by Doc, Owner, Founder, Professional Nitpicker
Metabomb jumped into the world of amiibo training last year with their article on “How to train your amiibo in Smash Ultimate.” I recommend giving it a read first, as we’ll only discuss the small, specific parts of the article that ought to be corrected, and leave the rest of it to them.
1. Training amiibo in free-for-alls
Amiibo AI can only focus on one opponent at a time, which is why free-for-all battles tend to result in several amiibo standing still for long periods of time when their opponent is within striking distance. Using free-for-all battles to train amiibo simply results in one amiibo or two amiibo beating the hell out of everyone else, while the other amiibo opponents have their training corrupted by being attacked all the time and being unable to respond.
2. Go hard on your amiibo, even at low levels
While this is the most intuitive way to train an amiibo for newer players, it’s usually a subpar way to get a good amiibo. Typically, people “go hard” on an opponent by using all of the combos, character-specific tech and advanced playstyles they can think of. This has the result of a very dumb amiibo that can only use its built-in combos, and tends to camp out players.
Instead, players should “go hard” on the moves that the amiibo should use, instead of just playing against them as a normal opponent. Metabomb got that part correct, but they ought to make the distinction so as not to incorrectly inform new trainers.
3. You can’t teach your amiibo specific combos
At its face, this statement is correct, but with a bit of knowledge about your specific amiibo you actually can. I can’t teach my Fox to use an improvised Jab 1 – Jab 2 – turnaround Up tilt – turnaround Up smash combo, because amiibo don’t have that built-in.
However, if I know what Fox does have built-in, then I can teach it something the AI has pre-programmed it to be able to learn. In this case, the above combo wouldn’t work, but I could teach it Dash attack – Up tilt – Shine by using each of these three moves separately and combining them together in later levels. We’ll give Metabomb partial credit, because while they didn’t explain much of the pre-programmed combo side of amiibo, they did give it a small mention – but the word “specific” here is key.
4. Amiibo change move priorities (but not playstyle) after turning Learning Off
Nope. If you turn Learning Off, save it to the figure, have the amiibo play in dozens of games and then save that to the figure, you’ll be able to see (via hex editors and amiibo editing tools) that the move priorities haven’t changed a bit. The playstyle bytes haven’t changed either, because the amiibo simply isn’t allowed to change when Learning is Off.
Those are the big errors that I saw. I get asked a lot of questions from new trainers, and most of the confusion stems from Metabomb’s article specifically, so I hope this helps straighten things out for new trainers!