How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

This morning’s Nintendo Direct was chock full of new Amiibo toys and Amiibo-enable games. Here’s how the colourful pieces of plastic will work in Nintendo’s upcoming titles, including the one you might have to delete existing Smash Bros. Amiibo data to play.

First off we’ve got the toys: a newly-announced third wave of Smash Bros. Amiibo figures and a new set of Mario-specific Amiibo.

How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

The next Smash Bros. wave, coming this spring, features Lucina, Robin, Charizard, Pac-Man, Wario and Ness. As with all Smash Bros. series Amiibo, each of these will be able to become AI fighters in Nintendo’s battle royale, while also unlocking random items in Hyrule Warriors.

How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

Lucina and Robin will also be joining Marth and Ike as unlockable characters in upcoming 3DS tactics game Code Name S.T.E.A.M, as it’s developed by Intelligent Systems, makers of the Fire Emblem series from which those four characters originate. Nintendo also promised that more Marth Amiibo would be coming to North America to ensure he is available when the 3DS game releases on March 13.

The new line of Mario-based Amiibo, due out on March 20, will largely feature previously-released Amiibo characters on new bases — Luigi, Mario, Princess Peach, Yoshi and Bowser — and one new addition in the form of good old Toad. With the exception of Toad, each Mario-themed Amiibo will feature the same functionality as its Smash Bros. counterparts, including the ability to function as AI fighters.

Meanwhile, the Toad Amiibo will be able to hook up to Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker for the Wii U. TappingToad to the Wii U control pad will make a special pixel toad figure appear in each puzzle stage for Captain Toad to find.

How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

The main focus of the new Mario-themed Amiibo is Mario Party 10, which shares the wave’s March 20 release date. Tapping any of the new Amiibo (or their Smash counterparts) to the Wii U control pad while playing Mario Party 10 will make that toy a playing piece in Amiibo Mode, unlocking a special character-themed board to play on. Smash Amiibo Donkey Kong, Rosalina and Wario will also work with the game.

How Amiibo Work In Nintendo’s New Games, And At What Cost

Along with unlocking game boards, players of Mario Party 10 will also be able to assign a power-up to their Amiibo to bring into the game. However, this is where the Amiibo data limit kicks in. Mario Party 10 and Super Smash Bros. data cannot exist on the same Amiibo. That’s a real bummer.

Collectors might not mind as much, what with new figures and new poses, but having to purchase doubles of at least Donkey Kong, Wario and Rosalina to have figures for both games is mighty inconvenient.

Last, but not least, the Kirby, Meta Knight and King Dedede Amiibo figures will unlock special powers and masks once per day in the adorable Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for the Wii U, due out on February 20.

There’s some great new figures coming, and some interesting new functionality along with them. Just be wary — the more games that embrace Amiibo functionality, the higher the chances you’ll need to clear your toy’s data somewhere down the line.


  • the more games that embrace Amiibo functionality, the higher the chances you’ll need to clear your toy’s data somewhere down the line.
    My concern is more that the more games that embrace Amiibo functionality, the more game content will be locked off in full-priced games for those unwilling to waste money on them. It’s just micropayments by another, admittedly more tactile, avenue 🙁

    • This. Plus I don’t really want Nintendo toys sitting around my house (apart from the console).

    • Nothing is taken away. It is just another thing Nintendo value add for the games. Nintendo seem to have both customer experience first and a lack of a nickle and dime attitude unlike most publishers these days so I will give the benefit of a doubt for now. Jim Stirling’s latest Jimquisition covers how the Amiibo are not dodgy DLC like some claim pretty well.

      As for the quote you made from the article? I think most people won’t own every game that use Amiibo and most people won’t have more than one use for an Amiibo (for eg owning Captain Toad and SSB I would use the Amiibo on Smash but don’t give a hoot when playing Cap Toad). Only people who buy every Nintendo release and actually own and genuinely want to use every Amiibo possible in every game possible will have a save data issue but even then, those people will have the 2nd, 3rd, 4th version of Mario, Toad etc posed specifically for that game so even then I doubt in the real world their will be a “which game will I use the save spot for” issue since they will have character doubles.

      • I was pointing out (maybe unclearly) that the concern they expressed about having to clear data was not the main one, but rather then idea of locked content was. I don’t care personally about the one-game-save-per-device problem.

        And I love Nintendo as much as the next guy, but they’ve shown time and time again that they are still a business. Horse Armour was how DLC all started back in the day, and now we’re at microtransactions. I think that content locked by Amiibo is the thin edge of the wedge, and could get much worse over time.

  • It would be handy if the smash data could be saved to the console for later reuploading.

    I’m pleasantly surprised at how delicately nintendo has been handling the extras these offer. It’s content which is occasionally meaningful, but it never really feels like some of the original game is trapped behind a paywall.

    I was already looking forward to steam, I really like the integration there.

    • I’m wondering if you could use some kind of NFC tool to backup and restore the data off them. Presumably there’s some kind of security thing in place, but you never know. Maybe even some homebrew stuff will pop up down the track.

      • Most android phones have NFC readers in them. An app that does this wouldn’t be out of the questions. Just read the entirety of the data off and save it.

        • Yeah, my old Nokia’s got it. Been meaning to put on one of the NFC apps that does that to investigate, just never gotten around to it.

        • Unfortunately the NFC tags are password-locked. I haven’t been able to lift off a clean copy of the data and re-apply it yet.

          Still trying.

          • Someone just needs to figure out how to get a copy to remove and re-apply. Even if they can’t alter the code to cheat as long as you can swap it out per game that is all that would really be needed.
            Fingers crossed.

  • Sucks for me, I don’t want to buy any! It blows I am expected to waste dollars on this crap to get extra function in games, I’m an avid non-collector, not happy.

  • One of my new year’s resolutions is to be more thrifty, especially with games and game related items. No reason to buy new games when I have such a large ‘pile-o-shame’, right? But damn some of those ammibo would look good on display in my bookshelf – especially the pokemon (Lucario FTW!) and Kirby (that Metaknight!) ones :O

    • Yeah I have the same issue. I keep holding out for Nintendo to restock Fox and Samus but at the same time I don’t need more junk and say “no spend money!” but man is it hard not to cave.

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