Sudden Death is the tiebreaker that occurs in the Super Smash Bros. series. At least two players will participate in Sudden Death when they tie for first place at the end of a match.
During a sudden death, players start off at 300% with no items (except for the first Super Smash Bros. game) and only one stock. With the exception of the first Super Smash Bros., after 20 seconds (or 25 in Ultimate), Bob-ombs will come down on the stage. Sudden Death acts like a 1-stock match; whoever survives Sudden Death wins it and the match. In Ultimate, the screen and the blast lines close in toward the center of the stage to make survival harder. In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there is a special rule during regular matches called Super Sudden Death, which means players can start with 300% damage at anytime in a Time, Stock, Coin or Bonus match. A Super Sudden Death in Ultimate is started with the announcer saying "Sudden Death!" rather than doing the 3-2-1 countdown, before saying "Go!". Also, in Brawl onwards, a player can set their handicap to 300% while statistics are kept track of, though in case of Ultimate, it lacks the extra settings that Super Sudden Death has. In addition, the crowd is silent in all games except for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U. The number of times the player participated in or has won Sudden Death for each character is recorded in Ultimate.
In the original Super Smash Bros., a Sudden Death never occurs in a Stock match. Also in the original game, the announcer will still say "Player (number)/Computer Player defeated!" as in a regular stock match during a Sudden Death of 3 or more players, unlike the other games.
Except in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, if three or more players went to Sudden Death, the order in which players got eliminated in Sudden Death determine the overall rankings of the whole match. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, Sudden Death only determines who gets 1st place; all other players in Sudden Death get 2nd.
Ties in Sudden Death
If a tie occurs in Sudden Death, another one will not happen and the match will end with a winner being announced by the following criteria:
- Super Smash Bros.: The highest player number wins. Ties for positions other than 1st will still be broken, and Stock matches never go to Sudden Death even if the last players die simultaneously.
- Super Smash Bros. Melee: The lowest player number wins. If more than 2 players are tied, the rankings will also be determined by player number.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl: The winner is determined randomly.
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U & Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The player with the most KOs during the match, then by damage given and then at random. Except in Ultimate, the winner may go to a player who was eliminated early in Sudden Death.