The Smash Hell in Ultimate is even more pervasive and ever-present, and can’t hold a candle to Smash 4‘s.
For those who didn’t have the good fortune of getting thrown into the derelict server that was Smash Hell in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, know this: You didn’t want to be there.
What is Smash Hell? After being reported too many times by other players, you might be sent to a separate server in the Smash 4 online battles. The thing is, this server not only took forever to find a match in, but also had some of the most heinous Smash players out there.
I won’t repeat the tags that players wrote out in there, so I’ll let you use your imagination RE: ranging from STDs to racial slurs to polarizing political leaders. It was disturbing, unfun, and made the game unplayable until you were finally allowed (usually in 2-4 weeks) back into the normal servers. To add insult to injury, it seemed as though you were more prone to getting sent back into Smash Hell after you had already been there.
While the above concept doesn’t apply directly to Smash Ultimate (the in-game messages do warn you about doing things like disconnecting in the middle of battle or grieving certain players), there is the potential for a proper Smash Hell in the Switch’s Smash. You can still report players, but the game only allows you to do so once every 24 hours, as opposed to the five or so that Smash 4 allowed within the results screen. Reporting is in the settings in Ultimate, and cannot be clicked on right on the results screen.
With reporting tucked away neatly in an obscure place, one might think that the highly unpleasant Smash was dead and gone. And yet, the feeling of the server persists, perhaps stronger than ever.
When it was announced that Ultimate was going to have ranked battles, the fandom rejoiced. Finally! We’ll only fight other players of our skill level! And there’s an Elite Smash server for the best of the best? Cool!
Except, it’s not.
GSP actually mattering has only made playing Smash online all the more problematic. From one perspective, you might get trapped down in lower GSP numbered battles, all because you lost a couple of matches early on. It’s very difficult to climb out of a low GSP score, and the lower in GSP you get, the more often you’ll find battles outside of your preferred ruleset.
If beings stuck battling players of much lower skill than yourself doesn’t sound bad enough, consider the opposite side of the coin: teetering riiiight on the edge of Elite Smash. It’s a frustrating place to be, and is one that is almost guaranteed for even the best of Smash players. In a recent update for the brawler, the developers added in a feature in which you’ll be alerted that you have either fallen in or fallen out of Elite Smash.
Being alerted sounds like a good thing, but in all reality, it breaks one of the only good things about the ranked battles in Ultimate. If you’re enjoying battling against a certain player, and if you both are battling back and forth for some time, chances are, one of you is bound to get into Elite Smash, thus kicking you out of the battles you were enjoying. It’s an imperfect system that has only gotten worse since the game’s release. And the reward? Well..
Every battle is a ‘Smash’ Hell battle
There are different levels of Smash Hell in the Ultimate servers. As you cannot play single-player battles against random foes in an unranked server, you are pigeonholed into always battling in a more intense, GSP competitive environment. It can be exhausting, and the private lobbies are none the better.
Players in the lower levels of GSP are really, really bad. They usually have some ridiculous/offensive tags (see above examples), and seem bent on making your battles with them as miserable as is possible. They’ll occasionally tbag, often run away for the whole match, or rely on the gimmicks of Sudden Death to scrape by a win.
It only gets worse the higher you go up. In Smash 4, the Smash Hell server seemed to be somewhat of an ego boost. As players sent there were either winning too much or acting in a toxic manner, there was nothing to lose by doing whatever was needed to break their opponent’s psyche. This is all the same in Elite Smash, as players will often tbag the entire match, even when they were are ones to make the mistake.
The Smash community is notoriously toxic, and as the man-made Smash Hell in Ultimate proves, that negative aspect of the fighter’s community isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Ever since the game’s 2018 release, Ultimate has continued to add in more DLC characters from fan-favorite series. Recently, it was announced that even more fighters than are present in the Fighter’s Pack will be hitting Smash sometime soon.