And how to rematch challengers you missed.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a massive 74 fighters in its roster, and you need to unlock 66 of them.
There are several ways to do this, but there is a little trick that brings the total playtime required down from around 10-12 hours to approximately 90 minutes.
Fastest way to unlock all fighters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Play a couple of Smash matches or through one character’s Classic Mode until you are triggered with a “Challenger Approaching” screen. Play the fight and hopefully you’ve just unlocked your first character! These are random, so the order is different for everyone.
Normally there is around a 10 minute cooldown before another Challenger approaches. But if you return to the Switch Home screen and close Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (press X while it’s selected) you will get a new Challenger after just one match. The fastest way is to start a 1 life stock match, and simply run off the edge.
Rinse and repeat and you can unlock all characters much faster. After around 50 characters, this technique stopped working for us. The fix was to unlock one character through a more intentional method — in our case by completing a round of Classic Mode, which triggered a new challenger. After doing this, the “quit and relaunch” technique started working again.
It’s not entirely clear if this is an exploit which may be patched or if it’s intentional. It’s possible Nintendo wants to reward players with a quick unlock each time they relaunch the software.
Of course, it’s up to you if you want to slowly unlock characters as intended, or get them as fast as possible (disclosure: we did it to get as much playtime with all characters as possible for our review sessions, not because it’s the best way to play).
The other ways to unlock characters include encountering them in World of Light, completing Classic Mode with different characters and playing Smash mode for roughly 10 minutes — that’s 10 minutes fighting, not 10 minutes in the game.
How to rematch Challengers who beat you
If you lose to a challenger, they won’t join your roster, but don’t fret. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate scales the difficulty of Challengers, so the first time you fight them, they might be quite hard — it’ll probably be easier the next time!
To rematch them, you’ll need to wait a little while (around 10 minutes of fighting time), and then go to the Games & More menu (that’s the blue one). Navigate to the small door in the bottom right-hand corner, and you’ll rematch all the Challengers you missed in the order they appeared. If the door doesn’t appear, play another mode for a bit longer and check again. If you lose again, go and play another mode and check back.