Like any great fighting game, Nintendo’s newest boxing title ARMS features an intriguing and unique roster of characters for players to choose from. While the roster itself is currently only 10 combatants (11 if you count the upcoming DLC fighter), each one has their own strengths, weaknesses, and attributes that makes them wholly unique. Picking one of these fighters to main can be a bit intimidating, so here’s a breakdown of each fighter in ARMS and what they’re good at:
Perhaps the most balanced fighter on the roster, Spring Man offers a solid mix of defense and offense that makes him good in almost any situation. He has a decent amount of speed that allows players to dodge most basic attacks if they time their movements correctly. Spring Man is a perfect pick for anyone new to ARMS or is having trouble learning some of the more complex characters. His special ability allows him to Auto-Charge all of his punches once he goes below 25% health. This makes him very dangerous and can easily result in the entire match swinging in your favor. Because of this, don’t go defensive once this ability activates as you can easily put pressure back on your foe.
While Ribbon Girl has a lot of similarities to her counterpart Spring Man, her sheer level of evasion can make her a nightmare to fight. Unlike the other fighters, Ribbon Girl has the ability to extend the length of her jump a maximum of four times, meaning she is very tricky to pin down or grab. Because of this, Ribbon Girl players should rely on this advantage and constantly attack from above, using her superior height advantage to force foes into corners or knock them over.
Ninjara is a rather unique fighter that focuses on mobility and defensive style play to win his matches. Instead of simply dashing like a normal fighter would, Ninjara actually vanishes and then reappears at the end of his movement. Because of this, he cannot be hit while dashing until he pops out of the motion meaning slower fighters will have a real problem with him.
He will also auto-dash if he is blocking and attacked, so this fighter is always on the move if played correctly. Remember though, because you can only teleport this means fighters can predict your movements and catch you when you reappear. Try to not spam your dash too much in a fight otherwise, a smart opponent will read your movements and punish accordingly.
The tankiest of all the ARMS characters, Master Mummy focuses almost exclusively on slow, defensive fighting. His main ability is that when he holds block this character can slowly heal damage in 10 point increments until he is stopped or lowers his guard. Master Mummy can also fight through normal attacks and won’t stagger from a hit unless it’s fully charged. When using Master Mummy you are going to want to play the waiting game with your opponent and stall out the match as much as possible. Since no other hero can self-heal, this gives a skill Master Mummy player a huge advantage when it comes to fights. Try drawing them and then punishing with your powerful swings to ensure victory.
Min Min is another defensive style of character that has the ability to deflect attacks when she dashes backwards or is in the air. This gives Min Min a nice layer of protection of the opponent is playing overly aggressive. However, this is a double-edged sword because it can make her moves fairly easy to read, especially if she is constantly trying to bait the deflect. When using her try to activate her deflect sparingly and only when it will seriously leave your opponent open for a counter punch. Heavy Arms are the best for her to do this to as you can easily see them coming and time accordingly.
This is another heavy character, however, unlike Master Mummy she sacrifices a healing ability for better evasion options. Her special ability allows Mechanica to hover in the air if you hold the jump button and dash while you are up there. This gives her additional movement options when approaching targets and allows her to be a nice counter for more vertical heroes like Ribbon Girl.
However, you will need to make the most of this air mobility as she is a huge target and can be easily hammered if you don’t time your jumps right. Also, try not to hover after every jump as opponents will begin to figure this strategy out and just wait to throw punches until you’re airborne. Mechanica also sports the same armor type as Master Mummy, meaning she won’t flinch unless a fully charged shot hits her.
Certainly the fan favorite of ARMS, Twintelle has the unique ability to briefly slow down physical attacks by holding the dash button (charging). She also is an extremely evasive fighter, with her dashes allowing a good Twintelle user to easily criss-cross in the arena without taking a blow. This makes her wonderful for more aggressive fighters who like to keep enemies constantly on their toes. Try pairing her with lightning or ice based Arms to hamper your foe’s mobility and make them even easier to dance circles around.
Byte and Barq
A personal favorite, Byte and Barq’s special attribute is that players will have an NPC (Non-player character) companion for the entire fight called Barq. This mechanical dog will occasionally throw out punches or even absorb ones for you as the fight goes on. Because of this, Byte players can be highly aggressive or defensive depending on their preference.
Barq can only take so many hits before he short circuits (though he will come back after a few seconds) so try to make the most of him. Undoubtedly players will focus on removing Byte from the battle first so exploit this and constantly draw their attention away with your barrage of fists. You can even use Barq’s back as a springboard and launcher yourself into the air over and over again.
The terror of Ranked Matches right now, Kid Cobra is a terrifyingly mobile hero that can dash multiple times and evade a variety of different punches. He also has access to one of the best gloves right off the bat, as the Slapamander has a very high curve and can easily catch opponents who aren’t as mobile. If you want a hero focused more on exploiting opponent’s weaknesses and take a few shots between dodging this is the character for you. Good Kid Cobra players will rarely be touched during a fight and his high curve Arms means his can attack from virtually any angle during a fight.
Perhaps the most difficult hero in the game to master, Helix is effectively a blob of goo which means he has a very versatile roster of skills. All of his abilities focus on his form, meaning he can collapse himself into a puddle by rapidly hitting the dash button or even move your upper body when jumping separately from the lower. These moves are very tricky to get the hang off, as Helix is the single most complex fighter in all of ARMS.
If you want to use him, make sure to constantly practice his movement options so they become muscle memory. The last thing you want is to be fidgeting with the controls while your opponent his hammering away at you. Helix is a nice mix of offense and defense, but until you master his evasive options it’s best to play defensively first.