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The Deflicker menu in Melee.
The Deflicker menu in Brawl.

The Deflicker is a setting in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl that is found under options. It adjusts the way the screen appears when the game is played. When deflicker is turned off, less blurring is applied to the edges of objects, causing a sharper appearance, at the cost of featuring more jagged lines ("jaggies"). When deflicker is instead turned on, more blurring is applied to edges, giving a slightly blurrier look to the game while also removing most of the jagged lines.

In Brawl's NTSC release, the menu option for the Deflicker is a capital letter D overlaid on several straight lines; in the PAL release, however, the D was replaced by a zero, as to reflect the various languages of the game.

The Deflicker setting was created due to a majority of the population owning standard definition television screens at the releases of Melee and Brawl, with the GameCube and Wii having a maximum output of 480p. While high definition screens were available at the time, they were often too expensive for the average consumer to purchase. The relatively low pixel count of these screens could only display so much detail per frame, which became an issue as games were becoming more graphically demanding as time progressed. This mode was added to mitigate this issue and make sure everyone can clearly decipher what is happening on screen.

The Deflicker setting did not return in Smash 4 and Ultimate due to high definition becoming industry standard at that point. The Wii U has a maximum output of 1080p. The Nintendo Switch handheld screen has a maximum output of 720p, which increases to 1080p in docked mode.

In competitive play[edit]

The Deflicker is normally an afterthought in competitive play, as the vast majority of players don't notice if it's on or off, or otherwise don't care. As a result, tournaments typically do not have any ruling regarding the Deflicker. This lack of established ruling became an issue in a notable incident at Apex 2013 in its Brawl tournament, where in a top 8 losers set between Dabuz and Otori, the players disputed over the Deflicker; Dabuz wanted the Deflicker off, as he claimed it causes too much strain on his eyes to the point of tearing up, while Otori wanted the Deflicker on, as he claimed he couldn't see the game as well with it off. This stalled their set on stream for several minutes as there was no established procedure to resolve this conflict. The head TO, Alex Strife, would impromptu rule that a coin flip would decide who sets the Deflicker for game 1, with Dabuz winning the coin flip, and then going on to win game 1. Otori would then go turn it back on as part of his counterpick, which Dabuz protested, leading to further delay until Strife ruled that the game loser was allowed to set the Deflicker as part of their counterpick. Otori would go on to win the set 2-1 despite having the overall set disadvantage with his Deflicker preference. Even after this high profile conflict over the Deflicker on stream at by far the biggest Brawl tournament of the year, tournaments still would generally not adopt an official ruling on how to handle conflicts over the Deflicker; Apex 2014, for example, had no mention of it in its ruleset. The continued lack of an established ruling going forward would not prove to cause any further incidents, however, as there are no other known noteworthy disputes over the Deflicker in a tournament set.