If you go to Ranked Match in the menu, you’ll notice it’s locked by default. Arms requires players to prove themselves to a degree before getting into Ranked mode, by beating Grand Prix on level four difficulty or above. However, level four computer opponents are pretty smart, and most players are not going to clear this requirement on day one.
If you’re interested in getting better at Arms as a beginner, you should make your first major goal getting into Ranked Match. Here are some steps to take along the way.
Practice the tutorials (repeatedly)
The training mode in Arms offers specific tutorials for every fundamental skill in the game and runs through them breezily. However, it’s not really enough to barely edge through these missions or to just get past them one time. If there’s a mission you had any trouble with at all, just keep playing it. The rematch option is useful here.
All of the tutorials are pretty useful, but in particular “advanced punches”, “don’t get thrown”, “anti-jump practice” and “anti-counter practice” are good to repeat to really drill in your muscle memory.
It’s valuable to cultivate your skills, like for example the reaction speed you need to counter a throw with a jab. These skills can and do get rusty, so even after you have a lot of fights under your belt, and come back to these tutorials every once in awhile.
Set up a training dummy
At first glance, Arms doesn’t appear to have the conventional training mode of other fighting games … but actually, it does. In versus mode, set up the rules to infinite time, items off, infinite HP/Rush, and set the computer AI to “stationary.” Once you get into the match, you’ll have a perfect training environment with a dummy that doesn’t move, fight back or run out of HP.
Use your new training dummy to test out new weapons and characters, and experiment with ideas you wouldn’t be able to mess around with under live fire.
Get some matches in
Going for Grand Prix on level four might be a bit beyond you if you’re completely new to Arms: We were trounced at first. Rather, set up Versus matches against the computer or even go into Party Match, where there’s no pressure. To really learn the game, you have to feel the rhythm of it, and the best way to do that is random matches against a lot of real, human opponents. The computer AI is pretty strong, but it’s best to fight against different people.
You can play Grand Prix on a lower difficulty than four, but you won’t get the final boss, real ending or unlock Ranked mode. But it’s still fun, right?
Take on Grand Prix level four
It’s fine if you have to continue a bit to get through it, but if you’re ready for ranked matches you should pretty confidently breeze through Grand Prix at level four. Enjoy the ending, and get ready for the real fight to start in Ranked Match.