Welcome back, everyone. Today we are going to touch upon a topic that is kinda sensitive. For some people, this falls into the realm of cheating in video games, to Nintendo this would probably be seen as piracy. I only speak about this here because, to be honest when I heard about it the thought of this fascinated me. But before I go into what is going on in the blog, I just want to put a disclaimer forth for you all so you know my stance. I do NOT support ripping off big companies by pirating their things. I do NOT support buying duped tech from people on eBay, Etsy, or any other platform. Though I have the means of doing this myself I will NOT be selling these nor making them for anyone not even for free. In fact, I will still be buying Amiibo figures if I want them because they are cool and because I support Nintendo and want to see more cool games and accessories come from them. So to be clear, I support gaming companies and never condone making a profit off pirated or hacked content.
Now the purpose of this blog is because with the immense popularity of the Nintendo Switch during this COVID Pandemic and the insane purchase rates of Animal Crossing New Horizons, prices for all sorts of things have skyrocketed. There are Amiibo’s for Animal Crossing that can get you the villagers you want and they come in a card form and you can pay like $30 or more per card, especially if it’s for a character like Raymond who is insanely popular for some odd reason. Some people are going cheap and selling things on eBay where you can get the villager of your choice and a huge selection of Nook Mile Tickets or DIY ingredients and more. Some people are even using the lure of a Raymond Amiibo or other Amiibo card to sell homemade plushies. But the big thing is where do so many of these Amiibo’s come from? If you look up the official Animal Crossing Amiibo cards they are going for like $30 bucks a pack and they are blind packs with 6 out of 300+ characters in them. You know there aren’t going to be enough Raymonds for all of these sales so where are they coming from. Well, the solution is simple. People are making these Amiibo’s on their own and are then selling them. The thing that makes this even stranger is this isn’t some sort of scam most of the time because these little plastic cards that could just be plain white with a sticker on them or that are expertly printed on actually work and give you the character that is promised!
You see when I got into playing ACNH I immediately fell in love with it and I found out about Amiibo’s and how you could use them to create an island of your dream villagers whether that meant all females, all-male, all squirrels or all cats or a good mixture it didn’t matter! If there was a figure or a card out there it could be done. My first thought was “Damn I want an All Cat island!” Yes, I have a thing with cats; I love em. So, I started looking into Amiibo’s just to find out that a person living on disability wages can not afford such extravagance during a pandemic where everyone and their grandmama are suddenly playing the same exact game as you. There was no easy way to get the cards and when you found them there was no cheap way to get the cards and then some of them you would find and the first thought is “Well if that’s not sketchy that looks like a hand-drawn villager, not a professionally made card!” So I started joining some Animal Crossing forums, some were good and some were…..well let’s say less than stellar but they all had one rule that was usually in common between them. Don’t post about hacked/homemade Amiibo!
Well I’m not a huge techy person but I am a huge game geek and I just had to go down the rabbit hole and see what the heck they were all talking about. So, it seems that there are ways (some of the easiest are if you have an android phone that can read/write NFC cards) to get the software that can spoof an Amiibo….any Amiibo and they will work on your switch. It’s basically the same tech that makes hotel room keys. Some of this was for just taking the Amiibo you had and saving a backup copy but some of these were to download your codes from offline where there’s a repository for just about any Amiibo ever made and then you could make your own that would still work! Most of these needed certain Android phones or some iPhones would work so I was plum out of luck it seemed. Until I dug a little deeper.
There are programs out there that can do on the computer what I was only finding for the phones. The trick is that you can find them but then you also have to make your own NFC reader/writer because premade ones only run their own software so you need something blank that can run the software you download. This all seemed out of my ballpark of expertise until I found a YouTube video that explained exactly what you need and how you do things. I have to admit, I am surprised that these videos even exist as I would think that Nintendo would have them taken down. So, after watching the video and spending about $25 on Amazon I set out to try things. Within about 15 minutes I had created from an Arduino board and a few wires to connect an NFC writer exactly what I had needed. About 5 more minutes saw me flashing the software onto the hardware. Once I copied a few files into the right directory it was a whole one to two-second process to actually write and NFC card that would be my Amiibo. The first one I tried to make was Marina the cute pink Octopus. I went to the Nook Stop and selected “Invite to Campsite”, swiped the card and BOOM I had invited Marina to my campsite in the game.
The dang thing actually worked! Except for a few hiccups (like me not knowing the Arduino board didn’t come with the needed USB power cord so having to buy that and wait the day for it to come in), all of this was actually quite simple for someone like me who absolutely HATES hardware. I mean let me tell you when I had a hardware class in college my teacher got fed up with the fact that I couldn’t seem to grasp it and asked me what I was going to do as a web designer if my computer broke down and a part needed replacing. Without missing a beat I told him “I would call I.T. because that’s their job whereas my job as a web designer will be to write code.” See I wasn’t proud of my failure to learn this, but I also know where my strengths lie. I’m not a mechanical person, I can’t fix cars or computers and I’ll gladly call in the people that can do it for me. I know my limits. The thing is though, this was so bloody simple even I got it right the first time and the worst thing was just trying to read small numbers on a circuit board so I could match some wires up to where they needed to go.
So the point of this article is…yes you can make your own Amiibo and get your entire dream island in Animal Crossing or a character in Super Smash Brothers that you wanted or whatever. However, this is where I go back to the disclaimer in the first paragraph. I don’t support this as a way to make money and scam Nintendo or to try and take advantage of people by pushing up prices and such. I just had to try it to satisfy my curiosity as to if it worked. So, If you want to do this yourself I’m afraid you’ll have to do the google search yourself. Just know it is out there and it’s your choice whether or not you use the knowledge and what you decide to do with it.