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What are Nintendo amiibo? The gaming figurines explained

Other than being highly coveted collectable items, what exactly do Nintendo amiibo toys bring to the Nintendo experience?

If you want to learn everything there is to know about Nintendo amiibo, make sure you keep reading.

What are Nintendo amiibo?

Nintendo amiibo are a range of collectable interactive figurines and cards that can be paired up with select Nintendo games to unlock new features. Amiibo also come in some other variants, but the figures and cards are the most well-known.

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Amiibo are true-to-life replicas of some of Nintendo’s most popular characters, with 843 released amiibo figures and 614 released cards. It’s worth noting that these statistics are not from Nintendo directly, but they give a good indication of how many figurines and cards are currently in rotation. 

Amiibo figures can be used across various Nintendo platforms, including the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Nintendo Switch series. Amiibo can be found and purchased on the official Nintendo website as well as from a vast array of third-party sellers. 

Nintendo amiibo
Image Credit (Nintendo)

How does Nintendo amiibo work?

Each amiibo – whether that be a card or a sculpted figurine – contains a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip that can be scanned using compatible Nintendo devices. Once the amiibo has been scanned, the system can recognise the character being used and then load in specific features that relate to them. 

Each title reacts to amiibo differently, with a majority of games working on a read-only capacity. This means that no changes are made to the amiibo itself, only to the game it’s paired with. 

Examples of amiibo features include unlocking special outfits for Link in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, while in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you can trigger a specific character to visit your island.

Not all games are compatible with amiibo and no games require an amiibo to be played, although some titles are enhanced by the use of an amiibo. 

Which games support Nintendo amiibo?

There are a multitude of games that support amiibo. Here is a selection of some recent Nintendo titles that come with support for the software: 

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