Platforms are stage features that make up the floor upon which characters may stand and objects may land, which usually take the form of floating islands. There are four distinct types of platforms: hard, semisoft, soft, and supersoft, each of which differs in its tolerance of the vertical movement of characters and objects through it. Platforms sometimes accommodate ledges from which characters can hang, and may also incorporate slopes, movement, hazards, and destructible and interactive features. Some bosses are also platforms, and characters can stand upon them. The appearance of platforms ranges from simple or abstract polygonal solids and flat planks, to recognisable objects such as buildings, ships and creatures. Items can land upon platforms, and some, such as the Hothead and Motion-Sensor Bomb, interact with them. Most versus stages involve a large, central, hard or semisoft platform with ledges that may be grabbed, and additional, smaller platforms elsewhere. Stage Builder in Super Smash Bros. Brawl offers a variety of platforms, some unlockable, that can be arranged and customized by players, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U allows players to draw platforms of different shapes with the Wii U's GamePad.
Hard platforms are solid and cannot be passed through in any direction—their sides are walls, their undersides are ceilings and they usually have ledges that can be hung onto. Hard platforms often form the main bodies of versus stages, such as Hyrule Castle, Pokémon Stadium, and Luigi's Mansion.
Semisoft platforms are platforms that characters can travel upwards through, but not downward. They do not have walls or ceilings; characters who approach from below or from the side will go through them. Semisoft platforms are sometimes used in versus stages as main platforms, and may or may not possess ledges. Kongo Jungle, which has ledges, and Port Town Aero Dive, which does not, are two examples. Many conventional 2D platform games, such as those of the Kirby and Mario series, include this kind of platform frequently. Spring Stadium has "reverse" semisoft platforms in the form of arches above the stage; characters can travel through them downwards, but not upwards.
Soft platforms, also known as pass-through or fall-through platforms, are thin platforms that characters, projectiles, and items can pass through upwards, and that characters may also pass through downwards. Most soft platforms do not have ledges that characters may hang from, although there are exceptions, such as the upper platforms of Norfair. While standing on a soft platform, a character may fall down through it by tapping down on the control stick. Shield platform dropping is a technique which can aid in attaining the standing state necessary to drop through soft platforms. Airborne characters may pass through a soft platform from above by holding down on the control stick as they approach it, though in SSB this can only be done when the character is helpless.
All airborne items and projectiles, including Pikachu's Thunder, will travel upward through soft platforms, but will not travel downward through them. The same is true of tumbling and reeling characters, who will fly upward through soft platforms, but will land in a lying position upon a soft platform if they contact it from above. When used under a soft platform, certain special moves, such as Ike's Aether and Bowser's grounded Bowser Bomb, may send their performers upward through the platform during the rising portion of the move, and then downward onto the platform during the falling portion. This is also the case with Kirby and Meta Knight's up throws; both the grabber and the victim will rise through soft platforms, but "crash land" onto them during the falling part of the move.
Characters performing aerial attacks, including stall-then-fall maneuvers, cannot fall through soft platforms during the attack. Most special moves also follow this rule, with exceptions such as Yoshi's Yoshi Bomb in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the up special moves of Fox, Falco, and Wolf when used in the air, which will pass down through soft platforms when directed at a downward angle.
Supersoft platforms were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and appear on the stage Skyworld, where they take the form of floating clouds. These cloud platforms have the same fall-through properties as soft platforms, but are distinct in that airborne characters who have been hit from above can fly downward through them. This can happen either when an airborne character is meteor smashed, or a character is hit upward and rebounds down from the ceiling of a higher hard platform. However, characters who are attacked by downward thrusting attacks will not be pushed down through cloud platforms if they are standing on them. Skyworld's cloud platforms do not have ledges, but the stone platforms that usually cover them do.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Magicant's cloud platforms are supersoft, but unlike Skyworld's, they do not allow players to naturally pass down through them and they have grabbable ledges.
There are a variety of extra features that platforms may possess in addition to their basic properties.
Platforms and items
All items can land on platforms, but some interact with them in more elaborate ways.