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Monday, March 30, 2020

What's in the Rhythm Game in Ring Fit Adventure?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm not very groovy, but maybe you are?

Last week, Nintendo unveiled a same-day Ring Fit Adventure update (version 1.2.0—full patch notes over here) that added several new things to the game experience, with the biggest one being a 17-track rhythm game mode called Rhythm Game. Simple enough...

Rhythm Game has two modes to it: Arms + Legs, and Core + Legs. Like many other rhythm games, it involves listening to a song and “catching” beats flowing from the screen's top/background to the bottom/foreground. Instead of an instrument peripheral like some other games, you're using the special Ring Fit Adventure peripherals, being the Ring-Con and Leg Strap. 

In Arms + Legs, you're standing up straight and pushing/pulling the Ring-Con while shifting your body to the left or right, or you stay neutral/in the centre. Sometimes there are beats where you have to hold a push or pull for an extended period of time, or push/pull repeatedly. You may also have to squat (or stand back up). For Core + Legs, you have the Ring-Con rotated left on your stomach and push it in the entire time, while doing the left/right up/down shifts. That means Arms + Legs has double the variety (push & pull) versus Core + Legs (you're pushing the entire duration of the song), and as a result, Arms + Legs has multiple difficulty levels and is really where the developers’ focus went into.

Each song has its own scoring and difficulty modes. Both modes have a Novice and Advanced difficulty (Novice is basically one beat at a time on the screen; Advanced has more to it), but only Arms + Legs has an unlockable Super-Advanced difficulty (where Ring will stop giving you vocal cues and there are many more beats)... and then even an Ultra-Advanced difficulty after that, if you do well enough (A- rank) in Super-Advanced. The beat patterns are the same every time within the same song within the same difficulty/mode, so if you keep trying, you'll eventually get better just by pattern memorisation. That's how I eventually unlocked Ultra-Advanced on Fit Battle, which is a super-fast, super-dense flurry of beats that I just don't have a low enough Brain Age to be able to process.

There are Switch-level, friends list-level, and worldwide-level leaderboards, if you wish to share your Ring Fit Adventure information to the Internet. This has different share permissions than sharing your Adventure Mode progress (which I don't want to do since it tells people how old you are), so feel free to share away. Since there are 6 combinations of difficulties and modes (4 in Arms + Legs and 2 in Core + Legs), there are 102 separate rankings you can try to be the best in.

Ring Fit Adventure Rhythm Game Fit Battle rankings Novice Super Ultra Advanced Arms Legs
I'm sharing my ranks right here in this article, too!
You get letter grades.

Here's the full list of 17 songs:
  1. Fit Battle | 1:24 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  2. Boss Battle | 1:39 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  3. Four Masters Battle | 1:43 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  4. Battle Gym | 1:45 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  5. Dragaux Battle | 2:00 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  6. Grassland | 2:40 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  7. Riverside | 1:56 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  8. Snow Mountain | 1:44 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  9. Night Road | 1:56 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  10. Athletic 1 | 1:26 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  11. Athletic 2 | 2:12 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  12. Dragaux Stadium | 2:03 (Ring Fit Adventure)
  13. Jump Up, Super Star! | 1:54 (Super Mario Odyssey)
  14. Ground Theme (Band Performance) - Super Mario Bros. | 1:50 (Super Mario Odyssey)
  15. Breath of the Wild Medley | 3:31 (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
  16. Splatoon 2 Medley | 3:03 (Splatoon 2)
  17. Wii Fit Medley | 2:31 (Wii Fit)
Note: That's NOT the full list of songs in Ring Fit Adventure, so this is not a substitute for there being no in-game soundtrack. That said, you can listen through a whole song without playing anything from the selection menu.

Surprisingly, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild actually has music to put in a medley as opposed to three and a half minutes of ambient sound effects, but I gotta say... be careful about that, since it pulls from end-game source materials.

While you may feel like the music from other Nintendo games is inherently more attractive and interesting than the music from Ring Fit Adventure, I'd be careful about that. They tend to be longer, and longer means more physically tiring. I totally wiped out my own arm endurance grinding muscle memory for the Fit Battle patterns in Super-Advanced difficulty to unlock Ultra-Advanced, and it'd be twice as difficult if the song was twice as long.

I'm not actually good at these kinds of rhythm games, but it's a lot more involved than, say, Squid Beatz 2 in Splatoon 2.

Despite his own inadequacy, Ludwig acknowledges that the Rhythm Game mode is a fine and valuable addition to Ring Fit Adventure. There isn't any integration into the story mode, but it (along with the new quick play jogging option) is integrated into the Custom workout mode. Feel free to crush Ludwig's records, because he is never going to try to get to Ultra-Advanced difficulty in all 17 songs. Let alone add Core + Legs to that as well.

Ludwig's thoughts on the other additions to Ring Fit Adventure version 1.2.0 are incorporated in his weekly fitness log series, Week 20!
Ludwig dedicated a similar article to what Multitask Mode is in Ring Fit Adventure.
Week 21's Fitness Log is here, where he acknowledges he played Adventure Mode the night he did Rhythm Game.
The Rhythm Game is part of a strategy to get Ring Fit Adventure players to buy some other Nintendo evergreen titles.
Want to know more about how Quick Play mode works? Look here!
How does Rhythm Game compare to Fitness Boxing? Ludwig tries that out, too.


  1. The rhythm game just popped up spontaneously and I tried it but now I can’t figure out how to get out of it. Any suggestions?

    1. Press B (back) on your right Joy-Con (the one in the Ring-Con).

    2. Or if you're in the game itself, you could let the music play, or press the + button on the right Joy-Con to bring up a pause menu and quit.


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