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Guilty Gear uses a notation known as Numpad Notation.

Think of your controller's analog stick or D-Pad as if it were the num pad on a computer keyboard. When none of the buttons are being pressed/the stick is not being tilted then the controller is in state 5. This simply means you aren't inputting a direction. The 4 cardinal buttons on a D-Pad are represented with the numbers 4-Left, 6-Right, 8-Up, 2-Down. The diagonals are represented with the numbers 7-Up-Left, 9-Up-Right, 1-Down-Left, 3-Down-Right.

Below is a table showing the layout visually.

7 7 8 8 9 9
4 4 5 5 6 6
1 1 2 2 3 3

Button Representations:

  • P = Punch
  • K = Kick
  • S = Slash
  • H = Heavy Slash
  • D = Dust

The taunt button does not have a universal pre-defined location.

Special moves used more then one directional input. For instance, rotating the stick a quarter circle to the right 236 is represented as 236.

  • 236+K = 236K
  • 623+S = 623S
  • 41236+H = 41236H
  • 214+P = 214P
  • 63214+D = 63214D

Arcade Layout

There are five layouts that you can select when you are at the arcades: Type A, Type B, Type C, Type D, and Type E.

  • Type A is the standard Guilty Gear layout.
  • Type B and Type C are mimicking the BlazBlue layouts.
  • Type D and Type E are mimicking the Persona 4 Arena layout.
GGXRD Controls.png


66 = Dash (or Step)

Dashes move the character forward at a greater speed than walking. Hold 6 after starting a dash to run.

44 = Backdash

Backdashes move the character a preset distance and have some amount of invincibility.

28 = Super Jump

After a Super Jump, you can not double jump, but you can air dash. Pressing 27 or 29 will have you super jump diagonally in the specified direction. You can use any downward direction for the 2 input - doing 38 will still give you a Super Jump.

(In Air) 66 or 44 = Air Dash

Dash in the specified direction in mid-air. Air dashes quickly cover a lot space, but you can not block during the first few frames of air dashing.

(In Air) 8 = Double Jump

Jump again while in the air. Alternatively you can press 7 or 9 to double jump in the specified direction.

956 or 754 = Instant Air Dash (IAD)

IAD is a way to perform an Air Dash as soon as possible after a jump.



Command Normals

A command normal is performed by pressing a specific direction with a specific button. Every character has both a 6+P and 6+H command normal, and some have command normals with 6+K as well. It's up to you to learn the different command normals and the properties of each for your character.

GGXRD Command Normals.png
  • Most 6+P command normals has some form of upper body invulnerability and are useful as anti-air attacks.
  • Most 6+H command normals are slow, far reaching attacks.

Dust Attack

Dust attacks are performed by pressing the D button without inputting a direction.

Connecting a Dust Attack on your opponent will send them flying back into the air. After hitting your opponent, it's possible to pursue them in one of the two following ways:

  • Press 8 to perform a Homing Jump, chasing your opponent by leaping into the air. Causes the opponent to launch high into the air.
  • Press 6 to perform a Homing Dash, chasing your opponent by rushing forward. Causes the opponent to tumble along the ground. For a short period of time, landing normals during the tumble will reapply tumble, after which they will then cause an untechable plummet.

During either of the above, you can freely cancel normals into other normals for a short period of time.
If you perform a Homing Dash and the opponent hits the corner of the stage before the continuous tumble period ends, the opponent will wall stick instead, and normals will reapply wall stick for the remainder of the duration.


Sweeps are usually input with 2+D. Each sweep possesses different properties and follow-up opportunities so it's important to know what options are available with your character. Sweeps provide an alternative to Dust Attacks as they must be guarded against low.

GGXRD Sweep.png

Throw and Air Throw

In order to perform a throw, input 4+H or 6+H.

Throws are a strong tool in Guilty Gear to knock the opponent down, giving you the chance to set up a mix-up. Throws in Guilty Gear start-up in 0 frames and in cases of a throw vs strike trade scenarios, the throw always wins.

Note that holding the diagonals will not work when attempting a throw, it must be straight left or right.

Throw Clash

Throws can be broken by inputting 4+H or 6+H when the opponent initiates a throw.

When two characters attempt to throw each other at close to or exactly the same time, a throw clash will occur, pushing both characters away from each other and back into a neutral situation. As throws are instant and the window to break them is so short, this typically only occurs during simultaneous throw attempts. If you can anticipate the throw but don't have enough time to throw out an attack, however, this could be a valuable tool to break the opponent's momentum.

Special Attacks

Special attacks are attacks that require a more elaborate command input, and have unique effects and properties. These range from standard projectiles (Ky's Stun Edge) to invincible attacks (Sol's Volcanic Viper) to command throws (Potemkin's Potemkin Buster). Almost all special attacks are free, not requiring Tension or otherwise, but some characters have special attacks which change under certain conditions.

GGXRD Special Attack.png

One distinct difference between special and normal attacks is that specials always build some Tension, even if they miss completely. Special attacks also deal chip damage as well.

Overdrive Attacks

Much like "Super Combos" from other fighting games, Overdrive Attacks are attacks that usually cost 50% of your Tension Gauge. Each Overdrive Attack is character specific, and it's up to you to know what your character's variation does and what properties it contains. Once your life drops below 20% and you return to neutral (or if it drops below 10% regardless), the remaining life in the Life Gauge starts flashing. At this point, Overdrives will receive a 20% increase in damage, denoted by the message "HELL FIRE!!" appearing on-screen when one connects.

GGXRD Overdrive Attack.png

Burst Overdrive Attacks

In order to perform a burst overdrive, input the normal Overdrive motion but replace regular attack input with D.

Consumes 50% Tension and Burst
Burst Overdrive Attacks are an even more powered up version of Overdrive Attacks that cost 50% Tension plus your Burst. Each character has one Overdrive Attack that can be powered up this way, specifically their cinematic Overdrive. Burst Overdrives are fully invulnerable on start-up and may grant additional benefits depending on the character. On hit, they deal 25% extra damage and restore 1/3 of the expended Burst. Burst Overdrives also have a higher minimum damage than their regular counterparts, but the percentage varies on a case-by-case basis.

Instant Kill Mode

To active Instant Kill mode, Press P+K+S+H simultaneously.
Your Tension Gauge turns into an IK Gauge

Your character strikes a pose and the Tension Gauge changes to the Instant Kill Gauge, enabling the use of your Instant Kill Attack. In this state, you lose access to all abilities that require Tension, and all Tension that you accumulated upon activating Instant Kill Mode goes to the Instant Kill Gauge and starts to drain immediately. Once the gauge reaches 0, your character will start to lose life instead, as if you were poisoned. You may revert the Instant Kill Gauge back to the Tension Gauge by inputting the same command again, but doing so consumes all Tension.

Instant Kill Mode (Gold)

During match point, when your opponent's remaining life starts flashing, the bulk of Instant Kill Mode's activation will act as a super freeze provided that you have at least 50% Tension when you activate. This is indicated by the Tension/Instant Kill Gauge flashing gold.

When your Tension Gauge is flashing gold, you can combo into Instant Kills

Instant Kill Attack

236236+H during Instant Kill Mode
Your character's most powerful attack, instantly winning you the round if it connects. As soon as you attempt an Instant Kill Attack, the Instant Kill Gauge disappears, rendering it impossible to use Tension for the remainder of the round. It is therefore vital to only attempt an Instant Kill Attack if you know that it will connect.

If you fulfill all the requirements to trigger super freeze during Instant Kill Mode activation and then do so, it becomes possible to combo into Instant Kill Attacks, offsetting the Guts mechanic that would enable them to survive for longer at lower life values. The Instant Kill Attack itself will also have a faster start-up, making it easier to connect with.



Hold back or down-back to block high or low. Hold any backward direction to block while in mid-air.

  • High block will not block lows.
  • Low block will not block overheads.
  • Air block will not block standing normals and some standing specials.

Faultless Defense


4 + any two attack buttons (except D)
Continuously consumes Tension while in use

  • Faultless Defense pushes the opponent further away while blocking as well as negating chip damage and R.I.S.C. Level build-up.
  • Performing Faultless Defense in the air allows you to air block grounded strikes.

Thus you are trading Tension (usually an offensive resource) for defense.

Instant Block


Begin blocking just before an attack hits you to perform an Instant Block.

  • Instant Block reduces both blockstun and pushback, allowing you more opportunities to counterattack.
  • Instant Block does not negate chip damage, nor does it allow you to block "incorrectly". You must still high block overheads, and low block low attacks.
  • Your character will flash white if you performed an Instant Block, and the message "JUST!" will appear on screen.

Dead Angle Attack

While in blockstun, 6 + any two attack buttons (except D)
Consumes 50% Tension
Dead Angle Attacks are invincible attacks that can only be performed while blocking, dealing very little damage but knocking the opponent away. These are synonymous to Counter Assaults in BlazBlue or Alpha Counters from Street Fighter Alpha.

These attacks are used to stop an opponent's offensive momentum, but can be baited by jump canceling into air block. Dead Angle Attacks cannot deplete an opponent's life to 0, nor can any move that follows it in a combo.

Blitz Shield

Characters will flash blue when activating Blitz Shield. Costs 25% Tension.
Rejected! The opponent has been repelled and is now open to attack.

H + any other attack button (except D) (air OK) or 2 + H + any other attack button (except D)
Consumes 25% Tension

  • Blitz Shield is only active for a short period of time.
  • Blitz Shield repels strikes and blocks projectiles, but loses to throws, red Charge Attacks, and Overdrives.
    • Standing Blitz can reject attacks that can be blocked standing and projectiles.
    • Crouching Blitz can reject attacks that can be blocked low.
  • If you successfully repel or block an attack, the message "REJECTED!" will appear on screen. If the rejected attack was a strike or a projectile at very close range, the opponent will be forced into a stunned state where they will be vulnerable to counterattack!
  • If you successfully repel a strike, you regain half of the Tension you spent on the Blitz Shield.
    • The opponent can still perform their own Blitz Shield when in the stun animation! Beware!
  • A successful rejection now slightly refills the Burst Gauge.

Blitz Attack

Chargable, frame advantage and beats other Blitz Shield at max charge

Hold H during Blitz Shield, release to attack

  • Available only for ground Blitz Shield, not air Blitz Shield.
  • Continues to reject while holding H.
  • Upon glowing red, the charge will reject all rejectable moves until release, regardless if they're high, mid or low.
  • At max charge, the attack itself gains a greatly increased Attack Level and can no longer be rejected by a Blitz Shield.
  • On ground hit, causes horizontal blowback with wall stick in the corner at partial charge, crumples at max charge (or on Counter Hit at partial charge)
  • On air hit, causes horizontal blowback with wall stick in the corner at partial charge, floats with wall stick in the corner at max charge (or on Counter Hit at partial charge)
  • Partial charge version has 55% initial proration, max charge version does not prorate.
  • Steals a small amount of the opponent's Burst Gauge on hit.

For more information on defensive mechanics, see this page.

Other Mechanics

Roman Cancel

Press any three attack buttons (except D)
Consumes either 25% or 50% Tension
Roman Cancels are a very important mechanic in Guilty Gear. We will give a brief overview of it here:

  • Roman Cancels return your character to a neutral state.
  • Roman Canceling slows time briefly for everyone but the character performing the Roman Cancel, allowing them to attack in tandem with projectiles and close distance easily.
  • Can now Roman Cancel most attacks on whiff. Your character will have a red X over them when Roman Cancel is disabled.
  • Roman Cancels will be different colors depending on when you Roman Cancel:
    • Red when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in hitstun or blockstun. Costs 50% Tension.
    • Yellow when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in neither hitstun nor blockstun. Occurs during start-up and early active frames. Can also be performed in neutral or during movement options. Costs 25% Tension.
    • Purple when Roman Canceling while the opponent is in neither hitstun nor blockstun. Occurs during late active and recovery frames. Costs 50% Tension.
      (Some actions, such as specials with full invincibility on start-up cannot be Yellow or Purple Roman Canceled.)

Roman Cancels may sound very expensive, but they are very versatile and very much worth the meter; Roman Cancels can make unsafe attacks safe, extend combos, and be used in mix-ups or frame traps.

Psych Bursts

D + any other attack button
Requires Full Burst Gauge
Psych Bursts are an attack where your character creates an energy shockwave and blows the opponent away. Bursts can be used as an offensive or defensive tool depending on the scenario.

The Burst Gauge fills up very slowly over time or when getting hit.

Blue Psych Burst

Press D + any other attack button while blocking or getting hit to perform a Blue Psych Burst. Blue Psych Bursts blow the opponent away, allowing you to interrupt an opponent's combo or reset the momentum of a match.

GGXRD Blue Psyche Burst.png
  • You cannot use a Blue Psych Burst while getting hit by throws or Overdrives.
  • Bursts are strike invincible during start-up, but not throw invincible!
  • You are vulnerable while recovering from a Blue Psych Burst.
  • Using a Blue Psych Burst completely empties your Burst Gauge, but hitting the opponent with the Burst refills approximately 1/3 of it!

Gold Psych Burst

Press D + any other attack button while in a neutral state to perform a Gold Psych Burst.
GGXRD Gold Psyche Burst.png
  • Hitting the opponent with a Gold Psych Burst fills your Tension Gauge to MAX!
  • Bursts are strike invincible during start-up, but not throw invincible!
  • Unlike Blue Psych Bursts, you are still strike invincible while recovering from a Gold Psych Burst.
  • Using a Gold Psych Burst consumes approximately 2/3 of your Burst Gauge.


A clash occurs when simultaneous attacks strike one another.
GGXRD Normal Clash.png
GGXRD Danger Time.png

Clashes result in one of two scenarios:

  • Normal Clash: Standard clash like previous games where either player can cancel the clashed attack into a new attack.
  • Danger Time: Occasionally, a clash will automatically trigger Danger Time, denoted by a pause in gameplay as the background goes dark and a timer surrounded by warning stripes starts counting down. While Danger Time is active, damage is increased by 20%, and connecting with any Roman Cancelable strike on hit will result in a Mortal Counter: A special type of Counter Hit with bonus hitstop that triggers a proration-less slowdown and can be canceled into any action that a clash can be canceled into. Landing a Mortal Counter results in potentially massive damage, making it crucial to take advantage of this opportunity.

Taunts and Respects

Though it's not really "attacking", Taunt and Respect do have their uses.
GGXRD Taunt.png

All characters have both a Taunt and a Respect. To perform a Taunt, simply press Start (Arcade) or R (Console). Respects are performed by pressing 6+R (or 6+Start). Taunts can be canceled into into any attack after about half of the animation has played. Respects, on the other hand, can be canceled at any time. Both the Taunt and Respect can be used to give a false sense of vulnerability as your opponent may be lured into attacking. Since the Respect can be canceled at any time, it's usually the best choice for a lure attempt.

Performing a Taunt will raise your opponent's Tension Gauge slightly. Performing a Taunt at the end of the match after the opponent is defeated will cause a "Rakusyo!", which will give the other player 50% Tension at the start of the next round.


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