How to play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ with friends online

Itching to fight in an online match with friends in 'SSB Ultimate'? Here's how

The Nintendo Switch is a great system, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of its best games, but that doesn’t mean its immune from annoyances. Nintendo still makes playing online a bit of a hassle, particularly if you want to play with a friend instead of a random person who spends 12 hours a day in multiplayer.

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

How to play with friends online in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Make a Battle Arena

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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.

Select Battle Arena from the online menu and then select the option to create your own Battle Arena. 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, as well. Hit “Next” to give the Battle Arena a name, then wait for your friend to join.

For groups with more than two people, you can also change the order in which new players will be added to fights, as well. 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 friend know the password outside of the game.

Join a Battle Arena

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Joining a friend’s Battle Arena is much simpler than creating your own. To do so, select the Battle Arena option from the online menu and choose to join an arena. 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. Otherwise, you’ll see all joinable friends-only lobbies on this page. Just select one to enter it and start battling!

Play cooperatively

There is, unfortunately, no way to play with friends locally and online as of yet, though you can play cooperatively against other players online if you are comfortable competing against random people. Instead of going to the Battle Arena, you just need to go to “Quickplay” and select “Co-op” to get started.

How to chat with friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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You can’t voice chat with someone outside of a game on Nintendo Switch, but once you’ve created a Battle Arena and are fighting your friends, you can use the Nintendo Switch Online app’s voice chat functionality.

This isn’t enabled by default. In order to turn it on, start creating  your Battle Arena and hit the “Y” button for “More Settings.” From here, you can enable voice chat, as well as change the room music, enable Spirits, or alter the stages.

Since you’re already going to be communicating using another service in order to set up the initial Battle Arena, however, we suggest just using Skype or FaceTime, instead.

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