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Super Smash Bros Ultimate character unlock guide and Smash Bros character list

Every character available in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - and how you can start unlocking them.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate features every Super Smash Bros character ever created - including some new additions - all in one game. No more complaining about the lack of Pichu, Snake or Wolf - they're all in here.

One initial snag is there are not in the game initially. They require unlocking - with the game giving you the original cast of eight to begin with, and putting you to work on getting the rest.

There are multiple Super Smash Bros character unlock methods, and until you've got them all, we have a Super Smash Bros character list so you can work out who you are missing.

Not only that - but more Super Smash Bros DLC characters have been added over time.

On this page:

Watch Super Smash Bros Ultimate's opening movie

When you have them all, our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Tier List can help you decide who to play as. We also have some Super Smash Bros Ultimate tips if you want to brush up on the essentials, plus everything we know about Super Smash Bros Ultimate DLC.

The fastest way to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

There are multiple ways to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate - some easier and more reliable than others.

Apart from World of Light, the way you'll encounter new characters is the same - you have to beat them in combat, with them challenging you to a match.

The fastest way to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Play a Smash match (also known as Versus mode) and after the match is over, you'll be challenged by a random character so you can unlock them.

There is a ten minute in-game counter between these encounters, designed to slow down to rate of character unlocks. However, you can avoid this by restarting the game. The next time you play a Smash / Versus match, and you'll then get another character unlock.

You can make this go even quicker is you set it so match settings are set to Stamina, and each character's stamina being as slow as possible (10), enough so a single projectile will end the match - and saving that as a template for future runs.

If you get to a point where this no longer works, you may need to move a certain distance during at match between unlocks as well - dannyjayes1 on reddit recommends playing on the 'Moray Towers' (Splatoon stage), walking up and down, then completing the match.

Doing this method - playing a Smash match, unlocking a character, closing the game and repeating - is a grind, but is the fastest way to go.

Other character unlock methods in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

There are a few other ways to get characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate:

  • Each Classic Mode completion (found in the Games and More portion of the main menu) results in a character unlock. The benefit of this is the eight starting roster will unlock Super Smash Bros characters in a specific order, as shown in the following official image (thanks, Stuart98 on reddit):
  • Encounter the respective character when playing World of Light, the game's single-player adventure, to unlock them across all modes. This is also how you unlock Mii Fighter styles.
  • As mentioned in the fastest unlock method above, playing any other mode for ten minutes (of in-game time) will see a New Challenger encounter when you next exit the mode.

Note that if you fail when challenged by a character, then you can attempt again by selecting it on the main menu screen. It's intermittent, so keep playing until it appears again.

Every new character added in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, including Fighters Pass DLC, explained

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its namesake when it comes to character roster alone, featuring every single character released in previous entries - the 64 original, Melee, Brawl, Wii U and 3DS editions - whether they've featured just once, as DLC, or have been with the series since the beginning.

Who are the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters?

Not only is there a huge returning roster, there are several new fighters too, with more being added as DLC until the end of 2021:

  • Inkling (from Splatoon)
  • Ridley (from Metroid)
  • Simon (from Castlevania)
  • King K. Rool (from Donkey Kong)
  • Isabelle (from Animal Crossing)
  • Incineroar (from Pokemon)
  • Piranha Plant (from Super Mario - free DLC if Smash Bros is purchased and bought by January 31st, available February 2019)
  • Joker (from Persona 5 - first Fighters Pass Vol 1 character, available April 2019)
  • The Hero (from Dragon Quest - second Fighters Pass Vol 1 character, available July 2019)
  • Banjo and Kazooie (from Banjo & Kazooie - third Fighters Pass Vol 1 character, available September 2019)
  • Terry Bogard (from Final Fight - fourth Fighters Pass Vol 1 character, available November 2019)
  • Byleth (from Fire Emblem: Three Houses - fifth Fighters Pass Vol 1 character, available January 2020)
  • Min Min (from ARMS - first Fighters Pass Vol 2 character, available June 2020)
  • Steve (from Minecraft - second Fighters , available June 2020)

Meanwhile, the game introduces the concept of 'Echo Fighters'. It's not a new concept; they are reskins of other characters with offer subtle differences in their movesets, but unlike costumes, have their own place in the roster. These include:

  • Lucina
  • Dark Pit
  • Daisy (new for Ultimate)
  • Dark Samus (new for Ultimate)
  • Chrom (new for Ultimate)
  • Richter (new for Ultimate)
  • Ken (new for Ultimate)

Are there any more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters coming?

Before the game's release, series director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed there would be post-release DLC for Super Smash Bros Ultimate as part of a Fighters Pass. Since then, there is news of a second set of characters, extending this run until the end of 2021, with Sora being the final character added to the game.

Fighters Pass Vol 2 will feature an additional six fighters.

A Fighters Pass costs £22.49, and includes that volume's set of fighters. Alternatively, you can get them for £5.59 each, with each set adding a Fighter, a Stage and multiple music tracks - and no Echo Fighters.

It should be said the first Fighters Pass does not include Piranha Plant, which was free DLC if Smash Bros is purchased and bought by January 31st, and then made available in February 2019. If you missed out, it was later made available as paid DLC.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character list

Below is a list of every single Super Smash Bros. character coming to the game, their place in the roster, as well as any differences between their last game and Ultimate.

CharacterNoneSmash Bros Ultimate changes
01: Mario
Cappy, Wedding and Builder outfits added
02: Donkey Kong
Final Smash change, new facial animations
03: Link
Champion's Tunic and Tunic of the Wild added from Breath of the Wild, Final Smash unleashes Ancient Arrows, his bombs now detonate remotely
04: Samus
Smash moves can power up in mid-air, and cancelled with jump or dodge
04ᵋ: Dark Samus
New fighter in Ultimate (Samus Echo Fighter)
05: Yoshi
N/A
06: Kirby
Stone ability appearance based on stage, Copy ability for every character
07: Fox
Star Fox Zero design, Final Smash overhaul (no more Landmaster!)
08: Pikachu
Female and Libre versions
09: Luigi
N/A
10: Ness
Final Smash change
11: Captain Falcon
Slow-mo during strong attacks
12: Jigglypuff
N/A
13: Peach
N/A
13ᵋ: Daisy
New fighter in Ultimate (Peach Echo Fighter)
14: Bowser
Final Smash change
15: Ice Climbers
N/A
16: Sheik
N/A
17: Zelda
A Link Between Worlds costume, Final Smash change
18: Dr. Mario
N/A
19: Pichu
Electric shocks can damage Pichu
20: Falco
Final Smash overhaul
21: Marth
Dancing Blade is faster, voiced in English
21ᵋ: Lucina
Dancing Blade is faster, now named Echo Fighter
22: Young Link
N/A
23: Ganondorf
Ocarina of Time design, Final Smash change
24: Mewtwo
N/A
25: Roy
Dancing Blade is faster
25ᵋ: Chrom
New fighter in Ultimate (Roy Echo Fighter)
26: Mr. Game and Watch
Looks more like he did in his original games
27: Meta Knight
N/A
28: Pit
Final Smash change
28ᵋ: Dark Pit
Now named Echo Fighter
29: Zero Suit Samus
Final Smash change
30: Wario
Final Smash change
31: Snake
N/A
32: Ike
Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn outfits, each with different voices
33-35: Pokémon Trainer
Change Pokemon during battle with no penalty, female trainer option
36: Diddy Kong
N/A
37: Lucas
Final Smash change
38: Sonic
Final Smash change
39: King Dedede
Final Smash overhaul
40: Olimar
Helmet cracks when taking damage
41: Lucario
N/A
42: R.O.B.
Vague on cassis to show how much fuel left for hovering
43: Toon Link
N/A
44: Wolf
Star Fox Zero costume, upgrade to moves
45: Villager
Easier to see what you've pocketed, eight various between male and female
46: Mega Man
Hazards from both Mega Man Wii U and 3DS stages in Ultimate stage, Final Smash change
47: Wii Fit Trainer
New face
48: Rosalina
N/A
49: Little Mac
Final Smash change
50: Greninja
N/A
51-53: Mii Fighter
Proportions tweaked, move sets enhanced, 12 voice options
54: Palutena
Special attacks streamlined, special now counter and a deflector
55: PAC-MAN
Final Smash speed boost
56: Robin
Levin Sword and tome gauge added
57: Shulk
Monado Arts now requires one button press and a direction, Final Smash Change
58: Bowser Jr.
N/A
59: Duck Hunt
N/A
60: Ryu
One-on-one Ryu will always face opponent
60ᵋ: Ken
New Echo Fighter in Ultimate
61: Cloud
Limit Gauge added
62: Corrin
N/A
63: Bayonetta
Costumes from both games available, Rodin assist trophy
64: Inkling
New fighter in Ultimate
65: Ridley
New fighter in Ultimate
66: Simon
New fighter in Ultimate
66ᵋ: Richter
New fighter in Ultimate
67: King K. Rool
New fighter in Ultimate
68: Isabelle
New fighter in Ultimate
69: Incineroar
New fighter in Ultimate
70: Piranha Plant
Free DLC for early purchasers of Ultimate
71: Joker
First character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 1 DLC
72: The Hero
Second character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 1 DLC
73: Banjo and Kazooie
Third character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 1 DLC
74: Terry Bogard
Fourth character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 1 DLC
75: Byleth
Fifth character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 1 DLC
76: Min Min
First character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC
77: Steve
Second character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC
78: Sephiroth
Third character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC
79 / 80: Pyra / Mythera
Fourth character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC
81: Kazuya
Fifth character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC
82: Sora
Sixth character available as part of the Fighters Pass Vol 2 DLC

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About the Author

Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds

Managing Editor

Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer.net. When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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