Classic Mode (SSBU)
Classic Mode (勝ちあがり乱闘 Survival Smash) is a single-player mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Each character now has their own predetermined set of opponents and stages to face in this mode. A unique name is given to each character's path, and there may be special rules or conditions: for example, Ryu's path references Street Fighter II by using only Ω forms and Stamina mode alongside the fighters most closely representing the characters of Street Fighter II. It is different from the Classic Mode versions found in the two versions of SSB4, shown by the return to the style of Classic Mode that was in Melee and Brawl. Just like in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Classic Mode can also be challenged by two players. When playing with two players, the route will always be based on Player 1's character. 1v1 battles become 2v1v1 battles with two copies of the same opponent, usually in the second costume. In the case of Bowser in Peach's route, his 8th costume is used.
Similar to the Classic Modes for the previous entries, players can select an intensity level, indicated by the position of the lengthy mural. The highest allowed starting intensity is 5.0, and it will increase slightly, depending on how well the player does, after each victory, to a maximum of 9.9. Winning in fast times or with great dominance awards a "Nice Play!" label for the stage, and an intensity boost ranging from 0.6 to 1.2, depending also on how far along the player is in the game. Otherwise, the game's default intensity boost goes between 0.2 and 0.6, lower scores being awarded to longer battles with more damage taken. The layout consists of seven stages plus a bonus stage. Unlike previous entries, the opponent in the last stage is not always Master Hand or Crazy Hand; each fighter has a different encounter at the end. Scores are also present in Classic Mode, which is displayed alongside the player's Global Smash Power.
Players only have one stock, unlike previous installments. To continue, the player can either spend Gold, which lowers the intensity by 0.7 points, or use a Classic Mode ticket to keep the current intensity. Upon continuing, the match will start from where the player left off, but intensity will only rise to a maximum of 0.3 regardless of how quickly the CPU opponent is defeated afterwards. Using a Classic Mode ticket at any point during the run will stop the intensity from rising to 9.9, making the maximum possible intensity 9.8 for the rest of the run. However, it will not degrade a run already at intensity 9.9 if the ticket is used then.
Types of battles
Regular stages include Smash 1v1, 2v2, and Free-For-All battles where all enemy fighters must be defeated to proceed. Some variations include Giant Battles, where at least one opponent is giant, Metal Battles, where at least one opponent is metal, and Multi-Man Battles, where eight or less enemies are fought three at a time. When playing with two players, the 1v1 battles are replaced with 2v1v1 battles against two copies of the same opponent, and any allies granted by the match are overwritten by the co-op player.
This is a challenge in the style of Race to the Finish, but rather than having a time limit, the player must outrun a void of darkness that consumes the stage behind them. Glowing orbs are scattered throughout the side-scrolling area which increase the player's score, some behind breakable blocks and bomb blocks that encourage the player to go out of their way as the void closes in. Some scattered physics objects impede progress in a similar manner to Trophy Rush. At the end of the stage, a cannon blasts the player into a portal that ends the Bonus Game.
Most fighters face a predetermined boss fight at the end of their route. The player must deplete the boss's HP in order to defeat them. In some cases, the boss is not the only challenge in the final stage; for example, Mario's and Captain Falcon's final stages features a regular battle on Final Destination against Bowser, who transforms into Giga Bowser and begins the boss fight upon his defeat. For Bowser and Mega Man, the boss is fought before the final stage. For the Hero, the boss is fought on Round 4. For Jigglypuff and Bayonetta, there is no true boss battle and the final stage instead consists of standard fights against a giant Donkey Kong for the former and a giant Palutena for the latter, respectively. Presently, the Classic Mode bosses include Giga Bowser, Ganon, Master Hand, Crazy Hand, Dracula, Galleom, Marx, and Rathalos. Characters that are assigned either Master Hand or Crazy Hand for their boss battles will fight both bosses simultaneously at intensity levels of 7.0 or higher, while certain characters (typically those accompanied by CPU allies in their final stage) will be assigned both Hands outright regardless of intensity. The exceptions to these rules are Pikachu and Pokémon Trainer, who will always fight a lone Master Hand immediately following a duel with Mewtwo. After defeating Bowser, Ganondorf or Mewtwo in the boss round, the character is given a Maxim Tomato.
Classic Mode titles
All eight of the starter characters from the original Smash Bros. and Ultimate have their own character unlock paths, each with eight characters to unlock, except for Pikachu, who has seven. Completing Classic Mode with any character in a given path will challenge the player to a Challenger Approaching duel for the next available character from the start of their path down, as indicated on the table below. For example, beating Classic Mode with either Link or Young Link will then trigger the fight to unlock King K. Rool. If K. Rool is already unlocked (or his Challenger Approaching duel has already been issued), Ice Climbers will be unlocked next. When playing with two players, Player 1's fighter will be used to determine the next challenger.
When all the characters in a path are unlocked, completing Classic Mode with those characters will unlock the next available character in Mario's path, then Donkey Kong's, and so on. Completing Classic Mode with downloadable fighters will also unlock fighters in this order, as these characters are not assigned an unlock path.