From Dustloop Wiki
Our intent first and foremost in making this game is to create something entirely new, rather than a continuation of previous games. This includes our direction with the music and designs as well. The reason for changing the character designs is that it makes it clear at a single glance that this is a new series within the Guilty Gear franchise. We aren't using previous titles as a base when thinking about changing the characters' moves. We are redefining each character from the ground up for this new game.
~ Daisuke Ishiwatari on Developer Blog 2

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I play/how do I play X?

The ultimate answer is to play whoever you want! Every character can be viable with enough practice. As to how to play each character, you can refer to their individual page for more infos.

So should I start with a "beginner character"?

No, you should start and play with whoever you jive with and enjoy the most! Every fighting game is difficult, so you're better off picking someone you like rather than someone you might get bored with. A "beginner character" won't necessarily help with the harder mechanics of the game nor help you with someone you actually want to play.

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 want a character with simple execution upfront,  Sol,  Ky and  Giovanna are recommended by most people to be the easiest at a beginner level.

Who is top tier?

Tiers are subjective and are very subject to changes due to the game receiving balance patches. Tier lists are also unreliable due to subjectivity and, depending on the person, being ordered with different criteria. But if you want a general idea of character placements, refer to the Tier List page. You will see characters like  Happy Chaos and  Ramlethal placed at the top of lists often. Keep in mind to not get discouraged if a character you wanted to play is placed low, and don't think the higher characters are unbeatable.

How balanced is this game?

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

Is this game difficult?

Compared to past titles most players will say no. This game was made with general audiences in mind and has plenty of in-game resources to learn all about it.

What should I focus on?

Whatever you feel like you're lacking in. If you dont really know how to identify your weaknesses, talk and/or play with a more experienced player. Preferably one that uses the same character(s) as you.


How different is this game from other Arc System Works games?

Every Arc System Works game is wildly different from each other. In short, You don't necessarily compare them for the sake of "game X is better than Y". Nevertheless if you are still curious, we have compiled the differences of some commonly compared games:

Guilty Gear XX/Xrd Series

  • Gatling options aren't universal and there are a lot of character-specific gatlings. 5K and c.S are not universally jump/dash cancelable in these titles.
  • Throws are performed with (j.)6H/4H instead of (j.)6D/4D. They start up instantly and have no animation outside of a successful throw, so on whiff the character will just perform whatever move is otherwise associated with the input.
  • Everyone has access to Instant Kills. Instant Kills can only be used once per round, and if you whiff an Instant Kill you wont be able to use Tension for the rest of the round.
  • Everyone has access to Dead Angle Attacks. Dead Angle Attacks are attacks performed during blockstun at the cost of 50% Tension that knock the opponent away on hit. These are replaced by Yellow Roman Cancels in GGST.
  • You can tech out of hitstun if you're airborne.
  • Characters can be thrown during Psych Bursts.
  • Stagger requires repeated directional inputs (XX series) or button mashing (Xrd series) to escape sooner, rather than a timed button press.
  • If a player is hit too many times within a short period of time they will be put into a stun state. Getting Counter Hit exacerbates this situation, as Counter Hits deal bonus stun damage. Stun requires repeated directional inputs and button mashing to escape sooner.
  • Invincible reversals are often fully invincible instead of just strike invincible.

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2

  • Yellow Roman Cancels work differently. They are instead used to cancel the early frames of a move at the cost of 25% Tension so long as the opponent is not in hitstun or blockstun. Purple Roman Cancels also exist as they do in GGST, but only apply to the later frames of a move.
  • Blitz Shield is a defensive mechanic that costs 25% Tension to reject strikes or projectiles. If the opponent's strike is rejected or they are near the opponent when their projectile is rejected, they are put in a reject state visually similar to Guard Crush in GGST, but the opponent cannot block, only perform their own Blitz Shield.
  • There was a random chance for "Danger Time" to occur when two attacks clashed. Danger Time enabled both players to do increased damage temporarily.
  • Some Overdrives had special Burst variants that consumed the Burst Gauge as well as Tension. In GGST, the Burst Gauge cannot be spent on Overdrives, but can be used to perform Wild Assault and Deflect Shield.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R

  • Force Roman Cancels are a version of Roman Cancel that only specific moves could use at the cost of 25% Tension. They also have very short windows to be performed, which are specific to the move. The closest thing to Force Roman Cancels in GGST are Purple Roman Cancels, which cancel out of a move for 50% Tension so long as the opponent is not in hitstun or blockstun.
  • Force Breaks are enhanced versions of special moves that cost 25% Tension. In GGST the only ways to spend Tension are Faultless Defense, Roman Cancels and Overdrives.

How do I hit opponents and structure offense?

Guilty Gear is known for its generally freeform offense from its Gatling Combination system, which lets you chain normals simply through a combination of buttons. Unlike previous entries in the series, gatlings in Guilty Gear -Strive- are more limited and universal. See here for an overview of the gatling routes.

How do I stop getting hit?

Guilty Gear -Strive- has a lot of defensive mechanic to help you deal with your opponent's offense. Blocking is the most basic form of defense, but you can also backdash or use Faultless Defense, Instant Block or Yellow Roman Cancel, on top of more complex or character-specific ones. An explanation of each of these tools can be found on the Mechanics page. Don't be discouraged by an opponent's offense seeming unstopable, there is always something you can do to counter it.

Why does the announcer keep saying "DANGER"?

In the Guilty Gear series, when a player is moving away from the opponent or not moving at all too often they'll be warned with a "DANGER". If you keep retreating after this you'll receive a Negative Penalty and lose all of your Tension.

Do throws whiff on crouching characters?/Why did my throw whiff?

Throws in Guilty Gear -Strive- do not whiff on crouching opponents. Throws and command throws can whiff for a variety of reasons. If you whiffed a throw when you were in range, your opponent probably had throw invincibility while your throw was active. See this page for an overview of situations where characters cannot be thrown.

Is X an invincible reversal-safe meaty setup?

Unless it's a safe jump A very well-timed jump attack on a character who is rising from a knockdown. Your goal is to attack extremely close to when you land so that, if the character performs an invincible reversal attack, you will land and be able to block. The opponent is then forced to block your jumping attack, since reversaling doesn't work, which will give you some nice pressure and hopefully an opening. or a disjoint, probably not.

In order to meaty Hitting an opponent to cover the moment as they lose invincibility. The most common one is performing an attack early on okizeme to gain frame advantage and bait reversals. an opponent's wake-up and still recover in time to block an invincible reversal To perform an attack as soon as possible after getting knocked down or leaving hitstun/blockstun., a perfectly timed last active frame meaty attack must have recovery frames equal to or less than the reversal's start-up -2 frames. For example, a move with a recovery of 8 frames (most 5Ps and 2Ps have 8 or more recovery frames) can only safe meaty 10F start-up reversals when perfectly timed. Reversals with a start-up of 9 frames (most fast DP Dragon Punch A move that has invulnerability during its startup, long recovery, and a rising motion.s and reversal Overdrives) cannot be safe meatied by the majority of 5Ps and 2Ps.

Expand the below dropdown for a more detailed explanation.

On Dustloop, the frame data for the start-up of attacks in Guilty Gear -Strive- gives the first active frame of an attack.

For example, let's look at  Sol Badguy's S Volcanic ViperGGST Sol Badguy 623X.pngGuardAllStartup9Recovery18+10 LandingAdvantage-28. This move has a start-up of 9 frames, meaning its first active frame is the ninth frame after start-up. Consider a situation where  Ky Kiske has knocked down Sol and is attempting to meaty Sol's wake-up with an attack while still recovering in time to block S Volcanic Viper. Ky attempts to meaty Sol's wake-up with his 2PGGST Ky Kiske 2P.pngGuardAllStartup5Recovery8Advantage-2, which has 8 recovery frames. The situation plays out like this:

Ky perfectly times the meaty, lining up the last active frame of his 2P with Sol's wake-up. Sol perfectly times his reversal, starting up S Volcanic Viper on the first frame of his wake-up.

  • On frame 1 of Sol's wake-up, he is invulnerable due to S Volcanic Viper start-up. The last active frame of Ky's 2P whiffs through Sol's invulnerability.
  • On frames 2~8 of Sol's wake-up, Sol goes through frames 2~8 of his S Volcanic Viper's start-up. Ky goes through frames 1-7 of 2P's recovery.
  • On frame 9 of Sol's wake-up, Sol's S Volcanic Viper is active. Ky is on the last frame of 2P's recovery and gets hit. A "PUNISH" notification displays on screen, since Sol's attack connected during Ky's recovery frames.

What if Ky had instead chosen to meaty with an attack with a shorter recovery? Let's consider the same situation if Ky attempted to use his 5KGGST Ky Kiske 5K.pngGuardLowStartup7Recovery6Advantage-2, which has 7 recovery frames, as a meaty attack instead:

Ky perfectly times the meaty, lining up the last active frame of his 5K with Sol's wake-up. Sol perfectly times his reversal, starting up S Volcanic Viper on the first frame of his wake-up.

  • On frame 1 of Sol's wake-up, he is invulnerable due to S Volcanic Viper start-up. The last active frame of Ky's 5K whiffs through Sol's invulnerability.
  • On frames 2~8 of Sol's wake-up, Sol goes through frames 2~8 of his S Volcanic Viper's start-up. Ky goes through frames 1-7 of 5K's recovery.
  • On frame 9 of Sol's wake-up, Sol's S Volcanic Viper is active. Ky recovers from 5K just in time to block. Sol flies up into the air, and Ky gets a Counter Hit punish.

As you can see from the 2P scenario, if a move only has 1 less frame of recovery than a reversal's start-up, it cannot safe meaty that reversal. A move needs to have 2 less frames of recovery than a reversal's start-up for a safe meaty to even theoretically be possible, and even then it must be executed perfectly to avoid getting hit by the reversal. Given that the standardized fastest reversal timing in the game is 9 frames, and given that moves with 7 frames or less of recovery are incredibly rare (most characters lack even one such move), most characters in Guilty Gear -Strive- lack reversal-safe meaty setups that aren't reliant on canceling the meaty's recovery (as with a safe jump) or exploiting a disjointed hurtbox/projectile.

How do I calculate the gap between two moves in gatlings or special cancels?

The math is actually pretty simple: [Start-up of the move you're canceling into] - [Blockstun of the move you're canceling from] = The gap between the two moves

To find the start-up, simply find the move on the character's Overview or Frame Data page. If you are doing a kara cancel A type of cancel where the beginning of an action is quickly canceled into another before the first action completes its startup., add at least 1 frame to the start-up of the move. To find the blockstun of a move first you need to find the Attack Level of the move you are canceling from. This is listed under the "Stats for Nerds" section of the move's overview, or on the full frame data page for the character. Then consult the Attack Level chart to find the blockstun of the move.

For example if you want to find the gap when you cancel  Potemkin's c.SGGST Potemkin c.S.pngGuardAllStartup8Recovery11Advantage+4 into Garuda ImpactGGST Potemkin Garuda Impact.pngGuardAll (Guard Crush)Startup28Recovery24Advantage+19: You can consult Potemkin's page and see that his c.S has an Attack Level of 4, which has 18F of blockstun. Garuda Impact has 28 frames of start-up. 28F - 18F = 10F gap If you are kara canceling into Garuda Impact, then add an extra frame of start-up for a total start-up of 29F, thus making the gap 11F.

A common misconception is that the recovery or "On-Block" values of a move are used in the calculation. This is not the case. All remaining active frames and recovery frames are skipped when a move is canceled into another (with a few very rare exceptions).


Do I need the Dash/RC/Burst/FD macro?

  • Dash macro is more or less mandatory, not only for movement where it allows for much faster and safer dash blocks and microdashes, but also for Dash Input Roman Cancels (Drift RCs). Not binding a dash macro in an easily accessible location is a large handicap in this game. If you play on a leverless controller this is slightly less important as manual dashes are much quicker, but a dash macro is still highly recommended.
  • Roman Cancel (RC) macro is optional. If you are able to comfortably press any three attack buttons (except D) simultaneously then you do not need a Roman Cancel macro. However, as it is an input you generally want to do quickly and with precision, it is often best to have a macro if you have the spare room or buttons.
  • Burst macro is optional. If you are able to comfortably press D + any other attack button simultaneously, then you do not need to have a Burst macro.
  • Faultless Defense (FD) macro is optional, but nice to have if you experience certain issues. A common issue that arises with manual Faultless Defense (any two attack buttons except D while blocking) is kara Faultless Defense. When you press two attack buttons close to, but not on the same frame, you will first get a normal which then gets canceled into Faultless Defense (within the first three frames). This can result in you being counterhit during an attempt to Faultless Defense, which can be very frustrating. If you experience this issue regularly, consider using an Faultless Defense macro.

Order of Importance of Macros: Dash > Roman Cancel > Burst > Faultless Defense


My game is stuttering; what are the best settings for this game?

See the Low-End Considerations section for info.


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