The Daybreak appears in Kid Icarus: Uprising as a weapon in Together Mode. It is heavily inspired by the Dragoon from Kirby Air Ride and Super Smash Bros. Brawl; one player must collect all three parts to use its single-shot one-hit KO power, and being defeated causes collected parts to be dropped into play. One difference from the Dragoon in Brawl is that, in Light vs. Dark mode, the parts do not all have to be collected by a single team member; whoever collects the last part for their team will be granted the weapon; this difference carries over into Smash 4.
Similar to the Dragoon, the Daybreak is an item in three parts - the player must collect all three parts of the item in order to use the complete weapon. When assembled, it becomes a large, heavy shooting weapon item. Its control scheme is similar to that of the Cracker Launcher from Brawl: tilt a direction to walk, tap a direction to dash, and tap the opposite direction to turn around. However, unlike the Cracker Launcher, the Daybreak cannot be aimed up or down, as it only shoots straight ahead. Characters carrying the Daybreak can only move, jump (but not midair jump), and fire the weapon; attempts to drop or throw it will fire the beam instead. When fired, it charges for a brief moment before firing a single beam that deals about 57% damage if all hits connect. The beam ignores shields, can knock away opponents behind the user when the blast is active, and has potential KO power to those it hits directly in its line of fire to the end. Those hit may survive if they have low enough damage and are far away enough from the blast line, but may still end up too far to actually recover. Glancing hits deal less damage, but the knockback can still be enough to prevent recovery. The final hit of the beam causes the ping sound effect.
Unlike the Dragoon, the Daybreak can be dropped in its assembled state. If someone holding it takes enough damage or slowly walks backwards off of an edge so that they will auto-grab the ledge, then the completed Daybreak will drop for anyone to pick up and use. It can also be pocketed by Villager, or eaten by Wario, Kirby, or King Dedede. A user who attempts to fire the Daybreak in mid-air after taking knockback will continue to fall as normal, and will be possibly KOed if offstage. In a team Smash, multiple players on the same team can collect the Daybreak pieces. The player who collects the third and final piece will receive the assembled weapon.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, if any Dragoon parts have appeared, no Daybreak parts will appear until the Dragoon is assembled, or all Dragoon parts are sent off-screen. Similarly, if any Daybreak parts have appeared, no Dragoon parts will appear until the Daybreak is assembled and used, or all Daybreak parts are sent off-screen.
The Daybreak returns in Ultimate. It now triggers a Special Zoom when the player has collected all three parts. Additionally there is now a hit on activation which deals set knockback and knocks opponents into the main attack. Oddly, the hitboxes for this hit extend very far into the Z-axis. Unlike in Super Smash Bros. 4, characters can now double jump while holding a completed Daybreak (or multiple double jumps for characters such as Pit and Kirby), but can no longer dash while holding them.