How To Start
The most important thing is to not worry that much in the beginning.honestly, fighting games are all about feeling out the roster and having fun when you're just starting out. hit some buttons, do some specials, throw some raw supers, and just try to understand what you're doing on a basic level
once you've hit enough buttons to be satisfied and the goblin in your brain is academically aligned, the next step is finding a main. your main is, generally, a character(s) that you'll play for the majority of your time with the game to learn their full capabilities. don't be pressed to find a main as soon as you start, and if you're indecisive, keep having fun until you can settle down. it took me a long time and i still ended up picking two
Resources based on my opinion of the game to help you pick a character you likeThe entire roster, listed based on their Biggest Hurdle, their Playstyle, and What Makes Them Fun Sol Badguy Can be Faultless Defensed, I guess Aggressive all-rounder If you've ever heard "unga bunga", Sol is one of many progenitors Ky Kiske Poor frame data (gets punished and has to try to stay safe) All-rounder Universally useful tools that lead to fun, diverse ways to play the character Chipp Zanuff Worst HP in the game and high skill ceiling Rushdown ALPHA BLADE
The sort of character where learning exactly what to do can make things even more fun May Charge reliance for combos All-rounder with weak projectiles Use the Dolphin and feel dopamine rush to the brain Millia Rage High skill floor, fragile Mixup/rushdown If Millia knocks you down a single time and she knows what she's doing, the game ends. Being the person to end the game can be pretty satisfying Nagoriyuki Blood Gauge, slow One-Shot Two characters in one with how Blood Gauge changes his playstyle, Nago's combos are extremely cool-looking and technical Jack-o' High skill floor and struggles against knowledgeable players Mixup/puppet Jack-o's setups take a lot of time to learn and, in the end, can be extremely satisfying to pull off. Locking down the opponent can be very fun for you Zato-1 Is Zato-1, the local puppet character Puppet Despite how incredibly hard Zato is and always will be, he is so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ cool and doing things will never not be cool I-no Fragile, fights against normal fighting game muscle memory Mixup/rushdown A similar game plan to Millia but with more emphasis on the opponent. Break their spirits with 9 overheads Happy Chaos Very very fragile, technical zoning Zoner/midrange He has a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ gun I can't sell that more honestly Baiken Low DEF and struggles to stay safe All-rounder/rushdown Her combos can be seriously satisfying, and both of her supers look sick as hell Anji Mito Loses harshly to grappling and has subpar defenses All-rounder/mixup Most of Anji's pressure isn't true, so getting into the opponent's mind can make a match feel great to play Leo Whitefang Charge fireball and slow dash Rushdown Reread Sol's note Faust Local low-tier Zoner/Faust Item throws activate your neurons Axl Low Poor mid-range and technical combos Zoner Keeping the opponent boxed out and punishing their attempt to get in with a meaty combo is very, very gratifying Potemkin Slow and very, very big Grappler Potemkin Buster Ramlethal Valentine Poor reward at max range, without swords she basically loses Mid-range The fun from playing her is winning (and Bajoneto I guess) Giovanna No real strengths Rushdown Throw somebody enough that the real mixup is how long it'll take for them to just get hit instead Goldlewis Dickinson The Secretary of Absolute Defense has the worst defenses in the game Rushdown Down With The System So, you picked somebody!while this guide is meant to help newer players get started, i'm not some expert who can tell you how to immediately prioritize your time spent with the game and help adjust your mindset moving forward. for now, keep these main tips in mind and just try to get some matches in:
Don't wake up and Throw, it loses to a lot of the opponent's options and isn't worth the payoff
Don't be afraid to Block. Sometimes, it's just not your turn
Never do the same thing over and over when you make your opponent block. Even if it's not safe, you'll never make them stop blocking if you don't try something new
Don't sit on Tension (unless you're playing Giovanna). If you think you've got to spend it, just spend it
Take breaks whenever you need them. Fighting games can wear you out, and going on a losing streak can be demoralizing. Take a deep breath and come back later.
How To Improve (Floor 8/9)
Once you reach Floor 8 or 9, you'll likely end up stonewalled.it happens to everybody at least once. this is where a lot of players might plateau (feel as if their growth has flattened), as a lot of their bad habits have been permanently ingrained into their play-style and are therefore constantly exploited by their opponents (who have bad habits of their own you might not be able to recognize)
now don't take this the wrong way; even among the best, all players have weaknesses. however, at this point it's so pronounced in your play-style that it can be easily recognized within a 3 match set and is keeping you from moving on. at times like this, throwing yourself at that brick wall until it breaks will just end up with a short-lived rank-up. let's break things down:
A List of "Why am I losing?" Are you not blocking on wakeup? It might sound like a redundant question, but always challenging on wake-up with a DP, Throw, or fast button will let the opponent read you like a book. Hell, if you always wake up and jump backwards, you'll probably get Air Thrown or worse. Sometimes, sitting there and blocking it out is the way to go.
Are you only blocking on wakeup? In contrast to the above point, you can't just always respect the opponent's okizeme (wake-up pressure). Now, if your character has poor defensive wakeup options (such as Chaos), then sitting there might be one of your only valid options. So, mix up sitting there. Block and jump back (chicken blocking) then air-dash over the opponent if they don't chase you, or find a good spot and button to poke out with buttons such as 2P or 2K.
Is your pressure not up to par? Even if the rest of your game plan is solid, letting your opponent live longer than they should is a serious problem. Are you playing a character like Baiken or Millia, but don't know or have confidence in your mix-ups? This is a good time to look at your matches and see if the people you're fighting aren't getting hit when you make them block.
Is your combo game not up to par? Arguably one of the most important parts of Strive is making sure that your hits hurt more than the opponent. If you play your ass off in every other aspect of the game but you only hit the opponent for 10% or 15% every time you hit them, you'll lose more on average because the opponent knows what they're doing.
Do you have the match-up knowledge you need? If you're being gate-kept out of higher floors by unfamiliarity, join the Strive Resource Hub[discord.gg] and ask away about what you don't know. Alternatively, go to another FGC server with very active players (such as Sajam's server, Hoop Squad[discord.gg] ) and take some matches where you can. The best way to learn is to ask.
Do you have character familiarity? If you've been struggling to settle down with a character, that can definitely weigh you down. One of the most important things moving through Tower is that you have to pick one to two characters and try to stick to your guns, even if it might be hard to stay that loyal when you get your ass kicked. The more often you switch characters just to try and mix things up, the more likely you are to get worst in the process.
A List of Ways to Stop Losing (per the above) Find somebody who plays a character you struggle against and play a long set. Whether it's a friend or somebody from a Discord server, they'll be able to offer you real advice about how you're playing and the ways you can adapt in order to perform better overall. As an example, if you play Axl and lose to Sol a lot, then they might tell you to use more 2K and Rainwater in order to box out his close-range approach.
Use the Combo Maker feature. There are tons of people who are more familiar with their character than you probably are, but Strive has one of the best features in fighting games; the Combo Maker. It's a massive community conglomerate of combos and setplay, letting you pick up and learn almost anything you've been struggling with. If you don't have confidence in labbing it out, this is your go-to.
Don't feel obligated to play more... but play more. By playing often, you build muscle memory and better understand what you and the opponent are doing. I really don't recommend playing for hours on end unless you're doing a longer set, but maybe a few matches per day or week would keep your wits sharp.
Familiarize yourself with the game. There's probably something you don't know about the game, even if you think you're pretty aware of how things work. Take some time to look at whatever you might be overlooking, and get used to universal mechanics that you don't normally use (something a lot of players initially overlook is the Blue Roman Cancel, which is extremely potent for neutral and pressure!)
How To Keep Improving (floor 10, 10.5, So On)
One step at a timeyou've made a lot of progress to get here, and this is where a lot of players plateau again, myself included. you've been playing for so long that your bad habits are now very very ingrained, and you're having a lot more trouble pinning down areas for growth like you might have before. refer back to the Losing points from before, and when that probably doesn't help, here are some more particular points
Are you using Roman Cancels effectively? Depending on your character, Roman Cancels range from often necessary (such as Ky, Faust, and Potemkin) to almost optional (such as Anji, Sol, and Goldlewis). However, everybody benefits from solid use of PRCs and YRCs, without exception. Incorporate Roman Cancels into every part of your applicable game plan, and don't sit on Tension without a very good reason.
Do you know when to use Faultless Defense? Some characters solely benefit from the opponent's use of Faultless Defense (i.e. FDing Ky's attacks such as Dire Eclat or Stun Dipper remove your ability to punish them) while, for others, it's a critical weakness of their game plan (i.e. Goldlewis effectively wins the game once he gets in, unless you use Faultless Defense to get him away from you). Using it alone isn't enough; it has to be used intelligently and consistently. Oh, don't forget that you can still be thrown. Usually, when people start FDing, being thrown doesn't cross their mind since they're trying to push the opponent out.
Do you know your wincon well? Every character in Strive has a "win condition" of some kind. For Sol, if he gets you into the corner, his mix is suffocating and powerful. For Zato-1, if Eddie crosses to your opposing side, you can't stop his vortex. Even for characters like Faust, once he gets momentum of the match, he can use his often wacky-looking mixups and item awareness to seal it out. All of these, however, require knowledge in one way or another. Zato-1 has to learn how to cross Eddie through you consistently and threaten you into not stopping him. Sol has to learn where he can Fast RC for a mixup, and how he can push you into the corner consistently. Faust has to understand the risks of what he's doing and how to exploit the opponent's possible answers. Some characters have very obvious wincons, like Millia, and others like Anji might look aimless at a first glance. Even if you know what you might be doing, refresh yourself.
Remain positive. The hardest part. Just because you're losing, or you feel like you're not going anywhere, doesn't mean you're awful. In fact, to have gotten as good as you have, you've definitely put in a lot of effort. You're likely better than a majority of the player base, and you're not alone in this experience. Keep learning, keep playing, and remember that others are here for you to lean on them while you get better.
A Conclusioni don't actually have much to add here. steam guides can be incredibly helpful or worthless, but i think both are better if they're compact and get a very clear point across. i don't expect this to help everybody that sees it, so below I'll link additional resources to help you further understand Guilty Gear -Strive- as you get introduced to it
Extra resources (I actually want to keep this guide brief, despite how dense some of this is)RathFGC's Beginner Guide to GGST
rooflemonger's GGST Beginner Guide
jmcrofts's 7 GGST tips
TEACH ME Series by King Jae
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