Since the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo has sold a line of amiibo figures for many major game releases. Amiibo tout functionality across multiple games as their major selling point, but many Nintendo games only have limited uses for amiibo. Smash 3DS, Smash Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have taken amiibo functionality in a different direction: they allow you to train through demonstration a semi-unique artificial intelligence opponent.
A few months after the initial release of amiibo, enough people became interested in the science and functionality of these amiibo opponents, and found each other through the internet. They formed the Amiibo Dojo as the main hub of competitive amiibo tournaments and research. In fact, it still stands today under the name Exion Vault, and remains the largest and most in-depth hub of amiibo information, most notably the official amiibo tier list and a near-exhaustive set of amiibo training guides. All competitive amiibo tournaments are run through the Amiibo Dojo/Exion Vault Discord server, and most of the casual ones do too. Some amiibo tournaments even have prize pools larger than regional in-person tournaments, with a $250 prize pool and custom amiibo being a typical reward for the victors.
The competitive amiibo community is very unique in that it requires no in-person participation, and most tournaments don’t even require real-time attention from users. Aside from amiibo arena tournaments which were added after Ultimate’s 3.0 patch, all amiibo tournaments took place using the Amiibo Powersaves device. Amiibo Powersaves allow users to scan their amiibo, save a digital recreation of the file of the amiibo, and replicate bin files that other trainers have sent them. If two or more people have an Amiibo Powersaves device, they can effectively email copies of their amiibo to each other. With enough amiibo trainers, one person can “host” an amiibo tournament using the amiibo files that all the other trainers have sent to the host, and complete the tournament without needing participation from the trainers.
Competitive amiibo has been going for five years strong and is showing no signs of stopping. Despite the historic lack of widespread attention, the Amiibo Dojo/Exion Vault Discord server clocks in at around 1,300 active members with conversations going on 24/7. On average, an amiibo tournament is hosted every 26 hours somewhere on the server. This may change soon: over the last few months a handful of notable Smash-centered Youtube channels have started to produce amiibo training videos, inching ever closer to the possibility of competitive amiibo content. Maybe someday we’ll see an amiibo tournament running alongside a major Smash tournament?
Author’s Note: Do you think you’ll ever see competitive amiibo alongside competitive Smash? Let us know in the comments below!