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The Ultimate Guide to Playing Super Smash Bros Ultimate Online

To play Super Smash Bros Ultimate online, you‘ll need a Nintendo Switch Online membership, a stable internet connection, and some controllers. With those basics covered, this comprehensive guide will teach you everything else you need to know to smash online!

Nintendo Switch Online Membership

The Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to play Smash Bros Ultimate online. This currently costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for 3 months, or $19.99 per year. There‘s also a family plan available. Once subscribed, you can access online multiplayer modes.

Wired Connection for Low Latency

For the smoothest online Smash experience, I highly recommend using a wired internet connection rather than wifi.Ethernet cables provide lower latency and reduce lag spikes by giving you a more stable connection. Here are the internet speeds I recommend for optimal online play based on my testing:

  • Download Speed: At least 10 Mbps, 25+ Mbps ideal
  • Upload Speed: 5 Mbps minimum, 10+ Mbps best
  • Ping: Under 100 ms, the lower the better
  • Packet Loss: 1% max

You can check your current speeds by performing an internet speed test. Upgrading your internet plan or equipment may be required to hit these targets.

Controllers for Battling Friends

The Joy-Con controllers included with your Switch allow for 2-player battles locally. But for online or local multiplayer with more people, additional controllers are required. Here are my personal picks:

  • Pro Controller – My top choice for precise inputs thanks to its full-size buttons and ergonomic grip.
  • GameCube Controller – Many pro players prefer the GameCube layout and feel via USB adapter.
  • Extra Joy-Cons – Convenient for on-the-go gaming, though the small size takes practice.

I‘d recommend the Pro Controller or GameCube controller if attending tournaments. Each player needs their own controller.

Online Play Modes

Smash Ultimate provides Quickplay and Battle Arena modes for online battles. Quickplay uses matchmaking to face random opponents in 1v1 or co-op fights. Battle Arenas let you create custom rooms and voice chat with friends.

Reach Elite Smash

If you manage to raise your Global Smash Power rating for a character high enough, you‘ll gain access to the competitive Elite Smash mode. Based on Nintendo‘s data, only the top 3% of players qualify for this top tier competition per character. It‘s a great way to challenge your skills.

Strategize with Voice Chat

The Nintendo Switch Online app lets you voice chat on your phone while playing online. This is extremely helpful for strategizing and coordinating attacks with teammates or friends in Battle Arenas. Clear communication gives you a tactical edge.

Digital vs Physical – Same Great Game

You can buy Smash Bros Ultimate digitally on the Nintendo eShop to download directly to your Switch, or physically to get the game cartridge. Both versions work identically once installed and support online play. Digital lets you start smashing immediately while physical gives you a collectible case.

Competitive Online Play Tips

Here are some key tips I‘ve learned for competitive online battles from my experience as an avid Smash player and tournament attendee:

  • Use a cabled connection and optimal internet speeds to minimize lag.
  • Adjust your playstyle to account for online delay and react accordingly.
  • Practice combos at various latencies to optimize execution.
  • Stick with tried-and-true top tier characters early on until you adjust.
  • Join Discord groups and forums to find sparring partners and mentors.

It will take some practice to adapt to online play coming from local tournaments. But with the right mindset and skills, you can excel in both formats.

Troubleshooting Connection Issues

In my experience gaming online, you may occasionally run into connection problems. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Ensure your Switch system and game are updated to the latest versions.
  • Check your network status and NAT type under internet settings.
  • Forward the necessary ports on your router for peer-to-peer connections.
  • Test your speeds using multiple sources to identify bottlenecks.
  • Reboot your modem/router and Switch to clear any glitches.
  • Try gaming in handheld closer to the router instead of docked.

Addressing any connection issues quickly is key to maintaining a positive online experience. Don‘t hesitate to contact your ISP for assistance if problems persist.

Local Wireless Play

You don‘t necessarily need an internet connection to play Smash multiplayer. Up to 8 Switch systems can connect wirelessly locally for on-the-go gaming sessions. Just make sure each player owns a copy of the game. No better way to pass time on a road trip!

Ready to Smash Online!

Follow this guide and you‘ll be fully prepared to play Super Smash Bros Ultimate online. Pick your main, grab some friends, and start smashing against the best in the world! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy battling!