An item is an object that either randomly appears on-stage during a match or is summoned by a character's special move, that can be picked up and used by characters. Many items can be wielded once picked up, while others apply an effect, and almost all can be thrown at opponents. Items are a large part of the gameplay of the Super Smash Bros. series, particularly on a casual level where chaotic fun is prioritized over serious competition. However, items cause problems at a competitive level and, with some exceptions, are universally banned from tournaments.
Item drop chance
In all games, the chance of a character with a held item dropping it when hit by an attack depends on the damage dealt by said attack. In Smash 64 and Melee, the formula is
In Brawl, Smash 4, and Ultimate, this probability was decreased; normal items use the formula
Types of items
Items can be grouped into several categories based on their effects.
In addition to the above, certain items can be heavy, which limits those that pick them up into walking slowly (or not at all in SSB) and throwing. Only Donkey Kong can move quickly or jump while carrying a heavy item.
These items are available in the item switch menu. Some items like containers are grouped together, but the player can toggle all of these items on or off.
Produced by other items
Items found in the table below are to presence of other items. cannot be turned these items, only change it indirectly through other items.
These items are still available in matches, but never have any feature to turn them on or off. If items are turned on, they all can appear in the games they're in regardless of fighters being used, the stage, or presense of other items. Additionally, they don't have an effect during the battle and/or help the fighter.
Produced by fighters
Items found in the table below are exclusive to fighters.
Only in particular stages or modes
Items found in the table below are exclusive to stage or match rules. Some of them may be impossible to obtain in normal matches without hacking, and require the player to play another gamemode to find them.
* Appears in Smash games but not as an item.
** Appears in Smash games but as a stage hazard.
In competitive play
All items that can be turned off or avoided are banned in most tournament rulesets due to the randomness of spawning and the usually unfair advantage the item user receives. This is done by setting random item spawn to "Off" in the Item Switch menu. All items spawned by fighters are allowed as they are effectively a part of the fighter's moveset and cannot be avoided without banning the fighter outright. All stages that spawn unique items are currently banned, and said items are often a major factor for the ban. While the ability to toggle stage hazards in Ultimate removes most of these items, the stages remain banned due to other factors.