Attracting both veterans of the genre and the franchise’s humungous fanbase, Dragon Ball Fighter: Z is one of the most popular fighting games around. Keeping up with recent trends, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a bit more beginner-friendly when it comes to combos, with early advertisements boasting the game’s ability to pull them off with one button. Still, pressing one or two buttons over and over again is going to get boring pretty soon, and certainly wouldn’t be something to take Saiyan pride in, as it’s one thing to play as a character and quite another to absolutely dominate with them.
Here are some tips to help new players up their game.
- Stop Mashing!
Not mashing buttons is the main thing in a lot of fighting games, and FighterZ is no exception. Spamming maybe even worse in FighterZ because of how easy it is to pull off. It’s common to see Teen Gohan or Bardock players mashing Light Attack as if their life depends on it. However, this is a problem for a couple reasons. Firstly, mashing buttons generally do a lot less damage than manual combo. Manual combos can use a sequence of Light, Medium and Heavy attacks, jump-cancelled attacks and hard knockdowns. Mashed auto-combos are short and don’t even knock down the opponent, giving the opponent a chance to counterattack faster.
Secondly, mashed buttons, if blocked, leave the masher horribly exposed. For example, if an auto-combo is blocked and not cancelled into a special move, the recovery frames can reach up to 17. This is more than enough time for an opponent to go into a high-damaging combo.
Finally, mashing buttons are just annoying. Sure, there’s a time and place for mashing buttons, but if players are doing it all the time, it becomes incredibly tiresome and predictable.
2. Assist Me!
Because FighterZ is a 3-on-3 fighting game, point characters will always have access to two reserve assists. Assists are important to gameplay because they offer utility in combos, pressure, and defense. Some assists, like Bardock’s B-Assist can help extend combos or hold opponents in place so that players can go for a mix-up. Android 18’s A-Assist is an amazing defensive tool, as it negates all attacks that hit her barrier, allowing players to punish the opponent with whatever they’d like. Assists that use beam attacks (like Goku Black’s A-Assist) are also useful for covering a player’s approach. The beam will force the opponent to block, jump or reflect and gives the player ample time to decide how to apply pressure. Finally, assists can be used after supers to increase damage, similar to a Delayed Hyper Combo (DHC) from Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
3. It’s Not Over!
“Sparking Blast” is a unique universal mechanic that players can use only once per match. Sparking Blast is similar to Marvel vs Capcom’s “X-Factor” in that it’s a power boost that gives players an increased damage buff, regenerates blue health and allows access to new combo routes for a limited time. Sparking Blast lasts longer if fewer characters are alive on a team, so it’s feasible to use as a last resort comeback mechanic. Sparking Blast paired with the Last Character damage buff can lead to some incredible damage, so be prepared for that as well.
Sparking Blast can be activated anytime as long as players are not in the process of being hit themselves. Due to this mechanic, players can activate it mid-combo to pile on damage (and even kill) or activate it defensively to blow back the opponent. Remember, though, Sparking Blast can only be used once per match, so use it accordingly.
4. Punish Super Dash
FighterZ has a unique game mechanic called “Super Dash,” which makes the point character fly aggressively towards the enemy. Super Dash is often used to close the distance on the opponent and negate projectile spam. However, players who overly rely on Super Dash can be easily shut down by pressing one button. If players notice that their opponent likes to Super Dash a lot, consider using down Heavy attack (2H) to end their flight. 2H is the universal anti-air button and is invincible to all air attacks. Thus, if players suspect an opponent is going for an aerial attack or super dash, just 2H and you’ll be able to get a high-damaging combo, However, all 2H have noticeable end lag, so be ready to cancel 2H into a special attack if it whiffs.
5. Spend That Meter!
FighterZ players shouldn’t think twice to spend their meter. In most fighting games, players usually get a maximum of four or five bars of super meter. In FighterZ, players get a whopping seven. Additionally, the meter is super easy to build in a match and can be earned by hitting the opponent, getting hit, and even by simply moving forward.
Meter is an important aspect of the game because it’s directly linked to most offensive and defensive abilities. Provided players have enough bar, they can activate their super attacks, which can help finish off an opponent’s life bar. Players can also choose to change three bars of the meter into a super attack, which not only does massive damage but is fully invincible on start-up, effectively making it a good reversal tool. If players are meter-poor but have at least half a bar, they can use an EX special move, which generally has fast startup and can catch unaware opponents off guard.
If players aren’t too confident in their blocking ability, they can also spend meters for defensive purposes. While blocking, players can spend one bar to “guard cancel,” which switches out the point character and sends in a reserved character. This is generally a good tool to get opponents off, but don’t rely on it too much, or else opponents will learn to block the switch.