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How to Use Smash Ultimate Mods Online - A Forum Thread for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

A simple guide to modding Ultimate while going online

Let's start this with the big obvious question:

1. Will you get banned for modding Smash Ultimate and your Switch for Smash Ultimate? 

Short answer: No, you won't, but only if you follow the steps correctly and use legal, legitimate methods. In that case, you will be fine, so be sure to pay full attention to this guide. If you've pirated your copy, you won't be able to follow these steps

We advise you purchase a copy of the game to play as we can't and won't support pirates in this FAQ or elsewhere in the scene.

1.1. Are using mods online safe for Smash Ultimate?

There has been lots of false information spread since 2018 that just running mods even outside of the online would instantly or at least likely ban you due to you having to install a custom firmware (CFW) and homebrew on your switch. These rumors are heavily false and vague. Many threads like these and even over on other sites are outdated or at least inaccurate. 

Just using Atmosphere, the most popular custom firmware, does not put you at risk for a ban just by using it. The console does not try to detect whether or not you are running custom firmware. Nintendo doesn't bother to detect for custom firmware on modded Switches: they make active efforts to detect cheating in certain games as well as piracy, by checking if an installed game was authentically purchased. 

Nintendo does not punish for client sided game mods or CFW by itself, and while they could in the future if they really wanted to, I personally believe this would be very unlikely as the Switch is already well into its life cycle, and they never bothered to issue bans for mods on consoles like the Wii U.

Atmosphere redirects crashes and error telemetry to your SD card rather than sending the information to Nintendo. It will not scan your microSD card for custom firmware files either, as that is illegal for Nintendo to do.

Mods that change aesthetics and audio of the game are perfectly fine just like in 4. This counts as texture edits, model imports (for characters, ones that do not edit the skeleton file's proportions, which is a model.nusktb file change), custom music, and UI.

Mods that change the overall gameplay of a match like moveset mods, parameter edits related to gameplay, code edits, etc. are not Wi-Fi safe and will immediately disconnect you from a match unless your opponent(s) have the exact same gameplay mods setup on their system as well. You'll have to use the same code and/or parameter edits or else you will both desync from an online arena.

If you're still not sure if the mods you want to play with are Wi-Fi safe, ask the creators of the mods you're questioning in the comments or by PM.

1.2. How do I not get banned while on custom firmware? 

Do not install NSPs under any circumstances while on CFW. This is an instant ban. You will never have to install an NSP to use Smash Mods in any scenario unless you have a pirated version of the game, which is already setting you up for a ban. Changing your switch user profile picture to a custom one is also an instant ban.

Make sure you're using a reliable and up to date guide like TNN's Guide to Getting Started Modding Ultimate. An emuMMC is not required to be safe using mods, but you can still use emuMMC if you wish to. It is redundant for just Smash modding and basic Homebrew, and shouldn't be used online depending on what you do with it. Unless you are extremely paranoid of a ban, setting up an emuMMC is not needed for any type of Smash mod. 

Modding gameplay and cheating in online games is a probable ban. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate does not entirely fit within that category outside of a couple instances, like with certain gameplay mods online.

The reason for this is that you should not go online if you are loading a gameplay code mod that changes the game's version string, as it has been found that the version string gets sent to Nintendo at some point after an online match.

While nobody has been banned specifically for this, we recommend you stay safe and temporarily remove the mod that has this issue until the author or another modder removes it. If you are unsure if the version string is edited or outdated, ask the mod author or leave a comment on the mod.

If a mod says that it was based on "code-mod-example", this can also be a warning sign since code-mod-example leaves in an edit to the version string. Just make sure to ask first if you plan to play online with gameplay mods with friends.

Do not upload videos with mods visibly present online to the Shared Content tab, even if you think you could probably go unnoticed. Screenshots will automatically go to shared content when uploaded to Twitter if you do not uncheck the box as well. Do not use Giga Bowser or use any normally unusable characters like him online. The same goes for the extra stages mod. Do not upload Miis that you created while mods for said Miis costume/hat were loaded into the game, as their character portrait will have the modded models and will sync up with the other player online.

It's also important to note that the vast majority of bans reported have been on the user's error and not because their ban was inevitable. If you follow the steps carefully, your chances are minimal and practically non-existent. However, there is always a chance of you the human making an error, so be cautious and mindful of how you use your mods. 

Additional note: The training mode modpack that adds things like hitbox display in the training mode can be used online since it only applies to the singleplayer training mode and not any online modes. However, it is prone to crashing the game, so I would take it off temporarily just to avoid that separate (but not risky) annoyance.

1.3. Where can I use mods Online and which ones can I use?

  • Anything that doesn't change the Gameplay of a match (character costumes, music, voice packs, is fair game for Quickplay/Background Matchmaking, Spectate, Online Tournies, and Battle Arenas. If a costume contains a .nusktb file, either the mod author left it in accidentally, or it was edited. If it was edited, ask the mod author or the modding discord if the mod's changes are Wi-Fi safe.
  • Mods that change Gameplay (parameter edits of Characters or Game mechanics in any shape or form) are only safe in Battle Arenas in which both you and anyone who spectates or plays in the arena have the same exact Gameplay mods and the same versions of said Gameplay mods. Otherwise you will desync from the game and the match will stop, which has not been verifiably proven to cause bans, but is still something you should try to avoid out of caution.
  • Getting a ban from a Desync would require Nintendo to comb over your match error out of the many thousands of reports they get on a daily basis, and is something you will realistically not have to worry about at all if you're still abiding to the rules in the steps above and not doing anything seriously dangerous. It's still a good practice to avoid them, however.

1.4. I got banned, is there any way I can get unbanned? 

No method at this time has been found to unban oneself. Some modders have two Switches, one for modding in case they get banned from more dangerous activities outside of smash mods and another for general usage and gaming. 

2. Getting started modding

For a disclaimer, the modding scene is not responsible for any issues that come from following this guide. You are taking the same risk as you would when modding any Nintendo game in that you are still modding your console and breaking Nintendo's guidelines. This is not a recent discovery or specific to the Switch.

The info in this guide is common advice in the Ultimate modding community and generally agreed upon from developers in the scene. Just be careful and ask questions if you need to. It's also not my fault if somehow Sakurai himself shows up outside your window and annihilates you for using Big Chungus.

That being said, good luck, and if you need any more help or support, there is a Smash Ultimate Modding Group that has lots of resources and help channels for assistance. Have fun! If you want to get started with a guide rather than direct assistance, I would use TNN's guide as mentioned and linked above.

Also, thanks to ThatNintendoNerd for the base post that this was modeled after and for helping educate the scene on this topic.
  • Could you give an example of a code mod? I'm unsure what you mean.
    Bananite
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  • Zobbes avatar
    Zobbes Joined 4y ago
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    1y
    So if I understand this correctly, the risk of modding your switch is about the same as Wii U's, as long as you're not doing anything illegal or shady with it?
    • Correct x 1
    Learning how to mod, slowly
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  • dirtyghettobacon avatar
    dirtyghettobacon Joined 1y ago
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    Thanks for this - I'm still really at the beginner stage in terms of installing CFW on my switch. Just confirming that NSP's are actual switch game ROMs?
    Bananite
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  • Probably a really dumb question, but just to stay absolutely sure: CFW in general is safe? I just want to be extra safe. Sorry about the inconvenience. 
    Bananite
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  • ECHRO avatar
    ECHRO Joined 1y ago
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    If I installed the extra stages mod to try it out but then uninstalled it, will I still be banned for possibly having traces of it left over?
    My friends are my power!
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    12mo
    Sorry if this is a dumb question. I've been looking into hacking my Switch pretty much solely for Smash - the mods are really the only thing I'm interested in. Can you still access the eShop to buy DLC and download updates and such on CFW? I know you can on the Wii U and 3DS, but Switch modding seems to still be quite different, and I haven't been able to find a straight answer.
    Bananite
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    cluesagi Joined 12mo ago
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    How do you know all this?
    SSBU mains: Byleth and Zelda
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  • Claud avatar
    Claud Joined 12mo ago
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    What is the safest way to install mods for use online ?! Could you install mods like Traning mode pack without any risk ?!
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    TheRetroSkunk2 Joined 5y ago
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    12mo
    are going online with an Emunand with mods is also safe?
    PixelWarrior
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  • What about Local play?
    Bananite
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    11mo 11mo
    I forgot, what's a nusktb file and what's wrong with it?
    PixelWarrior
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  • Leny avatar
    Leny Joined 11mo ago
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    Hey someone re enacted the avengers endgame last scene WITH avengers character models and uploaded it to shared content. The video and the uploader doesn't seem to be banned or taken down as of now after exactly a month. i don't know if he's going to get banned soon but at least this guy is testing this for us
    • Epic win x 1
    Bananite
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    Yuki-chan Joined 4y ago
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    Strange. I have used EmuMMC and always activating the Extra Stages mod for quite some time (nearly two weeks) and I have not been banned yet. Probably mainly due to using Battle Arenas strictly?
    Bananite
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    Internet Bowser Joined 1y ago
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    Can you use mods in online tourneys?
    Bananite
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    9mo
    I'm happy I stumbled upon this, I was under the impression that going online at all resulted in a ban even if you're just using altered costumes and music. Bad information I was given, thanks for this.
    • Agree x 1
    Bananite
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    Halvorsen Joined 5y ago
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    The console is unable to detect whether you are running it or not, as it redirects crashes and error telemetry.


    This is misinformation in and of itself, for the record. Nintendo can detect CFW usage, and it actively does not punish for it if users do not pirate, cheat, or engage in fraud. Which is why the stubbed error sending is potentially an issue. Atmosphere adds new processes, and players can add new sysmodules at their own will. All standard Switch consoles run the same software. Custom consoles run custom software.
    An in-depth discussion is here, from the main maintainer of Atmosphere.
    youtu.be/ZCH_ytgaZx8?t=5257

    • Helpful x 1
    Bananite
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  • If I'm using mods that aren't wifi safe, would I have to disconnect from my wifi, or go into airplane mode to play offline? Or would I be able to just play offline with them regularly?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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  • YN0T avatar
    YN0T Joined 8mo ago
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    I am wondering if I use a mod that allows me to play a song on a stage I usually can't play that song on (like say Jump Up Super Star on the Temple stage) in a private Battle Arena would I get banned? I'm also wondering if I could use unplayable stages like the Boss Stages or play as Giga Bowser in a private Battle Arena if I would get banned or not?
    Bananite
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    So will I be banned for going online withwith sysMMC/sysNAND (CFW)?
    Bananite
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  • DankyMK avatar
    DankyMK Joined 5mo ago
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    Can u get banned if you have the game legally but the DLC pirated?
    "what's a mod?" -Mom avatar
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    peen2 Joined 2y ago
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    Can I do the same to MK8D (play online with music mods and costumes from Mario Kart Tour) and not worry about the ban?

    I've never installed NSPs on my Switch
    Bananite
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    Humuslk Joined 12d ago
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    Unless it directly influences gaming, you can safely mode into and play online any new textures or alternate costumes.
    Bananite
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