Arms unlockables are seemingly one note, but it will take you a long while to get everything on offer.
The primary unlockable are Arms themselves; each character comes with three unique armaments, but you can upgrade and unlock those of other characters along the way, resulting in thousands of possible combinations. You'll be playing for some time if you want to get them all.
While Arms doesn't appear to have the same number of things to uncover as a traditional fighting game, there are a couple of other elements that require skill and a bit of know-how to gain access to.
How to unlock more Arms
Not unlike Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's unlockables system with its coins and random kart parts, most completed activities give you cash, which can then be used to unlock new sets of Arms.
How to unlock more Arms
Every character starts with their own three signature Arms, but they can also use any used by other characters, provided you unlock them first.
Once you have earned at least 30 coins, head to the 'Get Arms' part of the main menu, where you can play a target mini-game. The more you spend - 30, 100 or 200 options are available - increase the length of the game, and your chances of getting more Arms. If you have more cash to spend, do so - it vastly increases the number of Arms you can get in one go, with the time extend clocks increasing in pricier modes.
Like Mario Kart 8's kart parts, the Arms you unlock appear to be mostly random - though the first Arms we received were for the character you play.
If you get the same Arm twice, then it will be upgraded and its attack power will increase, like so:
How Arms differ from one another
Arms vary by weight and attribute. Increased weight means you can punch through (or at least block) your opponent's punches, and hit harder, but means attacks become slower.
Meanwhile, the attribute is best described as an additional elemental effect. Block to add it to your Arms, then hit your opponent to trigger the effect:
- Fire knocks opponents down
- Electric shocks and temporarily disables Arms
- Ice slows them down
- Explosion knocks them over with explosive damage
- Stun stops a competitor from moving
- Blind blocks the opponent's screen
- Wind blows them away and knocks them down
You can learn more about each individual Arm in the above video from our sister-site Nintendo Life.
How to get prize money in Arms
Most if not all activities give you more cash to spend in the Arms shop, but some modes are worth more than others. Here's an idea of where rewards come from so you know where to put in your time and effort:
Grand Prix (the higher the difficulty, the more money you earn)
- Fight win - 4 points for levels 2-4, 6 for level 7
- Mini-game win - 2 points on level 2-4
- Completion - 8 points on level 2-4
- Fight and Team Fight completion - 2 points
- 1-on-100 - 3 points, 4 for reaching final enemy
- Other modes, such as Training - 1 point
- Win - 3 points
- Lose - 1 point
It's worth noting the above is for the default settings; changing a Versus opponent's health to a 1KO won't give you any points, for example, so other difficulties and variables may vary rewards. Additionally, getting a Perfect win will dish out one extra point per round, while playing a streak of online matches will also give you additional points (such as one point for three matches in a row).
As such, playing on harder Grand Prix difficulties, or getting a streak of matches online, seems the fastest way to get Prize Money.
Other unlockables in Arms
Unlocking Arms appears to be the primary motivator when it comes to unlocking things in the game, though there are other things to see and do.
Ranked mode: This form of online play is inaccessible to you from the beginning, requiring you to beat Grand Prix mode at difficulty level four or higher (the highest is seven), a task more difficult than it first appears, so get practicing on lower difficulties and make use of the Training modes to fully understand the nuances of combat.
Once you have it, wins and losses will see you bounce up and down ranks respectively as you go up against others in one-on-one battles.
Change character colours: You can change the appearance of your character to one of three other colours. Our Arms character colours page explains how to do this, as well as a preview of every colour variation in the game.
Those are the two other unlockables we know about so far at the time of writing on launch day. It's possible there is more available, and we'll wait until the community puts Arms through its paces to see what's there.
While players have already beaten Grand Prix on the hardest difficulty, could there be something for doing it with every character? How about beating 1-on-100 on all stages? How about high Ranked mode placings? We'll update this page if and when we hear anything more, but at the time of launch, it appears that additional features are few and far between.
Until then, we'll have to be patient for the game's next updates - including a spectator mode and DLC character Max Brass in July. Until then, continue mastering the characters we already have!