From Dustloop Wiki

Life Gauge

GGST Life Gauge.png

All characters have a total life of 420 HP, but that doesn't mean each character can take the same amount of damage! Each character has a defense rating and guts rating. The former scales the damage they take per hit, and later scales damage even further as character health passes certain thresholds. These two damage scalings are different than the type given by the R.I.S.C. Level; both affect damage scaling at the same time.

Character Defense

Each character scales damage taken based on their defense rating. As you can see,  Asuka has the lowest modifier and therefore the highest defense, but if he has no Mana, he has the largest modifier and therefore the lowest defense. This means that an attack that inflicts 100 damage on  Ky would only inflict 75 damage on  Asuka with Mana but 150 damage without Mana, assuming Guts is not a factor.

Defense Modifiers
Character Defense (X/256) Defense (Multiplier) Guts Rating
GGST A.B.A Icon.png A.B.A 244 0.9531 2
GGST Anji Mito Icon.png Anji Mito 272 1.0625 5
GGST Asuka R Icon.png Asuka R 192 0.7500 0
GGST Asuka R Icon.png Asuka R (No Mana) 384 1.5000 0
GGST Axl Low Icon.png Axl Low 276 1.0781 1
GGST Baiken Icon.png Baiken 286 1.1172 4
GGST Bedman Icon.png Bedman 246 0.9609 0
GGST Bridget Icon.png Bridget 272 1.0625 0
GGST Chipp Zanuff Icon.png Chipp Zanuff 324 1.2656 4
GGST Elphelt Valentine Icon.png Elphelt Valentine 280 1.0938 2
GGST Faust Icon.png Faust 260 1.0156 0
GGST Giovanna Icon.png Giovanna 264 1.0313 1
GGST Goldlewis Dickinson Icon.png Goldlewis Dickinson 246 0.9609 3
GGST Happy Chaos Icon.png Happy Chaos 266 1.0391 1
GGST I-No Icon.png I-No 272 1.0625 1
GGST Jack-O' Icon.png Jack-O 286 1.1172 2
GGST Johnny Icon.png Johnny 252 0.9844 3
GGST Ky Kiske Icon.png Ky Kiske 256 1.0000 2
GGST Leo Whitefang Icon.png Leo Whitefang 256 1.0000 3
GGST May Icon.png May 272 1.0625 4
GGST Millia Rage Icon.png Millia Rage 304 1.1875 2
GGST Nagoriyuki Icon.png Nagoriyuki 248 0.9688 4
GGST Potemkin Icon.png Potemkin 240 0.9375 3
GGST Ramlethal Valentine Icon.png Ramlethal Valentine 272 1.0625 1
GGST Sin Kiske Icon.png Sin Kiske 270 1.0547 2
GGST Sol Badguy Icon.png Sol Badguy 252 0.9844 2
GGST Testament Icon.png Testament 268 1.0469 1
GGST Zato-1 Icon.png Zato-1 276 1.0781 0

Note: The following characters can experience an increase or decrease in damage taken during a match:

  •  Nagoriyuki takes 11% more damage while in Blood Gauge Level 2, and 25% more while in Blood Gauge Level 3 or Blood Rage.
  •  Giovanna takes 5% less damage while her Tension Gauge is at 50% or above, and 10% less while her Tension Gauge is at 100%.
  •  Sin randomly takes 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% less damage for 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 seconds after eating lobster.
  •  Bedman? takes 10% less damage while call 13CGGST Bedman 632146S 2.pngGuardStartup4RecoveryTotal 14Advantage- is active.
  •  Asuka takes double damage while his Mana Gauge is empty or recovering from empty.

These changes (excluding for Asuka, who has seperate defense modifiers) are applied separately to the character's defense modifiers. As a result, damage may vary from the expected value due to truncation during damage calculation. For example, at 100% Tension,  Giovanna takes 92 damage from a 100 base damage attack, but takes 186 damage (93 doubled) from a 200 base damage attack.


Guts acts as a type of damage scaling that gets more intense the lower a character's life. For example, an attack that would do 100 damage to  Sol at full life would only do 50 damage when he is at less than 10% life.

This means that the Life Gauge is misleading; a Life Gauge that visually looks like it's 50% full actually has much more than 50% life left.

Each character has a Guts Rating. As you can see, the lower the Guts Rating, the less damage scaling a character will receive at lower life values.

Guts Rating
Guts Rating ≤ 70% Life ≤ 60% Life ≤ 50% Life ≤ 40% Life ≤ 30% Life ≤ 20% Life ≤ 10% Life
0 97% 92% 89% 84% 75% 66% 56%
1 96% 91% 87% 82% 73% 63% 53%
2 95% 90% 85% 80% 70% 60% 50%
3 94% 89% 83% 78% 67% 57% 47%
4 93% 88% 81% 76% 64% 53% 44%
5 92% 87% 79% 74% 60% 50% 41%

The implications of the Guts system also leads to interesting damage optimization choices when the opponent is low on life.

  • Attacks do a minimum of 1 damage per hit, so attacks and combos that do lots of small hits can end up doing more damage than standard combos in low life scenarios.
  • Single hit, big damage attacks can effectively do "more" damage when the opponent is near the life threshold of gaining another defensive boost.
    • Example: Doing a single big hit when an opponent is at 41% health so that they have less life with the <30% life defense bonus.
  • Life gain effects ( Faust's healing items) and life drain effects ( Nagoriyuki during Blood Rage) are also unaffected by Guts.

A list of every character's individual Guts values can be found here.

Effective Health

Effective Health (EHP) measures the raw amount of damage a character can take, taking Guts and the defense modifier into account. This is not a true measure of character defense in practical terms, as Guts does not apply retroactively when taking damage, but this can be used as a guideline for how Guts influences a character's defense. The final Effective Health value is rounded to the nearest whole number.

Effective Health
Character Effective Health
GGST A.B.A Icon.png A.B.A 559
GGST Anji Mito Icon.png Anji Mito 552
GGST Asuka R Icon.png Asuka R 676
GGST Asuka R Icon.png Asuka R (No Mana) 338
GGST Axl Low Icon.png Axl Low 481
GGST Baiken Icon.png Baiken 507
GGST Bedman Icon.png Bedman 527
GGST Bridget Icon.png Bridget 477
GGST Chipp Zanuff Icon.png Chipp Zanuff 447
GGST Elphelt Valentine Icon.png Elphelt Valentine 487
GGST Faust Icon.png Faust 499
GGST Giovanna Icon.png Giovanna 503
GGST Goldlewis Dickinson Icon.png Goldlewis Dickinson 570
GGST Happy Chaos Icon.png Happy Chaos 499
GGST I-No Icon.png I-No 488
GGST Jack-O' Icon.png Jack-O 477
GGST Johnny Icon.png Johnny 557
GGST Ky Kiske Icon.png Ky Kiske 533
GGST Leo Whitefang Icon.png Leo Whitefang 548
GGST May Icon.png May 533
GGST Millia Rage Icon.png Millia Rage 449
GGST Nagoriyuki Icon.png Nagoriyuki 585
GGST Potemkin Icon.png Potemkin 585
GGST Ramlethal Valentine Icon.png Ramlethal Valentine 488
GGST Sin Kiske Icon.png Sin Kiske 505
GGST Sol Badguy Icon.png Sol Badguy 541
GGST Testament Icon.png Testament 496
GGST Zato-1 Icon.png Zato-1 470

Combo System

Combo Decay

Versatile combo extenders usually apply more Combo Decay, sacrificing value in longer combos.

As a combo progresses, the Combo Decay increases, this affects various properties:

  • Increases the gravity pulling the opponent to the ground.
  • Increases the horizontal speed an attack launches at.
  • Decreases the amount of Tension gained when landing an attack.
  • Increases the amount of Tension the opponent receives when struck by an attack.
  • Increases the amount of Burst the opponent receives when struck by an attack.
Combo Decay Increase
Most attacks increase the Combo Decay by 5 per hit (multi-hit attacks apply only once).
Some attacks apply additional Combo Decay, including attacks with significant R.I.S.C. Loss, throws, and Overdrives. Unlike other attacks, Red Roman Cancel will not increase Combo Decay. For a comprehensive list, see the notes.
Initial Combo Decay
For certain moves, additional Combo Decay is added if it is the first move of the combo, similar to Proration, notably for overheads, lows, projectiles, and invincible reversals. For a comprehensive list, see the notes.
Combo Decay Increase
  • Any move with 2000 R.I.S.C. Loss will add +10 Combo Decay.
  • Any throw, hitgrab (e.g.  Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3) or parry (e.g.  Baiken's HiiragiGGST Baiken 236P 2.pngGuard-Startup1Recovery32Advantage-) applies +25 Combo Decay on hit.
    • Using Purple Roman Cancel before all hits of a throw connect will result in +15 Combo Decay.
  • Any Overdrive applies +25 Combo Decay on hit.
  • Red Roman Cancel deals 0 Combo Decay on hit.
Initial Combo Decay
  • Overheads and lows apply an additional +5, excluding uncharged Dust Attack.
  • Projectiles apply an additional +5.
  • Any move with 1500 or 2000 R.I.S.C. Loss will apply an additional +5.
  • 6P attacks apply an additional +20.
  • Meterless invincible reversals will apply an additional +20.
  • Charged Dust Attack will deal 5 less Combo Decay, for 0 total Combo Decay on initial hit.

Gravity and Launch Speed

When a character is launched, they get sent with some amount of speed, and the rate they fall increases over time due to gravity. The launch speed and gravity applied depends on the move, some moves may cause an opponent to float in the air, while some will send them quickly into the ground.

Combo Decay
As Combo Decay increases, the vertical speed of an attack's launch decreases, and the horizontal speed increases, making it harder to sustain a combo as the opponent will either fall out of range or hit the ground. As some moves increase Combo Decay more than others, this makes some moves worsen the combo over time, even with the same general string.
After substantial Combo Decay, it will also begin to increase gravity, making it even harder to sustain a very long combo.
Same Attack Penalty
If a move is used more than once in a combo, it may begin to add additional gravity for the rest of the combo. For this reason it is easier to sustain a combo that uses a variety of attacks, instead of repeating the same actions.
For most attacks, this occurs if a move is used 3 or more times. Some moves may differ, applying after more or fewer uses, or applying less gravity increase. See a move's "Stats For Nerds" notes for more details.
The speed the opponent is moving at before the next hit will carry over slightly into the launch of the next, conserving their momentum slightly. For example, a move that sends an opponent shooting up quickly, will cause the next attack to launch them up slightly faster. Additionally, an opponent already falling to the ground quickly is likely to keep falling, making it harder to combo a fast falling opponent without first hitting them back up.

For scale, most moves inflict a Gravity value between 1 and 3, making Gravity modifiers quite significant.

Combo Decay
  • All Combo Decay after 5 will modify launch speed by Combo Decay ÷ 60, to a limit of 50% (e.g. at 15 Combo Decay you recieve a 16.7% modifier).
  • Horizontal launch increases to a limit of +50%, while vertical launch decreases to a limit of -50%.
  • All Combo Decay after 75 will add 0.1 Gravity to the entire combo per point of decay (e.g. at 90 Combo Decay you receive +1.5 Gravity).
  • Note some attacks can begin a combo at 0 Combo Decay, meaning the launch speed is not affected until after the next hit.
Same Attack Penalty
  • By default, the Same Attack Penalty adds 1.5 Gravity each occurrence. Most moves that differ add only 0.5 Gravity.
  • 15% of an opponent's current speed is conserved into the next attack's launch speed.

Grounded Pushback

In addition to added hitstun, hitting a crouching opponent will keep them closer, making it easier to combo. This affects block too!

Attacks on grounded opponents work similar to in the air. Just like when launching an opponent, attacks send an opponent backwards at a certain speed, which is affected by a few factors.

Unlike launch combos: gravity and momentum are not factors in the pushback. The speed an opponent is sent back is also different to how quickly they get launched in the air.

Pushback is applied as a speed the opponent will move backwards. The speed they're sent at depends on Attack Level and a pushback multiplier of the move. Each move will push an opponent back a different amount. For exact details see the notes.
Combo Decay
As Combo Decay incrases, the horizontal speed increases, making it harder to sustain a combo as the opponent will fall out of range or hit the ground. As some moves increase Combo Decay more than others, this makes some moves worsen the combo over time, even with the same general string.
Crouching and Standing Friction
Grounded opponents gradually slow down after being hit. Opponents that are standing will maintain their speed for longer, effectively getting sent farther. Crouching opponents therefore remain closer, and are easier to maintain a combo against.
The Wall
If the opponent is in contact with the wall, all remaining pushback immediately transfers instead on the attacker, creating the same spacing as would occur outside of the corner. This occurs even if they hit the wall after being hit.
When the opponent Wall Sticks, all pushback immediately cancels.
When an opponent recovers, pushback instantly ends, with no lingering momentum. Moves with longer hitstun can therefore move farther out eventually, including from additional +1 hitstun on crouching opponents.

Pushback metrics affect both hit and block.

  • By default, each Attack Level sends the opponent back with a certain value, this is transferred as 0.154 times speed.
    • Any modifications to the pushback actually occur on this initial value, accounting for rounding error.
  • A move may have a set pushback multiplier, usually within the range of 60% to 150%, this affects both hit and block.
Attack Level Pushback Value Resulting Initial Speed
0 1250 19.25
1 1375 21.175
2 1500 23.1
3 1750 26.95
4 2000 30.8
Combo Decay
  • All Combo Decay after 5 will modify pushback speed by Combo Decay ÷ 60, to a limit of 50% (e.g. at 15 Combo Decay you recieve a 16.7% modifier).
  • Horizontal pushback increases to a limit of +50%.
  • Note some attacks can begin a combo at 0 Combo Decay, meaning the pushback speed is not affected until after the next hit.
  • 15% of an opponent's current speed is conserved into the next attack's launch speed.

Increasing Hitstun

Crouching Opponents
Crouching opponents take one frame of additional hitstun, meaning there are specific combo routes for crouching characters.
Ex:  Ky can combo 5KGGST Ky Kiske 5K.pngGuardLowStartup7Recovery6Advantage-2 > 6HGGST Ky Kiske 6H.pngGuardAllStartup15Recovery20Advantage-7 on crouching opponents, but not on standing opponents.
Counter Hits
Excluding Very Small Counter Hits, all forms of Counter Hit inflict a slowdown on the opponent that persists even if the opponent is hit again throughout its duration, doubling all hitstun during that period. Further details can be found here. Counter Hits can also alter the properties of moves on hit, enabling follow-ups that are not normally possible.
Roman Cancel Slowdown
All forms of Roman Cancel can inflict slowdown on the opponent if they're within the range of the shockwave, doubling all potential hitstun during that period. Blue Roman Cancel inflicts 60 frames of persistent slowdown, Red Roman Cancel inflicts 40 frames of non-persistent slowdown, Purple Roman Cancel inflicts 20 frames of non-persistent slowdown, and Yellow Roman Cancel inflicts 10 frames of slowdown on hit only. Canceling the Roman Cancel also inflicts slowdown at close range, but for smaller durations.

The Wall

Guilty Gear -Strive-'s premier mechanic is the wall. As the opponent takes damage in the corner, the wall will slowly crack. When the wall is one hit away from shattering, the game will freeze, the opponent will stick against the wall, and any hit will break the wall. Breaking the wall will transition the stage and give the attacker Positive Bonus.

Wall Damage
Counterintuitively, Wall Damage is tied to each character rather than the walls themselves. Characters still receive "Wall Damage" even when they are not near a wall. Players familiar with other fighting games can think of it like a stun mechanic.
The wall has a total 3000 health. Each attack deals a certain amount of Wall Damage per hit, typically 300~700 per attack and 1000 for a throw.
Wall Damage will continue to rise while the opponent is in a combo, and naturally decrease over time when they are not. This means even with the same sequence of attacks, doing them slower will damage the wall more, this also counter-intuitively means some moves do more Wall Damage than listed, due to launching opponents before they recover.
Everything to the right of Ky here is near the wall. Total Wall Damage is capped to 50% when the opponent is not located near either wall.
Wall Damage Limits
The total inflicted Wall Damage is limited to 1500 (50%) until the opponent is near the wall, meaning any number of hits can be done in the middle of the arena before reaching the corner without instantly breaking the wall. This is ignored if it is already over 1750, and moves including Dust Attacks and throws will ignore the limit regardless.
Recovering from a Wall Stick or a knockdown immediately limits Wall Damage to 2500, while recovering from a Wall Break or a Homing Jump combo will reset Wall Damage to 0.
In addition, after 1500 Wall Damage, the opponent stops accumulating Wall Damage over time during a combo unless they are touching the wall.
Wall Stick
A Wall Stick occurs when a total 3000 Wall Damage is dealt and a launched opponent hits the wall. For a grounded opponent, Wall Stick occurs only when the wall was already at 3000+ Wall Damage before the hit. When an opponent sticks to the wall, they gain an additional 25% Burst Gauge. This only applies once per combo.
Certain attacks will never cause a Wall Stick or Wall Break, including fully charged Dust Attacks on initial hit, throws, and Red Roman Cancels.
Wall Break
Regardless of the kind of Wall Break, the defender takes 50 base damage (with a minimum of 37 damage), both characters end up mid-screen and the attacker gains Positive Bonus.
Breaking the wall with a normal or special results with both players recovering from the Wall Break at the same time. The position is slightly further apart than round start, and the defender is closer to the wall.
Most Overdrives will break the wall regardless of Wall Damage. Breaking the wall with an Overdrive or a Wild Assault knocks the opponent down after the Wall Break for +36 frame advantage, giving the attacker plenty of time to continue their offensive. If an Overdrive is used to break the wall without causing Wall Stick, the opponent gains an additional 25% Burst Gauge.
Cracks form and grow as the wall gets damaged.
Wall Cracks
When the opponent hits the wall, cracks may appear, indicating how damaged the wall is. The cracks re-appear if the next threshold is hit, showing the wall is weakening. The cracks are larger based on the amount of Wall Damage so far:
  • No crack: Less than 2000 Wall Damage.
  • Small crack: At least 2000 Wall Damage.
  • Large crack: At least 2500 Wall Damage.
  • Wall Stick: At least 3000 Wall Damage.
Wall Damage Over Time
  • Opponents in a combo state gain +5 Wall Damage per frame (excluding hitstop).
    • Opponents in Guard Crush are considered in a combo state, meaning Guard Crush will increase Wall Damage.
  • Opponents in a non-combo state will lose 10 Wall Damage per frame (excluding hitstop).
    • If the opponent is touching the wall, this is lowered to 5 per frame.
    • Recovery from a knockdown and blockstun are considered a non-combo state, and will recover some Wall Damage.
Wall Damage Limit
  • An opponent is considered "near" the wall when 750 units away from the centre, or 765 units away from the wall, approximately the outer 25% of the arena.

Hit Effects

There are various effects that can happen to opponents when hitting them. They are briefly discussed here.


Launches the opponent into the air, even while grounded.  Potemkin's 2HGGST Potemkin 2H.pngGuardAllStartup13Recovery35Advantage-21 is an example of this. Sweeps will also slightly lift the opponent into the air and can sometimes be used for air combo extensions. There are multiple different types of launches. Launches that pop the opponent up are sometimes referred to as a "float" state and are often used to extend combos. Launches that knock the opponent away are sometimes referred to as "blowback" and are often used to bring the opponent closer to the corner.

Spinning Blowback

A special type of blowback that occurs after a raw, fully charged Dust Attack. If said Dust Attack is cancelled into a Homing Jump, the opponent transitions to a regular launched state. If not, the opponent flies backward.

Guard Crush

When an attack that causes Guard Crush is blocked (or in the case of Yellow Roman Cancel, when it hits) it causes a reeling animation for the opponent where they can only block or Burst, putting the attacker at a significant advantage. If the opponent gets hit by a move during this animation, the combo is treated as invalid because they could have blocked. For more information on Guard Crush, see here.

Floating Crumple

Briefly lifts a grounded opponent into the air before landing back down in a crumple state. All Dust Attacks have this property when not fully charged, as do certain other moves.

  1. While the opponent is floating off the ground, hitting them will count as an air hit.
  2. Once the opponent lands, they are considered Grounded An opponent remains grounded during combos if no hit launches them off the ground. This is required for certain Hard Knockdowns like 2D. A Grounded Wall Stick results in a Wall Slump. Hitting an opponent during a Floating Crumple will result in a launch, but they are still grounded and can usually be hit after to remain grounded. and standing, and can briefly be ground hit.
  3. Shortly after the opponent lands and until they recover, they are able to block, similar to a Guard Crush. The opponent is still technically in a comboable state, and hitting them in this moment will result in an invalid combo.

There are two kinds of Floating Crumple, Head and Body. All crumples of the same type share identical frame data.

Floating Crumple (Body)

A shallow float, with an animation of being pushed upwards. Opponent lowers gently back down to the ground. Used by lighter Floating Crumples like certain 5S attacks and all uncharged Dust Attacks.

  • 16F of hitstop
  • 11F of airborne hitstun
  • 7F of grounded standing hitstun (Total 18F of unblockable hitstun)
  • 10F of blockable hitstun
Floating Crumple (Head)

A launching float, with a massive recoiling animation. The opponent will briefly fly upwards before falling back down. Used by heavier Floating Crumples like  Sol and  Ky's 2H attacks and  Ramlethal's DauroGGST Ramlethal Valentine Dauro.pngGuardAllStartup11Recovery26Advantage-10.

  • 16F of hitstop
  • 19F of airborne hitstun
  • 8F of grounded standing hitstun (Total 27F of unblockable hitstun)
  • 6F of blockable hitstun


Staggers a grounded opponent, putting them in non-standard hitstun for an extended period of time. If they time a button press correctly, they will escape stagger sooner. Characters can be thrown while staggered, making it a way to actually combo into throws. When staggered, a character is vulnerable to throws for longer than they are vulnerable to strikes. For escaping staggers, see here.


Most attacks push the opponent away on hit and block, but certain attacks will actually pull the opponent closer. These attacks can be used to forcibly pull the opponent into a more threatening range.  Axl's Soaring Chain StrikeGGST Axl Low 46S8.pngGuardAllStartup8Recovery34Advantage-11 and Spinning Chain StrikeGGST Axl Low 46S2.pngGuardLowStartup7Recovery19Advantage-6 are examples of this.

Wall Bounce / Ground Bounce

Some attacks bounce the opponent off the wall/ground when they hit. This is useful for extending combos. The opponent's velocity after the bounce varies from move to move.


Some attacks cause the opponent to roll on the ground. Opponents are considered airborne during a tumble, so any hit will launch them. Some tumbles end in a soft knockdown, others end in a hard knockdown.

Wall Stick and Wall Slump
You can tech off the wall after a certain amount of time.

Wall Stick will cause your opponent to stick in place on the edge of the screen. When this happens, hitting them again will cause a Wall Break and both players will end up in the middle of the stage. The opponent cannot Psych Burst while stuck to the wall, but if left alone for long enough, they can recover.

If a character gets stuck to the wall while grounded, they will be unable to recover from the Wall Stick and will instead slump to the ground for a period of time (frames 1~27) before standing back up in a fully invincible state (frames 28~42). Being hit at any time during this slump will cause a Wall Break. The opponent is completely unable to recover off the wall, and cannot interrupt the slump animation.

The character after being stuck will gain back 25% of their burst gauge in addition to the burst gained by the attack that caused the wall stick. If a character has already been wall stuck once and is stuck again in the same combo, then this burst gain will not apply.

Soft Knockdown

When opponents touch the ground after getting hit in the air (and there are no ground bounce or tumble effects), they will immediately roll backwards and recover. Most attacks have this property on air hit. See this section for more details.

Hard Knockdown

Hard knockdowns force the opponent into a longer knockdown animation. Hard knockdowns are useful for setting up okizeme. All sweeps and throws have this property.

Off The Ground

To Off The Ground (OTG) an opponent means to strike them after they are knocked down. Attacks that OTG have their hit effects replaced with a slight blowback effect and a soft knockdown, making it very difficult to continue a combo afterwards.


Caused by Counter Hits and Roman Cancels, slowdown is a state where the opponent will behave at half speed, affecting everything: including movement, attacks, recovery, launches, hitstop, and even invulnerability. However, a slowed-down player's actions on the other player will not be slowed down. Only the slowed-down person is affected by slowdown. For a more technical explanation, see here.

Damage Scaling

There are 3 standard factors when assigning damage: Defense Modifier, Guts Rating and R.I.S.C. Level, as well as 2 non-standard factors assigned on a move-by-move basis: Proration and Off The Ground. When combined, they determine how much damage your character will take at every point in the Life Gauge. It's important to learn how strong/weak/effective your attacks will be at different points of the battle.

Read each individual section below to understand how they work.

R.I.S.C. Level

A positive R.I.S.C. Level is denoted by the pink bar filling the gauge. If it fills completely, the bar turns red and a flashing warning sign appears next to the gauge.

R.I.S.C. Level is displayed in the R.I.S.C. Level Gauge, located underneath your character's Burst Gauge. It directly affects damage scaling. The R.I.S.C. Level ranges from -12800 to 12800, with any positive amount being shown on the R.I.S.C. Level Gauge, and a negative amount results in combo scaling.

Any time you block or are hit, the R.I.S.C. Level changes.

R.I.S.C. Gain
The R.I.S.C. Level rises each time an attack is blocked normally or with an Instant Block. Using Faultless Defense or Instant Faultless Defense prevents the R.I.S.C. Level from increasing.
The amount of R.I.S.C. Level gained varies by attack (see the character frame data for R.I.S.C. Gain on each move), generally attacks with a higher Attack Level build more R.I.S.C Level, with overheads and lows building less than mids. In addition, characters may have their R.I.S.C. Level increase faster than other characters (See more: Defense Values).
R.I.S.C. Gain is largely increased if the opponent blocks in the air, adding +50% for mid attacks, and +100% for overhead and low attacks.
R.I.S.C. Depletion
After a player blocks an attack (even with Faultless Defense), the R.I.S.C. Level will begin to gradually lower after 1 second, or 3 seconds if they hit maximum R.I.S.C. Level.
R.I.S.C. Level depletes at a rate depending on the character. The rate increases by 50% once R.I.S.C. Level reaches 51%, and increases by 100% once R.I.S.C. Level reaches 76%.
During this period before R.I.S.C. Level depletes, any further blocked attack deals half the R.I.S.C. Gain, this applies even between hits of a multi-hit attack.
R.I.S.C. Loss
Sometimes referred to as combo scaling. Getting hit lowers the R.I.S.C. Level. When the R.I.S.C. Level empties, the value continues to lower into the negatives (not shown on the gauge), and damage scaling will start to take effect, decreasing damage. The amount of scaling depends on the current R.I.S.C. Level value, and the effect is cumulative through the entire combo. Once the combo ends and the opponent leaves hitstun, any negative R.I.S.C. returns to zero and damage scaling is reset.
R.I.S.C. Loss varies by move, with 1000 being the standard (see the character frame data for R.I.S.C. Loss on each move). This only occurs once for multi-hitting moves, further hits will be scaled according to the first hit.
If the R.I.S.C. Level is positive when an attack lands (excluding throws), the value is reduced by 25% before applying R.I.S.C. Loss, giving progressively less effect for increasing R.I.S.C. Level, but having less penalty on throws which do not benefit from R.I.S.C. Level (e.g. at 5000 R.I.S.C., a 1000 R.I.S.C. Loss attack results in losing 2250 R.I.S.C.).
The R.I.S.C. Gain Modifier of a character does not affect R.I.S.C. Loss.
100% R.I.S.C. Level forces any strike to deal a Large Counter Hit. For uncharged Dust Attack (5D), this triggers a launch.
Maximum R.I.S.C. Level and R.I.S.C. Counter Hit
When R.I.S.C. Level is completely full, the gauge will display a flashing yellow ! symbol and the gauge will not deplete for an additional 1 second.

Hitting a character when their R.I.S.C. Level is at 100% is a guaranteed Counter Hit ignoring standard rules of Counter Hit state. If the attack is a strike, it automatically becomes a Large Counter Hit (unless the strike locks the opponent's position or leads into a special cinematic state on hit, like a raw, fully charged Dust Attack or a hitgrab like  Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3). Uncharged Dust Attack also launch the opponent instead of the standard Floating Crumple.

The hit that triggers a R.I.S.C. Counter Hit also deals an extra 20% damage instead of the usual 10% extra caused by other types of Counter Hit.

R.I.S.C. Gain
  • See Base R.I.S.C. Gain for how the R.I.S.C. Gain of attacks is calculated. The differing effects on aerial blocks is a result of these calculations.
R.I.S.C. Depletion
  • Standardly, depletion occurs after 60 frames.
  • At maximum R.I.S.C. Level, depletion occurs after 119 frames (not 120).
    • Due to a bug in the R.I.S.C. depletion programming, if the last blocked attack was a true blockstring with 1 or more frames to spare (e.g. a 12F attack after 13F blockstun), it will instead be 120 frames.
  • The exact thresholds of R.I.S.C. depletion increasing occur at ≥6528 (51%) and ≥9728 (76%) R.I.S.C.
    • When increasing the rate by 50%, the value is rounded down (e.g. 7 increases to 10).
R.I.S.C. Loss
  • The 25% R.I.S.C. reduction does not apply to throws, which reduce R.I.S.C. Level by a flat value once all damage is dealt. However, Purple Roman Canceling a throw before all damage is dealt will apply R.I.S.C. Loss like a standard hit.
  • The 25% R.I.S.C. reduction occurs even on 0 R.I.S.C. hits.
  • The 25% R.I.S.C. reduction also does not apply to a Red Roman Cancel shockwave, which does not reduce R.I.S.C. Level in any way.
  • Specific multi-hit attacks may technically spawn multiple entities or projectiles, in such instances scaling will reduce the damage of attacks from other sources, and subsequent hits of R.I.S.C. Loss from other sources calculate as 0 R.I.S.C. Loss which do apply a 25% R.I.S.C. reduction. Check the additional notes ("Stats For Nerds") on moves for more information.
R.I.S.C. Damage Reduction


Proration (otherwise referred to as "base damage scaling") is a percentage-based damage modifier applied to a combo based on the first attack of the combo, and affects the damage of all attacks of a combo except the first. For multi-hitting moves, all hits after the first will be affected by proration.

For example, if a combo of 2S > 5H > 236K is performed, and the 2S has 80% proration, then the 5H and 236K deal 80% damage of the usual damage. The proration of 5H and 236K have no effect, only the proration of the initial 2S.

Proration differs depending on the move, varying from 50% to 100%, though some general rules apply, such as 2K having 70% proration while c.S is 100%. Check each character's individual frame data for the proration values of each move.

Forced Proration

A few moves deal a unique kind of proration, which overrides a combo's proration mid-combo if it is lower than the current proration.

This applies to all non-Overdrive throws, which can combo from stagger, and hitgrab-type attacks such as  Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3 and parries like  Leo's Kahn-SchildGGST Leo Whitefang bt D.pngGuardAllStartup3Recovery18Advantage- or  Baiken's HiiragiGGST Baiken 236P 2.pngGuard-Startup1Recovery32Advantage-. This also applies to Yellow Roman Cancel, although any circumstances that would lead to a character comboing into it are exceedingly rare.

For example, if  Potemkin performs a combo of 2H > 623H > RRC, 214H, the Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3 (623H) will deal 90% damage due to the 2HGGST Potemkin 2H.pngGuardAllStartup13Recovery35Advantage-21 proration, and then the following Garuda ImpactGGST Potemkin Garuda Impact.pngGuardAll (Guard Crush)Startup28Recovery24Advantage+19 (214H) will deal only 50% damage, as a result of Heat Knuckle's 50% forced proration.

Most moves follow general rules in regards to proration:

  • Most normals: 90%
  • 5P, 2P, overhead normals, projectile normals: 80%
  • Low 5K normals, 2K: 70%
  • Close S, fully charged Dust Attacks: 100%
  • All throws: Forced 50%
  • Throws if Roman Canceled before all damage is dealt: Forced 75%
  • Most specials: 90%
  • Projectile specials, overhead specials, specials with forward movement: 80%
  • Specials with strike invincibility: 60%
  • Hitgrabs, parries: Forced 50%
Wild Assault
  • White Wild Assaults: 60%
  • Orange or Blue Wild Assaults: 90%
  • Fully charged Orange or Blue Wild Assaults: 100%
  • All Overdrives: 100%

Off The Ground

Attacks that hit an opponent during hard knockdown are considered Off The Ground (OTG), dealing a percentage of their regular damage determined on a move-by-move basis. Most attacks deal 80% damage OTG, but some will deal 60% or 100%. Attacks that deal 100% damage OTG are typically attacks that swing downward, towards the ground, while attacks that deal 60% damage OTG are typically attacks that launch upwards.

Successive hits after an OTG are all considered OTG hits and scale accordingly. However, unlike other forms of damage reduction, this modifier only applies to the hit in question, each hit uses its own modifier.

Minimum Damage

Some attacks have a minimum possible damage, regardless of Proration or R.I.S.C. Level. However, this damage is affected by Defense and Guts modifiers.

  • Overdrives deal 20% minimum damage.
  • Wall Break (base 50 damage) deals 75% minimum damage (37 damage).
  • All damage dealing attacks deal a minimum of 1 damage per hit regardless of any other damage scaling except if it hits OTG, in which case it can scale down to 0 damage.

Other Damage

Chip Damage

When Wild Assaults, special moves or Overdrives are blocked, they deal a percentage of their base damage as chip damage to the opponent. Contrary to popular belief, chip damage is affected by defense and Guts, similar to other damage.

Wild Assaults, special moves and Overdrives follow these general rules regarding chip damage:

  • Wild Assaults: 25%
  • Strike specials and Overdrives: 25%
  • Strike specials and Overdrives that apply Guard Crush on block: 50%
  • Projectile specials and Overdrives: 12%
  • Projectile specials and Overdrives that apply Guard Crush on block: 25%

A lot of characters have moves that differ from standard chip damage rates.

  •  Ky's attacks affected by Shock State increase to 25% for projectiles and 50% for strikes while Shock State is active.
    • While Shock State is active, the final hit of Sacred EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236236P.pngGuardAll [All (Guard Crush)]Startup4+3RecoveryTotal 38Advantage+10 [+26] applies Guard Crush on block and deals 50% chip damage.
  •  Ky's attacks affected by Dragon InstallGGST Ky Kiske 214214H 1.pngGuardAllStartup11+1Recovery25Advantage+4 increase to 37% for projectiles and 75% for strikes while Dragon Install is active.
    • While Dragon InstallGGST Ky Kiske 214214H 1.pngGuardAllStartup11+1Recovery25Advantage+4 is active, the final hit of Sacred EdgeGGST Ky Kiske 236236P.pngGuardAll (Guard Crush)Startup4+3RecoveryTotal 38Advantage+32 applies Guard Crush on block and deals 62% chip damage.
  •  Potemkin's Heat KnuckleGGST Potemkin Heat Knuckle 1.pngGuardAir Guard CrushStartup12Recovery18Advantage+10~+3 deals 25 chip damage, despite the initial, non-cinematic hit having 0 base damage.
  •  Nagoriyuki's normals using his main sword deal chip damage proportional to his Blood Gauge:
    • Level 1: 10%
    • Level 2: 15%
    • Level 3: 20%
    • Blood Rage: 35%
  •  Giovanna's normals deal chip damage proportional to her Tension Gauge:
    • ≥50% Tension: 12%
    • 100% Tension: 25%
  • The second hit of  Anji's KouGGST Anji Mito 236S.pngGuardAllStartup12 [28]Recovery14Advantage- applies Guard Crush on block, but deals only 25% chip damage.
Fatal Chip Damage

Any chip damage that would K.O. a defender with 2 or more HP will reduce their HP to 1 instead. That means chip damage can only defeat someone if they are at exactly 1 HP. This also means that special moves and Overdrives that do multiple hits are much more effective at low life scenarios since they can bring a defender to 1 HP and immediately deal the fatal hit of chip damage.

Life Drain

Certain characters have effects that drain their life without interacting with the opponent.

  •  Nagoriyuki loses up to 50% of his maximum life during Blood Rage, but his remaining life will not be reduced below 1 HP.
  •  Chaos spends 15% of his current life (minimum of 29 HP) to perform ScapegoatGGST Happy Chaos 236K.pngGuard-Startup10Recovery43 totalAdvantage-. This cannot reduce his remaining life below 1 HP.
    • At 1 HP ScapegoatGGST Happy Chaos 236K.pngGuard-Startup10Recovery43 totalAdvantage-'s duration changes from 180F to 45F and its height shrinks.
  •  Asuka consumes life to restore Mana during S Recover ManaGGST Asuka R 22PKS 2.pngGuardStartup13RecoveryTotal 25 (No Hold)Advantage-. Holding S will extend the duration of the move indefinitely.
    • Life will no longer be consumed once his Mana Gauge is full or his remaining life reaches 1 HP.

Invalid Combos

Top means it was a combo. Bottom means you could have blocked.

During the last few frames of a floating crumple or the entire duration of a Guard Crush, players are stuck in a state where the only actions they can do is block or not block. Getting hit during this time results in an invalid combo.

During a stagger, players can time a button press to be able to block. If players are hit by an attack that connects during the window they could've blocked in after a successful stagger recovery, the HUD will show an invalid combo.

Invalid combos have no effect on the damage or combo in any respect, and only indicate that the opponent could have blocked.


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