Nintendo might just have a hit on its hands with Arms, a brand new brawler featuring a colourful cast of characters with extendable arms (and sometimes hair). The game takes advantage of the Switch’s motion controls built into the dinky little Joy-Con controllers.
But although it’s an easy game to get into, to really succeed you’ll need a few tips and tricks up your sleeve.
Here’s our top Arms tips and tricks to help you come out on top every time:
Flailing is failing
It might sound ridiculous, but Arms is a game that rewards those with a bit of technique. Floppy arms and wrists and a lack of commitment could spell the end of your Arms career before it’s even begun.
Take up a boxing stance, bend those knees and keep your arms and wrists stiff and forceful as you deal out your punches. The Switch Joy-Cons will respond much better and you’ll see your punches landing much more regularly.
It’s all in the wrist
Having that professional stance will also allow you to dish out some of the trick shots you can pull off in Arms. When you throw a punch, you can twist your wrist at the end to curve your punch, allowing you to catch your opponent from the side or around their block. It’s incredibly useful
It’s incredibly useful, especially when you’re struggling to land any face-on. We’ve found it most effective when combined with Ribbon Girl’s Slapamander, Min Min’s Ram Ram and Kid Kobra’s Coolerang as they have plenty of reach.
Research your arms
You’ll unlock more arms for your fighters as you play, but to begin with, you’ll have the choice of three appendages per character. Part of finding your rhythm early on will be working out which ones work best for you.
The more you familiarise yourself with the arms on offer, the better equipped you’ll be for each fight. Some of them are slow and harder to wield, especially arms like Min Min’s Dragon and Helix’s Guardian, so you’ll want to get some practice in before you go online.
Our best advice would be to make sure you’re not going into a fight with two matching mitts, it’ll just make things harder for you. Plus, keep an eye on the arms your opponent chooses (you’ll see them choose them live across the ring) because it may affect which arms you choose and where you put them.
Charge is helpful but risky
One of the little-known abilities in Arms is the Charge. It’s a way to give your fighters more power, taking more damage from your opponents and edging yourself closer to that coveted victory.
In order to Charge your arms, hold dash (L) or jump (R) to charge the corresponding arm, or guard by pointing the Joy-Cons inwards to charge both arms. The longer you hold the charge, the longer it stays charged before reverting to normal.
However, attempting to charge your arms can be risky. Not only is your movement limited while you’re charging, but if you’re hit too many times whilst blocking, your arms will be disabled temporarily and you’ll leave yourself open to attack.
If you’re on a losing streak, mix things up
Sometimes you’ll find yourself getting absolutely pummelled match after match against the same opponent and you can’t figure out why. Punches aren’t landing, you can’t get a grab in and your super attack just isn’t feeling that super.
If you start feeling like that, make sure to mix it up. Either choose an entirely different character or switch your arms around and no doubt you’ll soon be back in the fight.
Learn the character’s strengths and weaknesses
Every character has their own pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses that you’ll need to take advantage of in a fight – whether you’re playing as them or against them. The more you play, the more aware of these perks you’ll be but here’s a quick guide:
- Spring Man: Perma-charge ability means arms stay charged until you use them
- Ribbon Girl: Can perform three jumps in a row before hitting the ground
- Ninjara: Teleports for a short time with every dash, making him a tricky target
- Master Mummy: He’s a tank that can take a punch better than anyone else
- Min Min: Can kick away airborne foes while she’s dashing
- Mechanica: Can hover for a while in mid-air
- Twintelle: When charging (apart from during blocks) she slows any incoming attacks
- Byte and Barq: Little dog Barq can attack for you
- Kid Cobra: Can charge dashes to make them quicker and longer
- Helix: Hold jump to stretch his body or ash to duck temporarily
Arms is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch from June 16.