ARMS (universe)

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ARMS (universe)
ARMS logo.svg
Developer(s) Nintendo
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Genre(s) Fighting
Console/platform of origin Nintendo Switch
First installment ARMS (2017)
Latest installment ARMS (2017)
Article on ARMS Institute ARMS (universe)

The ARMS universe (アームズ, ARMS) refers to the Super Smash Bros. collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the 3D fighting game developed by Nintendo EPD. Set in a world where some individuals mysteriously gain extendable limbs, the game revolves around the titular combat sport in which fighters who have this ability compete using glove-like weapons, known as ARMS. Similar to Splatoon when it first launched on the Wii U, this franchise was conceived as a new intellectual property to take full advantage of the Nintendo Switch's hardware and functionality, being cited as a game with depth, challenge, and replayability according to producer Kosuke Yabuki.

Franchise description[edit]

ARMS was first conceptualized when Mario Kart 8 director Kosuke Yabuki expressed interest in creating a fighting game with the camera behind the player, instead of the standard side-on view. To avoid issues with depth perception, the developers had the characters' fists extend out towards the opponent, inspired by the obstacle-dodging gameplay of Mario Kart. A prototype was developed, and the developers found performing punching gestures with the Joy-Con controllers to feel natural.

The team experimented with several ideas for character designs, as well as considered using established Nintendo characters such as Mario, Link, and even Little Mac. They soon decided on having all the game's characters be original to fit with the gameplay. When designing a character, the ARMS were considered first, thus informing the overall design and personality of the character; for example, spring-themed arms led to the conception of Spring Man, and ribbon arms begot Ribbon Girl. The fights were framed as a combat sport, with the fighters participating in the ARMS Grand Prix, and various fictitious business logos and designs were added to characters and stages to help sell this idea.

ARMS was officially announced for the Nintendo Switch on January 12th, 2017 during the Nintendo Switch Presentation. Prior to launch, information about the game was detailed via a spotlight in the Nintendo Direct in April 2017, a dedicated ARMS Direct in May 2017, and a series of public hour-long multiplayer beta events called the "ARMS Global Testpunch" running from May to June 2017. The game released worldwide on June 16th, 2017 to positive reviews and strong sales, with many drawing comparisons to the Punch-Out!! series and the boxing minigame from Wii Sports. Outlets praised the game's unique, deep gameplay and customization, but criticized its lack of content at launch. Following Splatoon's post-launch model, new characters, stages, and modes were made available via free content updates throughout 2017, improving the game's reception over time. In October 2017, an official graphic novel was announced, designed to delve deeper into the game's lore. As of 2020, it remains in development with no current projected release date.

With the announcement of an ARMS fighter joining Ultimate, the game has seen a revival of in-game Party Crash events and a free trial period of the full game.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

While some of the content from this title was included at launch, including an Assist Trophy, two Mii Fighter costumes, and five Spirits, even more content is planned to release as part of Challenger Pack 6.


  • 76. A currently-unannounced character from ARMS will be included as the first downloadable character in the Fighters Pass Vol. 2[1], as showcased during the Nintendo Direct Mini on March 2020. They are scheduled to be revealed and released in June 2020 along with one stage and several music tracks as part of Challenger Pack 6.


  • ARMS stage

Assist Trophy[edit]

Mii Costumes[edit]




The following characters from the series are spirits.

No. Image Name Type Class Slots Ability
Spring man.png
Spring Man
★★★ 3 Fist Attack ↑
Ribbon Girl Spirit.png
Ribbon Girl
★★ 2 Fist Attack ↑
Min min.png
Min Min
★★★ 2 No Effect
★★ 1 Air Defense ↑
★★ 1 Move Speed ↑


  • ARMS is the newest major universe (represented by a character, stage, item, or Assist Trophy) to be represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at launch, with an initial debut of June 2017.
  • Before the release of Ultimate, Sakurai considered adding characters from ARMS, but according to him, no character could be added in the base game due to the character planning ending before ARMS was announced. On March 26th, 2020, it was later revealed on a Nintendo Direct Mini that an ARMS character would be a part of Challenger Pack 6, revealed and released in June 2020.
  • ARMS is the third major fighting game universe, following Street Fighter and Fatal Fury to appear in Smash. Out of these, it is the only first-party series and the only one not to focus on 2D gameplay.
    • Coincidentally, they all debuted as DLC universes.
  • ARMS is the first universe of a DLC character to already have representation in the base game (via an Assist Trophy, Spirits, and Mii Costumes), but not a playable character, prior to the aforementioned character's release (as Super Mario and Fire Emblem already had playable characters prior to the releases of Corrin, Piranha Plant, and Byleth).
    • ARMS is also the first Nintendo-owned universe to have its first character introduced as downloadable content.
  • ARMS is the first major universe that debuted on the Nintendo Switch.
  • ARMS and Ice Climber are the only character-based universes to only have one game in their series.
  • The ARMS, Wii Fit, R.O.B., and Xenoblade Chronicles universes are the only playable first-party universes introduced after Melee to not have been represented in any way in previous Super Smash Bros. games prior to their playable characters' debuts in the Super Smash Bros. series.