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What Are Nintendo Amiibo? Explained

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Nintendo Amiibo: Amiibo is Nintendo’s brand of toy-like figurines that players can use to unlock features in a variety of games across many Nintendo platforms.

The figures are enjoyable to collect since they are accurate depictions of popular video game characters. They are, nonetheless, functional. Amiibo toys with integrated technology can interact with approved video games, allowing data to be transferred to and from gaming systems such as the Nintendo Switch, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS.

How Do Amiibo Work?

Each amiibo (plural: “amiibo”) is moulded to resemble a video game character and has a hidden radio frequency identification (RFID) chip. When a player uses a compatible Nintendo system to scan the RFID chip inside an amiibo, the system understands which amiibo it is and behaves appropriately.

The particular consequences differ from one game to the next. Some titles, such as Super Smash Bros., allow users to save information in their amiibo, personalise characters, save data, and play saved material on friends’ consoles.

Are Amiibo Required to Play Nintendo Games?

Amiibo are accessories that can be used to improve Nintendo games but are not required. Some games may be easier to play if you have the appropriate amiibo.

Scanning a Mario amiibo, for example, when playing Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch offers damage immunity for 30 seconds, while scanning a Princess Peach amiibo grants a life-up heart. Scanning an amiibo of Mario, Bowser, or Peach unlocks unique wedding attire. (Players can obtain these costumes by fulfilling in-game objectives.)

Having the correct amiibo on hand can offer you an advantage, but you won’t lose anything if you don’t. Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is the only game that requires amiibo to function.

Which Nintendo Systems Work With Amiibo?

Although Amiibo were released with the Wii U, the platform is compatible with any Nintendo Switch, Wii U, or New Nintendo 3DS. That implies that if you have a Mario amiibo from the Wii U era, it will work with the Nintendo Switch as well.

Amiibo is also not region-locked, so you may use amiibo from Japan, Europe, or North America regardless of the Nintendo system you own.

Amiibo scanners for each compatible Nintendo console can be found in the following locations:

  • Wii U – On the GamePad.
  • Nintendo Switch – In the right Joy-Con and the optional Pro Controller.
  • New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL – In the lower touchscreen.

Older Nintendo systems can be made compatible with the addition of a near-field communication (NFC) reader accessory:

  • Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL – Requires a wireless NFC reader (sold separately).
  • Nintendo 2DS – Uses the same wireless NFC reader as the 3DS.

Which Games Work With Amiibo?

Here are some of the most popular amiibo-compatible Nintendo Switch games. You can use this list to help you choose your first amiibo, or you can browse Nintendo’s full list of amiibo-compatible titles.

  • lder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Zelda amiibo provide special Zelda-themed gear, while unrelated amiibo provide other free loot.
  • Super Mario Odyssey – Mario, Peach, and Bowser wedding outfit amiibo provide the corresponding costumes in-game. Many other amiibo award outfits.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors – Any Fire Emblem-related amiibo will provide in-game weapons and items. Chrom and Tiki amiibo provide special rewards.
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Wolf Link, Zelda 30th Anniversary, and Breath of the Wild amiibo give special rewards. Other unrelated amiibo offer lesser rewards.
  • Kirby Star Allies – Certain Kirby, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee amiibo unlock illustration pieces and items.
  • Splatoon 2 – You can save data to any Splatoon series amiibo. Pearl and Marino amiibo unlock their outfits.

What Are the Different Kinds of Amiibo?

The majority of amiibo are miniature collectible figurines, however some take on different shapes. NFC cards in amiibo figures are so small that they may fit inside playing cards.

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

Whatever form an amiibo takes, they all employ the same RFID technology and function in the same way.

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

The scarcity of amiibo varies depending on how many were made by Nintendo. Many amiibo are limited edition, resulting in rarity and a thriving secondary market.

While serious collectors may keep track of amiibo releases, regular gamers do not have to.

If you don’t buy a special edition Super Mario Odyssey series Mario figure, you won’t be able to get the Mario tuxedo suit for free. However, the costume can still be obtained by completing an in-game goal.

A game will often let the player to scan any variation of a specific character and gain the same bonus. Scanning a Super Smash Bros. or Classic Mario amiibo, for example, provides the same invulnerability bonus as scanning a Super Mario Odyssey series Mario amiibo.


How many amiibo are there?

There are around 200 amiibo figures and card sets available worldwide. A complete list can be found on Nintendo’s official website.

How much do amiibo cost?

New figurines can cost between $16 and $30 USD, while trading card packs start around $6. Some amiibo are extremely rare and command high prices on the third-party seller market. A fresh gold Mario figure, for example, may fetch more than $100 on sites like eBay.

What do the amiibo do in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

Wolf Link assaults foes and assists Link in locating items. The Zelda 30th Anniversary amiibo provides in-game items and treasure chests, whilst other compatible amiibo provide random in-game stuff such as plants, fish, and meat.

Which amiibo work with Skyrim?

Many amiibo from The Legend of Zelda are compatible with Skyrim. Tapping them once daily grants the player the opportunity to obtain Zelda-inspired items in the game, such as the Master Sword and the Hylian Shield.

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