Game Guides

The Fastest Way to Unlock All Characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Get all 70+ characters fast.

by Kyle Hanson


Christmas morning came, you unwrapped all your gifts, and sitting there was the crown jewel of the Nintendo Switch. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was under a lot of Christmas trees this year, and to help all the new players we’re updating some of our older guides with all the info we’ve discovered in the few weeks since release. The question on most players when they first boot the game up is “what’s the fastest way to unlock all characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”. Here’s the answer…

When you start playing SSBU you’ll have a paltry eight characters to choose from. Of course, this is truly the Ultimate release of this venerated franchise, so that’s not all the game has to offer. Over 70 characters will eventually greet you, but how do you unlock them? Thankfully, you just need to play the game and you’ll get to them all eventually. But you don’t want to wait, you want to get to them as fast as possible, so here’s how.

Playing Versus matches will often present you with the famous “a new challenger is approaching”, and indeed this is the fastest way to unlock all characters. After each match of Vs there is a hidden check to see if you’re ready to receive another unlock attempt. The basics of this are that 10 full minutes have passed and that you’ve played a bit of the game. Many recommend finishing a match, unlocking the new character, then restarting Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to trigger another.

This will work most of the time, but if you run into any times where it doesn’t, it means you didn’t move around enough. Just load a single stock match and either KO yourself after jumping around a little bit, or actually fight the enemy. Either way, a minute or two of activity should help trigger the unlock. But while this is the fastest way to unlock all characters on paper, reality is a bit different. You’ll probably get tired of resetting the game so much, so here’s a more natural path to unlocking everyone.

World of Light also offers a lot of unlock opportunities, and the great thing is unlocking characters here also makes them available in all other modes, which isn’t true the other way around. So play WoL as much as possible, because each character unlocked first here, is another you don’t have to unlock via the other methods. One thing to also keep in mind is that 10 minute timer, which is ticking away here as well. Every 10 minutes or so you should back all the way out to the main menu. If you did it right, a new challenger should be waiting for you.

Classic Mode also offers many unlocks, with each playthrough presenting a new challenger upon completion. This takes a while though, but you can just play on minimum difficulty, if you want another way to get some characters.  One thing to note is that you still have to beat the fighter. If you lose, be sure to check out how to unlock them after.

If there’s a specific character you wish to unlock fast you might be better served looking through our many individual character guides right here. Hopefully we cover everyone you are looking for, but let us know in the comments if we missed one. Otherwise, the methods laid out above are certainly the fastest ways to unlock all characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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