Snapshots (写真, Photos) are image files used to save certain moments of gameplay. They were introduced in Super Smash Bros. Melee and the feature was expanded upon in future installments of the series.
In Melee, taking a snapshot requires use of Camera Mode, using the controller in port 4 to control the camera and capture pictures. Captured snapshots are then saved to the GameCube's memory card, which can then be viewed in the appropriate Data menu option. No efficient method exists for exporting snapshots in Melee to be saved onto a personal computer, leaving the feature rather limited.
Melee prioritises the Memory Card in Slot B for saving snapshots, however, snapshots can be saved to the Memory Card in Slot A if there is no Memory Card in Slot B, or the game is unable to write to the Memory Card in Slot B (e.g. there is not enough space or the Memory Card is corrupted). Melee allows players to view snapshots both Memory Cards.
Brawl improves on the idea, and implements it in a much more useful fashion. Snapshots can be taken in any mode (except Stadium and Wi-Fi Connection modes), using the pause screen's camera. Snapshots can be saved either directly on the Wii or to an SD card. The amount of pictures is only limited based on the size of the memory storage location. Prior to the shutdown of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, it was also possible to send images to registered friends. Snapshot files created by Brawl are stored as encrypted .BIN files, and as a result, they cannot be immediately be viewed on a computer or even on the Wii's included Photo Channel. Before its shutdown, the Brawl Snapshots website could be used to convert these files to the .JPG format; a tool written by GTCoder has since become the primary way of converting the files into viewable images.
Snapshots return in both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, they can be saved to either either the system's memory or to an SD card; in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, snapshots can only be saved to an SD card. Snapshots in Smash 4 do not have encryption, and are instead saved as standard .JPG files, with an additional encrypted .BIN file whose presence enables the system to recognize the associated image as a Smash 4 screenshot. Images taken with the 3DS's three-dimensional features enabled are also saved as an .MPO file that allows the image to be viewed in 3D on both the 3DS and external software.
Both versions of the game allow snapshots to be shared with friends and on a dedicated Miiverse community (the latter of which was discontinued). In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, players can also draw on saved screenshots using the touchscreen on the Wii U GamePad and a basic built-in painting tool.
Snapshots return in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Rather than in an in-game Album, snapshots taken in this game are saved directly to the Nintendo Switch system's album, found in the Home menu. Camera mode can be accessed in the pause menu rather than instantly pausing the match. Snapshots in the Nintendo Switch library can be added in Edited Videos. Snapshots from camera mode will not work with Final Smashes or when certain Assist Trophies are in play.