In this mode, all matches are played on Final Destination or on Ω forms of other stages, with no items naturally spawning, and with character customization disabled. Players can select to play two-stock one-on-one matches with a five minute time limit, two-minute time battles in two-on-two, either with a friend on their setup or by being teamed with another player online, or 4-player free-for-all matches. Self-destructing in a time match costs the player two points instead of the default one point.
Both wins and losses from matches are recorded in this mode, alongside other statistics. If these statistics influence a matchmaking system of some sort is unknown, as no explicit matchmaking system has ever been described by an official source, and players continue to get matched against players of wildly varying skill levels regardless of their winrates.
If a player disconnects during a match in For Glory, their character will from then on be controlled by AI set to a low level. A player who is idle for 15 seconds during a match will be disconnected automatically. However, this idle check only looks at the player's control stick; a player who is pressing buttons can still be disconnected for activity if they do not move for 15 seconds (such as a Mr. Game & Watch repeatedly using Chef to edgeguard an opponent that cannot get around it but remains alive). In rare instances in which a connection is especially bad between the players with constant pauses that don't cease, the game may disconnect all players without penalty and automatically end the match in a no contest.
For Fun acts as a counterpart of For Glory in that it forces free-for-alls and items, as well as having a nearly unrestricted stage selection.
For Glory has received divided opinions from the community. The main draw of the mode is to get players quickly and easily matched with a wide range of other players under competitive rules, without having to set matches up through external means. However, it has also received criticism for encouraging only a small subset of competitive play, with the presence of only Final Destination and Ω forms preventing players from being able to practice on other competitively viable stages. For Glory is also heavily criticized for its seemingly nonexistent or illogical matchmaking system: despite it being claimed in the the Nintendo Direct that announced the mode that there would be "some sort of matchmaking based on skill" present, players find themselves matched up against other players of all skill levels at what seems to be random, from top competitive players down to seemingly first-time players, regardless of how frequently they win or lose. This lack of a logical matchmaking system led to the persistent belief that only low-level players play on For Glory, as higher level players are uncommonly matched up against each other on the mode. Additionally on Smash for Wii U, players' name tags are visible to each other, which griefers and salty players notoriously abuse to insult and demean their opponents. One more criticism of the mode is it disallowing players from being able to play as the Mii Fighters, which is often cited as one of the main reasons, alongside their varying legality in different tournaments, as for why each of the Miis became the least played characters in competitive play. However through modding it is possible to play as the Miis on For Glory without any repercussions.
Despite these criticisms, For Glory saw heavy usage by competitive players, whether it be for serious practice, to warm up for a later online session, when they have no one they know available to play, or to just fool around, with even top players like Nairo and ZeRo frequently streaming themselves playing on For Glory. However players usually setup their own matches with other players on the With Friends mode, whether through Anther's Ladder or some other external means, when trying to get more serious practice online. Additionally, it is by far the most common online play option, in part due to it being the only way to play 1v1 and thus be far less susceptible to lag.
While 1v1 matches on For Glory are generally agreed to have some application in practice, no such merit exists for the 2v2 mode, due to having team attack off and running on time mode instead of the competitive standard stock mode. Additionally the lack of team attack leads to degenerate strategies exploiting it being prominent, including infinite stalling such as two Pac-Mans exploiting their inability to hurt each other with Pac-Jump to infinitely ascend.
For Glory Hell
While never officially documented nor ever referred to by official sources, For Glory contains a system to punish players that have been implicated as a problem through the built-in report system, dubbed "For Glory Hell". Infracted players are intentionally isolated by the system from the normal playerbase and are only matched up with other players in the For Glory Hell system. When in For Glory Hell, players find themselves having to wait much longer for matches and being matched up only with the same few players over and over, with a number of players in For Glory Hell being those who have poor connections, abuse the name tags, play an extremely campy style, and/or grief to whatever degree they can under For Glory's restrictions. Non-malicious players have found themselves in For Glory Hell after false reports by salty players and griefers exploiting the system; players who win a lot while playing a defensive style or frequently showboat in particular have found themselves in For Glory Hell for this reason. How long players are meant to stay in For Glory Hell is also not known, with most reports indicating being stuck for around a week. However, players who continue to play on For Glory while infracted have found themselves stuck there for longer periods of time, with it being believed that other players within For Glory Hell report their opponents. This keeps players in For Glory Hell for longer as the system is tricked into thinking they are problematic due to the reports they keep receiving.
Much like For Glory itself, the response to the system has been mixed. The main point of contention is the lack of any official documentation on it, with something that forms a crucial part of the online experience eluding any mention from Nintendo or a related party. Without a bulletin or notifications of sorts, players are left unaware of when they get in For Glory Hell and when they get out. Despite the aforementioned Direct claiming players would receive infractions for abusing the report system, nothing of the sort seems to have happened for such players, nor have there been players illegitimately placed in the system verifiably taken out via manual intervention. While it is generally considered well-meaning and works to cut down on the much-maligned misbehaviors of online play, the fact that legitimate players can find themselves in For Glory Hell through report abuse by ill-meaning players almost completely gainsays its intention.