This article is about Samus' appearance in Super Smash Bros. Melee. For the character in other contexts, see Samus Aran.
A space warrior with an arsenal of long-range projectile weapons.
—Description from Melee's manual.

Samus (サムス, Samus) is a starter character in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Returning as a veteran from the previous game, Samus, similarly to Link, reprises her role as a short-ranged fighter with numerous ranged options. In addition, she received some powerful buffs, causing her to improve from a bottom-tiered character in Super Smash Bros. to a high-mid tiered character in Melee.

Samus currently ranks 11st on the current tier list, placing her in high-mid tier. This is mainly due to her numerous and effective projectiles, which adds to her KOing power and her approach on the ground, along with having a good air game and different recovery options off-stage including the ability to wall jump and use the Grapple Beam. However, she is a floaty character despite being a heavy weight making her easy to juggle and worsening her vertical endurance. Regardless, Samus has a large amount of advantageous matchups, three of which are close to unlosable (against Roy, Yoshi and Pichu).


Samus SSBM.png

Samus is a unique character. She is a tall heavyweight, but she also falls very slowly, which is an attribute usually not found in heavyweights. Her slow falling speed (the third slowest) allows her recovery to travel more distance and gives her better aerial game, but it also makes her easier to KO off the top, and makes her recovery fairly predictable. Samus's Up Special Move, Screw Attack, as well as her Down Special Move, Bomb, increase her recovery greatly, but her Bomb Recovery can be disrupted by certain projectiles. Samus has powerful projectiles in the form of two of her Special Moves, Charge Shot and Missile. However, they are not as useful against characters with reflectors, unless a grab is first used to immobilize the target. Samus's grab has the longest range in the game, but it is very situational because of startup and long lag afterwards if she misses her opponent. On the upside, the lag can be avoided by performing a dashing grab.

Samus has many advanced techniques including a fast and fairly long wavedash, Super Wavedash, Crouch cancel counter, and the ability to extend her already long grapple. Samus has the least average landing lag from her L-canceled aerials - all are 7 frames. On the downside, Samus has the slowest roll in the game. She also has a hard time comboing most characters. In the case of the Star Fox characters, it is hard to initiate the combos because the guaranteed ones require a grab.

Changes from Smash 64 to Melee

Samus has been drastically buffed from Smash 64 to Melee. She is often considered the most buffed character from Smash 64 to Melee along with Jigglypuff, due to increased power, attack speed, range, combo ability, and recovery, and by going from a low tier to a semi-viable tournament contender.


  • Buff.png Most of Samus's attacks are generally faster in terms of both startup and ending lag.
  • Buff.png Samus has a slightly faster air speed.
  • Buff.png Samus's recovery has been significantly improved as she now has many more options when launched off the stage due to Screw Attack giving much more vertical distance, and gaining the ability to bomb jump and tether (the latter of which is further improved by the directional air dodge).
  • Nerf.png Samus has a slower dashing speed.

Ground Attacks

  • Buff.png Up tilt now meteor smashes grounded opponents, making it more useful for both combos and KOing.
    • Buff.png Down tilt's animation has been changed to an explosive attack with her arm cannon, which is more powerful compared to her old down tilt in Smash 64.
  • Buff.png Dash attack is stronger and due to its improved knockback and no longer leaves Samus in a vulnerable position at moderate percentages.
  • Nerf.png Up smash has a lower maximum damage output (50% to 29%), and the individual hits no longer deal extra shield damage.
  • Buff.png Down smash is faster and more powerful.
    • Notice.png The animation of the attack is based off her down tilt animation in Smash 64.

Aerial Attacks

  • Nerf.png Back aerial is slower and has less range and power.
  • Buff.png Down aerial is much stronger, being the fifth strongest meteor smash in Melee.
    • Nerf.png Down aerial now has much longer startup, a trait shared with almost every character from Smash 64 to Melee.

Grabs and Throws

  • Buff.png Samus has been given an up throw and a down throw, providing her with more options.
  • Nerf.png Both forward and back throw deals less damage (16% → 9% and 18% → 8% respectively).
  • Buff.png Samus now has access to the extended grapple technique, which can be used to increase her grabbing range 3x the original length.

Special Moves

  • Buff.png A fully charged Charge Shot now deals extra shield damage.
    • Nerf.png The projectile now dissipates after traveling a certain amount of distance rather than continuing on forever until it hits something.
  • Buff.png Samus has a new side special move, Missile, which makes her shoot a missile which homes in onto an opponent. Using this move as a smash attack makes Samus shoot a Super Missile, a much stronger projectile that doesn't home onto opponents.
  • Nerf.png Screw Attack is unable to "trap" opponents within the multiple hits as easily.
  • Buff.png Using Bomb no longer disables Samus's midair jump before landing when used in midair. It also deals extra shield damage, and is a better gimping move on recovering opponents near the edge, due to the generally faster falling speeds in Melee.

PAL differences

Like some other characters, Samus has received some changes in the PAL version of Melee.

  • Nerf.png The extended grapple technique can no longer be performed.
  • Nerf.png Samus can no longer bomb out of a grapple.


  Image Name Damage Description
Neutral attack Samus Neutral attack SSBM.png   3% Samus performs a quick jab followed by a downward swing with her arm cannon. The second hit can be easily shielded or shield grabbed, making it difficult to connect both hits.
Forward tilt Samus Forward tilt SSBM.png   11% A spinning horizontal kick forward that has good range, excellent for stopping close-up foes in their tracks. You can aim this attack up or down.
Up tilt Samus Up tilt SSBM.png   13% (grounded), 12% (aerial) Samus raises her leg and brings it down in an axe-like fashion. This attack pops grounded opponents into the air, which can open up a follow-up attack.
Down tilt Samus Down tilt SSBM.png   14% Samus fires her arm cannon at the ground in front of her.
Dash attack Samus Dash attack SSBM.png   13% (clean), 9% (late) Samus rams into the opponent using her shoulder.
Forward smash Samus Forward smash SSBM.png   15% Samus thrusts her arm cannon forward. Deals surprisingly good knockback for a low-damaging smash attack. This attack can be angled up or down.
Up smash Samus Up smash SSBM.png Cover Fire 4% (hits 1-3), 5% (hit 4), 6% (hit 5) Samus fires multiple shots out of her arm cannon in an arc over her head. Deals below-average knockback.
Down smash Samus Down smash SSBM.png   16% (front), 15% (back) Samus does a sweepkick attack that hits on both sides. When this attack hits an opponent in the front of you, they will be launched backwards; and when it hits behind you, they will be launched forwards.
Neutral aerial Samus Neutral aerial SSBM.png   14% (clean), 10% (late) Samus performs a midair jump kick attack that has sex kick properties. Deals horizontal knockback.
Forward aerial Samus Forward aerial SSBM.png   5% (hits 1-5) Samus blasts her arm cannon in a downward arc in front of her.
Back aerial Samus Back aerial SSBM.png   14% (foot), 10% (leg) Samus performs a reverse back kick that very useful for edge-guarding.
Up aerial Samus Up aerial SSBM.png   3% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-5), 4% (hit 6) Samus does a spiraling drill kick upwards.
Down aerial Samus Down aerial SSBM.png   16% Samus swings her arm cannon in an arc below her. A powerful meteor smash, being the fifth most powerful in the game.
Grab aerial Samus Grab aerial SSBM.png Grapple Beam 4% Samus shoot out a long energy beam that's useful at keeping enemies at a distance.
Grab Samus Grab SSBM.png Grapple Beam Samus sends out her Grapple Beam to catch the opponent. It is the longest grab in the game which can be extended by using the extended grapple technique.
Pummel Samus Pummel SSBM.png   3% Chops the foe with her free hand.
Forward throw Samus Forward throw SSBM.png   9% Samus brings her opponent up with her Grapple Beam and launches them forward.
Back throw Samus Back throw SSBM.png   8% Samus flings the opponent away with her Grapple Beam.
Up throw Samus Up throw SSBM.png   7% Samus holds the opponent above herself with her Grapple Beam, then launches them upward.
Down throw Samus Down throw SSBM.png   6% Samus picks the foe up with her Grapple Beam and slams them onto the ground.
Floor attack (front) Samus Floor attack (front) SSBM.png   6% Samus gets up and kicks on both sides.
Floor attack (back) Samus Floor attack (back) SSBM.png   6% Samus stands on her arm cannon and does a spinning double kick.
Edge attack (fast) Samus Edge attack (fast) SSBM.png   10% Samus returns onto the stage and thrusts one foot out.
Edge attack (slow) Samus Edge attack (slow) SSBM.png   10% Samus slowly climbs onto the stage and attacks with her arm cannon.
Neutral special Charge Shot (SSBM).png Charge Shot 3-25% When the B button is pressed, Samus will start charging a ball of energy that gets larger, stronger, and faster with more charge. Pressing the B button again during the charge will fire the shot, while pressing the L or R button will cancel the charge and allow Samus to store her current charge. When used in the air, Samus will fire the shot, regardless of its charge level.
Side special Missile (SSBM).png Missile 5% (homing), 12% (super) Samus fires a homing missile at a nearby opponent. When inputted smash attack, Samus will instead fire a Super Missile that travels farther and deals more damage, but only travels horizontally. Samus can only fire two Missiles at a time.
Up special Screw Attack (SSBM).png Screw Attack Ground: 2% (hit 1), 1% (hits 2-12)
Air: 1% (hits 1-12)
Samus leaps into the air while curling up in a ball, striking anyone caught in her tracks multiple times. This attack is mainly a recovery move.
Down special Bomb Samus (SSBM).png Bomb 4% (contact & explosion) Samus drops a timed bomb in her Morph Ball form, which explodes after a few seconds. If Samus comes in contact with an exploding bomb, she will leap a small distance upward, which can help her when recovering.


  • Samus holds her arm cannon upright.


Super Smash Bros. Melee Character Matchups
  Fox Head 01 (SSBM).png Falco Head 01 (SSBM).png Marth Head 01 (SSBM).png Sheik Head 01 (SSBM).png Jigglypuff Head 01 (SSBM).png Peach Head 01 (SSBM).png Ice Climbers Head 01 (SSBM).png Captain Falcon Head 01 (SSBM).png Pikachu Head 01 (SSBM).png Samus Head 01 (SSBM).png Dr. Mario Head 01 (SSBM).png Yoshi Head 01 (SSBM).png Luigi Head 01 (SSBM).png Ganondorf Head 01 (SSBM).png Mario Head 01 (SSBM).png Young Link Head 01 (SSBM).png Donkey Kong Head 01 (SSBM).png Link Head 01 (SSBM).png Mr. Game & Watch Head 01 (SSBM).png Roy Head 01 (SSBM).png Mewtwo Head 01 (SSBM).png Zelda Head 01 (SSBM).png Ness Head 01 (SSBM).png Pichu Head 01 (SSBM).png Bowser Head 01 (SSBM).png Kirby Head 01 (SSBM).png Avg.
Samus.png ±0 ±0 -1 -1 -1 ±0 +1 -1 ±0 Mirror match ±0 +3 +1 -1 +1 +1 -1 -1 +1 +3 +1 ±0 +2 +3 +2 +2 +1

Trophy descriptions

In addition to the normal trophy about Samus as a character, there are two trophies about her as a fighter, unlocked by completing the Adventure and All-Star modes respectively with Samus on any difficulty.

This intergalactic bounty hunter's full name is Samus Aran. Clad in a Power Suit made by the Chozo race and infused with their enhanced blood, she cleared the planet Zebes of a Metroid infestation. Samus is an orphan, the sole survivor of a Space Pirate raid that destroyed an Earth colony named K-2L.
  • Game: Metroid
Samus Aran (Smash Red)
Samus has an abundance of projectile weapons, making her a long-distance attack specialist. The most powerful weapon in her arsenal is her Charge Shot, but be warned: it can be reflected. Her Missiles have homing capabilities, but when fired as Smash Attacks, they fly on a straight trajectory and have boosted power.
Samus Aran (Smash Blue)
While Samus's arsenal of missile weapons is indeed formidable, her enemies are in for a rude awakening if they guard against nothing else. Her Grappling Beam captures foes and latches on to walls, and the Screw Attack drags foes upward in a series of spins that doubles as a recovery move. Samus can also use her Bombs to perform Bomb Jumps.

Alternate Costumes

Samus's alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Melee.


  • Samus is the only returning character from Smash 64 with the least changes in her moveset. The only changed attacks were the down tilt (which is now is a cannon explosion) and the speed of her down aerial. Also, Samus' up smash and forward aerial were given updated effects.