Hi everyone! There is a lot to learn when trying to get good at Dragonball FighterZ. So much so that it's difficult to tell where you should start and what you should focus on. In this guide I'll be covering what I believe to be the best path to Supreme Kai rank. I'll also be including links to relevant content as I go.
Before doing anything you'll need to pick the characters you want to play. Early on you're really free to pick any team you like. Just pick 3 characters you like or enjoy from the show and go to town. Even at high levels, you can make any team work.
If you're looking for something a bit more structured, I've put together some resources to help new players build fun and effective teams, I would also recommend my starter team guide which has a recommended team and a guide on playing it.
Before I go into the specific tools and techniques I want to cover the mindset you should try and have while exploring the game. It's a very subjective topic but here are some recommendations I have:
Be prepared to lose - This is something that everyone will tell you, and for good reason. This genre is a really hard nut to crack and a lot of the time you'll be matched against people further on the path than you. It's impossible to win every game so just do your best and focus on playing your way.
Decide on your own victory condition - When I play, I rarely base my performance solely off whether I won or not. You get to decide what you count as a win, whether it's landing a crazy combo or mixup you saw on twitter or taking out a particular member of your opponents team. If you are horrendously outmatched then focus on applying the techniques you've learned as well as you can and set your own win conditions.
Play whoever you like - Team building is an important element and a lot of fun but if you're learning the game, you should focus on experimenting with characters you like, either in game or from the series. You can always get more serious later on. For those of you who want a more structured learning experience, I have put a starter team and guide together.
Training mode is your greatest ally - Practicing tools and techniques in training mode before taking them online is absolutely crucial. Even experience players will test things out in practice mode first before using them in-game. You don't need to spend hours and hours in training mode but even as little as 10-15 minutes every day will help you improve and maintain your skills. You should also get in the habit of training while in matchmaking.
The 5 Fundamental Skills for Online Play
There's a lot to learn in this game so often the way to get better is not to pile on new tools but to perfect existing ones. Here is the basic foundation I recommend everyone have before setting foot online.
These are what I consider to be the 5 core disciplines for playing online. These are the first 5 things I would recommend players learn and until you reach a point where these all feel natural to you, I would recommend not adding anything else. I would actually recommend not going online at all until you are somewhat comfortable with all 5 but it's up to you.
Forward dashes to close in, either on the ground or in the air (IAD if you are already comfortable), jumping forward and holding back is a great option if your opponent is using a lot of super dashes. Super dashing outside of a combo is strongly ill advised, it's an excellent tool but using it too early will form a habit that is very hard to break.
When blocking your opponents attacks, block low when your opponent is on the ground or high when they're in the air. Do nothing else and wait for them to stop or do something you know is unsafe before attempting to move again.
Below are two videos on defence, the left one is about breaking out of pressure and the right is about wakeup options. Don't worry about deflecting out of pressure for now but recognising your opponents dead ends is important. As for the video on recovery, just focus on the section about your recovery options, I'd recommend applying either a down tech or up tech every few knockdowns.
The above lessons cover combos and blockstrings, if you're new to the genre start out extremely simple. For most characters you should use 5L > 5L > 5M > 5M > 5H as your go to blockstring. On hit, follow up with a super dash and an air combo or Assist > 5S if they block it.
This string is absolutely critical, the air combo can be anything you like (even an auto combo is fine) but covering with an assist to keep yourself safe or land a combo when you can is vital. Now is the perfect time to build the habit of only pressing each button once, trust me when I say that it pays dividends in the future.
Using 2H on as many attempts to approach you in the air as you can is really important, ESPECIALLY on super dashes. A lot of new players are so dependent on super dashing that they either lose by default to this step or they try and learn to do without it in the space of a single game which is not going to work out.
When your opponent has given you room to breath, pester them with ki blasts or long range specials. Beams are excellent at pre-emptively shutting down super dash. Don't get too predictable or they'll jump > super dash over them. Your aim is to irritate them into approaching recklessly so they eat a 2H.
This toolkit is pretty limited but getting comfortable using just these skills will completely transform the way you play. By simplifying your thought process to this extent, you'll be amazed at how consistent you will become.
This method may cause you to lose some games at first but I guarantee it will super-charge the rate that you learn.
Depending on how well you respond to these fundamentals, they may not take you all the way to Supreme Kai on there own. If you are looking for a next step, I would recommend following the guide below for each of your characters.
I've also compiled some very simple and powerful mixups that are a godsend for opening up overly defensive players and serve as a good introduction to the concept of mixups.
If you're struggling to maintain pressure on your opponent after a knockdown, the below guide will help you start chaining combos into more pressure.
Need some feedback or guidance?
We welcome discussion of all kinds on the Turtle Hermit School discord, if you are struggling to build a team that feels good for you, join our beginner friendly community and ask for a hand. We also have a Patreon if you'd like to offer your support!