Classic Mode (SSBU)
Classic Mode (勝ちあがり乱闘, Survival Smash) is a single-player (optionally 2 players) 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 (aside from Terry and Kazuya’s Classic Mode) become 2v2 battles with two of the same opponent (if there is originally only one), one in an alternate costume. If P2 chooses the same costume as an opponent, the opponent will not switch to another costume unless they chose the same character as P1.
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 1.4, 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 long 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 Ticket to keep the current intensity. Upon continuing, the match will start from where the player left off. Using a continue 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 a ticket is used then. When playing with two players, the round does not fail until both players' stocks are lost.
Classic Tickets can be obtained through clearing Classic Mode or from the shop. They may also be used before starting a Classic Mode game to increase the rewards given out when finishing the mode.
After clearing Classic Mode the player will be able to play a minigame over the Credits and, at the end of said minigame, see a congratulations screen; the music for the minigame and the image at the end are themed to each character. Clearing Classic Mode with a character grants their fighter spirit, much like trophies from previous games.
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 standard time limit, the player must run from a black hole that consumes the stage behind them. Glowing orbs are scattered throughout the side-scrolling area which increases 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. Every fighter goes through this bonus game stage at some point during their classic mode. Every fighter goes through the exact same stage with no differences.
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. The most common boss is Master Hand on Final Destination, with Crazy Hand joining in higher difficulties, similarly to previous games. A select few characters replace Master Hand and Crazy Hand with either Rathalos, Dracula, Giga Bowser, Marx, Galleom or Ganon, and certain others may feature Crazy Hand with Master Hand regardless of difficulty, reverse Crazy Hand and Master Hand's roles, or be on an Ω form of another stage. Additionally, there are a few instances where another fighter is part of the final round:
After defeating Bowser, Ganondorf or Mewtwo in the boss round, the player is given a Maxim Tomato.
Classic Mode routes
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 in the table below. For example, beating Classic Mode with Donkey Kong will then trigger the fight to unlock Bowser. If Bowser has already been unlocked through World of Light (or players have already fought him in a Challenger Approaching duel), Pokémon Trainer will be unlocked next. When playing with two players, Player 1's fighter is the character used.
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.