Very brief summary of ARM instructions. Our Resources page has links to more complete tutorials and readings about ARM assembly.
Registers
There are 16 registers r0
to r15
. Most are generaluse, a few are dedicated for particular purpose. Registers designed as "scratch" (r03, r12) are calleeowned, the remainder are callerowner.
Register  Purpose 

r0  function param 1, function return, scratch 
r1  param 2, scratch 
r2  param 3, scratch 
r3  param 4, scratch 
r4  r10  
r11  Frame pointer (fp ) 
r12  Intraprocedural scratch (ip ) 
r13  Stack pointer (sp ) 
r14  Link register (lr ) 
r15  Program counter (pc ) 
Common instructions
Opcode  Instruction  Syntax  Notes 

Data Processing instructions  
ADD  Add  ADD dest, op1, op2  
ADC  Add with Carry  ADC dest, op1, op2  
SUB  Subtract  SUB dest, op1, op2  
SBC  Subtract with Carry  SBC dest, op1, op2  
RSB  Reverse Subtract  RSB dest, op1, op2  
RSC  Reverse Subtract with Carry  RSC dest, op1, op2  
AND  Bitwise And  AND dest, op1, op2  
EOR  Bitwise Exclusive Or  EOR dest, op1, op2  
BIC  Bitwise Clear  BIC dest, op1, op2  
ORR  Bitwise Or  ORR dest, op1, op2  
CMP  Compare  CMP op1, op2  op1  op2 (next 4 insns set flags, discard result) 
CMN  Compare Negated  CMN op1, op2  op1 + op2 
TST  Test  TST op1, op2  op1 & op2 
TEQ  Test Equals  TEQ op1, op2  op1 ^ op2 
MOV  Move  MOV dest, op2  
MVN  Move Negated  MVN dest, op2  bitwise inverse 
LDR  Load Register  LDR dest, [src]  
STR  Store Register  STR src, [dest]  Minor anomaly: src register listed first 
B  Branch  B target  
BL  Branch and link  BL target  Function call 
BX  Branch exchange  BX lr  Function return 
 Op2 accepts an immediate value. In the data processing instructions,
dest
andop1
can only refer to a register, butop2
accepts an immediate value encodable in a 8bit value with 4bit rotate. (Here is a neat exploration of what can be encoded under those constraints: https://alisdair.mcdiarmid.org/armimmediatevalueencoding). For those of you pondering the need for bothSUB
andRSB
, consider the impact of the asymmetry betweenop1
andop2
on the noncommutative subtract operation.SUB r1, r1, #3 RSB r1, r1, #3
 Use of barrel shifter on op2. Another distinction for
op2
of the data processing instructions is that the barrel shifter can be used to first shift or rotate this operand's value. For example, in the instruction below,r3
is left shifted 5 positions before being added tor2
.ADD r1, r2, r3, LSL #5
The available barrel shifter operations for
op2
are below. Here is nice explanation of the effect of each http://www.davespace.co.uk/arm/introductiontoarm/barrelshifter.html.LSL Logical Shift Left op2, LSL #Imm LSR Logical Shift Right op2, LSR #Imm ASR Arithmetic Shift Right op2, ASR #Imm ROR Rotate Right op2, ROR #Imm RRX Rotate Right and Extend op2, RRX #Imm ARM does not have separate shift/rotate instructions;
LSL
LSR
ASR
are implemented as use of barrel shifter on op2.To read more about the ARM Flexible second operand, see https://developer.arm.com/documentation/dui0552/a/thecortexm3instructionset/abouttheinstructiondescriptions/flexiblesecondoperand
Conditional execution

Condition codes. The ARM has four condition codes
Z
N
C
andV
that each store a 1bit state. The codes are set as a side effect of the Compare and Test instructions and can be optionally set by any data processing instruction by adding theS
suffix (XOR
>XORS
).Z Zero N Negative V Overflow C Carry 
Conditional execution. Adding a condition suffix to instruction opcode, e.g. (
ADD
>ADDEQ
) causes the instruction to execute only if the specified condition is met, otherwise the instruction is skipped. For an instruction specified with no suffix,AL
is assumed.Condition Opcode Execute if: EQ Equal Z NE Not equal !Z CS/HS Carry set / unsigned higher or same C CC/LO Carry clear / unsigned lower !C MI Minus / negative N PL Plus / positive or zero !N VS Overflow V VC No overflow !V HI Unsigned higher C and !Z LS Unsigned lower or same !C or Z GE Signed greater than or equal N == V LT Signed less than N != V GT Signed greater than !Z and (N == V) LE Signed less than or equal Z or (N != V) AL Always (unconditional) always
More
This page is just the highlights – there is much more! Refer to the ARM manual for information on:
 pre/postindex address modes
LDM
andSTM
, multiple load/store the
CPSR
special register and instructionsmsr
andmrs