Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (SSBU)

How to Unlock Characters Fast: Character Unlock Order

July 2022 Major Tier List Update!
13.0 Best Character Tier List

Patch Notes and Updates
All Update and Patch Note History
Ver. 13.0.1 Patch Notes and Balance Changes

How to Unlock Characters Fast

This guide will show you the fastest way to unlock all characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate (SSBU) on the Nintendo Switch. Learn the most efficient way to unlock characters fast, the character unlock order, and obtain the full roster to get smashing as fast as you can!

How to Unlock Characters

Compete in Smash or Spirits Mode

Smash Mode Win Screen

Time to Unlock All Characters 4 Hours

Competing in Smash mode or Spirits mode will make a hidden timer start. Once this hidden timer goes to zero, the next challenger will appear. Play a lot of Smash mode or Spirits mode to unlock challengers, once the challenger appears, defeat the challenger to unlock them as a playable character. Generally speaking, these modes are the fastest for unlocking characters.

Complete Classic Mode

Classic Mode Mural

Time to Unlock All Characters 10 Hours

Fight and clear the Classic mode to unlock specific fighters. The characters that gets unlocked depends on the character you used. Please refer to our chart further down below to see which characters you unlock per character.

Rescue Fighters in World of Light

World of Light

Time to Unlock All Characters 20 Hours or more (for main roster)

After unlocking characters in World of Light (Adventure Mode), you will be able to use them in other modes as well. In World of Light, you can only use the characters you have unlocked there, so if you want to enjoy the Adventure mode first, start here and play through to unlock everyone.

Purchase DLC Fighters

SSBU DLC Characters
The DLC fighters become an immediate playable character upon purchasing them. There is no way to unlock these characters aside from purchasing them, so if you wish to use these fighters, purchase them individually in the eShop, or purchase the fighter pass bundle to unlock the whole character set for that pass.

Individual DLC Character

Piranha Plant ImagePiranha Plant

Fighters Pass

Hero ImageHero Joker ImageJoker Banjo & Kazooie ImageBanjo & Kazooie Terry ImageTerry
Byleth ImageByleth

Fighters Pass Vol 2

The Fastest Way To Unlock Characters

Restart Software After Unlocking A Fighter

After unlocking 6 characters, it becomes possible to reset the hidden timer after unlocking a challenger by resetting the software. This allows you to skip waiting and be able to unlock the next challenger immediately. This is currently the fastest way to unlock characters in SSBU.

Shorten Unlock Timer With Higher Difficulty

The timer that's needed to unlock characters also varies depending on the difficulty. Play with many people or high difficulty CPUs to speed up the timer and unlock the characters faster.

Make Sure to Play During the Matches!

During the match, the timer will not initiate its countdown if you stay idle during the match or fight will only inputting one button continuously. Play an active role in the fight or the process will be slower.

Play Time Required To Unlock Characters

1st to-5th Characters
  1. Play 1-4 Smash Modes (2:30 Timer / CPU Level 9)
  2. Challenger Appears
6th to-30th Characters
  1. Restart the Game
  2. Play Smash Mode (SD During a 1 Stock Game / Any Opponent)
  3. Challenger Appears
31st to-50th Characters
  1. Restart the Game
  2. Play Smash Mode 1 - 2 times (2:30 Timer / CPU Level 9)
  3. Challenger Appears
51st to-63rd Characters
  1. Restart the Game
  2. Play Smash Mode 2 - 4 times (2:30 Timer / CPU Level 9)
  3. Challenger Appears

Smash Ultimate Character Unlock Order

By playing Smash Mode (free for all), characters get unlocked in the following order.

1 2 3 4
Ness ImageNess Zelda ImageZelda Bowser ImageBowser Pit ImagePit
5 6 7 8
Inkling ImageInkling Villager ImageVillager Marth ImageMarth Young Link ImageYoung Link
9 10 11 12
Wii Fit Trainer ImageWii Fit Trainer Ice Climbers ImageIce Climbers Captain Falcon ImageCaptain Falcon Peach ImagePeach
13 14 15 16
Ryu ImageRyu Ike ImageIke Jigglypuff ImageJigglypuff King K. Rool ImageKing K. Rool
17 18 19 20
Sonic ImageSonic Simon ImageSimon Zero Suit Samus ImageZero Suit Samus Little Mac ImageLittle Mac
21 22 23 24
Isabelle ImageIsabelle Shulk ImageShulk Lucina ImageLucina Wario ImageWario
25 26 27 28
Ridley ImageRidley Pokemon Trainer ImagePokemon Trainer Lucario ImageLucario Daisy ImageDaisy
29 30 31 32
Roy ImageRoy King Dedede ImageKing Dedede R.O.B. ImageR.O.B. Falco ImageFalco
33 34 35 36
Luigi ImageLuigi Pichu ImagePichu Richter ImageRichter Lucas ImageLucas
37 38 39 40
Diddy Kong ImageDiddy Kong Meta Knight ImageMeta Knight Snake ImageSnake Ganondorf ImageGanondorf
41 42 43 44
Corrin ImageCorrin Mega Man ImageMega Man Bayonetta ImageBayonetta Toon Link ImageToon Link
45 46 47 48
Rosalina & Luma ImageRosalina & Luma Incineroar ImageIncineroar Sheik ImageSheik Olimar ImageOlimar
49 50 51 52
Pac-Man ImagePac-Man Dark Samus ImageDark Samus Wolf ImageWolf Mr. Game & Watch ImageMr. Game & Watch
53 54 55 56
Robin ImageRobin Dark Pit ImageDark Pit Cloud ImageCloud Duck Hunt ImageDuck Hunt
57 58 59 60
Ken ImageKen Greninja ImageGreninja Chrom ImageChrom Mewtwo ImageMewtwo
61 62 63 64
Bowser Jr. ImageBowser Jr. Dr. Mario ImageDr. Mario Palutena ImagePalutena

How to Unlock a Specific Character

Clear Classic Mode 1-8 Times

roster unlock order

As mentioned above, clearing Classic mode allows you to unlock specific characters. The characters you unlock depends on the character you used in Classic Mode, This allows you to target unlock certain characters if you're a returning player and only wishes to play certain characters or if you want to immediately try a certain character.

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

SSBU Related Links

tips n tricks banner
Tips and Tricks

In-Game Guides

Unlocking Characters
Unlocking Characters Fast
How to Beat Challengers.jpgHow to Beat Challengers
ChallengerChallenger's Approach Gold Farm Guide.jpgHow to Farm Gold
GSP BannerHow to Raise GSP Fast How to Get Into Elite Smash.pngHow to Unlock Elite Smash
How to Get Spirit Board Support Items.jpgHow to Get Support Items Super Smash Bros. Ultimate How to Use Stage BuilderHow to Use Stage Builder
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate How to Join TournamentsHow to Join Online Tournamets

Improvement Guides

Beginner characters.jpgBest Characters for Beginners Guide for Beginners.pngGuide for Beginners
shorthop banner.pngHow to Short Hop Perfect Shield.jpgParry Guide
Fast Fall Banner.pngHow to Fast Fall wallcling banner.jpgHow to Cling to Walls
Wall Jump.jpg How to Wall Jump

Settings and Game Mechanics

Best Controller.pngBest Controller to Buy Best Custom Controls.pngBest Custom Control Settings
echofighter list.jpgList of Echo Fighters Physical V Digital Top Image.pngPhysical and Digital Differences
How to Save Replays Top.pngHow to Save Replays


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