Why do Figure Players tend to freeze during Free-for-Alls?

The idea of a free-for-all frenzy involving multiple amiibo at once is a very exciting idea to those new to training. Unfortunately, as most experienced trainers will tell you, it often ends up in the same way: sooner or later some or all of the Figure Players present in the match will simply stop moving. They’ll end up just standing still completely vulnerable to incoming attacks, and for the longest time no one really knew why this would happen. With some new research, we may have found an answer!

What happens when an amiibo freezes?

An amiibo freeze is exactly what it sounds like: when it happens, you will notice two or more Figure Players standing still on one side of the stage not moving at all. This can happen in one-on-one matches as well, however it is much rarer and seems to be character-specific, so for this article we will be specifically covering freezing that takes place during free-for-all matches.

In matches that have three or more players, freezing is fairly common, and it gets even more common the more players join in the match. The match doesn’t have to only consist of amiibo for freezing to take place; however, more amiibo being present will increase the chances of it occurring. FPs will typically freeze in groups of two or more, typically on one side of the stage away from the other opponents. If non-frozen amiibo approach the group, they may freeze as well, or break up the group entirely. Freezing can even take place while a Figure Player is holding their shield, in which case it will hold it until it breaks, and then continue doing nothing afterward. In order for all FPs to freeze (in an all-amiibo match), they have to be split up into at least two groups. This means that in a three-player game, it is impossible for every amiibo present to freeze at the same time. Freezing typically ends when another player attacks or gets close to the frozen Figure Players, but it can also end randomly. This means even if all FPs freeze in a given match, there is still a chance of them breaking out of it. This can only happen if at least one of the amiibo has learning turned on, and is much more likely at lower levels.

Why does freezing occur?

The hypothesized answer as to why freezing takes place lies within the training data of the individual amiibo. Each FP has three values that determine which player they target during a free-for-all match. The “Advantageous Fighter” value causes them to target the player in first place. The “Weaken Fighter” value is the opposite, targeting the player in last place. Lastly, “Revenge” tells them to prioritize any opponents who last attacked them or their allies. The problem arises when these values interfere with certain built in subroutines. This is completely speculatory, but it is believed that the AI knows to prioritize opponents who are right next to them, as they pose a more imminent threat. An amiibo freezes, then, when another opponent who isn’t their current target (as determined by the aforementioned targeting values) ends up right next to them. Their AI gets stuck, with two conflicting messages telling them to target different players. This results in them freezing up and being unable to move or take any actions.

It is for this reason that in free-for-alls, Figure Players will only freeze in groups of two or more. As stated earlier, in order for all amiibo to freeze they must collect into two or more separate groups, due to the fact that their target must be separate from them while they are still in close proximity to another FP. Why then, if all amiibo freeze, can they still sometimes randomly unfreeze? The current theory relates to the AI’s learning toggle. While learning is turned off, the FP’s training data will never change during or after battle. When it is on, however, their training data will change mid-match and after the match as well. In order for an FP to randomly unfreeze when all others are frozen, their learning must be on, and their targeting values must slowly change over time. This changes who they consider their primary target, and can break them out of the loop. This is much more likely to happen at lower levels, as the random changes are more substantial and are therefore more likely to change their target.

Wrap-Up

There you have it! A brief explanation as to why Figure Players often freeze during free for all matches! Once again, do note that much of the information presented here is speculative based on observations from testing, so be sure to take it with a grain of salt. If any of this information sounded confusing or you have any more questions, feel free to join our Discord server and ask any questions you may have! As always, happy training!

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