Throw Hands Like a Champ: ARMS Tips & Tricks

Throw Hands Like a Champ: ARMS Tips & Tricks

So you wanna be the next ARMS champ, huh? Wear the belt, have the screaming fans chanting your name? Then listen up kid. These are some quick tips to get those Arms of yours in top form.


Buttons or Motion?

ARMS can be played either with button controls or motion controls. Three members of the Infendo crew prefer button controls, while one of us (cough cough, Steve) is still using motion controls. Give both a try, and spend a few hours trying each. This is one of the many things in ARMS that depends on personal preference. Once you’ve found your preferred style, stick with it. Don’t alternate if you want to be at your top game; Switching back and forth will only serve to confuse you and keep you from progressing.

Always Be Punching

In ARMS, your special meter increases every time you throw a punch. Those punches don’t have to land either. If you’re too far to hit your opponent, throw a few punches anyway. Your foe just got knocked down? Punch away. Don’t go overboard to the point of giving them an opening, but all those extra punches add up. And in ARMS, the one who gets more special attacks usually has the advantage.

Know Your Characters

While the characters aren’t as important as the Arms themselves, each one plays differently. Heavies like Max Brass and Master Mummy will deal a little extra damage during grabs and will be able to take more hits before falling down, at the cost of mobility. The best strategy for finding your perfect fighter is to view the Hints section, learn each characters special abilities and try a few rounds in Grand Prix. Beginner players can try Spring Man and Ribbon Girl to get the feel of the game, and should probably steer clear of trickier fighters like Max Brass and Helix until they’ve learned the basics.

Get Arms, Try Arms

There are currently 33 different Arms out there for you to use. You’ll need to unlock most of these in the “Get Arms” section of the game. A few things to mention here. First, save your coins for the 200 coin mode. The number of Arms you’ll unlock per play are vastly improved from the quick 30 coin mode. Secondly, play as the character you want to unlock Arms for. You don’t exclusively get arms for one character, but you do tend to get more for that one. If you play on maining Kid Cobra, he should be the one playing Get Arms. Third, try those new Arms out. The different arms play VERY differently, and the only real way to know what works for you is to try them out. Some Arms might work better doubled, while you might be more comfortable mixing certain sets. Again, this is all personal preference and really requires trial-and-error.

Grab With Care

Grabs are generally a powerful way to deal some quick damage. However, they leave you wide open to counter-attack. If you can pull of a successful grab, go for it. But be careful, as grabbing too often creates a predictable pattern for your foes to counter.

It’s All In The Element

Often, your Arms will have a unique element type. The elemental effect will only occur if you charge your Arm first, so be sure to keep that in mind. These types have a variety of effects, which are listed below:

Fire: Objectively one of the best types. It deals extra damage for each charged hit, and with the addition of version 2.0, there’s an even more powerful blue fire Arm (this one trades accuracy for damage though, so be warned).

Ice: Hitting a foe with a charged ice type Arm will cause them to become almost completely immobile. They’ll still be able to punch, and they can flutily hop in place, which makes them relatively easy targets. This effect lasts longer than electricity, so it’s good if you have less than perfect reflexes.

Electric: A well placed electric type attack will cause complete immobility, including the lack of being able to punch. This is a powerful, crippling effect, but it doesn’t last as long as ice. It’s best to grab your foe after stunning them, as you’ll usually deal the most damage that way.

Wind: The wind element isn’t all that common, but some Arms use it. Charged wind attacks will knock your opponent across the stage when they hit. These attacks can be good if you want to create some distance between the two of you, which makes them pair well with far-reaching Arms like the Dragon Arms.

Explosion: Exploding arms can deal damage even if they miss, which can be quite useful. There are even exploding Arms that have a stunning electric effect. The down side is a charged explosive Arm can be detonated even if you haven’t launched them, so you’ll need to be careful not to let your opponent hit them before they reach their intended target.

Blorbs: As of the time of this writing, there is only one weapon with this unique typing: The Blorbs. Charged Blorbs will leave a ball of blue ink on the opponent’s head, which will effectively blind them. It should be noted that a “blorbed” player can still make out the fight behind the ink, and computer players will be largely unaffected. This isn’t really the most useful ability, as its effectiveness largely comes down to human error. That said, the Blorbs are one of the more unique weapons in the game, so factor the elemental effect into your overall opinion of them.

Mode Means Everything

One-on-one matches are Arms in its purest form. Play however you’re most comfortable. However, in a Three or Four-way battle, you’ll want to be careful. Frequent dodges are your friend in multi-man fights. Attacking too frequently or randomly could alert everyone to your presence. When possible, let your foes pick each other off before you go in for the kill. Grabbing and using specials are highly risky tactics in multiplayer battles, since you’re left wide open to attack by one player while you’re attacking the other. Try to save your special until the fight becomes a one-on-one battle towards the end, unless you have a great opening and feel safe using it. Most of all, avoid only targeting one player. Often, players will become so single-minded that they completely ignore the third player, which causes them to win by timeout.

In Team matches, you’ll be tethered to your teammate. Grabs work very well in this mode, as throwing one enemy will cause the other to get thrown aloung with them, damaging both foes. Again though, beware of the opponent’s teammate attacking you mid-throw.

That’s it. Now go get ‘em, Champ!

Like any other game, the real key is practice. Don’t get discouraged, don’t give up. You don’t have to be as good as Max Brass right off the bat. Get in your training, trade tips with your friends and throw punches in your sleep. The More you play, the better you’ll get. In a game with as much customization as Arms, it can be easy to get discouraged when you don’t find your perfect set in the first few hours. Just keep trying until you find something that clicks and you’ll be wearing the belt before you know it!


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