Ever since Nintendo announced that some of its Amiibos will be discontinued, collectors have gone crazy paying upwards of $100 for their favourite figures which they think will be gone forever after Christmas. But other than being a cool little figure not everyone is sure what Amiibos actually do, so I'm here to clear it all up with my guide.
For the moment Amiibos main function is how they react with Super Smash Bros. for the WiiU and 3DS. In these games your Amiibo does not reward you with extra DLC, stat boosts or unlockable characters, but instead offers you a friend to play with or against. Your Amiibo learns to fight like you through training. If you are good with your shield your Amiibo will be too, if you favour smashes your Amiibo with mirror that and so on. Amiibos can be trained to level 50 quite quickly but can still learn new techniques after this.
As your Amiibo plays like a real friend might I advise that if you are buying a figure to play with or against in Super Smash Bros, that you don't pick your main fighter but rather a character that you like in general but rarely play. This way you won't end up in hundreds of Pikachu on Pikachu battles like I did and it makes things more interesting when you team up with your Amiibo.
New functionalities for Amiibos are being revealed all the time. Currently, certain Amiibos such as Mario and Yoshi can unlock Mii costumes in Mario Kart 8, and the Link Amiibo can unlock a weapon in Hyrule Warriors. Nintendo has already announced that certain Amiibos will also be compatible with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse and Yoshi's Woolly World in the future. So if you are looking forward to any of these titles it might do you well to consider this when purchasing your Amiibo.
Certain collectors want the Amiibos simply as cool figurines. While they don't look as good as the promotional material made them out to be, the bigger cartoonier Amiibos such as Pikachu, Yoshi, Kirby, Diddy Kong and Luigi, certainly look better than the more detailed figures such as Zelda, Captain Falcon, Peach, Pitt and Link where the stickers used can look a bit like a McDonalds toy. As with the 3DS you can touch Amiibos to the screen just once to release the DLC content, Nintendo has placed a foil sticker in the box to prevent you from doing so. This means if you wish to use an Amiibo, you have to destroy the box in order to get the Amiibo out first.
My personal recommendation would be that unless you are an avid collector I would buy just one Amiibo. Preferably, a cartoon one, from a series which you love to play, and one who is not your main fighter.
I hope my guide helps. Will you be buying an Amiibo? Which one?