Stamina is a gameplay option that replaces the traditional Super Smash Bros. damage percentage with a "life bar" similar to that of conventional fighting games, which must be depleted to defeat characters. Stamina was a Special mode option prior to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where it became a standard rule option. Battles with Stamina rules also appear in some event matches and one possible Smash Run Final Battle.
In Stamina, every hit to the player depletes some HP from them. Once a character reaches 0 HP, they are out of the game, though characters can still be knocked off the stage through conventional means. However, knockback is not affected by the amount of damage the player has taken. When the character reaches 0 HP, the game will temporarily slow down, and the character's Star KO scream will play; this does not apply to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as they would slowly get knocked out without any noise. If trapped in a Final Smash such as Ike's Great Aether, then the character will be "dropped out" from the move. Afterward, the character will always stay in their lying down position, and will always enter a state of tumbling when hit; as a cosmetic change, the character flashes red. Any helper characters, such as Pikmin, will still stay next to the knocked out combatant, with the exception of Luma, who will be KO'd alongside Rosalina.
In Melee, the starting stamina is fixed to 150 HP. Brawl introduced the ability for players to select their starting HP individually via the Handicap option, allowing increments of 10 between 10 HP and 300 HP, as well as only 1 HP. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Stamina returns as a Special Smash option, but the 1 HP option is removed.
In Ultimate, Stamina is available as a standard rule option which can be combined with Time and Stock. KO'd characters only enter their motionless defeated pose when they have lost their last stock; prior to that, losing all HP causes an instant KO and respawn.
Healing items and moves cannot heal a player's HP past their starting amount.
Mechanically, characters are considered to have a negative damage percentage while they have positive HP, which is why they take little knockback until KO'd, at which point they begin to take more knockback as damage rises as expected.
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