What’s The Difference Between Smash Bros. On 3DS And Wii U?

Ben Stegner 15-12-2014

The newest entries in the long-running From N64 To Wii U: The Story Of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. An enormous community has grown around these games, and they faced both good times and bad since the original Smash was released. Let's take a look at the story behind this beautiful game. Read More fighting franchise, Super Smash Bros., are here! It’s an exciting time for owners of both the Wii U and 3DS, since no Nintendo fan will want to be without the fan-favorite game.


The simply titled Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U are two different games, but they share many similarities. We’ve already looked at the 3DS version Hated Brawl? Super Smash Bros. For 3DS Is For You Among Smash Bros. diehards, Brawl was a big disappointment. You'll be pleased to hear that Smash Bros. 3DS is a glorious return to one of Nintendo's best franchises. Read More , but now it’s time to see what makes them different. If you aren’t sure which one to buy, read on!

All-New Stages

Aside from characters, stages are probably the coolest new content in a Smash Bros. release. Of course, there’s no shortage of new places to take your battles in both versions. Between the two, the only shared stages are Battlefield, Final Destination, Boxing Ring, Gaur Plains, and Wily Castle. The Wii U version has 47 total stages, while the portable 3DS Nintendo 3DS XL Review and Giveaway Among all the big names in gaming consoles, Nintendo is definitely among the top favorites. As a '90s kid, I associate much of my childhood with playing Nintendo games. I remember growing up with the... Read More  features 34.

Not all stages are new. Each game features a mix of fresh venues and some from older games. If stages are of the utmost importance to you, you might be drawn to one version or the other; check out the full list if you’re interested.

In addition to the regular stages, the Wii U also allows players to create their own playing fields from scratch. This feature was also in Brawl, but not nearly as fleshed-out. The Wii U’s Gamepad makes editing much more enjoyable due to its touch screen, and the editor is more powerful overall, too.

If you’re a creative type, some players have even been recreating their favorite stages from past games.


Exclusive Modes

Both versions include a few modes that you won’t find on the other system. On the 3DS, you can play Smash Run. In this mode, up to four players have to work their way around a maze-like board No Internet? 10 Awesome Free Chrome Games to Play Offline If you take your Chromebook on your commute, pass the time with enjoyable games you can play offline. These free and fun Chrome game options will keep you entertained, challenged, and coming back for more. Read More for five minutes, collecting power-ups in preparation for a final showdown. This could be a normal battle, a race to climb a stage, or a crazy match where everyone starts with high damage.

The other exclusive mode on the 3DS is Street Smash, which takes advantage of the social StreetPass feature of the 3DS. It plays more like a Mario Party minigame Mario Gets Around - 4 Best Mario Spinoff Franchises [MUO Gaming] Besides the platformers that Mario is known for, there are a ton of spinoffs that feature the famous plumber's name and face attached to them. Almost all of the franchises with Mario's name are of... Read More than a Smash battle; as such, it’s little more than a distraction.

On the Wii U side, you’ll be able to play Smash Tour, a complement to Smash Run. It, too, is like Mario Party, where you move your players around a board and try to collect upgrades for a final fight. It’s probably not the mode most will spend their time in, but it’s a cool aside.

The Wii U also sees the return of Event Matches, which were present in Melee and Brawl but are missing from the 3DS edition. This is probably one of the best single-player modes Words Without Friends: 7 Mind-Bending Single-Player Word Games When all you want is a quick test for your vocabulary without relying on someone else, just fire up one of these fantastic single-player word games: Most will work either on iOS or Android. Read More , as it features funny and creative situations from all around the Nintendo universe. With multiple levels of difficulty for each challenge and extra challenges for branching paths, even veterans will have to work hard at these.


The Wii U’s other special mode is Special Orders, where you take on a series of random challenges from Master Hand or Crazy Hand.

8 Players At Once

Smash Bros. is a party game at heart The 4 Best Party Games On Modern Video Game Consoles There are some games that, while not the best games when played alone, make for great party games. Would you sit there and play them by yourself? Probably not. But get a group of friends... Read More , and 4-player mayhem is a staple of the franchise. However, the Wii U version decided to step this up and includes a specific mode for 8 players to join the brawl all at once. It’s only available on larger stages, and is bound to get so crazy it might deter some, but if you’ve got a crowd waiting to play, it’s perfect!

With so many players, you’ll need lots of controllers. Luckily, Smash Wii U supports many types, including the GamePad, Wii Remote (with optional Nunchuk), the Wii U Pro Controller, a GameCube controller, or even a 3DS. Some are more precise than others, obviously, and the ability to play off-TV with the GamePad is another plus.

On the 3DS version, you’ll all have to link up with your own copy of the game to play local multiplayer.


Small Differences

There are some splits in the versions that won’t make headlines like the above, but are worth noting. Classic Mode is present in each title, but while the 3DS edition lets you choose your difficulty and path, the Wii U Smash tweaks the gameplay based on how you’re doing. Both feature a vast library of awesome music The 20 Best Video Game Soundtracks for Studying or Relaxing Video game music is engineered to promote focus with enjoyable background tracks. If you need some music for studying or relaxing, look no further. Read More , but the Wii U features more and allows you to choose how often you want to hear each track on a given stage.

The Wii U version includes a Photo Mode for all of your wacky picture-taking needs, as well as the Special Smash mode from Brawl, where you can make every contender metal, huge, fast, or some combination thereof. Of course, it also can’t be forgotten that the 3DS edition plays in 3D, and the Wii U version displays in glorious high-definition.

You Can’t Go Wrong

Smash Bros. on 3DS and Smash on Wii U have their differences, but in the end they’re both awesome games in their own right. Of course, the experience had to be shrunk down to fit on a handheld 4 Hidden Gems From The Game Boy, Nintendo's Original Portable Console Nintendo released tons of games on the Game Boy, the most popular of which are certainly the Pokemon games. However, the portable console has a massive library, and far too many games were overlooked by... Read More , so you don’t get quite the wealth of content on the 3DS, but it still does a fine job of upholding the Smash name. There’s plenty that’s the same, too — the character rosters are identical, both allow you to collect trophies and customize fighters, and Stadium modes like Home Run Contest are present on both platforms.

The Wii U version is the definitive edition, but if you don’t have a Wii U or want Smash on the go, grabbing Smash Bros. For 3DS is great, too. Wherever you’ll be able to enjoy the game the most is the right choice for you!


Not ready to jump into next-gen Smash yet? Check out Project M, a fan-made tweak of Brawl perfect for competitive players with an original Wii.

Which version of Smash will you get? What’s your favorite new feature? Hit the pause button for a moment and leave a comment!

Related topics: Arcade Game, Nintendo.

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  1. charlie
    December 18, 2014 at 2:22 am

    in the future I think that you or they should make the two versions exactly the same

    • Ben S
      December 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      I'm not involved in making Smash, so I have no say in this : )
      But I don't think that is possible, because the two systems are radically different in processing power and screen size, etc. Plus, Smash games take forever to make, so who knows which systems the next one will be on?

  2. Nathan
    December 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I actually would have to say that collectively, both versions make up the definitive version of Smash Bros.--especially for single player. Obviously, the Wii U version has more to it, but the 3DS version is still amazing and has a ton of excellent stages the Wii U version lacks.

    • Ben S
      December 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      That's a fair sentiment. I guess it's just because the Wii U version *feels* more like Smash, because it's on the TV and you can play it with "real" controllers. But combined with portability, 3D, and lots of single-player offerings, you're right - both versions bring enough to the table to be worth buying.