All the tips you need on one handy post.
- Update (30/3/18): Added Broly and Bardock; scroll to the bottom for the two.
- Update (22/2/18): Added everyone else except for Goku Blue, Vegeta Blue, Broly, and Bardock.
- Update (10/2/18): Added Assist descriptions for existing characters (via AlzarathEX)
- Update (9/2/18): Added Majin Buu & Kid Buu.
So we played Dragon Ball FighterZ and we totally loved it, though we’re not sure how the network fights will pan out until it goes live this January 26. I’m sure a huge number of you, be it Dragon Ball fans or fighting game fanatics, can’t wait to dive right in.
Unless you were one of the lucky few who had time to play the closed and open beta sessions, chances are you have no idea who to start off with. Well, we’re here to help.
We compiled all the existing tips & tricks of this new fighting game all on one handy post from all over the interwebs so you don’t have to. We also have the hitbox/hurtbox for the characters listed here courtesy of SpicyHash. You are welcome.
Now go read this extensive list and then figure out who you should put in your three-man-or-woman-or-god squad.
Disclaimer: this guide covers half of the DBFZ roster. We’ll be updating this guide periodically.
- Super – Just like in any fighting game, Supers are attacks that use up your Super meter (ie the bar at the bottom left or right of the screen. In DBFZ, Supers are divided into Level 1s and Level 3s, with Level 3s doing massive amounts of damage -usually a signature move from the TV series. Some Supers can also be charged up by holding down/spamming the Attack button, making them even more devastating.
- Sparking Blast – Similar to X-Factor in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Sparking Blast gives a character increased damage and health regeneration for a short amount of time. It also levels up depending on how many characters are left on your team, and even add special properties to some of your attacks.
- Assist – Just like in Capcom’s Versus games, Assists come in for a short bit and perform an attack or special move that can benefit the current fighter on-screen. You can call them either with the Assist 1 or Assist 2 button. Higher-level players use this to extend their combo chain.
- Ultimate Z-Change – This move allows players to bring in another member of their team while performing a Super move. You can do this by pressing the Assist button while you’re doing your Super move. It’s the only safe way to tag in your pals without fear of eating a combo.
Overview: The “Shoto” of the game. He has great attack damage output, his specials are incredible in combos, and he can fit any team composition because of his all-purpose Assist.
Need to play keepaway? Just use the 236S Kamehameha special for extra hits. Need to extend combos? End your strings with 214L/M./H to keep it going and then end it with a Super level 1 or 3. Like footsies? Mix it up with his L and M autocombos to get the drop on them just fine. Check out the TrueUnderDawgGaming vid above; you’ll be picking them up in no time flat!
Best For: Anyone. He’s the easiest character to use; the “Ryu” of Dragon Ball FighterZ so to speak. His basic and special moves are enough to make him go offensive and play a bit of defence when being pressured by rushdown characters.
Assist: Goku does a Kamehameha. Good for horizontal ground control.
Overview: As far as rushdown characters go, teen Gohan is OK, though he has the size advantage to make up for it. His level 1 Super hits diagonally upwards, his specials aren’t safe except for his air “lightning legs”, and his reach is pathetic.
We’ll say this: he has the best invincible Assist in the game simply because it can open up combo opportunities for the point character.
Best For: Advanced players, preferably as an anchor. His lack of reach means that you need to cover more ground with him. But his Assist is what separates him from the pack, and he deals a lot of damage if you can time your combos right with him.
Assist: Gohan does an uppercut. Good stuff.
Overview: Adult Gohan is a complex character to use, unlike his Teen counterpart. He has a really good elbow smash move that is ambiguous and he can quickly descend to the ground with 2S to continue his ground game or continue a combo.
His gimmick, where he levels up by confirming a Level 1 Super, is where he shines. He gets a few more moves and even power up some of his existing ones. And when he powers up to Level 7, you can chain your attacks any way you want: you can go from M to L chain attack-wise.
But until you can land them and confirm, you’re sitting on a lot of unused meter here. Plus if your opponent is smart with his 2H attacks, you can’t get much out of his elbow smashes and lightning legs pressure game.
Best For: Expert players. Adult Gohan is a character that breaks some rules in DBFZ, which means that players need to understand the game’s mechanics before using someone as high level as him. He should be the anchor to a team, since you can build up more meter for him to exploit with.
Assist: Gohan does an uppercut just like his Teen variant. Just as invincible too.
Overview: The Prince of All Saiyans will be in your face pretty quick. He may be a rushdown character initially, but his projectiles and air fireballs will keep opponents grounded even for a short bit before he relentlessly barrages them again with his dive kicks and standard dash kicks.
His level 1 Super Big Bang Attack also come out just as fast (though with strict timing so you can maximize its use), but not as fast as his son’s. His anti-air can still be good for anticipating Dragon Rushes and punishing jump-ins, so in some way he can still play defence unlike other rushdown characters. His Assist downward air fireballs can definitely lay the pressure down for grounded opponents.
Best For: Anyone. Just go all Super Saiyan in your opponent’s faces and don’t let up. He has low defence, so just get your buttons ready for Instant Transmission in case you see a counter-attack coming.
Assist: Vegeta shoots a bunch of ki blasts in a downwards angle. Good for pressure, but can be Super Dashed through.
Overview: He’s got a sword, which means that his reach is pretty decent and his Heavy attack has great priority albeit a slightly longer startup. He can’t deal as much damage as his dad Vegeta and Goku, but he makes up for it with his wall bounce combos ala Sword Slash and his command jump.
His command dash to his flare attack is good as a combo ender. His Level 1 Super is really, REALLY fast and can be used as another combo ender even if your opponent is knocked far away.
Oh and don’t forget: Trunks can deflect projectiles with his sword.
Best For: Beginner to intermediate players. He fits well with any team thanks to his well-rounded moveset, and he can take point. Just don’t expect him to deal a lot of damage.
Assist: Trunks runs in and performs a large ground ki splash attack. Cannot be Super Dashed through and negates smaller energy blasts.
Overview: One of the series’ smart-mouthed punching bag characters in Dragon Ball Z and beyond (he was godlike in the OG Dragon Ball) is as chipper and as short as they come. You can direct his Ki blasts upwards or downwards to make your attacks a tad more unpredictable. You can use Solar Flare followed by an assist for a quick get-off-me move or even a Super follow-up.
But his gimmick is his Senzu beans, which recovers all blue life. The pattern is like this: 1 at either Assist 1 or 2, then 3 rocks at the enemy, then back to the Senzu beans. If one of your Assist characters is KO’ed, the bean bounces back onto the screen. You only have 3 beans, so make it count!
Best For: Intermediate & expert players. He needs to be in the middle or in an anchor of a team because he adds more utility in a team with his skills & Senzu beans. Whether it’s recovering your team’s health or just doing straight-up unique projectile and tricky attacks.
Assist: Krillin chucks a Senzu Bean, which fills up all blue recoverable life to whoever picks it up. The beans are limited, so if he runs out of it, he throws a ki blast instead.
Overview: The big bad of the first third of Dragon Ball Z, this galactic emperor alien is all about zoning and keeping his opponent away from him. His Earth Breaker and Death Saucer (watch out for the returning volley) can keep whittling an opponent’s life from afar, though he can still get his hands dirty with his Warp Smash.
His Level 1 Death Ball Super is good at Ultimate Z-Changing (ie the act of tagging in a team member while you’re doing a Super), but if you really want to see Frieza go nuts, get to Level 3 bars to transform to Golden Frieza.
He’ll get increased speed and power, but he’ll be in a recovering state once that Golden timer runs out. Protip: hold down the Ki button so that he can summon an underling to protect him while he’s doing that.
Best For: Beginner and Intermediate players. As long as you know when to play keep-away, Frieza’s a pretty easy character to master and use.
Assist: Frieza performs his Earth Breaker ki blast. Launches enemies on hit and cannot be Super Dashed through.
Overview: Given his origin and the fact that he inherited his fighting skills from his “dads”, it’s no surprise that Cell’s arsenal is a good balance of offence and defence. He can travel around the screen just fine with his Rolling Crush and he can end combos with Perfect Attack. His Energy Field Level 1 Super is the perfect move to tag in your teammates via Ultimate Z-Change.
And if your opponents back away from Cell, we’ve got two words for them: Telekinesis Crush. This on-the-ground grab attack can become a nasty surprise. Even without that, Cell is the everyman character you need to use in your team if you want to make it far in Ranked.
Best For: Beginners and Intermediate. Mr. Cicada Bugman here has all the right moves for starting players to exploit and master.
Assist: Cell does a Kamehameha in a downwards angle from the air. Useful in keeping opponents in blockstun and grounded.
Overview: The weakest link in the Z Fighters team is actually decent in this game, provided you spend most of your time on the ground.
His quick strikes are like Fei Long’s Rekka Kens: pressing the Heavy attack in the middle of these Rekkas will make Yamcha spend 1 Super bar to do a quick Wolf Fang strike attack that is fast, has the ability to switch sides on the screen, and make him recover quickly. Alternatively, you can just press the Ki button mid-Rekka to switch sides quick.
His Heavy attack makes him do a backflip before he lunges in, so when you’re doing auto combos or Rekkas, just put that in the mix so that you can bait your opponent into doing an unsafe attack. Just remember that he’s kinda crap when it comes to air options.
Best For: Intermediate players. He’s got the best ground mixups in the game, switching between highs and lows, thus making him a good point character while being backed up with decent all-rounder and zoning anchor characters.
Assist: Yamcha performs his Rekka Ken attacks. Doesn’t launch. This move’s best used in-between combos and as an extender.
Android 18 (with Android 17)
Overview: Android 18 calls on her pal Android 17 to do most of her Special attacks. If you use the Heavy Attack version of her call-in move, Android 17 will stand watch and counter any assist your opponent will throw at you. If you played Relius from the BlazBlue series, she’s pretty much similar in that regard.
Still, she is easier to use than that sadistic BlazBlue guy. While her reach isn’t the best, she is fast and she has good buttons for getting in, like her jumping H.
Best For: Intermediate to Experts. It’ll take a while to get used to combo into her Level 1 Super efficiently and how her Android 17 call-in special works. But once you do, she’ll be dealing loads of damage like nobody’s business.
Assist: Android 18 performs her barrier move. Absorbs all incoming attacks while it’s active. This is very useful if you can time it to your opponent’s attack pattern.
Overview: This big ginger-haired brute is the Zangief of the game; a grappler who does big damage with as little combos as possible. In this case, he can surprisingly close the distance easily. His moves are limited compared to the rest of the cast, but he does big damage with his unblockable grabs. Oh, and his foot stomp is useful in getting to the ground quick.
Thanks to his reach and height, he can also do a quick cross-up dash and connect with his L and M auto-combos easily at close-to-mid range. You may need help from your Assists if you want to keep your opponent in a lockdown though.
Best For: Beginner and Intermediate players. You don’t need to learn that much combos from him, but you do need to keep in mind that he’s a larger target than the rest of the cast. Still, you should put him as a point or anchor if you favour big damage over anything.
Assist: Android 16 performs his short-ranged ground blast thing. Doesn’t seem that useful unless you want to pop grounded opponents.
Overview: Frieza’s task force leader is all about his team pulling his weight. His Ki specials are basically extra assists that come out in this order:
Depending on how you use them, Ginyu can be a force to reckon with if you remember the order the force comes out. He has a body-swapping mechanic which has a long startup, so unless you REALLY know you’re going to nail your opponent with that move and if you really want his character, don’t bother.
Best For: Experts. Ginyu on his lonesome self is pretty slow and easily punishable, and really needs his Force attacks to keep enemies away or under pressure. Best to use him as a middle or anchor character in a team.
Assist: Ginyu performs a shoulder tackle. It’s not full-screen, so don’t go abusing it too much unless you want a dead Ginyu.
Overview: The series’ God of Destruction is an odd beast. He relies a lot on his Sphere of Destruction projectiles and mixups, in a game where a Super Dash can evade most of it if timed correctly.
The trick with Beerus is to find ways to knock down your opponent and then do the orb setups with him; think of him as a souped-up & easier version of Venom from the Guilty Gear series.
As such, you need careful planning to get those Spheres up, then play the chip damage and keepaway game. If you want to go full offence with him, just get some spheres up, then use God of Destruction Rampage and/or jumping 2H to keep moving forward.
Best For: Expert players. Beerus is definitely not a straightforward character to use, so spend some time in the training room with him before you bring him out in the wild. He’s better as a mid or anchor character.
Assist: Beerus kicks a sphere at his opponent. It’s a 2-hit attack and it has an active hitbox when the sphere appears.
Overview: The evil Goku plays like you would your Evil Ryu counterpart in a Street Fighter game: lots of offensive and mobility options but is built around the template of his all-rounder counterpart.
His God Slicer makes him move around the screen faster than most characters here (either on the ground or in the air). His regular Ki attack is a slow-moving projectile that works well with your Vanish technique if you can bait your opponents. Three of his Supers can be pulled off anywhere on the screen, and his Binding Black Kamehameha is just like Cell’s telekinesis. It’s a great move to catch opponents off-guard if they’re far and away.
Also, he has the best divekick in the game bar none.
Best For: Anyone, really. He has ground and air Supers, he has a pretty good moveset, and he can be a nightmare for footsies and zoning players since he has that tricky ground Instant Transmission command.
Assist: Just like original Goku: a straight Kamehameha blast.
Overview: He’s a big cuddly pink majin, and he’s here for a beatdown. Majin Buu hits hard and is kinda slow, but he has some zoning tools and simple keep-away moves to make him a viable point character.
Case in point, his Potbelly projectile attack that can create nasty stun setups for the opponent. And once you’ve done a simple combo, you can just cancel to his Level 1 Super that is criminally easy to connect since it hits the entire screen instantaneously.
Best For: Anyone who likes the medium range game. Majin Buu can’t beat rushdown and zoners, but he sure can play footsies well thanks to his moveset.
Assist: Majin Buu performs his Potbelly projectile attack. Short-ranged, but pops opponents for combo opportunities.
Overview: Perhaps one of the more technical rushdown characters in the game, this evil chap can pull himself closer and closer to you if you’re not paying attention to him. You do this by using his M attack; it doesn’t matter if he hits his opponent or not, he’ll still bring himself closer.
His 2M is a tricky attack too that can open up unaware opponents. Just combo that with his Chocolate Blast + Level 1, and you’ll be quick to establish your mid-range dominance with him. You’ll have to also get used to his other surprise tools like his Arm Ball and his Lv3 Super that combos easily from two hits of his 2M.
Best For: Intermediate to Expert players. Kid Buu has a lot of tools but they can get predictable. You can’t blindly go on the offensive unless you have a way to deal with an always-in-the-air opponent once he/she sees your 2M attack coming a mile away.
Assist: Kid Buu performs his multi-hitting arm ball attack. Good for keeping enemies in blockstun.
Overview: The sole Namekian of the group is one of DBFZ’s more technical characters who fare better in the midrange. Pressing any direction plus the Ki button makes him stretch out his limb to grab opponents for a combo. He can also shoot out a homing energy sphere that can keep opponents away, pressuring them to Super Dash through.
Good Piccolo players can then use their keepaway Level 1 Supers to punish them by surprise. When you get them to a corner, you can do sweet combos with his Hellzone Grenade Level 1 Super (see video above).
Best For: Experts. He’s way too technical for newbies to use for now. If you’re confident with DBFZ’s mechanics, he’s a better middle player than an anchor or point character.
Assist: Piccolo summons his signature homing sphere that always tracks his opponent. Pull it off after a knockdown.
Overview: The man with the third eye and suicidal white midget thing is an odd character to use. His ground 236 L/M/H volleyball move is a good move to press on forward -the M version can block an attack on startup. You can end the move with another button press if you want to put your opponent in a hard knockdown state, but you can choose not to, which means you can follow up with some tricky crossups or resets.
His pal Chiaotzu comes in as an assist of sorts (like Android 18’s bro) and can stun opponents for a short bit. It’s unblockable, but you can only do it twice and there’s quite a startup, so be careful.
His Level 1 and Level 3s are what sets him apart: Level 1 Tri Beam hits diagonally downwards and puts enemies in a hard knockdown at a cost of a bit of health. His Level 3 Neo Tri Beam can deal multiple chunks of damage, but you have to sacrifice a lot of your health and meter to do so. It’s optional, so if you can confirm a kill, just let loose. Just remember: he loses health permanently during a match.
Also, Chiaotzu can do a suicide bomb assist as a Level 3. You don’t get to use Chiaotzu again for the rest of the match, but it’s hard to dodge and is unblockable. Again, Tien’s all about making hard choices Super-wise.
Best For: Expert players. He may seem basic with his Special moves, but his Supers and his albino pal makes all the difference. He makes for a good anchor in a team; save up all that meter, tag him in last, then aim for a combo that ends with a Neo Tri Beam confirmed kill. In other words, the perfect finisher.
Assist: Tien fires his Dodonpa ki blast. It launches opponents instead of wallbouncing them.
Overview: This fusion abomination is quite the trickster. He has a ton of annoying and fast moves that can psyche opponents out and put them under a lot of pressure if they’re not familiar with him. His Vengeful Shout attack has a feint mode where you can bait your opponent into Super Dashing or just cancel it for advanced combos. His Galactic Donut can track and hit opponents who aren’t fast on their feet.
What makes this guy special is that he can chain his Dynamite Kick attacks together and use his Level 1 Super defensively. His ground Dynamite Kicks can combo into an air Dynamite Kick for extra damage, while his H Dynamite Kick can be used as a getaway tool in case your opponent blocks. His Level 1 Kamikaze ghosts can either be used as a tracking attack or a defensive shield; perfect for keeping enemies away even for a short bit.
Best For: Anyone, really. Just keep in mind that Gotenks’ damage output is not as good as some of the Super Saiyans on this list. Having said that, he’s a great addition to any team since he has a number of tools for doing simple combos and harassing your opponents.
Assist: Gotenks summons his Galactic Donut. Tracks opponent’s last position. Pretty damn good assist next to the two Gohan’s shoryukens.
Overview: Team Four Star’s greatest contribution in Dragon Ball history may be just like a heavy hitter with a Ki blast, but his Seiberman gimmick is not to be scoffed at. Yes, he hits hard and doesn’t need much meter to deal a ton of damage. He also has a dive kick move that comes with a feint to fake people out. And his charging Arm Breaker attack is an overhead.
To fully utilize his mixups , you need to use the right Assists (or just do a hard knockdown combo) so that he’s protected while he’s planting his Seibermen. These green anime abominations are like Gargos’ demons in Killer Instinct: they act as harassers and pressure-makers so that Nappa can go do his damage-dealing thing. Different buttons for this move creates Seibermen with different attack patterns, so mix them up so that your opponent can’t tell when and where to block.
Best For: Intermediate players. He’s not as easy to use as Android 16, but he does as much damage. His Seiberman gimmick does require practice and timing to be used to the fullest though. You have to remember the moves your Seibermen do so that you can coordinate your mixups with them.
Assist: Nappa does his Ki Blast exploder move thing. Very versatile and can use to launch opponents for further combos.
Overview: Shonen anime fan’s newest waifu and Tumblr obsession is kind of like Rogue from X-Men vs. Street Fighter, but not really. Her gimmick is that she can steal four kinds of powers from an opponent with a command grab called Connoisseur Cut (ground and air), and then use it to her advantage.
The obvious catch is that different opponents give different kinds of powerups. Just watch the video below on that timestamp for a lowdown on the 8 different moves.
Other than that, she has a versatile set of moves like her tracking Fake Shot unique attack, her dive kicks, and her super-fast and forward-or-backwards-launching projectiles. Her Level 1 Super teleports her instantly to where her opponent is, so it’s best as a combo ender regardless of where she is.
She also has great reach and good combo potential, even without absorbing enemy moves. She can be dangerous if she can fill out all 4 slots of her absorbing tech, but it really depends on who she’s fighting.
Best For: Intermediate to expert players. You will need to memorize which powers come from which character on the roster to fully maximize her potential. Other than that, she’s got a pretty solid gameplan in dealing damage and going right in. Best as a point or middle character.
Assist: Android 21 jumps in and fires a fast red projectile. Straight line; has combo potential.
Goku Blue (Goku SSBSS)
Overview: This Goku is more like an Evil Ryu counterpart than Goku Black is, because he has a ton of quick range-covering moves that get him close to his opponent. He has access to some very good mixups and some very strong options that typically safe on block. He has access to multiple different teleports, a decently quick standing low overhead mixup and an assist that covers a good portion of the screen.
Goku Blue has access to easy, high damaging combos, and has the tools to convert pretty much any hit into a full combo
Best For: All players.
Vegeta Blue (Vegeta SSBSS)
Overview: Unlike his SSJ counterpart, Vegeta Blue is a pretty balanced fighter. He has access to some very good mixups and some very strong options. Vegeta Blue has access to one of the biggest Aerial specials in the game, which is also his assist. This is great for extending combos, or disrupting your opponent’s approach.
Best For: All players.
Overview: This guy may not hit as hard compared to guys like Android 16 and Nappa, but the Legendary Super Saiyan with the green hair can really, REALLY take it like a champ. What he really lacks in mobility and continuous damage, he makes it up with his Green Barrier special and his quick one-two punch moves. You can pull off a simple L/M combo, cancel it to his Ki blasts, and then do a quick 236L/M: the damage on this alone is pretty decent. Mix it up with his 214 L/M/H to bait opponents into standing still while blocking.
Damage-wise, he can still do crazy high damage combos like the one below this paragraph. Protip: his 236L/M nets you a quick hard knockdown so that they are susceptible to your Level 1 and Level 3.
Best For: Beginner and Intermediate players. While he may not be beneficial for tier whores for now, Broly’s good at staying in the battlefield longer than the other fighters.
Overview: Goku’s dad is definitely the opposite of his DLC partner. He has a ton of combo and mixup potential with his Rebellion Spear 236 L/M/H. When blocked, Bardock ends up on the other side of the opponent, which means you can follow up with an Assist or another quick jump crossup. His Meteor 214 L/M/H ends with an overhead, so that will keep opponents guessing too if you keep them in a block string.
He has the tools to get into his opponent’s face quick, but he has no useful projectiles. In fact, his only projectile is his lance Level 1 Super; use that as a quick move to catch enemies off-guard.
Best For: Experts. While he may seem like an easy flashy character to use,you need to land all his strings to get the best damage output possible from Bardock. Also in a game where almost all the cast has a good zoning tool, he may be a tough nut to use.
Assist: He pulls off a quick Rebellion Spear.