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Tournament Mode (SSBM)

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Tournament Mode, referred to on the main menu as Tournament Melee (トーナメント乱闘, Tournament Melee) and sometimes retroactively called Tourney Mode to match the names of its successors, is a Multiplayer feature in Super Smash Bros. Melee. It is split into three sub-modes - Tournament, Loser Out and Winner Out.


In Melee's tournament mode, players battle against each other in a Single-Elimination Tournament bracket. Multiple settings can be adjusted.

  • The number of competitors in a tournament (Up to 64)
  • The number of computers and humans in a tournament
  • How many players fight in each tournament match (Limited by the number of controllers that are connected)
  • How stages are selected
  • The CPU level of computer players (Universal Levels 1-9 as well as a randomly assigned option)
  • Individual custom rules for matches

Once the tournament is set up, the game automatically proceeds through the Single Elimination Bracket until a winner is determined.

Loser Out[edit]

This mode is also played in turns, but unlike Tournament, where the game ends when a final winner is proclaimed, this lasts forever (or at least until the player decides to stop playing). After each match, the loser has to pass their controller to the next player in the queue, and cannot play again until it is their turn again. An extension of this mode is Winner In, where multiple losers are eliminated after each match, depending on the number of players in each match.

Uniquely, if the player uses L+R+A to select their character for this mode, they are entered as "Random", which assigns a random character with random costume for every match. Their character icon is represented by Ditto.

Winner Out[edit]

Winner Out could be seen as an extension of Loser Out, as it operates in the same way, except the winner of each match has to pass their controller on and return to the queue. The random character feature is also present.

Usage in competitive tournaments[edit]

Tournament Mode is rarely used in actual competitive play, due to a variety of limitations in the mode in comparison to the rather complex structures that serious tournaments require:

  • Tournament matches consist of a set of 3 or 5 games, while Tournament Mode only allows single-game sets.
  • Tournament matches allow players to use any character for any game in any match, while Tournament Mode forces players to remain a single character for the entire tournament.
  • Tournaments almost never use a single-elimination bracket, which is the only bracket type available in Tournament Mode.
  • Tournaments require their brackets to be properly seeded for reasonably accurate results, while Tournament Mode gives no control over seeding and forces a randomized bracket.
  • Tournaments rarely enforce a limit to the maximum number of players and can contain hundreds of participants, while Tournament Mode cannot handle more than a limited 64.
  • Tournaments require multiple setups to be run efficiently, while Tournament Mode can only exist on a single setup.

For the prospect of using Tournament Mode to keep track of a tournament, rather than actually playing a tournament with it, there exists tournament organizing programs such as tio, which are much more efficient in aiding tournament organization than Tournament Mode could ever be. Additionally, using Tournament Mode in such a way uses up setups that could be used to progress the tournament.

See also[edit]