"It's over 9000!"
With one legendary line, Vegeta created both a seminal moment in Dragon Ball history and an internet meme.
Released about a week ago, Dragon Ball FighterZ is all the rage. Over two million copies sold worldwide with no clear end in sight.
The new title by Bandai Namco and Arc System Works is tearing up the sales charts and virtual arenas.
While it's widely considered as a relatively easier entry point for fighting game beginners—with the addition of auto combos, Dragon rushes and whatnot—mastering the different nuances can be complex.
Especially once you complete the extensive story mode which is ironically fluffed like the series it takes its material from.
Sure, some computer opponents might give you a run for your money, but online casual and ranked play is where it's at.
I'd like to preface this by noting that I am in no way shape or form a fighting game expert but merely an enthusiast who's been enamored with the genre since I first put my hands on Street Fighter II.
These tips are for beginner pugilists looking to ease the learning curve. That said, if you're already proficient at FighterZ you're more than likely not Googling tips and "gitting gud" in practice mode like everyone else.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here's my five tips to get over 9000 at Dragon Ball FighterZ.
5. Use Dragon Rush
Pressing Cross + Circle or R1—on PS4—will trigger a throw called "Dragon Rush" where your character will land a flurry of strikes and launch his opponent across the map.
From there, you'll eventually learn how to follow that up with proper air combos and cancel them into ultimates. But that's another article for another day. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
We're not saying you should spam the throw button, as a matter of fact don't spam anything. More experienced players will adapt very quickly and punish you.
What we are saying however, is use throws at opportune times. Practice the space needed for you to land the move and learn how to exude patience.
You'll eventually find an opening which could lead to lots of damage dealt on your end.
4. Be Patient
We mentioned it above and this is applicable to almost every fighting game out there, being patient is an integral part to finding success in online matches.
Mashing away at your pad or fight stick will likely lead to very one-sided results and another point in the loss column for you.
Like previous ArcSys games, the game rewards you for going forward by giving you meter. By all means, don't backpedal if you're more of an aggressive player.
However, you'll want to consider methodically picking your shots. Find your opening and be the one punishing, not the other way around.
As we mentioned above, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a more accessible title but that doesn't mean you should ignore the variety of attacks at your disposal. Patience and mixing up your approach will greatly improve your chances.
3. Punish the Super Dash
The Super Dash in Dragon Ball FighterZ is not only a homing attack, it opens you up and is a combo starter for your opponent.
At first glance it might be considered like a fantastic way to cover ground—especially when there's a large space between you and the other player.
It does exactly that when used at an opportune time. As we mentioned above, spamming it will eventually put you on the losing end.
Lucky for us it's a blockable attack but most importantly, it's also punishable with a Heavy attack—circle on PS4. If you land, hit circle again and respond with a dash of your own.
Your opponent will be in mid-air leaving him wide open for a punish.
The timing on this can be a little tricky but that's nothing Practice mode can't fix. Set the CPU to repeat the Super Dash and learn how to time it from there.
2. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
This tip comes in two parts—so really you're getting six tips out of this article, isn't life great?
First off, learn how to properly swap characters in order to manage their health, continue a combo or finish off your opponent.
If you haven't done so already, play the Tutorial mode—hell, play it two or three times if you have to. Just make sure you understand the notions.
Secondly, use Z assists wisely. Tapping L1 or L2—depending on what character you'd like help from—can be used for many different reasons.
Calling in Cell or Goku's screen-covering blast can help you cut space between your opponent. On the flip side, using an assist can also help you catch a breather when fighting uber-aggressive players.
1. Bread and Butter
You've started throwing other players, you've learned how to pick your opening, how to counter Super Dashers and have begun incorporating more assists.
None of the above matters if you're unable to attack. The best defense is a good offense, is it not? That's debatable but in your case, you'll at least want to learn a few bread and butter combos.
There are two ways you can do that, by completing the Trials for your favorite characters and most importantly by using YouTube.
Either watching character breakdowns or by simply watching others and emulating in practice mode, no method should be overlooked.
The latter will be a lot easier once the title starts being featured at major fighting game tournaments. Who better than to learn from than professional players?
There you have it, you're one step closer to 9000!