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‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Online Features Revealed

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is getting a bevy of online features when it launches on Nintendo Switch Dec. 7, and Nintendo gave all the details during a special “Smash”-centric Direct presentation on Thursday.

Players can team up or compete against each other in either local wireless or online play. There’s no longer a need to separate online into “For Fun” or “For Glory” modes, Nintendo said. Matchmaking will be based on three factors. The first is preferred rules. Players can pre-register their match preferences, and the game will look for others with similar tastes before joining them up for a battle. One player’s preferences will then be chosen randomly before the match.

The second factor is Global Smash Power or GSP. Normally, it acts as “Smash’s” leaderboard, but now it also affects matchmaking. A player’s GSP is affected by the game’s population and performance. Players can also set GSP scores for each fighter. Unused fighters get a placeholder GSP based on the highest score the player has set on one of the other characters.

The final factor is proximity. The matchmaking system prioritizes shorter distances between players, Nintendo said, even if that means grouping people with mismatched preferences.

Nintendo also outlined some of the other online and local wireless features fans can expect at launch. Elite Battles will be available to players once their GSP is high enough. The development team will take Elite Battle results into account post-launch while it works on game balance, Nintendo said. The Smash Tag feature, meanwhile, lets players customize their own tags and collect other players’ tags after defeating them in battle. Competitors can also send short pre-set messages to each other before and after a match using the directional buttons. Finally, Nintendo said players can enjoy other game modes while they wait for battles to start, although not every mode will be available while in a queue.

This was the final “Smash”-focused Direct before the game’s launch. The fifth installment in the series, “Ultimate” includes every playable character from previous rosters, along with some newcomers. “Street Fighter’s” Ken, “Pokémon’s” Incineroar, and “Super Mario Bros.” Piranha Plant were all revealed as fighters today. “Metroid’s” Ridley is also joining the franchise for the first time, along with Simon Belmont from “Castlevania,” “Donkey Kong” series villain King K. Rool, “Splatoon’s” Inkling, and “Animal Crossing’s” Isabelle.

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