Guilty Gear Strive: How 2 Get Good

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Guilty Gear Strive: How 2 Get Good

Trying Guilty Gear Strive and struggling to get into it? Don't worry, we have compiled a guideline that'll get you on the right track.

There are probably many, many guides out there that teach you all you need to know about Guilty Gear Strive. Breaking down each and every character in extreme detail and explaining every single technicality you need to know.

But as a new player, this can get overwhelming really fast and you'll eventually find yourself buried under a mountain of information you won't know what to do with.

So instead, we've curated a little guide of what you should focus on and how to get a foot in the door. And if you follow this throughline, you're well on your way to becoming a champion.

Or at least you'll know why you keep getting knocked down a floor in ranked play next time around. So here's how you git gud in Guilty Gear Strive (and other 2D fighting games).

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Finding A Character In Guilty Gear Strive

The journey of starting a new fighting game always starts at the character selection screen. Depending on your experience with fighting games, you might gravitate to one character or another.

If you just want to win, you probably want to pick the character with the most bullshit to win at lower ranks but you'll eventually be cooked by more experienced players.

So our recommendation is to stick with basic characters that are good at the neutral game, also known as footsies.

Both protagonists, Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske are exceptional characters to start out with. Both their kits have great tools for the medium and close range and relatively easy combos to start out with.

Another character you might want to try is Giovanna who also has a relatively basic kit to work with. The exception is only that she can cover ground relatively quickly by being very mobile.

The reason we recommend those three is that they all promote strong footsies and their way of playing is probably easiest to grasp for new players.

Sol is slow but strong, Ky is the happy medium with range and Giovanna is fast and nimble. All three make up the most basic characters without any gimmicks in Guilty Gear Strive

You don't have to stick to them once you're more confident in your abilities, they are just in our opinion the easiest characters to learn footsies with.

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Learn Footsies

You've probably heard the term footsies being thrown around in regard to fighting games by now. If not then allow us to offer a quick explanation.

In 2D fighting games like Guilty Gear Strive, footsies describe the neutral gameplay when two characters are just out of range from each other's attacks, poking away at each other to bait the other into opening themselves in any way.

While many beginners will confidently try and mash out the few combos they learned in the hope of landing a hit, this is rarely a great idea.

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Try to focus instead on learning how to punish and bait your opponent instead. Sure we all want to do the crazy hit-confirm combos that'll send the other party across the screen.

There's nothing more important than knowing how to react and punish accordingly in Guilty Gear Strive. But how do you do that?

A very basic tool is shuffling in and out of range to bait an attack and if your reaction time is on point you can punish a whiff (an attack missing) with a quick attack of your own.

It it's a heavy attack, punish it with a heavy attack of your own, and it's a light punch or kicks reply in kind. Of course, this can differ from character to character but mastering this will set you up for success.

On that note, you should also practice your anti-airs. Basically a move with lots of verticality or a quick attack that lets you punish your opponent if they're trying to attack with a jumping attack.


In Guilty Gear Strive, just like any other game of its kind. Knowing when to respect and when to disrespect your opponent's space is a core aspect of gameplay.

Or, to put it simply, learn the range of attack of most characters and make sure to be ready to block when you know you could be hit over the head any second now.

A good player knows when to shimmy in and out of their opponent's range safely without overstepping their boundaries.

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Focus on Basic Combos

This flows perfectly out of the footsies section. Guilty Gear Strive has this great mode where you can download other people's combos, and try to look up very basic ones that are easy to execute.

The ones you should focus on learning are combos you can perform after those punishes. These are safe bets to capitalize on your strong footsie game without overcommitting on something risky.

You should absolutely learn at some point more elaborate combos that you perform by going all in. But when starting out, your focus should be on a strong neutral game and landing those punish combos.

Don't sleep on Roman Cancels

While the Roman Cancel falls into the category of ‘advanced tech', it is something you should insert into your basic gameplay as soon as possible.

While it is hard to gauge when there's the perfect moment to use these to extend a combo or get out of tricks situations at first.

It'll be even harder learning everything else first and then trying to figure out what you're supposed to do with it.

The Roman Cancel section in the Mission mode is great when you're trying to get a grasp on it. Everything else is best learned in the heat of the moment.

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Play Against Real Humans

A frequent mistake new players make is thinking that practicing against bots is how you get good at fighting games. But in Guilty Gear Strive, just as in any other game of its kind nothing will ever replace playing against real people.

Humans are creatures of habit and playing against another person is a very different experience. A bot will not try and run the same 2 combos at you because a bot doesn't have any patterns you can learn and exploit.

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A key aspect of fighting games is the mental game that happens in front of the screen. Players, especially on a beginner level gravitate towards using one button or one strategy.

And learning those and getting used to these situations will make you a better player in the long run. This way you'll also run into really unorthodox strategies and combos, something you can't practice against a bot or in training mode.

Losing is Fun

One of the hardest things about fighting games is getting to a level where playing becomes enjoyable. That level is usually when you stop struggling with the controls and have a good idea of what you're doing.

This is why we compiled this little guide in the first place since it'll set you on the right track. But this last part is the most important one.

If you're just playing to win, you won't have a good time. It's very common in games like Guilty Gear Strive for a new player to get stomped by someone who's more experienced.

Instead of trying to win each and every fight (you should still at least try though) focus on growth. Getting your ass beaten is rarely fun, but if you're trying to learn from it you might prevent it in the future.

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Find People to Practice With

This is a bit different from just trying your hand at online/ranked play. Playing sets against players on your level or vastly more confident than you is the best way to get good at Guilty Gear Strive.

Of course, that's easier when you have friends who are already into Guilty Gear and are just looking for a sandbag to practice combos on.

Luckily there are also places like the Guilty Gear Strive Community Discord where you can find like-minded players to go up against.

Don't worry too much about the skill gap, more experienced players will likely point out what you're doing wrong. Because you being actual competition helps them get better, it's a win-win for everyone.

Learn to Love the Smell of the Game

The journey to getting good is hard and arduous. This piece is less of a step-by-step instruction and more of a general guideline. Not everything on here will apply to everyone but it should at least give you an idea where to start.

Today most fighting games have excellent coverage in the form of guides and videos or even apps that tell you all the frame data. Guilty Gear Strive is no different from that.

Try to also make a habit out of watching the pros play. It's important that you constantly visualize what is possible with each character and what kind of strategy you can come up with.

Getting good at Guilty Gear Strive simply means to understand how much you still have to learn.

There is never a point where you're good enough, as the skill ceiling keeps rising with players pushing the game to its limits.

For more esports and our recent impressions of Guilty Gear Strive, check us out here on ESTNN

Guilty Gear Strive: How 2 Get Good
Timo Reinecke
Has once claimed that FSH is the only job in FFXIV worth playing and stands by that firmly. Top Guy, Smart Guy, Educated Speaker. (sometimes) Writer of all things FFXIV, FGC, News, Reviews and More