brawl SSBWU/3DS Ultimate
Standard Special Inhale
Side Special Waddle Dee Toss Gordo Throw
Up Special Super Dedede Jump
Down Special Jet Hammer
Final Smash Waddle Dee Army Dedede Burst Dede-Rush


  • Up Taunt: Hoists his hammer upwards in celebration.
  • Side Taunt: Spins his hammer while laughing.
  • Down Taunt: Dances around in a circle while slapping his belly.

On-Screen Appearance

King Dedede is carried on a palanquin by four Waddle Dees. He then jumps off, scattering them.

Idle Poses

Victory Poses

In competitive play

At the beginning of Ultimate's metagame, many players noticed how, despite retaining some of his weaknesses, King Dedede was overall buffed from Smash 4 thanks to improvements to Gordo Throw and stronger KO options, as well as retaining his resilient endurance and disjointed range. This perception would further improve thanks to players such as ZAKI and Atomsk, both of whom made notable impacts at major tournaments, with the former placing 2nd at Sumabato SP 2 and the latter placing 25th at Pound 2019. As a result, King Dedede became a more popular choice when compared to his Smash 4 incarnation, most notably in local and regional tournaments, and the general perception casted him as an upper mid-tier character, with potential to be high-tier.

However, as the metagame progressed, updates removing King Dedede's shield break combinations and shrinking the Gordos' hitboxes started to hurt his perception. Both ZAKI and Atomsk saw a decline in results while other players either dropped the character in favor of others (Big D) or relegated the character to a secondary (Peli). Due to the decline, King Dedede's representation has significantly dropped, with most players reconsidering him to be a low-tier character. In addition, King Dedede's poor disadvantage state, inconsistent KO potential, and laggy frame data have caused him to struggle against most top-tier and high-tier characters, including Palutena, Mega Man, and Fox. Although King Dedede is widely considered to be better than his previous incarnation, his true viability in Ultimate remains to be seen.

Classic Mode: Royal Rumble

King Dedede faces off against characters with royal titles such as kings and princesses.

Round Opponent Stage Music Notes
1 Template:CharHead Pirate Ship Template:SSBUMusicLink
2 Template:CharHead and Template:CharHead Castle Siege Template:SSBUMusicLink
3 Template:CharHead Hyrule Castle Template:SSBUMusicLink
4 Template:CharHead and Template:CharHead Princess Peach's Castle Template:SSBUMusicLink
5 Template:CharHead and Template:CharHead Find Mii (Battlefield form) Template:SSBUMusicLink
6 Template:CharHead Bridge of Eldin Template:SSBUMusicLink
Bonus Stage
Final Master Hand Final Destination Template:SSBUMusicLink (Less than 7.0 intensity)
Template:SSBUMusicLink (Intensity 7.0 or higher)
On intensity 7.0 and higher, Crazy Hand fights alongside Master Hand.

Credits roll after completing Classic Mode. Completing it as King Dedede has Template:SSBUMusicLink accompany the credits.

Role in World of Light

King Dedede was among the fighters that were summoned to fight against the army of Master Hands.

During the opening cutscene, King Dedede was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed its beams of light. He was vaporized offscreen and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the other fighters, excluding Kirby.

Dedede can only be accessed in a sub-area themed after the Gourmet Race minigame from Kirby Super Star, where the player must collect exactly 11 pieces of food for him to appear on the podium.


King Dedede's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after King Dedede has been unlocked. Unlocking King Dedede in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.

Additionally, King Dedede makes an appearance as a primary spirit under his Masked Dedede alter ego.

Palette Swaps

King Dedede Palette (SSBU).png



  • During the segment of the Nintendo E3 Direct that focused on King Dedede's Final Smash, his eyes are normal colored while he is wearing his mask. In the final game, his eyes are yellow.
  • King Dedede is one of four characters that has appeared in all games with Final Smashes to have a different Final Smash in all of them; the other three are Pit, Zero Suit Samus, and R.O.B..
  • King Dedede's pose in his official render resembles one of his idle poses.
  • King Dedede's prank to the Kongs in King K. Rool's reveal trailer is considered an in-joke within the fandom, as it is perceived as his voice actor, series director Masahiro Sakurai, making a practical joke at the expense of the fans.
    • Ironically, both King Dedede and King K. Rool are opponents for each other's Classic Mode route.
  • In the Korean version of the game, the Announcer calls him "King Dedede", despite having a slightly different name in Korean, "Dedede Daewang", which translates to "Dedede the Great". He shares this distinction with Hero.
  • In the Chinese version of the game, the Announcer calls him "King Dedede" in the Simplified version, while the Traditional version has the "Dedede" announcement from the Japanese version.
  • In the French and European Spanish versions, the name tag and voice clip from the announcer on the victory screen is slightly different from the one used on the character select screen, instead featuring a noticeable translation of "the" (le Roi Dadidou and el Rey Dedede, respectively). This trait is shared with Wii Fit Trainer, Pokémon Trainer, Villager, Ice Climbers, Inkling, Hero, and the Mii Fighters. Additionally, he and Duck Hunt are only two fighters having this trait in the European version, but not in the American version.
  • King Dedede is one of the only two antagonists that can be unlocked in the Light Realm, the other being Bowser.
  • King Dedede is the one of the few characters in the entire roster to have different facial expressions when attempting different types of grabs and missing them, being his standing grab (a confused expression) vs. his dash and pivot grabs (a continuously happy expression).
    • Others include Pikachu (standing vs. dash vs. pivot) and Squirtle (standing and dash vs. pivot)
  • Prior to 3.0.0, if King Dedede threw a Smart Bomb at his opponent and tried to Inhale them, the Inhale would not affect anyone until the bomb explosion was over. This glitch may likely have been caused by opponents stuck during the hitstun. When this happened, anyone caught in the Inhale from before will teleport into King Dedede's mouth once the explosion ended. Kirby could do this too. This was patched, where characters can now no longer be put into hitstun during Inhale.
  • King Dedede is one of the five veterans from Smash 4 to have their Boxing Ring alias changed in Ultimate, the others being Link, Kirby, Mega Man, and Ryu.
  • Dedede has his own damage effect known simply as Dedede, which applies to all hammer-related moves with the exception of Jet Hammer. It is identical to normal.
  • Despite also having royal titles, Lucina and Chrom do not appear as opponents in King Dedede's Classic Mode route.
  • Despite Masahiro Sakurai not being credited as a character voice in the credits, his name is listed in the Japanese version of King Dedede's Sound Test. King Dedede shares this distinction with Yoshi (Kazumi Totaka), the Pikmin (Hajime Wakai), Winged Pikmin (Atsuko Asahi), Inkling (Yuki Tsuji), and the Tekken 7 announcer (Josh Keller).

External links

KirbySymbol.svg Kirby universe
Characters Kirby (64  · Melee  · Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Meta Knight (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
King Dedede (Brawl  · 3DS/Wii U  · Ultimate)
Side Characters Boss Marx
Assist Trophies Knuckle Joe  · Nightmare  · Chef Kawasaki
Mii Fighter Costumes Meta Knight  · Marx
Background characters King Dedede
Stage Hazards Whispy Woods
Enemies Bonkers  · Bronto Burt  · Gordo  · Parasol Waddle Dee  · Plasma Wisp  · Shotzo  · Tac  · Waddle Dee  · Waddle Doo
Stages Dream Land  · Fountain of Dreams  · Green Greens  · Halberd  · Dream Land GB  · The Great Cave Offensive
Items Bomber  · Dragoon  · Maxim Tomato  · Parasol  · Star Rod  · Superspicy Curry  · Warp Star
Music List List of Music (Kirby series)
Song "Gourmet Race"
Collectibles Trophies Melee Trophies  · Brawl Trophies  · 3DS Trophies  · Wii U Trophies
Stickers List of Stickers (Kirby series)
Spirits List of spirits (Kirby series)
Masterpieces Kirby's Dream Land  · Kirby's Adventure  · Kirby Super Star