by Doc – Owner, Founder, Expert on Amiibo Training, Virgin
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What is Smash Ultimate amiibo training?
Unlike other games that used amiibo, Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (otherwise referred to as Smash 4) had a different spin on what amiibo should do. Instead of unlocking small pieces of content, Smash 4 decided that scanning in an amiibo of a character in Smash 4 should allow you to teach a computer-controlled version of that character to fight. Basically, if you bought a Mario amiibo, you could teach Mario to fight.
This has carried on to Ultimate, and Smash Ultimate amiibo training is at least 10x more fun than Smash 4 amiibo training. The principles are the same – scan in the amiibo, it’s a teachable version of that character.
How to Train Expert amiibo in Smash Ultimate
If you’re new to amiibo overall, and not sure which one should be trained first, read this article. If you’d prefer to see a video form of this information, watch this video:
The basic process is pretty simple. This is the step-by-step list, and then I’ll go back and explain each one in more detail. You’ll want to reference the longer explanations, because there’s more information in them than I could provide in a bullet point.
- Scan in your amiibo at level 1. If they’re not at level 1, reset them using the amiibo menu. Make sure Learning is on, using the Customize section in the amiibo menu.
- If you’re going to put Spirits on your amiibo, do it now. You can find info specifically for Amiibo Spirits here.
- Press the Smash button, and select your ruleset.
- You’re going to fight against your amiibo, but only use the moves that you want them to use, and only play as their character. If you want your Bowser Jr. amiibo to use Forward smash, you need to use Forward smash on it.
- NEVER USE COMPUTER OPPONENTS TO TRAIN AMIIBO.
- While you’re training, don’t use combos, and be sure to parry everything..
- When they are consistently doing the behaviors that you’re happy with and were wanting, save them, go back to the amiibo menu, and turn Learning Off. Save back to the figure again.
- Now you just need to open a long Smash match, put it against several other opponents, and let it level up to 50. Using Fast Smash, it shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes. Now you’re done!
If there’s something you didn’t have background information on, you should read the below paragraphs to get up to speed. You should also reference this amiibo FAQ that many trainers have found useful.
Scan in your amiibo at level 1
This part is very important – you don’t want previous training or carried-over data from Smash 4 to interfere with what you’re trying to teach it. Retraining amiibo is possible and sometimes easy, but sometimes there’s previously-trained behaviors that actually can’t be trained out of your amiibo. Ganondorf using Up tilt is a good example: no matter what, you can never get Ganondorf to stop using Up tilt once he starts.
If your Smash 4 data could end up having training that would corrupt the behavior of your Smash Ultimate amiibo, it’s best to just wipe it immediately instead of wasting that time.
If you’re going to put spirits on, do it now
Spirits don’t interact with amiibo the way that you’d expect. Spirits actually change the behavior data of the amiibo, effectively randomizing it. We can see this reflected in the Personality section – Personalities are based off of specific byte ranges, so whenever they change, the Personality label will change too. That’s why adding Spirits to amiibo often changes their Personality – it’s changing the behavior data first, and the Personality changes as a result.
Press the Smash button, and select your ruleset
You’ll want a ruleset that doesn’t use exotic stages – I recommend stick to Omega stages, or Battlefield stages. Amiibo tend to work best with just these stages. I use a ruleset that is First to 3 Wins, with 10 stocks each match, no items or Smash Balls on, and no Final Smash meter. You can use a ruleset that’s any length or stock number, or even use stamina – but it’s important to not have items or Final Smashes on. The only elements at play are myself and my amiibo opponent, because amiibo AI is very fragile and having multiple other things in the game can screw with it.
Modern amiibo trainers have found it incredibly helpful to use “corner cases” in the game’s mechanics to help them train. More often than not, you’ll find trainers using Slow Smash, Moonwalk Method and Easy Perfect Shield spirits to help their amiibo become highly proficient parryers and highly aggressive amiibo. I personally use these methods, as do many amiibo trainers, and have found them quite helpful. You can find advice on teaching your amiibo to parry here.
Only use the moves you want them to use
Amiibo are very odd AI, and for every subroutine there’s a nonzero chance that they’ll activate it. However, when you’re training an amiibo, you’re basically demonstrating which moves they should use more often – meaning those behavior routines increase in probability. This means that while they won’t always do what you want them to, the more effective you are as an amiibo trainer, the more often they’ll do what you demonstrate to them.
If you use the moves that you don’t want them to use, then it increases the probability that they’ll use those moves as well. You’re basically playing a probability game where you influence the probabilities based on the moves you input.
Only Play as Their Character
On a technical level, amiibo are capable of learning from all opponents. However, many amiibo have specific behaviors that they can only learn from another opponent of the same character. Thus, it’s most reasonable and intuitive for us to only train our amiibo when playing as their character.
NEVER USE COMPUTER OPPONENTS TO TRAIN AMIIBO
Amiibo have a bevy of really, really bad habits that they absolutely should never be taught. Those are:
- Dash dancing
- Charging Smash attacks
- Other, character-dependent AI problems
For some reason, when an amiibo is taught to do one of these things, it’ll do that thing… and only that thing. I’ve seen amiibo dash dance next to an opponent amiibo as their opponent is winding up a Falcon Punch. Rather than dodge or shield, they just keep dash dancing. A lot of amiibo have died this way.
Computer opponents, (both CPUs and other amiibo) don’t understand how to teach amiibo properly. They’ll dash dance, taunt, charge Smash attacks, etc. Even if you’re bad at a character, you are still a better teacher than a computer opponent ever could be.
Train with the “Moonwalk Method”
Amiibo trainers have discovered that the “Moonwalk” tech is an incredibly useful way to produce aggressive amiibo, and most new trainers have a problem getting their amiibo to be aggressive. The Moonwalk Method raises the feint values of the amiibo to be much higher than what would casually be produced by a human trainer, which results in an amiibo that is always taking advantage of opportunities to land a hit.
To train according to the Moonwalk Method, please reference this video:
When you’re training amiibo, don’t use combos
Except in specific circumstances, amiibo can’t combo: if you go totally ham on your Luigi and do the Luigi 0-death combo, he won’t pick it up. Instead, it’ll just fry whatever you were trying to teach him.
However, there are exceptions. Amiibo do have pre-programmed combos that are specific to the character. Fox, for example, has built-in follow-ups out of Dash attack. You may need to reference the list of training guides to see if your character has something built-in that you can use.
When they’re doing what you want them to do…
Amiibo AI changes as they level up. The final version of amiibo AI comes into play at level 43, so if they’re not doing what you want just yet, that’s okay – keep training until they hit level 43. Then turn learning off and see if they’re finally matching up to what you had in mind.
If they’re not, that’s okay! You can train them even after they hit level 50. Amiibo will always be changing and adapting if their Learning is set to ON. And if you messed up somewhere along the way, there’s nothing wrong with resetting them and starting over.
Let it Level up to 50
Even when their Learning is Off, amiibo do still level up. So long as it’s playing in matches, your amiibo will be gradually advancing its amiibo level until it reaches 50. Once they hit 50, you’re done! You can turn Learning back on and keep training, or you can solidify their training and decide that’s what you’re going with.
Testing your Amiibo
Now that you’ve trained your amiibo to level 50 and decided on its playstyle, you should test out your amiibo against other trainers! This can be done in a variety of ways, but it’s most efficient to simply join one of the Discord servers that we recommend at Amiibo Doctor.