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The Wall[edit]

Guilty Gear Strive's premier mechanic is The Wall. As silly as it sounds, the wall does a lot to shape how the game is played. As soon as an opponent is launched, a glyph will appear where they touch the wall. The size of the glyph is dependant on several factors determined by the combo before it. When the wall is about to break, the opponent will stick to it, allowing one final move to connect before breaking the wall. Breaking the wall will transition the stage and give several bonuses to the player that broke the wall.

Infinite Protection System[edit]

Why is this here, you may ask? The wallbreak system doubles as an infinite protection system along with the burst gauge. Almost every combo in the game will end either at the wall or close to it, and the wall acts as a hard limit to stop them. There are some infinites that involve repeated side switches, but they scale hard enough to only be useful as a time-out. Not to mention that all discovered infinites are burstable.

Wall Health[edit]

we dont know jack about this yet lol

Wallbreak Effects[edit]

No matter how the wall is broken, the wall breaker will recieve the Positive status effect. This is detailed more here.

Normal/Special Wallbreak[edit]

Breaking the wall with a normal or special move will result in a transition that ends with both players at even advantage. It's functionally the same as a round start, so characters with good round start options will generally be stronger.

Overdrive Wallbreak[edit]

Breaking the wall with an Overdrive will knock the opponent down rather than resetting both players to a neutral state. The knockdown is about +36, giving you plenty of time to set up and continue offense.

Dust Wallbreak[edit]

Chip Damage[edit]

When special attacks and Overdrives are blocked, they deal a percent of their base damage as chip damage to the opponent.

For most specials and Overdrives, it's an small, unspecified fraction, but there are some moves such as Axl's Sparrowhawk Stance, Elphelt's Miss Travailler and Venom's Dark Angel that deal enhanced chip damage. Chip damage ignores Guts scaling making them much more potent when the opponent is low on life. However, any chip damage that would KO a defender with 2 or more health will reduce their health to 1 instead. That means chip damage can only kill someone if they are exactly at 1 health. This also means that special attacks/overdrives that do multiple hits are much more effective at low life scenarios since they can bring a defender to 1 health and immediately deal the final point of chip damage.

Understanding Damage Scaling[edit]

There are 3 standard factors when assigning damage: Defense Modifier, Guts Rating, and R.I.S.C. Level. When combined, they determine how much damage your character will take at every point in the Life Gauge. It's important to learn how strong/weak/effective your attacks will be at different points of the battle.

Read each individual section below to understand how they work.

R.I.S.C. Level[edit]

File:GGST RISC Gauge.png
A positive R.I.S.C. Level is denoted by the pink bar filling the gauge. If it fills completely, the bar turns red and a flashing warning sign appears next to the gauge.

The R.I.S.C. Level is located directly underneath your character's Life Gauge and it directly affects damage scaling.

The R.I.S.C. Level will rise each time an attack is blocked using basic block or Instant Block. Using Faultless Defense or Instant Faultless Defense will prevent the R.I.S.C. Level from increasing.

Getting hit will lower the R.I.S.C. Level. Once empty, R.I.S.C. damage scaling starts to take effect. The amount of scaling differs from move to move and the effect is cumulative through the entire combo. Once the combo ends and the opponent returns to a neutral state, damage scaling is reset.

Each attack has an associated R.I.S.C. Level rating associated with it listed in the frame data, showing how much it will raise and lower the R.I.S.C Level on block and hit. For example an attack with R.I.S.C. -10/+5 would lower R.I.S.C. by 10 on hit and raise it by 5 on block.

When Empty[edit]

R.I.S.C. damage scaling starts to take effect. Initial Proration and Forced Proration are still applied.

When Partially Filled[edit]

R.I.S.C. damage scaling does not come into effect until the gauge is empty. The R.I.S.C. Level will slowly empty while the character is in a neutral state. Initial Proration and Forced Proration are still applied.

When Full (Red w/Flashing Warning Sign)[edit]

R.I.S.C. damage scaling does not come into effect, and any hit you take will give a FORCED heavy counter hit. The special R.I.S.C. counter hit deals 10% additional damage, in addition to the standard 10% damage increase of all counter hits. The R.I.S.C. Level will slowly empty while the character is in a neutral state. Initial Proration and Forced Proration are still applied.

Minimum Damage[edit]

Guts and Defense Ratings[edit]

All characters have 420 life. Depending on how much life a character has left, there are different levels of damage scaling. This damage scaling is different than the type given by the R.I.S.C. Level; both affect damage scaling at the same time.


Guts acts as a type of damage scaling that gets more intense the lower a character's life. For example, an attack that would do 100 damage to Sol at full life would only do 40 damage when he is at 10% life.

This means that the Life Gauge is misleading; a Life Gauge that visually looks like it's 50% full actually has much more than 50% life left!

Each character has a Guts rating. As you can see, the lower the Guts rating, the less damage scaling a character will receive at lower life values.

The implications of the Guts system also leads to interesting damage optimization choices when the opponent is low on life.

  • Attacks do a minimum of 1 damage per hit, so attacks and combos that do lots of small hits can end up doing more damage than standard combos in low life scenarios.
    • This is why you may see players do OTG combos with multiple GGXRD P Prompt.pngs when the opponent is close to death instead of going for okizeme... they're sacrificing knockdown for damage and hoping to kill them!
  • Single hit, big damage attacks can effectively do "more" damage when the opponent is near the life threshold of gaining another defensive boost.
    • Example: Doing a single big hit when an opponent is at 41% health so that they have less life with the > 30% life defense bonus.
    • This concept is similar to doing big damage combos when the opponent is near Awakening status in the Persona Arena series.
  • Chip Damage, Poison and Instant Kill Mode's life drain effect are unaffected by Guts, meaning they effectively do more damage when life is low!
  • Life gain effects (Faust's healing items) are also unaffected by Guts!

Character Defense[edit]

Guilty Gear has character specific defense ratings. The chart below shows each characters defense modifier.

As you can see, Chipp's defense modifier is the largest and Potemkin's defense modifier is the smallest.

Defense Ratings Table
Defense Rating Character(s)
Anji ?
Axl 1.06
Chipp 1.3
Faust 1
Giovanna (<50% Tension) 1
Giovanna (>50% Tension) 0.95
Giovanna (100% Tension) 0.9
I-no ?
Ky 1.03
Leo 1
May 1.06
Millia 1.21
Nagoryuki 0.96
Potemkin 0.93
Ramlethal 1.06
Sol 1
Zato 1.09

Effective Health (EHP)[edit]

Effective HP = 420 * (0.5 + 0.1(1/(Guts multiplier, <50%) + 1/(Guts <40%) + 1/(Guts <30%) + 1/(Guts <20%) + 1/(Guts <10%))/ (Defense Modifier)

Character Guts Defense Modifier EHP:w/o Guts EHP %Median:w/o Guts %Median STD DEV
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
EHP:w/o Guts EHP

EHP Formula by u/dhamster