UPDATE: The final fighter in the current Fighters Pass season is now available to download for Smash Bros Ultimate DLC. Byleth, from the 2019 Fire Emblem: Three Houses game sports a mix of weapons – we get it, there are a lot of swordsmen already – and isn't locked as one gender either. We're still mad about Cuphead, but there's hope ahead – with another Fighters Pass and six as-yet-unnamed characters on their way this year...
Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the biggest, and possibly the best, Smash Bros fighting game to grace our Nintendo consoles. But if you've fought your current Smash Bros Ultimate DLC characters to exhaustion, don't worry – there looks to be a number more add-on fighters on their way to the Nintendo Switch game.
Game director Masahiro Sakurai has spoken out on how much bigger the list could get, and we get the feeling there'll be Smash Bros DLC coming for quite a while yet.
With over 75 characters already playable, you're unlikely to really run out, but Nintendo is using its DLC packs to bring some real fan-favorite characters into the fray. Rare's iconic bear and bird duo, Banjo-Kazooie, has now joined the roster, along with Joker from Persona 5 and even the classic Piranha Plant – with plant pot and all.
Not every addition is as inspiring – cough, Byleth, cough – but with each character introducing new play-styles, moves, stages, and soundtracks, there's plenty to get our teeth into. You can see our hopes and predictions for other, future fighters at the bottom of this guide too.
For now, if you want to find out what downloadable content / Ultimate DLC can players hope to get in 2019, and what's already available, here’s our list of everything on the cards, and how you can make sure you don’t miss out.
Smash Bros Ultimate DLC characters
The real draw of Smash Bros DLC is in the fighters. Nintendo has now unveiled all five fighters for the first Fighters Pass, which we've listed below from the latest (Byleth) to the first (Piranha Plant). We'll be sure to add information on the next six fighters as and when it's released.
Byleth (available for download)
Byleth is the lead character from 2019's Fire Emblem: Three Houses, a recent entry in the Fire Emblem military tactics game.
You'll be able to choose male or female version of the character – both named Byleth – which is refreshing, and something we'd love to see for more fighters on the roster. There'll also be a choice of weapons to wield and strike with using your various different attacks, including a lance, axe, bow, and sword.
A curious choice, given how many Fire Emblem characters are already in the game – Marth, Roy, Ike, Robin, Lucina, and Corrin – but it will no doubt please some fans out there.
Terry Bogard (available for download)
You know, Terry! From Fatal Fury? The 1991 fighting game on the Neo Geo console? Ok, this one might be a bit lesser-know than some of the DLC fighters on this list, but this character from the classic 90s Fatal Fury franchise fits right in with the best of them.
The Terry fighter finally become available in November, a couple of months after its Nintendo Direct announcement. You can check out the character's moveset in this official video, too – and it's clear he's got a pretty good uppercut.
Hero (available for download)
All the fans of the Dragon Quest franchise got a real treat at this year's E3: confirmation of not one but four Dragon Quest heroes in one DLC pack. Acting as skins of each other, with the largest number of moves of any fighter in the game – thanks to a wide variety of attack, evasion, and effect spells – it's a lively addition that effectively gives you four new characters to play with.
There's an announcement trailer (above) and more in-depth video stream that goes into Hero's various moves and abilities.
Each Hero will have an MP meter – yes, just like the game – which uses up mana every time you cast a spell: be it to heal yourself, throw yourself up in the air, turn yourself into metal, or otherwise. Definitely a fighter for the more strategic players out there, as there's a lot of options to play with. You can even cast Kacrackle!
Banjo-Kazooie (available for download)
Damn straight. After years of clamoring for Rare's iconic bird and bear duo to join the Smash Bros series, Banzo-Kazooie is finally here. While Rare is now a subsidiary of Microsoft, the beloved developer was previously closely tied with Nintendo, and it's heart-warming to see one of its most famous creations welcomed back into the family.
It looks like Kazooie will be able to help out with jumps and ranged attacks, with Banjo using fists and items for more close-range attacks. Here's hoping we finally get to hit Mario over the head with a banjo, just like we always dreamed.
Joker (available for download)
No, not that Joker. Nintendo teased the trickster from Atlus’ paranormal RPG Persona 5 shortly after Ultimate’s launch, with a nifty animated teaser you can see below. Smash Bros' version of Joker keeps the graphic art style of its source material, with some stylish slides and jumps, handguns, and some supernatural forces to help you win the battle...
Persona 5 is a PS3 / PS4 exclusive, though, making Joker's appearance on a Nintendo console all the more intriguing – and fuelling speculation that Persona 5 could be coming to Nintendo Switch.
Piranha Plant (available for download)
A potted plant may not seem like the best fit for an action-packed fighting game, but Piranha Plant is a classic Mario nemesis going back decades – Nintendo certainly likes to play by its own rules. You can see some of Piranha Plant's moves in the video below, including a monstrous Final Smash featuring Petey Piranha.
Players who bought Super Smash Bros Ultimate by the end of January 2019 had a chance to download the fighter early, but Piranha Plant is now available on the Switch eShop for $4.49 (£4.49 / AU$7.80).
Smash Bros Ultimate DLC Challenger Packs
Technically you don’t just get a new fighter with each DLC pack. The new fighters (Piranha Plant excluded) each come in a bundle called a ‘Challenger Pack’, which throw in a new stage and thematic soundtracks alongside the new character. You can buy each of the five Challenger's Packs individually for $5.99 (£5.39 / AU$7.80).
Alternatively you can buy an all-inclusive Fighters Pass for $24.99 (£22.49 / AU$32.50), which nets you each pack as it arrives, as well as a Mii Fighter outfit based on Xenoblade 2's Rex.
There's a lot more coming than the five announced so far, though. Game director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed that another six Challenger Packs (and therefore six fighters) were on their way, meaning we'll have plenty of Smash Bros Ultimate through 2020 and beyond.
Smash Bros Ultimate DLC leaks and rumors
So what of the remaining unannounced characters? Rumored leaks come through regularly, with some more reliable than others. We’d heard calls for Banjo Kazooie so often we gave up hope of it actually happening – but it just goes to show Nintendo can still surprise us. (While we’d love to see Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon appear on the roster, either might be too much to ask for.)
Some proactive datamining of Smash Bros Ultimate seems to have preempted the Joker announcement (under a file name ending ‘Jack’), while another file labelled ‘brave’ could arguably refer to the Dragon Quest fighters listed above. You can read the whole conspiracy theory over at GamesRadar.
There were also reports of the shotgun-wielding demon-slayer from Doom featuring in the list. Given Bethesda’s increasing library of ports to the Nintendo Switch, this one seemed pretty likely – until Doom Eternal's game director tempered those hopes.
So who could we see that we haven't already? Maybe the beautifully-sketched Hollow Knight bug? A polygonal James Bond, circa N64 Goldeneye? The Skull Kid from Majora's Mask, complete with teleportation around each fighting stage?
With six slots to fill, there's a lot of uncertainty – but if we get another Fire Emblem character, we may cry.