- This article is about the feature. For the button itself, see Start/Pause Button
When a game is paused, all action on the screen stops, giving players the opportunity to take a break in the middle of a match. However, pausing the game for minor reasons is generally frowned upon as it can disrupt gameplay, though there are, of course, exceptions. Still, pausing can be disabled in the VS mode rules (as it is in tournaments).
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, game elements (such as Final Smashes or the next character in line during a mid-match character swap) continue to load when the game is paused. This can be abused, such as making events like Co-Op Event 5: The Yoshi Team of 50 easier (by shortening loading time compared to time remaining).
Pausing is also possible during a Subspace Emissary cutscene. If the pause button is pressed, the cutscene will temporarily stop, and an option will be displayed at the top-right of the screen to 'skip movie' by pressing the 2 button on the Wii Remote or the A button on a Wii Remote with Nunchuk, Classic Controller or GameCube controller.
 Match Reset
Pausing also allows for players to abandon or quit the match by pressing a certain button combination which varies by game. Match Resets, however, do not save any data of the game within the save file (such as KOs and time allotted), and in Melee, combatants are not rewarded with Special Bonuses.
- Super Smash Bros.: +++
- Super Smash Bros. Melee: +++
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
Additionally, some single player modes in the three games allow players to retry stages within the pause menu, without having to instead go back to the character select screen.
- Super Smash Bros.:
- Super Smash Bros. Melee:
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
Pausing also allows the players to look around by adjusting the camera angle and zooming in. In Super Smash. Bros, tilting the analog stick will make the camera rotate around the current target, limited by angle, but not by solidity. In other words, the camera will stop rotating after a certain angle, but it has no collisions, which means that it can be moved inside walls.
Melee expanded the camera controls further. Pressing L or R will switch targets. Pressing X or Y will zoom in and out, up to a certain point.
In Brawl these controls were further developed, now allowing the player to take snapshots while the game is paused. In addition to Melee's features, the camera can also be panned with the C-Stick, and doesn't need to target on a player. An unrestricted camera hack has also been created to eliminate the camera's restrictions.
 In tournaments
Pausing is often manually disabled in tournaments via the ability to modify the Rules in Melee and Brawl. This is not always the case, however, and in some tournaments, players are allowed to pause the game, albeit only under certain circumstances; in Brawl's official ruleset, players who pause must have the situation monitored by the Tournament Organizer, who then decides on proper course of action. In most cases, a match continues with no infractions; pausing to interrupt combos or otherwise disorient the opponent, however, can cause players to lose one or even two stocks. Similar rules exist for the Melee and SSB rulesets.
Match Resets are sometimes allowed in tournament rulesets as well, though there do exist limitations. Players can reset matches if the match goes particularly poorly in the limited time slot at the start of the match, and some Tournament Organisers do sometimes allow players to reset matches if the match goes poorly in general, which causes the match to not count as a win or loss; this, however, is generally limited to only one match per tournament round. Players who reset matches with no forewarning are often immediately disqualified from the tournament.