Never Go In Alone: Arms Multiplayer Review

Posted in Kulturecade by - August 01, 2017
Never Go In Alone: Arms Multiplayer Review

When I last talked about the Arms multiplayer, it was during the open beta. So how is the online going on a month into its release? Well better than Street Fighter V’s online, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Let me be clear, the Arms online is fine, it has ups and downs, but is by no means a failure. The local multiplayer is a fun experience that’s really only held back by one thing.


My friends and I had a bunch of fun with the Arms local multiplayer. Although we mostly played locally using the three different switches we had. We had a nice arena going and played for hours, with me coming out on top for most wins. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has a Switch and the game.

Playing on one Switch, though, is honestly pretty bad for one reason: the camera angle.

The camera angle in split screen multiplayer messes with the game so much. It really throws off a person’s depth perception, and one of my friends straight up refused to play it that way again after one time.

Playing this game split screen will suck and I hope that tournaments will not force players to play split screen. It really just messes up all of your muscle memory, and everything the game has taught you so far.

As far as how the game plays in local multiplayer, it plays just as smoothly as single player. I never felt or saw a hiccup at all. The input lag didn’t feel any different, and everything just felt right. It definitely plays well locally, which is good if the game does want to build a presence.


On the upside of the online is that I’ve yet to experience any frame drops in my time online. I’ve been playing a good portion of ranked matches, and the stability of the matches have been great. However, I do know that some people have had connections where the game completely skips frames, so that exists. In my experience, I’ve had zero of that.

All of the lag I have dealt with online has been punches going through opponents. While this obviously isn’t good people expect their punches to hit an opponent instead of going right through, I prefer it to rollbacking. Yes I hate that my punches go right through an opponent like they’re Kitty Pryde, but at least this doesn’t disturb the flow of the match.

For example, in one of the last matches of SFV I played, I spd’d a Bison as Gief, but rollback teleported us back to the ground with the Bison hitting me from above. I hate it when games do this, and I would have just rather my spd whiff than the animation starting because it disrupts the flow of the game.

In a fighting game, flow and momentum matter a lot. So whenever netcode disrupts one of those, it hurts a game. When it disrupts both, the entire match changes. That’s why I like how Arms has dealt with the netcode. Yes, my punch missing because of lag will disrupt momentum, but it doesn’t disrupt the flow so I can recover and bring the game back.

I will say that I am getting really tired of seeing Lego Ninja – I mean Ninjaras online. I once went seven games in a row with seven different people online, and all were Ninjaras.

The ranking system isn’t terrible either, and I enjoy having the bar instead of points to show me how close I am to the next level. I would honestly prefer bar and points for exact amounts, but I really enjoy the bar as an aesthetic choice. The amount you gain or lose is proportional to the opponent you face, at least while I played, which makes sense.

When the online is running smoothly, it feels almost as good as playing local, which is a huge plus. There still feels like the input delay is just a little bit bigger online than local, but it’s very easy to adjust to.

One thing I absolutely adore about the online is that, even in ranked, you have the ability to rematch someone as long as both of you agree to it. It’s not a predetermined set of rematches or just a one and done. You can fight each other as much as you’d like, and that’s fabulous.

Overall, the Arms was a fun online experience for me. When it went smoothly, it felt great. The little bit of lag I encountered was handled in a way that didn’t disrupt the flow of the game. Every loss I suffered, I knew it was my fault and why I lost. I wasn’t blaming lag for everything. The netcode is stable as I never got disconnected once. It isn’t the best netcode of online games, but it’s definitely in the “good” category in my book.

The online is good enough to allow the game to grow, and not hold it back. If I had to rate the netcode for Arms, it’d be a 3.75/5. It’s better than average, but by no means outstanding. The local Multiplayer would definitely get a 4/5.

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