Slippi Brings Super Smash Bros Melee into the world of 21st-century ESports

That's right! Rollback netcode! Integrated matchmaking!


Detail of the original box art for Super Smash Bros. Melee for Nintendo GameCube.

Fans of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise tend to agree that the second entry in the series, 2001’s Melee, is the best one. Except, that is, for those who argue that 2018’s Ultimate is, well, the ultimate.

Melee devotees got some welcome news regarding the game, which was originally released for the Nintendo GameCube shortly after the turn of the century. The word came in the form of a tweet:

That’s right! Rollback netcode! Integrated matchmaking!

For the uninitiated, that probably reads like gibberish, but the upshot is that the team at Slippi—a project to bring Super Smash Bros. Melee into the modern gaming era—has made some major strides.

As the Slippi site explains: “Long-term players know that the game has nearly infinite possibilities as a competitive game. Being an old game, it lacks many of the features you expect to find in more recent ESport titles. The goal of Slippi is to bring Melee into the future and invigorate the sport surrounding the game.”

So, to define the above terms, rollback netcode enables ultra-smooth gameplay and low-lag connections—even when you’re playing against someone on another continent. Integrated matchmaking, meanwhile, is a feature that allows you to find nearby opponents quickly and easily.

Find out more—and download the Slippi desktop app—on the project’s website.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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