The first amiibo figures first released in November 2014 — years ago! After continuous use, the NFC chips inside start to wear out. That being said, it’d probably take decades for such wear-and-tear to occur. Today, we’re going over every possible reason an amiibo figure might not scan on your Switch console, and possible ways to fix the problem.
Check for Counterfeits
If the amiibo figure in question is one you just received or purchased, there’s a small chance it’s a counterfeit. For the most part, it’s easy to tell if an amiibo is counterfeit; the figure itself will look off and more often than not there won’t be an NFC chip inside. The Switch can’t read an amiibo if there’s no chip in its base! Fortunately, counterfeit amiibo figures are rare, so it’s unlikely that this sort of thing will come into play.
There’s one exception, though: for whatever reason, the Solaire of Astora amiibo figure released in 2018 has an unusually high amount of counterfeit products. If the amiibo you’re having trouble is Solaire, then there’s actually a decent chance it’s a counterfeit after all. Make sure you only purchase them from trusted sellers, and read the item description carefully. If the amiibo that arrives does wind up being a counterfeit, you should be able to manage a refund.
If you have a credit or debit card, you might be familiar with replacing it. Every few years, the bank will reissue a brand-new card with the same number on it. This is partially because credit cards use NFC chips — the same technology found in amiibo figures! Unfortunately, Nintendo isn’t sending out replacement amiibo free-of-charge, so it’s entirely possible for a figurine’s chip to wear out and die.
On average, it takes about 10,000 scans (give or take a few hundred or thousand) for an NFC chip to reach the end of its lifespan. We don’t know of anybody in the amiibo training community who’s reached this number. If you don’t use your amiibo figures very often, there’s no way this is the reason your character isn’t working.
We aren’t sure why this happens, but sometimes amiibo figures just don’t scan even if nothing is wrong with your figurine or console. There’s a potential way to fix the issue, but it does require amiibo Powersaves — and it isn’t wholly guaranteed to fix the problem. Still, it’s worth a shot!
- Place the faulty amiibo figure on the Powersaves portal.
- Back up the amiibo’s save file via the Powersaves software.
If done correctly, this method has a chance of working! If you have an amiibo Powersaves but aren’t sure how to work it, we do have a guide on its functions right here. If none of the information provided here applies to you, feel free to join our Discord server instead — no promises, but we can try helping you identify the problem and see if the amiibo figure can be saved. Special thanks to 1stAWESOMEMAN for contributing details of the Powersaves method!
If you would like to read more amiibo training guides, please follow this link.