Press //// to perform normal attacks. Depending on the current state of your character (standing, crouching, jumping, close to opponent), your character will do different attacks. As a general rule, / attacks are weak and fast, / attacks are strong and slow, and attacks are overhead and low attacks. Normal Attacks can usually cancel into one another, generally following the order > > > > . However this is not a steadfast rule. Consult the Gatling section of your character's frame data for exact details.
Command normal are performed by pressing a specific direction with a specific button. Every character has both a 6P and 6H command normal, and some have command normals with 6K, 3S, etc. as well. Learn the different command normals and the properties of each character. Most 6P command normals are anti-air attacks with upper-body invincibility. This makes them great tools to punish opponents who jump at you.
- Each character's standing Dust is an overhead attack that launches opponents for a combo.
Hitting a grounded opponent will launch them into the air but hitting an airborne opponent does not let you follow up with a combo. After launching the opponent, either press Up or Forward to chase after them and hit them with a combo.
- Press Up after a Dust to leap into the air and chase the opponent.
During the first few seconds of the jump, all air normals can cancel into any air normal allowing players to perform combos which would normally be impossible.
- Press Forward after a Dust to run after the opponent.
For a short period of time, all normals can cancel into each other freely and force the opponent into a tumble state on hit. The opponent will wall stick if they reach the corner of the stage after which the next few attacks will wall stick the opponent allowing for corner combos. If you let the opponent fall all the way to the ground after a wallstick they will be in a crouching state allowing for re-stand combos.
- Press to perform a sweep.
A sweep is a normal attack that knocks down the opponent, but each character's sweep enables different okizeme and combos, so it's important to learn what options are available with your character. Sweep attacks provide a great alternative to Dust Attacks as they must be guarded against low.
- Throws are short ranged, instant attacks that can not be blocked nor combo'ed into (with the exception of opponents in Stagger).
Normal Ground Throw
- To perform a normal ground throw, press either or while next to the opponent.
Throws have absolutely no startup at all, so the instant you input the throw is the instant it happens. Keep in mind though that if you miss, you will get a or instead, which is often not good at all. Because ground normal throws have no startup, it is possible to perform a wake up throw, even if the opponent already has an attack out! To counter this, attackers need to be far away enough so that they will be out of the range of an opponent's throw on wakeup. Throws cannot be performed while running/dashing, nor can they be performed with the diagonals (, , etc.). Players often run > Dash Brake > throw to get around the no-throwing-while-running limitation.
Normal Air Throw
- Air throws follow the same rules as ground throws; when near an opponent that is not in block-stun or hit-stun, press or to air throw.
Air throws cannot be performed while air dashing, nor can they be performed with the diagonals (, , etc.). Air throws often give people trouble because they are not quite as easy to space as ground throws. The ideal way to air throw someone is to be slightly below them and rising up to meet them. Typically if you are above the other person, you will not be able to throw before they do. Thus air throws are often used as an anti-air as well as an air-to-air tool when slightly below the opponent. Another typical use for air throws is throwing people out of techs or bursts, neither of which are throw invincible. Doing so usually requires you to bait out the escape attempt and punish it.
Throw Option Selects
Because of Guilty Gear's Button Priority (Throw and > > > > ), it's possible to make some of your throw attempts safer by inputting multiple buttons. For example, if Sol does +, and if the opponent is close enough, he will throw them. If the opponent is too far or is airborne, he'll do instead, which is a much faster and safer than . You can do the same with airthrows as well.
- Command throws are attacks similar to throws that have startup/whiffing animations, and are input with a motion.
On the whole, command throws inflict more damage than basic throws and often have better follow up possibilities. Command throws also have more range than normal throws, and can be canceled into from normal attacks like other special moves. They also can be done while running, so no need to Dash Brake. Command throws however do have startup frames, so they usually can't be used on reversal safely like regular throws can be.
Opponents can not always be thrown. Below is a list of situations when the opponent cannot be thrown:
- While the opponent is in hitstun + 6 frames after. Basically this means that after an attack strikes the opponent, even if you RC the attack, they will be invulnerable to throws for an additional 6 frames from when they left hitstun.
- While the opponent is in blockstun + 5 frames after blockstun ends
- While the opponent is knocked down + 9 frames after
- During the opponent's jump startup
- Ground throws will miss versus airborne opponents and vice versa
- Some attacks are throw invincible, such as Leo's Byrnhildr Stance K. Attacks like this are often good for Wakeup pressure because they are immune to reversal throws. Some attacks also discretely count as being in the air, such as Slayer's 6K. These moves can't be ground thrown, but CAN be air thrown!
Priority of Strike vs Throw vs Command Throw
When two strikes hit each other, either a clash happens or both characters get hit, but what happens when throws are added to the mix?
- Throw vs Strike: The throw will always win. This is the reason why wakeup throw works in Guilty Gear. Since throws are instant, a throw can beat an opponent performing a meaty on you!
- Normal Throw vs. Normal Throw: A Throw Break occurs
- Normal Throw vs. Command Throw: The Command Throw will always win.
- Command Throw vs. Command Throw: Both throws whiff for that one frame. Meaning a Command Throw with more Active Frames will win in the end.
- Special attacks are attacks that require a more elaborate command input, and have unique effects and properties.
These range from projectiles (Ky's Stun Edge) to fast invincible attacks (Sol's Volcanic Viper) to command throws (Potemkin's Potemkin Buster). Most Special Attacks can be canceled into from Normal Attacks, but there are exceptions such as Sol's Fafnir. One distinct difference between special and normal attacks is that specials always build some Tension, even if they miss completely. Special attacks also deal Chip Damage as well.
Taunts and Respects
- Although it's not really "attacking", Taunt and Respect do have their uses.
All characters have both a Taunt and a Respect. To perform a Taunt, simply press Start (Arcade) or R (Respect on Console). Taunts can be canceled into into any attack after about half of the animation has played. Respects, on the other hand, can be canceled at any time. Respects are performed by pressing 6R (or 6Start). Both the Taunt and Respect can be used to give a false sense of vulnerability as your opponent may be lured into attacking. Since the Respect can be canceled at any time, it's usually the best choice for a lure attempt.
- Performing a Taunt will raise your opponent's Tension Gauge slightly. Note that you can cancel normals into Taunts (but not Respect).
- Performing a Taunt at the end of the match after the opponent is defeated will give the other player 50% Tension at the start of the next round.
- Overdrives (commonly referred to as supers) are attacks that are even more powerful than special attacks, cost 50% Tension, and often have even more elaborate inputs compared to Special Attacks.
Some Overdrives are useful as Reversals like Ky's Ride the Lightning, while others power up the character like Millia's Chroming Rose. On startup, Overdrives freeze the game temporarily to show the character doing a fancy pose or an animated cut-in before attacking. This is commonly referred to as "superflash". Most supers have startup both before and after superflash, allowing the defender to easily react to the attack. However, some supers do not have startup after the superflash, meaning if you didn't already have a counter out pre-superflash, you are guaranteed to get hit afterwards.
- Can not be Bursted on hit
- Can not be Blitz Shielded
- Do 20% more damage during Hellfire
- Minimum damage 20%
- Overdrives that power up the character like Sol's Dragon Install do not get the benefits listed, but last longer during Hellfire.
Burst Overdrives are a powered up Overdrive that cost both 50% Tension and the entire Burst Gauge.
- Only one Overdrive per character can be used as a Burst Overdrive, specifically their cinematic Overdrive.
- Performed by doing the motion for the Overdrive and pressing (ex: becomes )
- Burst Overdrives have fully invulnerable start-up and deal 25% more damage than their regular counterparts
- Minimum damage increased to 50%
- Some Burst Overdrives have additional benefits specific to the Overdrive in question
- Successfully landing a Burst Overdrive restores a third of your Burst Gauge
- Instant Kills are attacks that instantly win the round.
While this sounds game-breakingly powerful in theory, the restrictions in place usually relegate it to a rarely seen spectacle.
To perform an Instant Kill:
- Activate Instant Kill Mode by pressing +++ while standing
- While in Instant Kill Mode execute
Entering Instant Kill Mode changes your Tension Gauge into a timer. The timer's length is based upon how much Tension you had stored. It will gradually decrease over time and once emptied, your health will gradually decrease as if you were poisoned! This will continue until you either perform the Instant Kill or deactivate Instant Kill Mode (+++ while standing). You cannot kill yourself in this manner, but it will leave you with next to no health, and the next hit or any chip damage will finish you off. After performing an Instant Kill, you will automatically lose the Tension Gauge for the rest of the round. This means you lose access to all Tension related actions like: Overdrive Attacks, Dead Angle Attacks, Roman Cancels, Blitz Shield, and Faultless Defense. You will also be unable to perform another Instant Kill.
Manually deactivating Instant Kill Mode will revert the IK Timer back to an EMPTY Tension Gauge.
Comboing into Instant Kills
Under normal circumstances, players can not combo into Instant Kills. However Instant Kills can be comboed into when the following conditions are met:
- Match point for you
- Opponent's remaining life starts flashing. Either by returning to neutral with > 20% health, or by being combo'd into approximately 10% of their health.
- Have 50% Tension
During these conditions, Instant Kill Mode activation becomes significantly faster and the Instant Kill attack itself is also sped up! Despite the speed boost, comboing into Instant Kills still requires specific combos and is still rarely seen since more practical combos that can kill the opponent are more easily available. Having said that, if the opportunity to combo into an Instant Kill comes up, go for it!
When a character has about 20% of their Life Gauge remaining and leaves hitstun or blockstun, the announcer will proclaim "It's not over yet!", meaning the character has entered Hellfire state. In this state, the character can use Overdrives with 20% more damage.
YRC Option Select
- Provided that you have 25% or more Tension but less than 50% Tension and are actively pressuring the opponent, you can utilize an option select involving YRC to automatically bait Dead Angle Attacks and other options from your opponent.
When performing a blockstring, attempt to input a Roman Cancel during every attack. If the opponent initiates a Dead Angle Attack, they leave blockstun, and you automatically perform a YRC. If the opponent does nothing and you attempt a Roman Cancel, you won't have the Tension necessary to perform an RC, so nothing will happen, and you can continue the next attack in the string. This technique can also allow you to stop yourself from committing to an attack's recovery and defend when certain opponents attempt invincible reversals on wake-up, react to and easily punish an opponent's backstep, and call out Blitz Shield attempts out of Reject state.
Unlike a Dead Angle Attack, a blue Psych Burst treats the opponent as if they're in stun for the duration, meaning that you won't get a YRC if you attempt this option select against a blue Burst. Certain moves that cannot be YRC'd when failing to connect, such as Sol's Grand Viper, also cannot use this option select. That being said, if you have 50% Tension, you can RC at frequent Burst points to call out Bursts, even with attacks that cannot be YRC'd.