Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

Dark 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 Dark Samus Guide

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

Dark Samus Tier and Overview

Stats and General Info

Dark Samus
Dark Samus Image
Game Series Metroid
Smash Bros. Debut SSBU
Fighter Number 4E
Unlock Order 50
Number of Jumps 2
Weight 108 Units (10/87)
Dash Speed 1.654 (50/87)
Air Speed 1.103 (34/87)
Fast Fall Speed 2.128 (75/87)
Special Attributes Wall Jump, Tether

Tier List Placement

SSBU Dark Samus Icon A Tier Tier

A long ranged zoner best played defensively

Just like regular Samus, Dark Samus is very good at long to mid range, allowing it to use its specials to keep opponents away and limit their options. It has access to KO moves such as Charged Shot, Forward Aerial, as well as its up throw, and also has relatively good aerial attacks.

Conversely, Dark Samus struggles at close range, and will have a hard time dealing with characters who have reflectors / energy absorbing attacks, as well as quick characters with good frame data. Bombs (Down B) and B Reversing can be used to mix up its movement, allowing you to bait your opponents and land a charge shot to seal stocks.

Differences from Samus

For the most part, changes between Samus and Dark Samus are mainly aesthetic, although there are a few very minor differences with some of their moves. Dark Samus has a slightly better roll, and a few moves with slightly larger hitboxes, so if you are unsure of which Samus to use, Dark Samus is the better option.

See Our Tier List Here!

Dark Samus's Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths ・Access to several powerful projectiles that allow it to zone out opponents
・Several long lasting aerial attacks
・Down Special (bombs) allows for it to mix up its recovery
・Relatively quick and long lasting aerials
・High survivability thanks to heavyweight class
Weaknesses ・Slow startup on most moves
・Struggles to fight up close
・Floaty, and easy to combo

Dark Samus Matchup Chart

Matchup Chart

Dark Samus Image
Duck HuntFoxOlimarWolfZero Suit Samus
FalcoGreninjaJokerMarioMin MinMr. Game & WatchPalutenaPikachuRosalina & LumaRoySheikVillagerYoung Link
Banjo & KazooieBayonettaCaptain FalconChromCloudHeroIkeInklingIsabelleLinkLucarioLucasLucinaMarthMega ManMeta KnightMewtwoMii BrawlerMii GunnerMii SwordfighterNessPac-ManPichuR.O.B.RobinSephirothShulkSimon/RichterSnakeSonicSteveToon LinkWarioWii Fit TrainerZelda
BowserBowser Jr.BylethCorrinDiddy KongDonkey KongDr. MarioIce ClimbersJigglypuffKenKing K. RoolLittle MacPeach/DaisyPit/Dark PitPokemon TrainerRidleyRyuTerryYoshi
GanondorfIncineroarKing DededeKirbyPiranha Plant

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 Dark 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 Dark Samus

With a wide variety of projectiles, as well as a good OOS option, Dark Samus has a good matchup on big body and slow moving characters, as well as characters who cannot safely pressure shield. Thus, characters like Ganondorf, Kirby, and Piranha Plant, who are slow and cannot effectively counter its projectiles, will have a hard time closing the gap to fight up close.

Dark Samus Counters

Characters with reflectors can turn Dark Samus's main line of offense against it, and it also cannot fight up close against characters with good frame data, so characters like Fox and Wolf are extremely difficult matchups for it. Duck Hunt is a character who is also able to counter with its own zoning, which can make it hard for Dark Samus's projectiles to hit their mark.

How to Beat Dark Samus

Close the gap and see how DarkSamus reacts

As Dark Samus has no real reason to fight up close, it will usually stand near the ledge and use a mixture of missles and charge shot. It's up to you to weave through its projectiles to get in close, using a mix of jumping, shielding, spot dodging, and parrying. Once you get up close, Samuses will typically do one of three things: grab (most common), short-hop fair (2nd most common), or shield (3rd most common). A good Dark Samus will mix this option up each time, but some of them have one particular option they prefer, so watch out for it and try to counter.

If you expect the Dark Samus to grab, jump just before entering its grab range to hit it with an aerial. If you expect it to use Fair, shield and punish with an out of shield option. And if you expect it to shield, go for a grab, or bait out its Up B with a safe aerial, then punish. Note that there are other options they might pick as well, such as spot dodging or going offstage, so take a mental note of which options they go for most frequently.

Stay conscious of charge shot

This is Dark Samus's #1 tool in neutral, as it does damage and KOs at higher percents. Never forget that it might use it at any time, and if it is fully charged, you will see it blinking. Be aware of when charge shot is ready, and have a plan to either dodge or counter it before it hits you. Reflectors can send it back, energy absorbers (PK Magnet, etc) can absorb it, and certain items (all of the Link's bombs, etc) can nullify it. When uncharged, many aerials can even nullify it, so your whole game plan should be based around how to work around this move.

Dark Samus Combos

Bread and Butter Combos
Up Air━Up Air━Up Special
Up Tilt┳Up Smash
   ┣Up Air
   ┣F Tilt
   ┣Up Special
   ┣D Tilt
Advanced Combos
Down Special━Dair
(A killing combo after a shield break)

Bread and Butter Combos Guide

Combo 1
Combo 2
Combo 3
Up Air Combos
Use Up Air→Up Air→Up Special on low-percentage opponents. For lighter characters, this combo will stop landing from 25%. (Heavier characters can be caught in this combo up to 50%)
Down Throw Combos
Down throw to neutral air combo is an easy and effective Dark Samus combo that can be used on various opponents from 0-110% depending on their size. For lower percents, down throw→short hop→neutral air will land, and for middle to higher percents, down throw→full hop→neutral air will connect.
Up Tilt Combos
Up tilt combos can be connected on ground opponents between 5-80%. Be careful when landing just the edge of up tilt on lower percentage opponents. It will not combo. When your opponents are at low percents, it will be easier to land grounded attacks, and when in middle to higher percents, it will be easier to land aerials.

Advanced Combos Guide

Killing Combo After Shield Break
Dark Samus can pressure opponents at the edge with down special→jump→down air to perfrom a meteor smash. On a shield-broken opponent near the ledge, this is a easy way to get a confirmed KO.

Dark Samus Frame Data and Moveset

Best Out of Shield Options

Move Frames
Up B 4 Frames
Up Air 8 Frames
Neutral Air 11 Frames
Up Smash 11 Frames

Up Special is by far Dark Samus's best out of shield option, at only 4 frames. It's quick startup is enough to punish most moves, but beware that if missed, Dark Samus will go into helplessness and be easy to punish. Shield grab takes 19 frames, so it is not viable in terms of on OOS punish, unless the move hitting shield was extremely slow.

Jab (Neutral Attack)

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Jab 1
3.6 3
Jab 2 9.6 6

Jab (Neutral Attack)

The move hits twice, but due to the second hit's long startup, it often doesn't connect, so it's usually a good idea to stop before it comes out.

Dash Attack / Tilts

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Dash Attack
(Dash + A)
12 10
Dash Attack (Beginning Hit) 8.4 8
Dash Attack (Weak Hit) 7.2 14
Forward Tilt (Tilted Up)
(← or → + A)
9.6/10.8/12/13.2 8
Forward Tilt (Tilted Down)
(← or → + A)
9.6/10.8/12/13.2 8
Forward Tilt (Normal)
(← or → + A)
8.4/9.6/10.8/12 8
Up Tilt (Grounded Opponent)
(↑ + A)
15.6 15
Up Tilt (Opponent in Air)
(↑ + A)
14.4 15
Down Tilt
(↓ + A)
14.4 6

Dash Attack

Sends opponents upward, and can cross up shields, although it has significant endlag, making it punishable, and it does not combo. It is a decent KO option at higher percents though.

Forward Tilt

This is a pretty quick move with decent range. The hitbox on Dark Samus's foot deals the most damage, so it's important to space properly. Can also be angled up or down.

Up Tilt

With relatively low endlag, this is a decent move to throw out against opponents above you. It can also be used to hit opponents on the ledge after their invulnerability runs out.

Down Tilt

Dark Samus's down tilt has quick startup, but lots of endlag, and is very unsafe on shield. It is easy to counter if whiffed, so don't throw it out mindlessly.

Smash Attacks

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Forward Smash (Tilted Up)
(Smash ← or → + A)
15.6/15.6/18 10
Forward Smash (Tilted Down)
(Smash ← or → + A)
13.2/13.2/16.2 10
Forward Smash (Normal)
(Smash ← or → + A)
14.4/14.4/16.8 10
Up Smash Hit 1
(Smash ↑ + A)
3.6 11
Up Smash Hit 2 3.6 15
Up Smash Hit 3 3.6 19
Up Smash Hit 4 3.6 23
Up Smash Hit 5 7.2 27
Down Smash Hit 1
(Smash ↓ + A)
12 9
Down Smash Hit 2 14.4 17

Forward Smash

At 10 frames, it has pretty decent startup. Sends opponents very far forward, so it is a good KO option.

Up Smash

Dark Samus attacks above itself, so it usually won't hit grounded opponents. From start to finish, it is a long move, so beware of endlag. A decent oos option, but not her quickest.

Down Smash

Attacks in front of and behind Dark Samus. It is Dark Samus's fastest smash attack, and can be used to hit opponents grabbing on the ledge.


Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Air Hit 1
(A + no direction while airborne)
12 8
Neutral Air Hit 2
(A + no direction while airborne)
10.8 14
Neutral Air Hit 2
(Late Hit)
9.6 16
Forward Air
(Hold ← or → in the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
3.6 6
Forward Air (Hits 2-4) 1.92 12/18/24
Forward Air (Hit 5) 6.0 30
Back Air
(← or → Opposite of the direction you are facing + A while airborne)
14.4/16.8 9
Back Air
(Late Hit)
10.8 11
Up Air 1
(↑ + A While Airborne)
3.6 5
Up Air Hits 2-4 1.56 7/10/13
Up Air Hit 5 4.8 16
Down Air (Early Hit)
(↓ + A While Airborne)
12 17
Down Air (Spike) 16.8 19
Down Air (Late Hit) 12 22
(Grab while in Air)
1.8 8
3.6 16

Neutral Air

This move has pretty decent horizontal knockback, and is -5 on shield, so it is somewhat safe. Landing it will allow Dark Samus to put some space in between her and an opponent, letting her play at mid/long range where they do best. Can also be used for edgeguarding and KOing.

Forward Air

With its range and long lasting hitbox, this is a good move for opponents getting in close. It's unsafe on shield, so the main place to use it is either after a down throw, when recovering from ledge (drop down, jump, fair), or when reading a jump.

Back Air

Dark Samus's back air has great range, and is the strongest of her aerials. It is -9/-10 on shield, so not exactly safe, although it is a good KO move, and can even be comboed into from an uncharged neutral B.

Up Air

Dark Samus's fastest aerial. If it hits, you can follow up with another up air, or an up special. Good for juggling opponents.

Down Air

The move has rather slow startup, but it does have a meteor hitbox, so you can spike opponents trying to recover low. If it hits an opponent on stage, you can follow up with an up air or up special.


Damage (%) Startup Frames
Neutral Special (Not Charged)
6.0 16
Neutral Special (Fully Charged)
33.6 16
Side Special (Homing Missile)
(← or → + B)
9.6 18
Side Special (Super Missile)
(← or → + B)
14.4 21
Up Special (Grounded)
(↑ + B)
3.6 4
Up Special (Continuous Hits)
(↑ + B)
1.2 7
Up Special (Last Hit)
(↑ + B)
2.4 25
Up Special (Continuous Hits)
1.2 5
Up Special (Last Hit)
1.2 27
Down Special (Bomb)
(↓ + B)
4.8 33
Down Special
(Bomb Explosion)
6.0 1

Neutral Special (Charge Shot)

Perhaps the most important part of Dark Samus's gameplan. Pressing B will initiate a charge, and pressing it again will release it. Once fully charged, it can be released at any time with B, to deal around 30 damage to an opponent, which also KOs at higher percents.

While charging, jumping, shielding, rolling, or spot dodging will allow you to cancel the charge so you can resume later (if midair, double jumping or air dodging also works). Charge the move at any spare opportunity you have (such as after KOing, or when you don't think you will be able to get an edgeguard), and try to read your opponent's movement to hit them in the air or offstage.

Side Special (Homing Missile/Super Missile)

Fires a missile straight ahead which, when a smash input is used, will become a stronger missile. These are used in conjuction with charge shot for stage control and to limit and opponent's movement. One super missile and two homing missiles can be out at a single time.

Up Special (Screw Attack)

This move has incredibly fast startup, and is great as an out of shield option. Dark Samus becomes invulnerable during its startup, allowing her to sometimes stage spike opponents who try and edgeguard her offstage. It also deals considerable upward knockback, so it can be used to KO.

Down Special (Bomb)

Another projectile that can be used for stage control. This move is also very useful for mixing up Dark Samus's recovery, as it allows her to stall her movement. In some cases, it can be used to 2-Frame opponents.

Grabs and Throws

Damage (%) Startup Frames
Pummel 1.3 1
Grab (Normal) - 15
Dash Grab - 17
Pivot Grab - 18
Forward Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
12 16
Back Throw (Hitbox)
(← or → While Grabbing)
12 12
Up Throw (Hitbox)
(↑ While Grabbing)
6.0 15
Up Throw (Throw) 8.4 16
Down Throw (Hitbox)
(↓ While Grabbing)
9.6 21

Forward Throw

Dark Samus's forward throw doesn't have much knockback, so it is only really used to throw opponents offstage if Dark Samus is facing that direction. Use it to set up an edgeguard.

Back Throw

If you are standing at the edge and you catch an opponent with a grab, it can be used to throw them offstage. At higher percents it can KO.

Up Throw

This move can KO at higher percents (150%+), so it is a KO option from midstage.

Down Throw

At low to mid percents, this sets up for a combo into Fair. When an opponent moves in to Dark Samus and you read that they will shield, grabbing them, then using down throw into Fair is a good option to send them away.

Final Smash

Attack How to Use Effect
Phazon Laser Press B after obtaining the Smash Ball A massive laser that fires across the screen. While firing, the beam can be angled up or down. It unleashes several multi hits on the characters caught in the blast for massive damage.

Dark Samus Balance Changes

Version 7.0.0 Balance Patch

Dash Attack Increased the power of the beginning of the attack.
Up Smash Attack Extended launch distance.
Down Smash Attack Extended launch distance.
Up Throw Extended launch distance.
Other Increased power of midair grab.
Increased the amount of time hit detection lasts for midair grab.
Increased shield size.
Made the right arm briefly invincible after activating shield.

Version 4.0.0 Balance Patch

Up Smash Attack Shortened launch distance when the full combo doesn't connect.

Version 3.1.0 Balance Patch

Up Smash Attack Made it easier to hit multiple times.

Version 3.0.0 Balance Patch

Neutral Special Reduced the power against shields.

Version 2.0.0 Balance Patch

Down Special Reduced vulnerability.

How to Unlock Dark Samus

Unlocking Via Smash Mode
50th Fighter Unlocked
After unlocking PAC-MAN, 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 5 times using Samus.
Unlocking via World of Light
The Final Battle

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

How to Unlock Characters Fast

Dark Samus Alt Costumes and Skins

Dark Samus Reveal Trailer

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Tier List
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