Amiibo Bin Editing: What’s the Issue?

Note from Doc: this article was written back in March and my own knuckleheadedness made me forget about it until just now. Sorry Spike!

by Spike, Regular Contributor

Disclaimer: this article is based off of information gathered by the writer. The
writer cannot guarantee that the information below is in date or correct;
however, it is backed up by research into the specific topic by the writer.


As you may be aware, the scene has recently put out a stance on amiibo bin
editing; that is, that they don’t want it to go on and that bin edited amiibo are no
longer allowed in tournaments. While I personally support not having edited bins
in tournaments, I also believe that edited bins can be used as a learning tool- and
can, in the end, benefit the scene. This article covers general stuff on the ethics of
editing bins and how to use edited bins. If you’re here looking for how exactly to
edit bins or for specific values that control move usage, you’re out of luck.


So what is bin editing anyway? In amiibo, the data on them is stored in an NFC
chip, which stores it as a long series of letter and number pairs known as hex
values. Bin editing involves changing the values of those pairs in order to have
the amiibo do something (e.g., use down smash more or never side b onstage)
without having to train the amiibo to do it at all. In theory, it could be used to
change personalities remotely, or even remove pieces of hard coded data, for
example, allowing amiibo to learn a move that the AI normally would never use.
This method could allow trainers to skip training entirely and simply edit their
bin to do whatever they want the amiibo to do. Let me make it clear: this is
cheating and can result in suspensions from the scene, forfeited matches, or a
straight out ban to you. Let me also make clear that edited bins do not look like
normal bins unless they are edited and encrypted further, they tend to not scan
unless perfectly edited, and they can be checked for edits prior to being used by
tournament operators. They are not allowed in tournaments and should not be
submitted to tournaments.


“These sound great, how can I make them?”


Successful bin editing is a long, difficult process that isn’t easy to do. Bin editing
itself, however, couldn’t be simpler. All it requires is scanning an amiibo bin-
TagMo and PowerSaves both work, uploading it to a decryptor, scanning the result into a bin editor capable of reading hex values, and changing the values.

Here’s the thing- there are about 400 values associated with a decrypted amiibo
bin, and while some are kind of pointless, some, once edited, will make the
amiibo unscannable, turning all of your hard work into a useless pile of garbage.
Others- the ones you probably want to change- control move priority, general
play such as aggressiveness or jumpiness, or even taunting. Some, such as the
value that controls A button use, are single values, while some, including use of
smash attacks, are controlled by several lines of data. Others still, such as
taunting, have a handful of values (taunting has four, one for each taunt, and
may have a fifth that controls timing of taunts) that can influence each other. If
certain values don’t line up- for example, if attacking is set to 00 and use of A
button is set to 4D, the bin won’t work.


“If it’s this complicated, how does anyone even do it, anyway?”


There are certain people with access to a decent bin editor, but more common
are people with Amiibomb (can be found online) and SSBU_Amiibo_Master (also
online, or on GitHub) who use those two applications to edit Spirits on. That’s
about all those two applications do, though. Finding someone who will tell you
exactly how to edit move values is difficult, as most who know them have promised not to share them- so that bin editing doesn’t mess up the scene.
Honestly, you’re probably best off just training the amiibo yourself.


“Okay, but let’s say that I figured out how to edit. How do I get the amiibo to
play exactly like I want?”


Short answer: trial and error. Assuming that you know which values
correspond to which, finding out what values work well for each move takes a
LOT of trial and error. One of my early attempts resulted in a Palutena that
spammed Autorecticle nonstop. Cool and all, but not decent, right? (For the
record, I still don’t know why- I edited over a dozen values, including the one that
corresponds to aggressiveness. Assumedly, I also edited special move use and
Neutral B, but I honestly have no idea.) Even if you know exactly what that
amiibo should use, figuring out what value works is certainly not one-and-done.


“Wait, wait. You said edited bins are illegal in tournaments, so why should I
bother with all of this high-effort junk?”


First of all, neither me nor the Amiibo Doctor group supports entering edited
bins to tournaments without the hosts’ prior knowledge and consent. I can not stress enough that this is BANWORTHY FROM THE SCENE. End of story.
The real use for edited bins is to test out stuff without having to train constantly.
In essence, it’s useful so that you can understand strategies and the amiibo AI in a
much shorter amount of time than if you “naturally” trained to test it out. It’s a
way of learning what works and what doesn’t so that you can train your amiibo
in an ideal way.


If you’re looking for something a little more tangible, you can use the edited bin
to brain transplant into your amiibo. Brutal honesty here- it doesn’t work well.
I’ve tried it. Some of you may know my new Shulk, Ichigo. Before Ichigo, me and
a friend edited a bin of Shulk, which we named Carrot. He was edited to overuse
forward smash, use Monado Arts as little as possible, and use down smash. We
then turned Learning On on Ichigo, Learning Off on Carrot, and had Carrot train
Ichigo. Afterwards, Ichigo was spamming forward smash, using almost no
Monado Arts, and using down smash. He also learned to shield incoming smash
attacks really well, which was, of course, a benefit. Unfortunately, he also learned
to use down smash onstage. After I polished him up, he uses much less onstage
down smash, but he still does it. He also now uses up smash, but that’s the result
of me teaching him, not Carrot. (FYI, I do not have the same editing capabilities as
my friend. I have no idea which value controls Monado Arts or any particular
smash attack.)


So what’s my point here? The point is, editing may allow you to learn HOW you
should train your amiibo, but it can’t replace training. Even if you edit to all
get-out, your amiibo is going to, more than likely, require training. Edited amiibo
are not perfect. (Yes, at least one edited amiibo has won a tournament, but that
particular character is an S tier amiibo anyway.)


Ethics are an issue.


I probably sound like a broken record here, but it’s not legal or ethically correct
to submit edited bins to tournaments. What about amiibo like Ichigo, though? Is it
okay to submit amiibo that were trained by an edited amiibo? Is it okay to use
edited amiibo to test strategies that you don’t want to take the time to train on
your own? What about parent/child training, where an amiibo and an AI test
strategies on their own, via code, amd brain transplant to the point where the
amiibo becomes “ideal”? Is it even all right to create edited bins to begin with?

Let’s be honest here- this is a gray area. This is something that not everyone’s
ever going to agree on, but it’s something that will need to be addressed at some
point. Edited amiibo aren’t okay. Fine. What about brain transplants of edited amiibo? What about AI training amiibos? It’s all subjective, but for now, editing
has its uses. At the end of the day, no one can stop you from using editing to learn
more as a trainer. You may not be able to enter them to tourneys, but there’s
enough uses for them that people will learn how, idealize strategies, and discover
new things about the amiibo. Eventually, this can benefit the scene.
Never Stop Training
-Spike

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