With the launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate only a few weeks away, Nintendo has unleashed a lot of new info to both entice nostalgic Nintendo fans and to provide them with concrete details about the game’s more technical details. These include info on how online matchmaking and local multiplayer will function, and how they differ from previous Smash Bros. games.
The most notable change being introduced to Smash’ online structure is the abolition of the “For Fun” and “For Glory” options. Rather that choosing to opt in or out of a binary casual/competitive system, you will instead choose whether to search for opponents who reflect a configuration profile of your choosing, dictating options such as the use of items. Alternatively, you can opt to matchmake with players regardless of their preferences.
Beyond the type of battles you can search for, you will also be able to configure how Nintendo’s servers pair you up with other players, either by Global Smash Power (tied to an online leaderboard) or by geographical proximity.
Players will be able to jump into the online matchmaking manually, fight after fight, or they will be able to activate background matchmaking. This will allow you to play most of the game’s modes in between fights while you’re waiting for a new battle begin. Finally, if you’ve got a friend with you in the same room, you can fight other pairs of friends online as team, rather than as individual fighters.
Communication with other players online will be possible in two ways. The first is through the use of Nintendo’s Switch Online smartphone app–this is the only official way to play with voice chat. Alternatively, players can use a pre-selected assortment of stock messages to send emotes and other brief signals to the competition. Players will also have the option to customize online profiles, known as a Smash Tag, to show off their various accomplishments and rewards from the game at large.
Once a player has proven themselves to be a capable online competitor, they will be granted access to exclusive in-game battles against elite opponents. These are reserved for the “best of the best,” according to Nintendo–there are no other specifics regarding qualification for these “VIP” matches.
Online details are just a piece of the overall puzzle revealed today during the new Nintendo Direct. To stay up to date, check out the following stories to find the latest on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: