Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Unlock Grind Proving Controversial Among Players

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Unlock Grind Proving Controversial Among Players

It takes how long?!

There are 74 fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, every fighter that has ever fought in Smash previously. But players who boot up the game only start with eight characters from the offset, leaving you with 66 characters to unlock. That's a tall order and depending on who you ask, an unreasonable grind.

There are a couple ways to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. You can either battle it out in versus mode and unlock characters after every couple of matches, or by completing a requirement. There's also the single-player Spirit mode where players begin with Kirby and "save" fighters in World of Light, thereby unlocking them. There's even a small cheat where players can boot up World of Light, leave immediately, unlock a challenger fight, shut off the software, and repeat the process.

But the problem isn't so much how you unlock characters as it is the amount of time it takes to unlock them. Unlocking the full roster could take tens of hours to complete, and because the unlock order is, for the most part, pre-determined based on timing and conditions, unlocking your favorite character could be quicker or slower depending on where they fall on the unlock order.

Kotaku's Jason Schreier tweeted about the grind and it seemed to have stirred a debate among Smash Bros. fans who either find the grind tedious or a non-issue. At the least some players believe the way Nintendo doles out new fighters could have been better handled.

Others say that the time it takes to unlock a fighter actually pushes them to focus on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and enjoy things like the Adventure mode that they might otherwise not pay attention to if all the fighters were unlocked from the beginning.

One area of consideration that might be overlooked in the conversation regarding the fighter grind in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is what happens if you're not great at the game yet? There are players who have gone online to say that they're either not great at Smash Bros. or rusty at the game and are having a hard time defeating the character unlock challengers. Considering how tough some of these World of Light stages are, it's not too surprising.

While we don't typically consider Nintendo games to feature high difficulty walls, Smash Bros. Ultimate is challenging, and some fighters just might be too tricky for rusty or novice players. Luckily Smash Bros. Ultimate has a re-match feature so players can go back and unlock challengers that way, but it further pushes the time to unlock back for some players.

We've heard arguments on both sides regarding the grind to unlock Smash Bros. Ultimate fighters and our own team has had differing approaches to unlocking fighters. While there doesn't seem to be a consensus, the grind in Smash Bros. Ultimate is very real. The only thing that matters though is how you feel about it.

You can check out our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unlock guide if you want to see how to unlock a specific fighter, or check out our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review for the Nintendo Switch. For everything else check out our Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Guide hub.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

Read this next

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Ban Sets Off Massive Debate

Dragon Quest's Hero is a random character... possibly too random.

Evo 2019 Starts Today - Here's Where and What To Watch

The world tournament of fighting games is upon us.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate The Hero Tips - Moveset, Final Smash, Spells

Everything you need to know about The Hero in Super Smash Bros Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate New Character Release Dates

Dragon Quest's The Hero is going to be coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Here's everything we know so far, including a release date, gameplay, Amiibo, and more.

Dragon Quest's Hero Joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Today, Alongside A New Patch

A new stage, music, and some Mii Fighters enter the fray too.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Snags The Headliner Spot At Evo 2019

Street Fighter will be a little bit earlier this year.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Breaks Series Record For Evo 2019

A huge turnout for Ultimate's debut year.

More News

Ion Fury Developer Donates $10,000 to Charity After Furor Over Transphobic Comments

The studio is apologizing for comments both in and out of the game.

More Fighting Games

High-Profile Street Fighter Player Banned Amid Wave of Allegations in Fighting Game Community

It's the most recent in an ongoing series of allegations and bans.

Power Stone Producer Says He'd Love To Make Another One

And the Switch would make a great fit for it.

Overclocking the Nintendo Switch Shows Its Potential, as Well as Its Drawbacks

Digital Foundry takes a look at the potential inside the chip.

Guilty Gear Being More Accessible Shouldn't be Controversial

The fighting game community is changing and the primary driver of that might be Super Smash Bros.