Donkey Kong is a powerhouse. Nearly all of his attacks have potential KO power, and his super armor during some of them allows him to sustain and even shrug off flinching. His attacks are pretty straightforward: high damage and knockback, while some can even be used for combos. His Down Throw combined with Forward Tilt or Dash Attack are true combos against certain characters at very low percentages. His Back Aerial and Up Aerial can also combo with themselves against opponents with low damage percentage. Donkey Kong is also notable for being able to inflict high shield damage, allowing him to put more pressure on his opponents. Headbutt can break some shields in two or three hits, and Hand Slap also inflicts considerable shield damage in each consecutive hit. Also, Donkey Kong has powerful Meteor Smashes that allows him to KO opponents at lower percentages.
However, Donkey Kong's flaws lie in his poor vertical recovery and his large frame, meaning he is an easy target and can be easily hit and juggled by some characters.
|Neutral Attack||4%, 6%||Donkey Kong performs a quick cross punch followed by an uppercut. The tip of the first punch's hitbox will knock targets towards Donkey Kong instead of away.|
|Side Tilt||10%||Donkey Kong quickly swats his outstretched hand.|
|Up Tilt||11%||Donkey Kong very quickly swipes his hand in the air. Has very reliable arch range. Deals more damage and knockback if the target is extremely close to Donkey Kong's behind.|
|Down Tilt||7%||Donkey Kong does a quick swat across the ground. Slightly less powerful around his fingers. Great speed and range, and has a chance to trip opponents, allowing for guaranteed followups such as a grab or Headbutt.|
|Dash Attack||9%||Donkey Kong performs his trademark roll attack from Donkey Kong Country. Deals less damage towards the end.|
|Side Smash||19-20%||Donkey Kong performs a very forceful clap. DK now smirks as he performs the move.|
|Up Smash||18%||Donkey Kong performs a very powerful clap above his head, swinging both of his arms 90˚ in the process. Unlike other up smashes, it does not scoop opponents into the main hitbox, making it somewhat problematic to land if the opponent is not airborne or incredibly close to DK.|
|Down Smash||14%||Donkey Kong performs a double back-handed punch, swinging both of his clenched fists down 90˚ in the process. Decent range, extremely fast start-up, especially for a smash, and great vertical knockback, KOing starting at 100%, makes it especially good for punishing rolls and laggy attacks, as well as lots of attacks in general out of shield, and it could arguably be considered one of the best down smashes in the game (though it has a fair amount of endlag).|
|Neutral Ariel||8-11%||Donkey Kong quickly spins with arms extended similarly to Spinning Kong. Quite possibly his most useful aerial, since it is very quick in both start-up and ending lag. Incredibly powerful when landing the clean hit (can K.O. under 100%) and the late hit is an excellent combo tool when SHFF'd.|
|Forward Ariel||15%, 13%||Donkey Kong closes his hands together over his head and quickly thrusts them downward as an ax-handled smash. If landed correctly the opponent is meteor smashed. This move inspired Donkey Kong's jumping attack in Donkey Kong 64. Unlike most other moves, the early sourspot hitbox is actually stronger than the meteor smash hitbox, sending opponents away with extreme horizontal knockback, making it more effective at higher percentages.|
|Back Ariel||8-13%||Donkey Kong performs a quick kick directed behind him that lingers briefly. Powerful, mostly used for Wall Of Pains.|
|Up Ariel||13%||Donkey Kong performs a quick and reliable headbutt. Ideal for combos and KOing.|
|Down Ariel||16%, 13%||Donkey Kong performs a downward stomp while flexing his arms in a somewhat iconic "macho" pose. Sweetspot will meteor smash foes. Sourspot present close to Donkey Kong's chest.|
|Forward Throw||10%, 12%, 10%, 7%||Donkey Kong cradles the opponent on his back, allowing him to move and jump around while still holding the victim. This gives him access to forward, up, and down throws (as well as a back throw that can only be performed in the air) that are distinct from his normal grab.
Forward throw -- Throws the opponent diagonally up.
Back throw -- Same as forward throw, but sends at a slightly higher trajectory and can only be done in the air.
Up throw -- Hurls the opponent over his head. Has very base knockback, allowing for followups such as an up aerial.
Down throw -- Slams the opponent down on his knee, knocking them sideways. At surprisingly low percentages, it can be used offstage on opponents with poor recoveries to potentially send them too far away to recover.
When the opponent is too damaged to escape in time, all of these throws allow for easy stage spikes - Donkey Kong can simply walk off the ledge, pull back and throw them against the underside. However this carries significant risk, as the opponent can tech it, and Donkey Kong will end up too low to recover if the timing is off.
|Back Throw||11%||Donkey Kong flings the opponent with stunning force. DK's strongest throw in terms of damage and knockback, being not much weaker than Ness'.|
|Up Throw||9%||The opponent is tossed upwards.|
|Down Throw||7%||Donkey Kong slams the opponent into the ground. Has rather weak knockback with a horizontal knockback angle in front of DK.|
|Neutral Special||Giant Punch||10% (uncharged), +2% per windup, 28% (10th windup/Fully Charged)||Donkey Kong winds up and forcefully thrusts out his fist as a potentially powerful attack. The attack is at fully charged after eleven windups and gains super armor. The punch deals more knockback but lacks launch resistance at ten windups. The punch can be saved and chosen when to be released after being fully charged.|
|Side Special||Headbutt||10%, 8%||Donkey Kong slams his head downward. When performed in the air, the struck opponent is meteor smashed if hit by the sweetspot. When performed on the ground the opponent is buried and will remain submerged longer if the opponent has already dealt a fair amount of damage. Unlike in Brawl, DK will not stall in the air. Full power shields will barely manage to avoid breaking against this move.|
|Up Special||Spinning Kong||7% (1st hit, ground), 1% (hits 2-6, ground), 4% (7th hit, ground), 10% (1st hit, aerial), 2% (subsequent hits, aerial)||Donkey Kong spins with his arms outstretched. DK has launch resistance when using this move. Strong horizontal recovery, weak vertical recovery. If used on the ground, Donkey Kong spins at an angle, increasing the move's vertical range.|
|Down Special||Head Slap||14%||Donkey Kong repeatedly slaps his hands against the ground, causing earth-shaking vibrations in the process. The attack gives him some protection from opponents while grounded and has good range. The attack originates from 'Donkey Kong Country. Donkey Kong can now use the move while in midair, although only twice in a row. The second hit meteor smashes foes.|
|Final Smash||Konga Beat||Varies.||Donkey Kong will take out a pair of bongos and begin to play them to the beat of "DK Island Swing", sending out shock-waves in the process. The attacks range and power is determined by the player's input. The player must push the attack button in succession with the song's beat in order have the greatest range and power. While this was difficult in Brawl, the Final Smash now is accompanied by an indicative bar that will appear above DK. It will let the player know when to press the attack button.|
- Up: Beats his clenched hands against his chest. DK now smirks as he does so.
- Side: Shakes himself as if his fur was wet. DK now has a large toothy grin as he does so.
- Down: Faces the camera, shrugs his shoulders, and makes a confused grunt. It originates from Super Smash Bros..
- Donkey Kong bursts from a DK Barrel and briefly strikes a pose.
- Bares his teeth and crosses his eyes.
- Bumps his fist together, the perform an underhand strike.
- Beats on his chest.
- Holds his hands above his head and shakes them.
- Backflips and holds his arms in a strongman pose.