Super Smash Bros. Ultimate can't use the Nintendo Switch's video capture function, but it really needs it

Quickly and easily capturing footage is a must for a major fighting game

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • March 14, 2019 at 10:16 a.m. PDT

As it stands right now, players are unable to snap Super Smash Bros. Ultimate footage using the Nintendo Switch's video capture function, and that's really unfortunate.

With the touch of a button, the Switch allows gamers to record the last 30 seconds of gameplay they experienced in several of its titles. From there, you can toss your micro SD card onto your PC and transfer the clips over.

Recording is quick and easy, and such functionality is especially crucial in fighting games. However, Nintendo's massively popular fighter, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is unable to utilize this function.

The process for grabbing replays and clips from the game right now feels a bit too tedious for a modern fighting game, and the biggest issue is that there's no way to take footage of training mode — other than using external hardware, as far as I can tell.

A common practice in the fighting game community is that of recording and sharing "tech" videos. These clips primarily focus on combos, tactics, counters, and set ups that help players learn and level up their game more quickly.

While we do still see such videos for Smash Ultimate on social media, the fact that many players are unable to shoot their own tech and share it without having to set up a capture card is a pain. It's also a drag when you just want to grab a quick clip of a hype play in the heat of the moment, but can't.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate allows users to save replays after they've played a full match. It has to be done at the results screen each time, and the prompt isn't available for all that long, so if it slips your mind or you're not fast enough, your replay is gone.

Once you've got a replay saved, heading over to the vault will let you view what you saved and ultimately go through the process of making the replay into a video. This entails converting your replay into a separate file where you can set the camera how you want it, record snippets, or grab the entire replay for sharing.

Replays are usually deleted when Smash Ultimate sees an update, but converted videos remain intact for you to view and share. You can take those videos from your micro SD card and toss them onto your computer, and though it's not overly difficult, it's still not quite as simple as Super Smash Bros. 4's ability to upload match replays straight to YouTube or social media.

For a player trying to learn the ins and outs of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, not being able to capture training mode footage makes things more difficult. An issue I find myself running into often is that of attempting to learn and practice a technique or combo explained to me by EventHubs' resident Smash Bros. expert, Justin "AdaptiveTrigger" Gordon.

We'll discuss different tactics and strategies to add to my game — as I'm a longtime Street Fighter player trying to learn high-level Smash — and I am unable to share what things are looking like on my end. The primary way I can do that is trying it in an actual match and grabbing the replay to show him, but I'm not even sure that I'm doing it correctly in the first place.

Granted, I can invest in external equipment, but the point here is that the video capture function is built into the Nintendo Switch console and sees support from other major Nintendo titles, such as Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8. So why not Smash Ultimate?


I'm still terrible at Smash Ultimate, but my Donkey Kong didn't look half bad here!

It is possible that Nintendo left out this functionality for Smash Bros. Ultimate due to performance issues. In September of last year, Epic removed support for the feature from Fortnite on Switch, and community coordinator Sean Hamilton cited stability concerns as the reason.

"You may have noticed we’ve disabled the Video Capture feature on Nintendo Switch as of the v5.40.2 client update," Hamilton said. "This was done for performance and stability reasons as we’ve been seeing a high rate of Out of Memory related crashes. Disabling this feature saves a significant amount of RAM while also having a positive effect on overall performance across the board."

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is on a fantastic path right now. It had a strong launch back in December, with most complaints about it being in the smaller, quality of life category. (No video capture support was actually one of our nitpicks about the game when we reviewed it).

Adding the Switch's video capture capabilities to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an important change that I really hope makes it into a future update — if at all possible. Being able to quickly snap a clip of a training mode set up or spiking your best friend for the win is just too good of a feature to be absent in a major fighting title like this one.

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