What Are Nintendo Amiibo? And Best Ways To Play It

Launched in November 2014, Nintendo’s Amiibo technology brings virtual toys to life. It comprises a wireless communications and storage protocol that allows figurines to be connected to the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles. The Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Lego Dimensions line of toys-to-life platforms are comparable in form and functionality to these figurines.


The Amiibo platform was previously announced to be capable of supporting any kind of toy, specifically general ideas for upcoming card games. These accessories interface with supported video game software via near-field communication (NFC), which may enable data to be transmitted across different platforms and within games.

By utilizing the in-built NFC readers, Amiibo functionality may be used directly with the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS systems. Additionally, the remaining 3DS hardware can make use of an authorized NFC adapter. More than 30 million Amiibo cards and 39 million Amiibo toys had been sold by September 2016, according to Nintendo.

How Do Amiibo Work?

Every amiibo (plural: “amiibo”) is designed to resemble a video game figure and contains a covert radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. The system knows which amiibo it is and responds appropriately when a player scans the RFID chip inside an amiibo with a Nintendo system that is compatible.

The precise impacts change from one game to another. Players can personalize characters, save data, and take the saved content with them to play on friends’ consoles in some games, such as Super Smash Bros., by storing it in their amiibo.

A majority of amiibo and games only have read-only interactions. In other words, the amiibo is scanned by the console and identified by the game as the type of amiibo it is, but it is not altered in any way. When this occurs, scanning the amiibo usually unlocks a character, skin, or level, or provides some kind of special effect.

Do You Need an Amiibo to Play Nintendo Games?

Amiibo are add-ons for Nintendo games, however, they are not necessary. If you have the correct amiibo, some games might be easier.

When playing Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch, for instance, scanning a Mario amiibo offers damage resistance for 30 seconds. A life-up heart is given when a Princess Peach amiibo is scanned. Special wedding attire can be unlocked by scanning an amiibo of Mario, Bowser, or Peach. (These outfits can also be acquired via achieving in-game objectives.)

You can gain an edge by keeping the appropriate amiibo close at hand, but you won’t be missing out on anything if you don’t. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is the only game that requires amiibo to function.

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Which Nintendo Systems Work With Amiibo?

Although Amiibo was initially released on the Wii U, the platform is now available for any Nintendo Switch, Wii U, or New Nintendo 3DS. If you own a Mario amiibo from the Wii U period, it will therefore also function with a Nintendo Switch.

Because amiibo is not region-locked, you can use them on any Nintendo system, whether it is from Japan, Europe, or North America.

The following places sell amiibo scanners for Nintendo consoles that are compatible with them:

  • On the GamePad, Wii U.
  • Right Joy-Con and the optional Pro Controller for the Nintendo Switch.
  • In the lower touchscreen of the New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL.

A near field communication (NFC) reader accessory can be used to make older Nintendo systems compatible:

  • Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL – Requires a wireless NFC reader, which is an additional item that can be bought.
  • Uses the same wireless NFC reader as the Nintendo 3DS.

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Which Games Work With Amiibo?

Here are some of the most well-known amiibo-compatible Nintendo Switch games. You can look through Nintendo’s complete list of amiibo-compatible games or use this list to help you choose your first amiibo.

  • Zelda-themed Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim amiibo offers exclusive Zelda-themed gear, while unrelated amiibo offers other free items.
  • The related outfits in the video game are provided by the Super Mario Odyssey – Mario, Peach, and Bowser wedding outfit amiibo. Another amiibo award attire is abundant.
  • Any Fire Emblem-related amiibo will provide you with weapons and items in Fire Emblem Warriors. The amiibo Chrom and Tiki offer unique benefits.
  • Special awards are offered by Breath of the Wild amiibo, Zelda 30th Anniversary, and Wolf Link in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Lesser incentives are offered by many unrelated amiibo.
  • Select Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee amiibo to reveal items and illustration pieces in Kirby Star Allies.
  • Any Splatoon series amiibo can be used to save data in Splatoon 2. Their clothing is unlocked via Pearl and Marino amiibo.

The majority of amiibo are little collectible figures, although others have other shapes. The NFC cards in amiibo figures are actually so tiny that they may fit inside playing cards.

Among the forms of amiibo are:

  • Figurines
  • Playing cards
  • Breakfast cereal boxes
  • Plush toys

The same RFID technology is used by all amiibo, regardless of their appearance, and they all carry out identical functions.

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Inkling Squid amiibo – Splatoon 2
  • n the Splatoon series, the main characters, Inklings, can instantly transform into squids
  • Made for Play! Discover New Characters, Explore New Game Modes, and So Much More
  • You can use amiibo on your Wii U by tapping them to the NFC touchpoint on the Wii U GamePad
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Kirby: Star Allies
  • Meet countless characters from the beloved series
  • High-end visuals, modern resolutions, and carefully polished gameplay
  • Brand new horde mode multiplayer for up to two players, online and split-screen
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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Collection
  • This set includes Daruk amiibo, Mipha amiibo, Revali amiibo and Urbosa amiibo
  • Daruk, Mipha, Revali, and Urbosa are all Champions from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Compatibility and functionality vary with different Nintendo hardware and software
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Fire Emblem Warriors: Alm & Celica Amiibo
  • Introducing amiibo: character figures designed to connect and interact with compatible games.
  • Recommended for children ages 6+
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Super Mario Odyssey: Amiibo – Mario
  • Just tap an amiibo accessory to the NFC touch point on a compatible system or accessory to Enjoy fun in-game extra features in compatible games.
  • Recommended for children ages 6+

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How Rare Are Amiibo, and What Happens if You Miss out?

According to the quantity generated, each amiibo’s rarity changes from one to the next. Numerous amiibo are limited edition, which implies that they were only made for a certain period of time. This limited production led to scarcity and a thriving secondary market.

Gamers who are not collectors need not worry about amiibo releases, though they may do so if they are keen on keeping up with them.

A player won’t be able to benefit from a free unlock for the Mario tuxedo suit if she doesn’t purchase a special edition Mario figure from the Super Mario Odyssey series. However, completing an in-game objective will still allow you to access the costume.

In many cases, a game will let the player scan any iteration of a certain character and get the same advantage. For instance, scanning a Super Smash Bros. or Classic Mario amiibo in Super Mario Odyssey grants the same invulnerability bonus as scanning a Mario amiibo from the Super Mario Odyssey series.


What number of amiibo exist?

On Nintendo’s official website, there are about 199 amiibo figures and card sets available as of July 2021.

What are the amiibo prices?

While trading card packs can start at about $6 each, new figures can cost anywhere between $16 and $30 USD. On the third-party seller market, some amiibo are expensive and rare, making them valuable to serious collectors. On websites like eBay, a brand-new gold Mario figure, for instance, can fetch more than $100.

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In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, what do the amiibo do?

Wolf Link fights foes and assists Link in gathering items. While other compatible amiibo deliver random in-game goods like plants, fish, and meat, the Zelda 30th Anniversary amiibo gives in-game goodies and treasure chests.

With which amiibo does Skyrim work?

Many amiibo from The Legend of Zelda can be used with Skyrim. Master Sword and the Hylian Shield are two items in the game that may be obtained by tapping them once per day.

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