Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: How to use and unlock Spirits

What exactly are Spirits, the newest mechanic introduced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Shacknews explains what they are and how the find them.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has arrived and as the taglin says, "Everyone is Here!" That extends beyond the playable roster. It even goes beyond the list of Assist Trophies and Pokemon. That also extends to the new Spirits system.

But what are Spirits? And what do they do? Shacknews is here to explain the Spirit system and how to grow your Spirit collection.

What are Spirits?

Spirits are a new replacement for the old Trophy system. The idea is that they're sticker-like items, which act as collectibles. These Spirits are taken from every one of the fighters' respective game worlds, along with many more games from Nintendo's first party from throughout the ages.

They also have a gameplay purpose and are used primarily in the World of Light adventure mode. The idea is that Spirits increase a fighter's stats, while also offering different buffs to take into battle. Here are the four types of Primary Spirits that players can equip:

  • Attack: These are red Spirits. Attack Spirits have an advantage over Grab Spirits.
  • Grab: These are green Spirits. Grab Spirits have an advantage over Shield Spirits.
  • Shield: These are blue Spirits. Shield Spirits have an advantage over Attack Spirits.
  • Neutral: These are gray Spirits. They offer no advantage or disadvantage over other Spirits.

Because opposing Spirits are mainly what players will encounter over the course of the adventure, the idea is to equip your own team of Primary and Support Spirits to increase your power level to match the opponent's. Going into a battle with a lower power level and winning will result in additional post-fight rewards.

In addition to offering stat boosts, certain Spirits will open up blocked paths in World of Light. A big part of progressing forward in the adventure is unlocking the right Spirit for certain situations. For example, a giant rock is blocking a path, but once the Bomberman Spirit is unlocked, he will destroy the rock.

How do I earn Spirits?

The easiest way to earn Spirits is to run through World of Light. A majority of opponents there are possessed by a Spirit. Defeating that opponent will earn that Spirit.

There's also a separate game mode called Spirit Board. This reveals a full board of Spirits, posted in the style of a bulletin board. There's a limited time to defeat the fighter attached to thes Spirits and you only get one shot at it. Like in World of Light, Primary Spirits are ranked by Novice, Advanced, Ace, and Legend, depending on their power level. Create a party of Spirits to match that power level as close as possible.

If you manage to defeat the opponent, you get a chance to free the Spirit. You'll have to fire off your blaster through the gap in their shield. If you miss, you'll still damage the shield and it will maintain that damage the next time the Spirit comes around. Certain items, like Shield Spacer and Sluggish Shield, will make this sequence easier.

Certain Spirits are also attached to Challenges. Complete the parameters of the corresponding Challenge to earn that Spirit.

Different Spirits will also show up in the in-game Shop. Select it from the Vault and look through what's available. You may find different Spirits for sale. Some might even be discounted!

How do I power up a Spirit?

The simplest way to power up a Spirit it to take it into battle. Play in World of Light, Spirit Board, or even in Smash mode with a rule set that allows Spirits. After winning a fight, the Spirit will rank up. If you lose a fight, the Spirit may still level up slightly.

You can also feed the Spirit snacks of different sizes. Using these snacks costs Spirit Points, a currency that is earned throughout the game, mainly in World of Light. Be wary of your Spirit Point total before using snacks.

There's also Doc Louis' Gym in Spirit of Light. After defeating the Doc Lewis Spirit, his Gym will be open for business. Leave four fighters there and they'll rank up while you're gone. They'll even remain active while the game is shut off. Upon hitting Level 99, replace them with other Primary Spirits.

Some Spirits can be upgraded at Level 99. To do this, select Manage Spirits and Level Up from the pause menu in World of Light. Highlight the Spirit that's eligible to be upgraded and you will be prompted to upgrade it. It'll reset to Level 1 as an upgraded version of itself, complete with better base stats and even some secondary abilities.

Can I play standard Smash with Spirits?

Spirits are only available to play in Smash mode as a custom rule. If you adjust the rules to allow Spirits, they are usable. Try and come up with the strongest party when playing against your friends.

You can also strengthen your Amiibo fighters through the use of Spirits. Amiibo fighters (or FP, for Figure Player) will level up if you use a Spirit on them.

For more coverage of Nintendo's latest Switch brawler, be sure to stop by Shacknews' Super Smash Bros. Ultimate walkthrough and guide.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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