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Understanding Damage Scaling

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

Both the Guts scaling and Guard Gauge scaling can take place at the same time. For example. Sol (Guts 1, Defense x1.00) is at 15% life remaining. According to the chart, if Sol gets hit by a 100 damage move, it will inflict 72 damage. However, if the Guard Gauge is lower than half full, then the damage scaling will also be taken into account. For example, if the Guard Gauge is at -64 (1/4 full), Sol will only take 31% of whatever the move would have done at the default Guard Gauge setting. So, in this case, 100 dmg move set to inflict 72 dmg (because of his Guts), only inflicts 31% of that because of the Guard Gauge (about 22 dmg).

Read each individual section below to completely understand how they work.

Guard Gauge

GGAC Guard Gauge.png

The Guard Gauge is located directly underneath your character's health meter and it directly affects damage scaling.

The Guard Gauge will rise each time an attack is blocked using basic block or Instant Block. Using Faultless Defense or Slashback will prevent the Guard Gauge from increasing.

Getting hit will lower the Guard Gauge. The lower it gets, the less damage each attack will do. When the gauge is completely empty, the majority of hits will do one point of damage.

When Over Half Full
Damage scaling does not come into effect. The Guard Gauge will slowly fall back to the midpoint while the character is in a neutral state.
When Over 75% Full (Flashing)
Damage scaling does not come into effect and all hits will be considered Counter Hits - even throws and mid-combo attacks! The Guard Gauge will slowly fall back to the midpoint while the character is in a neutral state.
When Below Half Full
Damage scaling starts to take effect as shown in the table below. The Guard Gauge will instantly reset back to the midpoint when the character returns neutral state (aka after air teching or on wakeup).
Guard Gauge Scaling Table
Guard Gauge 128 to -1 -16 -32 -48 -64 -80 -96 -112 -128
Normal + Special 100% 78% 59% 44% 31% 18% 12% 6% 3%
Overdrive 100% 69% 50% 38% 31% 18% 12% 6% 3%

The Guard Gauge is 256+1 units (128+, 128-, and 0). The Guard Gauge default is 0. For scaling, the numbers indicate that if the Guard Gauge is at the specified level, the move will do the indicated percentage (approximately). In actuality, the damage scales a little at almost every unit of the Guard Gauge, however, there's no reason to list every single percentage. The chart above is to give a general idea.

The Frame Data lists each attack's GB+ and GB-. GB+ is the amount the Guard Gauge increases when the attack is blocked, while GB- is the amount the Guard Gauge decreases when the attack hits the opponent.

Initial Proration and Forced Proration

Initial proration and forced proration are another part of Guilty Gear's engine to reduce the damage of certain combos for the sake of game balance. Some moves have a proration of above 100%, which means that all the attacks that follow afterwards will do more damage than usual.

Initial Proration is factored in only if your first attack of a combo is done with a prorated move. For example, Dizzy's 2K has initial proration 70%, so if Dizzy starts a combo with 2K, all the subsequent attacks in the combo only 70% of their normal damage.

Forced Proration is a harsher version of initial proration: it prorates subsequent attacks in a combo no matter what! For example, Bridget's Roger Get has forced proration 85%, so if Bridget uses Roger Get anywhere in his combo, all subsequent attacks will only do 85% of their normal damage.

Guts and Defense Ratings

All characters have 420 health. Depending on how much health a character has left, there are different levels of damage scaling. This damage scaling is different than the type given by the Guard Gauge; both affect damage scaling at the same time.


Each character has a Guts rating. As you can see, the lower the Guts rating, the less damage scaling a character will gain during the match.

Guts Table
Health > 56% > 41% > 31% > 21% > 16% > 11% > 6% > 0% Characters
Guts Rating 0 x 1.00 x 1.00 x 1.00 x 0.92 x 0.76 x 0.60 x 0.50 x 0.40 Bridget, Eddie, Faust, Testament, Robo-Ky, A.B.A
Guts Rating 1 x 1.00 x 1.00 x 0.98 x 0.89 x 0.72 x 0.58 x 0.48 x 0.40 Axl, Dizzy, I-No, Sol, Venom
Guts Rating 2 x 1.00 x 1.00 x 0.94 x 0.85 x 0.68 x 0.56 x 0.46 x 0.38 Ky, Order-Sol, Slayer, Zappa
Guts Rating 3 x 1.00 x 0.98 x 0.91 x 0.82 x 0.66 x 0.54 x 0.44 x 0.38 Jam, May, Millia
Guts Rating 4 x 1.00 x 0.96 x 0.88 x 0.78 x 0.64 x 0.50 x 0.42 x 0.38 Chipp, Johnny, Potemkin
Guts Rating 5 x 1.00 x 0.94 x 0.85 x 0.75 x 0.60 x 0.48 x 0.40 x 0.36 Anji, Baiken

Character Defense

Since Guilty Gear XX features a very complex damage system, it's no surprise they have implemented various 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 is the smallest. This means, an attack that inflicts 100 damage on Sol (x 1.00), would inflict 130 on Chipp (x 1.30) and only 87 on Potemkin (x 0.87).

Defense Modifier Table
Modifer Character(s)
x1.30 Chipp
x1.21 Millia
x1.18 Baiken
x1.15 Dizzy
x1.06 Anji, Axl, Bridget, Eddie, I-No, Jam, May, Venom
x1.03 Ky
x1.00 Faust, Johnny, Sol, Testament, Zappa
x0.96 Order-Sol, Slayer
x0.89 A.B.A, Robo-Ky
x0.87 Potemkin

Hitstun/Untechable Time Scaling and Gravity

Guilty Gear combos come in all shapes and sizes. To prevent infinite combos, the designers created various ways that make longer combos much more difficult to do and prevent loops. This requires players to gain a deeper understanding of the combo system in order to maximize their damage.

Hitstun/Untechable Time Scaling

The untechable time of attacks decreases as the number of hits in a combo increases. This aspect of GG's combo system has not been researched in detail and we are unable to provide much more information here.

Hitting a standing/crouching opponent will not suffer from hitstun scaling. This is one of the reasons that Zappa's Dog infinite works.


Another interesting feature of the combo system is gravity effects. The more hits a character takes, the lower the character will be launched. This can prove to be helpful or detrimental to a combo depending on which way you look at it. Some combos may only be possible if the launcher sends the opponent high into the air, while other combos benefit more from a lower launch.

Because gravity increases with the number of hits, this greatly curbs the ability to perform the dreaded infinite combos. Since combos constantly add hits, any relaunches will float the opponent less and less until certain combinations become impossible.

Character Weight Table (Higher = Lighter)
Weight Character(s)
x1.10 Baiken, Bridget, Jam, May
x1.05 Dizzy, I-No, Millia
x1.00 Anji, Axl, Chipp, Eddie, Faust, Ky, Slayer, Sol, Testament, Venom, Zappa
x0.98 A.B.A, Johnny, Order-Sol
x0.95 Robo-Ky
x0.94 Potemkin

Pushback Increase

Similar to Gravity, the amount of pushback increases as the number of hits in a combo increases. This is yet another way to remove loops and infinites from the GG combo ecosystem.