Never Leg Day: ARMS Tips & Tricks (Part 2)

Never Leg Day: ARMS Tips & Tricks (Part 2)

You thought we were done knocking you out with great ARMS tips, champ? Well think again. Today we’re gonna go over some more specific tips to get your ARMS game to the next level. Real champs never stop training right?

If you haven’t already read the first Tips and Tricks article, check it out right here. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, kid.


Charging punches is key to playing a good arms game, but first you need to know your weapon. It might be tempting to always charge before you punch, but this leaves you open to playing a repetitive, easy-to-read style. Mix it up, and take advantage of the speed that comes from punching without charging up.

Certain Arms are more valuable to charge than others. Blorbs, for example, which have a relatively useless secondary skill, work just fine without a charge up. Fire type weapons get an attack boost, though, and should be charged whenever possible to ensure maximum damage.

One final point: From personal testing, it seems more beneficial to use the dash button to charge your arms, as opposed to the shield. The charge disappears after 1 second if you shield to charge. That time was closer to 1.5 seconds with a dash charge. Holding the dash button the longest the game would allow gave my ARMS a 2-second cool-down. That extra time could be the difference between landing a hit, so get into the practice of charging by dashing.


Speaking of dashing, using a dash right before a jump can give you considerable momentum, adding to the distance you cover as you hop around your opponent. Unless you’re playing a character like Master Mummy, dodging will often be the preferred method of defense, as opposed to shielding.

Often, matches will be two players jumping, dashing and throwing punches, trying to out-do the other. Try to read how your foe plays. Learn their patterns, and respond with your own counter-play style in kind. Wait until they’ve thrown the first punch. Then you throw one, and they throw their second to counter your attack. Now, while both of their ARMS are out in the field, you throw your second, landing the hit. This is just one example of how you can manipulate your opponent, but it’s important to develop strategies you’re comfortable with when things get serious.


If you’re fighting a foe who uses a particular elemental type, knowing what to do when you get hit is key. Often, your reaction may be to just stumble around, desperate to escape their traps, but a cool head and a little pre-battle strategizing can help you stay focused when things get tough.

Fire: Enemies who use fire-type arms are trying to take you out quick. Try not to leave them too many openings. Fortunately, they can’t hinder you physically, so just keep an eye on your health and be careful.

Ice: This is THE element people mess up with when they’re hit. You can’t dodge or jump while you’re frozen, so don’t even try. When you get hit, just focus on using your punches to counter attack them. The opponent will try to either attack you head-on or grab you at this point. In either scenario, well-aimed punches will help stave off the attacks until you get thawed out.

Electricity: This is like Ice, but worse. You can’t move or punch when you get electrified. Just keep inputting that dodge or jump, and hope you escape before your opponent can take advantage.

Wind: Wind-type attacks can actually be a big help if you’re having trouble getting the pacing of a fight. Your opponent will push you across the stage, putting a generous distance between the two of you. Take the opportunity to catch your breath and get back in there.

Blorb: ARMS that can visually impair you aren’t all that imposing, and usually just blinding punching where you assume your enemy is going to be works fine. Just remember, you’re always facing your opponent, so just keep punching. If you’re in a really tricky situation, you can just get  dodgy until it wears off.


These are the special attacks that come from a filled meter at the bottom right of your screen, and they’re incredibly important. Landing rush attacks gives you a huge advantage, and dodging them sets you leagues apart from your foes. First, you’ll want to learn how your Rush Attack functions. In some cases, it’s better to just wildly punch. Others will allow you to “juggle” your foes in mid-air, and should be used in a left-right-left-right punching pattern with proper timing.

Landing your Rush Attack is vital, so look for a few key signs that it’s time to strike. Any time your foe is in mid-air, they’re unable to dash or shield, and basically a sitting duck. Another wonderful time is right after they throw a punch, since again, they won’t be able to shield. Both of these will take a little reading into your opponent to pull off, as you’ll need to be lightning-fast to attack before they reach a neutral state again. If you use your Rush Attack and they do shield, just keep hitting. You’ll still score 5 damage for each hit, so it’s not a total loss. If you attack and they dodge, try to dodge in the opposite direction and hit them while they’re positioning for a counter-attack. Finally, if you get the incredibly rare situation where you both attack at the same time, just keep attacking. The faster attack will usually win, or you’ll just each deal minor damage to the other.

If your foe has a full rush gauge, the opposite is true. You won’t want to make yourself a target, and you should never, ever jump. Just keep your dodge-game on point and try to either avoid or defend against that Rush.

Finally, a quick point: Use those Rush Attacks quickly. Obviously, don’t waste them, but the faster you use it, the faster you can start building up your next Rush. Keeping it for half the match like some players do can be a big mistake.


Don’t let other players pressure you. Whether you prefer to move forward or backward, there will usually be a give and take of the stage as you fight. Some players will try to push you into a wall and limit your mobility. Use your dash to circle around and shift your rival into this position. Other opponents may refuse to attack until you do, and may rely heavily on shielding. Use your own punches to lure them into attacking, and pull off the counter attack.

Always move, unless this goes completely against your play-style. In my experience, the players that know how to move constantly run circles around their opponents. It’s common sense really: it’s easier to hit a stationary target. And remember to switch up your attack patterns. If you always dodge left then right then left then right it’s going to be easy to figure out how to hit you.

Finally, if you’re in a match that lasts more than 1 round, consider you ARMS choices. If you won the last match, it might be a good idea to keep that setup for round 2. If your opponent changes ARMS and beats you in round 2, you can assume they’ll try to use the same winning setup in round 3, and you can go into it with a set made to beat theirs. It also doesn’t hurt to keep your Rush Gauge filled for the start of the next round, if you think you can win without it or think using it won’t help you win the round you’re currently in.


I can’t stress this enough: variety is the key to keeping your opponent off-guard. Come out swinging, right off the bat, and don’t let up until the match is over. Keep the heat on your opponent, and dodge those rival punches. It might seem like common knowledge, but ARMS is fast paced. Developing your strategy before you get into the ring and preparing for as many eventualities as possible can keep you cool and collected when things get tough. Of course, there are always going to be things that you can’t plan for. You’re going to have to develop a strategy unique to the situation you’re in, mid-battle. But remembering some of the tips mentioned above might help you shape your own style that will help you win matches.



Gamer by day, game designer by night - Lukas studied Digital Arts in school, and grew up in the age of the N64 and Gamecube. He's the youngster of the bunch, but that doesn't keep him from shouting out at every available opportunity on Infendo Radio. He often finds himself at the edge of counter-culture (hates Metroid Prime, loves Other M), but isn't afraid to dive into the next big budget AAA title with the best of 'em. Favorite game: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle/Skyward Sword/Ocarina of Time/Zero Escape 2/You get the idea