The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Guide: How to use Amiibo and what they all do
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is mostly being thought of as the first Nintendo Switch game on the market, but it is of course also the last major Wii U release. In line with that it features one of the Wii U's major features fairly prominently: Amiibo. But not that prominently... for some reason, Nintendo has naturally de-emphasized their money-making figurines inside the game.
As a direct result of that decision some of you appear to be struggling to figure out how to use Amiibo in Breath of the Wild. The option is hidden away, and on top of that once that option has been activated the only way to know what an Amiibo does is to use it, which is a bit of a pain.
So... here we go. Let's explain what Nintendon't. Here it is:
How to use amiibo in Breath of the Wild, what they do and what items they drop
Once you're loaded up into your Breath of the Wild save, you're actually almost at the point where you can use Amiibo. For some reason, the option is locked away - perhaps because the Amiibo effects might feel a little like cheating. But we don't judge - we've been using them loads.
Press Plus/Start to open up your inventory and then pan across the menus using R to get to the System page. There select the options button, and the item at the very top option in the options menu is for you: by default Amiibo use is turned off. Activate it in here.
This makes a new rune appear in your Rune list. Once you've activated Amiibos, all you now need to do is press and hold up on the D-Pad and use the right stick to select the Amiibo rune.
Press L to use it and a circle appears on the floor - this is where anything the Amiibo spawns will land, so be careful not to do it into water or on a cliff-side or whatever. There are some places, such as shrines and the tops of towers, where you're prevented from using Amiibo.
Tap an amiibo with this rune active and the circle in a good place and items will drop out. Simple! If you here a clunk noise, remove the amiibo and try again. Generally speaking, Amiibo can be used once per day.
Using the Smash Bros. Link amiibo to get Epona
A few amiibo have some really special effects, and one such Amiibo is the Super Smash Bros. version of Link, one of the first amiibo ever made.
The first time (and only the first time) that you tap this Amiibo, a special one-of-a-kind horse will spawn in front of you. This is Epona. The Epona, from Ocarina of time - same color, same identifying marks.
Once Epona is teleported into the game you should take care of her - if she dies, that's it (unless you visit the horse fairy, ahem) - so look after her. Take her straight to a stable and register with the stable owner to keep her. She has amazing Speed, Strength and Stamina plus a gentle Temperament - she's as good as horses get. If you lose her before you register her, we're afraid you're in trouble - there's no recourse for that.
Beyond Epona, the Smash Bros. Link amiibo also has a chance to spawn swords, shields, elemental arrows and fruit. At random he can also spawn some rare iterms: the Cap of Twilight, Tunic of Twilight and Trousers of Twilight - three armor items that make up Twilight Princess Link's version of the classic Zelda green tunic.
Using the Twilight Princess Wolf Link amiibo to get a wolf companion
Another amiibo with a special impact is the Wolf Link and Midna Amiibo released with Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U.
Simply tapping this Amiibo will cause Wolf Link to spawn. He's a companion character that follows you around. He'll kill animals to leave the meat for you and attack enemies. He has 3 hearts by default, though he'll have more if you play Twilight Princess' Cave of Shadows dungeon, the new addition for the HD version. Complet the first six levels without taking damage and you can give Wolf Link more hearts in Breath of the Wild.
If Wolf Link dies, you can tap him again later to bring him back, but the once per day rule still applies.
Using the Breath of the Wild Zelda amiibo to get a Hylian Shield
The Breath of the Wild Zelda amiibo has a particularly useful effect - when you tap her, there's a chance she'll drop a chest which contains a Hylian Shield. Like most special items, there's not guarantee, but there's a possibility she can drop this.
The Hylian Shield is by far and away the best shield in the game, and is only found out in the wild in one location, deep within Hyrule Castle. If you don't have this amiibo, we've got a guide to getting that naturally. Once you've had the shield once, you'll be able to rebuy it from Grante in Tarry Town.
She also drops food items.
Other Amiibo Item Drops
Breath of the Wild Archer Link amiibo
The Archer Link amiibo for Breath of the Wild drops random food items plus a chest that has a chance of containing a powerful bow.
Breath of the Wild Horse Rider Link amiibo
The Horse Rider Link amiibo for Breath of the Wild drops random food items, but also has the chance to drop powerful swords or special saddles for your in-game steed.
Breath of the Wild Guardian amiibo
The Guardian amiibo is cool as hell to look at. It drops rare food items and also has a chance of dropping strong weapons and ancient arrows, the rare arrows that can one-shot these powerful enemies with ease.
Breath of the Wild Bokoblin amiibo
The Bokoblin enemy amiibo from Breath of the Wild will drop random food and elixir items for you, but also has a chance to drop powerful club-type weapons for you.
8-Bit Link amiibo
The 30th anniversary 8-bit Link amiibo reliably drops barells that are full of rupees plus a chest. The chest will etiher contain a decent regular weapon or shield, elemental arrows or a unique piece of gear - the Cap of the Hero, Tunic of the Hero or Trousers of the Hero - items that make up a classic 8 or 16-bit Link outfit.
Ocarina of Time Link amiibo
The Ocarina of Time design of Link was released as an amiibo for Zelda's 30th anniversary. Here he spawns meat, and a chest that can contain weapons, but there's also a chance when he'll drop a unique armor item: The Tunic of Time, the Trousers of Time or the Cap of Time. These make up an OOT-era Link green tunic. There's also a chance he could spawn Biggoron's Sword, another old OOT favourite, a two-handed sword.
Toon Link amiibo (30th anniversary or Smash Bros)
There are 2 Toon Link amiibo - one from Smash Bros, and one from Wind Waker. Both do the same thing: they appropriately spawn a load of fish, but also have a chance of dropping either random gear or even the Armor of Wind - three items (Tunic of Wind, Trousers of Wind, Cap of Wind) that make up a Wind Waker themed Link tunic design. That chest also might contain the Seabreeze Boomerang from Wind Waker.
Toon Zelda amiibo
The Toon Zelda amiibo drops a random selection of herbs and vegetables, some of them rather rare, that you can then use in cooking and creating elixir. She can also drop gems. There's also a chance a chest containing shields or if you're lucky even Wind Waker's Hero's Shield will drop.
Smash Bros. Zelda amiibo
The Smash Bros Zelda amiibo will drop bows, rare gems and a selection of herbs and vegetables when scanned. The big bonus, however, is the Twilight Bow - this won't always drop, but if it does it's a particularly special bow.
Smash Bros. Ganondorf amiibo
Ganondorf's Smash Bros. Amiibo will drop large claymore-type weapons, rare gems, monster parts, arrows and rupees, but like Zelda there is one exclusive bonus item that can drop - the Sword of the Six Sages from Twilight Princess.
Smash Bros. Shiek amiibo
Shiek got a separate amiibo from Zelda for Smash Bros, and her amiibo can drop a bunch of Sheikah gear including shields and swords, plus elemental arrows and mushrooms. This amiibo also has a chance of dropping an exclusive item, Sheik's Mask.
All other amiibo
Every other amiibo - be that Mario, Animal Crossing, Splatoon, Smash Bros and so on - all drop the same thing, which is a random selection of loot items into the world - but no chests, and nothing overly rare. They're still worth scanning for materials, however - it'll give you an absolute shed load of meat and other cooking ingredients to play around with.
Dataminers have been digging through Breath of the Wild and have found reference to amiibos for Fierce Diety Link (Majora's Mask), Twilight Princess Link, and Skyward Sword Link. Each comes with their own exclusive items ready to go including the Fierce Diety Armor, a Skyward Sword Tunic and the Goddess Sword - though when these will be released isn't yet clear.