Arms was the focus of today’s Nintendo Direct, and the platform holder had plenty to say about it.
The most important bits of information are dates for upcoming beta tests. The Arms Global Testpunch demo will be available via the eShop, and playable on Switch May 26, 27 and 28 as well as June 2, 3 and 4.
While most of the Arms beta tests are global, the May 26 and June 2 tests will be North America only.
Nintendo also discussed the single-player Grand Prix mode, revealed three new characters (Kid Cobra, Byte & Barq, and Twintelle) and confirmed that Arms updates will roll out regularly post-release, adding new characters and features.
The full Arms Nintendo Direct and followup Nintendo Minute covered a great deal more information, some of which has been covered before. Nintendo helpfully summarised it all in a press release. Tune into the videos above and below, or read through the infodump further down the page.
After selecting a character, players will have the opportunity to equip two Arms, one on the right and one on the left. These Arms range from standard fists to things like boomerangs and missiles, offering a wide variety of close- and long-range attacks, as well as offensive and defensive options.
- Types – Dozens of Arms can be selected in the game, each with its own special power and handling ability. Different types range from the Toaster, which unleashes a flaming punch, to the Tribolt, which shoots three bolts horizontally. Some Arms even boost defense, like the Guardian, which can be used as a shield.
- Attributes – There are seven different Arms attributes in the game, each with its own specialty: Fire, Electricity, Wind, Ice, Stun, Explosion and Blind. Different Arms have different attributes, so it’s a good idea to mix and match for a strategic advantage.
- Weight – When equipping the many different types of Arms, weight is an important factor in determining performance. Weight affects momentum, so players have to keep this in mind when selecting Arms. Stronger Arms are more powerful but slower, while multi-hit Arms are quick but have lower individual power. Punches can even run into each other while fighting, with the heavier Arms knocking the lighter ones away.
- Upgrade Arms – As players fight through ARMS, they will rack up hard-earned in-game currency for use at the Arms Getter, where players can use their skills to earn new ARMS and the ability to upgrade previously owned ones.
Arms is filled to the brim with fun modes that offer a variety of ways to challenge other fighters.
- Fight – In this main multiplayer mode, two fighters battle against each other one-on-one to claim victory. During the fight, bombs and other healing items drop in, adding some strategic options to the proceedings.
- Team Fight – In this mode, two players are attached by strings and must team up to battle another team of two. Attacks can hit allies, so watch out for friendly punches!
- V-Ball – Similar to volleyball, but much more awesome. V-Ball is a sport that involves knocking an explosive ball into the opponent’s court.
- Hoops – Grab opponents and shoot them into the net (or even dunk them for extra satisfaction) in this hard-core game of Arms-style basketball.
- Skillshot – Break as many targets as possible using the versatile powers of ARMS.
- 1-on-100 – Defeat 100 enemies in a row, one at a time, in this progressive battle mode.
- Arms Test & Training – In Test mode, players can try out randomized Arms combinations, while Training lets them practice a number of varied drills.
Playing with friends either locally or online is easy when using one of the various multiplayer modes in Arms.
- Grand Prix – Win 10 straight matches in Grand Prix and players will face a final opponent to be crowned the Arms champion. (This mode is played locally with one or two players.)
- Party Match – By connecting the Nintendo Switch console to the internet, players can battle with up to three other Arms players at a time that are in the same lobby as them. One lobby can hold up to 10 systems, but with up to two players per system, 20 players can potentially get together in the same lobby.
- Ranked Match – In this time-honored coliseum, players compete online in 1-v-1 battles. By winning a match, a player’s rank goes up, while, conversely, losing will make that rank go down. While waiting to play a Ranked Match online, players can participate in any other mode to pass the time (and tighten up their skills).
- Local Wireless Mode – When playing in Local Wireless mode, up to eight players with eight separate systems in the same room can gather in an in-game lobby and battle up to three other players at a time like in Party Match.
In the future, Nintendo will release free software updates that add new fighters, stages and ARMS to the game. These free updates will occur after the game launches, so watch for additional details!
Like Splatoon 2 and Splatoon before it, Arms is offering free trial periods to try out the game and get a taste of what it’s like before launch. But instead of a Global Testfire, these free demos will naturally be called the Global Testpunch. The first blocks of time will be allocated throughout the weekend of May 26-28, and the second blocks on June 2-4. To participate, simply download the free Global Testpunch demo in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch before the trials begin. Check the official website for updates about specific timing.
Over the course of the Nintendo Direct presentation, the 10 key playable fighters in Arms were unveiled. Each with his or her own fighting style, the game’s playable characters are full of personality.
- Spring Man – This passionate fighter’s bouncy hairstyle might look fake, but his passion for fighting is definitely real.
- Ninjara – Using his nimble movements and ancient ninjutsu, Ninjara can disappear and warp somewhere else even in mid-air or when guarding.
- Master Mummy – As the only character that can restore health while guarding, Master Mummy is a force to be reckoned with.
- Min Min – With her ramen noodle arms, Min Min’s spin kick and throws are deliciously powerful.
- Kid Cobra – A fan of selfie sticks and live streaming, this hip fighter pounces on opponents with a charged-up dash.
- Ribbon Girl – Possessing next-level jumping skills, Ribbon Girl violates the laws of physics with her unbeatable power.
- Helix – Who is Helix? He’s an experiment gone wrong, that’s who. His springy body lets him move in unpredictable ways.
- Mechanica – This mechanical genius dons a homemade power suit that can hover above the competition.
- Byte & Barq – Two fighters in one! This robot fighter and his robot canine companion battle together to unleash devastating combo attacks.
- Twintelle – As an A-list actress, Twintelle uses her celebrity status to render her opponents utterly star struck as she walks the red carpet to victory.