You were likely just as shocked as me to discover that all but eight of the nearly EIGHTY characters in Smash Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch are locked at the start of the game

If you’ve just opened your copy of the game, here are a few different ways to unlock every character of the game quickly.

The “Shut Down” Method

The quickest, dirtiest way to unlock all characters is the “shut down” method. The best way to do this is to play the game for a while (I played through Classic mode a few times, but you can also play some battles against friends or computers).

Once you have put in some solid game time (probably an hour or two), you will want to quit/close Smash Ultimate.

Re-open the game and go to “Smash.” Create custom rules for a Stock battle with one life. Pick the character you want to use to unlock the next fighter. When you start the battle, you can jump off the cliff.

Repeat the above process until all characters are unlocked!

Quit game > Start Game > Smash > 1-Stock rule > Jump off cliff > Beat character

smash ultimate dk

The “World of Light” Method

The reason why the above “Shut down” method works is because Nintendo wanted to provide the player with a reward when they booted up the game. However, this also applies every 10 minutes.

If you want the ability to enjoy the game with a bit of flexibility, you can turn to the “World of Light” mode, found under Spirits > Adventure.

The conceit of “World of Light” Mode is that all of the characters have been trapped in an evil world, and their spirits need to be unlocked. Unlocking their spirit in “World of Light” unlocks them for use in Smash.

What is the method of unlocking characters as noted above?

  1. Play “World of Light” for 10 minutes.
  2. After roughly 10 minutes, hold the back (“B”) button to go to the “World of Light” menu and back out, like you are returning to the main menu of Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
  3. This will trigger a new opponent battle.
  4. Repeat the above steps.

This method allows for simultaneous unlocking of characters in both “World of Light” and “Challenger Approaching” modes.

Unlock character smash ultimate

Unlock a specific character in Smash Ultimate with the “Classic Mode” Method

Missing your favorite character? While I went through and unlocked characters using the “World of Light” method above, there is no rhyme or reason to who you will unlock while playing things that way.

If you really want YOUR character, there is some semblance of order, which can be unlocked through Classic Mode. Beating Classic Mode with a specific character, will offer the opportunity to unlock a specific character.

You can use this guide, created by some folks in the Reddit community, to determine who you need to play Classic mode as, to unlock your character.

How to fight character you lost to in Smash Ultimate

If you lose to a fighter while trying to unlock them, after waiting for a bit, they will re-appear under “Challenger Approaches.” This is a glowing door that can be found in the bottom right corner of the “Games and More” Section from the main screen.