Available in: original, Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UThe main mode. Here, players fight to knock the other players off the stage multiple times during a set time limit. If the player successfully K.O.s an opponent, he or she will recieve a point, and if the player gets K.O.ed, he or she loses a point. The player with the most points after time is up wins. In the event of a tie, "Sudden Death" will start, where players start out with 300%, making them really easy to K.O.. After a few seconds, Bob-ombs will start falling from the sky, exploding as soon as they hit something.
Available in: original, Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UThe preferred mode among competitive players. It plays essentially the same as free for all, except players are given a number of lives (called "stocks"), set before the match. The last player standing wins. Players are also able to set a time limit if they want to speed things up. If this is the case and the stocks are tied after time expires, "Sudden Death" will start.
Available in: Melee, Brawl, For Wii UThis mode works a bit differently. Instead of racking up damage, players collect "Smash Coins" and "Smash Bills", which fall out of characters when receiving damage. Bronze coins are worth 1, silver coins are worth 5, gold coins are worth 10, and Smash Bills are worth 20. The player with the most coins wins. In the event of a tie, a "Sudden Death" will start.
Available in: MeleeIn this timed battle, points are awarded after time runs out, based on actions taken by players during the battle. These range from straightforward things such as knocking out opponents, to strange ones like only using one move for the entire match. The player awarded the most points wins.
Available in: original, Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UThe same as Free-For-All, except fighters are split up into teams. When a player is K.O.'d, instead of a single fighter gaining a point, the point goes to the team. There are three teams: Red team, Green team, and Blue team. In For Wii U, a Yellow team is available in 8-Player Smash. In games up to Brawl, these were linked to the characters' Palette Swaps. In For Wii U and For 3DS, members of the teams are outlined with their team's color. Team Battles can also be played as Survival, Stamina, Coin, or Bonus Battles.
Available in: Melee, Brawl, For Wii UThese are battles with gimmicks thrown in. For example, there's one option where damage is always set to 300%, and one where the camera never moves. These are stand-alone options in Melee, and are fully customizable in Brawl and For Wii U.
Available in: Melee, Brawl (as a Special Brawl setting), For Wii UThis mode plays more like a traditional fighting game, where players try to drain each other's heath. The last player standing wins. The maximum health is always 150 in Melee, and is completely customizable in Brawl onward.
Available in: For Wii UAs the name suggests, this mode increases the limit of 4 players to 8. Only a selection of stages can be used in 8-Player Smash, and it's not available in Special Smash. Other than that, it works exactly like Free-For-All or Survival, and any of the items may appear if they are turned on.
Solo/Group Game Modes
Available in: original (as 1P Game), Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii U
Co-op available in For Wii UThe main one-player game mode of the N64 installment, Classic Mode challenges the player to pick one character and use them to win a series of fights, culminating in a Final Boss against Master Hand (or Crazy Hand, depending on the difficulty) at the end. In the original game, the opponents were fixed for each of the 11 battles, but later games would include some form of randomness and change the number of battles (8 in Melee, 12 in Brawl, 6 in For 3DS and For Wii U). There are bonus stages in between certain fights, which gives the player a chance to boost their score or (in Melee) collect trophies. For 3DS strips out the bonus rounds, but allows the player to choose their next battle from two or three options, sometimes offering bonus gold and trophies for choosing one path over another. For Wii U is similar, but there are more group battles with more than 4 players. Players move the chosen fighter's trophy across a board to select the desired opponents. There can also be custom fighters that can either be in the battles or can intrude before the player goes into them. The player can also pick defeated opponents for Team Battles. The first three rounds have a rival character; defeating this character will grant bonus items that increase with the amount of rounds they last, but they can be defeated before the final battle if left alone.
Available in: Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii U
Co-op available in Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UAn unlockable mode in both Melee and Brawl, which is similar to "The Arena" from Kirby Super Star. The player must defeat every playable character in the game with only one life, sometimes fighting multiple opponents at a time. In between fights are rest areas where the player can see which fight is next and which ones have already been beaten. The player can also completely heal their character up to three times using Heart Containers found in-between stages (otherwise, all damage is retained between fights). With its length and the limited healing resources, it usually presents a challenge even on the lower difficulties. In "For 3DS", the player faces a group of opponents based on the timeline they were from, starting from the 1980s. In "For Wii U", the player faces the same opponents in reverse chronological order. In For 3DS and For Wii U, All-Star Mode is available from the start, but only after all characters have been unlocked will the mode be deemed the "True All-Star Mode." This distinction is required for several missions, and healing items are changed in the true All-Star Mode.
Break the Targets
Available in: original, Melee (as Target Test), BrawlA series of targets are placed around an area (sometimes moving), and the character has to use their attacks to destroy the targets as quickly as possible without falling off the screen. In the first two games, these stages were individualized for each character, but Brawl instead uses five different stages that any character can challenge and complete (saving each character's best time individually).
Available in: For 3DS, For Wii UA variation of the Home Run Contest below. Instead of Sandbag, there is a bomb on the platform that starts its 10-second fuse when moved or hit. To the right of the platform is a large structure of blocks and targets, which award points when destroyed. Players are challenged to damage the bomb as much as possible, and send it flying towards the structure; the more damage the bomb has taken, the bigger the explosion, which, with good positioning, will help destroy more of the targets and blocks. The goal is to score as many points as possible after two rounds.
Available in: original, Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UThis mode puts the player in an endless practice match up against a selectable CPU opponent on any stage. Here, the player can adjust the settings from a menu, such as directly spawning certain items, adjusting the speed, adding additional CPU opponents (all using the same character the CPU is chosen as) as well as changing their behaviour (from standing still, to walking, to jumping, to fleeing, to fighting like in normal matches), and changing the amount of damage the CPUs have (in For 3DS and For Wii U, it also changes the player's damage as well).
Available in: Melee, Brawl (as Coin Launcher), For 3DS, For Wii U (as Trophy Rush)
Co-op available in For 3DS and For Wii UThis mode lets the player bet the coins earned on a gashapon machine to collect trophies. The more coins that are bet, the more likely a new trophy will come out. In Brawl, this is replaced with a pinball-esque game called "Coin Launcher". Here, the player shoots the trophies to collect them. Enemies will also frequently appear, giving bonuses such as stickers when shot before they go off-screen. In For Wii U and For 3DS, this is replaced with a mode called "Trophy Rush". Here, the player picks a character, and break as many crates as possible in a set time limit. The mode starts with 30 seconds by default, but more seconds can be added for six coins each. The more points earned, the more trophies the player get. The player can also earn coins and custom parts through this mode as well.
Available in: For Wii USimilar to Event Mode, this mode features challenges to complete. There are two types of orders: "Master Orders" and "Crazy Orders", given by Master Hand and Crazy Hand, respectively. In Master Orders, the player picks one of three battles given. Once the player finishes one, the cycle repeats. In Crazy Orders, the player must partake in a set of challenges as much as he or she can before losing (with a cumulative 10-minute time limit to introduce an additional element of risk, as running out of time carries the same consequences as being defeated). The player can quit at any time, but must have a fight with Crazy Hand first. If Crazy Hand is defeated, the player keep all the stuff collected. However, if the player loses to Crazy Hand, the player loses many of the items collected.
Available in Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii U
Co-op available in Brawl, For Wii U
Hot Seat competitive available in For Wii UThe player is put on a platform with a home-run bat and an anthropomorphic sandbag. The player has a few seconds to do as much damage to the sandbag as possible, and then launch it across a field. While using the homerun bat is optional, it is highly recommended to use it to launch the sandbag, as it deals high knockback. There are trophies on the field that are collected if the sandbag touches it. There's also certain rewards for launching the sandbag far enough. In Brawl, two players can do this event simultaneously, and it is available online.
Available in: Melee, Brawl, For Wii U
Co-op events available in: Brawl and For Wii UEvent Matches present specific scenarios for the player to challenge one at a time. These can consist of normal fights, or battles fought under special rules and conditions, sometimes even having win conditions unrelated to fighting (such as breaking all the breakable platforms in an area). There are also "All-Star Matches" included in the set, which involve defeating a number of characters in succession without healing. Brawl introduced multiple difficulties for each event (each difficulty having its own high score saved), as well as a separate set of event matches for two players to cooperate.
Available in: Melee, Brawl (as The Subspace Emissary),
Co-op available in BrawlRather than just straight fights found in multiplayer, the Adventure Modes of the series have the fighters going through side-scrolling platform stages, aiming to reach a goal at the end. Melee's Adventure Mode sent the chosen character through stages based on the various series represented in the game, interspersed with regular fights, and ending with a fight against Bowser, while the mode in Brawl, The Subspace Emissary, had a full story and original locations and enemies. (Tropes for The Subspace Emissary can be found here.)
Available in: Melee, Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii U
Co-op available in Brawl (2 players), For Wii U (up to 4 players)
Competitive available in For Wii UThis mode puts the player on Battlefield pitting against fighters known as "Small Fry Corps.". Depending on the setting, the player can see how fast they can defeat a set amount of enemies, or how many they can defeat under a set time limit. Before For 3DS, the Small Fry Corps. were palette swaps of other fighters that only used standard attacks. Starting with For 3DS, the player fights against randomly selected Mii Fighters from the player's console.
Available in: Brawl, For 3DS, For Wii UThis mode uses Nintendo Wi-Fi connection (for Brawl) or Nintendo Network (for For Wii U and For 3DS) to fight online, do Home-run Contests, or spectate a match. When not fighting with friends, the game puts the player in a random room on the server with four other players (and one spectator if the option is turned on). Once the player picks a character and a stage, the player is put in a training room with a sandbag to practice until four players join, or the time runs out. If less than four players are in the room before the time runs out, CPUs will fill up the remaining spaces. When spectating, the player can bet coins on which player or team will win the Brawl. In For Wii U and For 3DS, there are two campaigns: "For Fun" and "For Glory". "For Fun" mode has all the items on, and every stage except Final Destination can be played on, randomly selected. In "For Glory", items are turned off and only Final Destination and stages with Final Destination modes can be played on, randomly selected. Statistics are kept in "For Glory" matches. When playing with friends, players can customize the settings to their liking.
Available in: For 3DSThis is 2D platformer version of City Trial from Kirby Air Ride of sorts. Up to four players explore a large maze filled with enemies from different Nintendo (and other third-party) franchises, attempting to gain stat pickups and loot. Once the time is up, all players compete in a randomly selected race or fight (known as the "Final Battle" in any case). The stat pickups help the player thrive in the maze, as well as the final battle, while the loot provides equipment, custom special moves, and Mii outfits for Character Customization that can be used in future Smash Runs and other modes.
Available in: For Wii UA board game where all four players make their moves simultaneously, collecting fighters and stat pickups. If two bump into each other, they stop in their tracks and all players are pulled into battle, forced to use the next fighter in their lineup. Losing in battle forfeits the fighter being used, while victory earns that player the fighter that second place was using. Each player can also hold four items; blue ones can be used on the board, red ones can be used to power-up (or power-down an opponent) before a battle, and green ones are meta, affecting the usage of red and blue ones. Special characters appear from time to time, causing negative effects to the map or players, or providing a reward if bumped into. Bosses may appear, and bumping into them triggers a battle against them. Defeating the boss grants large amounts of stat pickups to the fighter who finished it off. At the end of game, players bring their line-up of fighters for a Final Battle; scoring the most KOs there wins the Smash Tour.