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Tournament rulesets (SSBU)

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This is the ruleset for SSBU. For other rulesets and general info on tournament legal settings, see Tournament rulesets.

Tournament legal describes the rules and settings that are generally accepted for use in competitive Smash tournaments. In SSBU, while many elements of tournament rulesets are consistent across major tournaments, they are not set in stone. Some specific details vary from tournament to tournament, with some local tournaments having completely different rulesets depending on the goals of said tournament.

General ruleset[edit]


  • Ruleset: 3 Stock
  • Time Limit: 6-8 minutes
  • Items: Off
  • Stage Selection: Anyone
  • Stage Hazard Toggle: Off
  • Final Smash Meter: Off
  • Spirits: Off [1]
  • Damage Handicap: Off
  • First to: 1 Win
  • Launch Rate: 1.0x
  • Underdog Boost: Off
  • Score Display: Off
  • % Show Damage: Yes
  • Custom Balance: Off
  • Echo Fighters: Separate
  • Radar: Big
  • Mii Fighters and their respective custom moves are allowed. Movesets will be shown in their name with each individual special move numbered from 1 to 3, based on the order shown on the move selection screen (ex. 1111, 2223, 3121).
  • Similar to previous Smash titles, if time runs out, the winner is first determined by how many stocks remain, and then by the percentage after time is up.
    • If both stock and percentage are the same, or a game ends in both players losing their last stock at the same time, then a tiebreaker is played, which consists of a 1 stock and 3 minute match with the same characters and the same stage.
  • If pausing is turned on, rulesets will have clauses on how to proceed if a pause occurs. This does not apply if pausing is turned off.


  • All rules for singles apply for doubles.
  • Team Attack: On
  • Teammate Highlight: On
  • Share stock is allowed.


  • All rules for offline matches apply.
  • All players are allotted a time limit to report to a match. This time limit is typically 5-10 minutes. Failure to report within this time limit will result in a disqualification.
    • Players are responsible for contacting the tournament organizer to report their own connection issues.
  • A wired online connection is typically required. A "lag test" is sometimes enforced to determine if a wired connection is being used and to gauge the connection quality of individual players. Players that are not wired and/or have sufficiently poor connection speed may be disqualified.


Since the competitive scene is still rather young, and because of the sheer number of stages and the option to turn off stage hazards, there is no universally agreed upon stage list. This is why some tournaments use stages that are banned in others. When the losing player is choosing a counterpick stage, the winning player is sometimes allowed to ban one to two stages they have not counterpicked to or won on in the set. The list compiled below is an estimate based off of the most recent major Ultimate tournaments. All stages not listed are assumed to be universally banned.

Universal starters[edit]

The following stages are on the starter lists of virtually all tournaments, meaning they can be selected for any game in a match:


The following stages are commonly seen as counterpick stages, meaning they can only be picked after the first game in a match. In some tournaments, they may be used as starter stages, or be banned altogether:

Uncommon counterpicks/Semi-retired[edit]

The following stages rarely see use in larger tournaments, but may still be found in smaller tournaments and tournaments hosted by Nintendo. These stages may also see use in competitive play via the Gentleman's Rule.

Battlefield and Ω forms[edit]

Most Battlefield and Ω forms are typically allowed, but there are several that are explicitly banned for one reason or another. Stages that only have two dimensions cause significant differences during gameplay due to manipulating the Z-axis, and as such are always banned. Stages that conceal the ground are banned due to the unfair advantage they provide to characters that lay traps on the stage, such as Snake, Isabelle and Steve. Stages that conceal the blast zone walls are banned due to hindering player visibility and unfairly affecting characters that rely on offstage chases; though this rule is sometimes contested due to the introduction of the radar.

Stages that manipulate the Z-axis[edit]

Stages that conceal the ground[edit]

Stages that conceal the blast zone walls[edit]

No longer banned as of version 8.0.0[edit]

  • Fountain of Dreams (Previously banned due to the water's reflection causing framerate drops.)
  • Garreg Mach Monastery (Previously banned due to the stage's ceiling blast zone differing from Final Destination and Battlefield.)

Other Rules[edit]

Bring your own controller[edit]

Players are typically expected to arrive at a tournament with a controller already secured. It should not be assumed that the tournament will provide controllers to players unless expressly outlined in the rules. This clause is sometimes acronymized as BYOC.

Wireless controllers[edit]

Using a wireless controller is typically allowed, though users are expected to keep these controllers turned off or have their batteries removed if applicable outside of designated play sessions to prevent unintentionally pairing with a console. The user of the controller is held responsible if such an occasion occurs. Some tournaments go as far as to ban wireless controllers for these same reasons.

The Gentleman's Rule[edit]

The most basic form of the rule dictates players may tweak the rules of their specific set if all players in the match mutually agree to it. This can manifest in players requesting to play on banned stages or changing the length or amount of matches. This does technically defeat the purpose of the competition by allowing sudden rule changes, though this is typically justified by all affected parties accepting the outcome and the tournament continuing as normal. While tournament organizers usually don't impose any restrictions on the Gentleman's Rule, they may occasionally explicitly disallow banned stages from being played on at all regardless of the rule; extending or shortening the amount of games to be played in a set is generally disallowed as well.

Player conduct[edit]

All players in a tournament are expected to be respectful and well behaved. Attempts to ruin the integrity of the tournament, e.g. match fixing or bracket manipulation, as well as physically disturbing fellow players, e.g. purposeful distraction or assault, or generally being aggressive and destructive is not tolerated and will be dealt with by the tournament organizer and potentially law enforcement.


  1. ^ Even if Spirits are not used, having them turned on will slightly decrease the hitlag of certain moves.