What is amiibo?
Well, amiibo is kinda complicated. It’s probably the fastest expanding Toys to Life line, and yet it’s the one least integrated with games. Rather than having a single series of games that rely on the figures, amiibo are figures of Nintendo characters that unlock small bonuses in multiple games. For example in Smash Bros. you can train and customise your own AI buddy who gets saved onto the amiibo, while in Super Mario Maker your figures will unlock costumes and bonuses to put in your levels.
What do I need to buy?
Most games won’t require amiibo usage. They’re more like a bonus than something core to the gameplay like in other Toys to Life brands. The only current software that require amiibo to run are Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival and amiibo Touch And Go.
Amiibo Festival is an Animal Crossing board game in which your amiibo decides which character you’ll play as. If you want to play with other people, you’ll each need an amiibo to use. The game comes with two, Isabelle and Digby, and a variety of other Animal Crossing characters are available for purhase separately. Only the Animal Crossing series of amiibo can be used. As you play the game, you’ll unlock new costumes and emotes to use with your character. Amiibo Festival also features minigames which you can play using Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Each of these cards features a different Animal Crossing character and has its own stats and characteristics that affects how they perform in minigames.
amiibo Touch and Go is like a demo service for the Wii U’s Virtual Console, and can be downloaded for free from the eShop. Tapping an amiibo on the GamePad will unlock a random demo of a classic Nintendo game at random, which can be played whenever you tap that amiibo on the GamePad when using the software. Each demo offers a few different sections of its game that can be switched between by tapping your amiibo again.
Do all figures do the same thing?
No. Each amiibo will have different compatibilities, and even then some amiibo might differ in functionality within the same game! For example, in Yoshi’s Woolly World the Villager amiibo will unlock a new costume to put on your Yoshi. But if you were to use a Yarn Yoshi amiibo in the game then instead of unlocking a costume you’ll summon a partner Yoshi who will copy your moves. And then if you were to try to use a Shovel Knight amiibo in the game you will only get a generic t-shirt for your Yoshi to wear because the amiibo isn’t fully compatible with the game.
Which games use amiibo?
There’s a LOT! Generally games will have a bright blue amiibo logo on their box if you can use amiibo with them, but there are a couple that had this functionality patched in later, like Mario Kart, that don’t have this logo on their box. Nintendo have a full amiibo compatibility chart that will show which amiibo can be used with which games, and what amiibo will do in each game. A list of just some of the games that use amiibo, and what they use amiibo for, is below.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS
Smash has one of the most fun uses of amiibo so far – your amiibo appears in game as an AI that you can influence by fighting against them and alongside them. They’ll begin to fight with traits that they learn from you, and will level up and get stronger as they fight. They can be customised with equipment that you unlock in-game, allowing you to create some crazily unbalanced fighters.
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer
Each Villager in the game has their own collectible amiibo card inside randomised booster packs sold separately from the game (or you can buy a whole box of booster packs to get a full set). These cards can be used to call a specific Villager to help out without waiting for them to appear on their own in the game, or unlock a bunch of special Villagers who will only appear when their card is tapped. You can save your house designs onto the amiibo card and summon that Villager or house design into your game (or a friend’s!) whenever you want. The Villager amiibo from the Smash Bros. range will unlock a new furniture item for you to use.
Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival
In Amiibo Festival your amiibo will determine which character you play as – if you tap K.K. on the GamePad then you will play as K.K. As you play the game, your amiibo will level up and unlock new emotes and costumes. Your Animal Crossing amiibo cards can also be used in the game to decorate the game board with the houses you designed in Happy Home Designer, and also as peripherals in the minigames that you can play.
Mario Party 10
Using compatible amiibo in Mario Party 10 will grant access to Amiibo Party mode, where characters and game boards can be customised, allowing for a different experience to the base game. Tapping any other amiibo will help you unlock other content in the game quicker.
The Shovel Knight amiibo can be used in the Wii U version of the game to unlock an exclusive co-operative mode not available on other systems. In both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game your Shovel Knight amiibo will give access to new items and stages, and allow you to save a customised version of Shovel Knight to your figure and carry him across platforms.
The three Splatoon amiibo will unlock extra singleplayer challenges for you to play. Completing these challenges will grant you some special weapon skins and equipment to keep yourself fresh in multiplayer, and a batch of new minigames to play on loading screens.
Super Mario Maker
Tapping your amiibo on the GamePad while editing a stage will unlock Mystery Mushrooms that will change Mario into an 8-bit version of the character who’s amiibo you used. The game also has its own pair of amiibo, Modern Colours Mario and Classic Colours Mario, which will allow you to use the Big Mushroom item in your stages.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
In Xenoblade Chronicles, you can unlock little extras like music and character art by using tokens. These tokens can be earnt by getting StreetPass hits, spending Play Coins, or by tapping a Shulk amiibo onto your amiibo-compatible 3DS.
The Link and Toon Link amiibo will unlock an exclusive Spinner weapon for Link to use (an item from Twilight Princess), while other amiibo will give you random in-game items. The amiibo of Legend of Zelda characters will grant you better items than other amiibo.
The Smash Bros. amiibo for the Fire Emblem characters that weren’t DLC can be used in Codename S.T.E.A.M. to unlock those characters as units. If they get knocked out then you’ll need to tap the amiibo again once the level’s over to get them back.
Game-Specific Amiibo FAQs
Obviously an FAQ for every single game that uses amiibo would be a bit overkill, but we will be working on more specific FAQs for some of the games that have more significant amiibo usage.