• 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. 

Basic Jargon

  • 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.

Characters

Goku (SSJ)

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.

https://gfycat.com/IdolizedSpitefulIsabellinewheatear

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/WYi28

Gohan (Teen)

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.

https://gfycat.com/AgedDirectFlamingo

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/YA8it

Gohan (Adult)

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.

https://gfycat.com/VengefulKindheartedBorzoi

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/UNpED

Vegeta (SSJ)

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.

https://gfycat.com/InfatuatedSimpleGavial

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/Ou8tB

Future Trunks

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.

https://gfycat.com/disastrousbossyisopod

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/Qjukv

Frieza

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/SsGQj

Cell

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/MUPXG

Yamcha

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.

Hitbox/Hurtboxhttps://imgur.com/a/E9PCh

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/JPDAU

Android 16

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/N2vby

Captain Ginyu

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:

Guldo->Recoome->Burter-> Jeice

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/M5ym4

Beerus

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/weqvn

Goku Black

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.

https://gfycat.com/ScratchyDapperEasternglasslizard

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/B7wkC

Majin Buu

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.

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/wHRjq

Kid Buu

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.

https://gfycat.com/CalculatingSimplisticHornbill

Hitbox/Hurtbox: https://imgur.com/a/LWHjg

To-Do: 

  • Piccolo
  • Tien
  • Gotenks
  • Nappa
  • Android 21
  • Goku SSGSS (Blue)
  • Vegeta SSGSS (Blue)
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