The SP Gauge starts each round at 0 and has a max of 100. SP grows over the course of the match through attacking, defending, and other actions. If a character enters Awakening, then the max becomes 150, and the character gains an extra 50 SP for free.
The SP gauge resets to 0 and Awakening is removed at the beginning of each round, so it is in your advantage to use up all available SP each round!
Gainings SP is pretty simple: do just about anything! Attacking, blocking, and even getting hit all give you SP. You can also completely fill your SP gauge by hitting the opponent with a Max Burst.
The SP gained per hit in a combo scales with the combo. The exact details about this scaling are currently undocumented.
Reduced SP Gain
After performing attacks that consume SP (such as Skill Boosts, One More! Cancels, Guard Cancel Attacks, Instant Kills), the amount of SP you gain from standard actions will drop significantly for a limited amount of time (speculated to be 90% reduction for 180 frames), similar to the systems found in BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.
Combos that are started during this time will suffer reduced SP gain throughout the entire combo, even if it goes beyond the cooldown window.
Skill boosts are similar to EX attacks in games like Street Fighter 4.
Skill boosts cost 25 SP and enhance a character's special attacks by giving it new properties such as increased damage, reduced recovery, new attack angles, or something entirely unique.
When performing a Skill boost attack, the character will flash blue and have a blue silhouette trailing him/her.
SP Skill Attack
SP Skill Attacks (commonly known as super attacks) cost 50SP and are giant flashy attacks. They usually do lots of damage or have other interesting properties such as invincibility. Each character has at least one super attack that is disabled until he/she enters Awakening.
When performing a super, the characters will briefly freeze in place (commonly known as "Super Flash" or "Super Freeze") and the background will briefly show the character's portrait.
You can also perform super cancels in order to create bigger combos.
Supers are great for combo enders thanks to a property called Minimum Damage.
Guard Cancel Attack
Press 6+A+B while blocking to perform an attack with guardpoint against all attacks and throws that blows the opponent away slightly. Guard Cancel attacks cost 50 SP and can help a player who is in a defensive position reverse the momentum of a match.
Combos that start with a Guard Cancel Attack can not kill the opponent no matter what. The opponent will always survive with at least 1 Health.
One More! Cancel
One More! Cancels are analogous to Roman Cancels in Guilty Gear or Rapid Cancels in BlazBlue and cost 50 SP. Press A + B + C after your attack either hits or is blocked by the opponent to cancel the recovery of the attack and immediately return to a neutral state.
One More! Cancels can be used to extend combos, cancel the recovery of long attacks to make them safe from counter attack, or to reset block strings in order to continue attacking the opponent. Note that if you whiff an attack (an attack that does not touch the opponent at all), then you can not perform a One More! Cancel.
There are also a few select attacks that can not be One More! Canceled such as Bursts, Kanji's super command throw, and Furious Actions.
Instant Kill attacks are aptly named: they instantly defeat your opponent! Press 222+C+D to perform your mortal blow. Each character's Instant Kill is unique and has very different properties, but most have lots of startup invincibility.
The character portrait will flash white when the Instant Kill is available. There are a few specific conditions that must be met to perform an Instant Kill:
- Must be match point for you (if you win the round, you win the entire match)
- Must be able to use your Persona (no Mute or Persona Break)
- consumes 100 SP
Visually, you will notice that the HUD disappears and that the background is different compared to supers.
The four card shaped symbols below each character's life gauge represents each persona's life. A card is lost each time the character OR his persona is hit (including by zero damage attacks such as Bursts) when the persona is visible.
If all four cards are lost, then the character enters Persona Break. While in Persona Break, attacks that use the Persona such as C and D attacks, some Specials and Supers, and Bursts are all disabled.
During Persona Break, the Persona Gauge will take approximately 10 seconds to refill. Once refilled, the character leaves Persona Break and will have a full Persona Gauge.
Some character rely on their Persona to do the vast majority of their attacks like Yukiko, while other characters like Akihiko do not rely on it nearly as much.
Bursts are a special type of invincible attack that can be performed by pressing A+C+D and requires a full Burst Gauge. When the Burst is unavailable, a black "B" will be shown instead. This "B" will slowly fill up over time and as you get hit. Once it's full, you can perform a burst again. The status of the burst Gauge carries between rounds, meaning if you burst at the end of a round, then next round you must wait until it refills to perform another Burst. Thus Bursts are a precious resource and must be considered carefully before using or else you may not have it when you need it next round!
An empty Burst Gauge takes 90 seconds to refill if you don't do anything. It is very unlikely that you will have to wait that long, as the following help refill it:
- Hitting the opponent with your Auto Combo. The last normal (typically 5AAA) refills approximately 1/8th if your Burst Gauge.
- Getting hit will raise the Burst Gauge slightly. It seems to be proportional to the damage taken/ number of hits received (unconfirmed).
|Type||Startup||Total Time||Invul (1F~)||Frame Adv.||P1||P2||SMP|
|One More Burst||14||35||21||+10||??||-200||??|
Bursts in Persona 4 Arena have different properties depending on when a burst is performed.
Pressing A+C+D while in a neutral state (meaning not attacking, blocking, or getting hit) will perform a Max Burst (also known as a Gold Burst). If the opponent is hit by an Max Burst, then the opponent is blown back and your SP will fill to max automatically (100 normally and 150 when in Awakening). The Burst gauge will also automatically start from 25% full instead of completely empty.
You can not combo into or from a Max Burst:
- trying to hit an opponent in hitstun with a Max Burst will whiff
- you are invincible to all attacks after getting hit by a Max Burst until you Ukemi. Thus it might be in your advantage to simply lay on the ground until you naturally recovery, however this gives your opponent more time to set up an offensive, so you must weigh the risks/benefits of this.
Press A+C+D while blocking or getting hit to perform a Defensive Burst (commonly referred to as Blue/Green Burst) that blows the opponent away on hit and deals no damage. Defensive Bursts are used to interrupt your opponent's combo or pressure and allows you to prevent damage or reset the momentum of a match. Performing a Defensive Burst completely empties the Burst Gauge.
Defensive Bursts can be Disabled
There are times when Defensive Bursts are disabled, even if your Burst Gauge is full:
- When being thrown
- When being hit by a Super Attack or Instant Kill
- When your Persona is disabled due to Persona Break or Mute
- When being hit by certain attacks like Aigis's Megido Fire or Kanji's Bet Ya Can't Take This!
The Burst Gauge will be crossed out during these conditions.
One More! Burst
Press A+C+D while performing an attack to immediately cancel your attack into a One More! Burst. One More! Bursts completely empty the Burst Gauge. Not all attacks can be canceled into a One More! Burst, for example Furious Actions can't use OMB.
One More Bursts have the following properties:
- Blow the opponent into the air on hit, allowing for an easy combo
- Upscales damage scaling, meaning further hits in the combo will do more damage than they otherwise would.