'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate': Here's The Fastest Way to Unlock Characters

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features 66 different characters to unlock, and unless you know what [...]

Super Smash

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features 66 different characters to unlock, and unless you know what you're doing, it could take you a considerable amount of time to unlock them all. The struggle to getting a full roster is a real one in the Nintendo Switch exclusive, so here's a guide to make your life easier.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate there are a few different ways you can unlock characters. Here's a breakdown of each, and the best method to unlocking characters (as discovered by Austin John Plays).

World of Light

The first way is via the game's story mode, World of Light, which is a pretty slow burn. In fact, depending on your skill level and other variables, unlocking all 66 characters this way would take 20-60 hours. In other words, it's not the best way.

Classic Mode

Then there's unlocking characters via Classic Mode, which only has the original characters to begin with. Now this method is good if you're looking for a specific character. It's also the second fastest way for unlocking characters in general.

Here's how it works. Say you play as Mario and beat Classic Mode, you'll get the chance to fight Sonic and unlock him as a fighter. Then you can play again as Mario or Sonic and you'll get the chance to unlock Bayonetta. And this pattern continues for a few more character unlocks. However, eventually you'll need to play as another one of the original fighters to start a new series of unlocks. Here's the breakdown for each.

  • Mario-Sonic-Bayonetta-Little Mac-Ike-Luigi-Roy-Dr.Mario-Olimar
  • Donkey Kong-Bowser-Pokemon Trainer-Rosalina and Luma-King Dedede-Sheik-Greninja
  • Fox-Captain Falcon-Zero Suit Samus- Peach-Falco-Daisy-Bowser Jr-Wolf-Mewtwo
  • Kirby-Ness-Jigglypuff-PacMan-Zelda-Robin-Corrin-Lucas-Palutena
  • Link-King K. Rool-Ice Climbers-Simon-Meta Knight-Diddy Kong-Duck Hunt-Snake
  • Pikachu-Villager-Shulk-ROB-Mega Man-Isabelle-Mr.Game & Watch-Pichu
  • Yoshi-Lucario-Marth-Ryu-Ganondorf-Lucina-Ridley-Chrom-Ken
  • Samus-Inkling-Wii Fit Trainer-Pit-Icineroar-Young Link
  • Random-Dark Samus-Cloud-Wario-Dark Pit-Richter-Toon Link

As mentioned above, if you want only a specific character or two, this is the best method. Classic Mode can be blazed through pretty easily, and as long as you win the character fights it's pretty effective at unlocking characters, albeit super grindy.

Distance Exploit

Okay, so with this method you can unlock every character in the game in roughly 90 minutes. This is an exploit, so it's important to note that it may eventually be patched by Nintendo. Here's how it works:

While there is no in-game record of how much distance you've travelled in the game: it's recorded. There appears to be some type of in-game meter that fills the more distance you cover in any game mode (doesn't include distance in Overworld). And once you cover a certain amount of distance, a character unlock battle happens.

So here's what you should do to exploit this. Normally you would have to wait a 10-minute cooldown in-between each character fight with this method, but this can be bypassed. Go into the game, set up a stock battle with a stock of one and a time limit of 20. Then make sure everything else -- spirits, etc. -- are turned off. The CPU level doesn't matter because you'll be using a second player.

Then go into advanced settings and make sure stage morph and hazards are off because you don't want to die. Also turn items off. Then with a second player you're going to start a match (preferably on a battle or omega stage) and then just run back and forth for 19:30 minutes, and then with about 30 seconds left just KO the other character and win. You could also do this with a CPU at level 1 but the unlocks will be much slower because you can't cover as much distance.

Now, once you unlock a character and are on the stage selection screen, close the software and then re-open it. Then start a stock match of one stock with no time limit. As soon as the match starts, jump off the stage to finish the match. After this is done, you'll trigger another character fight. With your distance meter filled and by bypassing the 10-minute cooldown, you'll be able to unlock characters one after another.

Doing this method will basically allow you to unlock every single character in about 90 minutes, so long as you don't lose any fights along the way.

Characters unlock in this order: Ness, Zelda, Boswer, Pit, Inkling, Villager, Marth, Young Link, Wii Fit Trainer, Ice Climbers, Captain Falcon, Peach, Ryu, Ike, Jigglypuff, King K. Rool, Sonic, Simon, Zero Suit Samus, Little Mac, Isabelle, Shulk, Lacina, Wario, Ridely, Pokemon Trainer, Lucario, Daisy, Roy, King Dedede, ROB, Falco, Luigi, Pichu, Richter, Lucas Diddy Kong, Meta Knight, Snake, Ganondorf, Corrin, Mega Man, Bayonetta, Toon Link, Rosalina, Incineroar, Sheik, Olimar, Pac-Man, Dark Samus, Wolf, Mr. Game and Watch, Robin, Dark Pit, Cloud, Duck Hunt, Ken, Greninja, Chrom, Mewtwo, Bowser Jr., Dr. Mario, Palutena.


If you're looking for a specific character then check the Classic Mode unlock, and if they unlock early enough then that might be the fastest way to get the character. Same thing goes for World of Light: if a specific character you want unlocks early enough then do that. But if you want to unlock every character: then the distance exploit is the fastest and best method.