Shovel Knight Receives Substantial Update for Wii U and 3DS; Exceptional Amiibo Support and More

Yacht Club Games have been rolling out software updates for their indie darling Shovel Knight in a tiered schedule. While PC players already have the latest version, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS are the first to receive updates on dedicated gaming consoles. The updates (Version 2.1 and 2.2) are bringing a host of new changes including bug fixes, Shovel Knight amiibo support, Challenge modes, and more.

Speaking of amiibo support in Shovel Knight, what exactly does that mean? According to Yacht Club Games, quite a lot. According to the a co-released amiibo manual, the amiibo content unlocked brings a Custom Knight option (allowing players to level of their specific amiibo and customize it), co-op gameplay on Wii U, and Challenge maps. Without a doubt, Yacht Club Games has brought the deep amiibo in-game functionality that many in the amiibo community have been asking for. There is simply too much for me to paraphrase here, so check out the full list of additions below:

Introducing Custom Knight!

What is Custom Knight? It’s a new way to play Shovel Knight! Instead of earning upgrades from Chester or purchasing them in the village, you will automatically unlock upgrades when your amiibo levels up. These upgrades range from visual flair to all-new relics. Let’s dig in and take a look!

Activating Custom Knight

On the Profile Select or Level Map screen, press the button to bring up the amiibo scan menu. When the menu appears, scan your amiibo by tapping it to the Wii U™ GamePad, New Nintendo 3DS™ Touch Screen, or Nintendo 3DS™ NFC Reader/Writer.

Once scanned, choose to set P1 or P2 as a Custom Knight (Player 2 only available on Wii U)! Now you are ready to choose a profile and get going!

 TIP: Custom Knight is not supported by Plague Knight’s campaign, Plague of Shadows.

Leveling Up Custom Knight

Your Custom Knight will level up as you earn gold, all the way up to level 50. Even if your co-op partner grabs the gold during play, it will still count toward your total. You can see your level progress on the Custom Knight Edit Screen.

When you level up, you will earn a new upgrade, and a message will appear to let you know. The upgrades are somewhat randomized, so you never know what you are going to get! But don’t worry – by the time you are level 50, you will have everything.

Custom Knight Edit Screen


The name of your Shovel Knight amiibo.


Your current level. The blue bar shows your progress to the next level. It takes more and more gold to reach each new level, so keep at it!

Custom Knight Appearance

This shows what your Custom Knight looks like. Choose this option to customize your Shovel Knight to look amazing!


Choose Relics, Charge moves, and Special moves to outfit Shovel Knight like never before!

Save Custom Knight

Choose this to save your progress to your amiibo.

Change Custom Knight Appearance!

Choose the Shovel Knight avatar to edit your appearance.

Changing your color

You earn a new color palette for every level you gain! Stylin’.


Whoa, nice armor! Costumes can completely change the look of Shovel Knight! When you change your costume in the field, the change will not be shown until you die, complete the level, or return to the level map.

Special FX

If you want to kick up a cool trail or maybe befriend a floating companion, you’ll love Special FX!


Hold down on the +Control Pad to perform a move with attitude!


As a Custom Knight, you can earn all of Shovel Knight’s original Relics. However, there is a slew of amazing new Relics! Like the original Relics, you can use the Touch Screen or the GamePad to quickly choose a new loadout. Get equipped!

Note: Pros can enable quick-select in the options menu, which lets you use the L and R buttons to switch relics.

Flareo Rod

Conjure a close-range cluster blast!

Bait Bomb

Toss into a sparkling pit and see what flies up! Just like Plague Knight!

Tow Anchor

Swing a massive anchor into the air and hold on tight!

Ghost Glove

Launch a flurry of far-reaching phantasmic fists!

Buzzsaw Boomerang

Throw this projectile to cut through enemies around you! The boomerang alternates paths with each toss.

Shadow Knight

Creates a shadow that fights and follows your every move! The Shadow Knight attacks instead of Shovel Knight, giving you enhanced reach.

Rising Dagger

Rise high into the air, skewering enemies in your way!


Soar through the air until something blocks your path!

Charge Moves

Hold Y to charge up until you flash, then unleash these moves!

Burrow Bomber

Hold attack and release to unleash a diving forward attack. You can also do this while jumping in the air.

Flare Razer

Hold attack and release to crash to the ground with flames. Great for clearing enemies beneath you.

Bomb Burst

Hold attack and release to explode through the air. Just like Plague Knight!

Blink Dash

Hold attack and release to dash through danger without taking damage! You can use this to skip right past hazardous areas.

Coin Capture

Hold attack and release to absorb nearby treasure.

Special Moves

Special Moves are a grab bag of fun. Try them all out and see what Custom Knight combination works best for you!

Dash Boots

Double tap in a direction to sprint.

Shovel Upgrades

Longing for your original Shovel Blade? Fully upgrade your trusty weapon with the Charge Handle, Trench Blade, and Drop spark. Note that if you have a Charge Move equipped, the Charge Handle will be disabled.

Glide Cloud

Float slowly to the ground by holding jump.

Double Jump

Gain extra height by jumping again in the air.

Diagonal Drop

Your Shovel drop now descends at an angle. Weird!

Bounce Bomb

Throw small explosives, just like Plague Knight!

Co-Op Gameplay (Wii U Only)

Activating Co-op

On the Profile Select or Level Map screen, press the Button to bring up the amiibo scan menu. Scan your amiibo by tapping it to the Wii U GamePad. Once scanned, choose to set P2 as a Custom Knight or Classic Knight! You will also be prompted to activate a controller of your choice. Shovel Knight supports many types of controllers, check Controller Support for more information.

 With Custom Knight, you earn upgrades by leveling up your amiibo! Even if you gain upgrades during the adventure, they cannot be used. With Classic Knight, you earn upgrades like the original Shovel Knight adventure.

 Note: Only one Custom Knight is supported per amiibo. If you want to play with 2 Custom Knights, you need 2 amiibo figures.

 TIP: Co-op is not supported by Plague Knight’s campaign, Plague of Shadows.

Playing Together

Now that there are 2 Shovel Knights, a lot has changed! Familiarize yourself to become a good partner and a co-op pro!

Tip: Player 1 defaults to blue, and Player 2 defaults to green. don’t lose track of yourself!

Share, Share Alike

In co-op, all gold is shared between players, so there’s no need to hoard it! Even if you collect your partner’s money bags, the gold is shared.

Unlike gold, health is separate for each player. You’ll need to decide who gets that next turkey or apple… or just grab it for yourself!

Finally, you share the screen! If two players are too far away, the screen will stop scrolling. Also, when one player goes to a new screen, the other player is brought along automatically during the screen transition. Make sure to stick together, but give each other enough space!

Lending a Helping Hand

Your partner will be affected by your Shovel and Relic attacks, getting knocked around but not taking damage. It may be fun to antagonize your friend, but it won’t get you very far!

Luckily, you can also help each other out! By Shovel Dropping on your partner’s head, you can bounce to new heights unattainable on your own!

Falling in Battle and Reviving

If one player falls in battle, not all is lost. In fact, the fallen partner can return to life!

When the remaining player is in a safe spot (not in the air or in a place where you might fall), the fallen player can press the A Button to revive, leaping back into the fray! However, this action splits the remaining health between the two players equally. Be careful not to drain all of your health reviving one another!

Note: If the remaining player has less than 1 bubble of health, the fallen player will be unable to revive.

The Knight Rankings Screen

New to co-op is a Knight Rankings Screen, which tabulates your totals at the end of each level. It counts gold earned, enemies defeated, and number of times each player fell in battle. Next, it determines a winner for that stage!

This ranking is only for bragging rights, so make sure to have fun and don’t take it too seriously.

Leaving a Co-op Game

Either player can choose Leave Game from the Pause Menu to leave the game at any time. If that player’s Custom Knight changed, they will be prompted to scan their amiibo and save the data.

To join again, players must exit to the Level Map or Profile Select screens and rescan their amiibo.

New Challenge Levels!

Care to master your new custom moves or your teamwork? New challenge levels await you!

Unlocking Challenge Levels

From the Challenge Mode menu, press the button to open the amiibo scan menu. Scan your amiibo by tapping it to the Wii U™ GamePad, New Nintendo 3DS™ Touch Screen, or Nintendo 3DS™ NFC Reader/Writer . This will unlock the new Challenge Levels!

Single Player Challenges are new challenges that use Shovel Knight’s custom amiibo Relics.

Co-op Challenges (available only on Wii U) will challenge you and a friend to work perfectly in tandem to get through. Can you beat them all?

Note: Haven’t unlocked challenge mode? You need to complete the game first! Although, there may be a secret way to do it

Secret Tips!

Teamwork Wins!

You can get all sorts of places by Shovel Dropping on your partner! Use it to bypass places you otherwise could not!

Synergize your Relics!

Two long range Relics to decimate enemies from afar? A defensive Relic combined with an offensive one? Strategize with multiple relics and be more than the sum of your parts. But don’t get caught in the crossfire!

One Head is Better Than Two?

If one player is having an especially tough time on a particular section, it may be best to avoid reviving and let the other player pass it. Revive when it’s safer and both players will have more health for the next challenge!

To wrap everything up, check the patch notes (below) to see what you can expect in Version 2.1 and 2.2. As mentioned previously, the updates are going live today in North America. While Europe already has Version 2.1, they will be able to download Version 2.2 this week. There is no mention on when other systems will be receiving an update.

Version 2.2

  • New: [Plague] Mail Minion will now read a letter to you which includes all sorts of neat stats.
  • New: [Plague] Minion can now appear within Plains of Passage to explain how to perform a bomb burst in case you’re stuck!
  • New: [Plague] Shovel Knight’s Secret Palette Cheats now work when playing as Plague Knight (Plague uses #1-16, SK uses #1-32)
  • Adjustment: [Plague] vs Propeller Knight has been tuned to be less difficult.
  • Adjustment: [Plague] Alchemy menu is slightly faster to open, close, and select items.
  • Fix: [Plague] Lock up when defeating Mole Knight when Mole Knight is hiding in the wall.
  • Fix: [Plague] Health display inconsistencies when upgrading health while maxed out on health tonics.
  • Fix: [Plague] Platters dropping incorrect health, magic, and tonics during Tower 2’s Banquet Battle.
  • Fix: Re-added some missing treasure in the first enemy map encounter
  • Fix: Item Completion percent surpassing 100%. (armors were being counted twice)
  • Fix: Crash when defeated by Mr. Hat, quitting while in the Fancy Shop, or returning to the fancy shop after defeating Mr. Hat in the Armor Outpost. (2.1 only)
  • Fix: Player can collect pickups while in chest open surprise animation.
  • 3DS & Wii U: [Plague] Relic heap icons appear on the touch screen now too!
  • 3DS: Crash when viewing Plague Knight Feats in German while stereoscopic 3D is enabled.
  • 3DS and Wii U: [Shovel] Fixed crash when exiting stage while the Troupple Chalice is selected. (2.1 only)
  • 3DS and Wii U: [Plague] Fixed crash (and made other improvements) when using relic quick and arcana touch menu at the same time.
  • 3DS: Fixed crash when quitting to world map when recording a ghost in the StreetPass arena while playing with Custom Knight. (2.1 only)
  • Wii U: [Co-Op] Treasure Knight Chest doesn’t pull in respawning players

Version 2.1

  • New: Added options to swap confirm/back buttons. Options -> Controls -> Confirm/Back
  • Adjustment: Swapped the design of two rooms within the Plains of Passage while playing as Plague Knight.
  • Adjustment: Important: Game-Changer: Megaton: Can now stand on the roof of all houses in the Village.
  • Fix: The Iron Man 2014 Cheat is back in service! Just enterIM&SGC14 on the profile screen to compete for the highest score in The Lost City. Plague Knight can now take on this challenge with the help of his Treasure Trappings!
  • Fix: Uncollected Cipher Coins revaled from dirt blocks not re-appearing if moving to a different screen before collecting.
  • Fix: Reize will drop song scroll center screen if he ends up too far to the screen edge.
  • Fix: Plague Knight’s money bags being caught off screen if he fell down the right-most pit during Propeller Knight’s battle
  • Fix: Mr. Hat sometimes appearing off his mark during Plague Knight’s post-credits.
  • Fix: Smoke bomb and Treasure Knight chest capture bug.
  • Fix: Stuck dancing at The Potionarium when using certain Cheats in Plague Knight’s campaign.
  • Fix: Minor text improvements across all languages.

Nintendo Wii U

  • New! Introducing the Shovel Knight amiibo! Scan the Shovel Knight amiibo to activate co-op, Custom Knight, and new Challenge Mode Challenges. For instructions, check out the manual.
  • New: Added option to turn off amiibo Functionality. Options -> Game -> amiibo Functionality

Nintendo 3DS

  • New! Introducing the Shovel Knight amiibo! Scan the Shovel Knight amiibo to activate Custom Knight, and new Challenge Mode Challenges. For instructions, check out the manual.

  • New: Added option to turn off amiibo Functionality. Options -> Game -> amiibo Functionality

  • New: ZL and ZR buttons can now be bound when playing on a New Nintendo 3DS.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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