Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the fifth game in the Super Smash Bros. series, released for the Nintendo Switch. The game was announced through a teaser trailer in the March 2018 Nintendo Direct and was released worldwide on December 7, 2018. The game features 103 base stages and 74 base playable characters (with more fighters and stages as downloadable content), the largest respective numbers in the series.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was made available for pre-order and pre-loading from the Nintendo eShop beginning November 1, 2018. The game takes up approximately 14.3 GB of the Nintendo Switch's storage when downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the eighth Mario-related game to receive a PEGI 12+ rating in Europe, being preceded by the five prior Super Smash Bros. installments and the Virtual Console releases of Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate retains the series' basic gameplay elements, with several new mechanics and changes. As with previous installments, the objective of the game is to launch opponents off the stage. Players build each other's damage percentage through attacks, and the higher the percentage, the farther they fly when they are hit. This time, the damage display is in decimal notation, adding a tenth to the number. Decimals have always been used for damage calculations since Super Smash Bros. Melee, but the damage percentages were always displayed as an integer on-screen. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first time that decimal notations are shown in-game. Additionally, when an opponent is launched, their launch speed is the fastest at the start, unlike in previous games in the series. During 1-on-1 battles, all fighters' attacks deal 1.2x their regular damage, which is done to "increase gameplay speed." Additionally, characters can use any ground attack out of a run (e.g. standard attacks, tilt attacks, smash attacks), while any aerial attack can be used while climbing a ladder, officially known as a "ladder attack".
Three techniques are also introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: the Directional Air Dodge, Short-Hop Attack, and a new version of the Perfect Shield. The Directional Air Dodge, a technique carried over from Super Smash Bros. Melee, allows the player to dodge while moving in the direction they tilt , which can also be used for recovery. However, if a player dodges excessively—whether in the air or on the ground—they become more vulnerable to attacks, with less intangibility and lower dodge speed. The Short-Hop Attack is performed by pressing the attack and jump buttons at the same time, allowing the player to hop a short distance off the ground while performing an air attack; however, all short-hopped aerial attacks deal 0.85x their regular damage (excluding special moves, and certain states such as Peach and Daisy's Floating Jump attacks and the Super Leaf item). The Perfect Shield can be used to block attacks without depleting the user's shield. However, unlike in past installments, where it is activated by pressing the shield button before an attack connects, the Perfect Shield is instead performed by releasing the shield button just as an opponent's attack lands, nullifying the attack.
During a match, the fighter that is in the lead occasionally emits a glimmer of light. If a match enters Sudden Death, unlike in previous games where Bob-ombs begin to drop after some time, the screen slowly zooms in on the center of the stage, shrinking the field of view and stage boundary and thereby making it easier for fighters to be KO'd. The Sudden Death mode is visually accompanied by flames that intensify as the screen zooms in on the stage. Bob-ombs still drop on the stage if enough time passes and no one is KO'd.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is available in 11 different languages: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean, all of which are fully voiced. However, the Chinese versions use the Japanese voice set, and some of the specific names (characters, stages, items, etc.) are also not translated and use their English names instead, probably due to copyright reasons (mostly for third-party games), or they were not intended to have official Chinese versions for the original games. Though, all of the DLC contents so far are fully localized in the Chinese versions. This is the second Super Smash Bros. game to have a Simplified Chinese localization (the first being the iQue Player release of the N64 Super Smash Bros.), and the first game to have a Traditional Chinese localization. The player can also change the dialect for the English, French, and Spanish languages by changing the "Region" setting in the System Settings for the console (though in the case of English, it only changes the names for certain characters, stages, etc., such as Duck Hunt being called "Duck Hunt Duo" and the Find Mii stage into "StreetPass™ Quest", as well as release dates in tips). Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first installment in the series to feature Dutch and Russian announcers.
Before starting a match, the player can create their own preset rules, such as the number of stocks and time limit, which they can quickly select at any time. In addition to Time and Stock modes, Stamina mode is now a standard mode alongside the aforementioned two and is no longer a part of Special Smash. Stocks can also be added to Stamina mode - and it can now be played online.
8-Player Smash also returns from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and can now be played on any stage from the start.
A new rule option added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the Final Smash Meter, which appears below each fighter's damage meter and fills up as the player takes damage from opponent attacks, similar to Little Mac's Power Meter. Once it is full, the player can then use a Final Smash. These Final Smashes deal less damage and knockback than regular Final Smashes obtained from Smash Balls, and like them, only one can be used at a time.
Squad Strike (Japanese: 団体戦 Dantaisen, Team Competition) is an elimination-style battle mode added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The player can choose between 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 Squad Strikes, which can be carried out with one player on each side playing as three or five characters, or three or five players on each side each playing as one character. In a Squad Strike, both sides battle each other as the three or five characters consecutively in one battle. Characters can only be picked once per team, including amiibo fighters.
Tourney returns from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, allowing up to 32 participants to compete. After selecting the number of total participants, the number of CPU players and tourney type, the game automatically generates a tournament bracket. This mode is also compatible with amiibo fighters.
Special Smash from previous installments returns, this time with three sub-modes. The first is Custom Smash, which works the same way as in Special Smash from Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, except there is no longer a Stamina option due to it being a part of the basic rule selection. The 300% setting has been split into Super Sudden Death, which works similarly to the rule of the same name in Super Smash Bros. Melee.
In the new, third mode, Smashdown (Japanese: 全員バトル Zen'in Batoru, All-Members Battle), players enter a series of matches selecting a character for each one. After one match ends, however, the characters used in that match are no longer available for subsequent matches, forcing players to select a different character for the next one. Smashdown is the only mode that supports 8-Player Smash.
The Adventure mode in this game is called World of Light. It has a board game-like map, and elements and maps based on various games have been shown; Warp Pipes and ! Switches are noticeable. Unlike The Subspace Emissary, which is very plot-heavy, World of Light is used to demonstrate the functionalities of spirits and spirit battles and has a very loose plot to leave the player free to explore the light and dark realms of the Adventure mode. World of Light also has considerably fewer cutscenes than The Subspace Emissary, though most of them are silent, akin to The Subspace Emissary's cutscenes; the lone exception being the introductory scene.
During the events of the Adventure mode, a monster called Galeem defeats all of the fighters except Kirby, imprisoning them in the eponymous World of Light, where they are cloned and their clones are possessed by spirits, which are the other victims of Galeem's attack. Once Kirby has freed Mario and more fighters and spirits in the Light Realm and defeated Galeem, a new monster named Dharkon appears, opening a path to the Dark Realm, forcing Galeem to retreat. When the remaining fighters and spirits are freed in the Dark Realm (as well as defeating Dharkon), Galeem appears to confront Dharkon, putting the player in a third realm: a mixture of the Light and Dark Realms.
Within the mode, only Kirby is available from start; the rest of the fighters are unlocked through the mode's progress in matches similar to those of Challenger's Approach (the exception being Bowser, who becomes playable after defeating Giga Bowser). Downloadable characters can be made available to play as in World of Light by freeing 10 fighters in the mode. If the character in question is downloaded with the criteria having been met beforehand, then the character is immediately unlocked.
Three endings exist in Adventure Mode: two bad endings with Galeem or Dharkon respectively, and a true ending with both bosses. The first ending is achieved by defeating too many dark puppet fighters, thus forcing the player to fight Galeem; when Galeem is defeated, Dharkon destroys Galeem and his army, encroaching the universe in darkness. The second ending is achieved by defeating too many light puppet fighters, thus forcing the player to fight Dharkon; when Dharkon is defeated, Galeem unleashes another wave of light, essentially engulfing the universe in light again. The third ending is achieved by defeating an equal number of light and dark puppet fighters, making the player fight both Galeem and Dharkon simultaneously; when the player wins, the universe is restored to its original state, while all spirits fly back to their original worlds.
The primary way spirits can be obtained is through the Spirit Board. On the Spirit Board, up to ten random spirits will appear on the board and the player can choose any one to battle against and gain the spirit. When the player wins against that spirit, it will disappear from the Spirit Board, and a timer will appear on that slot. When the timer runs out, a new spirit takes that slot. The spirits themselves also have a time limit for how long they will appear on the Spirit Board. When their time limits run out, new spirits will replace them immediately. Sometimes, there will be events happening on the Spirit Board and certain spirits will appear related to a theme. Defeating spirits during those events rewards more gold and SP than usual.
Added in the version 3.0.0 update, a special DLC Spirit Board will appear if the player has purchased any of the Challenger Packs. Unlike the regular Spirit Board, the background and music relate to the series the DLC spirits are from, the player does not need to shoot the Puppet Fighter to obtain the spirit, and they do not disappear from the Spirit Board when they are collected, allowing them to be collected indefinitely. When the player collects all of the spirits from a DLC Spirit Board, they will be rewarded with 10,000 gold.
This sub-menu is where the player can view and modify their spirits.
Games & More
Unlike other Super Smash Bros. games, there is no longer a Stadium menu. Mob Smash, along with Home-Run Contest (as of version 5.0.0) are now sub-modes within the Games & More menu.
Classic Mode returns from previous installments, returning to its original format last seen in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which the player fights multiple opponents in a linear series of matches to reach the end, while also trying to get a high score. This time, each fighter has a set series of opponents to face. Unlike Classic Mode's previous incarnations, the player is always given one stock, never being able to adjust the stock number before initiating the mode. When the player is KO'd, using a continue no longer causes the current match they are in to restart; instead, the match begins right where it left off, but the player starts with 0% and gets points deducted off their score. At the end of each path, the fighter has a specific boss they are required to fight, though there are variations for some characters' Classic Mode routes.
Training mode lets players practice and experiment with characters' moves, items and the CPU as well as manipulate gameplay elements (such as game speed and damage), also returning from previous installments. The mode now features an exclusive numbered, grid-like stage, which allows the player to measure distances such as jump height and projectile range. In addition, it is now possible to toggle whether or not to show the trajectory at which the CPU would be launched from an attack at 50% damage in the form of a green curve, alongside the trajectory if they would be launched at 0% damage (a red curve) and 100% damage (a blue curve). Unlike Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, this mode is also compatible with amiibo fighters.
Multi-Man Smash returns from previous installments under the name Mob Smash. This time, the mode has three rules:
Home-Run Contest is a minigame mode from previous Super Smash Bros. games that was added in the version 5.0.0 update. The player damages a Sandbag within ten seconds and tries to launch it as far as possible using a Home-Run Bat. It can be played individually, competitively against four people, and cooperatively with two people. There are separate records for each.
The player can make and customize Mii Fighters here, including the Mii, name, special moves, voice options, and costumes.
amiibo are scanned here and the player can change their name, alternate costume, and equip them with various spirits to help them in battle. If an amiibo is ported over from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, they can be chosen to either start from scratch or at level 12.
Stage Builder, added in the version 3.0.0 update, is a mode from previous Super Smash Bros. games where the player can create stages. They can draw out layouts, choose backgrounds, choose what music to play on the stage, and even add gimmicks like lava, cannons, portals, switches to move environments, and more. They can even decorate the stages by drawing ground in various planes of the stage.
Challenger's Approach is a unique feature of this game, where the player can rematch with unlockable fighters. This menu appears after a few minutes of failing an unlock match. When selected, the Challenger Approaching screen will appear for the unlockable fighter to which the player lost the match, then the player can choose any character they have unlocked to rematch the unlockable fighter. When all fighters are unlocked, this mode is permanently inaccessible.
Online is a mode where one can fight other players in battle via the Internet. Various modes are available, such as Quickplay, Battle Arenas, Shared Content, and Options. A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required to access and play all online modes.
Quickplay is a mode where one or two players fight other players online. When playing solo, the player fights to gain GSP (Global Smash Power), a score of sorts, in either a 1-on-1, a 2-on-2 team battle, or a 3 or 4-player free-for-all; each fighter has separate GSP counts, which are all combined and divided by the roster (excluding the three Mii Fighters, who are unusable in Quickplay) for the player's average total GSP. Once reaching a certain amount of GSP (usually a very high number, which itself is subject to change), the player's fighter enters Elite Smash, an advanced sub-mode where only high-GSP players fight. Quickplay's co-op mode functions similarly to a team battle solo, albeit without GSP.
Battle Arenas is a mode where players can create or join servers, known as arenas, to fight friends and/or strangers. Arenas can either be made public, where any user can join said arena; or they can be set to "Friends Only", where only users in the player's friend list can join their arena. Many aspects such as the time limit, stock count, items, FS Meter, and stage hazards can be adjusted when creating the arena, as well as some being adjustable during the arena's lifespan; the player's rulesets in the Smash mode can be used in Battle Arenas, or new ones can be made. Arenas come with five-digit-long alphanumeric IDs (e.g., 77B4V) which can be used by players to find a specific arena they want to join; additionally, passwords (which can be up to 8 digits long) can be toggled on or off.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features all 63 (65 if counting Pokémon Trainer's Pokémon separately) previously playable characters in the series, as well as 23 (24 if counting Pyra and Mythra separately) newcomers. 11 of the newcomers are part of the base game, while 12 (13) of them were released post-launch as downloadable content (DLC). Of those 12 DLC newcomers, 11 are available through two Fighters Passes (with the first pass containing five fighters and the second containing six fighters) and can be purchased individually. The remaining DLC newcomer, Piranha Plant, is available separately from these passes. Not including the briefly controllable Master Hand, a total of 74 (76) fighters are playable in the base game, while 12 (13) fighters have been released as DLC for a total of 86 (89) characters. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also sees a significant increase in the number of newly-introduced third-party characters, introducing 11 non-Nintendo fighters as opposed to Super Smash Bros. Brawl's two or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U's five.
Uniquely, seven characters (two veterans and five newcomers) are given a special category known as Echo Fighters, which are characters whose movesets are heavily derived from those of other characters. While some Echo Fighters have distinct differences, such as Chrom and Ken, others, like Daisy and Richter, may be completely identical to the fighter they are based on. However, while their movesets may be similar to their base character, they have unique visual differences such as Final Smashes, taunts, victory animations, and, in some cases, victory themes.
The number beside each playable character (excluding Echo Fighters) signifies the order in which they were announced to be playable in the Super Smash Bros. series; in the case of the unlockable characters from Super Smash Bros. Melee, their order is based on the number of Smash matches required to unlock them in that game. Instead of having their own number, Echo Fighters are given the same number as their base counterpart with a lower-case epsilon symbol (ε) being placed next to the number. (This also affects their location on the character selection screen.) This numerical order is similar to the character order in the previous game's Sound Test, with exceptions such as third-party characters and previously unlockable characters being mixed in with other characters, and Echo Fighters being placed next to the characters they are based on. As Sheik was announced for Melee before Zelda, their order is also swapped.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate contains the most unlockable characters out of any Super Smash Bros. game. The starting roster consists of the eight starting fighters from the original Super Smash Bros., as well as the ability to create a Mii to include them as starter characters; the rest of the roster needs to be unlocked. There are three ways for a character to be unlocked:
On the character selection screen, the roster is ordered by number (except for Miis, who are positioned next to the "Random" panel), instead of roughly by series like in previous installments.
Alternate characters and gender swaps
Several characters can change their gender in their alternate costumes, while other characters have alternate costumes that turn them into completely different characters. In the latter case, the game recognizes these characters individually as they get announcer calls, crowd chants, and Boxing Ring titles (except for Hero in the former two), but in-game, they have the same attributes as their default character.
Light Realm bosses
Dark Realm bosses
Unlike in previous installments, stages are selected before characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. All stages can not only be played in their Final Destination form (known as Omega (Ω) form) as in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, but also in a new Battlefield form, which adds three floating, pass-through platforms. Like the original Final Destination and Battlefield, in both forms for all stages, the stage is set on a large platform floating over an abyss, as opposed to a large pillar with walls leading down to the bottom, as is the case with several Omega stages in the previous installments. The player is also given the option to turn off stage hazards.
A new feature added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Stage Morph, which causes the stage on which players are currently fighting to transform into another stage in the middle of the match. The player can choose two stages for this function, and can also set the frequency at which they transform between each other.
There are 103 stages in the base game, all of which are available from the start. There are also twelve stages released through DLC, with each DLC fighter (except Piranha Plant) having a stage of their own, and the addition of Small Battlefield in the version 8.1.0 update. The following list is sorted by the original Super Smash Bros. games in which they first appear. Stages marked with an asterisk (*) are downloadable content.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U
Poké Ball Pokémon
Nintendo Labo VR
After downloading the version 3.1.0 update released on May 30, 2019, the Nintendo Labo's Toy-Con VR Goggles can be used in the "VR" mode (found in "Games & More"), which allows a single player to play regular matches against CPUs or spectate CPU-controlled matches in virtual reality. VR mode does not include the same rules and stages as Smash mode, as only Time matches of up to 10 minutes can be played, and only the CPU levels, launch rates, score/damage displays, and stage selection mode can be modified. Items also cannot be used.
The following 50 stages are available in VR:
Note that the most recently released software update must be downloaded to access Online. In addition, most updates invalidate replay data created before that update, making them unplayable, due to replays reading game data and inputting recordings of data live, rather than actual footage. Release dates are in Pacific Standard Time.
Release date: December 7, 2018
Release date: December 13, 2018
NOTE: Online features require a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Release date: December 21, 2018
Release date: January 30, 2019
Release date: February 22, 2019
Release date: April 2, 2019
Release date: April 17, 2019
Release date: April 25, 2019
Release date: May 31, 2019
Release Date: July 07, 2019
Release Date: September 4, 2019
Release Date: November 6, 2019
Release Date: December 14, 2019
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Release Date: January 28th, 2020 (January 29th in some time zones)
Release Date: June 29th, 2020 (June 30th in some time zones)
Release date: August 4th, 2020 (August 5th in some time zones)
Further investigations and adjustments to Online mode are expected for future patches.
Release date: October 13th, 2020 (October 14th in some time zones)
Release date: October 21st, 2020 (October 22nd in some time zones)
Release date: November 11th, 2020 (November 12th in some time zones)
Release date: December 17th, 2020 (December 18th, 2020 in some time zones).
Release date: December 22nd, 2020 (December 23rd in some time zones).
In addition to all previously released amiibo relating to the playable characters being usable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, amiibo for every fighter introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have been announced to be released in the Super Smash Bros. line. Like in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, amiibo can act as Figure Players (FP) in battle, and amiibo data from the aforementioned games can be transferred to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Spirits can also be used on Figure Players.
In addition to the fighter amiibo, some other amiibo can summon spirits, such as the Tom Nook amiibo being able to summon a Tom Nook spirit.
The following is a list of released amiibo for fighters introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
December 7, 2018
February 15, 2019
April 12, 2019
July 26, 2019
September 20, 2019
November 15, 2019
January 17, 2020
October 2, 2020
March 26, 2021
April 29, 2022
A Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-themed Nintendo Switch Pro Controller has been available since launch; it can be purchased individually or as part of a bundle that also includes the game and a black steel case with the flaming Super Smash Bros. emblem seen in the game's March 2018 teaser. A silver 1.5" coin will also be included in the bundle as a bonus item when purchased at Best Buy.
A bundle containing a specially designed Nintendo Switch console and a download code for the game was released on November 2, 2018, though the download code couldn't be used until the game's release on December 7, 2018. The console features a design of the original eight Super Smash Bros. series characters on the front of the dock, as well as the Super Smash Bros. symbol printed across the Joy-Con. A Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-edition Nintendo GameCube Controller and the GameCube Controller Adapter previously released for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U also released on the same day.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has received widespread critical acclaim.
As of March 31, 2022, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate had sold 28.17 million units worldwide, making it the third best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch (after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons). In addition, the game is also the best-selling fighting game of all time.
Pre-release and unused content
Like previous entries in the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai directed this game. Several companies collaborated to produce the game, including Digital Frontier Inc., who created the cinematics, and Bandai Namco Games, who co-developed the game. Xander Mobus returns as the announcer, making this game the first Super Smash Bros. game to use the same announcer as in a previous game. This game marks the 100th performance credit of Charles Martinet as the voice of Mario, a landmark for which he received a Guinness World Record for the most video game voice-over performances of a single character.
References to other games
Names in other languages