A stock match between Mario, Kirby, Bowser, and King Dedede, each showing their respective damage percentages.

The damage meter displays the damage percentage a character has accumulated from attacks, as well as the character's universal symbol and number of stock remaining (in non-stock modes, it displays as 1 "stock"). Damage meters are displayed at the bottom of the screen during gameplay. The colour of the symbols is based on the player's controller port and is grey for computer players. In the original SSB, the numbers would scatter when that player is KO'd. In Brawl and later, the numbers themselves would break.

In Super Smash Bros. and Melee, the identity of a character's damage meter, if not belonging to someone with a unique symbol (such as Yoshi or Ness), is made obvious by the stock counter bearing the image of the character's face. Because this is tied into the number of stocks remaining, if a character is defeated (and therefore has no stock images showing), one cannot always tell at a glance who the defeated character is. This is changed in Brawl, where a somewhat large image of the character and their name are used alongside the percentage display; the stock counter is simply a row of dots, the character faces return in Wii U/3DS. The display partially fades if a character is standing "behind" it.