Over the years, there have been several misconceptions regarding what amiibo can and cannot do. Some players think amiibo should rely on their aerials. Some think they can learn stylish swag combos. Some think that amiibo don’t actually learn from their trainers. It’s finally time to set things straight and quash these beliefs once and for all!
How Amiibo Learn
Players that claim amiibo don’t learn from you are straight-up wrong. Think of each amiibo as a data table of different attacks. Every time you use a move against your amiibo, it adds one point to the move’s entry in its database. Attacks with more points are given higher priority, and thus are more likely to be used. For more information, check out the Mechanics & Metagame guide.
Also worth noting is that amiibo can learn certain advanced techniques from their trainer. For example, a Ness amiibo can learn to use its PK Thunder twice when recovering: as seen here, the maneuver doubles as a powerful attack!
Many, many new trainers want their amiibo to use aerial attacks. Unfortunately, teaching an amiibo to rely on its aerials is the fastest way to lose in a tournament setting. Smash 4 CPUs and amiibo can react to incoming attacks in a fraction of a second, allowing them to perfect shield aerial moves with impunity. This gives the character a chance to punish with a smash attack. Simply put, an amiibo that relies on its aerials will get up smashed to death.
There is one exception to this rule: if you intend to use your amiibo as a personal training partner, teaching it to use aerial attacks is fine. In other words, as long as your amiibo is going to be fighting human players, you can safely teach it to attack with aerial moves.
To those of you who don’t know, gimping is when a player intercepts an opponent’s recovery with an attack or footstool. As you might expect, amiibo almost never chase enemies off-stage, especially when fighting other amiibo. Even so, it is possible, albeit rare.
Instead of leaving the stage, amiibo with projectiles will stand at the edge and spam them. Mario will use Fireball, Dr. Mario will use Megavitamins, Link will use Hero’s Bow, and King Dedede will use Gordo Throw. As silly as it sounds, these are perfectly viable gimping methods, and should be encouraged during training.
When a new amiibo trainer uses the contact form to submit a question, it almost always has something to do with combos. In many cases, they’re thinking of long, flashy setups that finish off the opponent with a stylish meteor smash. These types of combos are entirely impossible to teach to an amiibo, so don’t waste your time.
This was the case until the Bayonetta amiibo was released. Her AI is unique in that it actually can utilize these types of combos. They’re mostly ineffective against other amiibo, but they work well on human players. One particular combo Bayonetta can use is down tilt → forward aerial → After Burner Kick → Witch Twist → After Burner Kick → Witch Twist → up aerial. Bayonetta is most likely to use this combo from levels 25 to 40.
Other characters aren’t so lucky: the only combos they can use are simple jab or throw setups programmed into their AI (anything more complex is improvised on the spot), and even these are ineffective against opposing amiibo fighters. They work just fine against human players, though – here’s a full list.
- Mario: Down throw → Super Jump Punch.
- Luigi: Down throw → forward aerial and down throw → Luigi Cyclone.
- Bowser: Jab 1 → Bowser Bomb.
- Rosalina & Luma: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Bowser Jr.: Jab 2 → down tilt.
- Diddy Kong: Down throw → back aerial and Down throw → up aerial.
- Mr. Game & Watch: Down throw → up aerial and Down throw → Judge.
- Link: Down throw → up tilt.
- Sheik: Down throw → up aerial.
- Ganondorf: Down throw → Wizard’s Foot.
- Samus: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Zero Suit Samus: Down throw → forward aerial and Down throw → Boost Kick.
- Pit: Down throw → neutral aerial and Down throw → forward aerial.
- Palutena: Jab 1 → down smash.
- Ike: Down throw → neutral aerial and Down throw → up aerial.
- Robin: Down throw → infinite jab and down throw → up tilt.
- Kirby: Back throw → back aerial.
- King Dedede: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Meta Knight: Down throw → Shuttle Loop.
- Fox: Jab 2 → grab.
- Falco: Down throw → dash attack.
- Lucario: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Greninja: Up throw → up aerial.
- R.O.B.: Down throw → up aerial.
- Ness: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Captain Falcon: Jab 2 → Falcon Dive.
- Dr. Mario: Down throw → up aerial.
- Dark Pit: Down throw → neutral aerial and down throw → forward aerial.
- Pac-Man: Down throw → dash attack.
- Mega Man: Down throw → forward aerial.
- Sonic: Up throw → Homing Attack and down throw → dash attack.
- Mewtwo: Jab 1 → grab, Jab 2 → down tilt, and down throw → dash attack.
- Lucas: Down throw → up tilt, down throw → neutral aerial, and down throw → up aerial.
- Ryu has the most programmed combos of any amiibo. There are so many, in fact, that it’s impossible to list them all here.
If you plan to raise your amiibo as a sparring partner, teaching them simple combos might make them more interesting to play against. If you plan to enter your amiibo into a tournament, steer clear of them, because they don’t work against other amiibo fighters.
Let’s make this perfectly clear: amiibo cannot learn to taunt. Yes, they will taunt while leveling up, but this habit disappears by Level 50, and there’s no way to reintroduce it. Perhaps the next game will fix this, but for now, you’ll have to accept the fact that your Captain Falcon won’t use its down taunt after each KO.
Get Out There!
If there’s one thing to take away from all this, it’s that you shouldn’t waste your time with combos or taunts. Instead, focus on other aspects of your amiibo’s play. Improve its defense, reaction time, and attack choices with our handy character guides. If you have any additional questions regarding amiibo training, you can read the FAQ, join our Discord server, or use the contact form. Good luck, and happy training!