Spirits (スピリット, Spirit) are a type of power-up and collectible in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They are featured prominently in Adventure Mode: World of Light, which depicts them as characters from various video game series who lost their bodies in Galeem's attack and were reduced to disembodied souls.
Spirits effectively replace trophies from earlier Smash installments as the game's main collectible. Gameplay-wise, most spirits can be equipped to fighters to enhance their stats and/or provide positive effects. Thus, they are also similar to stickers in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and equipment in Super Smash Bros. 4.
There are many ways to collect Spirits:
Primary and support spirits are classified by their tier of strength, which is referred to as class. This is sometimes also called rank (such as when sorting spirits).
Main article: Primary spirit
Characters can have a single primary spirit equipped at a time. Primary spirits have two main stats: an attack rating and a defense rating, which are added together to form its total power. Primary spirits may also have a trait, which applies an additional multiplier to their power, as well as up to three slots for support spirits to be attached, which apply their own multipliers. Generally, a primary spirit that lacks slots will be compensated with higher stats. If a primary spirit is from the same series as the character equipping it, its stats are increased by 1.1x (10%), resulting in more damage dealt and less damage received.
Primary spirits' attack and defense stats modify how much damage is dealt and received by the character, but do not directly affect knockback dealt, and are not factored into the knockback formula. For both stats, a value of 0 results in no change from base damage.
Although the base damage of a move is still used when calculating knockback, 70 percent of the additional damage is added onto the value of the unmodified final damage, resulting in more knockback being dealt overall. For example, a move which deals 10% damage will KO 7% earlier than usual if its damage is doubled overall by spirits.
As with attack, defense does not directly affect knockback, but if damage taken is reduced overall by spirits, the resulting final damage is used in the knockback formula, resulting in moves dealing slightly less damage overall. For example, a move which deals 10% damage will KO 5% later if it's damage is halved overall by spirits. Because of the nature of these functions, defense is a more effective stat in terms of raw numbers, in the sense that a defense of 1,000 is stronger than an attack of 1,000 (which is the case when stats are equal at any value).
Some primary spirits can be enhanced at level 99, which transforms them into a different primary spirit with a higher class, more powerful stats, and an additional trait. Furthermore, enhanced spirits tend to have higher stats than non-enhanced spirits of the same class.
Primary spirits also have strengths based on their type, and grant a 1.3x increase in damage dealt to spirits that their type is strong against. However, they will also impose a weakness of 0.85x damage dealt to the type of Spirit that they are weak against. There is also a fourth type, Neutral, which is not strong or weak against any other type. When attacking a fighter using a type that the attacker's type is strong against, the type advantage is indicated by an additional "wind-rush" sound effect and sparks of a colour corresponding to the spirit type of the attacker.
Main article: Support spirit
Most primary spirits have slots, which can be filled by support spirits. The support spirits will give fighters skills: passive bonuses such as starting with an item, resistance to certain damage types or status effects, added abilities, and more. They can be useful when encountering traps that appear in certain Spirit Battles, such as winds that constantly push fighters or floors that put any fighter to sleep on contact. The fighter can equip up to three Support Spirits at a time depending on how many slots the Primary Spirit has, although some Support Spirits can take up more than one slot. When equipped, Support Spirits apply a multiplier to the Primary Spirit's power based on the type of skill. Support Spirits are also divided into types like Primary Spirits, but only during Spirit Battles where they are equipped by an enemy Puppet Fighter.
Main article: Fighter spirit
Fighter spirits are based on an existing playable character in the game, do not have classes and types, and also cannot be equipped. Rather, they simply exist to allow the players to view their artwork. They are earned by completing Classic Mode with the indicated fighter, by purchasing them when they appear randomly in the shop, or through completing some challenges. With some exceptions, the Fighter Spirits generally use the fighter's artwork from their franchise of origin, with the option to swap to their Ultimate render. Characters with significant alternate costumes will have fighter spirits based on them as well, such as Cloud in his Advent Children outfit or Mario in his Builder and Wedding attires, or those who are changed into different individuals, such as Male Wii Fit Trainer and each of the Koopalings. This notably does not include Isabelle in her winter outfit or Link's Hero of the Wild set.
Main article: Master Spirit
Master Spirits are a type of spirit that cannot be equipped. Once unlocked, Master Spirits run facilities that can be used. These facilities include Shopping (which sell spirits, items, and Skill Spheres), Gym (which levels up spirits; there is only one), Explore (which bring back rewards), and Dojo (which teach styles to spirits). Master Spirits have dialogue boxes, though certain spirits (such as Kraid) communicate unintelligibly and therefore have provided translations. Master Spirits are all considered Neutral types when used by puppet fighters in Spirit Battles.
Players can only hold up to 6,000 Primary and Support Spirits combined. Should they go over the limit, they'll have to choose whether to discard newely-acquired Spirits or dismiss them.
Most spirits can be obtained via Spirit Battles, which appear similar to the thematic missions seen in Event Matches and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's Special Orders. Battles can be selected from the Spirit Board, containing up to ten spirits to challenge. The Spirit Board will cycle out new spirits after a short period of time (5 minutes for most spirits and 15 minutes for Legend-class spirits; if a Legend-class spirit is part of a weekend event, it can stay on the Spirit Board for up to an hour). Each Spirit Battle contains unique challenges and rules. The spirits that are battled against will be paired with puppet fighters of a similar personality and/or appearance, with the battle's rules, conditions, stage and music track often being reflective of the spirit itself. During all battles against spirits, the Final Smash Meter will be active, and certain spirits can make the gauge fill up faster or slow the rate the enemy's gauge fills at. If there are more than one opponent, then the battle will either be a team battle with team attack turned off, or a horde battle similar to the one seen in Classic Mode. Occasionally, a CPU ally will engage the battle with the player as well. Like in Classic Mode, the player is always given only one stock, unlike with aforementioned game modes in previous games. A spirit can be acquired by defeating its respective puppet fighter, then attacking the fighter in a shooting-style minigame, except when fighting in World of Light or the DLC Spirit Board, which automatically reward the player with the spirit upon victory. There is a shield that prevents the spirit from being acquired; however, the damage to the shield carries over to the next time that spirit is encountered and Spirit Points can be spent for one additional attempt per battle. There are also usable items that can slow the speed the shield rotates at or remove part of the shield.
Before each Spirit Battle, the two sides' strength will be compared. The higher the player's advantage over the spirit, the easier the battle will be, but fewer rewards will be earned if the player's strength is significantly greater than the spirit's.
There are consumable items one can earn or purchase to make the spirit obtaining process easier. Examples include restocking the Spirit Board, rerolling the board, or forcing the reappearance of a previously fought Spirit, for either a second attempt at acquiring it or the chance of acquiring a duplicate.
One can also battle other players locally in versus matches with spirits equipped, working in a similar manner to character customization from Super Smash Bros. 4. As of version 2.0.0, up to four players can engage in a Spirit Board battle at once, and both the difficulty of the fight and the rewards for completion will be scaled accordingly; however, the battle will end in failure if any human player is KO'd.
When used in a battle, Primary Spirits will gain experience regardless of its outcome. A sufficient amount of experience will allow the spirit to level up, which increases its stats. Some Spirits can also be enhanced upon reaching level 99; this causes the spirit to change to a new spirit, which will be at level 1 but compensate with a higher class and superior base stats. Additionally, spirits available via enhancement typically cannot be found in Spirit Battles.
Spirits can also level up by using Snacks or Cores on them in exchange for Spirit Points. Using a Core of the same type as the spirit will give 30% more experience at no extra cost. Using a Core of a DLC Spirit will only give 25% of the experience of a similar non-DLC Spirit Core.
Spirits can level up by training in the gym, learn a style that alters their stats in the dojo or hunt for treasure. Spirits must remain in a facility for an extended period of time to gain its benefits and cannot be used while deployed in a facility, but they can be recalled at any time; however, a Spirit recalled from a facility must wait a short time before being sent to a different facility. All facilities must be unlocked by defeating their corresponding Master Spirits in World of Light before they can be used.
When selecting Spirits to use a facility, some of them may have arrows displayed on them. These spirits will be more or less efficient at whatever they were assigned to do, depending on the way the arrow points. All unlocked facilities can be accessed at any time from the Adventure Mode's Pause Menu, or from the Collection subpage at the Spirits menu.
The Gym will level up Spirits as long as they remain assigned there. It is operated by Doc Louis.
Dojos teach Spirits different Styles. A spirit with a Style active will alter its user's stats, boosting some stats at the expense of other stats. A Spirit can only know one Style at a time. Learning a new Style will cause the Spirit to forget any pre-existing Style. Previously forgotten Styles can be re-taught instantly.
Spirits can be sent for treasure, with a chance of finding valuable items, SP, Gold, and the like after a given period of time elapses. The exact rewards vary depending on several factors, including the specific Explore facility used, the types, levels, and ranks of the spirits assigned there, and any styles those spirits might possess.
Main article: Shopping
While Spirits can sometimes be bought from the Vault's Shop for Gold, there are also five other shops that can be unlocked after defeating their corresponding Master Spirits in World of Light that uses SP for payment. Each of these has a selection of spirits with a particular theme, and may also sell snacks, support items, and Skill Spheres. A few spirits can only be found in these shops.
Dismiss and Summon
Main article: Summon
Spirits can also be dismissed; while this removes the spirit, the core a dismissed spirit leaves behind can be used to create a new spirit when combined with other cores or level up other spirits. Some spirits can only be found by summoning them with specific cores.
Spirits can also power up Figure Players but will be permanently consumed. The Figure Player will gain any abilities the Spirit used to power it up may have possessed and will be considered the same type as that Spirit.
All Support Spirits and enhanced Primary Spirits come with a skill that augments the fighter they are applied to. Unenhanced Primary Spirits come with traits, modifiers which may be beneficial or detrimental. The effects of these are listed below. Effects in a shaded cell are not possible to obtain (such as a 3x effect of a 2 slot skill, requiring an impossible 6 slots), however they still exist in the game's code. Effects in bold are possible, but only when paired with Adventure Skills.
Each skill or trait will increase the Primary Spirit's team power by a set multiplier. This does not affect the Spirit's stats, but instead affects rewards based on relative power. Note that detrimental traits will still increase the power rather than lowering it.
Fighters receive aura of a specific color if they receive a certain boost, red aura for attack boosts, blue aura for defense boosts, green aura for speed boosts, and white aura with multi-color gradients for all of them, though the aura doesn't appear if the player is equipped with a trade-off spirit.
Skills and traits that affect a kind of attack (e.g. Smashes, Tilts, Specials, etc.), instead of a type or effect, start to have diminishing returns when combined (Exceptions: Throws are unaffected and Weapon (type) is affected). Diminishing returns occur when the combined multipliers exceed 1.3× and are further reduced when above 1.5×. This encourages the player to have a more varied Spirit Team, either by using abilities that affect types/effects or investing in another stat such as defense or speed.
Abilities that increase the power of specific attack types, or increase damage dealt under specific circumstances. Attack skill spirits are indicated by a sword.
Abilities that decrease damage received by specific attack types, modify shield behavior, or grant super armor. Defense skill spirits are indicated by a shield.
Abilities that allow health recovery mid-battle. Recovery skill spirits are indicated by a vial with a medical cross.
Abilities that increase ground and aerial mobility. Mobility skill spirits are indicated by a shoe.
Abilities that allow the fighter to start with an item or make items more effective. Item skill spirits are indicated by a hammer.
Abilities that mitigate or nullify the effects of hazards that may be encountered in the Spirit Board and World of Light. Some of these may negate normal stage hazards and certain attacks as well. Hazard skill spirits are indicated by a stage with a hazard it counters against.
Abilities with unusual effects or otherwise do not fit into any other category. May be used to counter certain stage hazards or conditions. Other skill spirits are indicated by a diamond with an inscribed "X".
Especially rare abilities only found on a select few Rank 3 and 4 Spirits. Though they can feasibly be categorized elsewhere, they were considered by the developers to be powerful enough to warrant a category all to themselves. Special skill spirits are indicated by a star.
Abilities that increase weight. Weight skill spirits are indicated by a weight and arrows indicating type of weight change.
Primary Spirit Traits
Abilities found on Primary Spirits that cannot be enhanced. Unlike skills, these traits aren't always necessarily beneficial, though Spirits with negative traits might make up for it with greater stat boosts than usual for their rank or additional slots for support Spirits. When applicable, these traits can also stack with skills with similar effects. In addition to other symbols, spirits which start the player with damage are indicated by a percent symbol and the Galeem and Dharkhon spirits have exclusive usage of the "World of Light" symbol.