With the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ, it’s now easier than ever to feel amazing in a fighting game. What could have been just a case of fan service is actually an incredibly decent fighter with technical depths for the pros and an inviting skill floor that lets newcomers fight flashy.
Of course with the ability to create 30-hit combos with one press of one button, there also comes the mentality that one could just mash buttons to victory. Mashing buttons is still fun in this game, and that’s okay.
It’s possible to do more as a button masher in Dragon Ball FighterZ, but the same rule still applies — if you learn the game, you’ll win.
We’ve put together a few different methods to take down that button masher in your life. They take some time to learn, but they’ll reliably get you that sweet, joyful victory that comes from downing someone who took the lazy option.
A “meaty” attack is something you do when you’ve had the opponent on the ropes, the combo ends, and you want to launch straight into another one.
You can do this by learning how much time it takes to perform your starting attack, and then timing that attack so it hits just as the enemy exits their invulnerable status.
This is what it looks like:
If you can get good at these timings, it’s brutal. A button-mashing enemy won’t know what hit them. They’ll think it’s luck — luck that somehow always favours you.
It effectively forces the opponent to block. If they don’t, they’ll learn quite quickly.
Once they’re blocking, you can try breaking their guard with an overhead attack or Dragon Rush.
Here’s a little secret about combos in Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Some combos are actual combos, whereas others are kind of weird half-combos. The latter variety are possible to break out of early, if you do a recovery. If you keep getting hit beyond that point, it’s your own fault for failing to recover.
Press the light attack button and any direction if you’re tanking a combo in the air, and you’ll do an air recovery in that direction.
You can also press a direction right before you hit the ground to recover instantly, which will let you block or evade if the enemy tries to perform an OTG (off-the-ground) combo.
Countering Super Dash
When a super dash is coming at you, there are a few ways to deal with it. Some characters like Frieza can create a wall in front of them with the press of a button. Others have a literal “counter” ability that acts like a parry.
For the rest of us, there’s crouching heavy.
Super dash makes it easy to close the distance between fighters, but it is highly punishable. At higher levels, a super dash across the entire screen is a horrendous, what-were-you-thinking mistake. You should punish this at all times.
One of the easiest ways to do this is popping a Down Heavy attack right in their dirty, super dashing face. In the FACE.
This has multiple benefits beyond the obvious one of winning vs a super dash. Being an anti-air move, it’s also great against jumping attacks. It’s a launcher, so you’re starting an air combo that you can finish with a hard knockdown (see more about those here).
There’s also a large window of time when you’re invincible during this attack. If they do their thing and you do your thing, it’s actually hard to time it wrong.
If for whatever reason you want to stop their super dash with something else, it’s also possible to time a standing light attack to bring them out of it, or some characters have ranged attacks that are quick enough to be feasible as well.
If someone has you trapped in a corner or is a little too close for comfort, there’s an alternative to blocking, that will actually push your opponent away.
Holding back and special button will “reflect” an attack. Whereas other fighting games might require you to perfectly time a press of forward on the D-pad, here you can keep holding back and time the special button. The window to achieve this is also much more forgiving.
Reflecting will create some space between you and the enemy, so you don’t have to constantly match low or high blocks to their sweeps and overheads. Reflecting actually covers both high and low attacks as well.
In every fighting game, you should work out what your Max Punish is.
This is whatever will deal the most damage possible — usually from a neutral position, but it’s also working out what this would be if approaching from the air, and other scenarios.
The idea here is that your opponent is going to make mistakes. They’re going to whiff an anti-air, or a super. All of a sudden the opponent is left wide open. What’s the maximum damage you can do?
This is where the hours in the training mode come in. That long combo you’ve been practicing now has its time to shine.
Button mashers, by their very nature, will make lots of mistakes. Especially if you’re using the above methods to shut them down. Having a max punish up your sleeve will make everything else more effective.
It’s likely your opponent might just stop button mashing and concede that it’s time to actually learn the game, because they know every little mistake will result in getting sucked into the most devastating combo you can muster.
We’ve talked a bit about combos here at FANDOM as well. Check out the below post for advice on how to pull off the most effective manual combos, as opposed to the auto combos caused by repeatedly pressing one button.