‘ARMS’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

The Nintendo Switch is currently going strong with an impressive lineup of 1st-party IP’s.

On the day of release, Nintendo transported gamers into a lush world where Link thrived in Breath of the Wild. Later on, the most iconic kart racers from the Mario brand took to the track once again in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. When June 16 arrives, Nintendo and its EPD development studio will throw us all into an arena filled with long-limbed combatants in ARMS. This exclusive multiplayer fighting game for the Switch features unique control schemes, whimsical characters and plenty of cool weapons customization.

Let’s take a deep dive into ARMS and detail everything about the game that you definitely need to know.

1. ARMS is a Fighting Game That’s Primarily Controlled Via Joy-Con Motion Controls

Here’s a quick summary behind ARMS – it’s a 3D arena fighter where up to four players duke it out (battles can take place in a 2v2 or simple 1v1 situation). Each fighter is tasked with punching out their opponent with the aid of their extendable arms. Direct hits to a foe causes a fighter to lose health; landing a hit on an opponent’s actual arms not only does damage, but it also disables their arm usage for a quick second.

As for the controls, players will be able to use a character’s left and right arm with a Joy-Con controller held in each hand. Character movement is done by tilting both controllers in a player’s chosen direction, the L button is used for dashing, the R Button allows your fighter to jump and punching is done by physically thrusting one of your Joy-Con controllers forward. Thrusting both Joy-Con controllers forward lets you pull off a flashy grab and pulling off a character’s super move (the “Flurry Attack,” a maneuver that dishes out repeated punches) activates after pressing the ZL or ZR button. If you prefer to play ARMS through more conventional means, the Pro Controller is a viable option.


Check out the official description from Nintendo below to read about the game’s full lineup of modes for single play and multiplayer:

Fight: In this main multiplayer mode, two fighters battle against each other one-on-one to claim victory. During the fight, bombs and other healing items drop in, adding some strategic options to the proceedings.

Team Fight: In this mode, two players are attached by strings and must team up to battle another team of two. Attacks can hit allies, so watch out for friendly punches!

V-Ball: Similar to volleyball, but much more awesome. V-Ball is a sport that involves knocking an explosive ball into the opponent’s court.

Hoops: Grab opponents and shoot them into the net (or even dunk them for extra satisfaction) in this hard-core game of ARMS-style basketball.

Skillshot: Break as many targets as possible using the versatile powers of ARMS.

1-on-100: Defeat 100 enemies in a row, one at a time, in this progressive battle mode.

ARMS Test & Training: In Test mode, players can try out randomized ARMS combinations, while Training lets them practice a number of varied drills.

Multiplayer Gaming: Playing with friends either locally or online is easy when using one of the various multiplayer modes in ARMS.

Grand Prix: Win 10 straight matches in Grand Prix and players will face a final opponent to be crowned the ARMS champion. (This mode is played locally with one or two players.)

Party Match: By connecting the Nintendo Switch console to the internet, players can battle with up to three other ARMS players at a time that are in the same lobby as them. One lobby can hold up to 10 systems, but with up to two players per system, 20 players can potentially get together in the same lobby.

Ranked Match: In this time-honored coliseum, players compete online in 1-v-1 battles. By winning a match, a player’s rank goes up, while, conversely, losing will make that rank go down. While waiting to play a Ranked Match online, players can participate in any other mode to pass the time (and tighten up their skills).

Local Wireless Mode: When playing in Local Wireless mode, up to eight players with eight separate systems in the same room can gather in an in-game lobby and battle up to three other players at a time like in Party Match.

2. The Roster Delivers a Nice Sized Offering of Quirky Characters

A colorful fighting game such as ARMS has a roster befitting of its bright and zany nature. Each of the controllable pugilists come with their own looks, personality traits and gaudy special moves. Nintendo made sure to reveal the names of each playable character during a Nintendo Direct presentation devoted to the game, which can all be read in the description below:

Spring Man: This passionate fighter’s bouncy hairstyle might look fake, but his passion for fighting is definitely real.

Ninjara: Using his nimble movements and ancient ninjutsu, Ninjara can disappear and warp somewhere else even in mid-air or when guarding.

Master Mummy: As the only character that can restore health while guarding, Master Mummy is a force to be reckoned with.

Min Min: With her ramen noodle arms, Min Min’s spin kick and throws are deliciously powerful.

Kid Cobra: A fan of selfie sticks and livestreaming, this hip fighter pounces on opponents with a charged-up dash.

Ribbon Girl: Possessing next-level jumping skills, Ribbon Girl violates the laws of physics with her unbeatable power.

Helix: Who is Helix? He’s an experiment gone wrong, that’s who. His springy body lets him move in unpredictable ways.

Mechanica: This mechanical genius dons a homemade power suit that can hover above the competition.

Byte & Barq: Two fighters in one! This robot fighter and his robot canine companion battle together to unleash devastating combo attacks.

Twintelle: As an A-list actress, Twintelle uses her celebrity status to render her opponents utterly star struck as she walks the red carpet to victory.

3. You’ll Be Able to Outfit Your Chosen Fighter With Various Weapons

Once you finally choose your character, you’ll get to spend some time outfitting them with two separate weapons (one for the left hand and one for the right). Your fighter can equip standard fists, missiles, boomerangs, shields etc. These pieces of equipment have the power to dish out close- and long-range attacks, plus they’re powered by different elemental attributes – Fire, Electricity, Wind, Ice, Stun, Explosion and Blind.

You’ll also have to take the weight of each weapon into account before outfitting it to your fighter. Weight plays a huge part in affecting your character’s momentum during battle. The stronger ARMS dishes out tons of damage, but they’re much heavier and slower. The much lighter pieces of equipment may dish out punches much quicker, but they’re a lot weaker than their heavier counterparts. As you win matches and gain more in-game currency, you’ll be able to upgrade old pieces of ARMS and even purchase new ones.

4. The Game’s Battles Will Take Place Within Enclosed Arenas

ARMS’ big battles transpire across a variety of colorful stages. The most prevalent arena that’s been visible during trailers for the game is a stadium full of cheering onlookers. You’ll even get to clash with opponents on a sunny seaside area called “Buster Beach.” Players can very much look forward to free DLC updates in the future that adds new stages, fighters and weapons to the game.

5. You’ll Be Able to Take ARMS for a Spin During Its Global Testpunch

Before ARMS’ June 13 launch, those with a Nintendo Switch will get the chance to step into the game’s “Global Testpunch.” This free demo session (which will be downloadable through the Switch’s Nintendo eShop) will give interested gamers the chance to play the game and see what all the hype is about. Refer to the dates and times below to see when ARMS’ Global Testpunch will be active:

Friday, May 26: 5pm PST/8pm EST
Saturday, May 27: 5am PST/8am EST, 11am PST/2pm EST then 5pm PST/8pm EST
Sunday, May 28: 5am PST/8am EST and 11am PST/2pm EST
Friday, June 2: 5pm PST/8pm EST
Saturday, June 3: 5am PST/8am EST, 11am PST/2pm EST then 5pm PST/8pm EST
Sunday, June 4: 5am PST/8am EST and 11am PST/2pm EST

Buy ARMS here.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.
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