A fighter, also known as a playable character or simply character, refers to a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series roster. These characters are located on the character selection screen and can be used without a cheat device (e.g. Action Replay). Playable characters can further be divided into starter, unlockable, and downloadable, which distinguishes whether characters can be played right away, whether they need to be unlocked, or whether they need to be downloaded.
List of fighters
This is a list of the playable characters in the Super Smash Bros. series, commonly known in official sources as fighters.
Newcomers and veterans
A newcomer is a character who appears as playable for the first time in the series in a given game. A veteran is the opposite: a character who has been playable in a previous game. For example, Diddy Kong is a newcomer in Brawl, as he did not appear as playable in any previous games, but is a veteran in all subsequent games. Note that the definition of newcomers is distinct from that of "unlockable" or "secret" characters, which are playable characters who must be unlocked by completing certain tasks; Melee, Brawl, and Smash 4 all had starter veterans, starter newcomers, unlockable veterans, and unlockable newcomers. Ultimate is the first game in which all newcomers are unlockable; however, most veterans are also unlockable.
The term newcomer was originally used to describe the unlockable characters in the original Super Smash Bros. by the data deletion menu. It was later used in the first trailer for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which new characters were introduced with the title "Newcomer" atop their name. The word newcomer was later used on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! site to classify new characters whether unlockable or not. This use of the term has become the community-preferred usage for other games in the series.
Less commonly, the term "veteran" can also denote the "eight regulars" or "perfect-attendance fighters", terms which refer to the eight starter characters in the original Super Smash Bros. which have been in all subsequent games of the series. The terms originated in the description for the 10th Brawl event match All-Star Battle Regulars, reading: "The Smash Bros. perfect-attendance crew! Fight the eight regulars in order!" A popular, unofficial term referring to this group is "The Original 8" (Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Kirby, Fox, and Pikachu), which may also be called "The Original 12" if including the four unlockable characters (Luigi, Ness, Captain Falcon, and Jigglypuff). The 29th Brawl event match All-Star Semifinal Regulars states: "Four hidden characters from the past game! They're secret perfect attendees." Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is the only installment where all the "Original 12" are starter characters. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate refers to the concept of the perfect-attendance crew by making the only starter characters the aforementioned “Original 8.”