Alternate costume (SSBB)
Players can pick different alternate costumes for their character by cycling through a list of up to six choices. The buttons used to cycle are 1/2 for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination, A and B for the Wii remote alone configuration, and pressing X/Y for the Classic Controller and GameCube controller.
Most characters have six alternate costumes, though Jigglypuff, Lucario, Pokémon Trainer, and Sonic only have five, and Pikachu has only four. Wario two outfits with six alternate choice each, doubling his options and giving him two different outfits in Team Battles.
Some characters, namely Lucario, Pokémon Trainer, and Sonic, have sets of alternate costumes that can be difficult to distinguish from each other in a match. As such, tournaments have the "colorblind rule" in doubles matches, where a player can choose which colours their team and their opponents' team are, if either team has one of the aforementioned characters on their team. While texture hacks are usually discouraged from being used in tournaments, if not flat-out disallowed, it is usually acceptable to use simple texture hacks on these characters to make the color difference between their team palettes more obvious.
When selecting characters in tournament mode, instead of displaying the character's colored image of the chosen costume, a colored bar is displayed in the player list. This color is usually an intuitive indicator of which costume has been chosen, but there are several cases where costumes are given strange colors, such as giving cyan to Ike's default blue-brown getup, or using orange or yellow when the opposite is clearly more correct.
In Wi-Fi and Team Brawls, if two identical characters share the same alternate costume, the second character will have a lighter tint in their appearance. A third character on the same team uses a darker tint. The fourth character's tint is even darker than the third character's. It is generally quite difficult to distinguish from the third character's color scheme, let alone have a fourth character use the same color.
The order of the palette swaps for each character are sorted in the order in which they appear on the character selection screen.
All of Donkey Kong's color changes can be traced back to the multiplayer mode of Donkey Kong 64.
Popo and Nana switch positions for their red, black, and white costumes, and their head icons change to match, but they do not switch positions on the selection screen like they did in Melee.
All these colors are also similar to different Kirby colors in games such as Kirby Air Ride and Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. They are all also usable in Kirby: Squeak Squad, where color variations are distinct and each have their own names.
At four costume choices, Pikachu has the least amount of alternate costumes in Brawl.
Most of these are based on different camouflage suits worn by Naked Snake (a.k.a. Big Boss) in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Sonic is the only non-Pokémon character to have fewer than six alternate costumes. The stripe on his sneakers is white in all alternate costumes, and, in all but the default alternate costumes, the rest of his sneakers match his wristbands.
Unlike all other characters, Wario has two outfits each with multiple color choices: his biker costume from the WarioWare games, which is his default costume, and his classic overalls. This doubles his alternate costume choices. There are a total of 12 costume choices for Wario in Brawl.
Wario's overalls closely resemble the cartoonish look in both the Mario and Wario games, in contrast to Mario, Luigi, and Waluigi, who were given more realistic-looking overalls.
All of Yoshi's costumes are different variations of the Yoshi species in many of his games, specifically Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Yoshi's Story, and Yoshi's Island DS. The soles of his shoes, the saddle on his back, and his spines stay the same color, no matter what color he is.
There is a glitch in Brawl that allows multiple players to be the same character with the same color scheme, without the shading seen in Team Battles.
This glitch can also occur when every player selects random, and multiple players end up playing as the same character.