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This section is still being written. It may be wildly inaccurate or missing significant data.
Please feel free to make edits, but include edit summaries and sources where applicable.

Combo System


Characters fall at different rates when being hit in the air. In general, the heavier they are the faster they fall. Each character's weight class is listed on their page.

Gravity Increase
Characters also become "heavier" the more they are hit, making some combos impossible after a while.
Some attacks launch the opponent less high the more times they're used in a combo.
Ex: Ramlethal's Dauro launches the opponent less with each time it's used in a combo.


When being attacked, characters usually get pushed in the opposite direction.

In midscreen, only the receiver gets pushed back.
Once the receiver reaches the corner, the rest of the pushback immediately starts to transfer to the attacker equally.
When being hit in hitstun, the pushback from the new attack stacks with the remaining pushback from the previous attack.
When the receiver Bursts or Wall Sticks during hitstop, all pushback immediately cancels on both characters.
When crouching, pushback is slightly decreased.
Pushback Increase
Pushback of attacks gradually gets harder as the combo time goes, even the moves are exactly the same.
Pushback increases in both grounded combos and juggle combos, but the grounded one suffers this effect much more. This means to further extend a combo, it's quite necessary to launch the opponent into the air first.

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 InputIcon 5.pngGGST K Prompt.png > InputIcon 6.pngGGST H Prompt.png on crouching opponents, but not on standing opponents.
Counter Hits
All forms of Counter Hit except for small Counter Hits cause a slowdown on hit that persists even if the opponent is hit again during its duration, doubling all hitstun during that period. Mid Counter Hits cause 24 frames of slowdown (granting an extra 12 frames of hitstun on the initial Counter Hit), while large Counter Hits cause 34 frames of slowdown (granting an extra 17 frames of hitstun on the initial Counter Hit). Mid and large Counter Hits also alter the hitstop of the attack, allowing the attacker to leave hitstop one frame earlier than the opponent, a period in which the opponent cannot Burst.

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 cause slowdown if the opponent is within the range of the shockwave, doubling all potential hitstun during that period. Blue Roman Cancel causes 60 frames of persistent slowdown, Red Roman Cancel causes 40 frames of non-persistent slowdown on hit and 20 frames on block, Purple Roman Cancel causes 20 frames of persistent slowdown, and Yellow Roman Cancel causes 10 frames of slowdown on hit only.

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
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.

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 an invisible stun mechanic.

Each attack deals a certain amount of wall damage per hit. Typically 300-700 per attack and 1000 for a ground throw. Fully charged Dust Attacks and air throws deal 0 wall damage.

  • Total wall damage is capped to 1500 (50%) if the opponent is not near a wall at the moment the attack animation begins.
  • Wall damage is uncapped if the total already exceeds 1750. Dust Attacks and ground throws also ignore the cap.
  • Dust Attacks deals 200 extra wall damage if the opponent is touching a wall.

Wall damage continues to rise at a rate of 5 per frame until the combo ends. (e.g. The opponent recovers from hitstun or lands flat on the floor.)

  • If the opponent has at least 1500 wall damage, they will only receive further time-based wall damage if they are touching a wall.
  • Time-based wall damage is paused during hitstop and throw animations.

When a player is not being hit, wall damage is recovered at a rate of 10 per frame.

  • This is halved to 5 per frame while the player is touching a wall.
  • Blockstun and wake-up animations count as not being hit, so wall damage will continue to be recovered during them.
  • Recovery is paused during hitstop.

Recovering from a Wall Stick or a knockdown caps wall damage to 2500. Recovering from a Wall Break or a Homing Jump combo will reset wall damage to 0.

The current amount of wall damage can be discerned to some extent by the size of the crack in the wall.

  • 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.

Note that against a grounded opponent, the wall damage dealt by an attack is not actually counted until you hit the opponent again.

Wall Stick
A launched opponent will stick to a wall on contact if they have at least 3000 wall damage after being hit.
A grounded opponent will only stick if they already had at least 3000 wall damage before being hit.
Certain attacks will never cause a Wall Stick, a Wall Break, or both (e.g. Red Roman Cancel).
Wall Break
Regardless of the kind of Wall Break, the defender takes 50 base damage, both characters end up mid-screen and the attacker gains Positive Bonus.
This damage is not affected by R.I.S.C. Level or proration, but is affected by defense modifiers and Guts.
Normal Wall Break
Breaking the wall with a normal or special attack results with both players recovering from the Wall Break at the same time.
It's functionally the same as a round start, so characters with good round start options will generally be stronger.
Overdrive Wall Break
Most Overdrives will break the wall regardless of wall damage.
Breaking the wall with an Overdrive knocks the opponent down after the Wall Break rather than resetting both players to a neutral state.
The knockdown is about +36, giving the attacker plenty of time to continue their offensive.

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.

The R.I.S.C. Level Gauge is located directly underneath your character's Life Gauge and it directly affects damage scaling.

The R.I.S.C. Level rises each time an attack is blocked using a regular block or Instant Block. Using Faultless Defense or Instant Faultless Defense prevents the R.I.S.C. Level from increasing. Once you stop blocking, or if there is R.I.S.C. left over after taking a hit, the gauge will slowly drain after a short period of time. Attacks with a higher Attack Level build more R.I.S.C. than attacks with a lower Attack Level, and some characters have their R.I.S.C. Level increase faster than other characters.

Getting hit lowers the R.I.S.C. Level. If the R.I.S.C. Level drops below values represented on the gauge, negative damage scaling will start to take effect, decreasing damage. The amount of negative scaling differs from move to move and the effect is cumulative through the entire combo. Once the combo ends and the opponent leaves hitstun, if the R.I.S.C. Level was in negative values, it returns to zero and damage scaling is reset.

Please note that in this game, multi-hit attacks only lower R.I.S.C. Level once and any damage scaling caused by R.I.S.C. Level reduction from the hit in question does not apply to subsequent hits of the same attack. This is another factor that contributes to the game's generally high damage.

When Empty
If R.I.S.C. Level is at zero, R.I.S.C. Level negative damage scaling does not come into effect until it enters negative values.
If R.I.S.C. Level is in negative values (not represented on the gauge), R.I.S.C. Level negative damage scaling starts to take effect.
When Partially Filled
R.I.S.C. Level negative damage scaling does not come into effect until the R.I.S.C. Level enters negative values.
When Full (Red w/Flashing Warning Sign)
R.I.S.C. Level negative damage scaling does not come into effect, and the next hit is a guaranteed Counter Hit.
If the hit is a strike, it becomes a strong Counter Hit unless the strike locks the opponent's position or leads into a special cinematic state on hit.
R.I.S.C. Counter Hits deal 10% additional damage in addition to the standard 10% damage increase of all Counter Hits.

Proration is still applied in combos regardless of R.I.S.C. Level. The R.I.S.C. Level slowly empties while the character is in a neutral state.


Proration is a percentage-based damage modifier applied to certain attacks independently of other forms of damage scaling in order to reduce the damage of certain combos for the sake of game balance. Proration comes in two varieties: Initial proration and forced proration.

Initial Proration
Factored in only when the first attack of a combo is done with an attack with this property, prorating all subsequent attacks in the combo.
Generally applied to quick attacks that are common as pressure or mix-up (particularly lows), as a way to balance their speed and keep damage reasonable in situations where the opponent's R.I.S.C. Level is likely elevated.
Forced Proration
A more harsh version of initial proration, prorating all subsequent attacks in a combo no matter what. For example, all normal throws have forced proration.

Proration does not stack, as lower percentages overwrite higher percentages. An exception to this is the forced proration caused by certain types of Roman Cancel slowdown, which apply separately to other forms of proration temporarily.

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 either 60% or 100%. Attacks that deal 100% damage OTG are typically attacks that swing downward, towards the ground.

Note that unlike other forms of damage reduction, this modifier only applies to the hit in question, subsequent hits use their own modifier even if the percentage is higher.

Minimum Damage

Overdrives deal a minimum of 20% of their base damage. This damage is not affected by R.I.S.C. Level or proration, but is affected by defense modifiers and Guts.

Guts and Defense Ratings

All characters have 420 life. Depending on how much life a character has left, there are different levels of damage scaling. This damage scaling is different than the type given by the R.I.S.C. Level; both affect damage scaling at the same time.


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.
    • This concept is similar to doing big damage combos when the opponent is near Awakening status in the Persona Arena series.
  • Chip damage is unaffected by Guts, meaning it effectively does more damage when life is low.
  • Life gain effects (Faust's healing items) and life drain effects (Nagoriyuki during Blood Rage) are also unaffected by Guts.

Character Defense

Guilty Gear has character-specific defense and Guts. The chart below shows each character's defense modifier and Guts Rating.

As you can see, Chipp's defense modifier is the largest and Potemkin's defense modifier is the smallest (excluding Giovanna with 100% Tension). This means that an attack that inflicts 100 damage on Ky (x1.00) would inflict 126 on Chipp (x1.26) and only 93 on Potemkin (x0.93), assuming Guts is not a factor.

Character Defense Modifier Guts Rating
Anji Mito 1.06 5
Axl Low 1.07 1
Chipp Zanuff 1.26 4
Faust 1.01 0
Giovanna 1.03 1
Giovanna (100% Tension) 0.93 1
Giovanna (50~99% Tension) 0.97 1
Goldlewis Dickinson 0.96 3
I-No 1.06 1
Jack-O 1.11 2
Ky Kiske 1.00 2
Leo Whitefang 1.00 3
May 1.06 4
Millia Rage 1.18 2
Nagoriyuki 0.96 4
Potemkin 0.93 3
Ramlethal Valentine 1.06 1
Sol Badguy 0.98 2
Zato-1 1.07 0

Effective Health (EHP)

Effective Health measures the raw amount of damage a character can take, taking Guts and the defense modifier into account. Values are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Effective Health
Character Defense Guts Effective Health %Median
Anji 1.06 5 553 104%
Axl 1.07 1 485 91%
Chipp 1.26 4 449 84%
Faust 1.01 0 502 94%
Giovanna 1.03 1 504 95%
Giovanna (50~99% Tension) 0.97 1 535 100%
Giovanna (100% Tension) 0.93 1 558 105%
Goldlewis 0.96 3 571 107%
I-No 1.06 1 489 92%
Jack-O' 1.11 2 480 90%
Ky 1.00 2 533 100%
Leo 1.00 3 548 103%
May 1.06 4 534 100%
Millia 1.18 2 452 85%
Nagoriyuki 0.96 4 590 111%
Potemkin 0.93 3 589 111%
Ramlethal 1.06 1 489 92%
Sol 0.98 2 544 102%
Zato 1.07 0 474 89%

Other Damage

Chip Damage
When special moves and Overdrives are blocked, they deal a percent of their base damage as chip damage to the opponent.

For most specials and Overdrives, the chip damage they deal on block is 25% of the attack's base damage, but some attacks do unique amounts of chip damage. For example Sol's Fafnir does 50%. Nagoriyuki's normals that reduce the Blood Gauge on block also deal a small amount of chip damage.

Any chip damage that would K.O. a defender with 2 or more life will reduce their life to 1 instead. That means chip damage can only kill someone if they are exactly at 1 life. 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 life and immediately deal the fatal hit of chip damage.

Wall Break Damage
When breaking the wall, the defender takes 50 base damage.

This damage is not affected by R.I.S.C. Level or proration, but is affected by defense modifiers and Guts.

Life Drain
Nagoriyuki's life drain during Blood Rage is unaffected by Guts. It also can not K.O. himself.

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.