Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s story mode, World of Light, is simple. You’ll run around on a map and play special fights with specific rulesets to emulate fighting against a character who isn’t quite playable in the game. However, the game will only start you off with Kirby unlocked, which means you’ll have to seek out any other characters you want to play as and beat them to unlock each.
The fights against the playable fighters are straightforward and don’t have any special rules. They’re the same as approaching the fighter in the “Challenger approaching!” method — you just have to kill them once to get them. (And unlocking them in World of Light unlocks them in the rest of Smash Ultimate, if you haven’t gotten them already.)
That all being said, sometimes you just want to hurry up and unlock your favorite character. But where are they? Which way do you go? Why are they blocked off by a rock or a running stream? In this guide, we’ve compiled the characters and created maps of their locations, so you can find them.
Immediately after starting, you’ll run into Mario. Right past him, you’ll be forced to make a decision. You will be given a choice to unlock one of the three: Marth, Sheik or Villager. The route you take not only impacts which of these fighters you’ll get first, but also which fighters you’ll be able to unlock soon after. You’ll be able to get them all as you finish exploring the map. We recommend picking the fighter that may have your favorites along their path.
The Light Realm
Heading south immediately after getting Marth, you should encounter a mushroom area. Keep going south and toward the west, and you’ll hit a body of water. Head north and you’ll find a portal to the World Tour area. You will need the Kapp’n spirit to cross the water to get to the portal. You can find him to the northeast of the airport, near where Pikachu’s fighter is sitting around a waterfall.
Pac-Man is just sitting and chillin’ in the northwest region of the mushroom area. No need for any spirits or special things to unlock him.
Olimar is sitting in the bottom right part of the mushroom area, but you will need a Kamek, Lip or Kammy Koopa spirit to get to him. Lip is found above the DK Island portal and Kammy Koopa is on the mountain path directly above the mushroom area. You can purchase Kamek from the shop, if you’re lucky.
Snake is deep inside of a military base! You have to enter a portal and interact with some computers to get to him. To even get to the military base, you will need a spirit of Hal Emmerich to get you in. Hal is in the large city, right next to Inkling’s fighter.
Mega Man is right outside of the military base portal that Snake is in. Again, you’ll need Hal Emmerich to open the doors.
As he should be, DK is just hanging out in the forest. After grabbing Marth, if you head south and then immediately keep going east, you’ll eventually find him.
Head straight north after unlocking Marth, and you will run into Inkling in the city area.
Wii Fit Trainer
Head deeper north into the city, and you’ll run into Wii Fit Trainer as well.
He’s off to the left part of the city, but he’s blocked by a barricade. You’ll have to clear the power plant portal to access him.
Head west from the city and into that shadowy forest. A portal will be on the right side of it, where Pichu is. Clearing this also opens several gates on the map, including the one to Little Mac.
The duo is found in bottom left of the shadowy forest.
Exit the shadowy forest from the left side, and you’ll find Lucas in the mountains. You can also run into him after beating a tough Rayman spirit and crossing through a cave.
Go north from Sheik and then take a right. Jigglypuff awaits across from a broken bridge that can be fixed by a Guts Man or Cyrus & Reese spirit. Cyrus & Reese can be found in the foggy forest, where Duck Hunt and the power plant are. Guts Man is on the right half of the map, past the wall of light. He’s in the area with the train tracks.
Keep traveling north from the path you saw Jigglypuff on, and you’ll run into Yoshi as well.
The doctor is to the northeast of the city where Wii Fit Trainer and Inkling are found.
Fox is sitting to the north of the map, right below a beautiful heart-shaped lake. He’s best accessible heading north on Sheik or Marth’s route.
Pikachu is to the right of Yoshi, on a small island surrounded by roaring waters. To get him, you’ll have to go to the right, around him, knocking out all the spirits in the way. Once you get to the top of the waterfall, ride it down to plop right onto the island.
They’re along Sheik’s path if you go toward the right. They’ll be in the top part of the circular village.
Isabelle is in the circular village to the bottom right. You will need to ride a bus to get to her, requiring the Kapp’n (Wild World) spirit, which is next to Inkling in the city area. You can get on the bus from the village where Lucas is.
Lucario is sitting in the mountain area where the huge crack of light is flowing. He’s north of the circular town and south of Pikachu.
As you might expect, he’s at the racetrack, to the right of Villager. You will need Pico spirit to drive the race car and access him. You can find that nearby in Lucario, up north.
Simple enough, Link is south along Villager’s route.
The big bad is in a portal that replicates his own castle to the north, the Molten Fortress. If you follow along the mountain path where you get Lucario, or go toward the north east from Yoshi, you’ll find the portal.
He’s a bizarre and tough fight at the end of this section. Rather than a regular knockout battle, you’ll be fighting a huge version of him (and he has a health bar).
She’s captive in the Molten Fortress that Bowser is in. After pressing some switches in the castle, you should be able to run and grab her.
These friends are at the bottom of the icy mountain toward the north west of the map. However, it’s too slipper to climb up. You’ll have to take a dark teal warp pipe up and go around. Slide down to the Ice Climbers. After beating them, the mountain will be freed from ice so you can travel up and down.
The bird is in space! To access him, you’ll have to repair the broken ship on the icy mountain. You’ll need a Slippy Toad spirit for that, which you can find in the power plant area. You can also use a Rob 64 spirit, which appears in the base area Snake is in. After repairing the ship, you can fly into space and find Falco up north.
Pit is in the Temple of Light, through portal at the most northeast point of the map, to the left of the snowy mountain. To open that portal, you’ll have to hit three colored switches along the map. One is north of Fox, in the heart-shaped lake. Another is near Pikachu’s spot at the river. The final button is in the forest, near Donkey Kong was.
Simon is also in the Temple of Light with Pit. See above for details on how to access it.
Over the pit of light
All of the fighters below are only accessible once you clear the heavenly portal in the top left of the map.
Samus is immediately waiting on the other side of the bridge across the crevice of light.
Game & Watch
The retro fighter is deep in a Pac-Man-inspired maze, immediately after Samus.
Exit the Pac-Man maze from the south or from the bottom left corner and travel east along the road. You’ll run into the trainer (and his partners) there!
Keep going north from Pokémon Trainer or take the right exit from the Pac-Man maze to hit a Donkey Kong-inspired portal into DK Island. Diddy Kong will be waiting at the end of this area.
The customizable gunner is on Alolan Islands on the southeast most part of the map. You’ll need a Lapras spirit to get there, but there should be one nearby the route you need to travel to the islands.
The small hero is also on the Alolan Islands, towards the north of Mii Gunner. Enter the portal to Forest Hill area to find him.
Keep going north of the DK Island portal, and you’ll hit a smaller mountainous area with a waterfall. Shulk is at the top of the mountain.
Zero Suit Samus
Go north from Samus instead of entering the maze and keep heading that way until you hit the fiery volcano. Zero Suit Samus is up along the northern part of the area.
You can take the brown warp pipe that’s next the southwest exit of the Pac Man maze to grab him on a puffy cloud.
King Dedede is in a portal based off of Kirby’s Gourmet Race, in the sky. You’ll find the portal by going north after running along the bean sprout, which will grow after using Viridi’s spirit on it. You can find Viridi in the center of the foggy forest.
You can also get him by taking the brown warp pipe up to Ness’ pink cloud area and using the legend-tier Ho-oh spirit, found in Bowser’s castle portal, but the bean sprout method is easier than beating a legend spirit. To make Dedede appear, you’ll have to get first place in the gourmet race, grabbing 11 food items.
That’s everyone unlockable in … the first part of World of Light. The list continues on after you beat Galeem and open up the next section.
The Dark Realm
Once you beat up Galeem and enter the dark portal that stands where he was, you’ll enter a whole new area.
The wrestling cat can be found along the left path once you get into the Dark Realm. You’ll have to beat a pretty hard spirit to get them, though.
Lucina is on the right side of the Dark Realm map, though she’s tucked away out of sight by a mess of clouds. Once you take on the curry-filled Ridley that’s in the way, you’ll reveal her.
Rosalina & Luma
The galaxy duo is found on the Dark Realm’s overworld map toward the north. When you get to a funky techno-looking layout, the path will split into four. If you take the second path, you will find Rosalina & Luma.
The Sacred Realm
The Sacred Realm is on the left side of the map and is Zelda-themed. To complete the area, you have to unlock Young Link, Zelda and Ganondorf, though the rest of the fighters are optional.
Find Young Link in the Lost Woods in the Sacred Realm on the left side of the map. While the Lost Woods are a bit confusing, the owl statues will give you guidance and tell you when to turn. They’ll eventually lead you to routes you can’t see, which take you to Young Link.
In the center of the Lost Woods is a treasure chest. It sits above a lake on the map, and if you interact with it after opening it, you’ll jump right in. When you resurface, you’ll be right in front of Chrom.
Zelda is on the left side of the area. She’s blocked off by rocks, but you can remove them by making the “clock” on the left show the time 12:10.
Similarly to how to make Zelda’s path clear up, to make Mii Brawler appear, you must set the torches to show 4:40 on the clock. After doing this, he’ll pop up on the bottom part of the map.
Why we don’t really know why, but Sonic is waiting near the Master Sword toward the center of the area. He’s just hanging out there. No need to complete any puzzle to grab him.
Cloud is behind Sonic, though blocked by rocks. You’ll have to get Zelda and Young Link to clear those rocks.
After grabbing Zelda, Young Link and Cloud, interact with the Master Sword and it’ll clear away the top part of the map. At the topmost point awaits Ganondorf.
Bowser Jr. is also found at the top part of the map, close to Ganondorf. Unlock him to enjoy your precious baby.
This area is based off of the Castlevania series and includes a handful of puzzles that require shooting collected cannonballs at ghosts to make them disappear. If you mess up, you can activate nearby hourglasses to reset the maps. (Doing so will not make any beaten spirits reappear.)
Daisy’s the first fighter you’ll run into at Dracula’s Castle. She’s behind a spooky ghost, so just load the nearby cannon up with a cannonball and blast that bad boy away.
Wario is the second fighter in the castle area, and he’s behind a platform you can rotate. After fighting Daisy, move to the right and there will be a switch sitting there. Flip it and continue on to get Wario.
Once you get deeper into the spooky castle area, there will be even more cannons, but only one ball on the map. Beat the spirit blocking the cannonball, and load it into the cannon that aims at the upper right of the map. This will knock out both of the ghosts in the way.
Climb up to where the ghosts were, and proceed right to cross through a darker area and emerge at the top. Beat the spirit in front of you, The Creature & Flea Man, and Ridley’s fighter will spawn back in that darker area.
A ghost is blocking Ken, and you need to blast it away. In the underground mine area with cannons, flip a switch to make the bar in the top right rotate. Fire the cannon aimed at the bar you just moved, and the ball will bounce off and hit a ghost above, freeing Ken.
Dark Pit isn’t surrounded by any ghosts in this area. He just deeper in the mansion. When in the area with many rooms (near Ken), you can find Dark Pit by entering one of the top rooms, which puts you on the roof.
Richter only appears once you clear all the ghosts in the level. If you’ve unlocked all the other fighters, you should be good. He’ll spawn next to the final boss.
To get Robin, you have to flip the switch that blocked off Wario, so the bar is sitting vertically. Then, later in the area, in a room filled with gears and cannons, there will be a cannon pointing at it. Fire the canon, and the cannonball will bounce off the bar and hit the ghost blocking Robin.
The Mysterious Dimension
The next area features a portal that doesn’t directly seem like it’s based off of any one game. Rather, it’s an area that forces you to pick a spirit to answer a question. If you get the answer wrong, you can still proceed, but you won’t get rewarded with a treasure chest of goodies.
When the road splits in the quiz area, go right. R.O.B will be waiting past a spot that asks which spirit sells furniture.
Greninja is one of the first spirits in the funky quiz area. He should appear just along the path.
Wolf is just past a set of questions near the beginning that ask which of the spirits is a scientist.
To get Ike, proceed further in the quiz area. He should be right past the question asking which spirit is Chrom’s sister.
Meta Knight is very soon after Ike. Continue up the path past him, and you’ll find him sitting on the path.
One question will ask which spirit hails from Inkopolis. To access Corrin, you need to take a right on the path before you get to the spot that asks the question. He’s just beyond a legend-tier Azura spirit.
King K. Rool
When traversing in the quiz area, there will be a path option you can’t necessarily see — it’s when you’re walking along the lightning-volcano area in the northwest. Press down here to get to another set of questions.
This croc is beyond the questions asking which spirit Kirby can’t swallow and another asking who helped take down Dracula.
There are two answers for the question asking which spirit Kirby can’t swallow. If you take on two of the spirits, a path to Mewtwo will open.
The often forgotten brother is far back in the quiz zone map, off to the side on another hidden route, blocked by a legend-tier retro Link spirit. Beat this spirit and keep walking toward where it stood to travel along a route and finally unlock Luigi.
The Final Battle
The last area in World of Light has a large sprawl of fighters along plain paths. They twist and turn, but there are no gimmicks or hidden paths anywhere.
Dark Samus is in the middle area of the map, on the dark side.
As a foil to Dark Samus, Roy is in a similar place, but on the light side. Just move toward the center of the map while staying on the light side, and you’ll find him.
Palutena appears in the bottom left corner only after you have beaten Crazy Hand. This is the hand on the dark side, behind Dark Samus.
Bayo, similarly to Palutena, spawns only after you beat Master Hand. You can find him on the light side, behind Roy.