Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a massive crossover fighting game, featuring an enormous roster of over 70 fighters. However, when you first start the game you’re limited to the eight fighters who appeared on the original Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64.
You’ll unlock more fighters just through playing, but it’s not as random as you think. There are multiple ways to unlock characters, and by adventuring through the World of Light single player mode or completing Classic Mode with certain fighters, you can be a bit more proactive and hunt for certain characters.
Read our guide below for the different methods to unlocking characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The Smash Unlock Order
Every 10 minutes spent playing the game will result in a challenger approaching, in order of the list below. You can spend 10 minutes playing random Smash matches or spending time in the World of Light Adventure Mode or Spirit Battles.
NOTE: You can circumvent the 10 minute timer by closing the game completely and restarting it. At that point the timer no longer matters – as soon as you finish a match, win or lose, a new challenger will approach. The quickest method is to set a Stock battle to 1 and walk off the edge. This is the single fastest way to unlock every character, if a bit cheesy.
You’ll have to beat the challenger to unlock them, and some of them can be quite difficult. In the case of multiple players in a Smash match, the player who won the match will face off against the challenger.
If you’ve already unlocked a character by other means, it will simply skip that character and go to the next one.
- Young Link
- Wii Fit Trainer
- Ice Climbers
- Captain Falcon
- King K. Rool
- Zero Suit Samus
- Little Mac
- Pokémon Trainer
- King Dedede
- Diddy Kong
- Meta Knight
- Mega Man
- Toon Link
- Rosalina & Luma
- Dark Samus
- Mr. Game & Watch
- Dark Pit
- Duck Hunt
- Bowser Jr.
- Dr. Mario
Note that if you ever fail to beat a new challenger, you can challenge them again by going to Games & More on the main screen, then clicking on the gate icon in the lower right corner (it may take a few challengers before it appears). This also has the advantage of allowing you to choose your fighter, instead of using the last one you used when they appear.
If you fail to beat them again, you’ll have to wait 10 minutes to be able to face them again (or restart the game and play a match). Multiple failed challenges will queue up at the challenger gate in order.
The Mii Fighters are actually unlocked from the start, you just have to create one in the Games & More section. There are three different kinds of Mii Fighters you can make: Brawler, Swordfighter, and Gunner. For the purposes of the official roster (74 fighters at launch, including Echo Fighters), all three count as three separate fighters. You can also customize their movesets and their outfits.
Classic Mode was the original single player campaign mode. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, one fighter goes through six unique battles, plus an end boss fight. Each Classic Mode is unique and different, and completing a run will always result in a new challenger approaching.
Which challenger appears can be found with this handy chart. For example, beating Classic Mode with Mario will make Sonic appear. If you previously unlocked Sonic, you’ll get Bayonetta instead.
Classic Mode can be found in the Games & More section.
Using this chart you can find the most efficient way to unlocking your favorite characters.
The World of Light is the massive single player adventure in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. You’ll start with even less characters here – only Kirby survived Galeem’s initial onslaught. Within the giant map filled with Spirit Battles you can find other fighters waiting to be challenged and unlocked. Unlocking them in Adventure mode will unlock them in your regular roster as well.
It can be very spoilery to see who and where you unlock various characters, but IGN has a map up if you want all the information.
It’s advisable to back out of Adventure Mode every 10 minutes or so, that way you can take full advantage of the Smash Unlock Order above.
No matter which method you choose, or any combination therein, you’ll constantly unlock fighters as you play. Try them all to find your old standbys and discover new favorites.