Welcome to the lesson of the Turtle Hermit School series on movement.
Applying consistent and varied movement will drastically change the way you play. Not only is movement important for opening up your opponent, it is also a key part of a solid defence. Sitting still and blocking is a good way to avoid damage temporarily, however movement is crucial or your opponent will find it easy to maintain the pressure.
Lets break down the different movement options at our disposal.
Walking is probably the movement method that is used the least, best for when you want to play patiently or inch closer to get in range. Walking backwards will automatically block attacks that aren't low so can be used to escape some situations safely.
Dashes are done by double tapping the direction you want to move. They are a very quick method of closing in on your opponent or creating some space. You are unable to block while dashing so use it with care. A well timed backwards dash can allow you to escape your opponent, poke with a heavy attack or a special move if they are being too aggressive. Backdashing can be an important tool for escaping pressure but only when used correctly (more on this in the lesson about breaking out of pressure).
Every character can perform a run by dashing towards the opponent and holding the button down after the second press. Running is a fast way to apply pressure and can be utilised as a long range dash. It does leave you vulnerable and I would personally recommend sticking to multiple dashes and aerial movement. Combining running with a long range assist is an extremely effective tool in the neutral.
Jumping is performed by pushing upwards. It can be done forwards, backwards or straight up depending on the direction held. Jumping is a very versatile tool and can be used to apply pressure, evade attacks and counter attack on the way down as well as to give you access to your aerial special moves. You can even block in mid air, making jumping a fairly safe option and an excellent way to avoid beam specials like the kamehameha.
Jumping again in the air allows you to perform a double jump, this has a few advantages. The main use is for altering your jump arc to keep your opponent guessing. It also lets you delay your return to the ground to avoid any attacks/ assists your opponent is using on the ground. It can also be useful in the neutral to try and meet your opponent in the air.
Air dashes are the bread and butter movement skill Dragonball FighterZ. They are performed just like a normal dash but while you are airborne. They are fast and relatively safe, you can be hit mid dash but you can block once the dash ends. This is an invaluable tool in pressure and in the neutral game.
It is worth noting that you can only perform one of either a double jump or an air dash before having to land, you'll have to choose which is most suitable. A single jump with a delay and then an air dash if you feel the opportunity to do so is a very common tool for movement, remember to hold back in the air as much as you can to block when able.
Instant Air Dashes
Behaves exactly like an air dash but is done extremely quickly by using a shortcut for the dash input. In essence you are just performing a normal dash but you are also jumping with the first press. So to use the notation in the guide at the top of the page, there should only be two inputs. 9 followed quickly by 6. This is quite tricky to do so if you are new I would recommend jumping and then double tapping for now but be aware that this is possible (and better in almost every respect).
Long jumping is a fun and effective way to travel across the screen. By performing a long jump into a double jump, you can travel across the entire arena whilst staying airborne. You perform them by running/dashing and jumping during the animation, you can double jump to get more distance or air dash for a short speed boost. Long jumping is my preferred method to close in on zoning opponents, but be careful of becoming too predictable. You are able to block whilst long jumping by holding back, making it very safe.
Teleports behind your opponent and strikes them. Performed with M + H. Not worth the meter to do alone in most cases but it's a good tool for escaping the corner, opening up a turtling opponent or sniping a low health character. In sparking blast, M + H can be held to omit the attack, allowing you to follow up with a move of your choosing.
There's a lot of different movement options and they all have their uses, when starting out I would recommend focusing on grounded dashes, air dashes (Instant air dashes if you can manage it) and double jumps. The rest all have uses but aren't as important as these 3 core tools.
Movement is trained quite easily through playing the game. It is important to make yourself comfortable with each of these methods as movement should become second nature as quickly as possible.