GGACR/Mechanics

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Guard

Guarding, commonly known as Blocking, is the fundamental form of defense in fighting games.

Most special moves also inflict a small percentage of their damage through guard. This is known as Chip DamageDamage incurred when blocking an attack. Typically, only Special Attacks and Super Attacks have chip damage, but there are exceptions.. When a player guards, they are put into a state known as BlockstunWhen a character successfully blocks an attack while standing or crouching, the defender is forced into a stun animation for a set period of time where they are incapable of acting. This period of time is called blockstun. during which their ability to act is mostly taken away. Some abilities can be used during blockstun. Such abilities include Dead Angle, Burst, and character specific options such as Baiken's guard cancel attacksGGACR Baiken Zakuro.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
9
Recovery:
32
Advantage:
.

Some attacks cannot be guarded against. These generally fall into two categories: throws and unblockables. Throws are proximity based attacks which cannot be guarded against. Unblockables are special strikes which hit opponents even if they guard. Unblockables, such as Axl's [4]6HGGAC Axl Rashou.pngGuard:
Unblockable
Startup:
27
Recovery:
34
Advantage:
, must be avoided in some way other than guarding.

In +R, the more a player blocks the more their Guard Bar fills. The effects of this bar are explained in the section below.

Grounded Guard

Hold 4 or 1

Most strikes—attacks which are neither throws nor projectiles—are generally blocked in one of three ways: high, mid, and low. High strikes must be guarded while standing. Low strikes must be guarded crouching. Mid strikes can be guarded in either the standing or crouching state. This blocking scheme does not apply to Airborne Guarding.

Deceptive Animations

Some attacks have animations which do not make it immediately obvious how the defending player should guard against them. For moves of this nature, player must simply learn to recognize these abnormal animations and remember how to properly guard against them.

Airborne Guard

Hold Any Backwards Direction

Most grounded moves cannot be blocked while in the air, but if the move can be blocked while airborne then the move will be denoted as all in the move's guard column. Using Faultless Defense in the air will allow most grounded attacks to be guarded against. Only a few moves are except from this rule, such as Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGAC Potemkin 623H.pngGuard:
Unblockable, FD×3
Startup:
14
Recovery:
22
Advantage:
.

Instant Block

Any Backwards Direction Within 8 Frames of An Attack Connecting

Also known as Just Defense and IB—Instant block is an alternative type of guard which reduces the BlockstunWhen a character successfully blocks an attack while standing or crouching, the defender is forced into a stun animation for a set period of time where they are incapable of acting. This period of time is called blockstun. the user experiences, and reduces pushback between attack and defender.

The amount that IB reduces blockstun by is dependent on whether the IB was performed while grouned or airborne, and also what level of attack IB was used against. For specific details on the frame data of IB, see this table.

Instant block has a few other benefits as well. Successuflly performing an IB rewards the player with 0.5% more Tension than standard Guard would. Instant Blocking also increases the user's Tension Pulse, which makes them gain Tension at an increased rate. Because the player character will automatically continue blocking mids so long as a blockstring remains gapless, the defending player can input Instant Block in the middle of the opponent's pressure sequence. Finally, when performed in the air, Instant Block will eliminate the user's momentum, and restore their air options.

If a player misses the timing for IB, then they will be unable to instant block for 30 frames. The other main weakpoint of Instant Block is the effect on Guard Bar. Normally, Guard Bar gain is halved during gapless blockstrings. IB can create gaps in the block string, which can cause the user's Guard Bar to fill more more quickly in practice.

One effect of IB that is contextually positive or negative is that IB reduces the PushbackWhen an attacking player hits their opponent, they are pushed backwards by a small amount. This is the most common form of infinite combo/blockstring prevention system. between the attacker and defender. This can be incredibly beneficial for the defender—allowing them to punish moves which are usually safe using a throw. It can also be a reason to not use Instant Block, because the reduced pushback can let the opponent use their shorter ranged options to continue their offense.

The defending player must intelligently choose between Instant Block, Faultless Defense, and standard Guard.

Faultless Defense

Any Backwards Direction + Any 2 Attack Buttons Except D—And Cannot Use S+H

FD is an enhanced version of blocking which costs TensionThe name for the main resource meter in the Guilty Gear SeriesTension can be spent on Faultless Defense, Overdrives, and more. to perform. Compared to standard Guard, FD offers a number of advantages. FD increases the PushbackWhen an attacking player hits their opponent, they are pushed backwards by a small amount. This is the most common form of infinite combo/blockstring prevention system. the opponent experiences when landing a non-projectile attack. This enables the user to disrupt the opponent's pressure sequence by pushing them out of range of their attacks. Faultless Defense also allows the user to guard while airborne against most attacks which would normally be air unblockable. FD also allows the user to guard immediately after running, which cannot be done with standard Guard—this is known as FD Brake. Finally, FD prevents the defending player's Guard Bar from filling, and negates Chip DamageDamage incurred when blocking an attack. Typically, only Special Attacks and Super Attacks have chip damage, but there are exceptions.. Furthermore, FD causes the user to drop to the ground after blocking an attack more quickly than standard guard. This allows the user to adjust their position using this mechanic. Finally, FD uses a different hurtbox than standard guard, which can be useful for shifting one's hurtbox out of harm's way while airborne.

Faultless Defense is not a strict upgrade, however. FD causes the defending player to experience additional BlockstunWhen a character successfully blocks an attack while standing or crouching, the defender is forced into a stun animation for a set period of time where they are incapable of acting. This period of time is called blockstun.based on the level of the attack. This means that the opponent will have more frame advantage to work with in the case that the increase pushback does not immediately end their sequence. The other drawbacks of FD are as follows:

  • consumes Tension over time.
  • consumes additional Tension when guarding attacks.
  • reduces the user's Tension gain by 80% for 1 second.
  • disables the user's CrossupAttacking your opponent after changing which horizontal side you are on, typically by jumping over them. protection.

As such, players should choose an appropriate time to use FD in order to preserve their meter economy and maximize the positive effects. For further reading on the specific details of how FD consumed tension, reference FD Meter Consumption.

Faultless Defense is also used to perform advanced techniques such as FD Jump, Impossible Dust, and FD Cancel.

Slashback has input input priority over Faultless Defense (FD). Therefore, pressing 4S+H will perform Slashback instead of FD.

Grounded Movement

Walking

[4] or [6] while on the ground

Walking is the most basic form of ground-based movement.
When a character walks, they will move forwards or backwards at a speed specific to them. The character will continue to walk so long as their player holds down the directional input. 1 and 3 are not valid walk inputs. Walking can be canceled into any action immediately.

One of the main advantages to walking is that it provides fine grain control over one's positioning. By contrast, jumps lock the player into a fixed arc, and runs maintain momentum for a time after the player releases their input. Because walks can be canceled immediately, they allow the user to block freely after forwards movement, which running on its own does not allow. Another advantage is that walks are usually silent. Without an associated audio queue, walks can be hard to react to.

Running

6[6] while on the ground

Running is conceptually similar to walking, but faster and with some negative trade-offs.
Akin to walking, each character has their own running speed and acceleration. Some characters—such as Potemkin—cannot run at all. Other characters have special alternatives to running. A list of these special cases can be found below.

Although running requires two consecutive 6 inputs, the player can shift their forwards input into a 3 input so long as they maintain a constant forwards input. The player character will continue to run so long as a valid run input is held. If the player releases the run input and does not cancel the run into another action, they will perform a run skid animation.
Runs will sometimes maintain momentum when canceled into another action, and other times can have their momentum negated. This varies on a case-by-base basis.

Special Runs
Character Run Type
Johnny, Kliff, A.B.A (Normal Mode) Step Dash
I-No Hover Dash
Slayer Teleport Step Dash
Potemkin Cannot Run
Justice Cannot Run, except during Omega ShiftGGAC Justice 46463214S.pngGuard:
Startup:
5+0
Recovery:
Total 5
Advantage:

Run Skid

The run skid animation is a state characters enter when their run is ended without canceling into another action. Each character has their own run skid speed.
This state is cancelable into most actions, but has a major restriction. During the run skid animation, the player cannot guard. This limitation can be avoided by using a technique known as FD Brake. FD Brake cancels the run skid animation by using Faultless DefenseA special type of blocking in Guilty Gear that negates chip damage and pushes the opponent back further than usual. This type of blocking comes at the cost of a resource. for a short period of time.

Backdash

44 while on the ground

Backdashes are movement options which provide a quick burst of backwards movement with some strike invulnerability.
Each character's backdash has its own frame data and physics. With the exception of Slayer, all backdash animations are airborne for their entire duration. The strike invulnerability for backdashes begins on the first frame of their animation. This means that backdashes can be used to avoid strikes and projectiles with good timing, but are still vulnerable to air throws.

Backdashes travel a fixed distance at a set speed, are not cancelable—except for Slayer—and are completely vulnerable for some period in the latter portion of their animation. For these reasons, they are not always preferable to backwards walking.

Aerial Movement

Jumping

Any Upward Direction

Jumping is the most basic way to put one's player character into the air.
Players can jump while on the ground, or while in the air. When a character jumps, they are locked into a fixed arc which is determined by the direction of the jump input combined with any momentum they have at the time of the jump. Each character has their own jump physics. These determine the speed, height, and duration of their jumps. Before the character becomes airborne, there is a short Prejump Animation with some limitations, explained in its respective section. After a player jumps, they take on the airborne property, which affects what moves they can use, as well as how they receive incoming hit effects.
Most characters can jump two times before returning to the ground under normal circumstances.

High Jump

Any Downward Direction > Any Upward Direction while on the ground

Also known as super jump, High Jumps are alternative grounded jumps which travel further upwards than a normal jump, but consume the user's air jumps in exchange. Some characters have notably different High Jump arcs, such as Anji and Axl.

High Jumps have a few quirks in how they read inputs.
In order to input a High Jump, the player must have some non-down input before the start of the down > up input of the High Jump. The game also checks for a fresh down input within a few frames before the jump, which can affect how the user must input a High Jump Cancel. Additionally, the down input for a High Jump is only stored for a small window of time, and as such the player should account for this in their inputs.

Prejump

Each character has an animation which plays before they jump off of the ground. This is known as their prejump animation, or simply prejump for short. The prejump animation also applies to the character's high-jump animation.

If a player is hit during their prejump animation, it counts as if they got hit while standing on the ground. During a character's prejump animation, they are invulnerable to throws. After the player's prejump animation ends, and they have become airborne, they cannot execute normal attacks for 1 frame.

The prejump animation can be canceled into certain actions, such as special moves, and OverdriveThe name for Super Moves in the Guilty Gear Series. Overdrives cost 50% tension and perform a variety of functions depending on the characters.

Air Dash

44 or 66 while on in the air

Air Dashes are the near universal burst movement option while airborne. Most characters can air dash one time before returning to the ground. Other characters cannot air dash at all. For a breakdown of these rules, see the air options explanation. When a character air dashes, they travel at a speed specific to them for a time period specific to them. Each character's air dash has their own startup time. The player character is not actionable for a period of time after the air dash begins.

To air dash as soon as possible from a grounded state, players use a technique known as Instant Air Dash.

Air Options

Air Options conceptually represent the amount of times a character can jump or dash while in the air without returning to the ground. Certain moves, and states restore a player's Air Options. Generally speaking, exiting air blockstun and air hitstun restores the victim's Air Options.

Non-Standard Air Options
Character Air Options
Millia, Dizzy, I-No Can air dash 2 times
Chipp Can jump 3 times
Potemkin, Justice* Cannot air dash
Justice *Can jump and air dash 3 times during Omega ShiftGGAC Justice 46463214S.pngGuard:
Startup:
5+0
Recovery:
Total 5
Advantage:

Landing Recovery

Landing from the air has recovery. This recovery comes in 2 kinds.

Standard Landing Recovery

Whenever the player lands from being in the air, they experience landing recovery.
For all characters, there is 1 frame after landing where the player's only valid action is guarding. Then, there is a character-specific recovery period in which they are not able to walk, jump, or Backdash. Below are the landing recovery period durations, with the universal 1 frame of landing recovery shown as an addition.

Characters Recovery Period Duration
Ky
Robo-Ky
Order-Sol
1 + 4 = 5
Anji
Axl
Slayer
1 + 3 = 4
Everyone Else 1 + 2 = 3

To help visualize this time frame, we can plot a character's landing recovery on a chart—in this case Anji. The first frame after landing is marked in green, and the recovery period is marked in pink.

Total: 4

During these landing recovery frames, the player retains their remaining Air Options from when they were airborne. This has the effect of an automatic Jump Install—meaning that they can use their remaining air jumps, and air dashes when they otherwise might not be able to. Furthermore, the characters with 5 frames of landing recovery count as crouching state. For further reading on this, check the esoterica page.

Special Landing Recovery

Some airborne moves, such as j.D attacks, have unique, unactionable landing recovery which overrides the standard landing recovery. Can be removed by entering blockstun or jumping mid air.

Dead Angle

6 + Any 2 Attack Buttons Except For D

Dead Angles are universal Guard CancelAn attack which can be performed while the user is in blockstun. attacks which cost 50% of the user's Tension Gauge to use. Although the mechanic itself is universal, the frame data, hitboxes, and animations are character specific. Dead Angles usually have full invulnerability through their startup, and then throw invulnerability through most of their recovery. Dead Angles typically cannot be canceled out of, except through Red Roman Cancel, which costs a further 50% Tension.

Dead Angles can be recognized by the white flash that plays at the start of their animation, and the accomponying audio queue. Because these attacks can only be performed during blockstun, require 50% Tension, and cannot be canceled, attentive players can bait these attacks and punish them for a great return.

Dead Angles generally re-use animations from other attacks. Identify dead angles through their white flash and audio queue.

Burst

Bursts are special moves which are performed when the Burst Gauge is full. Bursts are invulnerable to strikes and create hitboxes around the user's character which launch the opponent far away if they are hit by the blast. When the move is input, the user lifts up into the air by a small amount, and then falls to the ground after the active frames end.

The Burst Gauge fills in 2 ways:

  • When the character is hit
  • Over Time

The lower the character's health, the faster their Burst Gauge passively refills over time. Similarly, the bigger the combo, the faster the victim's Burst Gauge will refill. For further detail, see the Burst Gauge section.

Despite being vulnerable to Air Throws, Bursts cannot be thrown by "command throws" such as Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGAC Potemkin 623H.pngGuard:
Unblockable, FD×3
Startup:
14
Recovery:
22
Advantage:
, and Anji's OnGGAC Anji On-1.pngGuard:
Unblockable
Startup:
11
Recovery:
20+6 after landing
Advantage:
.

Because Bursts are attacks with hitboxesGGACR ABA Blue Burst-Hitbox.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
17
Recovery:
24+3 after landing
Advantage:
-12
they need to hit the opponent in order to successfully free the player from danger. By this same rule, Bursts can be countered by blocking them, making them miss, or by air throwing the bursting character before their StartupThe time before an attack is active including the first active frame. For example, an attack with 10F startup means the attack will do nothing for 9 frames, then hit the opponent on the 10th frame. completes. If a Blue Burst successfully connects with the opponent, then 30% of the gauge will be refunded. If the Burst misses or is blocked, however, then the gauge will be emptied completely.

Blue Burst

Any Attack Button + D While In A Hurt State or Any Attack Button + D While Guarding

Blue Bursts act as combo-breakers and pressure disruptors. They can be used while being combo'ed, and while guarding attacks. If the Blue Burst connects, then the opponent will be launched away with great speed.

Blue Bursts are disabled under the following circumstances:

  • The character is being thrown
  • The character is being hit by an OverdriveThe name for Super Moves in the Guilty Gear Series. Overdrives cost 50% tension and perform a variety of functions depending on the character or Instant Kill attack
  • The character is StunA special hurt state in which the character is left unable to act for a long time which goes away after the next combo performed on them. Can sometimes have the duration shortened via a sort of mini-game.ned

Unique Blue Bursts

A.B.A GGACR A.B.A Portrait.pngDamage Received:
0.89
Guts Rating:
0
Weight Class:
0.98
Wakeup Time:
66/52
and Justice GGACR Justice Portrait.pngDamage Received:
1.03
Guts Rating:
5
Weight Class:
1.05
Wakeup Time:
54/45
have unique Blue Bursts.

  • A.B.A's Blue BurstGGACR ABA Blue Burst.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    17
    Recovery:
    24+3 after landing
    Advantage:
    -12
    has 2f faster startup and 3f shorter recovery than normal.
  • Justice's Blue BurstGGACR Justice Blue Burst.pngGuard:
    All
    Startup:
    19
    Recovery:
    27+3 after landing
    Advantage:
    -15
    has 6f more invulnerability than normal.

OTG Burst

If a player uses Blue Burst while in the knocked down state then the Burst will retain the OTGThe act of hitting the opponent when they are knocked down. Short for "off the ground" or "on the ground." state. This also applies to ground bounce portion of certain attacks.

OTG Burst presents some major advantages over normal Blue Bursts. Firstly, they cannot be thrown. This is because characters cannot be thrown while in the OTG state. Secondly, they are harder to punish than normal Bursts by retaining this state during the recovery period. This is because the OTG state dramatically reduces how effectively an opposing player can combo, because the burster will be in a state that limits options for punishment.

Gold Burst

Any Attack Button + D While Not In A Hurt State

Gold BurstsGGACR ABA Gold Burst.pngGuard:
All
Startup:
19
Recovery:
26+3 after landing
Advantage:
-5
act as the offensive counterpart to Blue Burst. They can be used when not in the hitstun, blockstun, or untechable state required by Blue Burst.

If a Gold Burst hits the opponent character, then the user's Tension Gauge will be filled to 100%. Gold burst usually cannot be combo'ed into, but they can be used as combo starters, especially when they land as counter-hits. This is generally not optimal for most characters, however, due to the heavy ProrationA method of combo damage reduction. Specific types of proration have specific names, but each type reduces the amount of damage subsequent attacks in the combo will deal by a specific amount. Bursts apply. Compared to Blue Bursts, Gold Bursts possess more invulnerability, and are harder to punish. They will also always refund 30% of the Burst Gauge, unlike their Blue counterparts.

Throws

4H or 6H Within close proximity of an opponent

Throws are proximity based attacks which the opponent cannot guard against.
In order to throw an opponent, a few conditions must be met:

  • The players must be in a similar grounded or airborne state.
    • To throw a grounded opponent, the attacker must also be grounded.
    • To throw an airborne opponent, the attacker must also be airborne.
  • The defender must not be in hitstun or blockstun, nor have throw invulnerability.
  • The players must be within the throw's activation range of each other.

If all of the conditions are met, then the attacker can hit the opponent with a throw. Throws are active on the first frame after they are input, and disable the opponent's ability to burst during their animation. The range of a throw is specific to each character and their grounded/airborne state. The horizontal range of throws is measured from the edge of the attacker's collision box. The vertical range is measured from the origin of the attacker's collision box, which is at the bottom-center of the box.

It is possible to throw an opponent who is in the Staggered state.

Throw Break

4H or 6H Within 1 Frame of Being Thrown

A player can negate being thrown by inputting a throw of their own within 1 frame of being thrown.
When a player breaks a throw, both characters will bounce off of each other, emitting a purple flash, and the attacker will be left at a slight advantage. If both players throw on the same frame, then the two characters will reset to a neutral position, as opposed to one player having advantage. This is known as a Throw Clash.

Command Throws

Some characters have moves which function similarly to throws, but use a special move input and sometimes have unique effects.
Generally speaking, command throws follow the same rules that normal throws follow. Examples of command throws include Potemkin's Potemkin BusterGGACR Potemkin 632146P.pngGuard:
176 pixels
Startup:
3
Recovery:
37
Advantage:
, Slayer's Blood Sucking UniverseGGAC Slayer 63214H.pngGuard:
92 pixels
Startup:
7
Recovery:
29
Advantage:
, and Robo-Ky's S-KY-LineGGAC RoboKy 63214K.pngGuard:
70 pixels
Startup:
7
Recovery:
37
Advantage:
. The range of a command throw is specific to itself. Unlike normal throws, command throws use hitboxes instead of distance checks.

Unblockable vs Special Command Throw

There are some moves which appear to be command throws, but do not follow the rules of a throw. There is some debate as to whether these moves should be categorized as command throws, or as unblockable strikes. These moves are special, because they use hitboxes instead of distance checks, and they can sometimes hit opponents who are in hitstun, or in a different airborne/grounded state from the attacker. Some examples of these moves can be found below.

Character Move Special Rules
Potemkin Heat KnuckleGGAC Potemkin 623H.pngGuard:
Unblockable, FD×3
Startup:
14
Recovery:
22
Advantage:
Can hit airborne opponents from the ground
Can hit opponents in hitstun
Can be Slashbacked
Air Potemkin BusterGGAC Potemkin j632146D.pngGuard:
FD
Startup:
5
Recovery:
Until landing+12
Advantage:
Can hit opponents in hitstun
Can be FD'ed
Anji OnGGAC Anji On-1.pngGuard:
Unblockable
Startup:
11
Recovery:
20+6 after landing
Advantage:
Can hit opponenets in hitstun
Can be Slashbacked
Force Break OnGGAC Anji On-1.pngGuard:
Unblockable
Startup:
21
Recovery:
35+6 after landing
Advantage:

Air Teching

Any Direction + Any Attack Button After Leaving Untechable State

Known in game as Recovery, and by the community asTechs, or Ukemi—Air Teching is the act of pressing an attack button to escape a combo after the untechable period has ended.

+R uses what is known in the FGC as Mash-to-Tech. This means that the player must press an attack button after the untechable time has elapsed, but before they get hit again. The button cannot be "buffered", meaning that the button cannot be pressed or held in advance. Early presses will result in the player character not teching. Late presses will result in the player character getting hit with an invalid combo (also known as a Black-Beat Combo).

Despite being able to input tech with any direction, the character will only move in one of the following directions: forwards, backwards, and neutralthe type of recovery which moves the least from the starting point..

Teching offers the following bonuses in addition to letting the user avoid fake combos:

  • Techs are fully invulnerable for 6 frames after leaving hitstun.
    • Forward & Neutral tech are Strike invulnerable until frame 16.
    • Backwards tech is Strike invulnerable until frame 14.
  • Techs can be canceled into other actions from the 10th frame for most characters.
    • A tech's remaining invulnerability carries over to the action it was canceled with.
  • Teching restores the user's air actions, allowing them to jump or airdash again after being hit.

In order to make teching more consistent and safe, players will usually opt for techniques such as Tech FD and Tech Buttons.

Non-Standard Air Tech Cancels

Some characters must wait longer to cancel their air techs than others.

Teching has some quirks which can be learned about on the Esoterica page.

Tension

Tension, commonly known by the nickname meter, is the universal resource used by several other mechanics.

The following cost Tension to use: Faultless Defense, Roman Cancel, Force BreakA type of special attack in Guilty Gear that consumes meter, but is not a super. Normally the power of these attacks are between that of Specials and Supers.s, OverdriveThe name for Super Moves in the Guilty Gear Series. Overdrives cost 50% tension and perform a variety of functions depending on the characters, and Slashback.
The following actions generate Tension: Walking/Running/Jumping forwards, Hitting the opponent with Normal Attacks, Using Special Moves, and getting hit.

The amount of Tension a player gains is a function of a few factors. Normally, these are the Tension Gain value for the move/character, the distance between player characters, and the player's Tension Pulse. The Tension cost of a given action costs is specific to that action. The most common costs are 25%, 50%, and ~2%. The color of the Tension Gauge changes as it fills past 25% increments—pictured below. The Tension Gauge cannot be filled past 100%, requiring a player with full Tension to spend meter before they can gain more.

Robo-Ky has a unique Tension Gauge alternative.

Tension Pulse

Tension Pulse is a mechanic which acts as a modifier on the amount of tension a player gains.
Actions have a base tension gain listed in their frame data, and tension pulse modifies that number. A player's Tension Pulse is indicated by a small pulse effect which ripples through their Tension Gauge. The faster the pulse, the greater their Tension Pulse. Tension Pulse can be increased and decreased by performing certain actions.

Actions Which Increase Tension Pulse Actions Which Decrease Tension Pulse
Running Forwards Backdashing
Air Dashing Forwards Air Dashing Backwards
Walking Forwards Walking Backwards
Hitting the opponent Standing Still
Touching Faust's ChikuwaGGXXACR Faust Food.pngGuard:
Startup:
53 [51]
Recovery:
Advantage:

Tension Pulse ranges between -25000 and 25000, but its effects apply in breakpoints. Below is a table of the Tension Gain Modifiers that relate to the breakpoints of Tension Pulse.

Tension Gain Modifier
Tension Pulse Tension Gain
-12500 25%
-7500 50%
-3750 75%
-1250 90%
Default 100%
1250 125%
5000 150%

Actions which reduce Tension Pulse also contribute towards Negative Penalty.

Tension Penalty

Some actions reduce tension gain independently of Tension Pulse.

Negative Penalty

Negative Penalty punishes players for certain actions by completely emptying their Tension gauge.
As mentioned in the Tension Pulse section, actions which negatively impact the user's Tension Pulse contribute towards Negative Penalty. If the player uses too many of these actions in succession, then Negative penalty will activate.

Roman Cancel

3 Attack Buttons, Except for D, After an Attack Connects

Roman Cancel, known from this point forwards as RC, is a mechanic which allows a player to spend 50% of their max Tension in order to instantly CancelTo bypass the remaining time or frames in an action by proceeding directly into another action. their current action.
This means that, once an RC has been input, the player character will instantly end whatever action they are currently performing and return to their default state. This is used for many applications. For instructions on how to use this mechanic to your advantage, reference the starter guide.

Force Roman Cancel

3 Attack Buttons, Except for D, During Valid FRC Window

Known most commonly as FRC—is a variant of RC which only applies to specific moves for specific time windows.
FRCs cost half as much as a normal RC, but require the the user to press the 3 attack buttons within the move's FRC window. This window is specific to each move, and some moves may not have an FRC window at all. The wiki lists the FRC window for each move in the "stats for nerds" section for that move on a character's overview. Furthermore, the frame chart highlights the FRC windows by adding a yellow underline to frame which can be FRC'ed.

FRCs have the added benefit that they do not require the move hit the opponent. FRCs have a blue visual effect, compared to the red effect of a normal RC.

Force Breaks

Force breaks are special moves which cost 25% of the user's max Tension to perform.
Force breaks usually are more powerful than normal special moves, or have unique properties. They are also usually input using the D button and a special move input.

Using a Force Break reduces the user's Tension Gain by 80% for 1 second.

Stagger

Stagger is a state in which the afflicted character is left defenseless until it ends, until they escape, or until they are hit by the opposing player.
Certain moves apply the stagger state under varying circumstances. Some moves apply the state on counter hit, and others apply it on any grounded hit. Furthermore, the duration for which the stagger state lasts varies on a case-by-case basis.
It is possible for the attacking player to combo into throws against a staggered opponent.

Slip Recovery

Alternate Between Forwards and Backwards While In The Staggered State

Most commonly known as Stagger Recovery—Slip Recovery is how the defending player escapes the stagger state early.
In the simplest words, a player escapes stagger by mashing the backwards and forwards inputs. Slip recovery can be conceptualized as reducing an invisible counter with one's inputs.

  • Backwards inputs decrement the slip counter by 1.
  • Forwards inputs decrement the slip counter by 2.

Forwards inputs refers to the directions 6, 3, and 9. Backwards inputs refers to the directions 4, 1, and 7. Forwards and Backwards inputs must be separated by an input that is not of the same directionality as the previous. It is not necessary to perform a neutral input. For example: 64646 and 31313 are both valid inputs. The method the player chooses to mash these directions depends on their personal preferences, but they should ensure that they are hitting as many forwards and backwards directions as possible.

Stun

Also known as Dizzy—Stun is a state in which the afflicted character is rendered defenseless until the state ends, they escape, or they are hit by the opposing player.
There is, conceptually, an invisible stun gauge that fills when a character gets hit. The amount the gauge fills by is determined by plugging in a value specific to each attack into the stun formula. Each character has a unique Stun Resistance stat. When a player is close to being stunned, their character icon in the HUD will flash red. The angels circling a stunned player's head act as a visual indicator of the remaining stun time. Once all of the angels are gone, the player will recover from the stunned state.

The stunned state will end early the next time the stunned player is hit after the hit or combo that inflicts the stun. This means that the attacking player can stun the opponent part-way through their current combo, and then utilize the stun to get a "free combo" after the current combo ends.

Stun Recovery

Any Direction, other than 2 and 8, And Attack Button, Other Than D

The defending player can speed up the stun timer by inputting directions, and by pressing attack buttons—excluding D.


Hitboxes and Hurtboxes

The game determines when a player gets hit by an attack using invisible boxes called "hitboxes" and "hurtboxes".
The hitboxes are rectangles which defines where an attack can hit the opponent. Hurtboxes define where a character can get hit. On this wiki, those boxes are shown using red and green rectangles. If an attack's hitboxes do not touch the opponent's hurtboxes, then the attack will miss. Hitboxes and hurtboxes do not always match the character's body.

Below are examples of how hitboxes and hurtboxes interact.
In the first example, Sol uses his 2DGGXXACPR Sol 2D-Hitbox.pngGuard:
Low
Startup:
7
Recovery:
20
Advantage:
-6
and Ky uses his f.SGGXXACPR Ky fS-1-Hitbox.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
10
Recovery:
19
Advantage:
-11
. Because neither character touches each other's hurtbox (green) with their hitbox (red), their attacks both miss.

In the second example, Sol uses his f.SGGXXACPR Sol fS-Hitbox.pngGuard:
Mid
Startup:
7
Recovery:
24
Advantage:
-11
and successfully hits Ky. This is because his hitbox (red) overlaps Ky's hurtbox (green). Sol's hurtbox is made darker just to help tell the two characters apart.

Some moves have either partial or full invulnerability to strikes—attacks which use hitboxes. The way this works is that the character's hurtboxes shrinks or goes away entirely. Remember, attacks must make their hitbox overlap the opponent's hurtboxes in order to hit. Therefore, shrinking or removing a character's hurtbox can make attacks "miss" them. Below are some examples of moves which shrink or remove the user's hurtboxes.

Collision Boxes

Also known as Pushboxes—collision boxes determine where the player character "is" within the space of the game world. These collision boxes are shown as cyan rectangles in hitbox images.
Two characters cannot move through each other normally. This is because their collision boxes "push up against each other. It may sound confusing, but think of it like this: You and your friend cannot walk through each other. Once you get close enough to touch each other, you cannot push through each other. The pushboxes for characters in game are the same way.

Defense

More accurately labeled as Damage Received Modifier—Defense is a stat which modifies how much damage a character receives.
At a simple level, this stat acts as a multiplier on any incoming damage. This means that the lower the number, the lower the damage that character receives.

For example:
Potemkin GGACR Potemkin Portrait.pngDamage Received:
0.87
Guts Rating:
4
Weight Class:
0.94
Wakeup Time:
52/50
has a Damage Received Modifier of 0.87. Chipp GGACR Chipp Zanuff Portrait.pngDamage Received:
1.3
Guts Rating:
4
Weight Class:
1
Wakeup Time:
59/46
has a Damage Received Modifier of 1.3. This means that Potemkin takes dramatically less damage from the same hit than Chipp does. If a hit has 100 base damage, then that hit would deal 87 damage to Potemkin. Likewise, that same hit would do 130 damage to Chipp. This stat is only one part of the damage equation, though. Other factors, such as Guts and combo scaling, also influence the amount of damage a character receives.

For a full, detailed explanation of Damage Received Modifiers and their precise numbers, check the Damage Data page.

Guts

As a character's health goes down, they also take less damage.
Each character has their own Guts Rating, which is a score from 0 to 5, which determines how much damage is reduced by as their health depletes. The greater the Guts Rating number, the greater the damage reduction Guts provides.

For example:
May GGACR May Portrait.pngDamage Received:
1.06
Guts Rating:
3
Weight Class:
1.1
Wakeup Time:
53/50
and Venom GGACR Venom Portrait.pngDamage Received:
1.06
Guts Rating:
1
Weight Class:
1
Wakeup Time:
49/51
both have the same Damage Received Modifier. As a result, they both take the same amount of damage when their HP is near full. As their health gets lower, May will take less and less damage than Venom does. This is because May has a Guts Rating of 3, whereas Venom has a Guts Rating of 1.

For a full, detailed explanation of Guts and its precise numbers, check the Damage Data page.
For an explanation of the Guts Spike glitch, check the esoterica page.

Guard Bar

The Guard Bar visualizes combo scaling and rewards players for making the opponent block.
The guard bar is a small, pink bar which appears below the player's life bar, and adjacent to their Burst gauge. The Guard Bar starts at its resting value of 0—exactly in the middle of the gauge. The gauge fills towards the outer edges of the screen, and empties towards the center of the screen.

Whenever a player gets hit, their own guard bar depletes. When that player stops getting hit, the guard bar will briefly pause in place, and then reset back to its resting value at the center of the gauge.
Whenever a player blocks an attack, their guard bar fills. Under this circumstance, the guard bar will slowly deplete back to its resting position so long as they do not continue blocking attacks. If that player gets hit, then the first rule takes precedent—the guard bar will reset back to its resting position.

So long as the Guard Bar is filled beyond its resting position, then combo scaling does not apply. As the Guard Bar depletes into the negatives, then the combo will experience increasing scaling. This means that each hit will deal less and less damage as the Guard Bar depletes.

The amount that each move increases and decreases the Guard Bar by is specific to that move. These values are known as GB+ and GB-. A greater number means a greater increase or decrease of the Guard Bar.

Guard Balance and Guard Recovery

Each character has a stat, known as Guard Balance, which modifies the rate at which their Guard Bar fills.
Guard Balance acts as a simple multiplier, meaning that the greater the Guard Balance, the faster that character's Guard Bar fills.

Additionally, each character has the Guard Recovery stat which determines how quickly their Guard Bar empties in a neutral state.
The Guard Recovery state is measured as a function of time. A Guard Recovery of 1/5F means that the Guard Bar drains by 1 for every 5 frames.

Guard Balances By Character
Characters Guard Balance Guard Recovery
Anji ×1.25 1/6F
Millia 1/6F
Robo-Ky 1/5F
Chipp ×1.125 1/5F
A.B.A ×1.00 1/5F
Axl 1/5F
Baiken 1/5F
Bridget 1/5F
Eddie 1/5F
I-No 1/5F
Jam 1/5F
Kliff 1/4F
Ky 1/5F
May 1/5F
Order-Sol 1/5F
Potemkin 1/4F
Sol 1/5F
Testament 1/6F
Venom 1/5F
Zappa 1/5F
Dizzy ×0.875 1/5F
Johnny 1/5F
Slayer 1/5F
Justice ×0.85 1/5F
Faust ×0.8125 1/6F


Slashback

Any Backwards Direction + S+H

Slashback is an advanced mechanic. This section will contain a large amount of technical data.

Slashback is a ParryAn attack or mechanic that allows the defender to brush aside an incoming hit and recover more or less instantly. which dramatically reduces the BlockstunWhen a character successfully blocks an attack while standing or crouching, the defender is forced into a stun animation for a set period of time where they are incapable of acting. This period of time is called blockstun. the user experiences.

Performing Slashback

In order to Slashback (SB) an attack, the user must input SB within 2 frames of the attack connecting. Slashback costs 2% Tension up front to input. In order to succeed, Slashback must be performed with the correct direction as if the player were blocking an attack with standard Guard. Slashback is not available for the first 10 frames after a character's Wake UpThe state and animation a character goes through when they rise from being knocked down. This animation is usually invulnerable for its duration, and usually retains invulnerability to throws for some time after it ends. animation.
If the player succeeds in SB'ing an attack, then window for Slashback will be widened to 6 frames for the next 45 frames of time. Slashbacks disable the user's standard Guard whether they are successful or not. After a successful SB, standard Guard is disabled for 15 frames. After a failed SB, standard Guard is disabled for 30 frames.

Slashback has a number of advanced input techniques. They can be found on the tech page.

The Effects Of Slashback

Slashback sets the blockstun experienced by the user to a flat value—1 frame for airborne blockstun, and 3 frames for grounded blockstun. Additionally, a successful Slashback combines several traits of FD and IB.

  • Grants the user a large amount of tension
  • Increases Tension Pulse by 1000
  • Negates Chip DamageDamage incurred when blocking an attack. Typically, only Special Attacks and Super Attacks have chip damage, but there are exceptions.
  • Prevents the user's Guard Bar from filling
  • Allows the user to defend out of a run

A successful air Slashback will eliminate the user's air momentum and restore their air options. Furthermore, slashback can be used to defend against attacks which are otherwise completely unblockable
for example: Potemkin's Heat KuckleGGAC Potemkin 623H.pngGuard:
Unblockable, FD×3
Startup:
14
Recovery:
22
Advantage:
.

This list of upsides makes Slashback incredibly potent. It is limited primarily by the extreme difficulty of performing it, and the punishment for failure. Use to your own risk.

Wake-Up Buffer

The game will buffer/repeat certain actions for 1 frame if they are input 1 frame before the character wakes up.
These actions include:

  • Normal moves
  • Special moves
  • OverdriveThe name for Super Moves in the Guilty Gear Series. Overdrives cost 50% tension and perform a variety of functions depending on the characters
  • Instant Kill attacks

There are also some actions which the game will not buffer on wakeup.
These actions include:

  • Backdash
  • Run
  • special moves input using Negative EdgeUsing button-release to perform attacks. To perform, hold down an attack button, then release the button. Some Negative Edge moves also require special motions.

Cross-up Protection

In situations where your character is facing with their back to the opponent the game will accept both 4/6 as a valid input for blocking.
Unforunately it's not without exceptions but the general idea is that:

  • Holding 4 will only grant you cross-up protection for 1 frame as it immediately turns you around otherwise.
  • Holding 1 will grant you cross-up protection for 9 frames.
  • While holding 4 in the air you have infinite cross-up protection as long as your character is facing away from the opponent.
  • Performing grounded-FD will immediately turn you around and remove all cross-up protection. The air version will only turn you around the moment it's pressed.

Please note that all the directional inputs are assuming you were holding the direction before you got crossed up.

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