North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo EPD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo Switch platform icon
Genre(s) Fighting

04ESRB E10  02PEGI 7  01CERO A 

Credits • Gallery • Cheats & Hints • Videos
ARMS is a fighting sports game developed by Nintendo that uses extendable arms for battle. It's similar to boxing in that the player strikes their opponents with their fists but, the ARMS stretch to reach the opponent across the stage. ARMS can be played on split-screens, online or with Switch vs Switch.


The game is a 3D arena fighter with the goal to whittle down the opponent's hitpoints. The extendable arms mean that distance does not mean the player can avoid the attack. However, a whiffed punch results in an opening that gets bigger with greater distance. Hitting the opponents arms does not do much damage but can stun their arms, creating an opening. They can also stun arms with certain Arms that either are more powerful or have a stun property. There are 2-on-2 matches in addition to 1-on-1.

In addition to choosing the character the player plays as, the player can choose between 3 ARMS for the character and change between each round. Players do not have to use the same ARM for both arms. The ARMS can also have 1 of 7 attributes; Fire, Electric, Wind, Ice, Explosion, Stun, Blind. Heavier ARMS can go through lighter ARMS in direct collision. All ARMS are compatible with the whole cast but they need to be unlocked with the ingame currency. Each person in the cast starts with 3 arms for free. The List of ARMS can be seen to a complete list of them.

Move Control Input (Two Detached JoyCons) Control Input (One Detached JoyCon / Attached JoyCons / Pro Controller) Notes
Move Tilt both JoyCons Left Analog Joystick On motion controls, level of tilt determines speed of movement. Both JoyCons must be tilted in the same direction.
Punch / Use ARM Punch forward (move or tilt forward sharply) with left or right JoyCon. A rapid tilt alone will work with little linear motion. Bottom Button (B / A / down arrow) or Left Trigger (ZL) for Left ARM; Right Button (A / X / right arrow) or Right Trigger (ZR) for Right ARM Selected ARM must be ready. The orientation of the JoyCon, or the position of the analog stick, at the time you punch can alter properties of the ARM's movement.
Steer ARM Tilt left JoyCon to steer left ARM; Tilt right JoyCon to steer right ARM Left Analog Joystick On non-motion controls, if both ARMs are active, they will both steer in the same direction. Only motion control can steer ARMs in different directions. Characters are not able to move while ARM steering is available, regardless of control method. "Boomerang" type arms do not need to be steered in order to bounce back on the opponent.
Block Tilt both JoyCons inwards Push in on Left Analog Joystick Both ARMs must be ready. Tilting other mismatched combinations of directions on motion controls will result in erratic or no motion. Blocking a punch will charge both ARMs for a brief period after the block.
Grab Punch forward with both JoyCons Press both ARM buttons at once Both ARMs must be ready. There is a small grace period so the ARMs do not have to be used at exactly the same time. Grabs are immune to blocks, but countered by attacking either ARM.
Dash Left JoyCon Bumper (L) Left Button (B / X / Left Arrow) If Dash is held down and no ARM is used during the dash, both ARMs will be charged at the end of the Dash. By holding down Dash for longer you can extend the charge. Note that the trailing ARM(s) will lag behind the character in this case and may be vulnerable to attack.
Jump Right JoyCon Bumper (R) Top Button (X / Y / Up Arrow) If no ARMs are used during the jump, both ARMs will be charged when you hit the ground. It is not necessary to hold down the Jump button to charge ARMs but doing so after landing will extend the charge. Most characters can jump at least once in the air. ARMs will charge only if no ARMs were used during your entire time spent in the air, regardless of number of jumps. To extend the charge while performing multiple jumps, hold down the Jump button used for the final jump.
Start Rush Either trigger (ZL/ZR) Left Bumper (L / SL) Rush gauge must be full.
Select Target (in multiplayer matches)


DLC fighters



ARMS items

In casual play, there are 4 items that can come randomly into play.

  • HP Bottle
  • Rush Juice
  • Fire Bomb
  • Shock Bomb



Within versus is several variations of the gameplay. In default settings, the games allow for items to randomly appear

  • Fight - Standard fight where everyone fights for themselves
  • Team Fight - There are 2 teams with members of each team tethered together
  • Hoops - Players try to throw each other into the basketball hoop
  • V-Ball - Either 1-on-1 or 2-on-2. Similar to volleyball, players try to get the ball to land on the other team's side
  • Skill Shot - Players hit targets to earn as much points as possible. More points are scored when targets are hit consecutively
  • 1-on-100 - A Horde mode where 100 helix-like enemies attack you in waves.


Within Versus.


Appears within Versus. Allows you to practice by fighting against a dumb or scripted AI.

  • The Basics: Provides a walkthrough of the controls using the currently active controller.
  • Beginner Punching: Face a Helix who moves slowly and will not block. KO him before time runs out.
  • Intermediate Punching: Face Kid Cobra who moves at regular speed and will jump off the edges of the arena and block. KO him before time runs out.
  • Advanced Punching: Face Ribbon Girl who moves at high speed, blocks, and dances in the air. KO her before time runs out.
  • Guard Breaking: Face Master Mummy who constantly blocks. Grab him repeatedly.
  • Trading Punches: Face Min Min who constantly punches using Megaton ARMs. Dodge her blows and KO her (the instructions just say to dodge, but the win condition is the usual one)
  • Don't get thrown: Face Ninjara who constantly tries to grab you. Counter his grabs by punching his ARMs out of the air, then attack him with your other ARM.
  • Rush practice: Face Byte & Barq. Both their and your rush gauge constantly recharge. If you punch, they will Rush. If you Rush, they will block as soon as possible. Wait for them to attack then Rush them.
  • Jump practice: More like anti-jump practice, but still. Face Mechanica who constantly throws jumping punches.
  • Anti counter practice: Face Twintelle who waits for you to attack and then blocks or counters. This is a notoriously difficult training mode. It is necessary to punch once and then quickly use your other ARM to respond to Twintelle's counter.

Grand Prix

This is the main single-player mode. The player fights 10 fights in a row, ending with a fight against Max Brass, followed by a second fight against Max possessed by Hedlok. Fights leading up to the final can be in the different game modes.

Party Match

This mode is the casual online mode with a lobby featuring up to 12 players. Players randomly enter fights between each though it seems it prioritizes players that have not been fought yet. In between matches, players can warm-up on the Helix-like dummies. Players can go online with a local buddy with the players alternating between fights except in team ones.

Ranked Match

This mode requires players beat Grand Prix at difficulty level 4 before getting access. Players compete in 1-on-1 matches with no items with similarly skilled players. The matchmaking takes place in the background so players can play other modes in the meanwhile as they are hooked up with another player.


Players can play in a lobby with their friends in this mode. It opens up a menu where all your friends are listed and you can invite them. Players may choose to set a passcode for access to the lobby but it isn't required.


This mode is similar to Skillshot except players spend a certain amount of currency to get some time in this mode. Randomly during this mode, ARMS will come along and the player has to knock them down. The currency is acquired through playing the games in other game modes and the ARMS the player gets tend to be for the character used in the mode. If the player manages to get an arm for the same character twice, that arm is upgraded in damage for the character they got it for.


Global Testpunch

During the Nintendo Direct focusing on ARMS broadcasted on May 17, 2017, a demo named Global Testpunch was announced, the demo was made available the following day but the servers would only be opened later. This demo featured only the Party Mode

The first session went from May 26 to May 28 and featured the modes Fight, Team Fight and V-Ball. 3 player matches defaulted to Fight

The second session went from June 2 to June 4 and featured the modes Fight, Team Fight, Hoops and Skill Shot. 3 player matches defaulted to a Hedlok battle.



Similar to Splatoon, the game is receiving regular updates in the form of new fighters, ARMS and stages.

Max Brass reveal

The first DLC fighter, Max Brass was revealed during the Nintendo Treehouse livestream of E3 2017 and was said to be released (for free) along with a spectator mode in July 2017.


ARMS was updated to the 1.1.0 version on June 26, 2017. The update allow the player to access the new "spectator mode" promised in the Nintendo Treehouse live, the mode is avaliable under the name of arena mode. A new LAN mode was also added, it can be accessed by pressing the left stick, press L+R on the main menu. Other than that, the update fixes some bugs regarding Kid Cobra and Byte & Barq and their uses of the sliding boards. Another bug is fixed, this time it was a bug that prevented some ARMS to hit properly the boxes in Ribbon Ring. Text-fix for the Grand Prix story can also be noted.


The overall reception to the final game has been middling. Most are criticizing the game's lack of content at launch and feel there is a lack of depth compared to other fighting franchises. On MetaCritic, the game has received an 78 and it received a 33 from Famitsu.

On its first week, the game sold 100,652 copies in Japan, which is a surprisingly high number for a fighting game for comparison, Street fighter V sold 46.836 on the same frame of time after its release and it is supposed to be a long running and well recognized franchise.


  Main article: ARMS/gallery


ARMS - Nintendo Switch Trailer02:27

ARMS - Nintendo Switch Trailer

Main Page: ARMS/videos

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