by Doc – Owner, Founder, In the Process of Having to Write Amiibo University Videos as Posts
We’ve already covered this in Amiibo University, so if you’d rather have a 6-minute video demonstrating and explaining amiibo combos, watch this instead.
Starting around the 8.0 patch, Nintendo began actually putting effort into amiibo AI. More specifically, they gave built-in combos to certain amiibo to make their AI seem more complex or interesting. This began a trend where, in each “new character” patch, Nintendo patched more AI to have more built-in combos.
Author’s note: “Built-in combos” refers to a pre-programmed set of actions that the AI can take. These are the combos that you see amiibo perform, and they are confined to the combos that the developers have already created ahead of time. So no, your Luigi can’t do a 0-death combo.
But how do amiibo use these combos? How come this guy’s Fox amiibo can use these crazy strings, but mine can’t?
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The amiibo combo Process
Let’s imagine for a second that we’re looking at a Fox amiibo, and this is our situation:
The AI is reading the situation right now and thinking “Okay, what can I do? I’m in a dash state, so I really only have Dash attack, Up smash, or maybe a few other bad options.” We’ll assume the Bowser amiibo is standing there, menacingly, and not doing anything.
At this point, the Fox amiibo is consulting his training probabilities. Those of you who have read the complete guide to amiibo training will remember that amiibo basically run off of a weighted probability equation, where some attacks are more likely than others based on its past experiences. In this case, let’s assume that this Fox was trained to use Dash attack more often than Up Smash, so it’s more likely to use Dash attack.
The probability came up with Dash attack, so Fox has used Dash attack and it connected. Once the AI realizes that it’s connected Dash attack, it has a different problem: what do I do next?
See, the Smash Ultimate developers have programmed in special behaviors into the Fox amiibo specifically. They’ve told it that it can do a lot of things after connecting Dash attack, including:
- Up Tilt (most common)
- Up Smash
Now Fox has to consult its training probabilities again and see which of these three moves it will use. Suppose that Fox was taught to use Up Tilt quite frequently, but never to use Shine or Up Smash. That makes it significantly more likely that it’ll use Up Tilt as a response to its Dash attack (though it’s not a 0% chance that it could use Shine or Up Smash).
So it looks like Fox went with Up Tilt. This presents a unique opportunity: Fox also has built-in follow-ups out of Up Tilt, which include:
- More Up Tilt (most common)
- Up Air (depending on how far away the opponent is hit)
- Short Hop + Neutral Air
So from this point in the image, Fox could keep using Up Tilt on Bowser until it stops connecting, or he could follow it with Shine or something else. It all comes down to whether or not Fox still have built-in combos in his AI, or if he’s at the end of the “combo chain”.
The amiibo combo chain
This is basically a (very simplified) version of the combo chain. It’s missing a lot of the possible follow-ups, but this is basically how amiibo combos work. Note that this is set in stone, and can only be changed by the developers. Your amiibo isn’t inventing combos.
So in short, this is the process of how amiibo combo, and what our Fox did.