amiibo is a toys-to-life platform by Nintendo that launched in November 2014. It consists of a wireless communications and storage protocol for connecting figurines and cards to the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch video game consoles. amiibo functionality can be used directly with these consoles by using their built-in NFC readers, though the original Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL require an official NFC adapter to also be used. amiibo are typically compatible with multiple different games and will unlock bonus content or affect gameplay once read.
amiibo was first introduced to the Animal Crossing series with figures released for Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival from 2015 to 2017, and four series of cards for Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, although the figures and cards are compatible with both games. Two additional series of cards were made available for the launch of Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo in 2016, which introduces amiibo compatibility into New Leaf and can also utilise previously released cards and figurines. Selected amiibo from other series can scanned to unlock special crossover villagers based on the The Legend of Zelda, Splatoon, and Monster Hunter series.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is compatible with all previously released Animal Crossing amiibo, but not those from other series. While it is unknown exactly when the cards were discontinued, Nintendo announced in September 2020 that series 1-4 will be returning to select retailers in November 2020 for a retail price of US$5.99 per pack, possibly due to increased demand as a result of the success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The Sanrio series of amiibo cards were rereleased on March 26 in North America and Japan and on April 8 in the UK. This was the first time the cards were released in North America. In September 2021, after the reveal of an October Animal Crossing Direct, the official Animal Crossing Twitter account announced that a fifth series of amiibo cards (not including the Welcome amiibo series) would be released at a later date.
In the games
amiibo are compatible with the following Animal Crossing series titles:
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Happy Home Designer is the first title to support the use of amiibo, and is compatible with the first four series of cards and all currently available figurines. The game is not compatible with the Welcome amiibo series or Sanrio series of cards, and attempting to scan these amiibo will freeze the game. This includes Carrie's amiibo card, despite her being a potential client.
After completing a few remodels for Nook's Homes, Lyle will bring an amiibo phone into the office for the player to use. The phone allows an amiibo to be scanned, who will be contacted by the player using the phone. The player will then be able to recruit that character as a client and perform a remodel for their house. This is the only way to perform remodels for special characters, as they will never become clients during regular gameplay.
amiibo can also be scanned while in a client's house or facility to invite the character to that location. Villagers can have their clothing and headgear customized, and special characters have a limited selection of clothing that they can be changed between. Invited characters will remain in that location indefinitely unless asked to leave, and a maximum of 5 characters can exist in a single location at once. Scanning the amiibo again after inviting a character will save all furniture in the room to the amiibo, which can then be scanned in a different copy of the game in order to transfer furniture to other players to help fill their catalog.
Scanning the Villager amiibo will unlock a golden Villager Statue in the catalog, and scanning the Isabelle amiibo unlocks the Isabelle Scooter. Scanning these amiibo are the only way to acquire these items for use in the game.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo
In Welcome amiibo, the player must first locate an Empty Lamp in their town. Once placed in a house the lamp can be interacted with to summon Wisp, who provides access to all amiibo functionality in the game. Villagers can be invited to move into town by scanning their corresponding amiibo card. Special characters and villagers from the Welcome amiibo series will instead appear in their RV in the campground when scanned, from which furniture can be purchased in exchange for MEOW Coupons. The villagers can be spoken to and invited to move into town.
The game is compatible will all currently available Animal Crossing series amiibo. A total of eight unique crossover villagers from other series are available by scanning their amiibo and inviting them to move into town.
The Legend of Zelda series
- W. Link, obtained through Link, Zelda, and Young Link from the Super Smash Bros. series, Wolf Link, Link (Archer), Link (Twilight Princess), Link (Skyward Sword) and Link (Link's Awakening) from The Legend of Zelda series.
- Medli, obtained through Toon Link from the Super Smash Bros. series, Toon Link (The Wind Waker), Zelda (The Wind Waker) or Zelda (Breath of the Wild) from The Legend of Zelda series.
- Epona, obtained through Sheik from the Super Smash Bros. series, Link (Ocarina of Time), Link (Rider) or Link (Majora's Mask) from The Legend of Zelda series.
- Ganon, obtained through Ganondorf from the Super Smash Bros. series, 8-Bit Link (The Legend of Zelda), Guardian or Bokoblin from The Legend of Zelda series.
- Inkwell, obtained through the Inkling Boy, Girl, or Squid amiibo from the Splatoon series.
- Cece, obtained through the Callie amiibo from the Splatoon series.
- Viché, obtained through the Marie amiibo from the Splatoon series.
Monster Hunter series
- Felyne, obtained through any of the six amiibo from the Monster Hunter Stories series.
The following villagers are based on characters and series created by Sanrio and will never move into town unless their card from the limited edition Sanrio series of amiibo is scanned and they are invited to move:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Horizons is compatible with all current Animal Crossing series amiibo. Unlike New Leaf, amiibo from other video game series cannot be used. amiibo have three main functions in New Horizons: spawning characters for photo shoots at Photopia; unlocking their respective posters; and bringing villagers to the Campsite with the opportunity to have them move in as residents.
At Photopia, scanning any Animal Crossing series amiibo will unlock the character's respective poster that will be available for purchase in the Nook Shopping Catalog. For characters who appear in New Horizons, scanning their respective amiibo also allows the player to spawn the character as a model for a photo shoot. Models cannot be spoken to, but interacting with them makes them face the player.
These characters from previous Animal Crossing series games cannot be spawned as models, but their corresponding posters may be unlocked:
The following amiibo can only be summoned as models if the update they are introduced to the game with is installed:
Villager amiibo can also be read once per day from the Nook Stop. The scanned villager will appear and speak to the player, during which they may be invited to put up a tent at the town's Campsite. When visiting the Campsite, the camper will give the player a DIY recipe for a specific item and ask the player to craft it for them. If the player gives the camper the item, they will thank the player by giving them clothing in return and hint that they would like to be invited again.
From the camper's third consecutive visit, the player may ask the camper to move onto their island as a resident. A camper can only be invited to move in if there is a vacant plot, or a maximum of ten villagers already live on the island. In the latter case the player will be prompted to choose a resident to move out so that the camper may move in.
Scanning the amiibo for a special character or a villager already living on the player's island will result in a special dialogue explaining why they can't come. The special characters available to speak with are the same as those that can be invited to Photopia in each update (see above). If the player scans the amiibo for a villager that is in the process of moving in, they will get a special "answering machine" message.
Other games compatible with Animal Crossing series amiibo
The following Nintendo games have effects when an amiibo from the Animal Crossing series is scanned:
Taiko no Tatsujin
Scanning a compatible amiibo in Taiko no Tatsujin will unlock the "New Leaf Medley" and extra content in Kisekae Shoot Mode.
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
Super Mario Maker
Scanning a compatible Animal Crossing series amiibo in Super Mario Maker will unlock them as a Mystery Mushroom costume. These costumes can also be unlocked through the 100 Mario Challenge. The and Mystery Mushroom and costumes are only available in the original game, and are not present in Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS or Super Mario Maker 2.
Mario Kart 8
Yoshi's Woolly World
Scanning the Villager amiibo in Yoshi's Woolly World will unlock a Villager-themed pattern for Yoshi. Additionally, in the game's 3DS port, Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, Animal Crossing series amiibo figures or their corresponding cards can be scanned to unlock the following Animal Crossing-themed patterns for Yoshi:
Kirby: Planet Robobot
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, scanning different characters' amiibo will give Kirby a Copy Ability relevant to that character or series. All Animal Crossing series give Kirby the Leaf ability, a reference to how a leaf represents furniture in the player's pockets, and the series icon.
Animal Crossing series amiibo can be read in WarioWare Gold by using Wario's amiibo Sketch toy in the arcade. Once the amiibo has been read, Wario will paint the corresponding character in his signature style.
Scanning a compatible Animal Crossing series amiibo in Hey! Pikmin will unlock bonus treasure stages in the game.
Style Savvy: Fashion Forward
Scanning any Isabelle amiibo or amiibo card in Style Savvy: Fashion Forward will unlock clothing based on her summer outfit for use in the game. Any other amiibo card will unlock Star Hairpin.
Style Savvy: Styling Star
Scanning an Animal Crossing series amiibo in Style Savvy: Styling Star will unlock three Animal Crossing-themed shirts for use in the game.
Conga Master Party
In Conga Master Party, a compatible Animal Crossing series amiibo can be read to unlock Animal Crossing-themed costumes for use in the game as well as unlock specific characters.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Scanning a compatible Animal Crossing series amiibo in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will unlock that character's spirit. Scanning the Timmy and Tommy amiibo will also unlock a special in-game shop. As with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the Villager and Isabelle amiibo can be used as special AI-controlled fighters, though the custom moves from the previous installment are not present.
On November 21, 2014, the first wave of Super Smash Bros. amiibo were released. This wave featured a majority of the Smash main series' cast, including Villager. On August 24, 2015, Nintendo had a press release which revealed information about Happy Home Designer and a new Animal Crossing amiibo series. The first wave was released on November 13, November 20, and November 21 in North America, Europe, and Japan and Oceania respectively. An additional wave was released on December 17, January 22, January 29 and January 30, in Japan, North America, Europe and Oceania respectively. On November 14, 2015, several stores updated their amiibo store displays to include the previously unannounced Kapp'n, Timmy and Tommy Nook, and Rover amiibo. .These three amiibo alongside a variation of Isabelle wearing her summer dress were released on March 18, 2016 in Europe and North America (minus Isabelle who was released in North America on June 10), March 19 in Oceania, and March 24 in Japan. Isabelle's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate amiibo was released on July 19, 2019 in Japan and Europe, and on July 26, 2019 in North America.
Isabelle (winter outfit)
Isabelle (summer outfit)
Super Smash Bros. series
- On October 28, 2015, Nintendo revealed the Animal Crossing Series 1 Cards were the best selling amiibo product in Japan and the 6th best selling product in North America.
- Prior to the November 8, 2015 restocks by ToysRUs, the Villager amiibo was one of the most sought after amiibo in North America.
- The Lottie amiibo figure was originally a Target exclusive in North America, people later discovered that Lottie had broken free from Target exclusivity about a month later.
Artwork of the player using the amiibo phone in Happy Home Designer.
- Nintendo of America (September 25, 2020). . Twitter. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
- @NintendoAmerica. . Twitter. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- @Nintendo. . Twitter. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
- @tulipbayluke. . Twitter. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
- @animalcrossing. . Twitter. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
- Amiibo Alerts - "amiibo News 8/24 Recap"
- Amiibo Alerts - "Nintendo Store Display Reveals New amiibo"
- Amiibo Alerts - "A Brief Summary of amiibo Details from Nintendo's Investor Briefing"
- Twitter - @ToysRUs' tweet regarding Villager restocks
- Amiibo Alerts - "Lottie amiibo is a Target Exclusive"
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