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How to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online with friends

Super Smash Bros. has been a Nintendo staple since its initial release in 1999. Since then, there have been quite a few iterations and, so far, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been one of the best. Although it isn’t immune from annoyances, it is still one of the most solid games, introducing new fighters and levels that haven’t been seen in previous games in the franchise. Although Nintendo has made playing online a bit of a hassle, it’s not impossible to do.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Nintendo Switch Online subscription

With these tips, you can quickly play with your friends, even if they aren’t with you on your couch.

Further reading

super smash bros ultimate how to play with friends online battle arena

How to create a Battle Arena

You can’t simply send your friend an invitation to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate like you can in games on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Instead, you’re going to have to use the Battle Arena system.

The Battle Arena is essentially a continuous lobby where your friends can spectate matches and participate in their own, depending on the ruleset you specify when creating it. There are public Battle Arenas available, but for the sake of this guide, we’ll cover how to create ones that only your friends can join.

Step 1: Select Battle Arena from the online menu and then select the option to create your own Battle Arena.

Step 2: From here, you’ll see a menu with several different options. Change the visibility to Friends and, if you want to protect it with a password, you can hit the X button to enable that function.

Step 3: Hit Next to give the Battle Arena a name, then wait for your friend to join.

For groups with more than two people, you are able to also change the order in which new players will be added to fights. Typically, the bottom player will exit the “ring,” but you can change this to the top player if you prefer.

If you did set a password — which can be necessary if you have an active friends list full of Smash players — your only real option is to let your friends know the password outside of the game.

super smash bros ultimate how to play with friends online join arena

How to join a Battle Arena

Joining a friend’s Battle Arena is much simpler than creating your own.

Step 1: Select the Battle Arena option from the online menu and choose to join an arena.

Step 2: On the next page, select to join a friend’s arena rather than a public one.

If none of your friends have created an arena yet, this next screen will greet you with an error message. If your friends have built an arena and are ready to host battles, then you’ll see the list of them on this page. Every arena listed will be ready to join, so select your arena and start fighting your friends.

Play cooperatively

While you can play with others online, you don’t have the option to pick your companions, so you won’t be able to select your friends and work together with them. Instead of going to the Battle Arena, you need to go to Quickplay and select Co-op to start.

super smash bros ultimate how to play with friends online chat in

How to chat with friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Unfortunately, you aren’t able to voice chat with anyone that’s not playing a game on the Nintendo Switch. However, after you’ve constructed a Battle Arena and are battling it out with your friends, you can start using the Nintendo Switch Online app’s voice chat feature.

Be aware that the chat function doesn’t automatically start; you’ll need to make your Battle Arena first. Once you’re done with that, click the *Y *button, which will allow you to access More Settings. After this, you can turn on voice chat, adjust the room music to whatever you’re in the mood for, enable Spirits, or change stages.

The truth is FaceTime and Skype are more user-friendly and dependable platforms if you want to voice chat with your friends. We highly suggest using these platforms throughout your Battle Arena journey. These apps are best used while you’re downloading Battle Arena at the start, so it makes sense just to keep it as your go-to chat app when you’re chatting with your gamer friends while playing.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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