Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Ryu Guides

Ryu is the main protagonist of the Street Fighter series. He is also one of the few characters that have appeared in every Street Fighter game so far. His origins are mysterious, but his skill is undeniable. His strong sense of justice, and kindness, have made him a very popular character to fans.Know more

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Ryu Guide

Ryu is one of the more interesting experiments with translating a pure 2D fighting game character into a platform fighter format. At least one as popular as Super Smash Bros. In this transition Ryu kept most of the movement feel from the Street Fighter series. That is to say slow-ish walking speed, heavy weightness, and clear jump arcs.

At the same time, he is one of the exclusive few characters in the game that has a vast array of attack options with a tapped or held version for most attacks. Playing Ryu often requires a good understanding of how to move with dashes, prepare hits, and pick your options correctly to maximize either damage or KO potential.

How to Unlock Ryu

Since Ryu is a base character for the game there are three ways you can unlock him. The first is to Play through the World of Light, the single-player campaign of the game, and reach the World Tour stage, where he is a captive fight. Another option is to play classic mode where he is unlocked after Marth. Finally, playing versus matches he will be the 13th character to be unlocked.

Key Strengths & Weaknesses

Ryu horizontal gameplay is one of the best in the game. Comboing tapped and held versions of his tilt and smash attacks can open up many opportunities to combo opponents. The held version of some of his tilts can also serve as great KO moves in higher percentages. His vertical ability is also decent, especially when it comes to short hops into aerial moves to extend or maximize the damage of a combo.  Rounding up his potential is his great reach with many of his moves alongside intangibility in others.

It all combines to make Ryu a creat get up and close attacker with plenty of damage to burst into opponents. When given the time to practice, however, he really starts to shine well above other heavyweights in the game. On top of his close-quarter accolades, Ryu also possesses some useful zoning abilities. Hadoken, in its normal and Shakunetsu Hadoken, can supplement his long-distance play.

Even with the help of held tilts and specials, Ryu's core struggle in a match is KOing opponents. He has to rely on the power of his strings or of individual, often slow, moves. His air acceleration and general mobility are poor too, meaning off-stage fights would often result in Ryu's demise.

Ryu Moves

Input Short Description Damage  Knockback
Neutral Jab When tapped it is a series of low-damage punches. Holding it while far away from the opponent it will form a high kick, while at close it comes out as an uppercut dealing almost no knockback, making it a great combo tool. Low Low
Forward Tilt When tapped it will either produce a kick or a short hook depending on whether it is made far or close respectively. Holding it will create an overhead that deals a good amount of shield damage. Low Low
Up Tilt Tapping multiple times will result in a chain of hits. Holding it creates a powerful uppercut, great to punish air approaches. Low Low
Down Tilt When tapped it will create a low-hitting spin kick, repeatedly tapping will chain more kicks. Often used for combo extending. The held version is a lunging kick. Low Medium
Dash Attack High knockback flying kick. Medium Medium
Forward Smash A powerful kick that moves Ryu forward. High Medium
Up Smash A heavy uppercut with good anti-air utility. Medium Medium
Down Smash What it lacks for Knockback it makes up for damage and speed. Medium Low
Neutral Air Can be canceled into any of his specials moves if it connects, generally considered a great combo starter. Low Low
Forward Air Can be canceled into any of his specials moves if it connects, Deals a great amount of damage if it hits via its sweet spot. Medium Low
Back Air It can be hard to perform since Ryu is always facing his opponent, but it's a good KO tool if given the opportunity. Medium Medium
Up Air Can be used after Ryu's Shoryuken, it hits twice, first low-mid then high and extends a fair bit farther than it seems. Low Medium
Down Air Depending on the quality of the hit, this move can provide an excellent meteor strike offstage, but if the opponent is grounded or the hit is outside of the sweet spot, the knockback will be much weaker. Medium Low
Grab A fairly short-range grab. - -
Pummel Ryu strikes his grabbed opponent with his knee. Low Low
Forward Throw Can be followed up with a Down Air. Low Low
Back Throw A higher damage version of his Forward Throw. Medium Low
Up Throw The kick itself has very high damage and knockback. Medium High
Down Throw Has shield-breaking properties. Low Low
Neutral Special Hadoken, different versions of it can be made with ↓ ↘ → for higher damage and ← ↙ ↓ ↘ → for one that hits multiple times. Medium Low
Side Special often used a combo extender or to secure a KO at high percentages. Is special version can be input with ↓ ↙ ← giving it more range and dealing a small amount of extra damage. Medium Medium
Up Special Shoryuken, holding the attack down will cause it to deal more damage, pressing → ↓ ↘ improves most of its properties, like intangibility, and ending lag. High Medium
Down Special A short straight punch that can be charged. It has three levels with increasing damage and properties. Ryu only takes half damage while charging it, and if fully charged it will price counter attacks.  Medium Low

Best Ryu Moves

Command Inputs

Ryu has four, each providing a stronger version of his normal moves. Although it's not mandatory to only use the command input versions, it is recommended you practice them.

  • Hadoken (↓↘→) - Deals more damage. All versions pause his air movement momentarily, meaning they can help Ryu influence his horizontal movement on his recovery options. The normal version of the Hadoken is also slow enough that it can help control space and force opponents out of certain areas of the space. Important to note, that only one Hadoken can be active at the time, so you won't be able to spam the move. There is also another version of the input with ← ↙ ↓ ↘ →, which releases a red Hadoken dealing multiple hits. 
  • Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (↓ ↙ ←) - It can be used as a KO tool thanks to increased damage in his inputted version, when held down it will even deal upwards of 12% to 13% damage. Either version can also function as a horizontal recovery.
  • Shoryuken (→ ↓ ↘ ) - Added damage and shorter ending lag provide a lot of power on what is often used as a recovery option.

Ways to Punish

The primary way you can punish opponents as Ryu is from his vertical attacks, such as Shyoruken, his input command version especially. These moves generally allow for them to be followed up by other normals or at slightly higher percentages some aerial moves. You might be tempted to strike whiffing enemies using special and powerful attacks like Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, but most of the time it is far better to start to raking up damage with normals to then look for a single strong hit after.

Ryu Core Combos

  • Down Tilt, Shoryuken
  • Hop, Down Aerial, repeat. - Won't chain for too long, but good at low percentages.
  • Up Tilt, Shoryuken
  • Neutral Jab x2, Shoryuken

Playing Against Ryu

Ryu has two archetypes of opponents that make him vulnerable. One is fast and range-focused characters that can keep away from him and still punish his combos, Min Min, Pikachu, and Palutena are standout character that can do as such. The other is grapple and up-close characters that only need a handful of hits to KO Ryu. Cloud is a good example of such character.