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.
The Guard Gauge is located directly underneath your character's health meter and it directly affects damage scaling.
Despite the name, there are no Guard Crushes/Guard Breaks in Guilty Gear.
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.
If over half full, the Guard Gauge will gradually return back to the halfway point when you are not in blockstun (starting a few seconds after blockstun ends).
When Over Half Full
- Normal 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. Forced Proration and Initial Proration are still applied.
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. Forced Proration and Initial Proration are still applied.
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). Forced Proration and Initial Proration are still applied.
|Guard Gauge||128 to -1||-16||-32||-48||-64||-80||-96||-112||-128|
|Normal + Special||100%||78%||59%||44%||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-. On a basic level, 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. We will discuss this in more detail below.
The Guard Gauge in More Detail
Formula for GB+
- Each character has a Guard Balance rating that affects how much their Guard Bar rises from blocking attacks.
(Base GB+) x (Guard Balance of defender) = Final GB+ If defender is already in blockstun then Final GB+ is halved
- Each character's Guard Balance rating is listed in the System Data section of the GGAC+R wiki, but we will list it here for convenience:
|x1.25||Anji, Millia, Robo-Ky|
|x1.00||A.B.A, Axl, Baiken, Bridget, Eddie, I-No, Jam, Kliff, Ky, May, Order-Sol, Potemkin, Sol, Testament, Venom, Zappa|
|x0.875||Dizzy, Johnny, Slayer|
- For example Sol blocking a GB+ 10 attack would raise his guard bar by 10, but Anji blocking the same attack would raise his guard bar by 12, and Dizzy blocking the same attack would raise her's by 8!
GB+ when Air Blocking
- When air normal blocking, the Base GB+ of each attack is raised even higher according to the attack's Attack Level:
|Attack Level||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|Base GB+ (Air)||+0||+1||+2||+3||+5|
- Note: air Specials, Overdrives, and attacks that have GB+ 0 do not gain the additional GB+ mentioned above.
GB- when Guard Bar is Flashing
- When the guard bar is flashing, each attack that hit is automatically counter hit and does an additional GB-10.
This means that you will generally be able to score a maximum of 4 counter hits when the Guard Bar is full.
- The one exception to this is throws that cannot counter hit (such as Sol's Wild Throw or Ky's air normal throw).
Other throws which can counter hit state will do so only when the Guard Bar is flashing.
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 attacks that combo 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.
Further Reading: Forced Proration (hereon abbreviated as f.prorate) only applies the first time it occurs, unless a stronger f.prorate comes into effect later. For example, Slayer's 2H has an 80% f.prorate, and Crosswise Hell has an 85% f.prorate. Slayer starts a combo with 2H, applying the 80% f.prorate. He then combos into Crosswise Heel, but the 85% f.prorate is ignored as the 80% is still applied. He further combos into another 2H, but 80% f.prorate from before remains unchanged: no new f.prorate is added.
However, if Slayer were to start a combo with Crosswise and then combo into 2H, the 85% f.prorate would apply to the 2H, and then every following hit would apply the 80% f.prorate.
Summary: Forced Proration does not stack. Any stronger forced prorate will simply override any previous forced prorates applied to the combo.
Guts and Defense Ratings
All characters have 460 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.
|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, 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, Kliff, Sol, Testament, 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, Justice|
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).
|x1.06||Anji, Axl, Eddie, I-No, Jam, Kliff, May, Venom|
|x1.00||Faust, Johnny, Sol, Testament, Zappa|
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 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.
Untechable Time Scaling
The untechable time of attacks decreases as the amount of time spent in hitstun increases, including during hitstop. This prevents infinite combos on airborne opponents. Note: This information is based on data from Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, so the exact values may not be 100% accurate in Guilty Gear ACPR.
|Combo Length||Untechable Time Modifier|
While untechable time scaling for hits on airborne opponents is present, there is no hitstun scaling for hits on grounded opponents. As such, hitting a standing/crouching opponent will not reduce the time they spend in hitstun.
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.
|x1.10||Baiken, Bridget, Jam, Kliff, May|
|x1.05||Dizzy, I-No, Justice, Millia|
|x1.00||Anji, Axl, Chipp, Eddie, Faust, Ky, Slayer, Sol, Testament, Venom, Zappa|
|x0.98||A.B.A, Johnny, Order-Sol|
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.
Valid vs. Invalid Combos
Because players can choose to delay their techs while airborne, this leads to combos that only worked because the opponent did not tech (often to avoid resets). These are called invalid combos (or Black Beat combos).
The combo counter will turn dark and the invalid hit will appear in small numbers below the word BEAT.