ARMS for Nintendo Switch Review

ARMS for Nintendo Switch

ARMS for Nintendo Switch




  • A genuinely strategic fighting game.
  • Lots of ARM customisation gives great depth.
  • Incredible online lobby system.


  • No story mode to flesh out the characters.

arms nintendo switch

Nintendo’s ARMS is a very different fighting game.  With recent releases of fighting games including Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 how does ARMs compare?

What is ARMS?

The first thing you need to know about ARMS is the it is an awful lot of fun.  It may not be your average modern fighting game but that is no bad thing.  

The main twist in ARMS are the ARMS.  ARMS is played from a 3rd person viewpoint, over the shoulders of the fighter whom you choose to control.  Before each round of any match each combatant can choose which ARMS to use.  Each fighter has access to 3 ARMS to choose from initially.

The ARMS are the first major feature that differentiates this from other fighting games.  The ARMS come in all manor of different shapes, sizes and abilities.  These include birds that can be sent out, flappy gloves to slap, heavy metallic lumps with electricity coursing through them and many more.  The ARMS you choose will dramatically shape the style of combat that you will be able to utilise in a match.  

Players in ARMS typically fight at long distance from each other.  Sending out a punch takes time to travel before hitting your opponent.  As it travels you continue to remain in control.  Whatever your control method you still have the ability to turn ARMS whilst they travel to your opponent.  This distance is one of the greatest aspects to ARMS’ gameplay.  The distance allows players to react to incoming attacks.  Jumping, blocking, dodging and hitting back can all be used to great effect to ensure that ARMS is a fighting game as much about defence as it is offense.

How does ARMS control?

In a game where skill is so incredibly key to player’s success the controls are of utmost importance.  ARMS gives its players a lot of choice about controls.  It can be played on TV, handheld or tabletop mode on the Switch.  The Joy cons can be used as motion controllers, as a controller and the Pro controller can also be used.  

I began playing ARMS using motion controls and have graduated towards button controls.  This is not a reflection of any problems with the motion controls, indeed in some ways they are superior, it is more a reflection of me being more comfortable with buttons than waving my arms about.

How good are the modes and mix of fighters?

ARMS has an impressive suite of both modes and fighters.  Nintendo have made a good attempt at creating interesting fighters, but there is no story mode here to flesh them out.  They clearly hope to see ARMS fighters become new iconic Nintendo mascots but without a story mode I think they will struggle to really create and showcase their personalities.  

Fights include traditional 1 on 1, 2 vs 2, 1 v 1 v 1, cooperative battles against over powered robots and even basketball and volleyball modes.  All of this can be enjoyed alone, with friends locally or online.

ARMS really shines as a multiplayer game and in particular with its online gameplay.  Nintendo certainly aren’t known for making positive strides with their online service or options but ARMS’ player matches are incredible.  The special feature here are the lobbies.  These feature around 10 players and at all times you can see who is playing against who and in what kind of match.  Players who aren’t playing float around the lobby before being placed against an opponent.  It’s a fantastic system that makes long sessions online tempting as it is so interesting to be a part of a lobby of players in this fashion.

The verdict on ARMS for Nintendo Switch

ARMS is unlike any other fighting game I have played.  It puts a fantastic twist on traditional fighting games and adds a lot of great new ideas to the genre.  The extendable ARMS involve a surprising amount of strategy and the online lobby system is one that other games should look to include.

I’m having a blast with ARMS.  Every time I play I genuinely feel as though I improve, the hallmark of a truly great competitive game.


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