amiibo training has changed a lot since its introduction in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The training methods that worked then don’t work now: in fact, they’ll yield terrible results. Ultimate has truly changed the game, and today, I’m going to provide you with a list of helpful tips to keep in mind as you raise your amiibo to its highest potential.
Raising an amiibo from level 1 to level 50 will take quite a bit of time. The most efficient method of leveling up a Figure Player is to face it in a best-of-five set (configurable via game rules. These matches should be set at five minutes each and played on Ω-form stages. If done correctly, the FP should reach level 28 (give or take a few levels) by the end of the set. From here on out, switch Learning off and have your FP battle a CPU until it reaches level 50.
During training, there are several strategies that apply to every character. Perhaps most important is that you should never charge smash attacks. Figure Players will get into the habit of overcharging their smashes and leaving themselves vulnerable to attack. If you break your FP’s shield, it’s fine to punish with a fully charged smash attack; otherwise, never charge them. Here’s another important note: don’t taunt at all. You may be familiar with the concept of “FP freezing” – when an FP stands completely still and lets itself get hit – and this is, in fact, caused by taunting. To minimize the risk of your amiibo freezing up, don’t taunt (but feel free to if its Learning is turned off).
One thing new trainers get hung up on is their FP’s personality. To those curious, we have an in-depth post on personalities right here. To summarize, personalities don’t matter much and you should never try to get a specific one. This leads me to my next point: try not to give your amiibo any Spirits. Inheriting just one Spirit significantly changes your FP’s personality and attack values; these changes are so significant, in fact, that after one Spirit it might as well be a completely different amiibo. If you refrain from feeding your FP Spirits, you’ll be more in control of its attack patterns.
Speaking of values changing significantly, just one two-stock match against your FP will change it by quite a bit. Here’s an example. If your amiibo was spamming its up smash, but then went one match without successfully connecting it, its chance of using up smash in the first place will significantly decrease. Just one match can change an amiibo’s move priority from maximum to minimum and vice versa. Unfortunately, FPs occasionally “learn their own moves”. I recently trained my Toon Link amiibo, and during training, I never used down aerial (nor did the FP ever use it). Despite this, its down air value suddenly increased to maximum, meaning that FPs can have erratic priority “bursts” that aren’t caused by anything in particular.
The Optimal Playstyle
Most characters will want to stay on the ground for as long as possible. This allows them to block, spot dodge, or roll to avoid an attack. That being said, you should not roll or air dodge during battle. FPs are prone to spamming rolls: the more you roll, the more they will too. Your best bet is to run or walk out of harm’s way before closing in and striking with an attack of your own.
Another point is edgeguarding. Many characters have poor recoveries, and amiibo AI tends to botch certain fighters’ up specials. Ness, for example, will always fire himself in the same predictable trajectory, making him easy to gimp. This means you don’t want him going off-stage at all. Here is a complete list of characters and whether or not I believe they should go off-stage:
- Comfortable off-stage: These characters can recover from almost anywhere, meaning they can and should go off-stage and gimp. Inkling, Isabelle, Jigglypuff, King K. Rool, Kirby, Lucas, Meta Knight, Peach, Daisy, Pichu, Pikachu, Piranha Plant, Pit, Dark Pit, R.O.B., Villager, and Yoshi are among them.
- Risky off-stage options: These characters might have a neat meteor smash, but their recoveries aren’t reliable enough to warrant them leaving the stage on a consistent basis. You should try to stay on-stage with these characters: Banjo & Kazooie, Bowser, Bowser Jr., Captain Falcon, Corrin, Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, Duck Hunt, Falco, Fox, Ganondorf, Greninja, Hero, Joker, King Dedede, Lucario, Marth, Lucina, Mega Man, Mewtwo, Mii Gunner, Mii Swordfighter, Mr. Game & Watch, Olimar, Pac-Man, Palutena, Robin, Rosalina & Luma, Ryu, Ken, Samus, Dark Samus, Sheik, Shulk, Snake, Sonic, Terry, Toon Link, Wario, Wii Fit Trainer, Wolf, Young Link, Zelda, and Zero Suit Samus.
- Cannot go off-stage: These characters usually self-destruct when going off-stage. It’s just too risky. Don’t leave the stage with Bayonetta, Chrom, Cloud, Ice Climbers, Ike, Incineroar, Link, Little Mac, Luigi, Mario, Mii Brawler, Ness, Pokémon Trainer, Ridley, Roy, Simon, or Richter. Of course, depending on who you ask, there are a few exceptions to this list; in general, though, you will want to stay on-stage with these characters.
Common Training Problems
The most prominent issue trainers face is the aforementioned freezing. This is common in new trainers given that they have a tendency to taunt. Taunting is the root of freezing, and the entire problem can be prevented if you refrain from taunting against your FP.
Another complaint I hear often is that their FP isn’t using combos. I’ll make this one clear: in general, the AI will not learn a combo unless it is specifically programmed in their base AI. For example, Pichu will use up throw to up air but not up throw to Thunder. If you’re trying to teach your FP a specific combo and aren’t having much luck, it might be time to teach it something else.
Sometimes an amiibo won’t attack you at all, even at level 50! It’ll just jump and air dodge. This happens when an FP hasn’t connected enough of its attacks against you. Stop blocking, shielding, rolling, and air dodging and let your opponent hit you. Before long, your amiibo will become aggressive again.
With all of that said, this is just a general training guide. If you’d like an in-depth analysis of a specific amiibo character, check out our character guide archive. If you’ve got a burning question that isn’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server and ask away! Until then – happy training!