Super Smash Bros. Ultimate release date, roster, gameplay details, and everything we know so far

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During the Nintendo Direct at E3 2018, Nintendo revealed a ton about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the game formally known as Super Smash Bros. for Switch. This entry is like the greatest hits of Smash Bros., as the Ultimate roster will feature every playable fighter from the series' history along with some new additions (like the long-requested Ridley). Here's everything we know about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so far, which will be updated whenever new info comes through!

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate release date is December 7, 2018

Nintendo promised that we'd be getting Smash on Switch by the end of the year - and though December 7, 2018 is still a little ways away, we're just glad to have Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sooner than some ambiguous 2019 release date. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster includes every fighter from the series (and more)

In an unprecedented move, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include every playable fighter from throughout the series, meaning the return of fan favorites like Snake and seemingly forgotten one-offs like Wolf and Pichu. It's also treating clones a bit differently this time around: characters like Lucina and Dark Pit are now called "Echo Fighters," with slightly tweaked movesets and attributes compared to their counterparts. That opens the door for more variations in the roster - including the newcomer Daisy, who's now an Echo Fighter of Peach. 

There will also be plenty of additions to the roster, bringing first-time fighters to the Switch. Splatoon's Inklings were first teased along with the game, and now we know that Metroid's Ridley is finally making an appearance. Here's an exhaustive list of every confirmed character in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster:

  • Mario
  • Luigi
  • Peach
  • Daisy
  • Bowser
  • Bowser Jr. (and all Koopalings)
  • Yoshi
  • Rosalina and Luma
  • Wario
  • Dr. Mario
  • Donkey Kong
  • Diddy Kong
  • Samus
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Ridley
  • Inkling
  • Ice Climbers
  • Kirby
  • Meta Knight
  • King Dedede
  • Link
  • Zelda
  • Sheik
  • Ganondorf
  • Young Link
  • Toon Link
  • Ness
  • Lucas
  • Fox
  • Falco
  • Wolf
  • Marth
  • Ike
  • Roy
  • Lucina
  • Robin
  • Corrin
  • Pit
  • Dark Pit
  • Palutena
  • Pikachu
  • Jigglypuff
  • Pokemon Trainer (Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard)
  • Greninja
  • Pichu
  • Mewtwo
  • Lucario
  • Villager
  • Olimar
  • Captain Falcon
  • Little Mac
  • Wii Fit Trainer
  • ROB
  • Duck Hunt
  • Mr. Game & Watch
  • Shulk
  • Sonic
  • Snake
  • Bayonetta
  • Cloud
  • Ryu
  • Mega Man
  • Pac-Man
  • Mii Fighters (Brawler, Gunner, Swordfighter)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gameplay has been tweaked in tons of subtle ways 

No, don't worry - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't bringing back tripping, or introducing some other off-the-wall mechanic. But Ultimate does make a few very small refinements to the tried-and-true systems of Smash. In terms of playing (and spectating) at a competitive level, the most significant change is that damage during 1v1 matches has been increased to slightly speed up the pace. You'll also notice that the percentage damage totals now have an extra decimal point visible, presumably so that damage numbers can be tweaked in granular increments in any post-launch patches. Speaking of visibility, characters that rely on resource management - like Cloud's Limit Gauge, Villager's pocketed item, and Inkling's ink supply, to name a few - are displayed via small icons next to your portrait.

There are also some significant changes that'll affect every character. Most important is the change to how dodging works: the more often you dodge in quick succession, both on the ground and in the air, the less effective each one becomes, creating recovery time that'll quickly disincentivize dodge spamming. Another huge one is a minimap view of where a character is when they're knocked offscreen, which pops up once someone is no longer visible. The timing on the Perfect Shield technique, where you release the shield button at the exact moment to parry an attack, has had its timing window decreased to better reward precision. The Wii U's 8-player Smash battles are back for Ultimate. And all stages now have Omega (Final Destination) and Battlefield forms, so you can play staple stages with some visual variety.  

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gives Ridley some high-risk, high-reward specials 

Ridley fits into the same category as Bowser and Ganondorf: he's a tall, lumbering fighter who pack a punch. His side-B grabs the opponent and drags them across the floor, ending in a throw that looks perfect for knocking your enemy off stage when they're weakened. Ridley's neutral special is simple enough, sending a bouncing fireball a short ways before it fades - but it can be charged up to throw multiple fireballs in quick succession. There's a risk to charging: if the enemy hits you while the flame is still building in your mouth, you'll take massive damage - just like in the Metroid boss fights that spawned Ridley. 

Ridley's up-special is a standard jumping boost that you can send in any direction. His down-special is unique in that it has a hugely damaging sweet spot as Ridley whips his spiked tail forward, but failing to hit the sweet spot will result in mediocre damage. Finally, Ridley's Final Smash dashes forward and sends anyone it hits slamming into Samus' ship as Ridley blasts it to smithereens with his laser breath. All in all, it looks like the tradeoff for Ridley's large, easily-hit stature is a suite of hard-hitting special moves. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Inkling is all about resource management 

Splatoon's Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy were the first new characters to be revealed for Ultimate, and they bring a unique metagame of meter manage to Smash Bros. via the ink they use for their moves. If you run out of ink, you won't be able to use some of your special moves at all; you'll need to refill by pressing B while shielding. Inkling's neutral special is the trusty Splattershot, which will coat your enemies in ink (color coded to your costume choice!) and cause them to take more damage for a limited time. Inkling's up-B is a super jump, like a more reasonable version of the launch you can do from the spawn point in Splatoon (that damages on the way down as well). 

Your side-B is the Splat Roller, which makes the Inkling charge forward. This powerful attack can bury opponents it hits to set them up for an easy Smash attack, and can leave ink trails on the ground (provided your ink reserves are high enough) that will make enemies run slower. The down-B Splat Bomb does some solid area damage, but costs a significant amount of ink to be used. Inkling's forward Smash is the Inkbrush, Slowsher is your down Smash, Blaster is your up Smash, and the Killer Wail megaphone is your Final Smash, which blasts out a gigantic sonic boom of doom in one direction. Having to keep track of your ink reserves should make Inkling a very interesting character with a high skill ceiling, forcing you to always be aware of the resources at your disposal. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate supports GameCube controllers and amiibo

Great news for all you Smash players who barely function with a GameCube controller (like me): Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lets you use GameCube controllers via the USB hubs first sold for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Presumably, Nintendo will make another run of these GameCube-to-USB adapters, as well as manufacture more all-new GameCube controllers so you can get everyone in on the action (or replace a controller that's seen too much wear and tear).

Ultimate will also support your entire Super Smash Bros. amiibo collection and any figures of characters in the game, bringing back the Figure Player system from Wii U complete with data transfer. No word yet on whether amiibo can unlock characters early when used, but I wouldn't rule it out.

We'll add more as the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate details continue to develop throughout the day, stay tuned!