Press A, B, and C to perform normal attacks. Depending on the current state of your character (standing, crouching, jumping), your character will perform a different attack. As a general rule, A attacks are weak and fast, C attacks are strong and slow, and B attacks are somewhere in between. Some characters, most notably Tsubaki, have follow-up attacks to their normals, which are executed by pushing the attack button again.
Normal Attacks can usually cancel into one another, generally following the order > > > . However, this is not a steadfast rule. Consult the Revolver Action section of your character's frame data for exact details.
Every character has additional normals by pressing a direction + A/B/C that have special properties such as hitting overhead, head invincibility for anti-airing, or simply being stronger, longer reaching attacks. For example, Jin's is a quick jab, while his is a standing overhead. Some characters have normal attacks that are only accessible by performing another normal first, Hibiki and Tsubaki's attacks work this way where, pressing the button again after the first performs a different attack, and Mai has a very complex set of normal moves that work in this manner.
Nearly every character has a low hitting sweep with .
Drives are the unique abilities of each character in the game. Some Drives are attacks with special propeties: Ragna's allows him to regain life by hitting the opponent; Tager's magnetizes the opponent and pull them closer to him; and Carl's allows him to control a second character on the screen for tandem attacks. Not all Drive moves are attacks; instead, they power up the character or add a unique effect -- Rachel's blows a gale of wind that affects some of her specials as well as her opponent, Tsubaki's charges a gauge that she can later use to power up some of her attacks, and Noel's Drive changes the properties of her attacks during a Drive string.
Each character's Drive is very different and is explained in more detail in each character's page. Just like with normals and command normals, Drive abilities can be both normal and command inputs, with differing properties for normal and command Drive attacks: Nu summons a sword with her Drive, but the properties of the sword differ depending on the input. Nu's is sword that flies horizontally, while her is a sword that tracks the opponent and hits overhead; additionally, her air Drive attacks change the trajectory the sword is thrown at depending on the directional input.
Finally, some characters' Drive attacks have follow-ups, such as Nu's and Hazama's; in Nu's case, pressing a second time will fire a second sword, so hits once and hits twice, whereas Hazama can choose to follow-up his Drive attacks in a variety of ways to control his movement options. Again, not all characters' Drives function identically, so consult your character's wiki page for more details on how their Drive works.
Special attacks are performed by performing a special directional input + a button. These attacks are fancier attacks that have special properties such as invincibility or unique movement. For example, Jin can ride along the ground for a long range low attack by pressing . Special attacks typically do 5% of their base damage as chip damage even on block (unless the opponent uses Barrier), but some attacks do higher percentages (most notably Amane's Drills).
Each character's special attacks are unique and are explained in more detail in each character's page.
Distortion Drives (commonly called Super Attacks) consume 50 Heat and are an even stronger version of Special attacks that deal large amounts of damage or have other special properties like invincibility or powering up the character.
Each character's supers are unique and are explained in more detail in each character's page. However there are some common features:
- All Distortion Drives have a brief moment where they pause time during startup with a small number of exceptions, this makes them generally poor moves to throw out at neutral since it's very easy to react to them.
- Immediately following the super flash, the other player cannot burst until the Distortion Drive has ended. (They may still activate overdrive, if able).
- All hits of a Distortion Drive attack also prevent bursts on hit until the next hit of the combo or the opponent recovers
- All Distortion Drives are improved in some way during Overdrive, usually dealing more damage, but other effects can be improved too.
- The game only checks if the player is in overdrive when activating a Distortion Drive, it does not matter if Overdrive ends while performing a Distortion Drive.
- All push forces are ignored for the player performing a Distortion Drive (Such as Tager's Magnetism or Rachel's Slypheed)
- Distortion Drives are often excellent combo enders due to minimum damage.
- Finishing a round with a Distortion Drive is declared as a Distortion Finish, this is purely a cosmetic effect.
An Astral Heat is an attack that will instantly defeat the opponent if it connects. To use your character's Astral, there are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled first:
- You must have 100 Heat.
- You are on match point (if you win this round, you win the match)
- Your opponent's health is below 35%.
Note that you CANNOT use your Astral in a combo if the opponent started the combo at > 35% health; if your opponent's health was greater than 35% before the start of the combo, you must return to neutral (i.e., end the combo and wait for your opponent to tech) to use your Astral, in this scenario the combo is considered to have ended the instant they begin their tech roll, meaning you can activate your astral heat before they're able to move agin. However, you CAN use your Astral in a combo if you started the combo with less than 100% Heat but reach 100% by the time you wish to use your Astral.
Astral Heats use 100% Heat once the super flash appears, and all all invulnerable from their start up to at least this point, meaning you will lose 100% heat on activation even if they are whiffed or blocked.
Because of these restrictions, Astrals are typically only used as fancy finishing moves as there are often more practical and safe ways to use that heat. This is very dependant on the character in question.
Throws are unblockable attacks with some restrictions in place:
- Ground throws cannot hit airborne opponents or opponents who are in jump start-up. For example, if you perform an emergency tech on the ground and hold up, you will jump as soon as possible, you will be completely throw invulnerable throughout.
- Air throws cannot hit grounded opponents.
- Throwing an opponent in blockstun or hitstun (or 6 frames immediately after either) will result in a purple throw, which are usually easily escapable.
- Do not benefit from 10% bonus damage on counterhit.
- Can still be blocked by guard points that guard against the throw attribute (Very rare, most guard points do not do this).
Once a throw has connected, both players will be completely immune to all damage and push forces from other sources until the last hit of the throw lands or the throw has been rejected. This is to prevent strange interactions from players getting interrupted during a throw's complex animations.
To perform a normal throw, press + when near the opponent. There are three different types of normal throws: forward throw, back throw, and air throw.
- To perform a forward throw, press neutral or forward +B+C while standing on the ground.
- To perform a back throw, press + B+C while standing on the ground.
- To perform an air throw, press B+C while airborne.
All normal throws, no matter the character, have the following properties:
However they do vary in terms of cancel options and how the opponent is launched away by the attack. Every throw can be followed up in some way to land a reasonable combo.
Certain characters can extend the range of their normal throws by taking advantage of properties of their other normal moves.
In order to make the inputs of throws slightly less strict, pressing B and C can have a small amount of time between each button press, so long as both buttons are depressed at the same time. This means that most characters's B and C moves can be cancelled into a throw very early into a throw to allow this leniency. Some characters have B or C moves that move them forward slightly during startup, meaning that if you deliberately press B and C slightly apart from each other, you perform the normal move that moves you forward, move forward slightly, and then cancel it into a throw.
Special Move Throws
Some special moves the throw property. Tager's Genesic Emerald Tager Buster and Hazama's Bloody Fangs are two examples of such throws.
Special moves like this fall into two categories:
"Command throws", these feature the same 100% minimum damage as normal throws, but cannot normally be broken (There is no green ! marks) and they typically have other unique properties, such as higher damage, more start-up, and additional hit effects. However, there are restrictions in place: just like with normal throws, if you use a command throw while an enemy is in hitstun or blockstun (or 6 frames immediately after either), a purple throw occurs, which is escapable.
"Combo Throws" ar moves in the game that have the Throw attribute, appear to behave like throws due to being unblockable and visually appearing to be a throw move. However, these can be distinguished by how they do not incur Purple !! marks if used in a combo or during blockstun, meaning you can use them in combos like most other attacks, and do not have 100% fixed damage. Tager's Atomic Collider and Hibiki's Pulverizing Fin are examples of such moves. Scoring counterhits with such moves also gains the 10% bonus damage most moves gain, unlike throws.
Priority of Strike vs Throw vs Command Throw
When two strikes hit each other, either a clash or trade occurs, but what happens when throws are added to the mix?
- Throw vs Strike: The throw will always win if the throw catches your opponent's hitbox, Throws cannot clash with strikes however.
- 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: If two command throws would hit at the same time, neither do for that frame, therefore the Command Throw with more Active Frames will likely win in the end. Be aware that if one command throw is invulnerable for its first frame, it will likely beat other the other one if performed second.
Throwing an opponent in a counter-hit state will result in a Throw Counter. A big red X will appear when you are thrown and "Throw Counter" will show on the side of the screen. When performing a throw during an opponent's counter-hit state, the throw cannot be escaped, even if you get a "purple" throw by landing the throw just after they recover from blocking or hitstun. Throw Counters are otherwise identical to a standard throw, so it's safe to use throws as a punish tool!
Unlike standard counterhits, throw counters do not incur an additional 10% damage
Throw Reject Miss
If an opponent inputs a throw break (for example, inputting a throw break in blockstun), then they will be unable to break throws for a while afterwards. This is used offensively by faking a throw (and tricking your opponent to attempt a throw break), then instead making them block an attack before canceling the attack into a throw. The throw will show an exclamation mark with a red X overlayed on top of it and the words Throw Reject Miss! will appear on screen.
The most common example of this is to force an opponent to block a 2A, run up as if you're about to throw, then perform 2A > throw! If the opponent fell for the fake throw and entered a throw break, they will be unable to break the throw in the 2A > throw sequence.
See the Throw Reject Miss in the Defense section for more details.
Crush Triggers cost 25 Heat and are performed by pressing 5+A+B while standing and can be charged by holding the buttons. If the opponent does not use Barrier to block the attack, then they will be Guard Crushed! The amount of time they are Guard Crushed depends on whether the Crush Trigger was charged, with an uncharged guard crush giving about 7 frames to attack the opponent, while a charged guard crush gives over 30 frames!
Crush Triggers qualify as Special Attacks, which adds to their utility as a mix-up tool; since most normal attacks can be special-cancelled, players can cancel into a Crush Trigger as well.
Crush Triggers drain a portion of the opponent's Barrier Gauge if they are Barrier Blocked. The amount of Barrier drained depends on whether it was charged or not, with an uncharged Crush Trigger draining a small amount of Barrier, while a charged one drains a little under half of a bar.
Crush Triggers are also very useful combo tools and are used mid-combo. Some character's Crush Triggers force a hard knockdown, some ground bounce, others float the opponent very high. Whatever the case, they are all useful to help extend combos and deal more damage!
Finally, Guard points will block crush triggers and consume no barrier when doing so.
Press +++ while standing or airborne to activate Overdrive. Overdrive requires a full Burst Gauge to activate. Once activated, Overdrive places the character in a temporarily powered up state, which varies by character: Ragna's Overdrive enhances his life-stealing abilities, while Jin's enhances his Freeze abilities.
- Overdrive Startup is fully invincible during startup
- This makes it useful as a reversal if you are not in hitstun (otherwise, you will get a Burst).
- If activated while in blockstun, you will perform Guard Cancel Overdrive rather than Burst.
- The timer is paused while Overdrive is active.
- Character's Drives are powered up. See each character's page for details.
- Most specials and supers gain additional properties during Overdrive (as a general rule, they are more damaging and are easier to use in combos, have different hit effects, etc.).
- Combos done during Overdrive are UNBURSTABLE.
- Activating Overdrive when an enemy is already in hitstun will also disable their burst until they return to neutral.
- Removes Danger State, regains Barrier equal to the amount of time spent in Danger State
- The Burst Gauge will read 3 (30% full) when Overdrive ends, while Bursting will reset it to zero.
|100% - 91%||90% - 82%||81% - 73%||72% - 63%||62% - 54%||53% - 45%||44% - 35%||34% - 0%|
- Time is reduced by half when using Guard Cancel Overdrive or Overdrive Cancel
Note that if Overdrives ends during a Distortion Drive or Exceed Accel, those moves still play out as their overdrive versions and the effects of overdrive can even persist in some cases until the move ends.
You can cancel into Overdrive almost anytime you can cancel into a special move. While this is indeed very powerful, cancelling into Overdrive cuts your Overdrive time by half, so use your time wisely! Unlike prior games, activating Overdrive while the opponent is in hitstun even while you are at neutral will yield an Overdrive Cancel and not a neutral Overdrive activation; jump-cancelling a move to return to neutral and subsequently activating Overdrive will not lengthen your Overdrive time.
Overdrive Cancels can be used mid-combo to make a combo unburstable and increase damage. Since they can be cancelled into from a lot of moves and activate very quickly, they can be used to make combos that otherwise do not work, similar to a rapid cancel.
When cancelling into Overdrive:
- Start-up is 3+3, the fastest of all activation times.
- You will see the words "Cancel Over Drive!" appear on the screen when performed.
- Overdrive time is halved.
Overdrive Cancels are also great for baiting Bursts! Bursts have 6F startup, so if one is performed at the same time as a Overdrive Cancel, the Overdrive's recovery will not be over when the Burst activates. However, if you counter-hit an opponent with an attack that's greater than level 2, the hitstop from the attack will increase, causing the opponent's Burst start-up to increase as well. You can use this to your advantage by confirming the counter-hit into an Overdrive Cancel to negate the risk of a Burst: if the opponent chooses to Burst, performing an Overdrive Cancel guarantees that you will completely recover before the opponent's Burst hits, thus countering the Burst.
Guard Cancel Overdrive
Press +++ while blocking to cancel out all blockstun and go into Overdrive. This is a potent way to get out of a defensive situation and then go back on the offensive! Guard Cancel Overdrive has a long startup of 3+23 as well as the short Overdrive duration of Overdrive Cancels, but the sheer power of canceling blockstun into an attack makes this a powerful technique. When scouting opportunities to use Guard Cancel Overdrive, look for attacks that have lots of recovery and then punish them with Guard Cancel Overdrive!
When using Guard Cancel Overdrive:
- Start-up is 3+23 and is fully invincible. If performed after blocking moves with short recovery, the opponent will be able to recover during Overdrive's startup, so be careful.
- You will see the words "Over Drive Raid" appear on the screen when successfully performed.
- Overdrive time is halved.
Holding +++ while activating GCOD will cancel the activation directly into the character's Exceed Accel. While this is a strong option to reverse the momentum of a round, it can also backfire: as of 2.0, Exceed Accels are no longer "safe" on block (-10 for all characters except for Nu-13). They can also miss entirely, at best wasting your burst, at worst reciving a nasty punish.
Press +++ during Overdrive to perform an Exceed Accel, a cinematic super that has a handful of unique properties.
- Can be done immediately after activating Overdrive by continuing to hold all 4 buttons during Overdrive startup.
- Does not cost meter, but immediately ends Overdrive the moment it hits or recovers, including all passive effects from being in Overdrive.
- Invulnerable startup, giving every character a reversal option.
- Startup is 20 frames when done at neutral, but becomes 10 frames when canceled into by holding down all four buttons or as a special cancel from another move once overdrive is already active.
- Startup is also 10 frames if performed immediately after Overdrive Activation.
- This means that a Overdrive > Exceed Excel effectively has startup 3+23 and Guard Cancel Overdrive > Exceed Excel has startup 2+33
- After successfully hitting the opponent with Exceed Accel, puts you in Active Flow. You may only enter Active Flow once per round, however, so if you've already triggered Active Flow, using your Exceed Accel will not place you into Active Flow a second time.
- Since active flow boosts your Burst regeneration, using Exceed Accel is a good way to end an overdrive to recover as much as possible.
- Base damage is about 2000 damage normally, but if you were already in Active Flow before starting the attack, the damage increases to about 4000
- Minimum damage around 300 normally, but increases to about 600 during Active Flow.
- As of 2.0, Exceed Accels are now negative on block (-10 for all characters except Nu-13); however, not all Exceed Accels are equally punishable due to pushback, blockstun, etc. An opponent can use Guard Cancel Overdrive on reaction to blocking an EA, allowing them to escape and punish the recovery. Be careful!
Activating Overdrive Shortcuts
Players that don't use button macros (or play in arcades) sometimes accidentally perform a Crush Trigger or Rapid Cancel instead of Overdrive due to the commands overlapping. To bypass this problem, hold down A or B or C, then press the remaining buttons!
When you press a button, the game then checks to confirm whether all 4 buttons are being held down, and if so, counts it as an Overdrive activation. This means you don't need to press all of the buttons at the same time to go into Overdrive!
- Example: Hold C, then press A+B+D
- Example: Hold C+D, then press A+B
- Example: Press and hold each button in rapid succession: [A]~[B]~[C]~[D]
While very useful, there are restrictions with this technique: it doesn't work if you Barrier when inputting buttons. For example, holding back + [A] [B] ~ C + D won't activate Overdrive. In fact, it disables activating Overdrive until all buttons are released. This technique also doesn't work for the first few frames after ground neutral tech and Emergency Tech.
This shortcut is very useful during combos -- hold down A or B or C, then press the remaining buttons for Overdrive Cancel!
Do note that this shortcut is specifically for activating Overdrive, not for using Burst or Exceed Accel.
By performing multiple offensive actions in a row, players can go into Active Flow. When you are close to entering Active Flow, the message "Attention" will appear next to the character and their burst icon will start spinning more rapidly.
See here for exact details on how to build Active Flow, but the gist of it is attacking will gradually build Active Flow, and hitting the opponent will trigger Active Flow.
Active Flow lasts for approximately 840 frames (14 seconds).
During Active Flow:
- All attacks gain a 10% damage boost.
- Burst regeneration speed increases by a factor of four.
- Exceed Accel base damage approximately doubles.
Active Flow won't always be available:
- Active Flow is only available once per round.
- Using a Burst immediately ends Active Flow and disables it for the rest of the round.