Dragon Ball FighterZ Switch Guide: 9 Beginner's Tips To Get You Into Top Fighting Form
Introduction: Don't Be Like Yamcha
When watching an average game of Dragon Ball FighterZ you might feel a bit overwhelmed trying to keep up with all the action. Though it features some of the most intense and over the top battles you'll find in a fighting game, the systems are surprisingly easy for newcomers to pick up. However, using the tools at your disposal effectively is another matter entirely. If you don't take the time to learn the fundamentals and understand the more nuanced mechanics, you'll quickly find yourself outmatched by some of the universe's most powerful fighters. Take it from Yamcha, you don't want to find yourself laying face-first in the ground, that embarrassment tends to follow you around.
GameSpot is here to offer up some beginner's tips on how to stay one step ahead of your foes, while also making sure you can be at the top of your game. It'll take a bit more than just sticking with the training and arcade modes to stay on the level of your opponents, but employing these tips will get you on the right path to becoming the Dragon Ball universe's greatest fighter.
Once you're done learning the basics of the game through this gallery, be sure to check out our feature highlighting all of the game's Easter eggs and references. For specifics on how to unlock some of the game's secret characters, check out our guide detailing how to unlock Android 21, SSGSS Goku, and SSGSS Vegeta. Otherwise, check out our Dragon Ball FighterZ review and our in-depth feature containing gameplay videos, essential news, and everything else you need to know.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is out now for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on what to expect, see our Dragon Ball FighterZ review, and be sure to check out our roundup of important details, guides, and gameplay for everything else you need to know.
1. The Fundamentals of FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ features mechanics that are commonplace in most other fighters, but there's still much to learn about this fast-paced game. In similar style to Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, DBFZ is a 3 vs 3 fighting game where you can tag in teammates and call in assist attacks. The team that defeats all three of the opposing team's members wins. FighterZ keeps its action at an incredibly fast and fluid pace, resulting in some dramatic and exciting moments for its fighters.
Here's a quick rundown of all the key mechanics, as well as arcade sticks, respectively. These are skills you'll need to know and understand in order to get on the level of the game's toughest opponents.
- Light attack (Y): Quick attacks that deal small damage.
- Medium attack (X): Harder hits that deal moderate damage.
- Heavy attack (A): Slow attacks that deal heavy damage and can launch opponents into the air.
- Special attack (B): Character-unique ranged or close-ranged attacks that deal swift damage.
- Assist 1 (L): Call in second teammate. Tap for assist move, hold to tag in.
- Assist 2 (ZL): Call in third teammate. Tap for assist move, hold to tag in.
- Vanish (X + A): Quick teleport maneuver that will bring your character behind the opponent for an unexpected attack from behind. Useful during mid-combo and for evading enemy super moves.
- Power Up (B + Y): When you need to build up Ki, power up to charge up your meters.
- Super Rush (B + A or ZR): A homing rush down move that will propel your character over to the opponent. Can be activated in air on the ground.
- Dragon Rush (Y + X or R): A short-ranged pummel attack that will send the opponent flying.
- Reflect (Back + B): Deflective maneuver that pushes back an enemy attack. Can parry common strikes, Ki blasts, and some super moves--but is useless against Dragon Rush and grab attacks.
2. Get Into The Training Mood
For newcomers and veterans alike, each fighter in the roster possesses a number of moves and skills that are easy to understand and simple to use; including a set of auto-combo moves. By consecutively pressing the light, medium, or heavy buttons, your fighter will chain together fast and hard-hitting combination attacks--some of which end with a super move. While these are useful in certain instances, sticking with them too closely can turn them into a crutch--thereby making you into predictable fighter.
Dragon Ball FighterZ offers many tools to allow you to dive deep into your favorite character's skill set to get an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses compared to other fighters. Mixing up your combo and super attacks will allow you to retain momentum and keep your enemy guessing. The Teleport technique, where you can instantly move behind enemies at the cost of one bar of your Ki meter, is very useful for setting up attacks and for otherwise avoiding enemy strikes. One quick and easy combo to work with is proceeding with an auto light series of attack, engage a teleport, continue with the attacks, and then call in a teammate's offensive assist to finish off the sequence.
3. Pull Out A Super Limit Break
Each character on the roster possesses unique moves and attacks that can deal quick damage in short bursts, or in long, dramatic attacks that deal catastrophic damage to the opponent(and even to the stage itself). For the most part, you can activate these supers and unique attacks by inputting the quarter-circle forward motion with your special attack button or both light and medium attack buttons. With that said, a number of moves in the average character's arsenal are situational, so it's best to take the time to learn what your fighter is capable of and how their supers can best be used.
Given the breakneck pace of the game, you may feel the need to bust out your big skills once you've got the Ki for it but it's best to to use them when appropriate. For instance, Android 16 possesses a grappler's moveset, requiring him to be in close-range. While he can be devastating up close, his moves won't be too effective when against a faster moving opponent with a ranged focus, so it's worth spending the time to get him in the ideal conditions before sacrificing resources for big moves. Be mindful of your character's moveset and feel out your moments to best use your moves.
4. Managing Your Ki
Ki is the lifeforce behind the fighters' most powerful skills. During battle, the Ki energy you build up can activate special moves and techniques that can change the flow of a fight. Once you've made gains, you can activate several super moves and techniques in a character's repertoire--most taking taking up to one bar of Ki, with others taking more. Building up Ki can be done in a number of different ways, which includes attacking your foes, dashing, blocking or receiving damage, and general movement in the air or on the ground.
Of course, if you want to gain bars of energy in a pinch, you can enter the famous DBZ power up phase by holding down the light and energy attack buttons. But as you probably expect, manually powering up will leave you vulnerable to attacks, which can be deadly when up against a challenging foe. While building up Ki is simple--and using up meter for skills is even moreso--in the heat of battle it's easy to lose track of your fighter's energy, possibly leading to some missteps when trying to activate moves without the required Ki. So always be mindful of your Ki usage and keep an eye on the meter.
5. The World's Strongest Team
With a solid roster of fighters spanning the history of the series, many fans will likely rush to their favorite characters to fill out their team of 3. While you can certainly get far with your chosen team, it's important to remember that certain character's skills and styles may compliment others more effectively. In order to succeed on higher difficulties or against skilled players online, team composition before a match is just as important as pulling off the right moves in a fight.
For instance, each character has a unique assist move when called upon, such as Adult Gohan's rising uppercut attack or Trunks' angled energy blast, which launches foes into the air. This can be especially useful for characters who have special attacks that can take advantage of airborne enemies. While certain characters have moves that work universally for all characters, such as Krillin's healing Senzu Bean assist, it's always best to think about how one character can compliment another in order to make a well-rounded and versatile team.
6. "We Gotta Power"
While you may have found a particular fighter that suits your style, it's best not to get too attached them. Given the fast-paced nature of the game, you may find yourself down a member before you know it when up against a skilled player. If you're getting the feeling that you've become outmatched or your character has sustained too much damage, swap them out for one of your reserve members instead of letting them get knocked out completely. Giving a character a break allows them to recover health from recent damage while on the sidelines.
It's also important to remember that your side-lined characters can still offer support via quick assist moves. By tapping either of the assist buttons, you can call in your respective members to throw in a quick attack or offer a support buff for your main fighter. This is especially useful when in mid-combo, or when you have an enemy pinned. But if you're feeling especially bold, you can call in an assist during a super attack, stacking damage from twin super attack. However, timing for the assists is always important. If you call them in at a time when you're vulnerable your opponent can land attacks on both your main fighter and assist character, causing damage to both of your fighters.
7. Rock The Dragon
In order to keep up with your opponent, sometimes you'll need to get up-close and personal. By pressing light and medium attack buttons together, your character will execute a short ranged dash attack known as the Dragon Rush. If you connect, your character will pull off a flurry of hits that will deal decent damage before launching them into the air.
While the Dragon Rush is a bit situational, requiring you to suss out a vulnerability in an opponent, it can be very useful when pulled off. Not only does it allow for an easy opening into airtime combat, but it also allows you to break through an opponent's guard. If you find yourself against a foe that's dug in deep, it's worth giving the Dragon Rush a shot to break them out of it. But be warned, if you and your opponent execute a Dragon Rush at the same time, both fighters will match their strikes--canceling out the move.
When things get tough, remember that you have a trump card at your disposal. By pressing light, medium, and heavy buttons together when the S icon under character's health is glowing you'll activate the Sparking Blast. In this special, powered up phase you'll receive an attack increase, recover health faster, get increased speed, and the ability to cancel out of most of your special moves by jumping or dodging--which can create fake-out opportunities against your enemies.
Interestingly enough, the Sparking Blast can be activated at the beginning of a fight. However, this would be a waste as it can only be activated once per fight. As your team loses members, the Sparking Blast becomes more potent. It's at its most effective when you're down to your team's last member, allowing the lone fighter the chance to turn the tide of battle.
9. Find The Dragon Balls, Look Out For Them All
As it goes with Dragon Ball, collecting the fabled treasure will grant a single wish to its user. This is absolutely the case in FighterZ, where both players compete to collect Dragon Balls by performing combos long enough to unlock a particular ball. Placed in a shared pool at the bottom of the screen, this creates a sort of meta-competition in the fight. The player with maximum Ki who collects the seventh and final dragon ball will summon Shenron upon finishing the last combo sequence.
When you summon the legendary dragon, you'll have five seconds to choose from four different wishes for your character. These options include reviving a downed character, granting maximum ki energy, restoring full health to your current character, or giving your character auto health-regeneration. While these choices may seem a bit simple, they can mean the difference between victory and death during an intense battle against a challenging opponent. Much of the focus will still be on the core combat--and seeing an actual summoning seldom happens in the common game--but the dragon balls are a game-changer, and can result in an amazing comeback for players skilled enough to collect them all the Dragon Balls.