Bowser seems to have undergone the most changes than any other returning character. Like other large characters, such as Donkey Kong and King Dedede, Bowser's general size in proportion to the other playable characters is larger.
- Neutral Attack: Double Punch: quickly thrusts one arm forward, then the other. The move is now performed with clenched fists.
- Dash Attack: a new attack that entails Bowser running and performing a side kick. It appears faster than his previous dash attack.
- Forward Tilt: Backhand Knuckle: performs a backhanded punch while leaning his body forward. Seems relatively unchanged from previous installments.
- Up Tilt: Vertical Punch: Bowser swats the air above him. Instead of doing it with his claws, as he use to, Bowser now performs the move with a clenched fist. The attack appears faster.
- Down Tilt: Punch Trip: quickly thrusts one arm forward along the ground, then the other. This move use to be performed with Bowser's claws, but he now attacks with punches.
- Forward Smash: a new attack that entails Bowser performing a powerful two-footed dropkick.
- Up Smash: Shell Smash: Bowser gets down on all fours and thrusts his entire body upward, hitting opponents with his spiked shell. Bowser now twirls in the air as he performs this move. The move now has launch resistance.
- Neutral Aerial: a new attack; Bowser spins with his limbs outstretched. It appears to have greater range than his previous neutral air. It is similar to Kirby's neutral air.
- Forward Aerial: Air Claw: a quick forward swipe with claws sheathed. Bowser now performs the move horizontally, as opposed to downward.
- Back Aerial: a new two-footed kick backwards that is also similar to Kirby's back aerial.
- Up Aerial: Upper Headbutt: he thrusts his head skyward. The move is significantly faster than in previous installments.
- Down Aerial: Inverted Spin: Bowser retracts into his shell, turns upside down, and propels himself downward. It seems to be functionally altered; it now appears to be a quick stall-then-fall, that hits an opponent once with powerful knockback, though it's unclear if it meteor smashes or hits all opponents diagonally.
- Back Throw: a new throw similar to Donkey Kong's back throw. Bowser uses one arm in a sideways throw to toss the opponent backwards.
- Down Throw: Flatten: Bowser places the opponent on the floor and body slams on them. Seems unchanged from previous installments.
In Super Smash Bros. 4, special moves can be swapped out for different variants, but Bowser's have yet to be seen. Bowser retains all of his special moves from Brawl and his final smash. These are Bowser's special moves:
- Neutral Special: Fire Breath: Bowser breathes intensive fire that gradually gets weaker. The range of this attack has been increased.
- Side Special: Flying Slam: Bowser's side special from Brawl. Bowser grabs an opponent, brings them into the air, and thrusts himself downward opponent-first. It is significantly more powerful, as it can perform decisive K.O.s under 100%.
- Up Special: Whirling Fortress: Bowser enters his shell and spins rapidly, gaining some launch resistance in the process. It acts as a recovery when performed in the air, but Bowser remains grounded when he performs it on the stage. Its reliabliy as a recovery move is better has Whirling Fortress has gained significant horizontal reach than in previous games.
- Down Special: Bowser Bomb: he leaps into the air and thrusts his body downward. It is now capable of breaking shields in one use. It also produces some hitlag upon contact.
|Special Move||Basic||Custom 1||Custom 2|
|Neutral Special||Fire Breath||-||-|
|Side Special||Flying Slam||-||-|
|Up Special||Whirling Fortress||-||-|
|Down Special||Bowser Bomb||-||-|
|Final Smash||Giga Bowser||-||-|
- Giga Bowser: a transformation type of final smash that turns Bowser into the boss from Super Smash Bros. Melee. Giga Bowser has more of a cartoonish appearance similar to his standard appearance, making Giga Bowser more reminiscent to that of Melee as opposed to Brawl. Interestingly, Giga Bowser retains all of Bowser's old replaced moves, instead of using Bowser's new moves. Giga Bowser is also hunched over and scuttles on the ground.
- Balances precariously on one leg as if teetering.
Bowser enters the stage through a wall of flames. He is hunched over as he does so, but when he fully enters the stage he stands upright as if the wall of flames was too small for him to stand completely erect in.
An original rock-based remix of the sound clip that would play when Mario reaches the the end of a level in Super Mario Bros.
- Standard: Green: Bowser has a green head, yellow body, green shell, and red hair.
- Brown: Bowser has brown head, brown body, brown shell, and red hair. May somewhat be based on Morton Koopa Jr.
In Smash 4, Bowser appears to have a more cartoonish appearance that is more inline with his look in the Mario games, rather than the more realistic look he had in Brawl. He has additionally been shown to have several changes in his moveset and his general animations. Bowser stands upright as opposed to his hunched-over posture from previous Smash Bros. games. This is similar to his posture in the Mario franchise as well. He has a new dashing animation where he runs upright instead of scuttling along the ground. He also appears to dash faster.
Bowser's chest will always face the foreground.