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Nintendo’s near-field communication figurines, amiibo, have finally landed in North America; what better way for them to punch and kick their way into our homes (and hearts) than to do so in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Nintendo’s latest home console version of the crossover fighting series offers in-depth support for the figurines, allowing players to create customised AI fighters that learn as they battle.

We’ve spent a good amount of time training up our own amiibos, and thought we should share some tips on what to expect from and how to get the most out of them.

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Choosing an amiibo

Currently, there are 12 different amiibo you can purchase in North America (these will be available in Europe from 28th November when Super Smash Bros. for Wii U also launches). More figurines are due to be released over the coming months, and you can use as many as you like with the game.

There are multiple reasons for choosing which amiibo(s) you should get. It could be as simple as opting for your favourite character, or if you’re looking at it from a more strategic point of view, you could get one that best complements the character you usually play as. No matter which one you pick, you can train and customise them all in exactly the same way.

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Customising your amiibo

When first setting up your amiibo, you’ll be given the opportunity to name them and choose an outfit for them. If you’re planning to mostly play against your amiibo, you could even consider giving the name of a rival player or something you don’t like — what better way to get into the fighting spirit? Your amiibo can also be fed equipment that you acquire in the game to enhance their attack, defence or speed. Giving them equipment isn’t the same as customising your own character; they’ll only absorb some of the stats, sadly. With that in mind, it may be worth you keeping hold of the better equipment for your own character(s), as these things may come in handy for other modes.

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How to train your amiibo

You can train your amiibo in a number of different ways, some of which are more beneficial than others. Unlike ordinary CPU players, amiibo have a maximum difficulty level cap of 50, although it would appear that there isn’t parity between these: a level 9 amiibo certainly doesn’t put up the same fight as a level 9 CPU player. Moreover, amiibo can only be used in the Smash modes (including 8-player Smash), meaning you sadly can’t rely on them to help you beat Master Core or All-Star mode.

It’s worth highlighting that although amiibo are marketed as customisable players which learn as they play, the extent to which they are able to adapt does seem limited. For example, an amiibo will eventually learn to grab a shielded opponent if it keeps blocking their attacks, but it doesn’t adapt to character-specific moves or play styles as far as we can tell. Our Mario amiibo — even at level 30 — would frequently run straight towards us when going into attack, despite us repeatedly responding to it with a projectile attack. Moreover — and for the best in this case — you can’t teach amiibo to do nonsensical things; if you, for some bizarre reason, decided to jump off the edge every time you KO'd someone, the amiibo wouldn’t learn this as it works with the goal of trying to win. With that said though, amiibo certainly do get tougher as they level up.

Therefore, it (perhaps) disappointingly comes down to being a mere numbers game, and finding the most efficient way to level up your amiibo. You can choose to fight against them (a good way to train yourself too), fight alongside them as a team mate against humans/CPU players/other amiibo or have them fight by themselves while you sit back and watch. Having your own amiibo fight against other figurines is the fastest way for them to level up.

Once an amiibo reaches level 50, it doesn’t stop learning. Nintendo claims that if an opponent is capable of beating an amiibo using good tactics then the latter will still learn to adopt these tactics itself. To what extent they can pick things up, though, is subject to debate and will require looking into further.

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Why use amiibo with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U?

In addition to learning tactics as they play, amiibo also collect equipment and trophies along the way and present them to you as a gifts. Therefore, it’s a good way to further enhance your own characters, as well as contribute towards challenges and your overall completion of the game.

Moreover, investing in an amiibo character that you struggle to fight against in-game is a good way for you to learn more about effectively countering it. As it will adopt advanced tactics, it will offer more challenge than a standard CPU opponent. Not only that, but you can take your amiibo to a friend’s house and team up with it. If they don’t have an amiibo then you may find yourself at a considerable advantage; if they do own one then your amiibo will benefit from fighting it.

Have you invested in any amiibo figurines or are planning to at some point? Are you impressed with how they work with the game or do you find the challenge that they offer lacking? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.