Final Smash Meter
Final Smash Meter (チャージ切りふだ, Charge Trump Card), often shortened to FS Meter, is a feature available as an option in the Rules selection in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was revealed during the Super Smash Bros. Direct on August 8, 2018. It allows players to have a chargeable meter and unleash a weaker Final Smash when the meter is filled. It is similar to Super Meters from traditional fighting games.
When the Final Smash Meter is enabled, a colored bar is present below each player's damage meter. The bar fills as each player deals and receives damage, like Little Mac's Power Meter. The meter will reach full charge after taking 200% or dealing 500%. The meter also slowly fills over time, taking 9 minutes and 16 seconds to fully charge without any damage given or taken (this is shortened to 6 minutes and 26 seconds with one Fast Final Smash Meter skill and down to 6 minutes and 12 seconds with two Fast Final Smash Meter skills). Recoil damage does not charge the meter.
Once a player fills their meter, they enter Final Smash standby and can use a weaker version of their Final Smash compared to via a Smash Ball. If a player has entered Final Smash standby through a Smash Ball, the meter fills instantly and the player can use their Final Smash at full power. The meter will empty completely after the Final Smash is used. It will also deplete to around 60% charge if a player is KO'd while in standby, 90% if they are currently losing, and will deplete completely if the Smash Ball is obtained and subsequently lost. Starting in version 4.0.0, the meter will also deplete over time once filled, draining completely after 20 seconds and causing the player to lose the Final Smash. This does not apply to Spirit battles or Final Smashes granted from a Smash Ball.
Only one Final Smash may be active at any given time, even though multiple players can be in standby at once. While a Final Smash is in progress, other characters with full meters temporarily leave standby, using their regular neutral special move instead. They return to standby when the Final Smash concludes.
Each Final Smash has its own values for the damage and knockback multipliers applied when using the Final Smash via the meter. While most final smashes have a damage multiplier of 0.7x, some don't have their damage reduced by as much. Additionally, while many Final Smashes have a knockback reduction in addition to the damage reduction, some actually have their knockback increased slightly, although this is always offset by the reduced damage, and thus these Final Smashes still KO later.
|Fighter||Damage multiplier||Knockback multiplier|
|Mr. Game & Watch||0.7||0.81|
|Zero Suit Samus||0.7||1.06|
|Wii Fit Trainer||0.9||0.9|
|King K. Rool||0.7||1.015|
|Banjo & Kazooie||0.8||0.95|
In competitive play
While Final Smash Meter is seemingly tailor-made for a competitive environment, it is typically banned in nearly all competitive tournaments. While the FS Meter allows them to be charged up and thus predictably obtained, the meter charging from taking damage and passively overtime eliminates the possibility of counterplay via preventing the opponent from obtaining their Final Smash. The fact that Final Smashes makes the user fully intangible, are unblockable, and generally have massive hitboxes, makes them disproportionately powerful compared to other "super attacks". This is especially problematic with large-scale Final Smashes like Peach Blossom and Triforce of Wisdom, which are practically unavoidable on tournament legal stages due to their massive area of effect. This also makes Final Smashes that can be activated instantly and be effective without any setup like the aforementioned two and Infernal Climax have virtually no counterplay, as the opponent cannot be prevented from getting their Final Smash, and the player can do nothing to avoid getting KO'd by the Final Smashes.
Once a player fills their FS Meter, they can only lose their Final Smash by being KO'd or 20 seconds passing without using it, which while this eliminates the randomness with any hit being able to randomly make a player drop their Final Smash when it's obtained via Smash Ball, it farther limits counterplay against all Final Smashes.
The FS Meter charges much more quickly by taking damage and can only be depleted on the use or by being KO'd during standby, which primarily assists the worse-performing player in a similar fashion to Easy Final Smashes. Furthermore, players who are at a stock disadvantage lose less meter than those who are in the lead.
In summary, while FS Meter is a good idea in concept, there are several elements to it that ruin its competitive integrity and Final Smashes are still so imbalanced that it is simpler to just turn the system off and leave Final Smashes out entirely.