How to set up amiibo on Nintendo Switch

If you are one of the many people that didn't own a Wii U, amiibo are entirely new to you and don't do much on your Nintendo Switch right now. The good news is they're going to get a lot more interesting as more games are released for the Switch. The better news is they all look really cool, so you can start collecting the ones you like now and worry about how they will help your game later. As you buy amiibo, if you decide to take the figuring out of its packaging, make sure you add your account to the model so its ready to play when you are. Not sure what any of that means? Don't worry, this guide will walk you through everything!

How amiibo work


At the base of each amiibo figurine there's a special chip that can be accessed wirelessly. When you place the figurine on the right Switch Joy-Con, it reads that chip and "sees" which one you have. Your Switch will relay this information to whatever game you are playing, which can unlock special content. For example, if you're playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and you tap a Link figurine to the Joy-Con, special clothing you can only get through an amiibo will appear in the game. Each Switch game treats amiibo a little differently, unlocking different in-game things based on the amiibo you tap to the Joy-Con.

In some cases, your amiibo can also receive information from the Switch and save it to the chip on your amiibo. The best example of this is in Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, which allows you to equip an AI fighter with special weapons and abilities for combat. You can level up an AI Mario and then save it to a Mario amiibo, making that special AI fighter portable. You can take that fighter to someone else's Wii U, and see how your friends handle your particularly lethal AI fighter. In the not-too-distant future, versions of this feature will also exist for the Switch.

Products used in this guide

Adding an amiibo to your Switch

  1. From the main menu, go to Settings.
  2. From the settings menu, select amiibo.

  1. Now select, Register Owner and Nickname
  2. You will now be asked to hold the base of your amiibo to the stick on your right Joy-Con.

  1. You will now be asked to which Mii you want to register to your amiibo. If you have not yet created a Mii, you will need to make one now so you can link your amiibo to it.
  2. Now give your amiibo a nickname. This is great if you have multiples of the same figure.

  1. Next, you will hit ok on the confirmation screen
  2. Now you will tap the base of your amiibo on the right Joy-Con stick again and you will be greeted with a nice friendly checkmark to prove that you are all done!

After you have completed this simple set-up, you will be able to scan this amiibo in whenever you like. Different amiibo offer different bonuses when you scan them into your Switch so have fun experimenting!

Stuff you need

It's totally fine if you just want to collect amiibo and display them on a shelf. However, if you want to get all the functionality that comes with these awesome little figures you are going to need some hardware to read the chips inside. This is where a Nintendo Switch comes it. Using your amiibo with your Switch will give you all sorts of different and fun in-game bonuses

Additional Equipment

There are so many amiibo out now that it would nearly impossible to list them all here. However, here are a couple of recommendations to get your amiibo collection going.

Octoling Amiibo 3-pack ($35 at Amazon)

This is a great way to jump into the amiibo game. You will give your collection a boost with three unique figures!.

8-Bit Link ($19 at Amazon)

If you are a fan of the Zelda franchise, you might want to consider this super cool 8-bit version of Link

Mario ($38 at Amazon)

Every great Nintendo collection starts with the main man himself. If you want to stick with that tradition, consider picking up this cool looking Mario amiibo

Jaz Brown