- Poor matchup balance by providing a rather extreme advantage for certain characters (such as allowing the character to utilise excessive, gamebreaking camping, or utilise infinite chain throws, as in the case of Fox in Temple for the former, or King Dedede in Shadow Moses Island for the latter).
- Allowing players to abuse glitches in the game.
- Possessing one or more "caves of life," allowing characters to survive much longer than feasibly possible under usual circumstances, and creating a general over-centralisation on the ability to tech.
- Drastically altering gameplay and the strategies needed to win (such as Icicle Mountain and Mario Bros.).
- Having a significant amount of slowdown during a match.
 Major differences in communities
There are many community preferences in terms of stage choices. For example, when Luigi's Mansion was banned on the East Coast, it was allowed on the West Coast. This is usually due to the characters used most often in the community. The East Coast is also well known for much smaller allowable stage lists than the West.
This is the US ban set. In Japanese tournaments, all stages are banned outside of Dream Land. For reasoning, see below the US ruleset.
|Stage||Status||Commonly cited reasons for banning|
|Mushroom Kingdom||Banned||Pipe camping; stalling|
|Planet Zebes||Banned||Acid disrupts usual gameplay by putting people in a disadvantageous situation|
|Sector Z||Banned||Overly large; Arwing lasers; camping; stalling|
|Yoshi's Island||Banned||Cloud camping (as the person on Yoshi's cloud could object to getting back on stage as it is very easy to attack them/put them in a disadvantageous position while recovering); stalling|
|Saffron City||Banned||Overly large; bottom area and helipad promote camping; Pokémon attacks|
This is the Japanese ban set. All stages in the US banned set are also banned for the same listed reasons. Note that all of these bans makes it so Dream Land is the only stage allowed.
|Stage||Status||Commonly cited reasons for banning|
|Hyrule Castle||Banned||Overly large; tornadoes disrupt gameplay|
|Congo Jungle||Banned||Reason never definitely given.|
|Peach's Castle||Banned||Bumper and other areas of the stage disrupt gameplay. The inability to grab ledges.|
In the current Smash Back Room rule set, all stages are listed definitively as a starter, counterpick, or banned stage. Following is the ban list.
|Stage||Status||Commonly cited reasons for banning|
|Big Blue||Banned||Random terrain; scrolling stage; Circle and run away camping; stalling|
|Brinstar Depths||Banned||No ledges to grab; irregular stage design and frequent rotating of the stage causes drastic changes in gameplay; contains caves of life; abnormally low ceiling gives a disproportional advantage to vertical finishers; various, unreasonably strong camping and stalling positions|
|Corneria||Banned||Excessive camping/stalling behind the big fin; fin allows for wall infinites; random stage hazards in Arwing lasers|
|Flat Zone||Banned||Randomness of the stage (such as falling, damaging materials, appearing and disappearing platforms, and oil slick); stage is overly small; no bottom blast line; walk-off blast lines|
|Fountain of Dreams|| Banned
|Potential for lag during doubles play, as well as the onstage portion being too small to properly accommodate doubles play|
|Fourside||Banned||No large, stable platforms for fighting; stalling; walls allow infinites and stalling; the UFO being right under the upper blastline can allow for extremely early vertical KOs|
|Great Bay||Banned||Solid, middle platform above two lower platforms causes stage spikes that result in frequent, low percent KOs and gimps that would not occur in usual circumstances; stage design allows for the potential of circle camping and stalling; left blast line is too close to the stage|
|Green Greens||Banned||Over-centralises gameplay on camping; randomly appearing bomb blocks disrupt normal gameplay|
|Icicle Mountain||Banned||Randomly moving stage; disproportional advantage to characters with high, fast jumps; over-centralises gameplay on keeping up with the stage's scrolling|
|Jungle Japes||Banned||Overly powerful stage hazard in Klap Trap; unusually high ceiling gives a disproportional advantage to horizontal finishers; high potential for camping and stalling; very poor matchup balance, giving a disproportional advantage to characters with projectiles and those that can traverse the stage well|
|Kongo Jungle||Banned||Powerful camping position on the rock platform on the bottom right of the stage; Klap Trap too powerful and difficult to avoid when it enters the Barrel Cannon.|
|Mushroom Kingdom||Banned||Irregular stage design forces major gameplay changes; bricks create caves of life; walk-off blast lines|
|Mushroom Kingdom II||Banned||Walk-off blast lines; stage is too small; lack of proper "centre" platform hinders gameplay, particularly in doubles|
|Mute City||Banned||Lack of ledges on main platform; main platform poorly accomodates doubles play, being too small and potentially causing slowdown in gameplay; F-Zero racers hazard is overly powerful against fast fallers|
|Onett||Banned||Overly powerful and frequently appearing stage hazards in cars, which deal in excess of 30% damage and can KO at low percents; no lower blast line; permanent walls promote camping and infinites; walk-off blast lines|
|Poké Floats||Banned||Irregular terrain; scrolling stage; circle and run away camping; stalling; potential for stage spikes|
|Princess Peach's Castle||Banned||OHKO stage hazard in Banzai Bill; walls allow infinites; permanent walls promote camping|
|Temple||Banned||Overly large; large cave of life in lower area over-centralises gameplay on teching; multiple areas allow for run away and circle camping; stalling; gives an extreme advantage to fast characters (most notably Fox)|
|Venom||Banned||Slowdown; walls allow for infinites; several, unreasonably strong camping positions|
|Yoshi's Island N64||Banned||Camping on clouds to the stage's right and left hand sides; run away stalling|
|Yoshi's Island||Banned||Rotating block platforms create caves of life; walk-off blast lines; marginalizes offstage skills; rotating blocks in the middle pit can block recoveries; left and top blastlines too close to stage.|
Brawl has a highly fragmented and argumentive community when it comes to legal stages. As a result the ban list is significantly messier than the previous two games, with most stages being disputed in one way or another.
|Stage||Status||Commonly cited reasons for banning|
|75 m||Universally banned||Overly large; camera has zooming issues and difficulty following characters; excessive stalling potential; random, powerful stage hazards; too difficult to move around the stage; walk off blast lines; very poor matchup balance, where characters with powerful and flexible air games, as well as those who can camp with projectiles, have a disproportional advantage|
|Big Blue (Melee)||Universally banned||Random terrain; scrolling stage; ground too close to the cars; gives a disproportional advantage to faster moving characters; stage moves too fast for usual gameplay; too much emphasis on platforming|
|Bridge of Eldin|| Universally banned
(Banned outside of experimental rulesets in doubles)
|High potential for camping/stalling; walk off blast lines; overly powerful stage hazard in the bomb thrown by King Bulbin; bottom blast line is not always available; abnormally high ceiling and walk-offs give a disproportional advantage to horizontal finishers.|
|Brinstar||Not banned in common rulesets, but often banned in other rulesets||Irregular stage design; acid disrupts gameplay; poor matchup balance, where air based characters gain a significant advantage, most notoriously Meta Knight.|
|Castle Siege||Generally legal, but banned in Japanese and other limited rulesets||Second stage transformation and the transition between stage transformations have walk offs; second stage transformation has no access to a bottom blast line and thus does not allow offstage gameplay; second transformation is very large and allows ease of platform camping.|
|Corneria (Melee)||Universally banned||Close blast lines and an abnormally low ceiling, which gives a disproportional advantage to vertical finishers; excessive camping/stalling behind the big fin; fin allows for wall infinites|
|Delfino Plaza||Generally legal, but banned in Japanese and other limited rulesets||Several stage transformations have walls and/or walk offs; primary section of the stage on the hovering platform allows sharking.|
|Distant Planet||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Walk off blast line; an instant KO stage hazard in the Red Bulborb, which can drag players off screen; unreasonably powerful camping position at the bottom of the ramp underneath the platform; stage design allows the potential for circle camping|
|Flat Zone 2||Universally banned||Randomness of the stage; overly small; numerous damaging and powerful stage hazards; no bottom blast line; walk off blast lines|
|Frigate Orpheon||Generally legal, but banned in Japanese and other limited rulesets||The stage flipping between its two transformations is susceptible to causing what is commonly seen as unwarranted self destructs; the first stage transformation has no grabbable ledge on the right side of the stage, giving a disproportional disadvantage to characters with tether recoveries and other characters who heavily rely on the ledge to recover.|
|Green Greens||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Over-centralises gameplay on camping; randomly appearing bomb blocks disrupt normal gameplay; blocks allow for wall infinites|
|Green Hill Zone||Universally banned||Excessive camping near checkpoint hazard; walk off blast lines; bottom blast line is not always available; horizontal blast lines that are close with walk-offs and a high ceiling give a disproportional advantage to horizontal finishers|
|Halberd||Generally legal, but banned in Japanese and other limited rulesets||Stage has a rather low ceiling, giving a disproportional advantage to vertical finishers; the hovering platform portion of the stage allows sharking; the Halberd Bridge portion of the stage has powerful stage hazards.|
|Hanenbow||Universally banned||Stage is overly large; irregular stage design forces major gameplay changes; high camping/stalling potential|
|Jungle Japes||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Overly powerful stage hazard in Klap Trap; unusually high ceiling gives a disproportional advantage to horizontal finishers; high potential for camping and stalling; very poor matchup balance, giving a disproportional advantage to characters with projectiles and those that can traverse the stage well|
|Luigi's Mansion||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Impassable platforms create caves of life; stage design allows the potential for circle camping|
|Mario Bros.||Universally banned||Gameplay is vastly altered by stage enemies; overly powerful stage hazards; impassable platforms create caves of life; walk off blast lines; no lower blast line|
|Mario Circuit||Universally banned||High potential for camping/stalling; walk off blast lines; frequent stage hazard in karts that often disrupt gameplay; no lower blast line|
|Mushroomy Kingdom (1-1 and 1-2)||Universally banned||Scrolling stage; stage moves too fast for usual gameplay; bricks create caves of life, especially in 1-2; ledges are not grabbable; walk-off blast lines|
|New Pork City||Universally banned||Stage is overly large; walls allow for wall infinites; excessive stalling/camping potential; camera has zooming problems; OHKO stage hazard in the Ultimate Chimera; stage is abnormally difficult to traverse, disrupting gameplay|
|Norfair||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Overly powerful, frequent stage hazards that disrupt usual gameplay; stage has many, unnecessary ledges that can be easily abused.|
|Onett (Melee)||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Irregular stage design; frequent stage hazard in cars disrupt gameplay; walls allow infinites; walk off blast lines; no lower blast line|
|Pictochat||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||The order in which the drawings appear on the stage is random, and the time to prepare for each drawing is minimal; some drawings can cause a player to be KO'd or fail a recovery against their control (such as the Eyes drawing preventing a recovering character from grabbing the left ledge, or the Gusty Gus drawing appearing and stage spiking a character after they been knocked back); some drawings create walls, allowing wall infinites; some drawings promote camping; overly powerful stage hazards; numerous glitches can occur on the stage, such as the Earthquake glitch and the Spin glitch|
|Pirate Ship||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||High potential for stalling in the water or under the ship's rudder; overly powerful stage hazards|
|Pokémon Stadium 2||Not banned in common rulesets, but often banned in other rulesets||Stage transformations can cause large, disruptive gameplay changes; wind transformation reduces gravity; ice transformation has slippery terrain; electric transformation has large, fast moving conveyor belts that disrupt usual gameplay; all transformations but ice have powerful camping positions and high potential for stalling.|
|Port Town Aero Dive||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Randomness of the stage; overly powerful stage hazards in the cars (which can KO under 50%); cars can be difficult to see coming due to the colors and their speed; main platform has no grabbable ledges|
|Rainbow Cruise||Not banned in common rulesets, but often banned in other rulesets||Scrolling stage; some portions of the stage have no grabbable ledges; some portions of the stage have walls, allowing wall infinites or walk-off blast lines, creating an over-centralisation on horizontal KO moves; poor matchup balance, where air based characters have a significant advantage, most notoriously Meta Knight|
|Rumble Falls||Universally banned||Scrolling stage; gives a disproportional advantage to characters with fast, high jumps; punishes characters who rely on tether recoveries; first spike is an OHKO stage hazard if not teched; irregular stage design forces major gameplay changes, given an emphasis on keeping up with the stage instead of fighting|
|Sample Stages||Universally banned||As the community at large has universally agreed to ban the Sample Stages from day one, no attempt at providing a reason to do so has ever been provided by ruleset-makers, and the existence of the stages is in fact completely ignored by all rulesets. Despite this it is still trivial to reason for the stages' banning: Hole has no edges that can be grabbed from the outside and contains a stalling location in the lower-left spikes, Bath blocks all but vertical KOs and allows for wall infinites, and Maze's irregular design makes it easy to stall, circle camp and survive by teching much like Temple.|
|Shadow Moses Island||Universally banned||No lower blast line; walls block access to side blast lines when not destroyed; over-centralisation on teching; game mechanics change too quickly when walls are destroyed or up, giving a disproportional advantage to vertical finishers when the walls up, and giving that advantage to horizontal finishers when they're down; walls allow for wall infinites; walk off blast lines when the walls are destroyed; a glitch can allow characters to stay on the other side of the walls when they rebuild, allowing the character to safely camp there until the wall is destroyed again|
|Skyworld||Universally banned||Impassable platforms; destroyable cave of life in centre of stage creates an over-centralisation on teching and stage spiking; potential slowdown in doubles|
|Spear Pillar||Universally banned||Randomness of Pokémon attacks; overly powerful stage hazards caused by Pokémon; Pokémon can cause disruptive changes in gameplay, such as slowing down time, reducing gravity, and reversing control; stage design allows the potential for circle camping; lower area of the stage provides a large cave of life|
|Summit||Universally banned||Terrain is slippery; lower gravity occurs at one point of the stage; instant KO stage hazard of The Fish, which quickly drags characters beneath the lower blast line with no hope of survival; ledges are not grabbable, giving a disproportional disadvantage to characters who rely on ledges to recover, especially those with tether recoveries; lower area provides a cave of life; stage design allows the potential for circle camping|
|Temple (Melee)||Universally banned||Overly large; large cave of life in lower area over-centralises gameplay on teching; multiple areas allow for run away and circle camping; excessive stalling potential; gives an extreme advantage to fast characters (most notably Fox)|
|WarioWare, Inc.||Universally banned||Random bonuses from Microgames have an over-centralising effect, to where someone can win being luckier with the bonuses; walk off blast lines during microgames; overly powerful stage hazards during microgames|
|Yoshi's Island (Melee)||Banned outside of experimental rulesets||Rotating block platforms create caves of life; walk off blast lines; marginalizes offstage skills; blast lines are abnormally close to the stage|