So you have a Nintendo Switch. And you love it. And the best thing about your Nintendo Switch is that you can take it from the charging dock, slide it into your bag, and take it to the park, on an airplane, or to one of those ever-popular rooftop wine parties. Your friends have gathered around your Switch with glasses of Merlot and you're about to show them how to scan in Epona in Breath of the Wild, but when you open your bag, chaos! You have 20+ amiibo all jumbled together, falling over one another, and by the time you find your Smash Bros. Link, they've all wandered off to play 1-2-Switch with your rival, Claudia. What's a Switch-carrying amiibo fan to do?
Make your amiibo portable, of course. Here's how.
Buy a case
Okay, yes, this is a fairly obvious solution. It's one step up from throwing them all in a backpack and letting them rattle against one another while you walk around. Once you hit the threshold of four+ amiibo you probably should consider investing in something to keep them neatly sorted while you travel. Fortunately, Amazon has a variety of solutions that won't break the bank; most are around $15.
When purchasing a carrying case, keep in mind how many amiibo you want to carry, how concerned you are that they do or do not get scratched up, and if you want to carry anything else with them. Many cases are just big boxes you can toss all the amiibo in--little more than a backpack. Good cases have dividers or separate pockets for individual amiibo, and some come with neat mesh pockets that your Nintendo Switch might fit in. Know you needs and don't spend more on space you won't use.
amiibo cards, upon launch, sounded like a great way to pack all the fun of amiibo into your purse, backpack, or pocket. And they are! But unfortunately, amiibo cards have been relegated only to Animal Crossing characters and Mewtwo.
The upside is that amiibo cards still work to give you items or bonuses in most games that take any amiibo. Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and many other Nintendo Switch games will accept amiibo cards for small rewards, so if all you're using an amiibo for is a quick boost, just pack your favorite card into your wallet and be on your way.
Remove the figurine
I know, we're getting dangerous here. But bear with me. Please only do this to amiibo you actually, legally own yourself.
amiibo are awesome, collectible figurines. If you want them for their collectibility, then, by all means, put them in a case and don't do this. But if you just want amiibo to be functional with games, then the figurine part of the amiibo is helping you not at all. You could remove Samus or Kirby or whoever from their base, and the base (which has the NFC chip) would still work with the game. And, bonus, it would be way easier to fit into a case for a Switch, a purse or backpack pocket, or even your actual pocket.
If this sounds appealing to you, then all you need to do is snap the figurine off the base, and voila. But here are some cautionary notes before you do so:
- If you ever want to resell it for any reason, you'll be out of luck.
- Some amiibo will be harder to remove from the base than others. Samus is a cakewalk. Kirby is tough to budge. Use a small prying tool, such as a flathead screwdriver or chisel, to get as far under the figurine as its shape allows and pry it off.
- You'll be left with some residue, and there's always the danger that some plastic will remain depending on the figurine. This can be removed by sanding the top of the base down. The NFC chip is inside, closer to the bottom, so you're still not going to hurt its functionality.
- Finally, label your amiibo base. Many amiibo share bases with others, so if you take apart five Smash Bros. amiibo without labeling, you won't be able to tell them apart. You can paint the bases, put stickers on them, or decorate them however you like to solve this problem.
The above technique does not work with yarn Yoshi or Poochy amiibo, but don't worry. They have little ribbon loops on their heads that you can use to turn them into keychains!
You can also do the same with any leftover amiibo figurines that have the bases removed if you want a neat decoration. None of these have loops, so if you're handy you can take a drill with a small bit and create a hole near the top of the amiibo, then string whatever you like through the top. Leftover amiibo figurines can make great holiday ornaments, keychains, or other decorations. Get creative!
Back them up!
If you are feeling a rush of DIY juices and want to get industrious, you could always make backups of your legally obtained amiibo figures. With a specialized device or an Android phone, you can save the data off of all the amiibo that you have on your shelves and write them to blank NFC stickers. These little stickers are not much thicker than a sheet of paper. Now that will save you some space!
Ask me how to get amiibo from place to place!
Need help deciding the best way to transport your amiibo? Just ask me in the comments!
Updated December 2018: Added info about making your own backups!.
Could you use a NFC reader/writer to make backup copies that are also portable?
They don't discuss that because we're apparently not adult enough to decide if we want to pirate or not. Amiiqo works but is pricey. There's also NTAG215 cards on Amazon. The problem is programming them. My Nexus 5X can, but I don't think newer phones can.
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