Everything You Need To Know About Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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A familiar cry rings out as you land the final, crushing blow: “Victory!” It feels like you’ve just won the lottery, because you may as well have – you’ve conquered another battle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

You’ve probably heard the name over and over in passing, whether you’re casually interested in the game, a hardcore fan, or a pop culture addict. It’s one of the biggest phenomena to hit the industry, and if you enjoy great games, you owe it to yourself to give it a spin. But do you really know what it’s all about?

We’ve got everything you need to know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, getting started, what you can do, which controller you should use, and more. So you can stop wondering about whether you should slap that cartridge into your Nintendo Switch and get playing – because you’re probably the only one left at this point who hasn’t, let’s be honest.

What is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Nintendo has a long-standing tradition since the Nintendo 64’s launch with releasing a new Super Smash Bros. title. Ever since the brawling classic first debuted on that classic system, we’ve seen new iterations with each new console, and they’ve sold like gangbusters. The premise? First-party Nintendo characters and a whole spectrum of third-party faces beat the stuffing out of each other.

We’re talking Mario versus Metal Gear Solid’s Snake, Metroid’s Samus Aran against Sonic the Hedgehog. It’s a veritable battle royale, and we’re not talking the kind you see in Fortnite.

Smash is all about selecting a main, learning their moves inside and out, and totally decimating the competition, or just having friendly, heated battles with friends. It’s the perfect game to play with family and loved ones, or players halfway across the world, with a bustling competitive community that’s fiercely passionate about the game and franchise as a whole.

Most of all, it’s a veritable slice of Nintendo-centric heaven, with a heaping helping of familiar characters, stages, music tracks, and Easter eggs for gamers.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the Nintendo Switch instalment, and the first time it’s been on the system. It’s the biggest version of the game yet, with thousands of character cameos, hundreds of nods to gamer culture, and every single fighter and stage seen in previous instalments.

In short, it’s just as “ultimate” as it sounds. It’s got characters you wouldn’t expect, surprises around every corner, and a boatload of replayability.

What characters are available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

To put it simply, everyone who’s ever appeared in the previous Smash games, and a whole lot more. When the game was first revealed at E3 2018, creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed that the game would be the most inclusive entry in the series yet, with a complete roster of 74 fighters including Nintendo standby favourites as well as a variety of new and interesting additions.

Games like Street Fighter, Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid, Sonic the Hedgehog, Animal Crossing, Star Fox, Bayonetta, and even Final Fantasy VII are included, so there’s a fighter tailor-made for just about everyone.

Each returning character has been given a series of tweaks both major and minor, as well as additional “Echo fighters,” or essentially palette swaps of existing characters with similar movesets. For instance, Princess Peach’s Echo fighter is Princess Daisy, and so on.

There are more characters coming, too. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is out now, but there’s a Fighters Pass available for an additional purchase at $24.99 that’ll add five new fighters soon enough. The first one has already been revealed – Persona 5’s Joker, though the rest of the roster has yet to be announced. Whoever it includes will likely be comprised of veritable fan-favourites though, as Sakurai has indicated there will be several surprises. Each fighter will also come rocking a new stage and music, too.

If you purchased the game before January 31, you also get the giant potted Piranha Plant.

All the characters aren’t simply unlocked at the start of the game, however. You’ve got to do some work to get them all. You start out with the first eight characters seen in the original Nintendo 64 game, and then add more fighters as additional challengers approach. Playing the single-player game World of Light or simply taking part in local or online matches can help you burn through these challenges, but they’ll come in time – no need to rush them.

What controller should I use to play?

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Controller

Great question – you can technically just use the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con controllers to get your fight on, but when there are controllers made for the sole purpose of kicking butt more efficiently, you should strongly consider opting for those. For anyone who already uses the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, that’s an excellent and totally viable option for heading into battle.

Otherwise, you might want to opt for the Super Smash Bros. Wireless GameCube Controller, which is a wireless controller modelled after the grand master of Smash inputs: the GameCube’s iconic gamepad. If you can secure one of these, make sure you do so. You won’t have to worry about wires, and you’ll be playing with the same things pro players swear by. You’ll notice a vast difference in the way you play, no matter what character you choose, immediately upon switching.

If you prefer, the Pro Controller is a fine analogue for the GameCube version, but that’s the path to take if you want to play like those in the big leagues.

What is there to do in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

What isn’t there to do? That’s a more appropriate question. First and foremost, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s bread and butter is World of Light mode, where you tackle an enormous game board where you can unlock new fighters and follow the game’s narrative. You play through a series of characters fighting against an evil entity that’s killed off the vast majority of the Super Smash Bros. universe’s characters – every one of them, except, well…Kirby. That’s all explained in the official opening scene, but yeah, Kirby.

That’s weird, right?

It may be weird, but it’s supremely addictive. There’s a wild abundance of different characters to unlock and play as, as well as character Spirits to help bolster your party with special abilities, experience points, and other cool ways to improve your fighting ability. You might get one that nullifies fire damage, or equips you with a certain weapon at the beginning of every match.

Collecting Spirits will take you quite a while, of course, because there are over a thousand in the game. It’ll take a staggering amount of time to unlock them all, so you might opt to simply unlock Spirits by way of the Spirit Board. Here, you can face off against a variety of different characters that you must defeat, and then “capture” at the end of the battle.

You only get one shot at each fight, and then that’s it, so make sure you choose your battles wisely. At a certain point, the Spirits currently available on the Spirit Board will change out, and you can tackle different characters. There are also regular events that feature themed characters from time to time, which you’ll want to take advantage of.

You only get one shot at each fight, and then that’s it, so make sure you choose your battles wisely.

Of course, you can always opt for classic game modes as well. Classic mode, in particular, is a great choice (that’s why it’s a classic, after all.) It lets you pick a fighter and start battling your way up through the ranks to earn awesome rewards. It’ll be a mainstay for players looking to make progress.

Smash mode lets you choose your stage, rules, and then get to smashing with up to eight combatants. Squad Strike lets you squad up with teams of three to five fighters and take on your enemy squad in multiplayer battles. Tournament mode is self-explanatory, and Special Smash lets you and a friend play through the entirety of the roster to see who can emerge victorious.

Custom Smash lets you create and play by your own rules. Mob Smash lets you eliminate waves of opponents, and Challenger’s Approach lets you tackle new fighters to unlock.

Finally, and you’re definitely going to want to make use of this, Training mode lets you put all your Smash skills to the test. Seriously. Don’t want to be a scrub, now.

Ready to suit up and get down to business in Smash? Let us know who you decide to main, and when you’re ready to take a beatdown – and above all, welcome to the community!