Ask any Smash fan and they’ll tell you that updates to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are negligible. Usually, they’ll introduce the barest tweaks to existing fighters, or adjust the online mode in some barely noticeable way—and nothing more. So it’s somewhat of a surprise that, in last night’s 8.1.0 update, Nintendo added a whole new stage to the game. Say hi to Small Battlefield.
Battlefield, of course, is one of the most popular stages from the series, thanks to its brilliant simplicity: one large platform on the bottom, with three smaller platforms hovering in the air. The stage has been a mainstay since Super Smash Bros. Melee.
In 2014’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo tweaked that time-tested formula and added Big Battlefield: more or less the same as the standard Battlefield, but with six smaller floating platforms, rather than three. Oh, and it can hold eight fighters at once. (Big Battlefield is also playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.)
Small Battlefield is a push in the opposite direction. It’s much like Battlefield, except with just two platforms. For those who want something more complicated than Final Destination but less hectic than Battlefield or Big Battlefield, this stage is a happy medium. Or you can leave your course selection up to chance. Now, when you’re selecting a course, if you choose the “random Battlefield” icon, you’ll get one of the three.
Outside of the game, Small Battlefield also spawned a mini-trend on social media: “smol battlefield.” Make of that what you will.
Alongside the addition of the new stage, last night’s update brought a few tweaks to Ultimate’s online mode. Chiefly, Nintendo expanded the Global Smash Power threshold (basically, your skill ranking) required to access Elite Smash (basically, the game’s ranked mode). Nintendo also “adjusted” the “online user experience” and promised that “further investigations and adjustments to online mode are expected.”
No word yet on when, if ever, you’ll be able to join online matches with two players on one Switch.