We (I) Want Powersaves for Amiibo 2!

by Doc – Owner, Founder, Didn’t Plan on Making an Oliver Twist Joke When He Wrote This Piece, But It Worked So Well How Could He Not?

I am an amiibo tech nerd. As you probably noticed in my review of the Amiibo Flask, I take great pleasure in using amiibo technology that just works. When I was starting out with amiibo all those years ago, there was no Amiibo Doctor tutorials to walk you through using the technology – in fact, there wasn’t much technology at all. Tagmo, my favorite app of all time, was just getting off the ground, and you were flat out of luck if you didn’t have an Android. Having amiibo tech that just worked was a pipe dream.

Over the years I’ve been told that the Powersaves was originally black, and that the white base was a hardware update. My original Powersaves is the white one, and my backup Powersaves from 2020 is black. I will take this mystery to my grave.

Then the Powersaves for Amiibo hit American shelves, and rescued us from user-unfriendly interfaces and inconsistent writes. The Powersaves setup was simple: download the program and the bin files, put the bin files into the Powersaves folder, and plug in the Powersaves. Then you can write your amiibo bin file to the Powertag, and voila! You’re on your way to amiibo emulation.

The Problems With Powersaves

While Powersaves for Amiibo was a vastly superior option to anything that existed on the amiibo market at the time, and is still the best device for competitive amiibo trainers save for the Amiibo Flask, it’s always had a streak of design flaws that were never corrected.

I’ll list a few. Bear in mind that the vast majority of Powersaves for Amiibo work pretty well right out of the box, so the odds are in your favor if you’re buying one from Codejunkies, which is the only place to get one right now. Most of the hardware issues occur after a lot of uses.

  • Faulty Powertag – Each Powersaves ships with a lone Powertag to emulate the amiibo, but the Powertag doesn’t always work out of the box. Buying replacements from Codejunkies doesn’t guarantee functioning tags either. This is the only hardware issue that occurs right out of the box, but it’s kind of a major one – you can’t emulate amiibo without a Powertag.
  • The Powersaves program has a number of minor software glitches that render certain amiibo unusable. Most notably, an amiibo bin file that doesn’t have “AMIIBO_” at the beginning of its filename sometimes won’t show up in the Power Tag menu, which causes problems for tournament hosts who need to keep their files organized.
  • The Powersaves ships with a specific kind of cord, and the cord itself started to tear after my second year of using it. I’ve kept it taped up since then, which has kept it from breaking.
  • Powertags do eventually die after a few hundred uses. I’ve owned a dozen Powertags for the last five years, and during that time two of them died on me without warning. Most of the rest of my Powertags are starting to get funky on me, so I’ll have to buy another 10-pack from Codejunkies before these last ones keel over too.
  • The Powersaves program seems to be unable to change the serial number on the Powertag, likely due to the servers for changing serial numbers being removed.

Make no mistake: Powersaves for Amiibo is a well-designed product, even with these flaws. There’s a reason I own two of them, the original of which still functions six or seven years later. And unless the Amiibo Flask drastically lowers its price point and has consistent supply, I’ll still be pointing amiibo trainers towards buying the Powersaves for Amiibo before any other tech.

Codejunkies' Powertag listing, showing 3 Powertags available for 10 GBP.
If your Powersaves works fine, but the Powertag is starting to get funky on you, I recommend buying replacements from Codejunkies.com. The ones you can find on eBay almost never work.

Powersaves for Amiibo 2

But we need a hardware update. A wholly new model, even. The Powersaves for Amiibo is falling behind modern amiibo tech with its features, and the new devices are more appealing to the higher-end consumer for their user-friendliness. Modern equivalents to the Powersaves for Amiibo are Bluetooth-compatible, have large onboard storage, can directly emulate amiibo from the controller (cutting out the PC entirely), and in some cases can connect to other amiibo apps like Tagmo. Powersaves’ saving grace is that it’s much cheaper than most amiibo hardware options, but only to consumers patient enough to go to Codejunkies directly instead of going through Amazon.

The fact that so many products are emerging to fill the same market segment that the Powersaves for Amiibo once filled is pretty good evidence that there’s a market for a new Powersaves model. I understand why Codejunkies has never continued the line: they’re busy reiterating the Pokemon Gotcha! in a half-dozen different ways, charging huge markups on Splatoon 3 amiibo coins and, for some reason, selling catalytic converter alarms. Codejunkies’ R&D is pretty busy. I can’t blame them.

But for the love of Pete, it sure looks like the amiibo fanbase is here to stay with the Nintendo Switch’s prolonged success. Why not recapture the lost amiibo market and put out a newer, better product?



  1. I just got a Powersaves. I wrote onto it once (after it struggled to connect), Splatoon 3 said “This is not an amiibo” and, when trying to write a different .bin (or use a cheat or even just using a reset .bin) I get a “Failed” screen with a retry or exit option. Is the puck dead?


      1. Yep, I tried a reset .bin and a few Animal Crossing ones too and I just keep getting the “Failed” screen.
        I have a Note 9 with NFC, could I use TagMo to try and reset/rewrite on the puck or does it need to be reset with the PowerSaves base first?


        1. That does sound like the puck then.
          Go to system settings on your switch and scan it in as an amiibo, and if it doesn’t even register it as an amiibo then your puck is kibosh.


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