Video Games

Importing Amiibo Data from Older Super Smash Bros. Games Is a Waste of Time

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you have the option to import your amiibo data from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or 3DS. I get the temptation. You probably spent stupid amounts of time training those old amiibo figures to fight, and it would be a shame if all that progress was for nothing.

Well, I hate to say it, but all that progress is for nothing no matter what you do, so you might as well grit your teeth and delete your old data. It actually feels kind of good to start anew once you just accept it.

But aside from any feelings of relief, there are practical reasons why you’re better off starting fresh than trying to import your data.

For one, you only gain a fraction of your levels. A level 50 amiibo from Super Smash Bros. 4 will come into Ultimate at level 12. Yes, all those 50 levels are compressed down to 12. Since those early levels tick upward extremely quickly, you’re hardly saving any time at all. I figure the first 12 levels is maybe five to ten minutes of play time. Seriously, you’re not losing that much. (You do, however, get a nice little bonus, often in the form of gold coins or Spirit Tokens, and that alone might be worth the process of porting your data over).

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Captain Falcon Level Up

Secondly, amiibo levels are virtually meaningless. Some people have claimed that there are hidden stats for each amiibo, and that leveling up increases those stats incrementally. I’ve actually seen no evidence of this in my time training over a dozen amiibo figures to 50 in Smash for Wii U, but I did see evidence that training methodology is far more important than level. A well-trained amiibo will beat a poorly trained high-level amiibo every time.

But Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a new game, and perhaps things work a bit differently than they did last round. I didn’t want to say for certain that importing data was a bad idea without actually testing the results for myself.

So I ran a little experiment. I got my old Falcon amiibo and imported the data to Ultimate keeping the old name, FalconPink, and giving him a pink outfit to match. I then bought a second Falcon amiibo and started it at level 1. I named him FalconBlue and gave him a blue outfit. I brought both Falcons into Ultimate and set up a stock match with a time limit of two and a half minutes. I let them battle in two separate matches. The results were actually pretty interesting.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Captain Falcon

FalconPink did win both matches, but not by much. In fact, both went into sudden death overtime. But the things that happened were more complicated than just a simple win-or-lose match. The previously trained amiibo acted erratically, often walking backward or just standing still for no reason. The fresh amiibo acted weirdly, but it actually looked like it was playing experimentally. When an item dropped, it would walk up to it slowly, stand there for a second as if it were trying to figure out what the item was. Then it would pick up the item and try it out.

The biggest difference, as far as items are concerned, seemed to be that the previously trained amiibo had a better understanding of what Assist Trophies were, while the new amiibo avoided them whenever they dropped. I’d be tempted to say that this is the only reason the older amiibo won its battles since it definitely had an edge because of them. However, both games were won in overtime, so neither win had anything to do with an Assist Trophy.

Oh, and in two battles (a total of five in-game minutes), the new Falcon leveled to 11.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Zelda

But good science is repeatable, and I wasn’t sure the results for a single amiibo pair were satisfactory. So I ran the experiment again, this time with two Zeldas (I didn’t have to buy a new Zelda for this one, since I had the Breath of the Wild Zelda amiibo already on hand).

Before we get into the results, I just want to mention that the new Zelda leveled to 13 in seven and a half minutes of game time.

This time, the new Zelda seemed to learn more quickly than the old one, but both spent a huge amount of time just walking into each other without attacking. The fresh amiibo won the second match, so I threw them together for a third and the new amiibo won that too. But all three matches were due to one of the Zeldas ending up landing a Final Smash due to getting a Smash Ball.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Mario

So I ran the experiment a third time. But this time I disabled items and let Mario (Fire Mario) duke it out against Mario (Married-O).

Just like the Zeldas, the Marios spent a lot of time walking into each other. It was perhaps 30 seconds into the first match before either even attempted an attack. It was only in the third round when the fights started getting a little bit fun to watch. The new Mario beat the old Mario in the first two matches, then lost the third. I should point out that all three matches went into sudden death.

Before I get to the conclusion, let me explain that the trained amiibo figures I was using weren’t just trained to 50; they had been exhaustively trained to the point that they were actually quite hard to beat. And I was no slouch at Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. They seemed to have forgotten just about all of their actual training in the data transfer, to the point that even a brand new player wouldn’t find them to be a challenge.

So basically, this seems to confirm my suspicion that levels are once again meaningless. Both fresh amiibo figures and those that had been trained extensively in the previous game played like they were brand new to the game, with the strange exception of Assist Trophies for the pair of Captain Falcons. And that might have been a fluke.

You could carry over your saved amiibo data, but besides the sparkly treasure that comes with it, the data itself seems to be pretty worthless. But I’m also willing to admit that your mileage may vary.

Josh Wirtanen owns this place and has opinions about pretty much everything. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuajwirtanen.