How to Fix Amiibo Not Working on a Nintendo Switch

Introduction

You finally found the Amiibo you've been searching for only to find out your Switch can't read it.

Nintendo Amiibo

This guide will help you resolve this disappointment and get you back to playing.

1 Manual Update

  1. Select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch home screen highlighting the system settings button.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select System Update.
    Nintendo switch system menu highlighting the system update option.
  4. Allow the update to proceed. The system will reboot when ready.

? With which accessory are you trying to scan the amiibo?

  1. Joy-Con
  2. Pro Controller

We're here to help!

Connect to a Tech Pro

Call or chat with a Tech Pro 24/7.

You finally found the Amiibo you've been searching for only to find out your Switch can't read it.

Nintendo Amiibo

This guide will help you resolve this disappointment and get you back to playing.

  1. Select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch home screen highlighting the system settings button.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select System Update.
    Nintendo switch system menu highlighting the system update option.
  4. Allow the update to proceed. The system will reboot when ready.
We need to know if your amiibo ever worked.
  1. Hold the Power Button for roughly 3 seconds.
    Nintendo Switch console highlighting the power button at the top.
  2. Select Power Options.
    Nintendo Switch menu displaying power options.
  3. Choose either Turn Off or Restart.
    Nintendo Switch power options menu highlighting the turn off option.
  4. If the console was turned off, press the Power Button again to power it back on.

Ensure Nothing is Obstructing the NFC Touchpoint

  1. Make sure nothing is covering the directional control stick on the right Joy-Con.
    Right Joy-Con showing an Amiibo above the right control stick
  2. If you have a cover or a skin on the right Joy-Con, remove it. You can put it back on later.

Connect Directly to Your Switch

With the console undocked, attach the Joy-Con to the console.
  1. With the Switch LCD facing you, align the - symbol on the left Joy-Con with the top left corner of console, and align the + symbol on the Joy-Con with the top right corner of the console.
    Nintendo Switch screen with JoyCons, arrows highlighting + and - buttons
  2. Using the rail on the side of the console, slide the Joy-Con from top to bottom, until you hear a click.
    Nintendo Switch with joycon being pushed down into place
  3. Start the amiibo-compatible software. (A compatibility chart of available amiibo and games can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/amiibo/compatibility)
    Nintendo Switch showing Zelda starting to open
  4. Touch the amiibo to the NFC touchpoint on the directional controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the directional controller
  1. From the HOME Menu select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch System Settings
  2. Select amiibo.
    Nintendo switch amiibo settings
  3. To delete all data on the amiibo, select Reset amiibo.
  4. Hold an amiibo figure to the NFC touchpoint on the Right Joy-Con controller.
    Amiibo reset instructions
  5. If the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is being used, the NFC touchpoint is located over the Nintendo Switch logo at the top-center of the controller.
  6. Review the data to be deleted then select OK.
    Nintendo Switch screen showing am amiibo being reset
  7. Select Reset, then hold the amiibo steady on the NFC touchpoint until the data has been deleted.
    Switch screen showing an amiibo being reset
    Amiibo reset complete

If possible, test a different amiibo.

If the other amiibo works, the previous one is damaged or defective and should be replaced. The retailer you purchased the amiibo from may be able to replace it. This will depend on the retailer's return policies. Nintendo cannot repair or replace amiibo directly.

Ensure you are using an authentic amiibo figure or amiibo card.
  • The model number on the bottom of the amiibo should read NVL-001 or NVL-201.
    Amiibo bottom showing the model number
  • If either of these model numbers are not printed on the amiibo, then it is not a licensed accessory. Using an authentic amiibo should resolve the issue.

Ensure Nothing is Obstructing the NFC Touchpoint

  1. Make sure nothing is covering the directional control stick on the right Joy-Con.
    Right Joy-Con showing an Amiibo above the right control stick
  2. If you have a cover or a skin on the right Joy-Con, remove it. You can put it back on later.

Connect Directly to Your Switch

With the console undocked, attach the Joy-Con to the console.
  1. With the Switch LCD facing you, align the - symbol on the left Joy-Con with the top left corner of console, and align the + symbol on the Joy-Con with the top right corner of the console.
    Nintendo Switch screen with JoyCons, arrows highlighting + and - buttons
  2. Using the rail on the side of the console, slide the Joy-Con from top to bottom, until you hear a click.
    Nintendo Switch with joycon being pushed down into place
  3. Start the amiibo-compatible software. (A compatibility chart of available amiibo and games can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/amiibo/compatibility)
    Nintendo Switch showing Zelda starting to open
  4. Touch the amiibo to the NFC touchpoint on the directional controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the directional controller
  1. From the HOME Menu select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch System Settings
  2. Select amiibo.
  3. Select Register Owner and Nickname.
    Nintendo Switch settings screen showing amiibo select and register Owner and nickname
  4. Hold an amiibo figure to the NFC touchpoint on the Right Joy-Con controller. Do not move the amiibo while it is being read or written to.
    Amiibo registration explanation showing an amiibo held over the right joy con
  5. Or the NFC touchpoint located over the Nintendo Switch logo at the top-center of the Pro Controller. Do not move the amiibo while it is being read or written to.
    Amiibo being registered with the Pro Controller
  6. Select an owner for the amiibo from the existing users on the console, or create a new user by selecting Create Mii.
    Select a Mii screen for the Switch
  7. If the amiibo already has a registered owner and nickname, this will be displayed on the screen.
  8. Enter a nickname for your amiibo, then select OK.
    Amiibo Nickname field
  9. The nickname can be up to 10 characters long and can include up to five numbers.
  10. Select OK, then hold the amiibo figure steady on the NFC touchpoint until the registration is complete.
    Amiibo registration complete
  1. Hold the Power Button for roughly 3 seconds.
    Nintendo Switch console highlighting the power button at the top.
  2. Select Power Options.
    Nintendo Switch menu displaying power options.
  3. Choose either Turn Off or Restart.
    Nintendo Switch power options menu highlighting the turn off option.
  4. If the console was turned off, press the Power Button again to power it back on.
  1. From the HOME Menu select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch System Settings
  2. Select amiibo.
    Nintendo switch amiibo settings
  3. To delete all data on the amiibo, select Reset amiibo.
  4. Hold an amiibo figure to the NFC touchpoint on the Right Joy-Con controller.
    Amiibo reset instructions
  5. If the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is being used, the NFC touchpoint is located over the Nintendo Switch logo at the top-center of the controller.
  6. Review the data to be deleted then select OK.
    Nintendo Switch screen showing am amiibo being reset
  7. Select Reset, then hold the amiibo steady on the NFC touchpoint until the data has been deleted.
    Switch screen showing an amiibo being reset
    Amiibo reset complete

If possible, test a different amiibo.

If the other amiibo works, the previous one is damaged or defective and should be replaced. The retailer you purchased the amiibo from may be able to replace it. This will depend on the retailer's return policies. Nintendo cannot repair or replace amiibo directly.

You have been sold a bootleg amiibo. It will not work with Nintendo systems. You will need to purchase an authentic amiibo.

Connect With a USB Cable

  1. Place the Nintendo Switch console in the dock.
  2. Connect the Pro Controller to the dock with the included USB cable.
    Pro Controller paired with USB cable

Connect Wirelessly

  1. From the HOME Menu, select Controllers.
    Pro Controller paired with USB cable

  2. Select Change Grip and Order.
    Pro Controller paired with USB cable

  3. While the following screen is displayed.
    Pro Controller paired with USB cable
     
  4. Press and hold down the Sync Button for at least one second on the Pro Controller you wish to pair.
    Pro Controller paired with USB cable

If Using An Amiibo:

If the Pro Controller is connected to the Nintendo Switch console using the USB charging cable, ensure that Pro Controller Wired Communication is set to OFF, otherwise the NFC touchpoint on the controller will be disabled.

We need to know if your amiibo ever worked.
  1. Hold the Power Button for roughly 3 seconds.
    Nintendo Switch console highlighting the power button at the top.
  2. Select Power Options.
    Nintendo Switch menu displaying power options.
  3. Choose either Turn Off or Restart.
    Nintendo Switch power options menu highlighting the turn off option.
  4. If the console was turned off, press the Power Button again to power it back on.

Ensure Nothing is Obstructing the NFC Touchpoint

  1. Make sure nothing is covering the NFC touchpoint on the Pro Controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the pro controller
  2. If you have a cover or a skin on the Pro Controller, remove it. You can put it back on later.
  3. Start the amiibo-compatible software. (A compatibility chart of available amiibo and games can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/amiibo/compatibility)
    Nintendo Switch showing Zelda starting to open
  4. Touch the amiibo to the NFC touchpoint on the directional controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the pro controller
  1. From the HOME Menu select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch System Settings
  2. Select amiibo.
    Nintendo switch amiibo settings
  3. To delete all data on the amiibo, select Reset amiibo.
  4. Hold an amiibo figure to the NFC touchpoint on the Right Joy-Con controller.
    Amiibo reset instructions
  5. If the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is being used, the NFC touchpoint is located over the Nintendo Switch logo at the top-center of the controller.
  6. Review the data to be deleted then select OK.
    Nintendo Switch screen showing am amiibo being reset
  7. Select Reset, then hold the amiibo steady on the NFC touchpoint until the data has been deleted.
    Switch screen showing an amiibo being reset
    Amiibo reset complete

If possible, test a different amiibo.

If the other amiibo works, the previous one is damaged or defective and should be replaced. The retailer you purchased the amiibo from may be able to replace it. This will depend on the retailer's return policies. Nintendo cannot repair or replace amiibo directly.

Ensure you are using an authentic amiibo figure or amiibo card.
  • The model number on the bottom of the amiibo should read NVL-001 or NVL-201.
    Amiibo bottom showing the model number
  • If either of these model numbers are not printed on the amiibo, then it is not a licensed accessory. Using an authentic amiibo should resolve the issue.

Ensure Nothing is Obstructing the NFC Touchpoint

  1. Make sure nothing is covering the NFC touchpoint on the Pro Controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the pro controller
  2. If you have a cover or a skin on the Pro Controller, remove it. You can put it back on later.
  3. Start the amiibo-compatible software. (A compatibility chart of available amiibo and games can be found at https://www.nintendo.com/amiibo/compatibility)
    Nintendo Switch showing Zelda starting to open
  4. Touch the amiibo to the NFC touchpoint on the directional controller.
    Amiibo being touched to the pro controller
  1. From the HOME Menu select System Settings.
    Nintendo Switch System Settings
  2. Select amiibo.
  3. Select Register Owner and Nickname.
    Nintendo Switch settings screen showing amiibo select and register Owner and nickname
  4. Hold an amiibo figure to the NFC touchpoint on the Right Joy-Con controller. Do not move the amiibo while it is being read or written to.
    Amiibo registration explanation showing an amiibo held over the right joy con
  5. Or the NFC touchpoint located over the Nintendo Switch logo at the top-center of the Pro Controller. Do not move the amiibo while it is being read or written to.
    Amiibo being registered with the Pro Controller
  6. Select an owner for the amiibo from the existing users on the console, or create a new user by selecting Create Mii.
    Select a Mii screen for the Switch
  7. If the amiibo already has a registered owner and nickname, this will be displayed on the screen.
  8. Enter a nickname for your amiibo, then select OK.
    Amiibo Nickname field
  9. The nickname can be up to 10 characters long and can include up to five numbers.
  10. Select OK, then hold the amiibo figure steady on the NFC touchpoint until the registration is complete.
    Amiibo registration complete
  1. Hold the Power Button for roughly 3 seconds.
    Nintendo Switch console highlighting the power button at the top.
  2. Select Power Options.
    Nintendo Switch menu displaying power options.
  3. Choose either Turn Off or Restart.
    Nintendo Switch power options menu highlighting the turn off option.
  4. If the console was turned off, press the Power Button again to power it back on.

If possible, test a different amiibo.

If the other amiibo works, the previous one is damaged or defective and should be replaced. The retailer you purchased the amiibo from may be able to replace it. This will depend on the retailer's return policies. Nintendo cannot repair or replace amiibo directly.

You have been sold a bootleg amiibo. It will not work with Nintendo systems. You will need to purchase an authentic amiibo.
We use cookies on our website to enhance your experience, analyze site usage and support our marketing efforts. To learn more, visit our Privacy Policy. By clicking “Accept”, you agree to our use of cookies and similar technologies.
Accept