Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been an absolute blast to experiment with in terms of amiibo AI. Amiibo are so much more in depth, aggressive, and fun to watch. One main trait that excited us all was how flashy they are. Going for spikes purely for style, insane combos, and most of all, taunting. However, not long after the game came out a few users on our Discord server started telling us about a glitch with their amiibo, where they would simply freeze, usually until attacked or upwards of thirty seconds had passed. At first, it was extremely difficult to replicate, but the most common (yet not universally) shared characteristic was the personality of that amiibo (which we knew nothing about at the time). The amiibo who experienced the glitch were usually Reckless, Enthusiastic, Aggressive, Offensive, Daredevil, or Flashy. We now know, it has nothing to do with the personality at all. Let me explain.
Until about mid-February, I myself had never experienced this glitch even once. It was baffling to me because I couldn’t find a common characteristic; not a single thing made sense to me. However, I finally decided to train my Zelda and Captain Falcon amiibo. Being a Zelda main and fan, I had to teach my Zelda her down taunt, and for Captain Falcon, I just HAD to teach him “Show me ya moves!”. They were my first two amiibo I had taught to taunt, and wouldn’t you know it, both of them experienced the freeze glitch. Curious, I asked a few trainers who I knew had experienced the freeze glitch if their amiibo were taught to taunt. A majority of them said yes, they had indeed taught them to taunt, but one or two told me they didn’t, which threw me off hard. However, a few days later, the pieces started to fall into place.
Let me set this straight before I get into this next part; the cause for the freeze glitch is taunting. Your amiibo learning to taunt will for some reason cause it to freeze after forward smashes, up throws, forward throws, and KOs, as well as a few other moves depending on the character. How does this explain the amiibo who weren’t taught to taunt? Well, reader, you may not know that amiibo are already inclined to taunt from the very beginning! Some of it is character dependent, but amiibo will still learn to taunt without being taught to. Amiibo with a high aggression value (such as those with the personalities listed in the first paragraph), which come as a result of training your amiibo aggressively, will in turn effect your amiibo’s taunting value. My Little Mac amiibo was my first amiibo to taunt naturally, and his personality at the time was one I hadn’t seen yet, “Offensive”.
It’s also important to note that not all taunting leads to the freeze glitch. My aforementioned Little Mac does not at all have the freezing glitch, and he taught himself to taunt naturally. My Piranha Plant amiibo was taught to taunt, and does not experience the freezing glitch. Many people’s amiibo will actually taunt properly (if there is such a thing), even ones with more aggressive personalities. It’s seemingly completely random, but there are ways to prevent and fix the freeze glitch.
Prevention and Solutions
The main way to prevent the freeze glitch is obvious; don’t taunt. However you’ve probably already deduced this so you’re looking for something more. Dash Dancing while you train your amiibo is another super good way to prevent it. Even if you don’t do it perfectly, they will do it right and will dash dance when making decisions, where as normally they might decide to taunt. It seems to be something already coded in them that makes them realize dash dancing is a good tool as long as it’s taught, so thanks Nintendo! Lastly, should you see your amiibo taunt, grab them if possible. Any attack at all will do the job, but grabbing is the most effective. Grabbing in general makes amiibo realize a certain move or thing they do leaves them open, and will make them less inclined to do it without knowing they’re safe.
As for solutions, there is only one known of, and it isn’t 100%. Go into Custom Smash with learning on, do a 3 or 5 minute Curry Smash match. I could not for the life of me tell you why this seems to work, but it does. Make sure to do a regular mirror match afterwards so they don’t go into tournaments expecting to still have a mouthful of curry.
And that’s it! We don’t have much more info on the freeze glitch, but if any comes to us we will be sure to share it here. Stay tuned for more guides and other info in the coming weeks; we’ve got a lot in the works right now!