by Doc – Owner, Founder, Pretty Sure He’s Answered this On the Youtube Channel But That’s Okay
There’s a lot of questions that get asked about amiibo training, and we’ve compiled a FAQ for them here. However, if you’re asking this question you evidently haven’t read that page, and that’s okay – we’ll take care of a few different questions here as well.
Do amiibo change if you turn learning off?
No – kinda. Amiibo have three sources of behavior influence.
- Training/Behavior Data (which is what you teach them)
- Underlying CPU level (which is increased as the amiibo level is increased)
- RNG (random, and determined by the game)
If you turn learning off on an amiibo at amiibo level 20, but it’ll learn a new combo at amiibo level 40, it will still unlock the ability to use that combo at level 40. The way it plays will change – but that’s because the CPU level changed, not because the amiibo level changed. Your training/behavior data is going to stay the same, and they’ll still have the habits you taught them, to an extent.
Some trainers actually start with totally blank amiibo that are level 50 and then start training, so that they always know how the amiibo will play, and don’t have to be concerned about new CPU levels changing its behavior.
Spirits are the exception to this. Spirits alter #1, the amiibo behavior data, regardless of anything else. They change the data basically every time you add a Support or Primary spirit.
Do amiibo keep learning after they hit level 50?
Sure, their behavior data can change so long as they still have learning on. But if they have learning off, they don’t keep learning. Level doesn’t play into it – if you turn learning off at level 1, they won’t learn anything until you turn it back on.
Spirits are again an exception to this – applying spirits always changes behavior data.
My amiibo just did this really awesome combo. The amiibo tier list must be wrong.
I have two responses to that.
First, that’s not a question.
Second, all amiibo of that character can perform that combo – with the way combos are programmed, you actually don’t have to demonstrate that combo for them to do that combo.
For example, suppose I had a Link amiibo who could use Boomerang and follow it up with a Forward Air (which is a real combo that Link has). Every Link amiibo is capable of using that combo, and you can make it more likely that he’ll perform that by individually teaching him to use both Boomerang and, separately, Forward Air.
Can amiibo see the hitboxes of their moves?
Alright, so here’s a real kicker.
So, amiibo don’t technically see the hitboxes of their moves. The developers actually program in, for every single attack, ranges relative to the amiibo in which certain attacks will land. If you’re a mathy person, you’ll understand that that’s basically the same way that hitboxes are programmed – if in X space at Y distance from the user, the enemy is hurt.
However, amiibo needed balancing, and the AI didn’t always function the way it should. The devs solved this by occasionally modifying the perceived ranges for each attack so that the amiibo would use it somewhat correctly. I’ll use a picture to explain.
Suppose for a second that your Mario amiibo is sometimes using Forward Smash at level 50, even when it wouldn’t connect. It’s an otherwise competent amiibo, and it seems to only barely miss Forward Smash by a little bit. That’s kinda odd.
In this case, the Mario amiibo would think that its Forward Smash reaches farther than it actually does – so it uses the Forward Smash, expecting it to land. There’s no problem with your training, it’s actually an issue with the AI.
There’s some pretty funny instances where Nintendo has screwed up the AI for an amiibo. When King K. Rool‘s amiibo released during the 3.0 era, we found that it had the Down Throw to Forward Smash combo built-in. No matter how you trained it, the developers had rigged the AI to try Down Throw. If it succeeded, it would use Forward Smash for a crushing kill.
Problem is, right after the amiibo released, the burial time on his Down Throw was slightly nerfed. It was only barely nerfed, but since amiibo always mash at 30 inputs per second, they were able to get free without issue, and K. Rool could never react fast enough to land Forward Smash.
So what would’ve been an absolutely crushing ability for King K. Rool ended up being one of his biggest liabilities.
Why Shouldn’t I Taunt, Charge Smash Attacks, or Dash Dance when training my amiibo?
Alright, let’s knock out that first one.
Technically, there have been some amiibo that have placed well and won tournaments and were trained to taunt. TooLoocas’ amiibo are the ones that come to mind.
However, new trainers are typically told not to taunt because it’s such a negative habit that it’s very easy to overdo it. All too often, a new amiibo trainer hops into a tournament, submits their amiibo who taunts after every hit, and gets crushed – and then wonders why they lost. Taunting is generally inoptimal, but it’s not 100% bad.
Charging Smash attacks and Dash dancing is, however, and we’re not entirely sure why. Amiibo have a strange addiction to charging Smash attacks, and to dash dancing, and aside from being a surefire way to lose, there’s really no other reason to not do it.
So, you shouldn’t taunt, charge smash attacks, or dash dance because… you’ll lose. Probably.
What are the AI differences between Echo fighters?
This is something that Nintendo kinda slacked off on. There’s several sets of Echo fighters, with varying degrees of similarity. In cases like the Belmonts, there’s no problem – the AI of both are completely functional and make perfect use of their moveset, because they’re identical and don’t need AI differences.
However, when you get “Echoes” like Ryu and Ken, who are most definitely not the same character, Nintendo dropped the ball. They’ve given every Echo fighter the same AI – the same built-in combos, the same move preferences, and so on. You can see why this wouldn’t work so well for the Street Fighters – Ken often can’t use the combos that Ryu has, because their moves are just functionally different. Yet Ken will try to do the combo anyway.
So in short, the AI is identical between Echoes, and that’s not always a good thing.
Can amiibo try to land sweetspots?
Well, not really. There are some instances in which developers program the amiibo to either land a sequence of attacks in such a way that it’ll land a combo (such as Captain Falcon‘s built-in Raptor Boost to Knee combo), or to try to land a specific portion of the hitbox, and that portion is typically the sweetspot (the Marth amiibo is always trying to land tippers, for example). Instances such as this are the very small exception, and the answer is generally no.
It’s not as if the amiibo is thinking “Hm, if I land the sweetspot part of the hitbox I can get the KO, but if I land this part I don’t.” There’s no higher-level decision making like that. The amiibo is, in the very large majority of circumstances, just trying to land the hit. Developers have occasionally intervened so as to make sweetspots the first option for an amiibo like in the above examples, but it’s best to just assume that the amiibo isn’t trying for a sweetspot.