Your play style in Arms is split between your character — for mobility, weight and innate powers — and the Arms themselves, weapons that decide the way your character fights. Though this is a “boxing” game on its surface, it’s really a game of ranged combat and the weapons may was well be guns. We aren’t going to run down every weapon, as many are clones that use a different element, but rather break them down into types.
Gloves: Toaster, Sparky, Chilla, Buff and Bubb
Standard boxing gloves offer a little bit of everything. They boast great speed (making them invaluable for Rush moves), flexible curves, medium range, and respectable damage. Single punches with a glove are some of the best defense you can get, stopping all but the heaviest punches and fast.
However, some of the longer-range weapons can outreach them, and they do require precise aim to hit where you want them to hit. Simultaneously, they’re a good choice for beginners just learning the game and for experts who have mastered control.
Buff and Bubb are gloves without an element and appear identical at first glance. The difference between these two is their flight paths: Buff has some curve and Bubb is more straight line.
Boomerangs: Boomerang and Coolerang
Boomerangs travel fairly slowly, along a curved flight path that is very difficult to evade. You can’t sidestep something that comes at you from the side! They’re very convenient and versatile, and doesn’t require precise aim to hit the target.
They are slow and light. However, most punches will stop them and heavy weapons will plow right through them. Straight shots with a boomerang, though necessary, are not that great due to the weapon’s slow speed and light weight. Curve shots leave the space in front of the user open, so one way to avoid a boomerang is actually to dash in. Get close to a boomerang user and you’ll cut off a lot of their options.
Chakrams: Chakram and Ram-Ram
Similar to the boomerang but faster and lighter. This covers for one weakness of the boomerang (its slow speed) but exacerbates another. The light weight of the chakram means it’s easily swatted away and must move around the enemy to strike. Get the enemy at the right range with the chakram and they’ll feel like there’s no way out.
Birds: Thunderbird and Phoenix
The bird shooter fires a little robot bird that attacks in a curved path. It’s fast and hard to evade but super light and has low damage. Charged bird shots make up for it with their elemental power. The bird is great at getting around players who attack with heavy, straight line weapons like wrecking balls. Whittle away at enemies from a long range with this one.
Whips: Slapamander and Slamamander
A weapon that dominates medium to close ranges with its huge attack radius. It’s nothing special when attacking straight on, but put a curve on it and the whip will attack a wide space bending in that direction. Curve the whip all the way in one direction, and it will slap that entire side of the screen. The wider the radius, the slower the attack … but this also means that straight shots with whips are pretty fast, making it a highly versatile weapon. It’s slower than other mid-range weapons, but extremely difficult to escape. A good choice for players who want to get in close and against players who like to sidestep a lot.
Against a whip, keep a distance and try to intercept their strikes with faster weapons.
Shields: Guardian and Parasol
These defensive weapons are used for cover while attacking. Other than that, they’re quite different from each other.
The Guardian stays out for as long as you want, steadily advancing toward the opponent. Punch again with the Guardian to cause it to rush forward a short distance and attack. This weapon covers you from enemy fire and can be an annoyance to your opponent, who is forced to reposition to keep attacking you. However, it’s not great on offense: You’ll need something powerful to pair it with.
The Parasol is more like a shield and spear at once: It flies forward slowly, blocking anything in its path. As an offensive weapon it’s hard to hit with, and needs to hit at a pinpoint. As a shield … you won’t notice how well it blocks until you’re on the other side of it.
3-shots (regular): Revolver and Retorcher
A spray-and-pray weapon: One of these has to hit them! Three shots pop out slowly (and hopefully they hit). The strong point of this weapon is that the enemy has to deal with each individual shot as they come, keeping them busy for a very long time. Additionally, charged shots have elemental properties. For example, only one charged bullet from Revolver needs to hit to get the opponent into a shock state.
Drawbacks include a very narrow attack radius and the light weight of each individual bullet: it’s not to hard to punch through them. Furthermore, if you’re knocked down while firing a 3-shot, the whole attack is cancelled.
As such, this weapon fits heavies like Mechanica and Master Mummy very well: they don’t fall down as easily as other characters, so even if they’re hit during a Revolver shot, it may just keep going.
3-shots (horizontal): Tribolt and Triblast
Tribolt and Triblast are for when you want to block off a lot of space all at once. It’s hard to miss with this wide shot. However, due to the bullets’ light weight, it’s easy to punch through this wall, and your enemies can even jump over them in some situations. These are good weapons to fire from above. They’ll be very hard to dodge from an air-to-ground angle.
3-shots (vertical): Hydra
Hydra is a dedicated anti-air weapon that lays down a solid column of missile fire. Due to the formation of the bullets, it won’t just block off jumpers but also any movement in the direction that they’re fired. It’s like placing a wall at either side of your opponent.
We’re not sure about the utility of this one, honestly. Jumping is already pretty dangerous in Arms, so do you really need to dedicate a whole arm to keeping your opponent from doing it? It won’t take Ribbon Girl out of the air, either. Whips seem significantly more versatile for effectively the same purpose.
Party poppers: Popper and Crackle
Popper and Crackle are very fast and very light straight-line projectiles with a decent hit area and reasonably wide attack radius of about 45 degrees in front. These make for a versatile jab, but just about any other weapon will interrupt or pass through them. They’re great for players who can get around their opponent.
Missiles: Homie and Seekie
Homie and Seekie are long-range homing missiles that blow up big. The homing part only works if you’re at a good distance already, so these are weapons for a long-distance game plan. Furthermore, if you pick the explosive Homie, keep in mind that its explosions can harm you if you’re too close.
Dragons: Dragon and Ice Dragon
Dragon and Ice Dragon are lasers that do huge damage at the cost of equally huge startup and recovery time. Fire out the dragon head, and it will take a moment and then fire a straight laser in the direction that you sent it. They’re useless as a counter attack and more of a setup weapon. Get the dragon ready as your opponent stands up, then fire your second weapon in the other direction to get your opponent to dodge into the laser. The dragon head is considered medium weight, so one way to stop the laser is just to punch the dragon when you see it.
A versatile heavyweight weapon with fewer of the drawbacks but less raw power. The Whammer plows through a lot of other weapons, has a good curve range and does great damage. It’s a little slow to recover, but that’s about its only failing.
Wrecking balls: Megaton and Megawatt
Megaton and Megawatt are the slowest, heaviest and most powerful weapons in Arms. They make up for their slow speed with a massive hit area and damage. They will plow through everything else and form a better shield than the dedicated shield weapons can. Up against a wrecking ball, you really have no option but to get out of the way. Due to their slow speed, there isn’t much of a point attacking with these anywhere but up close.