Competitive games can be an absolute nightmare to balance due to a number of different factors in play. In the case of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you would think it would be near impossible to keep each fight fair when there are now 75 playable characters.
Apparently, though, each of the fighters in the game are pretty evenly matched. In his latest column in Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Ultimate's Director Masahiro Sakurai shared some interesting data about the game's win and loss rates to help prove this.
According to the translation, courtesy of Kotaku, Sakurai used King K. Rool as an example – stating how the main antagonist from the Donkey Kong series wasn’t actually the “noob smasher” many players made him out to be:
“His win rate is over all 51.9%... In VIP matches it’s 48.9%.”
VIP matches are a reference in North America to Elite Smash – a ranked mode for top tier players with a high enough Global Smash Power.
The remainder of the column reinforced how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a very balanced game overall. Sakurai further elaborated on this by explaining how one on one victory rates for every fighter within the game are no higher than 60 percent and no lower than 40 percent:
“No fighter is below 40%, and no fighter is above 60%... As for one on one matches among VIP players, the lowest win rate for any character is 43.7%. The highest win ratio is 56.8%.”
When combining all of the above data, all of the fighters fall “within 40% and 54% win rates” and fighters with “a win rate of 45% or higher” account for 90 percent of the total.
In terms of popular characters, Cloud and Ganondorf are the community favourites at the moment. Cloud is most commonly used in standard play and Ganondorf is the most used in VIP matches. Despite this, "Ganondorf's win rate is only 47.9%" which keeps him at the lower end of the battle rankings.
Going off battle data alone, Sakurai believes there’s seemingly no reason to tune the balance of the game. In saying this, he realises if it isn't adjusted, some players are likely to feel "stressed out" by the lack of change.
How have you found the fighter balance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate so far? Tell us below.