The Grand Prix is basically Story Mode in ARMS for the Nintendo Switch. Depending on the level of difficulty you select, you’ll play through 10 or 11 matches, including two mini-games. Completing Grand Prix gives you ARMS currency and access to Ranked Mode if you complete difficulty level 4. This article provides ARMS Grand Prix tips to help you beat Hedlok and Max Brass. If you want to get to the serious competition in ARMS you’re going to have to defeat Max Brass and Hedlok (not Headlok, Hedlock, or Headlock) so let’s get to it.

Grand Prix Tips

  • Do not attack first!
  • Stay on the move and never stand still.
  • Equip an Electric element Arm to shock stun the opponent and get a guaranteed follow up grab or attack.
  • Wait for the opponent to attack, dodge, then counter with a single punch.
  • Try not to attack with both Arms at once. Only use one Arm at a time.
  • If the computer stands there blocking, get close and go for a grab.
  • If you’re close to winning your first round in a match, try to save your Rush Attack so you can use it early in the next round.
  • Only use a Rush Attack (super) when the opponent punches. Interrupt their punch with your Rush Attack. This guarantees a hit.
  • If you have a life lead, you can usually just stall and run away until time runs out.
  • If you win the first round of a difficult match, you can pause then select Save & Exit. Just before you lose the next round you can pause and quit to restart again with the first round won.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our general how to play article to give you some basics on the game! The lower difficulty levels in Grand Prix are pretty easy to complete. It’s not until you hit difficulty level 3 or 4 (needed to unlock Ranked) that you may start having trouble. At this point the computer AI will start playing for more defensively. The easiest way to win against a defensive opponent is to simply play defensive yourself.

Depending on the difficulty level, the first few matches you can still win by just randomly attacking. However even at level 4 difficulty, after the first mini-game things will start picking up and you’ll have to play more defensively. When that happens, let the opponent attack first, dodge that attack and immediately counter with an attack of your own.

If the opponent is not attacking first (which will happen occasionally, especially during the first few matches), toss out a single punch and only a single punch. Do this a few times and the computer will start attacking again, or you’ll score a hit. You can also get close the computer opponent and go for a grab if they are just standing there blocking. Make sure you’re as close as possible when you do this, and only use this tactic if they’re blocking and doing nothing else. Any other instance and you’re likely to get countered.

Just for clarification, if you want easier wins in Grand Prix DO NOT ATTACK FIRST. Wait for the opponent to attack, dodge left or right, then follow with a punch of your own. If you have an Electric element Arm, use a charged attack to shock the opponent, then follow with a grab for maximum damage.

Once you have a full Rush meter (super attack), don’t just use it randomly. Wait until the opponent tries to attack, then use the Rush Attack to go through their attack. As long as you’re close enough this guarantees the Rush Attack will connect. Keep in mind, each match requires two rounds to win. Your Rush meter carries over between rounds, so if you’re close to winning your first round, try to save your Rush Attack to use in the next round. Obviously if it’s close and you need Rush to win, use it, but saving it can help you secure the match in the next round.

Finally, if you’re winning a round you can usually just run away from the computer opponent and stall until time is up. This is kind of a cheap tactic to win, but it does work.

Grand Prix Matches

  • Match 1 - Standard Fight
  • Match 2 - Standard Fight
  • Match 3 - Mini-Game
  • Match 4 - Standard
  • Match 5 - Standard
  • Match 6 - Mini-Game
  • Match 7 - Standard
  • Match 8 - Standard
  • Semi-Final - Standard
  • Grand Finale - Max Brass
  • Final Match - Hedlok (level 4 and above)

Match 1 and 2 - For the most part you can just cruise through these matches attacking first at your leisure. If you have problems, just wait for the computer to attack, dodge, then counter with a single punch.

Mini-Games - These will be Hoops, Skillshot or V-Ball. We’ve covered Hoops and Skillshot in-depth and will have an in-depth article on V-Ball coming soon. For now, only use one Arm at a time to hit the ball. Use a grab to setup for a spike. As soon as the ball has a red swirl after grabbing it, hit it for the fastest possible spike.

Match 4-8 - Once you get through the first mini-game, things start to get harder. It’s extremely important not to attack first unless you’re fighting against Helix (see below). There will be a few times when the opponent will either sit there blocking, or simply won’t attack first. In these cases test the waters with a single punch until the AI attacks again. If they’re just sitting there blocking you can get close and go for a grab.

Boss Battles - We’ve got detailed tips below, but the same strategies that applied to the rest of the matches apply here. Do not attack first and when you do attack only use a single Arm. Against Hedlok, the easiest strategy is to continually use a single punch from as far away as possible to build up your Rush meter, then attack him using only Rush Attacks.

Fighting AI Characters

Byte & Barq - Ignore Barq (the dog) and focus exclusively on Byte. If they’re using Seekie it’s fairly easy to dodge or even attack from the air once you see them use this. Cracker is fast, so be careful when you’re close and dodge in the direction of the Cracker Arm.

Helix - Against Helix you can actually attack first. He will typically go into his stretched out stance and stay there for a bit. When he does this you can easily attack him first and score a hit. If he doesn’t do this, stick to the plan of waiting for him to attack, dodging, then counter attacking with a single punch. Always dodge in the opposite direction of the Guardian if he has that equipped, unless you're close to Helix, then dodge in the same direction as the Guardian to give you a better angle of attack.

Kid Cobra - Don’t jump too much against Kid Cobra if he has the Hydra equipped. Otherwise this is a fairly straightforward match. Try to stay closer to him so that the advantages of the Slamamander and Coolerang are reduced. Fighting from a long distance only gives him an advantage.

Master Mummy - If he goes with two Megatons just get semi-close and wait for either punch. These are easy to dodge and counter, just dodge in the direction of the Arm he uses to punch. This tactic also works for his other two Arms, but they’re faster than the Megaton so try not to get super close. Stay about five character lengths away. Always try to have your Arms charged to do through his super armor.

Mechanica - If she’s using the Homie or Whammer, get close and dodge in the direction of either of these attacks. If she’s using the Revolver, stay back a little bit, but not too far. You should always dodge in the direction of the Revolver Arm if she has it equipped. This makes it easier to dodge and harder for her to hit you with her other Arm. Like Master Mummy, try to keep your Arms charged as much as possible to go through her super armor.

Min Min - No matter what Arms she’s using, get as close as possible and stay there. If you have trouble dodging at that range, back up a little bit until you can dodge comfortably. Her Arms are fairly slow and Dragon doesn’t work well when you’re close to her, so take advantage of this.

Ninjara - If he ever jumps, expect a teleport dodge and attack as soon as you see him disappear. When timed correctly your punch will track the position where he’ll reappear and you’ll score a hit. Never attack Ninjara first if he’s one of the later matches as he’ll almost always dodge and grab. Try to stay close to him and dodge in the direction of his Triblast Arm if he has it equipped.

Ribbon Girl - Try to stay close to her and don’t bother attacking if she jumps. Just stay on the move and dodge in the direction of her Popper Arm if she has it equipped. This is the only Arm you need to really watch out for at close range because it has a very fast attack. She excels from a distance if she’s using the Slapamander, so don’t fight from far away if she has it equipped.

Spring Man - If he has Tribolt equipped, stay at a moderate distance and dodge in the direction of the Tribolt Arm. Otherwise just stay close and wait for his attack, then dodge and counter with a single punch.

Twintelle - If she has the Parasol equipped, always dodge in the direction of the Parasol Arm. If you get iced by the Chilla Arm, you can still block and attack. Block first and watch out for a grab. If you see a grab, use a single punch to interrupt it. Don’t try to attack if she jumps because she’ll most likely avoid it. Only attack when she’s on the ground and only after you see her punch first.

Max Brass Tips

Max Brass is like a combination of Master Mummy and Spring Man. When he charges up he gets a lot bigger and gains super armor. You need to make sure you’re Arms are charged as often as possible to get through his armor. Once again, you want to let him attack first, dodge in either direction and follow with a single punch of your own.

If he has the Hammer equipped, always dodge in the direction of the Hammer Arm. If he’s using the Fist on one Arm, once he charges up keep your distance and occasionally use your fastest Arm to punch his Fist Arm. If you hit his charged Fist Arm close to his body it will explode and damage him.

Hedlok Tips

Hedlok uses Max Brass’ body, which means he has the same abilities and Arms. The easiest and cheapest way to defeat Hedlok is to stay as far away from him as possible and continue to punch with a single Arm to build up your Rush meter. Once the Rush meter is full, move in and wait for him to attack. When he does, jump and/or dodge in either direction, then immediately unleash your Rush Attack. This guarantees the Rush Attack will connect and is the best and easiest way to damage Hedlok. At higher difficulties this is almost the only way to win (at least without putting in a ton of work).

If Hedlok is charged up and using the giant Fist, stay as far away as possible and always stay on the move. It’s very difficult to avoid a barrage of attacks from a charged giant Fist, especially with the extra explosion at the end, so don’t even try to engage him when this occurs. If he’s not using the giant Fist or isn’t charged up stay about four or five character lengths away from him and wait for him to punch as you continually move around. As soon as he punches, dodge in the direction of that punch and use a single punch to counter.

At level 4 you can fight Hedlok head on, but you always want to wait for him to punch first. If he’s charged you or using the Hammer you almost always want to back away. If he’s using the Hammer and Glove, dodge in the direction of the Hammer whenever you dodge, otherwise dodge in the direction of the giant Fist.

If you’re still having issues beating Grand Prix, be sure to check out our tips and tricks and other strategy articles in our ARMS game hub!