Downloadable content (SSBU)
In the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Direct on November 1st, 2018, series director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that paid DLC would be available for Ultimate. The content comes in the form of five Challenger Pack bundles, each containing one entirely unique fighter, one stage, and several music tracks. These bundles, which are also available through a complete pack known as the Fighters Pass, are currently being released periodically through February 2020. Additionally, Piranha Plant was available for free as a limited time early purchase bonus, and is currently available for purchase separate from the Fighters Pass. On November 6th, 2018, Sakurai announced on his Twitter account that the DLC line-up was finalized, and that potential fighters were proposed by Nintendo, with Sakurai passing final approval on them.
During the Nintendo Direct on September 4th, 2019, Sakurai revealed that more DLC fighters are set to be in production after the Fighters Pass, due to Ultimate's strong sales. It is currently unknown how many fighters will be released. As with before, Nintendo proposed the potential fighters and Sakurai passed final approval.
Main article: List of updates (SSBU)
Updates to the game are downloadable at no extra cost. The game must be updated to the latest version to purchase DLC, which is done automatically after starting the game from the system's main menu. Most updates also adjust game balance and mechanics, while fixing glitches and other errors as well. Changelogs for all updates are available at the links above.
As with any other game, DLC data is added via free updates. Completing a transaction to receive DLC is merely a "ticket" to grant access to said content. What this means is that DLC not purchased in an updated version is still technically installed but locked, and thus is accessible indirectly. Content that is locked can be seen and played against with opponents connecting via a system that has paid for the DLC (within Wireless and Online modes). Aside from this, locked content can also be seen using amiibo as Figure Players, and saving uploaded or shared replays.
Just like in Smash 4, DLC characters (with the exception of Piranha Plant) have no unique Palutena's Guidance conversations and instead use the generic one.
Additional costumes for the Mii Fighters are available as paid DLC, with a total of 39 pieces of headgear and outfits as of Round 4 of DLC Mii Costumes.
(December 7th, 2018)
(April 17th, 2019)
(July 30th, 2019)
(September 4th, 2019)
(November 6th, 2019)
While some spirits are available for free, usually launched during Spirit Board events, others require a purchase from another character. These spirits (excluding Fighter Spirits, which can be unlocked through Classic Mode) can be accessed through a special DLC-exclusive Spirit Board that does not have spirits expire or use the Puppet Fighter scene.
Unlike in Smash 4, a majority of characters and stages are bundled together, and each bundle is known as a Challenger Pack. Each pack also includes Spirits belonging to the character related as a DLC Spirit Board. In addition to Fighter Spirits, other Spirits also can purchased from the Vault Shop even if no Challenger Pack were purchased. There are five Challenger Packs in total, and the Fighters Pass allows all five to be pre-purchased together at a discount.
Challenger Packs and Fighters Pass
The pass can be purchased with the digital version of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at a combined price.
Mii Fighter costumes