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Full Guide to Everything Zero Suit Samus

Full Guide to Everything Zero Suit Samus

Game Versions
Smash 3DS, Smash Wii U
Hi everyone and welcome to my guide for my main, Zero Suit Samus! Here I will be covering everything I can think of about the character including move set, combos, play style, pro players, and more! This guide will be consistently updated as new discoveries are made with the character. If there is anything I missed or is incorrect, please leave it in the comments, and if anyone would like to play friendlies, My NNID is Intelctalmeatbal.

For detailed information on Frame Data, knockback values, fall speed, and more, go Here

Guide Vocabulary

  • Utilt: Up Tilt

  • Dtilt: Down Tilt

  • Ftilit: Forward Tilt

  • Usmash: Up Smash

  • Dsmash: Down Smash

  • Fsmash: Forward Smash

  • Uair: Up Aerial

  • Dair: Down Aerial

  • Fair: Forward Aerial

  • Bair: Back Aerial

  • Nair: Nuetral Aerial

  • Zair: Grab Aerial

  • Uthrow: Up Throw

  • Dthrow: Down Throw

  • Fthrow: Forward Throw

  • Bthow: Back Throw
  • RAR: Reverse Aerial Rush (Pivot and then instantly jump to perform Bair with combos instead of Fair)
  • SH: Short Hop
Contact Me

Email: Bbrown@Chadwickschool.org

Smashboards: Free33

Facebook: Benjamin Brown (SoCal)

Move Set

Jab: 6%

ZSS’s jab is a 3-hit punch combo. The 1st and 2nd hits both do 1.5%, and the 3rd hit 3%. ZSS’s jab is great. It comes out on frame 1, making it one of the fastest jabs in the game. Overall it is a great “get off me” move. Its frame 1 hit means you can use it to consistently beat grabs. Also, ZSS moves forward as she does the three hits, so even if you don’t hit the first hit, might hit the others or just the third. This also allows ZSS to cross up the opponent with a jab on shield when close enough. I find it very helpful to use if I miss a Nair in front of my opponent. Jab 1 also is a mixup into up B for an easy kill combo.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: Up B (only Jab 1)

· High Percent: Up B (only Jab 1)

Dash Attack: 8% at beginning 5% at end

ZSS’s rocket boots flare, and she strikes forward with her knee. The move is a decent dash attack. It does solid damage, and hits the opponent into the air above ZSS, in perfect range for Uair juggling. ZSS speeds up when the move is initiated, which can catch people off guard. The move stays out for surprisingly long, and allows you to catch an opponent trying to land. However, the ending lag is really bad, make it easy to punish. But if someone shields it, you can go past him/her, making it a bit more difficult to punish. Generally only use this move in safe situations like catching a landing option or in a combo such as from nair or zair.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Ledge Getup Attack: 7%

ZSS pulls herself off of the ledge and sticks her foot out flat on the stage.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Getup Attack: 7%

ZSS does a quick windmill dance with her feet then stands up. Like most getup attacks, it does a surprising amount of shield damage.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None


Up Tilt: 12%

ZSS does a handstand scissor kick for good damage. It has almost no start up, but has a bit of end lag. I love this move a lot. Especially out of a spot dodge. Spot dodge to up tilt is an easy fake out/punish against opponents with single hit moves. This move not only puts people directly above you to set up for juggles, but it also kills at high percent. This move is ZSS’s only move that hits on both sides of her, so you can use it to catch rolls, but only if they roll right next to you. This move will straight up miss short characters if they are right next to you, so be careful. This move is very useful, but don’t spam it as its ending lag can be punished. The legs also have invincibility during the move, making it a surprisingly effective anti-air.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Down Tilt: 8%

ZSS falls flat to the floor and does a spin kick out in front of her. This move has a few good qualities. First, ZSS moves forward a good amount when she performs this move, which can make people mis-space. It also has slightly more range than her Ftilt because of this movement. Also, while executing the move, ZSS is so flat to the ground that she can go under many things, such as Fox’s/Falco’s lasers, Sheik’s needles if timed right, and many other attacks. It hits opponents at an upward and forward trajectory, so it is good for getting people into the air for juggling. It also hits opponents hanging on the ledge. However, this move does have a solid amount punishable ending lag, so I usually opt for Ftilt instead, except when facing short characters like Pikachu, who GO UNDER THE MOVE WHY ARE YOU SO GODDAMN SHORT!!!!!!! This move is probably ZSS's least used move in high level play due to the high amount of lag. While it does have some use, it is pretty much outclassed by her other moves.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Forward Tilt: 7%

This move is great. It has decent range, decent knockback, close to no startup or ending lag, and good tripping ability. It can be angled up or down, and is a great alternative to her jab--Slower, but with a better range. Angled down, it can be used much more effectively against short characters. You can put this move out pretty safely. Overall it is a great Ftilt that is great in the neutral. I recommend using this on opponents who like to roll, because you can do two of these back and forth in the span of a roll. Furthermore, it can slide opponents off ledges at low percents, allowing for jab locks on platform stages.


· Low Percent: If the opponent misses a tech, you can read the getup.

· Mid Percent: If the opponent misses a tech, you can read the getup.

· High Percent: None

Smash Attacks

Up Smash: 11%-15%

ZSS’s Usmash is weird. She spins her plasma whip in the air above her. All along the whip there are tons of little hit boxes that do 1% each. The move has a huge hit box above ZSS, and also hits a little bit in front of her. The front-facing hit box is the most damaging, as it has its own hit box that does 4%, and then drags the opponent into the other hit boxes above ZSS. The percentages I got for this move were from hitting the opponent in front of me, but this move will vary in percentage greatly based on where you hit the opponent. This move has a lot of range, making it an amazing anti-air, and little startup or ending lag for a smash attack. However, its large amount of active frames make it very punishable on whiff. No more For Glory Toon Links raining down upon you! This move kills at very high percent (around 130%)


· Low Percent: Uair or Bair (tight execution)

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Down Smash: Sweet spot 8%-11% Sour spot 6%-8%

ZSS points her stun gun down at the ground in front of her and shoots. Any opponent hit by the blast will be stunned, allowing you to follow up with anything really. The longer you hold it, the more time the opponent is stunned. The stun time also goes up with the opponent's percent. The middle of the gun blast is the sweet spot, and the edge is the sour spot. There is no difference between the two in terms of stun time, only in damage. This move is fantastic. Anytime you land it, it is a guaranteed combo starter, kill set up, or anything else you want it to be. It has very little startup and ending lag, and is her most useful smash. Its only problem is that unlike most down smashes, it only hits on one side, which makes it hard for ZSS to catch rolls. But otherwise, it is an amazing move! It also hits people below the ledge if timed right. For flashier and more effective combos, you can wait until the opponent suffers the knockback of the move after the stun is over, which puts them in the air diagonally in front of you. It is safe on shield in most situations, and is a good tool in neutral with high reward and fairly low risk.


You can do literally any move out of this. The opponent is stunned right next to you! Here are some of the best ones...

· While in stun: Up b, Fsmash, Short Hop-Nair (Combo starter), Grab, Down B, SH landing Uair

· Run in front and jump into: Uair-Uair-Up B, RAR Bair, Fair, Up B

· Offstage opponent: Fsmash, Run off the stage and Bair

Forward Smash: 1st hit 5%-7% 2nd hit 11%-15%

ZSS does two kicks out in front of her with her rocket boots. The first kick leads to the second one, but the second can hit individually. The Fsmash is a pretty average smash with a few perks. It has good kill power, average lag for a smash, and best of all, has two hits. This makes this move very good for two reasons. 1. If opponents try to spot dodge it, they may get hit by the second kick, which is the hit with the actual kill power. 2. If someone tries to counter it, it’s not a big deal because the first kick has almost no power, so the counter attack won’t do much to you. This is overall a great smash attack. Use it to punish spot dodges, rolls, laggy moves, etc. It’s a smash attack.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None


Up Air: 6.5%

ZSS does an aerial back flip, kicking above herself. This move is very similar to Captain Falcon’s Uair. Solid damage, combos into itself at low to mid percent, kills at high percent, has good range, has little end lag, and auto cancels on landing. Overall a great move. Use and abuse it. Note that at early percents it is unsafe on hit, meaning if you hit your opponent with Uair (say out of a Dthrow), the opponent can punish you for using it if they fastfall a low startup move like a Nair, such as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Ness.


· Low Percent: Uair, Utilt, Usmash

· Mid Percent: Jump-Uair, Up B, Bair, Down B (airdodge read)

· High Percent: jump-down B (air dodge read), Uair (only from landing Uair)

Down Air: air hit 6% ground hit 10%-11% both 11%-12%

AKA the suicide kick. Using this move makes ZSS point her foot downward and shoot towards the ground very fast at a slightly diagonal angle. This move has solid damage, and kills at very high percent. It sends the opponent diagonally up if you hit them on the ground, and spikes if you hit them in the air. The only problem is that it doesn’t stop, or at least not for a very long time, so if you use it off the stage, you die. Yes it does have a spike, and yes you can try to catch people on the ledge with it, but missing means death, and hitting also means death. It is not guaranteed who dies first anyway, so it is incredibly risky. Onstage however, this move has its uses. It can be used for landing due to its speed, and it can be used to punish laggy moves or aerials. But mostly it is used as a mix up. Another good use for it is that it can go right through projectiles. Say Ness or Lucas is juggling you with PK thunder. Use this move, and you will shoot straight through the PK Thunder, destroying it and hitting the opponent. Don’t spam this move however, as it does have some landing lag. Not as much as you think it would, but it is still pretty punishable. Again, this move does have its uses, but when going for a spike, please just use the Flip Kick. Don’t be Nairo. Only spike with it if you are ahead in stock.


· Low Percent: if used into the ground, sometimes you can jump into a Fair or Bair.

· Mid Percent: if used into the ground, sometimes you can jump into a Fair or Bair.

· High Percent: None

Forward Air: 1st hit 5% 2nd hit 7% both 12%

ZSS does a double kick in front of her face. The two kicks combo into each other, dealing good damage. This move is fast, auto cancels on the ground, has little aerial lag, and kills at high percent. It finishes combos well. Furthermore, hitting the first kick on a grounded opponent is an easy Jab lock setup with uncharged charge shot. Also, in the air, it strings into Zair. Overall, this is a great move. Use it to edge guard, combo, and anything else.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Back Air: 12%

ZSS twists around and kicks backwards with one leg. This move comes out very fast, auto cancels, has very little lag, and can be used out of a short hop. This move is used for killing. It does great damage and knockback, killing below 100% in certain situations. This is a perfect edge guarding aerial. It just kills in general very well. It is also safe on shield when spaced. Use this move for killing, spacing and edge guarding.


· Low Percent: Bair

· Mid Percent: Down B (must frame sync Bair)

· High Percent: None

Neutral Air: 8%

ZSS whirls her plasma whip once around her body. The move never stales, so it always does 10%, allowing you to abuse it without it going down in damage or knockback. This move is definitely one of ZSS’s most important moves. It has decent range, comes out fairly quickly, and auto cancels on the ground. It has a little bit of ending lag in the air, but is not too punishable. This move is ZSS’s main spacing move. You want to short hop fast fall Nair a lot for spacing. This move combos into many things as well due to its low knockback and electricity effect (all moves with electricity have increased hitstun). Use and abuse this move. This move provides good shield pressure if spaced far or faded back on shield, but can be easily punished if landed on a shield without proper spacing. When hitting a shield, try to space this move as low to the ground as possible in order to have positive frames on shield.
Combos: (This move only combos if auto cancelled on the ground. Will not combo if used in the air.)

· Low Percent: Grab, dash attack, Dsmash, Ftilt, Dtilt

· Mid Percent: Uair, Fair, RAR Bair, Down B, Up B (Must frame sync Nair)

· High Percent: Zair

Grab-Air (Z Air): 3%

ZSS extends her plasma whip out in front of her in a straight line. The hit box is only at the tip of the whip so you have to be careful when spacing it, or it will go through the opponent, leaving you open. This move has amazing horizontal range. It allows you to put pressure on you opponent from a distance, and is one of your best spacing options. It auto cancels onto the ground, but in the air it has lots of ending lag, so do not use it while in the air. This move doubles as a tether, allowing ZSS to grab the stage with her whip from great distance. However, her Forward Special executes the tether as well, and it has less lag, so I just use that. But overall it is a great spacing and zoning tool onstage. Use it wisely.

Combos (This move only combos if auto cancelled on the ground. Will not combo if used in the air.)

· Low Percent: Dash Grab, Dash Attack

· Mid Percent: SH Fair

· High Percent: None


Neutral Special: Uncharged 4% Charged 6%

ZSS shoots a medium-speed laser from her gun, which stuns anyone who is hit by it for a certain amount of time. This move is very important. The stun time does not go up with the opponent’s percent, only by whether you charge it or not. It has only two stages, charged and uncharged. Obviously, the charged version stuns longer. This move allows you to condition your opponent to stay inside their shield, allowing you to grab them. If you hit the stun, you can combo them very easily. The best ways to use this move are through B-reversing (pressing B, then immediately pressing the opposite direction). I find it very useful to jump at my opponent while facing away from them, and then B-reverse. This allows the move to space itself, which makes it much safer. It has some start up and end lag so be careful. However, when you hit people with this move, combo like there’s no tomorrow! I personally use this move pretty frequently. Furthermore, this move Jab locks opponents AND slides them off ledges(provided the opponent is close the ledge at any percent, allowing for easy jab locks on platform stages such as Battlefield.

Combos: highly dependent on your opponent's distance from you.

· Uncharged: Dash Grab, Dash Attack

· Charged: Grab, Dash attack, Forward B, Short Hop Nair, Running Up B.

Up Special: 16% total. 8 hits. 1st hit 5%, then 6 hits each doing 1% except for the middle (8%-10%), which does 2%. The final 8th hit does 4%.

Called the Boost Kick, ZSS uses her rocket boots to fly up into the air at a diagonal angle and deliver a spin kick. The multiple hit boxes on her boots will drag up opponents into the air with ZSS. All of the hits combo into each other. However you may not always land the last kick. This move acts as ZSS's vertical recovery as well as an amazing kill move. It can kill below 100% with rage, and depending how high up you are and how low/high the stage’s ceiling is, can kill even earlier. I even have had one incident when I killed another ZSS with up B from the ground at 60%. I think it was bad DI, but it was still ridiculous. You can combo into this move in many ways, but it is great by itself if you get a read or out of shield. I personally have gotten kills off of reading jumps with this move (though I know that's risky:). Also, this move puts you into helpless, so be careful. It can be angled more forward or back as well.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Down Special: Weak hit: 8% buries opponents. Strong hit: 14%

ZSS does a backflip (now with holographic special effects:)) that acts as her third jump. The flip itself has no lag, and has invincibility during the initial rise (frames 3-12). Also, while flipping, you have great control over your aerial mobility. Use all this to your advantage. This is an amazing mobility tool. And can be used for recovering and getting out of bad situations. Also, if you hit a wall while you are in this move, you do an automatic wall jump for extra recovery. However, if you press an attack button while you are using this move, ZSS performs a downward kick that kills very early, but has lots of ending lag. This is a very viable kill option for ZSS, but you must not be predictable with the move, otherwise it becomes very punishable. The tip of the kick spikes the opponent, which is even more flashy:). A very big problem with new ZSS players is that they use this move too much and/or they use the kick a lot when they shouldn't. When using it as a movement tool, don't use the kick! The weak hit of this move is when you land on the opponent with this move, but don't press the attack button. ZSS head stomps the opponent. This will bury opponents in the ground or softly spike aerial opponents. Remember that the head stomp has lots of lag anyway, and ZSS will perform the head stomp on an opponent even if they air dodge, spot dodge, or shield the move. However, the lag of the headstomp (NOT the kick) cancels on the ground) This can get you punished or killed, so be careful. If you bury an opponent, feel free to punish in any way, such as Up B on the spot, charge an Usmash, Dsmash or jump-fast fall until they break out, then Uair chains into Up B if they are at the right percent. Something very important to remember about this move is that not only can you aim the kick left or right by hitting that direction on the joystick when you press the attack button, but you can do the same with the move itself. If you hit forward right after you hit down b, you will flip forwards instead of backwards. Also, because the move grants extra aerial mobility, you can hold towards the stage when recovering with it to jump even farther. When recovering with it, remember that you cannot hit up b until the move is completely over. If you try for another recovery option to early, ZSS will perform the kick, and you will fall to your death in lag. However, if you do actually connect the kick on your opponent in midair, you will jump off of them, negating the consequences of the lag.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Forward Special: Just over 10% if all hit boxes connect. Tip: 6% Base: 2%

ZSS whips her plasma whip out in front of her. The sweet spot is at the tip. This move won't kill or combo, but it does do good damage and has great range, so it is a good spacing option against swordsmen/women. Usually all the hits are supposed to combo into each other into the tip, but if the opponent is right next to you, sometimes only the first hit connects, dealing 2%. Fortunately, this hit semi-spikes and knocks people a good ways away. This move does have some starting and ending lag, so be careful with it. I don't find myself using this move too often, but it definitely has its uses. This move doubles as a tether to the ledge for recovering. You can use either this or Zair for the tether. Either works.


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None


ZSS's grab has one of the longest grab ranges in the game. She throws her whip out in front of her, and anyone caught in it gets grabbed. It's range allows her to get many great punishes and even catch backwards rolls, and is an incredible tool against projectile spammers. However, this range comes at a price. It is incredibly slow (Frame 16) and has lots of ending lag. If you miss your grab, you will get punished hard. Unlike most characters, you can't just throw out her grab and be ok if they dodge it. It is high risk, high reward. When you do get her grabs, her throw combos are incredibly strong. Always be looking for a chance to get a grab. The best way to get grabs is through hard reads, Nair, or paralyzer shots. Bottom line--only go for safe grabs you know you will get.


Up Throw: 10%

ZSS kicks the opponent above her head into the air. Although this throw is the most damaging, never use it. It won't kill, combo, or put the opponent in a better position than down throw. Just don't use it.

· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: None

· High Percent: None

Down Throw: 5%

ZSS kicks the opponent into the ground, and they bounce up at a diagonal angle. This is ZSS's bread and butter combo throw. Depending on the opponent's DI, it true combos into all sorts of things. I go for Dthrow almost always.


· Low Percent: Fair, Uair, RAR Bair, Up B, Nair

· Mid Percent: Fair, Uair-Uair-Up B, RAR Bair

· High Percent: Fair, Uair, RAR Bair

Forward Throw: 9%

ZSS throws the opponent forward with her whip. I never use this move. It can be used to throw the opponent offstage for a positional advantage, but I just go for Dthrow-Fair. Use it if you are not confident you will get the Fair. EDIT: at mid percents, you can use this as a DI mixup and connect a down B (and maybe a spike).


· Low Percent: None

· Mid Percent: Down B

· High Percent: None

Back Throw: 6%

ZSS kicks the opponent behind her. This throw has good mixup potential. If you are throwing the opponent offstage with it at mid percent. If you immediately flip kick offstage, you can get a kill. Keep in mind that it is a 50/50, and DI dependent, but it is a viable kill option. The opponent will most likely DI in, expecting to DI away a Dthrow. Furthermore, if you use Flip Kick, but not the Kick itself, this turns into a 50/50 situation where if they airdodge, you can get a Bair, but if they don't airdodge, you can use the kick. If you miss the kick, the only way to get back to the stage is to jump forward the second you get out of lag, and then go for your tether. If you miss this window, you are dead. If you back throw an opponent on stage at low-mid percent, and they miss the tech, you can dash attack. It only does 14%, so I don't know why anyone would go for this over down throw, but it does work. Also, you can get a jab lock. If the opponent misses a tech after the Bthrow, you can B-reverse a paralyzer shot to jab lock them. you can do anything off of their neutral getup, but I prefer Dsmash to continue the combo. Furthermore, on horizontally moving platforms such as on Smashville and Town & City, bthrow true combos into up b in about the 80-100% range. You should grab the opponent so you have some of the platform to run backwards on in order to use the momentum to pull this combo off. However, if you pull it off, it is very deadly.

· Low Percent: Dash attack if opponent misses tech, B-reverse Paralyzer (jab locks opponent)

· Mid Percent: Down B, dash attack if opponent misses tech

· High Percent: up b (only when using momentum from horizontally moving platform)

Combo Strings (Working percentages to come.)

· Nair-Dash Grab-Dthrow-Fair (25%)

· Nair-Dash Grab-Dthrow-Uair-Uair-Up B (note that Uair-Uair-Up B should be done diagonally through the air, not straight up.) (42%)

· Nair-(RAR)-Bair-Bair-Dash Attack (40%)

· Par. Shot-Dash Grab-Dthrow-Fair (21-23%)

· Par. Shot-Dash Grab-Dthrow-Uair-Uair-Up B (38-40%)

·1st hit of Fair-Uncharged Charge Shot (Jab Locks)-Dsmash-... (17% +)

· Nair-Down B (when this combo no longer works, you can down b after the Nair anyway. if the opponent air dodges from fear of the down b, you get a free Bair.) (22%)

· Nair-Uair-Uair-Up B (37%)

· Par. Shot-Run to opponent-Up B (Any percent) (20-22%)

· Par. Shot-Down B (Any percent) (18-20%)

· Dthrow-Uair-Fast Fall (wait for air dodge)-Utilt (23.5%)

· Dsmash-Down B (Any percent. However, you must read when the opponent will come out of the stun. At early percents Down B immediately.) (14-25%)

· Dsmash-Up B (Any percent) (20-27%)

· Dsmash-Short Hop Nair-Grab-Dthrow-Jump- Down B (only works if opponent tries to airdodge, expecting a Fair or Uair) (25-38%)

· Grab-Bthrow-B-reverse Paralyzer (uncharged)(jab locks opponent)-Charge Dsmash-SH-Nair-Grab-Dthrow-Fair OR Uair-Uair-Up B (Character dependent. Works at low percents. Does not work on floaty characters. I have tested Ike, Mario, Fox, Lucina, and Ness so far, and it works on all except Ness. I will gather more info on this combo.) (around 43-60% depending on how much of Dsmash hits and how you finish)

· Dsmash-SH Nair-Grab-Dthrow-Uair-Bair-Down B (Down B requires air dodge read. only works if opponent DI's in, and you go diagonally past the opponent after the Uair.) (49.5-56.5%)

· Dsmash-Walk forward-Dsmash-Run Forward-Dsmash-SH Nair-Dsmash-Foxtrot back-Flip kick (spike) (This is a Zero-to-death discovered by Trifroze. works on fastfallers only, including Fox, Greninja, Sheik, Falco, Roy, Captain Falcon, ZSS, Megaman, and Diddy Kong. For more info on this combo, as well as other variations and followups, click here ) (54%)

Ledge Game
Zero Suit Samus excels at edge guarding due to her quick aerials and good recovery. Dsmash is amazing to use at the ledge. It can be used off the ledge or to cover get up options. ZSS's ledge trump is highly effective due to her incredibly powerful Bair. Also, grabbing the ledge from a tether is faster than grabbing the it without, giving her more frame advantage and therefore allowing her to ledge trump much more effectively and efficiently. Down B is also amazing on the ledge because of its incredible priority and ability to punish air dodges well with its increased movement control. Lots of ZSS players also use Forward B to edge guard due to its horizontal knockback. Shooting stun shots offstage is an incredibly effective tool for forcing the opponent to recover low, then stage spiking the low recovery with a Bair. Stun shots can also be used from a distance for characters whose recoveries bring them above the ledge, such as Ike and Kirby, as it is hard to get around the hitboxes of their Up B's otherwise.

General Gameplay

ZSS is a light and fast combo based and aerial based punish character. Unlike most punish characters, such as Ike, Ganondorf, and Zelda, ZSS punishes with her speed, set ups, and devastating combos rather than a few powerful hits. If the opponent makes a mistake, ZSS can use her speed to grab, and go down throw-Uair-Uair-Up B. Death at like 60%. A good way to view the character is looking at her like she has 2 different kill percent ranges. Aside from edge guarding, ZSS can either kill at high percents like other characters, or she can kill at 30-60% (based on opponent's character), which is generally when her kill combos such as Bthrow-Down B, Nair-Down B and Uair-Uair-Up B work. ZSS has a lot of very punishable moves, and lot of very quick lagless moves. The goal is to know when to use those laggy, hard-hitting moves. ZSS wins when you think you can punish her, but you can't. You want to use ZSS's high mobility and high jumps to get around projectiles, and dance around the opponent, spacing in the neutral with Nair, Zair, and Bair until they make a mistake (use a laggy move, roll predictably, etc.) Once they make that mistake, go in and combo the crap out of them. ZSS has an amazing juggle game with Uair strings and her other amazing aerials, so you want to keep your opponent in the air as much as possible. Keep rush down opponents at bay with her whip, and always keep moving. Use lots of b reversals and wavebounces with your paralyzer shots to make your movement unpredictable. If you want to go on the offensive, condition your opponent into their shield by using lots of paralyzer shots and spaced Nairs. Then go in for the grab. ZSS gets a ton off of her grab. Even if the opponent shields a paralyzer shot, there is still 7 frames of lag for the shield to drop, so you can sometimes dash grab the opponent anyway. Be aggressive, go for early kills, and don't forget to be awesome!


ZSS does have some weaknesses. Her grab, despite having a strong combo game, is very unsafe due its large amount of end lag. This makes her vulnerable against opponents who use their shield smartly. She has no moves that do tons of shield damage, so the only counter she has to good shielding is her unsafe grab. If ZSS misses a grab because the opponent got out of the way, she can get punished very hard. Also, despite her projectile having a stun effect, it is rather short ranged and does not stay out for very long (like fireballs, thunderjolts, etc.) This makes her approach against defensive and zoning characters limited to dodging their projectiles with her mobility, powershielding, and either coming in from above with an aerial or fast falling and grabbing. Also, her only move that hits on both sides of her is up tilt, which has punishable end lag and won't even hit some short characters (F**king Pikachu!!!!) This leaves her with only one safe way to punish rolling-- hard reads. ZSS's neutral is very lacking, as she shines because of her incredible followups. If a player never over commits, it can be hard for ZSS to create good damage. Also, unlike some other characters, ZSS does not have a good "get off me" aerial (like Yoshi's or Luigi's Nair) that would allow her to break combos. This means that if an overly aggressive character like Captain Falcon gets in on her, it could be hard for her to break the pressure and reset. Usually, her best bet is to down B away, as it has invincibility. Also, many of her hitboxes hit high off the ground, so she has a very hard time against short characters, with some of her worst matchups being Pikachu and Olimar. So let's see what we have:
  • Unsafe grab
  • needs better projectile for approach
  • is bad against shields and rolling
  • Needs moves to catch rolls
  • Poor neutral game
  • no move to break pressure
  • Weak against shorter, smaller characters

(Remember that these characters are suggestions. You can play whoever you want and whoever fits your style. These are merely the characters I think cover ZSS’s poor matchups at least decently well.)


I feel like I’m obligated to put Sheik on this list. She is one of the best characters in the game. Everything about her move set is safe. She has the safest and best neutral in the game. Fair combos into itself, safe grab, good grab combos, needles are safe and fast and reach really far and are spammable, down smash and Up smash hit on both sides, Bouncing Fish can catch rolls and missed techs, etc. etc. She can have an especially hard time killing in upper levels of play, but she still manages top placings around the world. Definitely a good choice.


Yoshi is a great, underrepresented character that is easy to be ok with, but hard to master. He has amazing frame data. His eggs are an amazing projectile that you can combo out of, he has a command grab with Neutral B, he has grab combos. Though his grab is unsafe, he has amazing combos in general, and has no problems killing. His Dsmash hits on both sides. Overall Yoshi is an amazing character. The only reason I don’t main him is because I can’t deal with his recovery being his second jump, and not up B. I can’t stop killing myself:)


My other main! Greninja is a very solid and very fun high mid tier. He is fast, has very high jumps, great combos out of grab and Nair, good spacing, auto canceling aerials (Nair, Uair and Fair), an awesome projectile in the form of Water Shuriken, a powerful Dsmash and Usmash that hit on both sides, and Up B for gimping. Although his grab does technically come out a little late (frame 11), it is still fast, reaches far, and is much safer than ZSS’s grab. Overall he is an awesome character with not enough players in my opinion.


Luigi is an amazing character. He dominates the neutral with his fireballs, and then punishes those who shield by grabbing and then Dthrowing them into a 20%-40% combo. His Dthrow combos are still pretty crazy, even after the patch. He can approach incredibly easily with fireballs, and has a strong, safe grab. Dsmash hits on both sides and has been buffed for increased knockback. His nair comes out incredibly fast and breaks combos incredibly well. Furthermore, he still has great gimping power in the form of Down B. Although he is not the brain-dead beast he once was, he is still a high tier pick despite the nerfs.


Pikachu is an awesome, lightweight, fast, agile, combo based character. He has Agility to move around, Thunder Jolt for approaching, and too many combos and mixups to count. His neutral is great, and his grab is safe and his throws are generally good. He does have a kill setup from Uthrow, which leads into Down B at high percent if the opponent does not DI sideways (or it straight up kills at very high percents like in the 170% range or 150% with rage). He has the tools to approach, combo, and cover rolls with his Dsmash and Utilt, which is very good. Furthermore, he has incredible jab lock setups that can lead into easy stocks, especially on platform stages. He can sometimes struggle with killing, but he is still a great high tier, potentially top tier character (according to Esam).


Oh Ness. How I hate you. How I hate your dumb, ridiculous grab game. How I hate your Bthrow that kills me below 100%. How I hate your stupid PK fire that allows you to catch rolls and walk up to me and grab. I will always hate you, but that does not mean you are not a great character. You can kill insanely early with PK Thunder Head Smash, do multiple Fairs out of a Dthrow, and juggle with PK Thunder. Even your Dsmash and Usmash hit on both sides of you. You even have a Nair that comes out super fast and kills! Even though I hate you and your players, you are still a great secondary for Zero Suit Samus. PK F**k you.

Captain Falcon

Captain Falcon is incredible in this game. He is fast, powerful, and everything else you want him to be. Nair combos into itself, his dash grab is fast and safe, he has Dthrow combos, Dsmash hits on both sides, and Falcon Kick and Raptor Boost (Down B and Side B) both kill and catch rolls well, as well as close space. Despite not having a projectile, Falcon is an amazing zone breaker. He is all out offensive, nothing held back, and totally awesome. He is the Falcon Punch. He is the crowd pleaser. He is the Captain.


Fox is amazing at making people approach him. Campers beware. His lasers will just keep on doing damage if you don’t go at him, and his reflector keeps projectiles away. Fox requires a lot of precision to play effectively. Fortunately, Fox has a safe grab, decent combos out of Dthrow and Uthrow, kill combos, and a Dsmash that hits both sides at the same time, hits below the ledge, semi-spikes, and kills. Utilt is a great punish for opponents rolling behind him, and it combos into itself and into other aerials. Overall an amazing character that I think should be top tier. I tried maining him once, but he was just not my style. Still great though.

Pit/Dark Pit

I chose Pit/Dark Pit for some of the same reasons I chose Fox. They have great projectiles (arrows) and a reflector to make force other characters to approach, solid combo games, Forward B to catch rolls, and Dsmashes that hit on both sides. Pit and Dark Pit are both very solid high mid-tier characters and are great as secondaries for ZSS.

Little Mac

Little mac I think is one of the coolest characters in the game. He is totally overpowered on the ground, but is trash in the air and has a trash recovery. He can zone break very easily, like Captain Falcon, and although his grab range is not good, he still has combos, and his moves do tons of shield damage. His roll goes far and is very fast, and his Dsmash is incredibly good and hits on both sides. Not to mention all of his smashes have super armor! Little mac is a great ground-based contrast to the aerial-based ZSS with an incredible neutral (as long as you stay on the ground). Good luck!

Marth/Lucina (M/L)

M/L started out in this game terribly. Then, at every patch, they have slowly been getting buffs. A little less lag here, a little more knockback there. Right now they are at a high point thanks to some amazing representation at 2GG ZeRo Saga, and are considered high or even possibly top tier potential. They have outstanding spacing games with their swords, Dsmashes and utilts that hit on both sides, a counter, A kill throw with Uthrow and a combo throw with Dthrow, and that awesome shield breaker move. Honestly, I put them on this list mostly because they scare people out of their shields. If you come across a player that likes to sit in their shield, force them to adapt or lose. However, they are so much more than that. If you want a character with more disjoints, more consistent KO power, and great combos combined with some vicious kill power, definitely give one or both of these characters a try as a pocket. They are relatively easy to pick up, and can help you learn the fundamentals of spacing very well. A definite good choice as a secondary.


Being DLC, Roy is fairly new to Smash. However, he was instantly given a high tier spot once players figured out how good he was (Edit: He is now considered a mid tier). He has a faster falling speed than Marth and Lucina, has great spacing with Nair, great Dthrow and Fthrow combos, a Dsmash, Usmash, and Utilt that all hit on both sides of him, a counter, and lots of raw killing power. His sword is strongest at the base, as a contrast to Marth, and his moves do good shield damage if hit on the base. His Up B is also amazing out of shield, and has invincibility at the start. He is an amazing character you should definitely try out. Roy’s our boy!


Shulk is a great choice for a swordsman. He has an amazingly long lasting Dsmash that hits on both sides, huge range on lots of his moves thanks to his sword, the best counter in the game (Witch Time and Counter Surge NOPE nevermind), and of course the Monado Arts. The arts let him be anything you want him to be. He can zone break with Speed, edge guard with Jump, do damage with Buster, kill with Smash, and survive with Shield. He also has the Monado Art Cancels, which can cancel lag on his moves for some cool, lagless combos. Link to example of Monado Art Cancels here
Shulk, despite not having a projectile, is overall a very solid choice for covering ZSS’s weak matchups. So far he is mid tier, but I always thought he could be more than that.

Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong is another great combo-oriented character. He has great grab combos, (HOO HA!) bananas as projectiles and combo starters/kill set ups, a great command grab/horizontal recovery with his forward B Monkey Flip, and a Dsmash that hits on both sides. His neutral is one of the best in the game with walls of Fairs, but especially with a banana in hand. Overall he is an incredibly solid, fast, combo-based high tier with some of the most consistent neutral tools and kill setups in the game. His only major problem is that his recovery is very linear and gimpable.


Ryu is yet again another amazing DLC character. He has too many combos to name, amazing raw killing power, Focus Punch for movement, two different kinds of Hadouken for different speeds of projectile, an amazing Up B that is great out of shield (SHORYUKEN!) that has invincibility with the original inputs, and a Dsmash that hits on both sides. Although he doesn't really have much out of a grab, his shield breaking Ftilt scares people from using their shield too much up close. Despite having a mediocre approach, his punish game is probably the best in the game. He is definitely a high or top tier pick that cover's ZSS's weaknesses well.


Mario is an amazing high tier with some really great tools. He has fireballs for approaching, insane early percent combos, great setups out of throws, including a kill throw, and an overall good neutral game. Mario also has incredible gimping ability with his Forward B and Down B, despite having a lackluster recovery. He is overall an incredibly balanced and incredibly solid high tier pick to fight alongside ZSS. He covers her weak matchups very well, and has some of the most extensive and creative combos in the game.

With the new buffs that came in, Lucas got an amazing reward: massively better frame data on his grab. He has the quickest, best tether grab in the game by far, and it makes him such a better character. He has amazing combos out of down throw, and amazing disjoints. He has three different kill throws (all of his throws except dthrow kill well), which are further enhanced by his buffed grab. His nair combos into itself and into other aerials. His zoning game is awesome with PK fire and Zair, the former which combos into grab, giving him great setups. He even has his own HOO HA with dthrow to double jump Uair. His ledge guarding is fantastic with his Dsmash that hits multiple times below the ledge. Also, his recovery is amazing, with a tether and a much better up B recovery than ness. Overall he is a very balanced character that can compete with the high tiers well.

Stage Choices

ZSS does incredibly well on platform stages such as Battlefield, Dreamland (keep in mind that Dreamland has a lower ceiling than battlefield, and therefore better for ZSS), Miiverse, and Smashville, because they allow her to extend her Uair strings. Also, on Battlefield, if the opponent air dodges after a Dthrow, they will air dodge into the ground of another platform. I have gotten early kills by letting my opponent air dodge, and then using Up B on their laggy landing. ZSS also does very well on stages with low ceilings such as Halberd and Delfino Plaza, because her Uairs and Up B will kill much earlier. ZSS likes to get in on her opponents, so smaller stages are definitely better. Overall, I would say her best stage is Halberd or Dreamland.

Notable players

Thumos: Meeeeeee!!!:) I WILL DESTROY ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!

Nick Riddle

Zero Suit Samus Match Video Resource Database
First release
Last update
4.85 star(s) 13 ratings

Latest updates

  1. August 2018 Update

    New Contact Info: Bsb316@gmail.com I am now a part of the Colorado Smash Community With Smash...
  2. Frame Sync Combos

    SO to @Skoolzout1 for his thread on labbing these combos. If you do not know what a Frame Sync...
  3. Patch 1.1.4 and 1.1.5 Changes

    Zss got hit with some nerfs in 1.1.4 and 1.1.5 (we are currently in 1.1.6, but she has been...

Latest reviews

This guide tells everything we need to know about ZZS with some tips to help as well.
There are A LOT more thing ZSS can do off of Nair and Up Air. Frame cancelling Up Air, Back Air and Nair can lead to even more insane combos as well the fact she kill most of the staff under 100% given which combo you use and the stage position. I feel that going over how to frame cancel would be very crucial to ZSS game play.
Thank you for the feedback. first off, can you please inform me of any other combos ZSS can get? anything else would be greatly appreciated. second, I said in my last update that i plan on adding frame data. this will include frame cancel data, so frame canceling will come later. I simply do not have time to add it in right now (as a Junior). but rest assured that it is coming.
Great guide Ben! I am really good friends with the person who made this, he may suck at smash but he makes good guides.
Awesome guide! Thanks for the really good tips. A how to counter ZSS section would be nice, but otherwise, really good stuff!
So much detail in what strings there are in ZSS, explained in low, medium and high percents.
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