Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Here's the main issue with Smash Bros. Ultimate's online lag

We capture two laggy matches to illustrate how matchmaking and online systems are also limited with consequent problems beyond a user's poor connection.

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Before the month's end, many of the 13+ million owners of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch are eager to get the 3.0 Update to see if - besides the new content and features - some of the game's online issues have been ironed out.

There are several ways in which SSBU's online multiplayer can improve (properly fixed rules, lobby character switch, online co-op, and more), but the main gripe nowadays is the serious lag detected in many matches. Lag is, to some extent, inevitable given the type of the game, as match stability will always be as good as the worst connection quality in the room. That said, the game's systems can do a lot more to enhance the experience, and to get rid of the issues.

Here are a couple of online combats we've captured as examples:

In this clip 2:45 of in-game time turn into 5:35 of real-time due to freezing and cuts. The game detects the problem and dissolves the group after the match, getting rid of the laggy player and not scoring any points to the Global Smash Power (SSBU's online rank), however, in these cases it's much better to cancel the match right at the start.

This one is more or less playable, but the outcome can be as frustrating as the laggiest match. There's some stuttering as well, causing several mistakes and falls, and a 3-minute match takes 3:46 of real-time. The problem this time is that results had an impact on Global Smash Power, meaning being down-ranked can be all the more infuriating, particularly if you lost a couple of lives due to the laggy input.

We've seen cases much closer to exhibit A that end up giving ranked results. Improvements to matchmaking and further measures when there's a poor connection in the room should take Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's online experience much closer to what the otherwise excellent fighting game shows offline.

Which other problems have you encountered when Smashing online?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

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