The character selection screen, also called character select screen or character selection menu and abbreviated as CSS, is the menu in the Super Smash Flash series where players can choose their characters to be used in a game mode. The players may also have access to the rules menu from this screen as well. The character selection screen is comprised of boxed portraits of the heads or busts of the playable fighters, whom are normally arranged together by game series or related characters, with more characters added once they are unlocked. It is utilized in each game and appears in both Solo and Group modes where the player is not required to use specific characters.
In both games, in order to select a character from this screen, each player has to take their respective "token" (which carries a number and matches the players' color; in the case for computer-controlled players, it carries the word "CPU" and is colored gray) and drag it over the desired character's portrait, placing the "token" over the box to complete the selection.
In SSF, players are restricted to use the computer mouse only; to do the selection, they have to click and hold the button to drag the "token" with the cursor and may simply drop it by releasing the button over the character's portrait to complete the selection; this is also true for SSF2, but the latter is not mouse-restricted and has further expanded the game's controls that allow the use of a keyboard or a gamepad on the character selection screen. This will alternatively give the players an in-game small hand cursor, similar to the one from the official Super Smash Bros. games, that can be used to manually grab the "token" (without having to hold any button as the mouse requires) and simply select a character by pressing the button again. It should be noted, though, that the small hand cursor moves more slowly compared to using the mouse cursor.
After the selection is done, a full preview of the character will be displayed in one on the boxes found below the characters' portraits; SSF features the characters in their idle animation while SSF2 features their official pixel arts. In the upper left corner on these boxes, a small text button will indicate whether the player is a human entry ("HMN"), a computer-controlled entry ("CPU") or if there is no entry at all ("N/A"); pressing this button will cycle between entries. Below CPU entries, a slider ranging from 1 to 9 can be adjusted to change their difficulty. For SSF2, players can add names by pressing the small pencil button that will bring a notepad to write down a text that will be displayed above the characters head during gameplay (replacing the default player display number). Player also have access to the character's numerous palette swaps, either by directly clicking/pressing the character's pixel art or indirectly pressing the shield button, which will also display on the pixel art.
Though the character selection screen looks mostly the same throughout all game modes, a difference lies between Solo and Group game modes. For Solo modes, typically there is only one box spot for the player and other options like difficulty setting or stock count are displayed, alongside high scores. For Group modes, typically four box spots for players are found, in addition to direct access to the game's rules and quick options to switch between time and stock modes.
Once every character has been selected and everything, including the rules, has been adjusted to the desired requirements, it can be proceeded by clicking "GO!" in SSF and by pressing the space bar or the configured start button when the "Ready to Fight!" message is displayed in SSF2.
Super Smash Flash
Super Smash Flash 2
- Though the character selection screens from v0.1a to v0.4b of the SSF2 Demo displayed multiple placeholder ? slots — indicating unlockable characters — developers clarified not all were intended to be actually filled, nor they represented the final amount of playable characters in the game—in fact, none actually reached the amount for the then-planned 45 characters roster—and were also added for mere decoration. They were completely removed for v0.5a in order to avoid further confusion, following the trend of Super Smash Bros. Brawl not including them.
- Prior to v0.9a of the SSF2 Demo, the selected character's gameplay sprite would appear in the display box instead of their portrait.