|“||Kirby's ability to copy fighters is totally unique! While he is light and can be launched easily, he can also jump up to five times in the air, so he has great recovery. Look for his new Stone transformation, too.||”|
|—Description from the Super Smash Blog.|
Kirby 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, and is the first protagonist of World of Light. His fighter number is #6.
- Excellent recovery, with 6 jumps, tied with Jigglypuff and Meta Knight.
- Small hitbox makes him difficult to hit.
- Very low crouch.
- Slightly above-average dash speed.
- Can do Up Tilt combos on fast-falling characters at low percents.
- Has two Sex Kicks with Neutral Aerial and Back Aerial.
- Inhale allows him to copy the opponent's Neutral Special, granting him versatility and helping to cover weaknesses.
- Both Hammer Flip and Final Cutter have Transcending Priority in their hitboxes.
- Hammer Flip can lead to low percentage KO's if fully charged. It also inflicts considerable shield damage.
- Final Cutter grants him an additional jump and a projectile, being also a decent tool for combos.
- Stone has strong Super Armor and invincibility frames at the start, and inflicts considerable shield damage. It cannot be cancelled by opponents, allowing easy hits on enemies below you and can be manually cancelled in mid-air to confuse enemies.
- Down Aerial and the second hit of Final Cutter can both Meteor Smash.
- Light, making him easy to KO.
- Poor defense against projectiles.
- Very low multijump height.
- Somewhat weak neutral attacks, making it hard to launch opponents. He also has limited KO moves.
- Very slow air speed and falling speed.
- Low range on most attacks.
- Predictable and linear recovery.
- Low priority on many attacks.
- Very few moves that are safe on shield.
- Hammer Flip deals recoil damage to Kirby the longer it is charged after reaching full charge. It is also very predictable and has considerable lag.
Kirby is known for being a small lightweight, as he is tied for the eighth-lightest character in the game. Much like in his home series, Kirby is a slow, yet floaty character:possessing the 26th slowest walking speed, 33rd fastest dashing speed, 37th slowest initial dash, the 5th slowest air speed, 15th highest air acceleration, 3rd lowest gravity, the 5th lowest falling and fast falling speeds, and above average traction. Due to these statistics, Kirby's approach is easily one of the poorest, making it easily exploitable. That said, Kirby's recovery is rather versatile in spite of his slow air speed and low jump height, as his five midair jumps, slow falling speed, long vertical airdodge, and Final Cutter's decent distance give him good stalling capabilities and decent safety.
Kirby's greatest strengths are his fast frame data, high combo potential, and the versatility of his moveset overall. The majority of Kirby's attacks are characterized by their speed: his tilts are among the fastest in the game, while his slowest moves instead boast high power as a trade-off, while still being quite fast for their power. Neutral Attack and forward tilt are fast and have acceptable range, allowing Kirby to quickly distance himself from his opponents, with the latter being used for tech chase setups. Up tilt's low knockback and high speed allow it to be a combo starter, that leads into multiple moves (like itself, an aerial attack, or Inhale). Down tilt may have low power, but its very fast and launches opponents at the Sakurai angle, which allows it to trip most opponents even over 80%,which can lead to follow ups with a variety of attacks (a dash attack, grab, or forward smash). Dash attack’s early hit is excellent for punishing and KOing (able to do so to opponents starting at 90%), while the late hit can set up into an Inhale. His smash attacks have good range, high power, and great speed, making them excellent kill options. Kirby's small hitbox and very low crouch allows him to avoid almost all grabs and several attacks. Overall, he has an excellent ground and defensive game thanks to his quick frame data and evasive crouch, requiring opponents to be careful when approaching him in a neutral stage.
The usefulness of Kirby's ground game also extends to his grab game. Though lacking in range, they are among the fastest, while his pummel's low damage output is counterbalanced by its very fast speed. His forward throw has actual combo potential as opposed to its counerparts, leading into aerials from low to mid percentages. Back throw can be followed up by a back aerial at 0% on certain characters, is a kill confirm at high percents, and can send opponents offstage. Up throw is the strongest throw in Kirby's kit, able to KO almost all characters around 170% (or even earlier if it lands on a platform). Lastly, down throw is reliable for racking up damage when the other throws fail to perform.
Kirby's air game is also notable in spite of his poor air speed; again due to the versatility of his aerial attacks. Neutral aerial has a long-lasting hitbox, high knockback on the clean hit, very low landing lag, and good coverage, making it a safe landing option. The weak hit of neutral air can lead into tilts, grab, or even a smash attack. It can also be used as a combo finisher and can be used as a KO move at high percents. Due to the move lasting longer compared to the other aerials, it can safely apply shield pressure. Forward aerial is a powerful combo tool that can also pressure shields, be used as a respectable kill confirm, and its first two hits can allow additional follow-ups due to its low landing lag. Up aerial has good vertical knockback, low landing lag and a fairly quick auto-cancel window, allowing for many potential follow-ups and even ko opponents when near the upper blast zone. Back aerial has decent range, high knockback on the clean hit, and is the fastest of the 5 aerials, making it one of his strongest options overall. Lastly, down aerial has considerable startup, but has multiple hits that drag opponents downward before the final hit meteor smashes them and has low ending lag, making it a deceptively powerful edgeguarding tool as well as a reliable combo starter with follow-ups on grounded opponents.
Kirby's special moves can provide some unique strengths. Inhale is his most notable example: it allows Kirby to copy an opponents' neutral special or spit them out as a weight-dependent Star Bullet. Depending on what character he inhales, the copy ability can give Kirby a move that helps him in matchups to various degrees, from useful projectiles to counter-camp his opponent (e.g. Sheik's Needle Storm, Charge Shot from Samus or Dark Samus, Blaster from Wolf), to powerful punish options (e.g. Donkey Kong's Giant Punch, Sonic's Homing Attack), a reflector (Zelda's Nayru's Love), or other benefits (e.g. Shulk's Monado Arts). In addition, Kirby's version of the opponent's neutral special has a 1.2x damage multiplier. Kirby can also inhale projectiles in this game; smaller projectiles will be swallowed, allowing him to heal himself, while larger ones (such as a fully-charged Charge Shot) can be stored in his mouth and spat out, essentially giving Kirby a pseudo-reflector. The spat projectiles can be used to punish opponents at mid-range and can launch them away with high knockback. Inhale can also be used to Kirbycide or spit the opponent out offstage, although the opponent can escape by mashing. Hammer Flip is very powerful, especially when fully charged, and Kirby can move and jump while charging. However, much like the ability the move is puled from, it is very slow, and its high startup and endlag, along with its short range and Kirby's already-sluggish movement being further slowed when charging, makes it difficult to land outside of certain specific situations(like Falcon Punch). Final Cutter is his primary recovery move, granting good vertical distance, as well as a disjoint in front of him during his ascent and descent. It also emits a shockwave projectile upon landing, making it difficult to punish if the opponent is not behind Kirby. Lastly, Stone causes Kirby to turn into an object and ignore up to 25% damage, and is also a strong attack that can crush foes, especially in the air, and can be canceled shortly after Kirby begins his descent, although these benefits are limited by its slow startup and ending lag, and Kirby is still vulnerable to grabs while transformed.
Kirby’s most notable flaw, however, is his poor approach. Characters who have high mobility or who can camp with projectiles (e.g. Samus, Mii Gunner, Dark samus)can wall out Kirby as the lack of reliable burst options in Kirby's kit makes his approach in these matchups problematic and occasionally predictable. In addition, characters with long disjointed hitboxes (e.g.Ike, Marth) can outrange and wall out Kirby since his range is very short relative to the rest of the cast. Although Final Cutter's projectile has decent range and moves quickly, it has a somewhat slow startup, and outside of this, he lacks other projectiles outside of spitting inhaled projectiles/opponents, or from a copy ability. This requires conscientious use to avoid punishment. Despite having great air acceleration, Kirby's air speed is also too slow for him to take advantage of it(like Jigglypuff), hindering his aerial approach and recovery despite possessing five midair jumps. Kirby also has several KO moves, but some can be hard to land without a setup due to their short range. Rage worsens these problems as Kirby will be launched even further by a high-damage opponent, and his low weight means he will sometimes not survive long enough to take advantage of his own rage.
In addition, Kirby also has poor endurance. Although his light and floaty physics can help him escape combos from other characters, this also means he risks getting KOed earlier. He is also vulnerable to juggling, due to his aforementioned slow falling and air speeds, imposing a risk in any airborne approach, while also preventing Kirby's aerials from being used effectively when in a disadvantage state, often forcing him to rely on his jumps, Stone, or neutral aerial to escape and return to the ground or ledge.
Overall, Kirby is rather inconsistent: he can inflict an impressive amount of damage if he gets close to his opponent thanks to his excellent frame data and potent combo game, nut that is assuming he could do so due to how challenging for him due to his poor approach. As such, Kirby functions well with a bait-and-punish playstyle, although Kirby being unprepared for an opponent's approach can be dangerous due to his low survivability.
Changes from SSBWU/3DS
Near the end of Smash 4's metagame, Kirby had been considered a low-tier character in the game's most recent tier list (50th out of 55), due to a combination of his lackluster attributes and underwhelming moveset (although it has power). Kirby has been both buffed and nerfed in the transition to Ultimate; but although he was noticeably buffed overall, especially compared to the game's initial release, many of his changes to gameplay mechanics were also a mixed bag.
Kirby's buffs lie in the increased utility of his moveset as a whole, with overall improved frame data and KO power on his finishers. The first two hits of his neutral attack can now lock, and the looping hits connect into the opponent much more reliably (though they are weaker); forward tilt is a stronger neutral option and KO move due to its reduced endlag and its increased knockback; dash attack has been mostly reverted back to the Burning attack from Melee, but it is significantly stronger, dealing much more damage and knockback, and has less startup compared to Break Spin, can cross-up on shields, covers more distance, and is more reliable for catching opponents thanks to only consisting of one, long-lasting hit. These changes make it a stronger punish tool and a much more versatile move overall than Break Spin. His smash attacks are also stronger punish options: forward smash has an increased range, up smash has reduced start-up, and down smash regained its semi-spike angle that makes it better for edgeguarding, similarly to one of its hitboxes in Brawl; all three also have improved KO ability, with forward and up smash dealing more knockback, and down smash KOing earlier at the edge due to its lower angle (and despite its reduced knockback). Many of Kirby's attacks, such as up tilt and all his aerials except for up aerial also have more range, partially reducing one of his weaknesses from SSB4.
The universal reduction to landing lag has also exponentially benefitted his aerials, which already had among the lowest landing lag in SSB4; his aerials are not only safer, but now capable of leading into followups: for example, forward aerial's first two hits now can follow up into forward smash. Notably, his neutral and up aerials -the former being one of his most situational attacks-, are now faster, deal more knockback-now Nair's clean hit is one of the strongest neutral aerials in Ultimate and fair had some of its lost KO power restored from Melee. Both also have less ending lag, making them much better overall; neutral aerial also has more range, and up aerial deals higher damage which further improves its power. As for his special moves, Inhale has been significantly buffed with faster startup, less ending lag, a much longer grace period in which Kirby cannot lose his Copy Ability, a lower probability of losing said ability after this period has ended, and a new 1.2× multiplier to his copied neutral special compared to his opponent (albeit without a corresponding increase to knockback), giving him a greater incentive and a higher reward from inhaling opponents. Furthermore, he (and King Dedede) can now eat the projectiles he swallows to heal themselves (and store certain ones in his mouth as well, enabling him to spit them out as stars). Hammer Flip now renders Kirby near-impossible to stop for a longer time as long as he's grounded; Final Cutter is faster and its landing hit is much more powerful, which improves its utility; and Stone's aerial variant now has super armor during its startup, making it more difficult to interrupt Kirby out of the attack, as in previous Smash games he could be interrupted even when he fully transformed.
However, Kirby has also received several noteworthy nerfs. The most notable were to his already below-average grab game: his already mediocre grab range has been weakened, most notably on his pivot grab, and forward throw has him jump up higher after the throw, which runs the risk of possibly landing on top of a soft platform and preventing all follow-ups when it happens too early (although following up with neutral aerial or up aerial can somewhat remedy this), while back throw has lost most of its combo setups due to changes to the animation. Altogether, this grants Kirby a less effective combo game off of his grabs overall. Other nerfs include Stone no longer hitting shielding opponents twice, which reduces its shield pressure considerably; back aerial deals less knockback, although the clean hit now lasts for slightly longer to compensate; and down aerial, one of his most reliable combo starters in SSB4, has more range on the looping hits, but slightly less on the final hit and is less advantageous on landing due to the removal of frame canceling, reducing the effectiveness of its follow-ups since its landing lag was not reduced enough to compensate properly. Furthermore, he still retains many of the same issues that plagued him in SSB4, with mediocre range, sluggish aerial mobility and a high susceptibility to being camped.
The changes to gameplay mechanics both help and hinder Kirby. The revamped air dodge mechanics have significantly improved his innate ability to edgeguard opponents more effectively, and directional air dodges have also given him a secondary recovery option, but this also makes him more susceptible to juggling and edgeguarding as well, due to his short-ranged aerials and predictable landing options. The changes to downwards velocity KOing opponents faster from the bottom blast line now render Final Cutter as a significantly more deadly edgeguarding and sacrificial KO option, further improving its utility. The increased shieldstun and increased startup on shield grabbing notably benefits Kirby's safety on hit, due to his moves' natural high damage and low ending lag, making him harder to get off and punish accordingly. Conversely, the changes to grabs' ending lag make Kirby's own grab riskier to throw out, as their ending lag can prove more punishable. The increase in mobility is a mixed bag for Kirby, as while his mobility has improved overall relative to the cast (most notably his aerial mobility), his problems with camping from the previous incarnation remain, exhibited with the increased prevalence of zoners. Overall, the two lattermost changes have resulted in his range issues being even more pronounced than in SSB4, but the changed mechanics have also granted him additional edgeguarding tools and an improved defensive game.
Overall, Kirby's changes now render his punish game much more deadly, make him much harder to shake off once he gains the advantage, and allow him to seal stocks at much more varied percentages, but the universal changes to the game's engine have made it slightly easier for opponents to keep him away and have rendered said punishment game slightly more inconsistent. As a result, he has once again having earned some representation in all levels of competitive play with players such as Komota, Jesuischoq, and Ferretkuma innovating his gameplay. Due to his somewhat rare tournament results at top levels of play, however, his perception in Ultimate's competitive scene has been somewhat negative much like in the previous game, as a number of players view Kirby around the same vein as in SSB4. On the other hand, several game updates have handed Kirby a myriad of buffs (most notably update 6.0.0 in recent times), which has caused other players to note the improvements and rank him higher. In the end, Kirby's overall viability remains questionable.
- Kirby's appearance is largely the same as it was in the previous game, though his model features a more subdued color scheme. His feet have a pinkish tint, and his blush marks are slightly blurred. These changes make Kirby more closely resemble his appearance in recent Kirby games.
- Like many other characters, Kirby is more expressive, both with his face and his movement.
- Some of Kirby's animations, particularly his dash and initial jump, have been tweaked to closer resemble his appearance from Kirby's Return to Dream Land onward.
- One of Kirby's voice clips when taking high knockback has been changed to his alternate KO sound from Smash 4.
- As a result, he gains a new KO clip, which sounds similar to one of his unused high knockback voice clips from Brawl.
- Kirby's unused damage yell from Smash 4 is used when he takes medium knockback.
- Kirby's on-screen appearance has a more intense, fiery explosion than in previous games. The large, cartoony stars that appear have been removed, and while the sparkle effects are still present, they have been drastically toned down. All in all, it more closely resembles how it appeared in Smash 64
- Up taunt has been shortened, with Kirby striking the ending pose without dancing first. The pose itself has been tweaked; Kirby raises one of his feet ( which resembles the pose he makes when gaining an ability in his games).
- Kirby smiles during his side taunt.
- Kirby's victory poses have been modified. Two new dances are used, one with Kirby waving his arms and breakdancing, and another with Kirby moonwalking and sliding, both based off of Kirby’s Return to Dream Land and ending in a unique pose. Kirby also splits into three separate Kirbys when not in team battles, referencing his home series. This is the first and only game to have Kirby's victory poses finish differently.
- Kirby's idle pose at the end of his victory animation is more animated, with a gentle squash-and-stretch effect leading to a more rubbery feeling.
- Kirby faces forward instead of away when "wiggling" in one of his victory poses.
- When Kirby gains a new Copy Ability, he briefly poses like he does in his home series. This animation can be canceled.
- Some Copy Ability hats have been changed.
- His Samus helmet has a fully opaque visor, as it was in Super Smash Bros.
- His Captain Falcon helmet has triangular eyes, and the visor is opaque as in Super Smash Bros.
- Unlike Smash 4, his Jigglypuff cap matches his costume color, as in previous games up to Brawl.
- His Zelda cap has been changed from the wimple she wore as a child in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to a hairstyle matching her new A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds-inspired look.
- His Ganondorf cap is consistent with Ganondorf's Ocarina of Time appearance, effectively reverting to its design in Melee.
- His Ike cap uses the hairstyle from his Path of Radiance design, like Brawl.
- His Wolf cap matches Wolf's Star Fox Zero-based appearance.
- His Robin cap, upon exhausting the Thunder tome, will disappear like it does in all other cases, instead of just disappearing with no animation.
- Kirby's Boxing Ring alias has been changed to "The Pink Demon", a direct translation of the Japanese title, for consistency with its appearance in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
- Like all characters, Kirby's jumpsquat takes 3 frames to complete (down from 4).
- Kirby runs faster (1.57 → 1.727).
- His initial dash is noticeably faster (1.5 → 1.9).
- Kirby walks faster (0.93 → 0.977).
- Kirby's air speed is slightly faster (0.8 → 0.84).
- Kirby's traction is much higher (0.0493 → 0.116), going from below average to being tied for the 17th highest, making easier for him to punish out of shield.
- The changes to taunt interruptibility benefit Kirby more than any other returning veteran, as he can act quicker after discarding a Copy Ability.
- Forward roll grants less intangibility (frames 4-17 → 4-15).
- Back roll has more startup with less intangibility (frames 4-17 → 5-16), and more ending lag (FAF 31 → 36).
- Air dodge grants more intangibility (frames 3-27 → 3-29).
- Air dodge has significantly more ending lag (FAF 33 → 63), being tied with Rosalina for the second slowest air dodge in the game duration-wise, only behind Jigglypuff.
- Neutral attack:
- Neutral attack's first and second hits have altered angles (55° → 361°/180° (hit 1), 70° → 361° (hit 2)) and knockback (8 base/30 scaling → 20 base/25/20 scaling (hit 1), 15/30 → 25/15 (hit 2)) to keep opponents close to Kirby, akin to other neutral attacks. This allows them to jab lock, and noticeably improves their previously poor linking ability.
- The first hit has less startup lag (frame 3 → 2), with its total duration reduced as well (FAF 16 → 15).
- The second hit transitions faster into the infinite (frame 8 → 5) and has a lower SDI multiplier (1× → 0.3×), although with a slightly higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.2×).
- The infinite has shorter gaps between hits (4 frames → 2), a consistent angle (55°/68°/80° → 361°), a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.5×) and SDI multiplier (1× → 0.4×), and deals less knockback (6/4/2 base/100 scaling → 7 base/35 scaling). This allows it to connect more reliably and makes it much harder to escape.
- The infinite's finisher has less startup (frame 5 → 3) and ending lag (FAF 51 → 40).
- The finisher deals more damage (2% → 3%) and launches at a lower angle (45° → 361°), with knockback not fully compensated (80 base/120 scaling → 70/115), improving its KO potential.
- All hits except the finisher deal less damage (2% → 1.8% (hit 1), 3% → 1.6% (hit 2), 1% → 0.2% (infinite)).
- The first hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.7×), giving opponents more time to SDI it.
- The second hit and each hit of the infinite have a shorter hitbox duration (2 frames → 1), and the latter also has one frame more startup (frame 6 → 7), although this is compensated by its faster transition from the second hit.
- The finisher has smaller hitboxes overall (4.5u/6.5u/5.5u → 5u/5u/5u).
- The finisher has a much higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 3×), making it easier to DI after SDIing the infinite.
- The infinite has gained a shieldstun multiplier of 7×. This allows it to lock opponents into their shields between each hit, and thus pressure them more effectively, but also allows them to cancel shieldstun and punish Kirby more easily if they shield 10 hits or more.
- Kirby's punching hand disappears during his rapid jab; instead, the visual effects have been made thicker.
- Forward tilt:
- Forward tilt has less ending lag (FAF 28 → 24). Combined with the increased shieldstun for ground attacks, this makes it much safer on shield.
- It has much more base knockback (12 → 40), improving its KO potential.
- Up tilt:
- Up tilt's closest hitbox is larger (4u → 4.8u), slightly surpassing the late hit in Brawl.
- The late hit and foot intangibility last one more frame (frames 6-9 → 6-10), matching its duration from Brawl.
- It has less base knockback (40 → 30/26 (clean), 26 (late)) and more knockback scaling (116 → 132/125 (clean), 110 → 130/119 (late)), allowing it to combo better into his aerials from low to mid percents, while also improving its KO potential at very high percents.
- The hitbox at the tip of Kirby's foot launches at a slightly different angle (100° → 98° (clean), 88° → 86° (late)).
- Down tilt:
- Due to the increased traction across the cast, opponents do not slide back as much upon tripping from down tilt, improving its reliability for starting combos.
- It has more knockback scaling (30 → 43), causing it to stop tripping opponents sooner, but improving its combo potential at higher percents if it doesn't trip due to the aforementioned change.
- Dash attack:
- Dash attack has reverted to its Melee iteration, where Kirby does a flaming tackle identical to the Burning copy ability from his home series, although it does not drop him off edges.
- It hits only once instead of six times, possessing a clean hit, mid hit and late hit. This makes it more reliable overall than the previous dash attack, which could sometimes miss its last hit due to the looping hits' poor linking ability.
- It propels Kirby a much farther distance forward, increasing its range.
- It has less startup lag with its hitboxes active fully throughout (frames 12, 15, 19, 24, 30, 35-37 → 9-17 (clean)/18-26 (mid)/27-34 (late)).
- However, the total duration has not been fully compensated, giving it 1 frame more ending lag despite the shorter total duration (FAF 54 → 52).
- It has larger hitboxes (3.5u/3.5u/3.3u (hits 1-5), 3u (hit 6) → 5u (clean), 3.5u (mid & late)).
- It has lower hitlag multipliers (2× → 1.3× (clean)/1× (mid)/0.8× (late)). In combination with its faster startup and consisting of a single hit, this makes it harder to DI.
- The clean hit deals more damage (1% (hits 1-5), 4% (hit 6); 9% total → 12%), with knockback not fully compensated (100 base/70 scaling → 82/71), and launches at a more horizontal angle (65° → 46°). This turns it into a much stronger finisher, KOing opponents at around 160% from center stage and 105% near edges, compared to being unable to KO under 280% regardless of horizontal positioning.
- The mid and late hits deal more damage than the previous dash attack's last hit (4% → 9% (mid), 6% (late)), and the former launches at a higher angle (65° → 76°), allowing it to KO slightly earlier despite its lower knockback values (100 base/70 scaling → 80/50).
- The late hit deals much less knockback (100 base/70 scaling → 80/50), hindering its KO potential despite launching at a higher angle (65° → 76°).
- Forward smash:
- Forward smash's clean hit deals more knockback (30 base/102 scaling → 32/109), improving its KO potential.
- Kirby lunges farther forward, giving it more range.
- It deals more damage when angled down (14% → 15% (clean), 10% → 11% (late)).
- It deals less damage when angled up (16% → 15% (clean), 12% → 11% (late)), although the clean hit is still slightly stronger than in Smash 4 due to its higher knockback values.
- The clean hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.2×), making it easier to DI.
- It has a different startup animation: Kirby pulls back before executing a thrust kick instead of performing a spin first, resembling Smash Kick, one of Smash Bros. Kirby's attacks in Kirby: Planet Robobot.
- Up smash:
- Up smash has less startup (frame 14 → 12), with its leg intangibility frames moved accordingly (frames 14-19 → 12-17) and its total duration reduced (FAF 48 → 46).
- The clean hit has a longer duration, with the late hit having a shorter duration instead (frame 14 (clean)/15-16 (mid)/17-19 (late) → 12-14/15-16/17). This improves its utility as an anti-air, as the clean hit remains active when the hitboxes go above Kirby.
- The clean hit deals more knockback (33/30 base/104/99 scaling → 36 base/104 scaling), improving its KO potential.
- The mid hit's sourspot (12% → 13%) and late hit (12%/11% → 13%/12%) deal more damage.
- Down smash:
- Down smash launches at a semi-spike angle like its foot hitboxes in Melee and Brawl (69° → 29°), significantly improving its edgeguarding ability and allowing it to KO earlier near edges.
- It has less startup lag (frame 10 → 7) with its total duration reduced as well (FAF 54 → 51).
- It has much less knockback scaling (110 → 94), hindering its KO potential from center stage and across the stage.
- All of his aerials have less ending lag (10 frames → 6 (neutral), 13 → 8 (forward), 17 → 10 (back), 12 → 7 (up), 17 → 16 (down).
- Neutral aerial:
- Neutral aerial has less startup (frame 10 → 8) and significantly less ending lag (FAF 73 → 53).
- The clean hit deals significantly more knockback (30 base/90 scaling → 35/117), allowing it to KO reliably at around 150% from center stage.
- All hitboxes are bigger (8u → 9u (clean), 7u → 8u (mid), 6u → 7u (mid-to-late), 5u → 6u (late)).
- It auto-cancels earlier (frame 56 → 51).
- Forward aerial:
- Forward aerial's first hit launches at a higher angle (45°/80° → 53°/84°) and deals less knockback (35 base/50 scaling → 43/39 (close), 35/38 (far)), allowing it to connect into the second hit more reliably.
- The first and second hits have lower hitlag (1× → 0.8×) and SDI multipliers (1× → 0.5×), making them harder to escape.
- The first and third hits have larger hitboxes (4.3u/4.3u → 5u/4.4u (hit 1), 4.9u → 5.1u (hit 3)), with the latter extending further horizontally (Z offset: 8u-12u → 7u-13u) and vertically (Y offset: 3.9u-4.2u → 3u-4.2u), improving their range.
- Due to its reduced landing lag, and forward smash's improved range and knockback, the first hit has gained a KO setup into it at high percents.
- The second hit extends further outwards (Z offset: 8u-12u → 7u-13u) and below Kirby (Y offset: 3.7u-4.2u → 2.8u-4.1u), improving its horizontal range, and allowing it to hit short or crouching characters, even in a rising short hop.
- The second and third hit deal more damage (3% → 4% (hit 2), 5% → 6% (hit 3).
- The third hit has a longer duration (frames 25-26 → 25-27).
- Back aerial:
- Back aerial has larger hitboxes (4u → 4.5u (clean), 3.4u → 3.5u (late)), and they extend further horizontally (Z offset: 7u-10.5u → 6u-13u (clean), 7u-10u → 6u-11u (late)), noticeably improving its range.
- The clean hit has a longer duration (frames 6-7 → 6-8).
- The clean hit has slightly less base knockback (20 → 15), hindering its KO potential.
- The clean hit has a higher hitlag multiplier (1× → 1.2×), making it easier to DI.
- The late hit has a shorter duration (frames 8-14 → 9-12).
- Up aerial:
- Up aerial has less startup (frame 10 → 8), less ending lag (FAF 40 → 36), and auto-cancels earlier (frame 22 → 20).
- It deals more damage (9% → 10%) and has noticeably more knockback scaling (100 → 115), greatly improving its KO ability, without worsening its combo ability due to its reduced lag.
- Down aerial:
- Down aerial's looping hits deal more damage (1% → 1.3%, total: 7% → 8.5%), with knockback scaling compensated (107 → 100).
- The looping hits have a noticeably lower hitlag multiplier (1.5× → 0.8×), alongside a larger hitbox (5u → 6u), increasing their range and making them harder to escape from.
- It can no longer be frame canceled, with its landing lag not reduced enough to compensate. As a result, it has more landing lag relative to Smash 4 if the landing hit connects, hindering its combo potential.
- The last hit has a smaller hitbox (6.2u → 5.6u).
Grabs and Throws
- All grabs have more ending lag (FAF 28 → 34 (standing), 39 → 42 (dash), 33 → 37 (pivot)), albeit they are still among the fastest in the game.
- All grabs have less range (Z2 offset: 10.2u → 9.4u (standing), 12.1u → 11u (dash), -17.9u → -15.7u (pivot)).
- Dash grab has slightly more startup lag (frame 8 → 9).
- Pummel deals less damage (1.55% → 1%).
- It has less startup (frame 9 → 1) and ending lag (FAF 10 → 6), but deals considerably more hitlag (4 frames → 11), increasing its effective duration.
- Forward throw:
- Forward throw has Kirby jump slightly higher and further backwards at the end of the animation, able to reach the height of Battlefield's lower platform. The additional height weakens its combo potential at low percents, while the additional backwards distance prevents him from benefitting from the extra height at higher percents.
- Back throw:
- Back throw has Kirby jump immediately after releasing the opponent, as opposed to a few frames later, causing him to be much higher in the air after the move ends. Additionally, Kirby lands a short distance forward relative to where the throw is initiated from, rather than in the same spot. This almost completely removes the throw's followups at low percents, and weakens its edgeguarding potential, as it pushes Kirby away from edges.
- It has an altered animation where Kirby doesn't squish as much upon slamming the opponent to the ground.
- Up throw:
- Up throw has gained a collateral hitbox upon landing that deals 7%, similar to Meta Knight's up throw, increasing its effectiveness in battles with multiple opponents.
- Down throw:
- Down throw's first nine hits deal more damage (0.8% → 1%, total: 10.2% → 12%).
- Edge attack:
- Edge attack deals more damage (7% → 9%).
- Stone now has a new form resembling a Sheikah treasure chest from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- Stone also gains Super Armour upon start-up in the air(frames 19-28), deals more damage (65 base/70 scaling → 69/76), and he landing hit launches at a higher angle (0° → 25°) and has much more base knockback (40 → 86), although with its knockback scaling partly compensated (40 → 30), allowing it to set up edgeguards more effectively, while also increasing its KO power.
- That said, the aerial hit can no longer combo into the landing hit, significantly decreasing its shield damage.
- If Kirby copies an opponent, he will do a brief pose, which references his games where he does the same.
- Kirby cannot lose his Copy Ability by getting hit for 20 seconds after receiving it, allowing him to keep it much more efficiently.
- In fact rather than a 3.125% chance regardless of move, the chance for Kirby to lose his Copy Ability by getting hit is equal to the damage % taken, thus increasing it for hits that deal more than 3.125% damage.
- He also gains a 1.2x multiplier (which was only found via playing before being mentioned in Pyra and Mythras' presentation.)
- Kirby now can Inhale opponent projectiles to heal himself. He can now also spit them out as stars.
- As a result, Kirby can keep certain projectiles, like a fully charged Charge Shot, inside his mouth and then choose to spit them out as a star that deals damage or swallow them to heal himself.
- Inhale has less startup lag (frame 14 → 10), making it much easier to combo into. It also has a larger vortex hitbox (7u → 8.5u) with altered hitbox placements (Y offset: 7.5u → 7u, Z offset: 13u → 15.5u), and an additional vortex hitbox, increasing its range.
- It also has less ending lag when failing to inhale anything (FAF 73 → 64), and after copying an opponent (FAF 30 → 21), preventing the copied opponent from being able to hit Kirby before he can move.
- The swallowing hitboxes are larger (4.2u/4.6u → 5.3u/5.8u), increasing the safety of copying an opponent when others are nearby.
- Kirby also dies later when performing a Kirbycide, though he still dies first. This gives the opponent less time to recover after Kirby is KO'd.
- The distance an opponent travels in a star scales with damage, allowing Kirby to KO spat opponents near edges more effectively at higher percents.
- Inhale has a more opaque visual effect.
- Hammer Flip:
- Hammer launches at a lower angle when not fully charged (53° → 48° (grounded), 55° → 50° (aerial)), slightly improving its KO potential.
- The grounded version has intangibility (frames 2-10) and more super armor (frames 11-13 → 11-17) when fully charged.
- The aerial version deals slightly more damage (15%-27% → 16%-28%) with no compensation on knockback.
- The aerial version sends at a higher angle when fully charged (45° → 50°), slightly reducing its KO potential despite its increased damage.
- Kirby may use his uncharged or fully charged voice lines from Smash 4 when swinging an uncharged Hammer.
- A fully charged Hammer triggers Special Zoom.
- Final Cutter:
- Final Cutter has less landing lag (34 frames → 30).
- It can snap to the ledge earlier (frame 36 → 33).
- The rising hit has a longer duration (frames 23-24 → 23-26). The set knockback during the additional active frames is lower (117/102 → 60/50) to link into the falling hit as well.
- The landing hit no longer has set knockback (120 set/100 scaling → 85 base/95 scaling).
- The falling hit has smaller hitboxes (6.5u → 6u (meteor), 6u → 5.5u (late)).
- The falling hit's meteor smash portion has slightly less set knockback (100 → 96).
- The projectile has a lower hitlag multiplier (1× → 0.7×), although this is compensated by the universal increase to hitlag.
- Aerial Stone has super armor during startup (frames 19-28).
- It deals more knockback while falling (65 base/70 scaling → 69/76).
- The landing hit launches at a higher angle (0° → 25°) and has much more base knockback (40 → 86), although with its knockback scaling partly compensated (40 → 30), allowing it to set up edgeguards more effectively, while also increasing its KO power.
- The aerial hit can no longer combo into the landing hit, significantly decreasing its shield damage.
- If Stone is hit with a reversing move such as Cape, the transformation will visually spin around.
- Stone can transform into a Treasure Chest found in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's shrines.
- If Kirby is metal when using Stone, the transformation will also be metal.
- Kirby doesn't change back to normal if he lands underwater.
- Ultra Sword:
- The final hit has less knockback scaling (100 → 95), hindering its KO potential.
- It features a special background effect upon usage, in a similar fashion to the use of Super Abilities in Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
- Neutral Attack: Kirby throws a jab, and then a second jab with the other hand, and finally unleashes a flurry of punches that end in a stronger one.
- Forward Tilt: Kirby does a side kick; can be angled up and down.
- Up Tilt: Kirby kicks in an upwards path behind himself, hitting behind and above.
- Down Tilt (Squish Kick): Kirby kicks low to the ground.
- Dash Attack (Burning): Kirby dashes forward in a fiery spinning headbutt.
- Forward Smash: Kirby lunges forwards with a powerful kick.
- Up Smash: Kirby does a backflip, kicking overhead.
- Down Smash: Kirby performs a splits kick and spins around.
- Floor Attack (Front):
- Floor Attack (Back):
- Floor Attack (Trip):
- Ledge Attack: Quickly climbs the ledge and kicks in front of him.
- Neutral aerial: Kirby spins around, limbs extended.
- Forward aerial: Kirby kicks forwards three times.
- Back aerial: Kirby kicks backward with both of his feet.
- Up aerial: Kirby kicks overhead.
- Down aerial: Kirby does a downwards drill kick with multiple potential hits.
Grabs and Throws
- Pummel: Kirby punches the opponent with his free hand.
- Forward Throw: Based on Pile Driver from Kirby's Suplex ability. Kirby leaps upwards with the opponent, flips with them in the air, and then body slams them on the ground.
- Back Throw: Based on German Suplex from Kirby's Suplex ability. Kirby backflips with the opponent, slamming them on the ground.
- Up Throw: Based on Air Drop from Kirby's Ninja ability. Kirby leaps up off the top of the screen with the opponent and then comes back down, slamming the opponent on the ground.
- Down Throw: Based on Fury Stomp from Kirby's Suplex ability. Kirby lays the opponent on the ground then rapidly stomps on them multiple times, finishing with a body slam.
|Kirby's Special Moves|
|Side Special||—||Hammer||Hammer Flip|
|Up Special||Final Cutter|
|Final Smash||—||Cook Kirby||Ultra Sword|
- Up Taunt: Raises a hand, throws out a star, and poses with a smile.
- Down Taunt: Looks at the screen waving with both hands while saying "Hi!".
- Side Taunt: Spins around and poses with a kick.
*Performing any taunt will discard Kirby's current Copy Ability if he has one.
- Crashes to the ground on a warp star, spins in the air and lands successfully.
- He feels tired.
- He looks to the other side.
Kirby summons two copies of himself when he is alone in the victory screen, resembling the victory dances from his original games. The copies disappear at the end of the dance.
- Jumps twice, walks back while waving his arms, spins and then finishes it with a pose.
- Does a flip and faces away from the screen briefly, then jumps and flips towards the screen again, and holds his hand up.
- Performs two sliding walks, spins, does a slide kick and poses similar to his Brawl artwork.
In competitive play
Initially, Kirby was seen as a low tier character as mot of the factors that held him back in SSB4 are retained, although SSBU 's mechanics better suit the pink puffball. Very big flaws include being easy to camp, his poor range, slow air speed, as well as platforms potentially negating all follow-ups should he start a combo with his forward throw.
Patches 6.0.0 and 8.0.0 eventually gave Kirby some of his biggest improvements : Some of his aerial attack gained more KO power and versatility, his ability to follow-up on platforms was partially restored, and he gained additional options for kill confirms. His results have noticeably improved as well, with players such as Jesuischoq and Ferretkuma placing well at both regional and national levels, with the former even defeating Glutonny (The world's best Wario. Because of these improvements, his perception has improved enough that he is often considered a mid-tier character. Some players have also recognized niche top-tier matchups Kirby can evade, thanks to his strong close-quarters combat game and crouch, notably Palutena and Fox.
Classic Mode: Gourmet Clash
Kirby's opponents are characters who, like Kirby, are known for their large appetites. For each battle, Kirby and his opponent each spawn with 35% damage and several food items appear on the stage as the match begins.
In Spirit Battles
As the Main Opponent
- Bob-omb (x3)
- King Bob-omb (Giant)
- Piantas (x8)
- Luma (x4)
- Lubba (Giant)
- Viruses (x3)
- X Parasite (x3)
- Star Rod (x4)
- Robobot Armor (Metal; x4)
- Whispy Woods (x5)
- Nightmare’s Power Orb (Giant)
- Waddle Dee (x4)
- Waddle Doo (x3)
- Scarfy (x4)
- Rocky (Metal)
- Prince Fluff
- Dugtrio (x3)
- Geodude (x4)
- Diancie (Reflect; x2)
- Pyukumuku (x4)
- Nihilego (x3)
- White Pikmin
- Rock Pikmin
- Unira (x4)
- Tomatrio (x3)
- Magkid (x4)
- Qbby (x4)
As a Minion
- Shine Sprite (x3)
- Hungry Luma
- Fighting Alloy Team (x4)
- Devil (x2)
- Munchy Monk (Tiny; x3)
- Dr. Lobe (x3)
- Clip & Snip
- River Survival
Role in World of Light
Kirby was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to assist in defeating an army of Master Hands.
After Galeem absorbed all of the Master Hands during the opening cutscene, he began to unleash beams of light that vaporized all of the fighters and later imprisoned all of them. Kirby was the sole survivor after escaping on his Warp Star, barely warping away from the beams before they could engulf him. Despite being the sole survivor, Kirby is still seen as a puppet in a few areas of the mode. It was later explained that Galeem had analyzed Kirby at some point during the story and was able to make puppet fighters in his image without needing Kirby himself.
Kirby crash-lands in a canyon area, and begins his quest to save the other fighters as the initial starting protagonist.
He is later seen alongside several other fighters, as they make their final stand against Galeem and Dharkon.
- Kirby, R.O.B., Meta Knight, Sonic, and Steve (as Zombie and Enderman) are the only characters who’s stick icons have eyes.
- Kirby’s may be due to his icon resembling a simplistic pink circle with nothing special without the eyes,
- By technicality, Bowser Jr.(as Larry) and Captain Falcon would fall into the the same category, but Larry’s irises are missing and the “eyes” on Capatian Falcon’s are those on his visor, not his actual eyes.
- Much like in SSB, Kirby’s render resembles his artwork for Kirby Super Star(Fun Pak in PAL regions).
- This render was also used as the basis of the official art for Kirby Fighters 2 ‘s Wrestler ability, with the addition of the mask and a angry expression. Said ability, coincidentally, also draws on several of Incineroar’s moves from Ultimate.
- Kirby is the only characters from his series to keep his Final Smash from Smash 4 to Ultimate.
- As part of the starting roster for both the game and World of Light, Kirby is never needed to be unlocked in Ultimate, and by extension the whole series.
- It is impossible to see the message “Kirby joins the battle!” as modifyng the game to say so (by making Kirby's Fighter Spirit rematchable) will not display Kirby’s name on the banner.
- Ironically enough, Kirby isn’t seen in advertising as much as other Starter characters, such as Mario and Link.
- Due his copy ability, Kirby has the most :
- voice clips in the game at 95(121 with all DLC).
- unique character models at 81, 648 including alternate costumes,
- Kirby is the only starter character whose unlock column lacks the other playable fighters of his series(Meta Knight is in Link’s, King Dedede is in Donkey Kong’s).
- Kirby is the only character permitted to taunt outside of Battle Arenas, though only to discard his current ability .
- Kirby’s aforementioned evasion of capture by Galeem(and later Dharkon) makes him one of the few characters the latter 2 don’t summon as false clones.
- However, Kirby appears in the most spirit battles at 60. Mr. Sakurai explains this may be due how Galeem was able to analyze him halfway through Kirby’s adventure in World of Light.
- Kirby, Link, King Dedede, Ryu and Mega Man are the only characters who’s boxing ring alias changed from the transition from Smash 4 to Ultimate.
- Kirby’s was changed from The Pink Puffball to the Pink Demon.
|Characters||Kirby (64 · Melee · Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)|
Meta Knight (Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)
King Dedede (Brawl · 3DS/Wii U · Ultimate)
|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)|
|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|