The Smash Ultimate online lobbies have the potential to make everything a lot better than what Smash 4 had to offer us.
The best part of playing any Smash game is playing online. There is nothing like the thrill of playing against players of your own caliber, or better yet, players that can teach you more about how to play.
Unfortunately, in Smash 4, getting to that thrilling match is a bit of a process. It takes a lot of lobby jumping and blocking to finally whittle down your potential pool to a group that’s even halfway decent.
On top of that, there are a lot of major issues plaguing the Smash 4 online experience. Here are all of the ways that playing Smash Ultimate online can make playing Smash online fun again.
Cutting off slow connections sooner
There is nothing worse than being forced to finish a match with a slow connection. As frustrating as it is, there’s nothing that you can do to avoid it. When you’re stuck in a slow match in Smash 4, the two-minute match has the potential to turn into a ten-minute one.
It’s time for Nintendo to make a bandwidth cutoff in their online games. Also, an official ethernet dongle, let alone an ethernet port in the Switch doc, is necessary for the Smash Ultimate online experience. If most of the matches that we play in Smash Ultimate online have a great connection, then the overall experience of playing Smash will improve vastly.
Allowing friends in random lobbies
If you want to connect with a friend that lives far away, you don’t really have many options. While you can make a room to play against each other, you can only play against other friends, instead of other random players.
If Smash Ultimate would finally give us the ability to join random lobbies with a friend, I would be ecstatic. This issue is all bundled up in the hidden servers of Smash 4, and it’s something that holds the Smash online competitive scene back. Give us chosen servers and lobbies or give us death!
In-game voice chat
This is the least likely request to come true on this list. It would be very, very un-Nintendo to allow random players to talk at will while children play video games in their living rooms.
The thing is, Nintendo’s crowd has full well grown up, especially within the Smash Bros. fandom. Hey, at least make it an included feature, but something that can be blocked with the parental controls that Nintendo keeps showcasing with Bowser Jr. and Bowser.
Brawl‘s online experience was in a lot of ways worse than Smash 4 (hopefully this improvement trend continues in Smash Ultimate online). However, one of the best parts about Brawl was the wildness of it. Given enough reports, Smash 4 has an alternate server that players can be vanquished to, dubbed affectionately “Smash Hell.” You… don’t want to end up in Smash Hell.
The Wild West experience of Brawl made it so that you weren’t accidentally reported for “grieving” (Smash 4 often misinterprets this form of targeting a single player in a free for all), taunt parties (God forbid you try to taunt more than three times, let along stall in the same spot for more than 10 seconds in Smash 4), and yeah, spammy play.
This answer of making a Smash Hell server exclusively full of the deviants of the bottom of the Smash barrel does not work. Plus, reports are never reviewed for their truthfulness. It’s a total mess that needs to be remedied or axed in Smash Ultimate online.
It is an absolute necessity for the Smash Ultimate online servers to include ranked matches. This would be a simple inclusion to give Smash players more incentive to play well, sans spam, taunt parties, and grieving (all things that Nintendo thought they were going to solve in Smash 4‘s reporting system).
Playing in the ranked matches can be optional, as sometimes, we all want to play in a more taunt party-esque lobby, but without the risk of hurting our ranking. Not having a ranked system in Smash Ultimate online would be a major missed opportunity.
What improvements do you want to see in the Smash Ultimate online experience?
Smash Ultimate releases for the Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.