If you’re playing Dragon Ball FighterZ, by now, you’re probably reaching the point where you’re ready to start doing combos and attacks on purpose, instead of just mashing the buttons and hoping for the best. To that end, here are some excellent and necessary moves you need to up the ante on your skill levels and begin the difficult training process leading to DBFZ glory.
For the purposes of this discussion, remember that the attacks are Light, Medium, Heavy, and Special, and they are mapped as East, North, West, and South, accordingly. The D-pad is Back, Up, Forward, and Down, with Forward-Up denoting the upper east quadrant, and so on and so forth. The Tag button is L1/LB (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, respectively). Also remember that the Back and Forward directions will be mirrored depending on which way the player character is facing; a Back-Up move, for example, will be Forward-Up if the player is facing right.
You probably already know this one, but it bears reinforcing and repeating. It is my personal favorite and it gets me out of a lot of tight spots, and there’s nothing like delivering a big ole basket of surprise on your opponent. Perform Vanish by simultaneously pressing the Heavy and Medium attack buttons. You will disappear and then reappear behind your attack and deliver a blow to their back.
This defensive move is especially important because it’s impervious to certain attacks, particularly airborne ones. While pressing Back and Down, also press the Heavy button, which will cause the player character to thrust upward, deflecting many otherwise devastating attacks.
This is an extremely effective defensive move…if you can pull it off. As with many advanced moves in Dragon Ball FighterZ, it will require a lot of time in Practice Mode. Guard Cancel is integral because it allows you to deliver a surprise counterattack with one of your team members. First make sure you are in block mode by pressing the Back button; when your opponent delivers a blow and your player character is in the stun animation, quickly Tag out and press Forward. Your summoned ally will appear and do some ass kickin’ of their own.
This move, performed by pushing Back and the Special button, isn’t just great because you can block attacks and push an enemy off of you; if timed correctly, you can also deflect missile attacks and send them flying back at your opponent, even powerful ones like Super Kamehameha. Learn it early, and learn it well. Defensive moves are just as important as offensive ones, and this one can be a little of both.
Did you know that while performing a Super attack, you can tag an ally and they’ll do one, too? Of course you did; it’s so easy, you can do it by accident. But what you may not have known is that you can also tag into a level 3 Super, dealing much more damage with your additional teammate. To do this, instead of just pressing the Tag button while in Super, press the Back button too, and your ally will go level 3 (note: you cannot be a level 3 Super and Tag into level 3 Super, it only works this way). You can also Tag into a Super even if you’re not charged into a Super at the time. Do this by performing a half circle on the D-pad while doing a combo.
Air dashing is extremely valuable. Not only does it let you close the gap and cover great distance with a simple double tap of the Forward or Back button while in the air, it also is very Dragon Ball Z-ish and makes you feel like a Saiyan. Perhaps more important though, is the Instant Air Dash, which lets you stay in tight and tucked around an opponent, with minimal air loss, allowing you launch an upper body attack from a better position (and quicker, too). To perform it, press Up-Forward and then Forward (or Up-Back, and then Back). If you’re having a problem with this, you can also do a Super Dash by pressing Forward and Special while in the air, eliminating the immediate need to master it on the D-pad.
This technique has a number of uses; its primary one is to slowly regenerate the blue portion of your health bar after sustaining damage. However it can also greatly increase the damage of each attack if they are performed while Sparking. When using Vanish, it’ll also prevent you from immediately attacking your opponent, which is helpful if you’d like to perform a more elaborate combo, or call in an assist. When performing a Super Dash, it will also eliminate the bounceback and allow you to use the move to push forward on, and hopefully corner, your opponent—if not keep you out of a corner, yourself. To active it, press all attack buttons. You’ll know you’re in Sparking mode by the red glow around the player character.
Holly Green is the assistant editor of Paste Games and a reporter and semiprofessional photographer. She is also the author of Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide To Video Game Grub. You can find her work at Gamasutra, Polygon, Unwinnable, and other videogame news publications.