Two new modes have been announced for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There will be a story mode and a mode related to new in-game collectibles called Spirits. These will replace the trophies from the previous games.
In the final Nintendo Direct before the release of Smash Bros. on December 7, lead developer Masahiro Sakurai explains how spirits work. They are pictures of characters from the main series of the fighters and related IPs. These have special abilities and varying degrees of rarity. In addition, they aid the player in battles if the fighting character is equipped with them.
Players can collect spirits in a special mode, Spirit Mode, by choosing battles under certain conditions. The battles have varying degrees of difficulty, depending on the rarity and properties of the spirit. If the player wins this battle, he gets the spirit as a reward.
The graphics can become stronger as players invest in them through training, treasure hunting and use in combat. Spirits can be surrendered. When players do that, they regain the core of the spirit. Different cores can be combined to create a new spirit.
Although spirits replace the trophies as a collective term, the assist trophies remain available. The story mode, World of Light, is based on the spirit system. It explains, among other things, the origin of the pictures. It features both special battles and puzzles.
With the online mode, a few things have changed from the previous iteration. Online matchmaking this time is based on preferences of rules, win rate and location. Elite Battles are made available for the best players, where they fight against other players with a high win rate.
In addition to the new modes, three new characters have been announced, one of which is a pre-order bonus. These are Ken, from the Street Fighter series and Incineroar from Pokémon. The Piranha Plant from the Mario series is the pre-order bonus for players who order the game through the eShop. After the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, five more expansions will be released, each with a character, soundtrack and stage. A single expansion costs 6 euros and a bundle of five costs 25 euros in total.