Stages are one of the unique features of Smash Bros., with each stage having unique layouts and different elements that spice up play. A major difference between the 3DS version and the Wii U version is the stages. The stages in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS are mainly based on handheld games, although it does share some stages with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. To be a good smasher, one must know the ins and outs of every stage, and be able to adapt to the unique challenges presented by each.
New in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U is the Omega Mode feature available for every stage. By pressing on the stage selection screen and choosing a stage, you can play on the Omega form of said stage, which is a single, flat platform like that of Final Destination, with its size adjusted to that of Final Destination as well. These stages are not playable in For Fun, but is the only type of stage selectable in For Glory.
Omega stages usually come in either trapezoid or fully rectangular forms. The trapezoid platform is the simplest to grasp, with sloped walls that lets you wall jump off of or hug to the side of while recovering. Rectangular platforms often extend all the way down beyond the blastline. Their sides are straight, but their walls are much longer, giving you more space for wall jumping.
One of Smash's recurring stages, Battlefield returns with the nature and ruins aesthetic that started from Brawl. Comprised of a medium-sized base with three platforms arranged in the classic pyramid formation above the base, Battlefield's layout is simple, but allows for diverse strategy. The background cycles from bright daylight to the night over the course of two minutes, the standard time limit for a Free-For-All. Omega Battlefield removes the three platforms and enlarges the base platform, while still retaining the day-and-night cycle.
Battlefield doesn't have any gimmicks, but its platforms alone adds a layer of strategy to fighting. The two lower platforms help you approach from multiple angles and against projectiles, or let you refresh your jumps while chasing an opponent to the air, or sometimes to extend combos. Standing opponents can poke through the platforms from below, so it's not good defensive position. The top platform acts as a brief safe spot, since it is safer from attacks below and requires a bit more commitment to reach, since most characters must expend both jumps or use the lower platforms to approach. It also assists in getting KOs off the top as it is closer to the top blastline, or as a foothold when pursuing airborne foes or the Smash Ball.
Battlefield is a fairly neutral stage, and no character benefits significantly from its layout or design. Generally, characters that do better here are ones that have difficulty with projectile zoning, have a strong air game or can navigate around platforms well. The lack of any hazards puts more focus on positioning and movement. Moreso than any other stage, you should be aware of any minor positional advantages to get an edge over your foes in this stable and uneventful stage.
Final Destination is undoubtedly one of the series' most well-known stages, and it's also one of two original stages of Smash Bros. The redesigned Final Destination now sports and interesting contrast between the sleek, mechanical left side and the fiery, jagged right side. Despite its new look, Final Destination still sports the same layout as always, a lone, flat platform with no other features other than a magnificent view in the background. As this stage is the basis for all Omega stages, it is completely unchanged when playing on the Omega version.
Your strategy and tactics here are straightforward: face your foes directly. The total lack of dynamic stage elements or dangerous hazards lets you focus only on your enemies. A general rule of thumb is to stay close to the center, which is the point furthest away from the edges on both sides. Being near the edge makes it easier for you to get knocked off, where your foes can get extra damage or even a KO by edgeguarding. Staying at the center leaves you vulnerable to attack from more directions, but also reduces the chances of you getting knocked off the ledge.
While a flat, featureless stage sounds completely fair, certain characters have a clear advantage. The stage is moderately large, and it does not have any platforms hovering over the base. These attributes benefit projectile-reliant characters like Link, as it is harder to dodge constant projectile barrages without platforms. Characters that are strong on the ground, notably Little Mac, also fare well on this stage, as fighters will have to remain on the base platform more, giving the aforementioned characters more chances to strike and punish more aerial dominant fighters.
Based on the newest handheld 3D Mario game Super Mario 3D Land, this colorful stage takes you on a tour through a variety of terrains, where you will be moving horizontally, vertically and along the z-axis. It's a scrolling stage with a set path and slow scroll speed, so you can quickly familiarize yourself with many of the stage's features with just a few playthroughs. The length of the stage is designed so that one full loop of the whole stage should take about 2 minutes, the default time given for free-for-alls. The Omega version of the stage takes place on a trapezoid platform, with the sea section as a backdrop.
The match begins with players spawning on three platforms arranged in a V-shape, with the center platform twice as large as the higher side platforms. Players will then drop to the ground as the platforms scroll offscreen, moving to the right. The terrain of this first grassy section is very tame, with a few hills here and there. There are small gaps that you are unlikely to get KO'd in. There are some brick blocks and question mark blocks. You can break brick blocks with attacks or by jumping into them from below, while question mark blocks yield items, likely Super Leaves, when hit. There are also Donut Blocks covering gaps. Stand on them too long and they will drop into the abyss.
As you continue along, the height difference in the terrain starts to become great enough that hillsides can serve as walls. Use these walls to increase your survivability by teching when you're hit into one, or try to bounce items or other players off them for combos or traps. You will soon get to a series of Flip Panels, which slowly unfold and spread across a grate. You can drop through the panels and the grate, although it is advisable to stay on the panels so that you don't get stuck behind the wall as the screen scrolls onward. Eventually, you will come to another red grate which ascends to the next section. There is a note block below that bounces you up, but your character's recovery will usually suffice for getting on board. Overall, the initial grassy section involves a balance of movement and fighting. KOs will occur most frequently at the sides, where players are very close to the side blastzones.
The grate will take you up to four platforms arranged in a rough ellipse. You will now pass through a canyon while fighting on the platforms. All the platforms can be dropped through and passed from below, but only the bottom platform has grabbable ledges. As you move through the canyon, 2 out of 4 randomly selected stone pillars will jut out from openings in the walls. They will tilt the platform that is the same color as the opening, as well as harmlessly pushing players out of the way. The openings always appear at the same time and in the same order, and there is plenty of warning before the stone pillars come out. The fight is more close-quarters due to the arrangement of platforms. Aerial fighters have an advantage due to the small area of each platform and their arrangement. The stone pillars are a mild concern, but they would rarely if ever cause you to lose a stock.
At the end of the canyon, players will drop down on to a terraced hillside. The screen scrolls to the right once again. As a general rule in this section, you should stay on the right. It is easier to respond to approaches and attack foes when you're below them. Being at the left also places you uncomfortably close to both the left and top blastzones. At the end of the hill, you will have to cross an abyss using rotating platforms and pipes that move up and down. The block platforms are your main concern, as they do not have grabbable ledges, and might cause you to slip due to their rotation. The movement of the pipes may create temporary walls or pits, but it alters too quickly to be exploited. Just like in the first section, focus on a balance of moving forward and fighting your foes. When you come to the rotating blocks, be especially careful with your movement, attacking only for self-defense.
After the pipes, you will board three platforms of identical lengths. Then, the platforms will start moving to the back across a seaside area. The platforms follow a colored track and will shift their positions around as they move. Partially through this section, you will see a thick spiked Skewer shoot out from the sea at a randomized location. This is a helpful warning, as the Skewer will extend upward again after a while, destroying half of a platform. It will also launch fighters hit by it upward, but it will never cause KOs. Finally, the platforms enter a warp pipe, dropping you back at the start and restarting the loop. Like the valley section, the seaside section emphasizes aerial fighting, since you will need to move from platform to platform as they shift around the screen. The skewer should be easy to avoid if you're paying attention to the background.
This wide open plain comes from New Super Mario Bros. 2, bringing with it its source game's emphasis on collecting coins. The majority of the battle takes place on the center area of the plains, which is a long flat platform with no gaps to fall into and a raised section around the middle. There are also stationary, non-solid platforms as well as moving platforms. This starting arrangement is a wide open area that benefits ground fighters, as there's a lot of room to run about, while aerial characters can use the suspended platforms to escape from the chaos below.
Every once in a while, an arrow will appear and the stage will start scrolling in that direction until it reaches one of the side areas. Eventually, the stage will scroll back to the middle section. The left area features one small gap, two suspended platforms and two non-solid hill platforms. Air fighters fare a bit better here, as there are more platforms above the ground to move around on. The right area is the most aerial-centric, with a wide abyss in which two mushroom platforms extend from. Other than the recurring floating platforms, there is also a scale platform. Standing on one end of the scale causes it to fall and the other end to rise. Stand too long and the whole scale falls off. Due to the large abyss and short platforms, battles will happen more often in the air.
This stage has a unique coin collecting mechanic. Each player has their own coin counter, which goes up when collecting coins. Yellow coins litter the stage and a continuously replenished. Occasionally, P-Switches appear which fill the stage with blue coins when hit. Finally, Red Rings will also appear. Passing through them generates 8 red coins worth 5 coins each. When one player collects 100 coins, they will temporarily turn into a gold fighter, gaining stronger attacks and super armor. This mechanic is not present in the Omega version, which features a flat, rectangular platform with sides extending down into the abyss. The long walls of the platform benefit characters with wall jumps.
Work your strategy around the gold fighter mechanic. The super armor from the golden buff is very helpful, since it lets you go fully offensive and ignore opposing attacks for the duration of the buff, though you still have to watch out for grabs. The increased attack strength is just icing on the cake, but it is much easier to execute powerful moves without being interrupted by other players' attacks. However, going out of your way to get coins forces you to ignore your opponents, give up advantageous positions and miss potentially game-changing items. Do you commit to getting coins, then attempt to rack up damage and KOs while golden? Do you ignore coins altogether and focus on the battle, running the risk of falling behind whenever another player becomes gold? Find a balance between collecting coins and fighting your foes to optimize your strategy on this stage.
This stage takes place on a near perfect recreation of Mario Kart 7's Rainbow Road track, taking a lot of inspiration from past F-Zero stages as well. The majority of the battle is fought on a flat platform that moves along the track, rounding a lap approximately once within the standard 2:00 free-for-all. The platform has grabbable ledges and can be passed through from below, but not vice versa. Fighting on this platform is no different than fighting on Final Destination, with many players being within close proximity with each other allowing for a chaotic brawl. Sometimes, the platform will travel close enough to the track that you can possibly land on it. Touching the track while the platform is moving hurts and launches you upward, but can save your life if you missed your recovery.
The platform hovers above the finish line at the start of the battle, and will travel along the track, stopping at specific portions of the track for roughly 15 seconds. Shy Guy kart drivers will randomly show up, but their appearance is telegraphed with a lengthy flashing warning that also indicated the direction they'll be travelling. Getting hit by a Shy Guy kart does damage and upward knockback, although it isn't strong enough to KO most of the time. Another warning sign will appear when the main platform respawns and departs.
These are the sections where the platform lands:
- A gap in the middle of the road, with a ramp on the right. There are walkoffs on both sides. There is a thin platform above the gap, and another one higher up on the left side. This section favors aerial characters more, as the large gap in the middle restricts grounded movement and most of the ground is to the sides, close to the dangerous walkoff blastzones. Shy Guys come in from the right, and they have two possible trajectories from jumping the ramp. On the left side, standing on the platform keeps you safe when they jump low, while staying grounded lets you avoid high-jumping karts. There are no areas that are completely safe, so you'll have to actively react to the karts as they move through, making this one of the harder sections to avoid hazards.
- A colorful mushroom, no longer bouncy from it original game, with 3 thin platforms arranged in a pyramid configuration above it. This stage is quite balanced, with plenty of room for ground-based fighters to move and attack below and high, spread out platforms for aerial engagements. Shy guys come in from the back and generally travels low on the ground, so you'll be safe from them if you stay on the platforms.
- A wide gap just after a glide pad, with a single stretch of track on the right. There are two thin platforms of increasing elevations spanning the abyss to the left. This area is greatly skewed toward aerial characters, as there is a huge pit on the left and the arrangement of the platforms benefit fighters with good aerial mobility. Shy guys fly in from the left, moving slower than usual as they're gliding. Since they are much higher above the stage than usual, getting hit by one is more likely to KO you off the top. The glide trajectories of the karts differ slightly, but the lower middle of the section is usually safe.
- A stretch of the track with huge round holes, originally wavy but totally flat here. The area you land on is the track between two semicircular gaps, with thin platforms hovering above them. Ground fighters have it easier here, as most of the action is confined to the main track, and the platforms are easy to reach. The shy guys approach from the background, driving through this minor bottleneck. The platforms are obvious safe zones, since none of the karts will be able to reach them, but just staying high enough above the track will keep you safe as well.
- A lunar surface littered with craters. The battle takes place on a slightly elevated, featureless plain. This area is also like Final Destination, but with walkoffs on either sides. Ground-based characters have the advantage, as they have plenty of space to run around there are no floating platforms where air fighters can rest on to avoid the scuffle below. Shy Guys appear from behind, but a quirk of the terrain causes them to move out of view just before they ramp over where you're fighting. This makes it difficult to actively avoid them but you'd be safe just staying near the edges. Of course, this still places you close to the side blastzones, so don't let your guard down when other fighters are nearby.
- A tunnel that rotates counter-clockwise from your perspective. Two thin platforms are suspended above the ground, with the right one being a little bit higher. This is another part of the track that benefits ground-dominant fighters, as there is lots of ground and the platforms are pretty low. However, slower fighters may have a bit of trouble moving against the rotating motion of the ground. The shy guys drive past you from behind. Anywhere on the platforms and higher should keep you safe from them.
- A 3-part split path near the end of the track. The fight takes place mostly on the center stretch, but you can stand on the track to the left and right. Two thin platforms are suspended above the gaps in the track. This track slightly favors grounded characters given the wide area of the center track, but the side platforms are good rest and landing spots for air fighters. The shy guys come through from behind, mostly passing through the center track, although some can use the ramps to glide past the floating platforms. The edges of the center track and the two tracks beside it are the safest place to be when avoiding karts.
- The finish line, with a layout practically identical to the main moving platform. Your tactics won't change much compared to on the moving platform, so stick to what's working. The shy guys can be seen landing from the ramp in the background and driving through. Stay near the edges or take to the skies to avoid them completely.
The Omega version of this stage is a basic trapezoid platform base overlooking the split paths near the finish line. Oddly, the split paths look curved when viewed from here.
This stage is based off of a selection of locations from the Paper Mario series, primarily Sticker Star. The stage cycles between each location in set intervals, each segment being radically different from the others. Each cycle takes roughly 2 and a half minutes to repeat itself, which means in a standard timed match, you will experience each stage transformation once.
The match begins on Hither Tither Hill. There is a path leading from the side blastzone over to a small hill, atop which a pipe and a windmill stands, and an abyss to the right. A platform shaped like a cloud hangs over the low path on the left. Air jets out of the pipe, sending fighters that try to send on it high up in the air. The windmill's blades also act as platforms, but they are stationary until a table fan appears in the background and blows a strong gust over the stage. The wind moves fighters to the right and tilts the handing cloud, eventually blowing the cloud offscreen. After a bit, the wind subsides and the cloud platform returns.
The first transformation has a pretty simple layout and battles are mostly grounded, while the walls of the hill and the pipe can be used to pin enemies with attacks for extra damage. The pipe can help characters with poor jumps rush into the air, sometimes to carry on a combo or aerial pressure. Conversely, it also leaves you vulnerable to enemies below because it launched you so high. The wind is the major event that happens during this stage transformation, but its effects are manageable. It hinders leftward knockback and strengthens launching moves in the opposite direction, so stay at the left so that you have walls to catch you when launched to the right. The wind also affects players camping offscreen at the left edge trying to get a cheap kill, as it moves them away from the left blastzone. Items tend to be harder to grab during the gust, as they are quickly blown offstage.
After a minute or so, the stage switches to the S.S. Flavion. The ship serves as the main platform and has the curved terrain of a ship deck. Three platforms are attached to the ship's masts, with the center one being positioned the highest. The ship is rocked heavily by waves generated by a massive Blooper, which can also obscure the view of the stage a bit. A whale will also lift the stage from below, bringing the whole stage closer to the upper blastzone. Layout-wise, this stage is basically an irregularly-shaped Battlefield. The slopes of the boat can cause different interactions with projectiles like thrown items, which is compounded by the angles the ship ends up in from the waves. The appearance of the whale is a great opportunity for early KOs if you have strong upward launchers. An Up Throw or Up Smash on the mast platforms can kill around 50%.
The last stage transformation takes place in front of Bowser's Sky Castle. As this segment of the stage takes place entirely in the air, there are barely any ground save for the huge Bowser face and two floating platforms on either side moving up and down. While the platforms have grabbable ledges, the Bowser head has none. Eventually, Bowser's eyes will flash red, causing the whole head to rotate partially. It will also occasionally flash white, causing the jaws of the head to slam shut, harming players inside. Aerial characters have the advantage here, but this part is more about survival than battling. The lack of ledges of the Bowser head makes recovery very difficult for many characters, and outright impossible when its tilted halfway. The safest places are the two platforms to the left and right, but they're so small that you'll inevitably have to fight other players for it. Focus on standing your ground and keeping enemies off. You might even get a few extra KOs from your foes' failed recoveries.
The Omega version of this stage takes place entirely on Tither Hither Hill. The platform is flat and extends downward infinitely.
Mushroomy Kingdom (SSBB)
The deserted ruins of World 1-1 returns from Brawl, but unfortunately the undergound chamber of World 1-2 didn't make the leap across games. Mushroomy Kingdom is a faithful recreation of the first level of Super Mario Bros., from the pipes and coin blocks to the staircases and even the hidden 1-Up block. There are no Goombas or secret areas here however, but otherwise the stage is an exact replica. All question-mark blocks release items when struck or bumped into. The stage scrolls very slowly, taking 2 minutes to reach the end before repeating from the beginning. There are many walls and ceilings but little to no gaps, so there's a greater emphasis on survival through timely teching than recovering. Since the stage scrolls from the left to right, knocking enemies left will kill them sooner than to the right. The Omega version of the stage is rectangular with edges going down into to the pit.
The iconic pyramid of blocks are found quickly after the start. These will give everyone an initial burst of items, while the block formation is really good at stopping upward or diagonal KOs on repeated loops. After that, the stage passes through a series of pipes. The valleys between these pipes are dangerous to stay in, as it is easy to get bounced around or pinned against the pipe walls. Stick to upward attacks for KOs, as the pipes block any players being launched sideways. Don't forget the invisible block after the last pipe.
After the first gap is a series of overhead blocks in various formations. They can give you plenty of items, but also let you survive to very high percents if you can tech off of them due to their density. If you fail to tech, it could send you ricocheting to your doom though. Sideways launchers are your best bet for getting kills at this part of the stage. Characters that can jump high can use the second level of brick blocks as a resting spot before joining the brawl down below. Next is a series of staircases that function similarly to the pipes: they block horizontally launching attacks and you can pin opponents between them for lots of damage. Just like before, you must switch to upward attacks for KOs. After some pipes and another row of blocks, you'll reach the final staircase before the stage starts over.
Jungle Japes (SSBM)
This returning stage from Melee is based on the Donkey Kong Country series. It consists of a central long platform in front of Cranky's cabin with a shorter platform suspended above. Two small platforms are place on both sides of the stage. The main feature of Jungle Japes is a raging rapid flowing from the right to the left underneath the arena. The extremely strong current carries any player that dips in, and can quickly result in KOs if they don't jump out of it. Roughly every 10 seconds, a blue Klaptrap will swim along the surface of the river. Touching it results in a powerful meteor smash that always sends you to your doom. The Omega version of this stage is trapezoidal, far above the river.
This stage is fairly small, and the constant, deadly hazard below only makes it feel smaller, so fights tend to be close quarters. You should generally try to stay at the center and right side of the stage. Since the river flows to the left, falling in from the right will give you the most amount of time to escape. However, the side platforms are also very close to the side blastzones and have little space to stand on, so the center platform is a good alternative. The stage generally favors aerial characters over ground-based ones, as there is not a lot of ground overall and players need to jump between the three platforms often. Having a good horizontal recovery is also vital for survival in case you fall into the river. The Klaptrap, while lethal, is basically negligible since the river is dangerous enough. Most KOs from the Klaptrap is just bad luck, so you don't need to be concerned about it during play.
Yoshi's Island (SSBB)
Unova Pokémon League
Reset Bomb Forest
Distant Planet (SSBB)
Green Hill Zone
- Unlock condition: Use a Final Smash while playing as Kirby.
- Unlock condition: Win 3 Smash battles with Captain Falcon.
- Unlock condition: Unlock the hidden character Ness.
Flat Zone 2 (SSBB)
- Unlock condition: Unlock the hidden character Mr. Game & Watch, then complete Challenges 1-35 (Challenge Panel 1).
WarioWare, Inc. (SSBB)
- Unlock condition: Unlock the hidden character Wario.
- Unlock condition: Use Villager 3 or more times in Smash.
- Unlock condition: Use a Final Smash while playing as Pac-Man.