How many characters can you unlock in Super Smash Bros Ultimate without DLC?

Released in the latter parts of 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has gained insane popularity due to diversity of the characters in the game.

As of today, the game features a total of 89 characters (fighters), including the DLC characters, “Echo fighters” and Mii characters, which need to be unlocked as you progress through the game.

Apart from the DLC characters and the 8 characters with which you start the game, all the other fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate need to be unlocked through grinding and winning battles.

How many characters can you unlock in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate without DLC?

You’ll be able to unlock 76 fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate without DLC, as of 29th September, 2022.

For clarification, I’ve considered the three Pokémon that comes with the Pokémon trainer as three separate fighters, which is why you may find the number of characters unlockable without DLC to be less than what’s mentioned above.

All the other 13 fighters (12 if you count Pyra and Mythra as one character) are DLC characters and you’ll need to purchase them using in-game currency.

8 of the already unlocked characters along with a few others Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
8 of the already unlocked characters along with a few others (DeviantArt)

Since the maximum number of fighters allowed in any stage is 8, you’ll have a specific 8 of the 76 fighters already unlocked and added to your roster.

They include the likes of the classic and legendary characters, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pikachu. The other fighters that won’t have to be unlocked are Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, and Fox.

The rest of the fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate come from a wide variety of game series, starting from the Legend of Zelda and Metroid universe to the Splatoon and Castlevania universe.

Some Fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Some Fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Now that you know how many characters you’ll be able to unlock, are you wondering how to actually unlock them? I got you covered!

How to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

There are different ways you can pursue to unlock the characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It goes without saying that these methods won’t work with DLC characters.

The World of Light Unlocking method

The World of Light is the campaign or story-mode version of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In the campaign version, the ultimate task is to take down Galeem, the boss that took over the planet and trapped the characters.

Diddy Kong cave in World of Light mode Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Diddy Kong cave in World of Light mode

As you go through various missions and quests, you’ll come across all the available characters in the game. You’ll be required to fight and win battles against these characters to unlock them and earn some additional rewards as well.

Fighting against Diddy Kong in order to unlock Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Fighting against Diddy Kong in order to unlock

These fighters are spread throughout the planet and each fighter can be found in a specific area only.

For example, the Pokémon Trainer, Captain Falcon, and Diddy Kong can be found only in the Light Realm, whereas Luigi and Mewtwo can be spotted only in the Mysterious Dimension.

Since you’ll need to progress through the entire story to unlock each and every character, obtaining them through the story mode of the game can be quite tedious and time-consuming.

Nevertheless, this method will provide you with unlimited chances, since you can easily fight the battles as many as time as you want in case you lose.

The Smash Mode Unlocking method

Game menu Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Game menu

The most fun mode of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the best method to unlock characters as well.

Also called the Versus mode, this is the game mode where you can set your own rules and the level of the opponent that you’ll be facing.

After you’ve defeated the first CPU opponent in the Smash mode, you’ll notice that a new screen appears with the following message: “A new foe has appeared”.

This means that an unlockable character will be your next opponent and winning the battle leads to the character getting unlocked.

Versus Mode Fight Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Versus Mode Fight

Repeating this process and managing to win all your battles against each fighter should help you unlock all the fighters in Ultimate in no time!

However, after winning each battle, the game will set a cooldown time of around 5-10 minutes, when you won’t be facing any unlockable fighters. You can either wait it out or restart the entire game to reset the cooldown timer.

Furthermore, the characters that you’ll fight appear in a certain order and not randomly. The first fighter that you’ll face will definitely be Ness, followed by Zelda and Bowser.

You’ll come across Luigi after Falco and fight Mewtwo after you’ve defeated Ken and Greninja. The last fighters you’ll be unlocking without DLC are Chrom, Dr. Mario and Palutena.

How to unlock characters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate after losing?

Restarting the Versus mode Game Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Restarting the Versus mode Game

In case you lose a battle, you can quickly navigate to the “Games and More” option in the menu. At the bottom of the screen, beside “Help”, you may notice a gate-like icon.

Clicking on that icon will let you restart the same matchup and give you another chance to unlock the fighter!

The Classic Mode Unlocking Method

Finally, the third way you can get access to the fighters in Ultimate is by pursuing the routes in Classic Mode.

Classic Mode comes with specific unlocking routes, based on the character that you’re playing with. You’ll be tasked with several challenges and battles as you progress through the routes.

One of the challenges in the Classic Mode routes Super Smash Bros Ultimate
One of the battles in the Classic Mode routes

Furthermore, the characters to be unlocked isn’t random and is based on your fighter. So, if your fighter is Kirby, there’s only a specific set of characters you can unlock using him and they will appear in a certain order.

The set of characters for Kirby is Ness, Jigglypuff, PAC-MAN, Zelda, Robin, Corrin, Lucas, and finally Palutena.

You’ll have to go through unique unlocking routes, involving battles and challenges, for each of these characters and unlock them in the exact order mentioned above.

One of the challenges in the Classic Mode routes

It’s the same for all the 8 characters that you have access to at the start of the game. Each character has a specific unlocking route and a fixed order of fighters that can be unlocked afterwards.

Once you’ve completed all the missions in the routes, you’ll see the message – “A new foe has appeared” – similar to the one in Smash mode.

The final foe will be the fighter that you’re about to unlock.

Classic Mode Final Fighter Battle Super Smash Bros Ultimate
Classic Mode Final Fighter Battle

So, if the character you’re playing with is Kirby, the final fighter may be Ness, or any of the other characters in Kirby’s set (only if you’ve already unlocked the previous characters).

You’ll need to win this battle to successfully unlock that fighter.

Wrapping Up

There’s a huge range of characters to be unlocked in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate without DLC – as many as 76 – and will require you to grind hard!

While the methods may be take up a lot of time, it still delivers an insane amount of excitement and fun, not to mention the satisfaction of finally unlocking a fighter!

If you’re having any trouble unlocking characters in Ultimate, do leave a comment below, so that I can help you out!

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