by: Cain and GBS
Doc note: SSST is undergoing a tremendous amount of research at the moment, so this document will be unfinished for a time as our research is refined. For now, it’s a direct copy-paste from the frequently-updated guide available in the SSST Research Discord server. Expect the final product to be much more cleaned-up, and to have demonstrative images.
Massive thanks to the original founders of the glitch used for SSST: Kage and Tero!
Squad Strike Self Trained (SSST) is a really weird and complex method for training your amiibo. This guide will walk you through what SSST is and how to use it.
What is SSST?
SSST is a glitch in – you guessed it – Squad Strike, specifically in the “Elimination” game mode. The glitch tricks the game into pitting the amiibo against itself, and both amiibo will be identical in every aspect (apart from their alt). Essentially, the glitch splits your amiibo into two individuals for one game, and then merges them back together at the end of it. What happens is your amiibo levels up double what it would have normally.
SSST amiibo have been proven to rapidly increase their values far more than normally trained amiibo. For example, let’s say Mario’s AI begins to use Neutral Special on itself. Instead of raising the Neutral Special value to, for instance, 20, the value will shoot up to 40+ within one match. SSST can also raise specific values of your choice, including ones like Feint Master (FM) that normally do not exceed one value point. Now that we’ve explained the basics of SSST, we will move on how to perform the glitch.
How to Perform SSST
SSST was found on complete accident by amiibo trainers Kage and Tero.
To perform the SSST glitch, you don’t need to use any particular ruleset other than Squad Strike. However, the rulesets we use for training an SSST amiibo are:
- Stamina Mode
- No Time Limit
- No FS Meter
- No Items
Next, we pick a stage, but we use specific custom stages that give better results (which we’ll get into later). Picking 3v3 or 5v5 doesn’t matter.
Now, you should be on the character selection screen. First, connect two controllers (one must have an NFC reader) and move the cursor to toggle P1 and P2 to the amiibo scan prompt. Only one player will be prompted to scan their amiibo.
We can bypass the single prompt by scanning the amiibo and allowing the scan to fail by removing the amiibo too soon.
If the amiibo scan is successful, then you must go back to stage select and try again. If the scan failed, you’ll notice that the game now prompts both P1 and P2 to scan their amiibo. Scanning the amiibo in now will show both players with the same amiibo (with the amiibo on P2’s being one alt over from what the original amiibo had). Now, make every other empty slot random (which should be done automatically) and press “+” to proceed.
You’ll now be prompted to pick who plays first. Pit the identical amiibo against each other, and then randomize the rest since they don’t matter.
Now the match has loaded in and congrats! You’ve successfully pulled off the SSST glitch. The amiibo will begin the fight itself until one is defeated (it doesn’t matter which amiibo wins or loses) and you’ll be taken back to the Squad Strike team screen (assuming you picked Elimination, which we recommend) and will be prompted to press A to begin the next match. Instead, just press “+”, leave Squad Strike, and the game will allow you to return to the amiibo menu and save its data.
You’ll instantly notice how much your amiibo has leveled up from one match (which is normally around level 15 – level 21). You can now save the amiibo data and perform SSST to your heart’s content (which actually raises FM values if done to level 50 with Learn on all the way, but we don’t recommend that). We advise turning Learn off at around level 25 – level 35.
Amiibo trained in Pure SSST, or 100% SSST, begin to show very strange behaviors and value distributions. Values like Offensive will be low, and even in some cases below five value points. Values like FM will shoot up high, between 40 – 100 FM points. SSST amiibo always seem to notably increase in values such as:
- Offensive (in certain amiibo but mostly all of them)
- Catcher (which are grabs)
- Shield Master
- Just Shield Master (Parrying)
All these values always seem to be at 100 points after SSST training or at 80+ish.
I, Cain, tend to use Pure SSST amiibo more often to experiment with how they play. I’ve used Pure SSST on over half the cast and have found really good and interesting results from a few select fighters.
From my testing with multiple SSST methods, the Ice Climbers seem to benefit the most from it. My Pure SSST Ice Climbers amiibo was once 6th on the vanilla leaderboards with a decent rating.
What made Ice Climbers stand out from the rest of the cast with SSST was their ability to automatically teach desyncs to themselves without human influence. At most I’d only see them do the following:
Popo Down Throw > Nana Neutral Air > Popo Grab > Popo Down Throw > Nana Forward Air or Neutral Air
However, the SSST Ice Climbers were only a precursor to another SSST method, which we’ll get into later.
While sitting in an arena watching my first ever SSST amiibo fight against Amiibo Doctor, (which I trained to level 50 with Learn on and an FM value of 42) we ended up seeing something strange. R.O.B never froze once with Down Tilt, at all. The R.O.Bs started Down Tilting each other constantly while freezing, which I believe led to the amiibo learning from itself. Both R.O.Bs kept punishing each other for their Down Tilt freezes and snapped out of freezing when they rejoined at the end of the match.
Also of note is that this R.O.B released gyro without much spot dodging or rolling as he normally does. However, I’ve not used him much since then.
This is where the SSST Method begins to shine! Semi SSST has far greater and superior results than Pure SSST, including Grandpa Bear Slayer’s Top 3 Captain Falcon Waterboy, trained with Semi SSST (more on him later). Now onto how to perform Semi SSST.
Semi SSST is pretty similar to Pure SSST. The main difference is instead of going straight to Squad Strike, first, we are going to train a base for our amiibo. Pure SSST has no human interaction, and instead has the AI pick the moves it wants to use. Think of Semi SSST as giving your amiibo a push in the right direction by handing your amiibo a set of moves it will begin to teach itself. The stage for training the base doesn’t matter so you can just use Final Destination (although Cain uses a custom stage that will be listed along with other SSST custom stages at the end of this guide). Once a base has been trained to your liking, (around level 10 – level 15) you can run your amiibo through SSST on one of the custom stages until level 25 – level 35. Semi SSST will now train your amiibo to use the moves you taught it, on top of the inherent advantages of SSST.
Below are two amiibo that have shown excellent results in the competitive scene with the Semi SSST method.
Yep, the Ice Climbers are back and more deadly than ever. Cain’s Ice Climbers, The ඞ Duo, have shown great results from both vanilla and spirit sides of the scene.
The ඞ Duo, at the time of writing, are the 2nd-best Anything Goes Ice Climbers with their Big 5 Ban counterpart sitting at 9th (due to Amiibots constantly picking the Anything Goes Ice Climbers). They run these spirit sets:
The vanilla Ice Climbers are yet to have an Amiibots game due to the Anything Goes counterpart hogging all the matches. Regardless, the vanilla Ice Climbers have shown strong tournament results from their first tournament. “Fammy Tournament 17” is an ongoing A tier tournament which featured The ඞ Duo and a path of destruction left in their wake. They managed to go 2-0 against a Shulk in Round 1, 2-0 against a Steve in Round 2, 2-0 against a Mii Brawler in Round 3, 2-1 against a Lucas in Round 4, until they were beaten by an Olimar, going 1-2 in the semifinals.
Their ability to desync grows even more with rarely-seen advanced desyncs from the amiibo.
Grandpa Bear Slayer trained a Captain Falcon amiibo by the name of Waterboy which very quickly took a top-3 spot on the vanilla Captain Falcon leaderboards. The amiibo captured a top-3 spot in sixteen matches at time of writing with a rating of 33.67, the very first SSST amiibo to ever break past 30 rating on Amiibots!
This feat is even more amazing considering six of Waterboy’s seven losses are from high-rating (sometimes 40+) Incineroar amiibo. The secret to Waterboy’s overwhelming success is the way Grandpa Bear Slayer took on Semi SSST, pushing the method’s limits.
How He Did It
Semi SSST is a slightly more involved type of SSST, broken down into “pre”, “during”, and “post” training stages. In the pre-SSST stage, you want to train your amiibo how you typically would train a competitive amiibo: walking, staying grounded, and using only the moves you want to be used. Usually, this is done on a random Omega form stage for convenience, but custom stages are also viable. The pre-SSST stage creates a base for the SSST to build off of. Since this method relies heavily on feedback loops, the moves you reinforce or ignore in this stage can easily become the predominant moves your amiibo uses throughout learning or completely neglects.
Once the base has been built, you’re now onto a few rounds SSST and the “during” phase. In between rounds of SSST, you can check the bin values of your amiibo and see which way the values are moving. If the values are moving in the direction you want, then steady as she goes, and you can try another round of SSST. However, if the values you want to change are moving in the opposite direction you can take this time to course correct with a regular human vs. amiibo match focusing on the values you want to change. Usually this match is enough to cause the feedback loop to swing in the other direction.
In the “post” SSST phase, you tighten any loose ends. Although experimentation with this method is key, at this point, your amiibo should be between level 20-30 (some amiibo do well with SSST after level 30). Let’s say, for instance the Shield Master or Near values are a little low for what you want. At this point you can finish up with a few rounds of regular amiibo training. Be careful to not over do the extra training because certain values can change quicker than others. You might end up increasing Shield Master while decreasing Offensive values.
Why the Custom Stages?
Due to the in-development nature of SSST, images are lacking for the custom stages.
When using SSST training, custom stages with little freedom/movement stop the amiibo AI from picking up bad habits such as:
- Jumping (very common in multi jump fighters like Kirby)
- Spot dodging
- Air dodging
- Missing attacks (happens a lot)
- Whiffing grabs
Close quarter training is far better for the AI. We will share some custom stages we made that you could use with SSST training.
Boxed Custom Stage
This custom stage forces your amiibo into a tiny square. This was the first SSST stage created and is very barebones, but it gets the job done well.
FM Custom Stage
This custom stage layout has slightly more freedom but not a lot. We discovered that this stage for whatever reason raised FM values really high when using Pure SSST (Cain even got a 100 FM Hero amiibo within five games)! It’s also a great stage for human vs. amiibo training while performing Semi SSST.
AOC Custom Stage
Wind forces them off the cliff with the moving platforms at different levels except the top right one. The canons are far enough down they get that Down Smash sound. Their closeness values take a hit but Offensive air/attack out cliff go up, most of the time. Sometimes certain amiibo can feedback to zero. Obviously not all amiibo need to train off cliff. It works at early levels because attack out cliff doesn’t seem to degrade to 49 as fast as others.
Why SSST Works
Both Pure and Semi SSST (mostly Semi) suggest a bright future for the competitive meta of amiibo training. The method makes great use of strange glitches and mechanics to create top-of-the-line competitive amiibo able to take down most opponents, especially high-tier amiibo.
Anyone Can Be a Top Trainer
SSST (especially Pure SSST) has proved very easily accessible to newcomers, those who come back after a hiatus, and those who are new to amiibo training as a whole.
A prime example is amiibo trainer, Bread, and their Pure SSST Wolf. After nearly an entire year on hiatus, Bread came back and tested Pure SSST on a Wolf amiibo. After just four matches of SSST training, the amiibo ended being a great success, instantly becoming a top Wolf. The Wolf’s results almost seemed unreal, but it was easily able to take on top tiers like Kazuya and Byleth. These results demonstrate how easily and simply SSST training helps create top-of-the-line, battle-ready amiibo.
The Wolf is currently 3rd on Big 5 Ban leaderboards:
Oddities with SSST
Of course, it’s nearly impossible to encounter glitches like these and have nothing weird come from it. There are quite a few oddities with SSST, some having no explanation.
The Mario Glitch
The Mario Glitch is a really weird glitch that can happen almost randomly when performing SSST. We don’t know what causes this glitch, but we know it’s something the game definitely doesn’t like. When performing SSST normally by scanning the amiibo in, there’s a small chance both amiibo will be filled in with Mario, even if you don’t own a Mario amiibo. This glitchy Mario will retain all training data, its name and its alt from whatever the original amiibo had. Let’s say you scanned in a level 50 Hero amiibo with the second alt, the nickname “Erdrick”, and Down Smash and Down Special as its main moves. When scanned in and the Mario Glitch takes effect, the amiibo will retain all that data, except it’s now Mario. It’s still level 50 with the second alt, the nickname “Erdrick”, and Down Smash and Down Special as its main moves. This Glitch has no use whatsoever, however, if you don’t own a Mario amiibo, this is a great alternative. You can take this glitchy Mario back to the amiibo menu and use it in normal play; however, it is near impossible to save under normal circumstances. This glitch is almost like amiibo shiny hunting! We think Mario is a placeholder of sorts, and the game just selects him whenever it doesn’t know what to do. We don’t know why the game is confused, because it can perform the SSST glitch perfectly fine.
It it optional to make a custom stage? If not, how do I make the custom stage?
Mario stole your amiibo’s liver, now he is in charge
The custom stages are almost required to make the SSST amiibo play well, you can find the recommended custom stages in the SSST Discord listed in the guide
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