If you’ve already trained an amiibo and want a more in-depth look at amiibo training, please use this guide instead.
Amiibo training is an incredibly interesting, fulfilling and social hobby. It’s built in such a way that you can leave for a year and come back, and you still have about as much of a fighting chance as when you first started. The scene may have changed, the rules may have changed and the tier list could be very different, but your amiibo are still the same personality and will still fight the same way. It’s an excellent hobby for people who sometimes have lots of time and sometimes have none.
The amiibo training scene is a pretty small scene, though, and that’s because there are some hurdles that have to be overcome before you can participate in amiibo training. If you want to get started as an amiibo trainer, these are the steps to get started.
1. Have an amiibo to train, and learn to extract amiibo bin files.
No kidding. This one is simple: get an amiibo that can be trained in Smash Ultimate (the Smash 4 scene is long dead). It can be an official amiibo figure, amiibo card, NTAG chip or even an emulated amiibo. I have a guide on buying these here, but if you already have one then you’ve already passed this step.
If you’d rather get amiibo figures, I have some advice on how to get amiibo for relatively cheap.
Amiibo bin files are pretty easy to understand when you see it in action. Amiibo bin files are the data on your amiibo chip, turned into an easily-exportable file. You can put amiibo bin files into cards, NTAG chips, Powersaves for amiibo or many other things to use as a normal amiibo.
Using one of many methods, you should learn how to extract your amiibo bin file to send to an amiibo tournament. Tagmo is the most popular option for Android users, and iPhone users have many options.
2. Research amiibo training
While the best tried-and-true information on amiibo training is stored on Amiibo Doctor, no matter your character there are certain principles of training that hold true.
- Amiibo, as a general rule, will try to use the playstyle that you use. However, their learning is very dumb, and they don’t understand things like stage control and zoning the way that humans do.
- Amiibo can’t create their own combos, and can only use combos that the developers have pre-programmed into the AI. Amiibo that released more recently typically have more complicated combos, while amiibo that haven’t been patched in a long time or at all typically have almost nothing.
- Don’t taunt, or dash dance. Amiibo can learn to do both, but they’ll use them so much that they don’t do anything else.
- It’s best when starting out to play against your amiibo as their character – and never let them fight an AI opponent of any kind. Ever. Under any circumstances.
- Amiibo personalities don’t matter.
In addition to scouring Amiibo Doctor for training information, you should look for trainers who have trained your amiibo before. These trainers will have personal experience under their belt, and can offer more specific information than what may be contained in the Amiibo Doctor training guides.
3. Train that amiibo to level 50
If you’re new to amiibo overall, and not sure which one should be trained first, read this article for some advice.
I recommend that you follow the typical amiibo training setup: play as the same character, on 3 stock matches with Learning On, for as long as it takes to hit level 50. Be sure that you play against them on the stages that you think they’ll end up playing on, as well. I prefer this method because it’s much easier to train an amiibo before they have the stat boots from leveling up, and they seem more receptive to training when they’re still at a lower level.
No matter what, keep in mind that amiibo don’t have full access to their stats or AI until they hit level 50. Levels serve no purpose besides determining what built-in amiibo boosts they get, but those boosts will still put you at a disadvantage if you’re competing at less than level 50.
4. Submit your amiibo to a tournament
This is where you’ll need to extract the amiibo bin file of your amiibo and send it to a tournament. Tournaments are hosted in many different ways, but most of them are through amiibo bin files. You’ll submit the bin file to the tournament host (usually through a specific website, or a Discord DM as an attached file) and the tournament host will replicate your amiibo on their end. Then the tournament host will start a match, just like your amiibo is actually in the room.
Most tournaments ask that you email your amiibo bin files to them, so name your files something recognizable. I recommend naming them Trainerhandle-amiibocharacter, so you would have amiibodoctor-ganondorf if I were to submit a file to your tournament. This makes things much easier for the Tournament Organizer who has to deal with dozens of bin files each with their own unique name.
5. Train them again and do better the next time, or move on
If you’re a typical amiibo trainer, you’re going to get slammed by equal-tier amiibo on your first few tries. That’s normal. Now, after the tournament is over and you see how your amiibo did, you get to retrain it a bit and make changes.
Remember during your training that amiibo learn to use certain moves because you use them more as well. They take after moves that are used successfully, and will get more aggressive if given the opportunity to KO. If you watch your amiibo’s performance in the tournaments it entered and notice that it keeps using certain moves that simply don’t work, stop using those moves. If there’s a useful attack that your amiibo isn’t using and should, start using that move more often.
At this point your amiibo’s success depends on two factors: your training and its inherent ability to fight. Some amiibo just aren’t going to achieve much, no matter how hard you try. This isn’t your fault. Others, though not as many, are so incredibly good regardless of their training that they can win in almost any situation, except when facing another amiibo of the same character. That also isn’t your fault, necessarily.
The game programmers put a surprising amount of detail into amiibo AI (going so far as to specifiy specific data changes that each individual spirit in the game will have when applied to an amiibo), so you’re just stuck sometimes. You may have picked an amiibo that just isn’t very good and won’t be good, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with putting time into an amiibo to get as much as you absolutely can out of it.
That’s one of the useful things about doing multi-person tournaments, actually. You may not be able to teach Greninja to be a good fighter, but somebody else could. Your fighting styles may not suit him well, but if somebody else thinks up a different way to play that character it could affect the amiibo in a positive way. When you use the tournament setting to put up your best amiibo against each other, we get a clearer view of what amiibo are truly capable of.
6. Do a bit of research!
Amiibo Doctor consists entirely of credible and victorious trainers and their contributions to the scene: we’ve taken it far too seriously for far too long. So take a look at what you can find here!
In addition to what you can find on the Amiibo Doctor website (obviously) there’s a plethora of footage available on Youtube (but channels focusing on “Raid Boss amiibo” are for spectatorship, not for sport, so don’t consider those as useful sources). I recommend starting with the Amiibo Doctor Youtube channel, as we have many qualified trainers contributing to content. And check out the Amiibots Twitch stream as well!
Now that you’ve advanced much further into amiibo competitions, you probably have some questions. Continue on to Amiibo Learning FAQ for New Trainers to have your basic questions answered.