List of Super Smash Bros. series characters
A character is one of the fighters in the Super Smash Bros. series. Characters can be sorted into playable and non-playable, which distinguishes whether characters can be used without the use of a cheat device (like Action Replay) or not. Playable characters can further be divided into starter, unlockable, and downloadable, which distinguishes whether characters can be played right away, whether they need to be unlocked, or whether they need to be downloaded.
This is a list of the playable characters in the Super Smash Bros. series, commonly known in official sources as fighters. The clear cells denote characters that are available when first starting the games. For the first three games, shaded cells denote unlockable characters. For SSB4, red cells denote characters that only need to be unlocked in the 3DS version, blue ones denote those that need to be unlocked in both the 3DS and the Wii U versions, and yellow ones denote downloadable characters. Characters that are noted to have been "intended" in a Smash game were planned by Masahiro Sakurai to be included in that game as a playable character at some point, before being cut for whatever reason.
The following characters can fully interact with playable characters in-game, but are normally non-playable. These include boss characters and enemy teams, among others. Hacking, however, may allow these characters to be played to varying degrees of functionality.
Newcomers and veterans
A newcomer is a character who appears as playable for the first time in the series in a given game. A veteran is the opposite: a character who has been playable in a previous game. For example, Olimar is a newcomer in Brawl, as he did not appear as playable in any previous games, but is a veteran in all subsequent and future games. Note that the definition of newcomers is distinct from that of "unlockable" or "secret" characters, which are playable characters who must be unlocked by completing certain tasks; every game starting with Melee has had starter veterans, starter newcomers, unlockable veterans, and unlockable newcomers.
The term newcomer was originally used to describe the unlockable characters in the original Super Smash Bros. by the data deletion menu. It was later used in the first trailer for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which new characters were introduced with the title "Newcomer" atop their name. The word newcomer was later used on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! site to classify new characters whether unlockable or not. This use of the term has become the community-preferred usage for other games in the series.
Less commonly, the term "veteran" can also denote the "eight regulars" or "perfect-attendance fighters", terms which refer to the eight starter characters in the original Super Smash Bros. which have been in all subsequent games of the series. The terms originated in the description for the 10th Brawl event match All-Star Battle Regulars, reading: "The Smash Bros. perfect-attendance crew! Fight the eight regulars in order!" A popular, unofficial term referring to this group is "The Original 8" (Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu), which may also be called "The Original 12" if including the four unlockable characters (Luigi, Captain Falcon, Ness, and Jigglypuff). Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the first game where all the "Original 12" are starter characters.