There are five layouts that you can select when you are at the arcades: Type A, Type B, Type C, Type D, and Type E.
- Type A is the standard Guilty Gear layout.
- Type B and Type C are mimicking the BlazBlue layouts.
- Type D and Type E are mimicking the Persona 4 Arena layout.
- = Punch
- = Kick
- = Slash
- = Heavy Slash
- = Dust
The taunt button does not have a defined location, but is generally to the upper right of the other buttons.
Players use Numpad Notation when discussing the game online in order to overcome the language barrier international players have when discussing things like special move inputs and strict, complex combos.
- Dash (or Step). Keep holding to keep running forward.
- Backstep. Backsteps move a preset distance and have a bit of start-up invincibility. It is primarily used to avoid incoming attacks or as a last ditch wake-up defensive option.
- High Jump. After a High Jump, you can not double jump, but you can air dash! Pressing or will have you high jump in the specified direction. You can use any downward direction for the input - doing will still give you a High Jump.
- Air Dash. Dash in the specified direction in mid-air. Air dashes quickly cover a lot space, but you can not block during the first few frames of air dashing. This makes them high risk, high reward movement option.
- Double Jump. Pretty self explanatory. You can also use or to double jump in the specified direction.
A command normal is performed by pressing a specific direction with a specific button. Every character has both a + and + command normal, and some have command normals with + as well. It's up to you to learn the different command normals and the properties of each for your character.
- Most + command normals has some form of upper body invulnerability and are useful as anti-air attacks.
- Most + command normals are slow, far reaching attacks.
Connecting a Dust Attack on your opponent will send them flying back into the air. After hitting your opponent, it's possible to pursue them in one of the two following ways:
- Press to perform a Homing Jump, chasing your opponent by leaping into the air.
- Press to perform a Homing Dash, chasing your opponent by rushing forward.
If you connect with a Dust Attack without performing a Homing Jump and the opponent hits the corner of the stage, they will wall stick, and all subsequent attacks will wall stick for a short period of time.
Each sweep possesses different properties and follow-up opportunities so it's important to know what options are available with your character. Sweeps provide a great alternative to Dust Attacks as they must be guarded against low.
Throw and Air Throw
When close to the opponent, + or +
Throws are a strong tool in Guilty Gear to knock the opponent down, giving you the chance to set up a mix-up. Throws in Guilty Gear start-up in 0 frames and in cases of a throw vs strike trade scenarios, the throw always wins!
Note that holding the diagonals will not work when attempting a throw, it must be straight left or right.
Special attacks are attacks that require a more elaborate command input, and have unique effects and properties. These range from standard projectiles (Ky's Stun Edge) to invincible attacks (Sol's Volcanic Viper) to command throws (Potemkin's Potemkin Buster). All special attacks are free, not requiring Tension or otherwise, but some characters have special attacks which change under certain conditions.
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.
Consumes 50% Tension
Much like "Super Combos" from other fighting games, Overdrive Attacks are attacks that cost 50% of your Tension Gauge. Each Overdrive Attack is character specific, and it's up to you to know what your character's variation does and what properties it contains.
Once your life drops below approximately 20% and you return to neutral (or if it drops below approximately 10% regardless), the remaining life in the Life Gauge starts flashing. At this point, Overdrives will receive a 20% increase in damage, denoted by the message "HELL FIRE!!" appearing on-screen when one connects.
Instant Kill Mode
Press +++ simultaneously
Your character strikes a pose and the Tension Gauge changes to the Instant Kill Timer, enabling the use of your Instant Kill Attack. In this state, you lose access to all abilities that require Tension, and all Tension that you accumulated upon activating Instant Kill Mode goes to the Instant Kill Gauge and starts to drain immediately. Once the gauge reaches 0, your character will start to lose life instead, as if you were poisoned. You may revert the Instant Kill Gauge back to the Tension Gauge by inputting the same command again, but doing so consumes all Tension.
During match point, when your opponent's remaining life starts flashing, the bulk of Instant Kill Mode's activation will act as a super freeze provided that you have at least 50% Tension when you activate. This is indicated by the Tension/Instant Kill Gauge flashing gold.
Instant Kill Attack
+ during Instant Kill Mode
Your character's most powerful attack, instantly winning you the round if it connects. As soon as you attempt an Instant Kill Attack, the Instant Kill Gauge disappears, rendering it impossible to use Tension for the remainder of the round. It is therefore vital to only attempt an Instant Kill Attack if you know that it will connect.
If you fulfill all the requirements to trigger super freeze during Instant Kill Mode activation and then do so, it becomes possible to combo into Instant Kill Attacks, offsetting the Guts mechanic that would enable them to survive for longer at lower life values. The Instant Kill Attack itself will also have a faster start-up, making it easier to connect with.
Hold back or down-back to block high or low. Hold any backward direction to block while in mid-air.
- High block will not block lows.
- Low block will not block overheads.
- Air block will not block standing normals and some standing specials.
+ any two attack buttons (except )
Continuously consumes Tension while in use
- Faultless Defense pushes the opponent further away while blocking as well as negating chip damage and R.I.S.C. Level buildup.
- Performing Faultless Defense in the air allows you to air block grounded strikes.
Thus you are trading Tension (usually an offensive resource) for defense.
Begin blocking just before an attack hits you to perform an Instant Block.
- Instant Block reduces both blockstun and pushback, allowing you more opportunities to counterattack.
- Instant Block does not negate chip damage, nor does it allow you to block "incorrectly". You must still high block overheads, and low block low attacks.
- Your character will flash white if you performed an Instant Block, and the message "JUST!" will appear on screen.
Dead Angle Attack
While in blockstun, + any two attack buttons (except )
Consumes 50% Tension
Dead Angle Attacks are invincible attacks that can only be performed while blocking, dealing very little damage but knocking the opponent away. These are synonymous to Counter Assaults in BlazBlue or Alpha Counters from Street Fighter Alpha.
These attacks are used to stop an opponent's offensive momentum, but can be baited by jump canceling into air block. Dead Angle Attacks cannot deplete an opponent's life to 0, nor can any move that follows it in a combo.
+ any other attack button (except ) (air OK) or + + any other attack button (except )
Consumes 25% Tension
- Blitz Shield is only active for a short period of time, albeit longer standing than crouching and longer crouching than in the air.
- Blitz Shield repels strikes and blocks projectiles, but loses to throws and Overdrives.
- If you successfully repel or block an attack, the message "REJECTED!" will appear on screen and you regain half of the Tension you spent on the Blitz Shield.
- If you successfully repel a strike, the opponent will be forced into a stunned state where they will be vulnerable to counterattack!
- The opponent can still perform their own Blitz Shield when in the stun animation! Beware!
- Blitz Shield will only work against attacks that can be blocked in your current stance. For example: Low attacks will beat standing Blitz Shield, and overhead attacks will beat crouching Blitz Shield.
Press any three attack buttons (except )
Consumes either 25% or 50% Tension
Roman Cancels are a very important mechanic in Guilty Gear. We will give a brief overview of it here:
- Roman Cancels return your character to a neutral state.
- Roman Canceling slows time briefly for everyone but the character performing the Roman Cancel, allowing them to attack in tandem with projectiles and close distance easily.
- Can now Roman Cancel most attacks on whiff. Your character will have a red X over them when Roman Cancel is disabled.
- Roman Cancels will be different colors depending on when you Roman Cancel:
- Red when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in hitstun or blockstun. Costs 50% Tension.
- Yellow when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in neither hitstun nor blockstun. Occurs during start-up and early active frames. Can also be performed in neutral or during movement options. Costs 25% Tension.
- Purple when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in neither hitstun nor blockstun. Occurs during late active and recovery frames. Costs 50% Tension.
(Some actions, such as specials with full invincibility on start-up cannot be Yellow or Purple Roman Canceled.)
Roman Cancels may sound very expensive, but they are very versatile and very much worth the meter; Roman Cancels can make unsafe attacks safe, extend combos, and be used in mix-ups or frame traps.
+ any other attack button
Requires Full Burst Gauge
Psych Bursts are an attack where your character creates an energy shockwave and blows the opponent away. Bursts can be used as an offensive or defensive tool depending on the scenario.
The Burst Gauge fills up very slowly over time or when getting hit.
Blue Psych Burst
Press + any other attack button while blocking or getting hit to perform a Blue Psych Burst. Blue Psych Bursts blow the opponent away, allowing you to interrupt an opponent's combo or reset the momentum of a match.
- You cannot use a Blue Psych Burst while getting hit by throws or Overdrives.
- Bursts are strike invincible during start-up, but not throw invincible!
- You are vulnerable while recovering from a Blue Psych Burst.
- Using a Blue Psych Burst completely empties your Burst Gauge, but hitting the opponent with the Burst refills approximately 1/3 of it!
Gold Psych Burst
Press + any other attack button while in a neutral state to perform a Gold Psych Burst.
- Hitting the opponent with a Gold Psych Burst fills your Tension Gauge to MAX!
- Bursts are strike invincible during start-up, but not throw invincible!
- Unlike Blue Psych Bursts, you are still strike invincible while recovering from a Gold Psych Burst.
- Using a Gold Psych Burst consumes approximately 2/3 of your Burst Gauge.
A clash occurs when simultaneous attacks strike one another. Clashes result in one of two scenarios:
- Normal Clash: Standard clash like previous games where either player can cancel the clashed attack into a new attack.
- Danger Time: Occasionally, a clash will automatically trigger Danger Time, denoted by a pause in gameplay as the background goes dark and a timer surrounded by warning stripes starts counting down. While Danger Time is active, damage is increased by 20%, and connecting with any Roman Cancelable strike on hit will result in a Mortal Counter: A special type of Counter Hit with bonus hitstop that triggers a proration-less slowdown and can be canceled into any action that a clash can be canceled into. Landing a Mortal Counter results in potentially massive damage, making it crucial to take advantage of this opportunity.
Taunts and Respects
Though 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 (Console). Respects are performed by pressing +R (or +Start). 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. 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. Performing a Taunt at the end of the match after the opponent is defeated will cause a "Rakusyo!", which will give the other player 50% Tension at the start of the next round.