I’m new to amiibo training! …Where do I begin?

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 there could be more characters than when you first started, 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 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

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.

2. Seek out information and what NOT to do when training

While the only tried-and-true information on amiibo training is located on this site, no matter your character there are certain principles of training that hold true.

  1. Amiibo can’t combo. There’s exceptions, but generally speaking don’t expect them to combo anything outside of Up tilt chains and Up air chains.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Don’t do it. Stop! That’s a no-no.
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3. Train that amiibo to level 50

I recommend that you play as the same character as them, 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. That’ll end up being about two hours total, so if you absolutely have to cut ninety minutes from your training time then you’re better off going with the first method. I prefer the two-hour 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, and if their AI can operate as a post-level 50 AI.

4. Submit your amiibo to a tournament

This is where you’ll need either a Powersaves for Amiibo, or an Android phone. I have a basic guide for these here that covers Powersaves and Tagmo. If you need to install Tagmo, I have a guide here. If you want a Powersaves for Amiibo, you’ll have to buy one and set it up on your computer. There’s a good video guide on installing it at this link.

amiibo guide to amiibo
A small, hastily-made guide on the different kinds of amiibo

Through either of these methods, you’ll want to capture the bin file of your amiibo so you can send it to a tournament. If you need to find a tournament, you can usually find a few going on at the USAC Discord server.

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

Remember during your training that amiibo learn to use certain moves because you use them more as well. They really seem to take after moves that are used successfully, and even more so moves that are used for KOs. 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 inter-personal 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’re not some rando’s opinion on amiibo training. 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. Most amiibo training channels can be found in the Social media accounts to follow page, but many of the channels out there aren’t actually competitive amiibo tournaments. More often than not, they’re all amiibo that one person trained, and don’t necessarily indicate the utility of that amiibo. 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.