Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

Zero Suit Samus Guide: Matchup Chart and Combos

July 2022 Major Tier List Update!
13.0 Best Character Tier List

Patch Notes and Updates
All Update and Patch Note History
Ver. 13.0.1 Patch Notes and Balance Changes

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Zero Suit Samus Guide

This is a guide to using Zero Suit Samus in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Zero Suit Samus's bread and butter combos, how to unlock her, frame data, alt costumes and skins, as well as Zero Suit Samus's matchups, counters, and tier list placement can all be found here.

Zero Suit Samus Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Zero Suit Samus
Zero Suit Samus Image
Game Series Metroid
Smash Bros. Debut Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Fighter Number 29
Unlock Order 19
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 80 Units (77/87)
Dash Speed 2.31 (7/87)
Air Speed 1.26 (9/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.72 (28/87)
Special Attributes Crouch Walk, Wall Jump, Tether

Tier List Placement

SSBU Zero Suit Samus Icon A Tier Tier

A nimble fighter with great mobility

ZSS in Smash Ultimate excels in mobility, and she is also great at both catching opponent's landings and edgeguarding. Use her excellent speed to prolong her advantage state as long as possible. While she no longer has the powerful grab combos that made her so good in Smash 4, she has plenty of powerful combos and moves at her disposal in this game, making her a great fighter.

See Our Tier List Here!

Zero Suit Samus's Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Several recovery options to choose from (Up B, Down B, Side B)
・Great at edgeguarding (Forward Aerial, Back Aerial)
・Extremely quick
・Can paralyze and bury opponents to set up for follow-ups (B, Down B, Down Smash)
・Very good at snuffing out opponents' landings
Weaknesses ・Mediocre grab game
・Endlag on her Specials (B, Side B, Up B)
・Sometimes struggles to kill

Zero Suit Samus Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Zero Suit Samus Image
ChromDiddy KongInklingJokerOlimarPichuPikachuPokemon TrainerRoyWolf
BayonettaCloudDuck HuntFoxGreninjaLucinaPalutenaPiranha PlantSheikSonicTerryYoshiYoung Link
Banjo & KazooieBowserBylethCaptain FalconCorrinFalcoIkeIsabelleJigglypuffKenKirbyLinkLittle MacLucarioLucasMarioMarthMega ManMeta KnightMewtwoMii BrawlerMin MinNessPac-ManPeach/DaisyR.O.B.RobinRosalina & LumaRyuSephirothSnakeToon LinkVillagerWarioWii Fit Trainer
Bowser Jr.Donkey KongDr. MarioGanondorfHeroIce ClimbersIncineroarKing DededeKing K. RoolLuigiMii GunnerMii SwordfighterMr. Game & WatchPit/Dark PitRidleySamus/Dark SamusSimon/RichterZelda

Notes About Matchup Chart

1. -2 = Disadvantage. -1 = Slight Disadvantage or Even. 0 = Even. +1 = Slight Advantage or Even. +2 = Advantage.
2. The matchup chart was based around both the opinions of professional players of each character, as well as our own experience through playing Zero Suit Samus.
3. Characters within each tier are unordered
4. Pokemon Trainer's individual Pokemon (Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard) as well as Echo fighters with no significant difference than their regular counterpart are not shown.
5. For other characters who are not shown here, we are still investigating the matchup.

Good Matchups for Zero Suit Samus

Zero Suit Samus has a great matchup spread, and her mobility and frame data gives her a good matchup on a large majority of the cast. In particular, she does exceptionally well against characters with poor disadvantage state or recovery options like Luigi, Donkey Kong, or Wario, as well as characters who have inferior frame data when fighting up close, like (regular) Samus or Mega Man.

Zero Suit Samus Counters

Zero Suit Samus struggles against characters who have a mix of good frame data and range. Fast characters with big disjointed hitboxes like Shulk, Chrom, or Roy present a challenge to ZSS. Additionally, small and quick characters with great frame data like Pikachu and Pichu are very hard for her to land her attacks on, and she may have a tough time fighting them.

Zero Suit Samus Combos and How to Use

Usage Guide

The following video guide was made by DKBill, a Smash Bros. veteran with years of experience in the scene, and tons of tournaments under his belt. If you enjoy his video, be sure and check out the rest of his Youtube content and give him a like and subscribe!

Combo Chart

Bread and Butter Combos
① Neutral Air → Grab
(Works at lower percents)
② Neutral Air → Forward Air
③ Zair (Mid-Air Grab) → Grab
④ Up Air → Forward Air
⑤Down Tilt →Forward Air
⑥ Down Smash → Up Special

Bread and Butter Combos ① - ③

Combo 1
Combo 2
Combo 3
Neutral Air → Grab
Will connect with an opponent at low percents. Use Nair on the way down from a fast fall and connect with the first hit to land this combo. If an opponent seems likely to try and use an out of shield option, you can instead use a jab to cancel the nair's end lag and get a followup.
Neutral Air → Forward Air
Connects at a wide range of percents. This combo will do about 20% damage and is an essential combo for ZSS mains.
Zair (Mid-Air Grab) → Grab
Similar to combo ①, and will work at lower percents. With its long reach, Zair is good for poking, so it is a good spacing tool.

Bread and Butter Combos ④ - ⑥

Combo 4
Combo 5
Combo 6
Up Air → Forward Air
Connects at a wide range of percents. After you get the hang of fast falling with an up air, the fair should be easy to connect.
Down Tilt →Forward Air
This combo works at lower percents. Great for oppoents attempting to land.
Down Smash → Up Special
An essential kill confirm for higher percents. Down smash is very good against who roll towards you, like after a tech. Hitting them with a down smash and following it up with up b can clear their stock.

Zero Suit Samus Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Up Special 6 Frames
Forward Air 9 Frames
Up Air 9 Frames
Up Smash 10 Frames
Drop Shield > Jab 12 Frames
Drop Shield > Up Tilt 14 Frames
Shield Grab 15 Frames

Zero Suit Samus has a really quick out of shield punish in Boost Kick (her up special), since it comes out in only 6 frames. However, the hitbox is somewhat narrow, so it will generally only hit if the opponent is very close (or large). The move is quick and very powerful, allowing her KO reliably at pretty early percentages, but it is a big commitment, since whiffing it will leave ZSS very vulnerable to a follow-up, so be careful not to overuse it, or your opponent may try and bait it out.

After that, the best out of shield option varies by situation. For an opponent attacking head on with an unsafe option, forward air is a 9 frame out of shield option, and far less committal than Up B. Up Smash is a good option to use when an opponent attacks from above, and will come out in 10 frames. Grabbing from shield is generally not a great option, as it has slow startup, noticeable endlag, and doesn't provide much of a reward.

Jab (Neutral Attack)

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
1.8 1
Jab 2 1.8 2
Jab 3 3.6 3


Zero Suit Samus's jab is extremely fast, coming out on frame 1 (the fastest an attack can be). It is mainly used as a get-off-me tool, since it can break combos. Additionally, if used immediately upon landing with a neutral air, it will cancel the move's landing lag, and allow her to snuff out an opponent's attempt to use an out of shield option.

Dash Attack / Tilts

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
9.6 8
Dash Attack (Weak Hit) 6 10
Forward Tilt
(← or → + A, Horizontal)
8.4 6
Forward Tilt
(Angled Up or Down)
9.6 6
Up Tilt
(↑ + A)
6 3
Up Tilt 2 8.4 9
Down Tilt 9.6 8
Down Tilt (Sour Spot) 7.2 8

Dash Attack

Zero Suit Samus's dash attack has quick startup, as well as a long active hitbox, making it good for whiff punishing or catching a landing. It does not reliably combo into any of her other moves. It does cross up shield though, which is good for an occasional mixup.

Forward Tilt

Zero Suit Samus's forward tilt is a quick move that is good for spacing against opponents, thanks to its range. It has very little endlag, and can be angled up or down as needed (the up and down angled variants will deal slightly more damage).

Up Tilt

Zero Suit Samus's up tilt is extremely fast, coming out in just 3 frames. It hits on both her front and back side at the same time, making it a good anti aerial and quick punish.

Down Tilt

Zero Suit Samus's down tilt also comes out on frame 8, and hits low to the ground. It is great for poking at opponents due to being pretty safe on shield, and it is one of her combo starters, leading into forward air, etc.

Smash Attacks

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash
(Smash ← or → + A)
6 13
Forward Smash
(2nd hit)
13.2 26
Up Smash 1
(Smash ↑ + A)
4.8 10
Up Smash 2 0.96 14/17/20/23/26
Up Smash 3 3.6 28
Down Smash
(Smash ↓ + A)
9.6 20
Down Smash 1 (Weak Hit) 7.2 20

Forward Smash

Zero Suit Samus's forward smash has good range and decent startup, but due to the fact that it is so weak and unreliable for KOing, and it has so much end lag, it is not a move ZSS players should use often.

Up Smash

Zero Suit Samus's up smash has a very large hitbox that covers the area straight above her head. It has a long lasting hitbox and deals good damage, making it a great anti aerial for opponents who come from directly above. It can be used to start combos at low percents and KO at higher percents.

Down Smash

Zero Suit Samus's down smash has the unique effect of temporarily paralyzing an opponent, which lasts longer the higher percent they are at. It is very good to use at ledge, since it can 2-frame and cover a neutral get-up, and will allow her to follow up with a KO option such as Boost Kick or Up Smash.


1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Air
(A + no direction while airborne)
9.6 10
Neutral Air
(2nd Hit)
9.6 15
Forward Air
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
6 6
Forward Air (2nd Hit) 8.4 13
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
14.4 8
Back Air
(Sour Spot)
12 8
Up Air 1
(↑ + A While Airborne)
7.8 6
Down Air
(↑ + A While Airborne)
7.2 14
Down Air
(Grounded Opponent)
6 14
Down Air
6.6 1
(Midair Grab)
6 9

Neutral Air

Zero Suit Samus's neutral air has decent startup, good range, and is very safe on shield (-4), making it a great poking tool. If fast falled onto a shield, it can immediately be followed up with Zero Suit Samus's frame 1 jab to snuff out an attempt at an out of shield punish (though of course, better players will eventually catch on, so don't do it if they continue to shield).

It is also a great combo starter, with a variety of combo options at many percents, including a KO confirm into a flip kick off stage that can kill opponents from as early as ~30%.

Forward Air

Zero Suit Samus's forward air is tied with up air for her fastest aerial, and has very good range. It is used for both poking at an opponent and edgeguarding, but since it will hit diagonnally upward, it is best used simultaneously with a short hop. It also has combo potential, and can lead into some of her KO confirms.

Back Air

Zero Suit Samus's back air is quick and deals great damage. It has different hitboxes depending on which part of ZSS's leg connects with the opponent, with her foot dealing more damage and knockback. Since Zero Suit Samus can sometimes struggle to KO opponents, learning how to hit with the tip of this move is essential.

Up Air

Zero Suit Samus's up air is quick and covers roughly a 180 degree area from her front to her back. It is a combo extender for lifting opponents closer to the blast zone, and is also great for juggling opponents in general.

Down Air

Zero Suit Samus's down air will send her quickly to the ground with a dive kick, spiking any opponents it comes into contact with along the way. It has long endlag, and will lead to an SD if used offstage, so it is really only useful as an occasional mixup when landing (or for a stylish edgeguard if you are extremely confident you can hit your opponent with it off stage).


1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special
4.8 21
Neutral Special
(B, Max Charge)
7.2 43
Side Special (Hit 1)
(← or → + B)
2.4/1.44 21
Side Special
(Hits 2-4)
1.44 24/26/28
Side Special
(Final Hit)
9.6 31
Side Special
(← or → + B,Aerial, Hit 1)
2.4/1.44 21
Side Special
(Aerial, Hits 2-4)
1.44 24/26/28
Side Special
(Aerial, Hit 5-8)
4.8 31/37/42/46
Up Special
(↑ + B)
6 6
Up Special (Multi-Hit) 1.56 10
Up Special (Final Hit) 4.8 32
Down Special
(Hit 2)
16.8 9
Down Special
(Foostool Bury)
9.6 1

Neutral Special (Paralyzer)

Zero Suit Samus's neutral special is a projectile that will stun her opponent if it connects with them. It can be charged before releasing, which will increase the damage, range, and time it stuns the opponent. Note that unlike down smash, the amount of time an opponent is stunned doesn't differ based on percents, and you cannot chain stuns into each other.

Side Special (Plasma Whip)

Zero Suit Samus's unleashes a whip straight forward at the opponent. It has somewhat slow startup, but good range and a long lasting hitbox, and holding the special button will allow for follow up attacks. It is a great move for pressuring opponents at the ledge, and will KO fairly early when an opponent is hit with it by the ledge.

Additionally, if used when facing a ledge from off stage, it will act as a tether recovery. Z-air is a better option for a tether recovery, but side special's advantage lies in the fact that it can be reversed even if facing away from the stage.

Up Special (Boost Kick)

Zero Suit Samus's up special is a powerful kick that lifts Zero Suit Samus into the air, ending with a strong finishing hit. It is one of her most powerful KO moves, and can be comboed into from her aerials. The hitbox on it is rather narrow, so while it is a great out of shield option for finishing off opponents, note that it might miss if they are too far away.

As a recovery tool, it is somewhat mediocre, due to its little vertical distance, and the fact that it causes helplessness, so it is usually better to use down special for recovering instead.

Down Special (Flip Kick)

Zero Suit Samus's down special is one of her best moves, thanks to its versatility. Zero Suit Samus will perform a long flip kick, with intangibility granted in the startup frames, making it excellent to use for recovering from the stage in conjunction with her jumps.

Additionally, it is a powerful attack, and will automatically bury grounded opponents near it while it is active, and spike opponents in the air. By pressing the special button during the jump, a different kick will come out, which has a ton of knockback, as well as a meteor hitbox, allowing her to take early stocks.

Zero Suit Samus has combos into this move, with some resulting in an early offstage spike, so be sure and practice the move's timing.

Grabs and Throws

1v1 Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.56 1
Grab (Normal) - 15
Dash Grab - 17
Pivot Grab - 18
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
6 8
Forward Throw (Throw) 4.8 9
Back Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
2.4 9
Back Throw (Throw) 7.2 11
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
2.4 3
Up Throw (Throw) 9.6 5
Down Throw (Hitbox)
(↓ While Grabbing)
4.8 20
Down Throw (Throw) 4.8 22

Grab / Z-Air

Zero Suit Samus's grab is a tether with slow startup but good range. Its long startup means it is not really good as an out of shield option, and instead should be used as a hard read to grab opponents who have a habit of shielding a lot while approaching. Zero Suit Samus doesn't really get much off of her grabs however, and they are mostly used to gain stage control, or to try and setup an edgeguard.

When used in the air, Zero Suit Samus's grab functions as a tether recovery, allowing her to grab the ledge. It is also useful as an attack when on stage, as its long range and low endlag make it very safe on shield (-2), so it functions as one of her poking tools.

Forward Throw

Zero Suit Samus's forward throw doesn't KO or set up any combos, but it can be used to try and set up a tech chase on an opponent, gain stage control, or put an opponent off stage to set up an edgeguard.

Back Throw

Zero Suit Samus's back throw also doesn't KO or combo, so it is primarily used for stage control, or to set up an edgeguard.

Up Throw

Zero Suit Samus's up throw sends an opponent above her. It is her most damaging throw, and can lead into up air strings if you can read your opponent's movement, so it is typically her go-to throw. At higher percents, it can even KO.

Down Throw

Zero Suit Samus's sends an opponent upward, but has too much endlag to combo into anything, so generally up throw is the better option.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Zero Laser Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball Zero Suit Samus boards her ship and fires a powerful laser at the targeted area. It fires a multi-hit attack ending with a powerful final hit.

Zero Suit Samus Balance Changes

Ver 11.0.0 Changes

Neutral Air Increased the landing lag of the move.
Up Special Increased startup frames (4→6)

Ver 8.0 Changes

Final Smash Increased the amount of active frames on the final attack.

Ver 7.0 Changes

Down Special Shortened the time opponents are buried when stomped on.
Other Increased shield size.

Ver 4.0.0 Changes

Down Air Attack Immediately descend when using the attack after being launched.

Ver 3.1.0 Changes

Side Special Made it easier to hit multiple times.
Down Special Extended the travel distance when inputting left or right with the stick.

Ver 2.0.0 Changes

Side Smash Attack Shortened the launch distance when the attack hits the middle of an opponent's body.
Forward Air Attack Shortened the amount of time you cannot grab edges after using the move.
Up Air Attack Shortened the amount of time you cannot grab edges after using the move.
Down Special Shortened the amount of time undamaged opponents are buried.

Changes from Smash 4

Down Smash
(↓ + A)
Paralization time decreased. Nerf
Side B
(← or → + B)
Decreased the distance that it reaches the ledge from. Smaller recovery = Nerf
Down B
(↓ + B)
The distance she jumps after burrying opponents was decreased.

How to Unlock Zero Suit Samus

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
19th Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking Simon, let 10 minutes pass OR play another battle in smash after soft-resetting OR return to the menu from World of Light
Unlocking via Classic Mode
Clear Classing Mode 2 times using Fox.
Unlocking via World of Light
Raging Volcano

There are three ways to unlock Zero Suit Samus. Completing any of these, then defeating Zero Suit Samus when they appear in the “a New Challenger Appears” screen will allow you to use them afterward.

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Zero Suit Samus Alt Costumes and Skins

Zero Suit Samus Reveal Trailer

Smash Ultimate Character Guides

List of Fighters
Tier List
Tier List
Unlocking Characters
Unlocking Fighters

Character Stat Lists

Character Stats
Weights of All Characters Run Speeds of All Characters
Air Speeds of All Characters Fast Fall Speeds of All Characters


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