I was banned from playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online for an early disconnect I didn't commit

Prohibited from online play for 28 minutes just because

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • January 15, 2019 at 9:24 a.m. PST

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's online experience has seen improvements since launch, but it still has some kinks to iron out.

Shortly after Smash Bros. Ultimate's official launch back in early December 2018, fans were quick to report trouble with the matchmaking in Quickplay and Elite Smash (essentially the game's online ranked modes). Despite having preferred rule sets in place to make matches as close to competitive standard as possible, players were still actively being dropped into free-for-alls, team bouts, and those that had all manner of random settings.

The 1.2.0 update was added to the game on December 13th, 2018, and with it came a higher priority on preferred rules for matchmaking. Post-update, I definitely get matched up with fights closer to my preferred rule set more often than not, and random matches are fewer and farther between.

However, disconnects from online matches can still pose problems for players even when they aren't the offender.

Nintendo punishes those who rage quit or disconnect from a game early with a ban from online play for about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it looks as though the game still can wrongfully penalize players when these disconnects happen.

I recently found myself in Quickplay going up against a wide array of opponents with varying connection strengths. Inevitably, I came across a player with a connection that made the match unplayable due to the severity of the lag.

During the fight, the screen would freeze for 10-15 seconds at a time, with the periods of time where I could actually move running slowly too. Eventually, the game froze to the point where the connection was dropped. Whether the opponent disconnected due to the lag or the connection between us was dropped by the game is unknown, but what I do know is that I stayed in it the entire time and I still got punished.

Upon returning to the main menu, I was greeted by a message saying that I had been temporarily banned from online play for exhibiting "unsporting behavior." I could not jump back into the mode for 28 minutes.


Image credit - Moonmoon_OW

Searching the internet to see if this occurrence had plagued other or if it was just a one-time hiccup for me, I found that reports of similar experiences dated back as early as two days after launch. Threads like this one note disconnects that were the fault of the other player, but resulted in they themselves being banned from online play.

Not only are players getting banned from ranked modes, but all online activities seem to go off limits when these temporary bans are dished out. This means you can't even alleviate the wait time by playing matches against friends in lobbies.

As far as my connection goes, I am hardwired through an ethernet adapter plugged into the back of my console's dock. It is recommended that players who'd like to play more seriously online avoid running the game on Wi-Fi, in order to ensure their connection is as strong as it can be.

Unfortunately, it seems that a hardwired connection still won't save you from being banned if disconnects should happen — even if they're not of your own doing. I hope that Nintendo takes a closer look at their online punishment system and makes adjustments in future Super Smash Bros. Ultimate patches.

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