Here's how to unlock all hidden characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — spoiler free

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 8, 2018 at 3:59 p.m. PST

Update (12/08/2018): Now that we've had time to play the game for ourselves, we now have a better idea of how the unlocking process works. This guide has been updated with accurate and complete information.

Earlier: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate boasts a cumulative roster featuring every character that's ever been in a Smash title to date plus a handful of new additions totaling no less than 74 brawlers to choose from with even more en route via DLC.

When you boot up Ultimate for the very first time you'll likely notice that the character select screen only offers eight characters. That's because you'll be spending the first few chapters of your newest Smash experience unlocking the 66 remaining fighters.

This seems like a fairly tall order, and it is, but Masahiro Sakurai and the development team have made the unlock process streamlined and efficient as you play through the game's various modes. Whether you're playing alone or with friends, you'll be able to start unlocking new roster additions right away.

There are three main modes that lead to unlocks: Classic, World of Light and Versus. Versus and Classic Mode will unlock fighters in a set order.

This means the first time you play Versus mode you'll wind up with an unlock fight afterwards. The next versus match you finish after 10 minutes has passed will bring on another unlock battle.

We've also heard reports that you can skip this 10 minute buffer period by switching the game off and then starting it back up again. Enter a one-stock Versus Mode battle, KO yourself immediately and that should incite another unlock fight.

If there's a specific character or two that you want to get earlier on then Classic Mode is probably more for you. Finishing Classic Mode with specific characters triggers other specific characters to unlock.

Versus Unlock Guide

Characters are unlocked in versus mode in this order:

1. Ness
2. Zelda
3. Bowser
4. Pit
5. Inkling
6. Villager
7. Marth
8. Young Link
9. Wii Fit Trainer
10. Ice Climbers
11. Captain Falcon
12. Peach
13. Ryu
14. Ike
15. Jigglypuff
16. King K. Rool
17. Sonic
18. Simon Belmont
19. Zero Suit Samus
20. Little Mac
21. Isabelle
22. Shulk
23. Lucina
24. Wario
25. Ridley
26. Pokémon Trainer
27. Lucario
28. Daisy
29. Roy
30. King Dedede
31. R.O.B.
32. Falco
33. Luigi
34. Pichu
34. Richter Belmont
36. Lucas
37. Diddy Kong
38. Meta Knight
39. Snake
40. Ganondorf
41. Corrin
42. Mega Man
43. Bayonetta
44. Toon Link
45. Rosalina and Luma
46. Incineroar
47. Sheik
48. Olimar
49. PAC-MAN
50. Dark Samus
51. Wolf
52. Mr. Game and Watch
53. Robin
54. Dark Pit
55. Cloud
56. Duck Hunt
57. Ken
58. Greninja
59. Chrom
60. Mewtwo
61. Bowser Jr.
62. Dr. Mario
63. Palutena

Essentially, you are only required to play one versus match for the "challenger approaching" prompt to show up. The catch is, there is a 10 minute cooldown between unlocks.

If you are looking to unlock characters as quickly as possible, then you'll want to close Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after every unlock. Doing so will actually reset the 10 minute timer.

Using this method, combined with self destructing one stock matches, all fighters can be unlocked in roughly three hours.

Classic Mode Unlock Guide

1. Mario:
• Sonic
• Bayonetta
• Little Mac
• Ike
• Luigi
• Roy
• Dr. Mario
• Olimar

2. Donkey Kong:
• Bowser
• Pokémon Trainer
• Rosalina and Luma
• King Dedede
• Sheik
• Greinja
• Diddy Kong
• Duck Hunt

3. Link:
• King K. Rool
• Ice Climbers
• Simon Belmont
• Meta Knight
• Snake
• Young Link
• Richter Belmont
• Toon Link

4. Samus:
• Inkling
• Wii Fit Trainer
• Pit
• Incineroar
• Dark Samus
• Cloud
• Wario
• Dark Pit

5. Yoshi:
• Lucario
• Marth
• Ryu
• Ganondorf
• Lucina
• Ridley
• Chrom
• Ken

6. Kirby:
• Ness
• Jigglypuff
• PAC-MAN
• Zelda
• Robin
• Corrin
• Lucas
• Palutena

7. Fox:
• Captain Falcon
• Zero Suit Samus
• Peach
• Falco
• Daisy
• Bowser Jr.
• Wolf
• Mewtwo

8. Pikachu:
• Villager
• Shulk
• R.O.B.
• Mega Man
• Isabelle
• Mr. Game and Watch
• Pichu

Classic Mode playthroughs tend to take longer than 10 minutes, so you won't have to worry about the 10 minute cooldown. Keep in mind that it does still reset the timer afterwards.

There is actually a defined order in which combatants are unlocked based on which character is used. Rather, the challenger is dependent on which "group" the fulfilling fighter originates from.

You can technically unlock Sonic, Bayonetta, Little Mac, Ike, Luigi, Roy, Dr. Mario, and Olimar just by beating Classic Mode with Mario 8 times in a row. You could also do this with — for example — Ike, assuming you unlocked Ike through another method.

The challenger you'll get will always come in the same order, skipping those that you've already been challenged by. Any character in Mario's group is able to unlock any other fighter in that same group.

But what happens if you complete Classic Mode with the last combatant of a given group? You'll then start unlocking challengers of the lowest number group (based on the original character's order) that still has unlockables.

For example, we tested beating the game with Incineroar (found in Samus' group or group 4) six times in the same game file. However, by this point there were only four unlocks remaining in that group. The next two challenges were Sonic and Bayonetta — fighters in Mario's group.

Essentially what this means is that you can technically unlock all 63 unlockables by completing Classic Mode with the same fighter 63 times in a row — if that's really what you wanted to do. If you're looking for a specific fighter, you'll only have to beat Classic Mode at most eight times.

World of Light Unlock Guide

The game's story mode, World of Light, essentially serves as something of an arcade ladder. It consists of a few different paths you can take, each of which will inspire fights that will unlock more characters.

It seems as though playing World of Light also functions very similarly to Versus Mode in that exiting after playing for 10 minutes also can trigger unlock battles. The majority of the following information was collected from Elecspo.

Note that unlocking Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Fox, Yoshi, and Pikachu in the World of Light only unlocks them for the adventure mode. They are starting characters otherwise.

First Path - Mario
Branching Paths – Sheik, Marth, or Villager
Villager Path – Link, Yoshi, Dr. Mario, Lucario, Isabelle, and Captain Falcon (according to GameXplain)
Sheik’s Path – Jigglypuff, and Mii Swordfighter (according to GameXplain)
Marth Path – Olimar, Mega Man, and Pac-Man
Sub-Area 1 – Zelda, Young Link, Ganondorf, Chrom, Meta Knight, Ike, Sonic, R.O.B., Wolf, Greninja, Cloud, Incineroar
Sub-Area 2 – King Dedede
Final Boss Path – Simon Belmont

Should you lose a challenger approaching battle, you could potentially rematch them in the "Games and More" section. You'll want to check this section often as it appears to show up after a cooldown period or after a certain number of matches.

Contributions to this story were made by Justin "AdaptiveTrigger" Gordon, Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez, and Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills.

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