Randomness is a critical factor in all video games, including the Super Smash Bros. series. Random events challenge players to think quickly and cause a game to never be played the same way twice.
Physics of computer-generated random numbers
Computers are unable to generate truly random numbers. They can only create a series of pseudo-random numbers. If a computer were to start out with a certain seed (initial number), one could predict the entire sequence of pseudorandom numbers to follow. (This in fact is likely how Replays are saved; the system only saves the seed instead of all random events.)
Random events in the Super Smash Bros. series
- Computer players do things randomly: the higher the computer's level, the more likely it is to do a specified action.
- Most stage hazards have random behavior.
- Random items appear at random times with preset ratios. The same goes for sub-items such as Pokéballs and Assist Trophies.
- Prat Falling in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a random event that may occur during a dash.
- Random events may occur during Smash Run.
Random character/stage select
- In Super Smash Bros., there was no random feature for selecting characters. However, computer players were selected randomly once entered. Random stage select would choose one of the eight or nine available stages.
- In Super Smash Bros. Melee, once all characters are unlocked, placing one's selection token on either of the two blank corners of the selection grid would move the token onto a random character. CP players would be randomized. Random stage select would select from any of the unlocked stages. Once all stages are unlocked, the player can choose which stages to exclude from the selection list.
- In Brawl, the character selection screen has a designated space for choosing a random character. A "?" appears on the player's selection bracket and no one will know who that player of the chosen character will be until the match begins (the system will choose and begin loading the character as soon as Random is selected, however). This random function also selects a random costume for the character, and is how CPs are entered by default. Randomly choosing a stage behaves the same as Melee, but the player cannot choose to leave out individual custom stages.
- When the player selects the stage "Mushroomy Kingdom", the game will randomly choose between the above ground level and the underground level, though which stage it chooses can be controlled.
Random events intrinsic to a character
- Diddy Kong's Up Special Move Rocketbarrel Boost's barrels, when broken, have a very random trajectory.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, King Dedede's Side Special Move, Waddle Dee Toss can produce either a Waddle Dee (71.4%), a Waddle Doo (20.4%), or a Gordo (8.2%).
- Kirby can transform into 6 different Stones while using his Down Special Move.
- Luigi's Side Special Move, Green Missile, has a 12.5% (1/8) chance of misfiring.
- Luigi's Final Smash, Negative Zone, can cause a variety of random effects.
- Peach's Side smash can hit with 3 different weapons.
- Peach's Down Special Move, Vegetables, can have a variety of random faces; the most powerful has a chance of 1/58 of appear. There's also a small chance of a Beam Sword, Bob-omb or a Mr. Saturn appearing instead of a vegetable.
- Ivysaur's Side Special Move, Razor Leaf, curves in a random direction at the end (up, down, or no curve).
- Olimar's Neutral Special Move, Pikmin Pluck, produces a random Pikmin species based on the type of ground.
- However, Olimar plucks the Pikmin in a set order in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
- Mr. Game & Watch's Side Special Move, Judge, has 9 randomly-chosen attacks, each one with different strengths and effects.
- The sausages from Mr. Game & Watch's Neutral Special Move, Chef, travel in the air randomly.
- Snake's Up Smash can go slightly to the right or slightly to the left.
- Snake has a 16.66% (1/6) chance that he can plant a C3 instead of a C4.
- Wario can sometimes fall from his bike, like a trip.
- Greninja's Down Special Move Substitute, can spawn either a substitute doll or a log when successfully used.