From Dustloop Wiki

Why +R?

+R is often described as a masterpiece by a lot of players who stuck around for it. There's a lot of depth to this game. There's a lot of craziness. There's a lot of a feeling that you can kind of do whatever you want and the game will often let you. That you can make any character your own. That you can set the game to greyscale and within a few seconds, if you're familiar enough, get a rough idea of who's playing without any name labels or identifying their color.

It's got its reputation: it's strict, it's wild, it's got its jank. While those are true to an extent, there is so much to be explored in this game, so much latent freedom that is touted, that many a player finds themselves sinking into the rabbit hole of "one more rep" in training mode. Of "one more set" in locals. Of "one more try" in trying to crack this treasure chest of a game open further.

+R is an experience like no other.

What's different from Xrd?

+R is a bit of a more tight package than Xrd. While Xrd is both solid and off-the-wall in its own right, +R feels ramped up a bit higher. Execution is more strict, and the game sometimes feels like it demands more of you. On the flip side, characters feel even more bonkers and capable of some wild things. While the Roman Cancel system is, on paper, more limited than Xrd's, the game overall feels more open to interpretation. The pacing feels faster, and to many anecdotes, it simply "clicks better". For many, there is merely some personal preference, but there is a hard list of major differences.

In terms of mechanics, below is a list of what is +R and not in Xrd:

  • Force Breaks exist (25% meter moves)
  • +R Roman Cancels cause no slowdown and only two types exist: regular and Force. There is no RC'ing on whiff unless the move has an FRC that allows for it.
    • Force Roman Cancels are 25% cost RCs that can only happen during specific windows.
  • Slashbacks exist, 4S+H cuts blockstun down to 3f when successful.
  • RISC is Guard Gauge, which mechanically is the same, but negative guard gauge is the proration that you get as combos go on longer. This existed in Xrd, but wasn't visually represented.
  • Dust only cancels into moves itself while holding up. There's no side dust.
  • +R staggers are escaped by pressing forward/back, not buttons.
  • +R is a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of 16:9 so there's some stage shifting differences.

  • No Hellfire
  • No YRCs and no PRCs
  • No Blitz Shield
  • No Burst Supers
  • No button input buffer (there's some leniency on special motions, but that's it. No skipping diagonals!)
  • No Danger Time

What's different from Strive?

A lot. Strive is a very different game from its predecessors. Many things that could be considered legacy are absent from Strive, and many things in Strive do not exist in previous Guilty Gears. You could view this as a way to more easily separate titles in the series, and differentiate your muscle memory between them.

In terms of mechanics, below is a list of what is in +R and not in Strive:

  • Gatling chains are much wider and unique in general.
  • Air recovery exists. A launch in +R does not mean a combo will work as long as they are airborne.
  • Airdashes are much faster off the ground, especially notable in the common IAD (Instant Airdash).
  • Wakeup times are unique to characters, not uniform.
  • Pushback, gravity, and hitstun scale over time and more hits in a combo. +R has a robust infinite prevention system which appears absent in Strive.
  • Pushback on hits is generally much lower.
  • Backdashes have much more invincibility on average (8f average as opposed to 5f).
  • Instant Block reduces blockstun in addition to reducing pushback. The input window is also much wider, a theorized 8f as opposed to 2f.
  • Dead Angles exist in lieu of Yellow Roman Cancels. They are character specific moves and do not cause slowdown.
  • Most grounded moves are air unblockable without using Faultless Defense
  • Wallstick and wallbounces are mechanics unique to specifically fewer moves.
  • Air Dash Cancel is a mechanic unique to Millia.
  • Many, many, many character specific differences.
  • Force Breaks exist (25% meter moves)
  • +R Roman Cancels cause no slowdown, have no hitbox, and only two types exist: regular and Force. Roman Cancels are instant.
    • There is no RC'ing on whiff unless the move has an FRC that allows for it. Force Roman Cancels are 25% cost RCs that can only happen during specific windows.
  • Slashbacks exist, press 4+SH to do a quick move that removes your blockstun.
  • RISC is Guard Gauge, which mechanically is the same, but negative guard gauge is the proration that you get as combos go on longer.
  • Dusts are generally much slower in +R and cannot be charged.
  • Throw in +R is 4/6H, and is instant/0f. Throw breaks exist but are only a 2f window.
    • Throw in Strive is 4/6D, and is 2f startup. Throw breaks are easier in Strive, with a 5f throw break window.
  • Instant Kills exist (as of this writing Strive does not have them).
  • +R staggers place an indicator over your head, and are escaped by pressing forward/back.
    • Staggers exist in Strive, but are escaped with a button press.
  • +R is a 4:3 aspect ratio instead of 16:9 so there's some stage shifting differences.
  • +R Bursts are throwable, and are much slower.
  • No Positive Bonus
  • No Wall Breaks
  • No Dash Input Roman Cancel
  • No Instant FD
  • OTG hits are techable (except for some specific moves)
  • No button input buffer (there's some leniency on special motions, but that's it. No skipping diagonals!)

Who should I play/how do I play X?

The ultimate answer is to play whoever you want. Every character in this game is viable, and the tier list is less determined by character strength, and moreso based on matchups and who has the more amplified weaknesses.

A draft of our Character Select Guide can be found here (Scroll down) We're working on an update in the meantime. Hang tight!

So should I start with a "beginner character"?

No, you should start and play with whoever you jive with and enjoy the most. Early on, you're likely to switch around a lot, and that's good! Experiment.

You'll likely gravitate towards one character and should stick with them for as long as you can. The thing is, no characters really play this game the same way. Learning as a "beginner" character won't necessarily help you play better with a character you actually want to.

Furthermore, there is no truly "right" way to play. Experts often disagree on the best means of dealing with things, meaning that the answer is open to interpretation of not only what is the strongest on paper, but what you're strongest with. There is a lot of room for personal expression in +R.

Okay, but who are the easiest characters?

This is always a question that veterans are hesitant to answer, because every character is difficult in the long run. If you're only looking at who's got easy execution at an upfront, early level, you can check this chart by Brett:

Brett Guide

The community generally places Faust, Ky, Kliff, Jam, Potemkin, and to an extent A.B.A as some of the easier characters overall. Their gameplans do not change much over time and their level of necessary execution generally remains fairly low.

The reason why this gets complicated is because a lot of these characters who seem easy early on can become notoriously difficult to win with as you progress and begin going toe-to-toe with players who have a stronger grasp of the game. Opening up opponents gets harder as certain characters at higher levels, and you may end up having to rely on more difficult mechanics, inputs, or strategies than you initially signed up for. If you're okay with that, then don't let anybody stop you.

How Balanced is this Game?

Good enough that you can get good and blow up anyone with any character.

I hear this game is very difficult.

On one hand, yes. This game is strict. No input buffer on button presses. FRCs have a minimum 2F window. Slashback has a strict 2F window.

On the other, you can make it as hard as you want it to be, and you can ramp it up over time. Nobody is expecting you to get HCL FRC Dash Splits or tk. Youzansen FRCs on your first try. Focus on starting small. Work your way up from the basic mechanics to the crazy stuff later. Make sure you're having fun, (but with +R, you generally won't have to try hard for that).

That difficulty is part of the game. There's a certain level of satisfaction from pulling off a hard setup or input or that game winning combo full of frame perfects that you've labbed for hours. But when you start, all we suggest is that you have fun and find what works for you.

What should I focus on?

Early on, it's best to start with actually figuring the game out. A drafted startup guide can be found here.

The harder stuff: combos, all of the mechanics, and settling on matchup knowledge and esoterics are the last things to start with. Ramp your way up. Get used to your character's buttons and inputs first. Get used to figuring out what to do in neutral. Learn to mix FD with regular blocking. Get familiar with movement.

There's no reason to overload yourself with the hard stuff first. If you want to be a lab monster, that's absolutely fine. If you want to be a player, it's best to start with actually figuring the game out. You can start in the lab and get an idea. You can start by playing and figuring it out as you go. You can start by watching footage and gleaning that way. Regardless of how you do it, it's best to get into the cycle of doing all three. All you need to do is start.

How do I hit opponents and structure offense?

Guilty Gear is known for its generally freeform offense from its Gatling System, which lets you chain normals from weaker to stronger, similarly to the Marvel and Darkstalkers series. You can form some basic but effective combos and pressure strings from the beginning by simply chaining 5P > 5K > c.S > 5H > 2D. For most of the cast, this will score a small confirm with decent damage and a knockdown, which is what Gear's offense is centric around: applying wakeup pressure/okizeme.

This system lets you hammer out something simple without having to jump straight into training mode, and also get an idea of how later offense works. Pressure generally works the same way, though you'll want to cancel into something safer, stop and get back in, or jump away if you're being blocked.

Launch/juggle combos are a different beast which have their own complexity, but the gatling system also applies in the air, so it's not a step into the completely foreign, though it gets more into character specifics.

Starting out, you might be tempted to immediately skip straight to the combos section for your intended character and starting grinding Sidewinder Loops and Dustloops and Mist Finer confirms. This can work for some people, but it is generally not a recommended way to begin.

How do I stop getting hit?

The thing about +R is that for every busted character mechanic, there's a powerful defensive mechanic. Blocking by itself is already solid if you can deal with the mix. But Faultless Defense, Instant Block, Slashback, Dead Angle, reversal Backdash, reversal Throw, and many character specific mechanics give you a myriad of ways to bust out of pressure.

Ultimately though, +R rewards offense, even if you can fight back on defense. Eventually, you'll get opened up and hit. Some things are just unreactable, that's the nature of the game.

You'll come to recognize more as you play more. And the more you grow, the further you'll probably want to go.

What's this I've heard about 0F throws?

Throws in this game are indeed 0F, they occur the instant you press the button, assuming you're in range. The window to break a throw is only 2F wide.
Not only that, but throws can be Option Selected with any other button if you try to throw forwards, so you'll get another button if your throw wouldn't come out. On paper, this sounds really busted.

And it kind of is! Everybody can use a throw as a reversal! But part of learning the game is learning around this strength. Making sure that your oki is spaced far enough to avoid wakeup throw, and playing both your offense and your defense around this mechanic is kind of like RPS, but instead of three options you get closer to five or seven which all cover multiple scenarios.

This means that every single character has at least one extremely powerful tool that you need to be cognizant of, but there are plenty of ways to bait and beat this. This design philosophy is part of what makes Guilty Gear such a strong series.

If you give every character a defensive toolkit which would be absolutely bonkers in any other fighting game, you can build off of that baseline and make everybody as crazy as you can think of, with some level of restraint, of course. This is how Guilty Gear manages to remain balanced at such a high level. 0F throws are a piece of the puzzle that makes +R.

I'm trying to throw, but I keep getting an attack and not throw what's going on???

You can't throw while running, and there is throw invincibility on various universal things in the game. Explained here: Link

How do I Dust Combo?

5Ds in this game grant you a "homing jump". While in this state, holding any upwards direction (7/8/9) during an air normal will automatically put you back into the Homing Jump, cancelling whatever normal you were doing. This is how you can perform multiples of the same normal while not usually possible.

Example: for the Sol combo 5D > j.D > j.D > j.SKS > dj.SH > j.623S > j.214K, you would only need to hold UP during the bolded arrows.

This is very similar to Xrd's, with the exception that Xrd cancels into Homing Jumps for you automatically.

What's the deal with FRCs? Do I need them?

Yes and no. Many characters have one or two vital FRCs (Force Roman Cancels) for more comprehensive play, but some can get by without using any. There are plenty of competent players who don't utilize their character's entire toolset, either out of a lack of ability or judgment that there are better options.

Given that, FRCs are not the hardest things to learn. Some FRCs are actually very easy, and many have a pretty consistent point where it becomes muscle memory to hit. You may not hit them every time, but that's part of +R's beauty in a sense: a level of play and a standard that you hold yourself to shooting for every time.

You can practice FRCs by opening training mode and turning on the input display, which will flash blue during this window. In order to find your character's FRCs, you'll have to go to their Frame Data pages and look them up. A list of every character's FRCs is to be added to their wiki page in the near future.

Guilty Bits on FRCs

NOTE: We've noticed some inconsistencies with this display. While it is accurate for the most part, it can be a frame or two off. It's best to use it as a general guideline for where your FRC is.

What's Lenient input? (PC only)

On the PC release of +R, in controller settings you may select Lenient input option. By default, Original is selected.

Lenient input generally makes half circle inputs (41236 or 63214) easier, which is particularly useful for leverless input devices such as Hitbox and keyboard. Original inputs are identical to all other releases of +R, it is a misconception that they are differ.

Lenient input should not have any downsides to playing on. However, if you play on lenient and then go to an offline event that uses the PS3 version of the game, you will suddenly be forced to play with much stricter controls than you are used to.

If you don't care about your performance in offline events run on PS3, play on lenient inputs.

Quote from sat0ri explaining Lenient input:

"Input parser was modified to simulate updating at 120 FPS, while keeping the amount of frames required to input a move the same as before. Only half-circles (HC+back, HC+forward as well) are affected. Changes allow skipping a direction if it looks like it was pressed, but for less than a frame.

As for feedback, we're most interested in any examples of game registering unintended moves due to changes in input parser, or game's behavior in general changing in any way aside from making it easier for keyboard and hitbox players to input the moves.

In depth: - Any direction other than the first or last can be skipped (i.e. 4123 is not a valid HCF, but 4136 can be, same for 63214 vs 63216 for HCB+F) - Incorrect direction is not allowed to be in place of the skipped one. For example, if expected input is 63214, 63514 is not valid. Alternatively, the "sum" of previous and next directions must result in the skipped one. For example, if expected input is 632146, then 632176 (1+7=4) will be considered valid.

- Even if (for example) 6314 is accepted as HCB, the whole input must still be at least 5 frames long like before (i.e. some direction should be held for at least 2 frames)"

What lenient does is allows you to skip directions during a move's motion, with some caveats. This basically interpolates a joystick direction, as stated in the above quote simulating 120 FPS input polling while still polling at 60 FPS.

  • In order to skip a direction, you must have gone between two non-adjacent directions in one frame.
    • 4136 counts as a half circle forwards, skipping directly from 1 to 3 and missing the 2 input.
    • 41536 does not count as a half circle forwards (41236), as you did not go from 1 to 3 in one frame.
    • For a 632146 motion, you may input 632176 and have it work, as the 4 input is interpolated from the 1 to 7 transition.
  • The input cannot be done faster than on original inputs.
    • 41236+S takes at minimum 5 frames. Performing 4136 in a 4 frame window is not a valid half circle forwards (41236).
    • If 4136+S is input in at least a 5 frame period, it is a valid half circle forwards (41236).
      • This means at least one direction had to be held for at least 2 frames, making the total motion at least 5 frames.
  • The first and last direction of the motion may not be interpolated, and must be directly hit.
    • For a 236 input, 239 is invalid even though 6 can be interpolated from the 3 to 9 transition.
    • Strangely, on I-No 41239+S counts as a valid 41236+S. Unsure why. Other characters to be tested.
Valid and Invalid 632146
Valid 63146 6246 63176
Invalid 635146 62546 63276

How do I play on a leverless device? (Hitbox, Keyboard)

It is generally advised to use Lenient input, especially if you play on a leverless device. As stated above, practicing on Original inputs will be useful for practicing for events run on PS3.

As this device uses separate buttons for each direction, it is possible to press both Left and Right, or Up and Down, at the same time. This is referred to as Simultaneous Opposite Cardinal Directions. When this occurs, the game will need to resolve this conflict somehow. On keyboard, pressing opposite directions will cancel both into a neutral input. Since the conflicting inputs are resolved, they are "cleaned." This is calledd SOCD cleaing.

On most Hitbox-style leverless devices, Left and Right cancel into neutral, and Up and Down will result in up. This SOCD cleaning is done on the controller, before the signal is sent to the game. Hitbox's explanation of SOCD.

If you play on Original inputs, for most moves you will need to hit every direction. Utilizing SOCD can help with this, such as pressing Left, Down, and Right simultaneously to get a clean Down (2) input during a half circle motion. Even if you play on Lenient inputs, utilizing these tricks will make playing much easier.

Detailed guide for input tricks on leverless devices. Includes pages for character specific tricks.

As stated above, keyboard will resolve Left+Right, and Down+Up, as Neutral inputs, neither direction being pressed. If you wish to resolve Down+UP as Up, as is common on most leverless controllers including Hitbox, follow these navigation steps to enable the "-socdlikehitbox" launch option on Steam.

  1. Steam Library
  2. Guilty Gear +R
  3. Options for Guilty Gear +R
  4. Properties
  5. General
  6. Paste "-socdlikehitbox" into Launch Options

What's the recommended pad/stick layout?

We normally suggest the default layout for stick, and many pad players find it most comfortable to set H to R1, D to R2, and an FD macro (P+K) to L1 and an RC macro (P+K+S) to L2. P, K, and S are usually set to the left or bottom three face buttons.

Feel free to experiment, of course. What matters most is what you find comfortable and intuitive.

How do I set the training dummy?

On the training mode menu, you must Hit R1/L1 to change which screen you're on. The screen with the green background affects the dummy side's character.

To ensure the combos you're practicing are valid, set "recovery" to either "back" or "forward", and "recovery frame" to zero. (This is because neutral techs are one frame slower)

Some other important menu options include:

  • Display: set to Both for the input display and damage info
  • Guard: Off/First/Limited/On/Random.
    • First will keep the dummy blocking as long as the current blockstring is airtight. However, it will NOT guardswitch properly, meaning a dummy set to standing will block a 5P but get hit by a followup 2K.
    • Limited will take a hit up until a string is no longer airtight. It will then block everything until you stop, and continue blocking for an unspecified amount of time (estimated around 2 seconds)
    • Off and On are self explanatory. Block on will block everything, regardless of state.
    • Random As the name states. The dummy will randomly block or stop blocking. An airtight string will maintain blocking but MAY not guardswitch, a la first.
  • Guard Frame: Can be "Normal", "Just" (Instant Block), "Faultless" (Faultess Defense), or "SlashBack" (self explanatory)
  • Slip Recovery: Affects how quickly the dummy shakes out of stagger, NOT stun/dizzy. Level 2 is an approximate human level mashing speed, so it's best to set it to this to test combo validity.

If you wish to practice dizzy setups, you'll need to record the dummy mashing out manually and play it back.

  • A note about playback: The PC version has tools for allowing sideswitching and playback on reversal, which are found on the player side.
    • Recording Slot: Lets you choose from one of four different slots. Slots can be emptied by simply rerecording and not using any inputs
    • Playback Slot: Decides which slot will be played back: 1/2/3/4/Rotate/Random. Rotate will cycle through all active playback slots. Random is self explanatory.
  • Playback Mode: Normal/Autoflip/Instant/Flip+Instant
    • Normal: slot will play back with the same timing it was recorded with. Will NOT autocorrect for side switching.
    • Autoflip: will autocorrect for side switching.
    • Instant: slot will playback instantly, to the first button press. This way, reversals can be timed to occur the moment the playback begins. Will NOT autocorrect for sideswitching.
    • Flip+Instant: plays back instantly and autocorrects side switching.
  • Reversal playback: to enable your recordings to play back the moment the dummy exits hit/blockstun/knockdown, you must return to the DUMMY tab and change Reversal Action to Memory, and Reversal Type to what you wish (All/Guard/Hit/Wakeup).

Outside of the PC version, there is no way to play inputs back on wakeup or as a reversal, you would have to time it manually yourself.

    • You can have a dummy record a button on the first frame of a recording by holding down the button while you press record, at least.
    • Using a dummy to play back an input will not correct for direction. So if you input 236P as your dummy motion, and play it back while on the other side of the dummy, it will instead perform 214P, unfortunately.

Additionally, a list of expanded training mode options can be found here:

How do I pick my color?

On the character select screen, every character has one color bound to each of the game's attack buttons: P, K, S, H, and D.

Pressing R (Respect) will cycle through the set of colors available: Normal, EX, Slash, and Reload.

Each character's colors can be viewed at the bottom of their respective wiki page, in the Colors section.

What's with Gold/Shadow colors?

These palettes are unlockable, powered up versions of characters. Golds augment characters drastically, increasing many of their stats or amplifying one of their character traits. Gold Sol, for example, gets a permanent powered up Gunflame, increased, speed, damage, health, and HP restoration. Shadow characters only gain infinite tension.

While amusing for a while, they are, of course, banned from tournament play. The GGPO update replaces their usual selection method (Slash D and Reload D) by picking them with the button set to "Record Enemy". You won't be able to play them online unless somebody sets the room to allow them, either.

What's with EX characters?

EX characters are alternate versions of each character (except Kliff and Justice, technically) that use old moves from previous iterations or ideas which were never implemented into their main versions.

If you were wishing to main an EX character, they are banned from tournament play, if only because they are not in the arcade version. They're also not particularly balanced.

But if you want to run an EX character tournament, nobody is stopping you! Some people have already started, check the discord.

We are currently in the process of adding EX character pages!

Where's the tier list?

Tier lists can be found here.


Cool, where do I find footage?

There are a good amount of resources (with some in the infamous 144 and 240P). Here are some recommendations:

General character guide vids:


Questions will be added to this FAQ as necessary. If you want more in-depth explanations of mechanics, go through the Controls, Offense, Defense, and System Mechanics pages.

If you have more in-depth questions, feel free to reach out in the discord. We're a pretty lax community and there's a myriad more resources available in there.



Systems Pages