Dragon Ball FighterZ Tips - How to Play - Prima Games

Dragon Ball FighterZ Tips – How to Play

by Bryan Dawson

Players around the world are finally be getting their hands on Dragon Ball FighterZ. While not everyone will want to become a seasoned tournament veteran, anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into the game will want to know how to play Dragon Ball FighterZ. Many players will also be looking for Dragon Ball FighterZ tips to make the most of their time with the new game. This article covers some Dragon FighterZ tips so you know how to play and how to perform the basic combat techniques in the game. While the basics of Dragon Ball FighterZ are fairly straight forward, we’ll cover them in addition to other techniques in the game.

There will be patches, updates and DLC coming in over the course of the next year. We will continue to update this Dragon Ball FighterZ tips article as the game changes and evolves over time. If you need help learning the game, bookmark this page as we’ll be updating when new information is discovered.

Basic Controls

  • Light Attack
  • Medium Attack
  • Heavy Attack
  • Special Attack (Ki Blasts)
  • Assist 1
  • Assist 2

We’ve got a more detailed breakdown of the universal commands, but basically Dragon Ball FighterZ is a six button fighting game. There’s a Light Attack, Medium Attack, Heavy Attack, Special Attack (Ki blasts), and buttons for Assist 1 and Assist 2. You can chain Light Attacks into Medium Attacks into Heavy Attacks, call assists by tapping Assist 1 or Assist 2, or change characters by holding Assist 1 or Assist 2.

While the buttons listed above are set as default to your controller, you can customize your button configuration as you see fit. Dragon Rush and Super Dash macros are set to the right shoulder buttons by default as well. In addition, you can assign buttons to Ki Charge, Vanish and Sparking Blast instead of having to manually press multiple buttons as once.

Finally, crouching Heavy Attack (Down + Heavy Attack) also serves as a universal anti-air attack, which gives your character invincibility to their upper body. This works well as an anti-air attack, and to punish any opponent who is abusing the Super Dash mechanic.

3 vs. 3 Combat

Dragon Ball FighterZ is a three vs. three fighting game similar to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Each player selects three characters that can be swapped out throughout the match. A game is over when all three characters on one team have been defeated. Any blue portion of a character’s health bar can be slowly regenerated if that character is tagged out or you activate Sparking Blast. You can switch out a character by holding down Assist 1 or Assist 2.

Team Composition

Your team composition and order are important in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Every character can only use one tag in super move, and different characters excel at different aspects of the game, which means you need to know when to tag in with a super move, when to simply continue a combo with a single character, and when to tag in another character to continue the combo without immediately transitioning into a super move.

While this may seem complex at first, once you’ve played the game enough you will start to understand that some characters are better to initiate a combo (Trunks), but have difficulty ending the combo with a lot of damage. In these instances it’s better to tag into another character who can finish a combo with a ton of damage (Android 16) or just keep the combo going much better than your point character that started the combo.


  • Assist 1
  • Assist 2

Each character has one assist which you can activate by tapping the Assist 1 or Assist 2 button. When you’re selecting a character it’s important to not only think about how the character plays, but also what that character’s assist is. Some assists will be vertical beams, others might be an anti-air attack, while some fall into completely different categories, such as Krillin’s senzu bean assist.

You have two assist buttons, one for each character who is currently tagged out. Different assists will have different cooldown periods, meaning you need to determine how important each assist is because you won’t be able to simply call them over and over again throughout the match. The background of a character’s icon in the upper left or right corner of the screen indicates when an assist is ready to use, or how long you need to wait until an assist can be used again.

While you can call both assists at once if you so desire, in addition to the cooldown period that will follow, both assists can be hit by an opponent. Even if you only call one assist, it can still be attacked by an opponent so be careful when and how you call your assists to make sure they don’t take damage.

Auto Combos

For novice or casual players who don’t care to learn intricate combos, Arc System Works has enabled auto combos in Dragon Ball FighterZ. You can rapidly press Light Attack or Medium Attack and your character will perform an auto combo. These auto combos won’t be the most damaging combos available for the character, but it will be enough to get you started until you learn better and more elaborate combos over time. Some Medium Attack auto combos end with a super move, while others (Light Attack auto combos) will just slam the opponent back down to the ground. If you wish to avoid using auto combos, you can mix and match between Light Attack and Medium Attack. As long as you don’t mash out Light or Medium, you won’t get the full auto combo.

Combo Structure

  • Basic Combo 1: Light > Medium > Heavy > Heavy > Light > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Special Move > Super Move
  • Basic Combo 2: Light > Medium > Down + Heavy > Heavy > Light > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Special Move > Super Move
  • Intermediate Combo 1: Light > Down + Medium > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Down + Heavy > Heavy > Light > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Special Move > Super Move (in the air)
  • Intermediate Combo 2: Light > Down + Medium > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Down + Heavy > Heavy > Light > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Heavy > Super Move (on the ground)

While you can always use auto combos if you’re a fighting game novice or just playing for fun, there’s a more refined combo structure in the game that allows for considerably more damage. The basic combo structure is: Light > Medium > Heavy > Heavy > Light > Medium > Jump Cancel > Light > Medium > Special Move > Super Move. You’re basically doing a “magic series” moving from your Light Attack to your Medium Attack to your Heavy Attack. If you use a normal Heavy Attack, you’ll bounce the opponent off the wall. If you instead use Down + Heavy Attack, you’ll knock the opponent into the air. Either way you can follow with Heavy Attack a second time, which will automatically Super Dash toward the opponent.

After the Super Dash, you can use a shortened version of the magic series with just Light Attack then Medium Attack. At this point you need to immediately tap Up or diagonally Up/Forward (which is a bit easier) to Jump Cancel the Medium Attack, then repeat the shortened magic series with Light Attack, then Medium Attack again. This ends the general combo string, so you need to perform a special move immediately following the second Medium Attack. Depending on the character you’re using you may be able to follow the special move with a super move, thus ending the combo.

You can alter this combo structure using assists, Vanish, and even tagging in another character (generally after the initial Heavy Attack, when you would normally Super Dash, hold one of your assist buttons instead). Experiment with your team to find ways to extend this basic combo structure, but at the very least you can use this as a basis to get a solid damaging combo from the base magic series combo string.

Super Moves

Each character has a variety of super moves that can take as many as seven bars of super meter (the meter at the bottom of the screen). Most super moves will consume one or three bars of meter, but there are some exceptions. Most super moves are performed by inputting the notation for a special move and pressing two attack buttons instead of one.

You can tag in a teammate by pressing Assist 1 or Assist 2 during your point character’s super move. This causes that teammate to come in with a level one super move of their own and possibly extend your combo. You can also use QCB + A1 or A2 (Quarter-Circle Forward) to get a level three super move instead. Depending on your team composition and combo ability, it may be better to save your super meter for other things. Different super moves will execute at different heights and may not combo with the super move that came before it. Experiment in practice mode to figure out the best order for your super moves.

It’s also possible to tag in an assist character that will perform a super move, without your current point character using a super move first. Simply use HCF + A1 or A2 (Half-Circle Forward) during a combo to have the assist come in with a level one super, and HCB + A1 or A2 during a combo for a level three super.

Super Meter

  • Hold Light Attack + Special Attack to Charge

Your super meter fills up when you hit the opponent or perform special moves. You can also fill the super meter manually by holding Light Attack + Special Attack. The longer you hold these buttons the faster your super meter will charge, but you are completely open to attacks while doing this, so be careful.

In addition to super moves using up your super meter, EX specials are enhanced special moves performed with the Heavy Attack button, which cost one bar of the super meter. Vanish Attacks also cost one bar of super meter, but can allow you to punish opponents from across the screen and more. Performing a character change (hold the Assist 1 or Assist 2 button) while blocking an attack also costs one bar of super meter.

Dragon Rush (Throw) and Snap Back

  • Dragon Rush: Light Attack + Medium Attack
  • Snap Back: Light Attack + Medium Attack, then A1 or A2

The Dragon Rush attack is basically how you perform a throw in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Press Light Attack + Medium Attack and your character will dash toward the opponent and perform a throw, which cannot be blocked in most situations. You can then transition directly into a combo if the Dragon Rush is successful, or press Assist 1 or Assist 2 during the initial Dragon Rush animation to knock the opponent’s main character out can force in one of their assist characters. Forcing in an assist (known as a Snap Back in other games) can be very useful if the opponent’s next character has low health and you want to finish them off before they replenish any blue health.

You can escape a Dragon Rush but pressing Light Attack + Medium Attack just as the opponent’s Dragon Rush makes contact with your character. The timing can be somewhat strict, but as long as you pay close attention to the opponent, you can break out of the Dragon Rush just as it connects. Look for a red circle to flash around the opponent. This happens just before an opponent dashes in for a Dragon Rush.

Super Dash

  • Heavy Attack + Special Attack

A Super Dash is a homing attack that tracks the opponent and allows you to close in on them quickly. In addition, a Super Dash goes through most projectile attacks (not super moves of special Ki blasts like a Kamehameha), meaning you can Super Dash right through a Ki blast barrage or even some special attacks with proper timing. However, keep in mind a Super Dash can be deflected and countered using the Deflect ability, a super move, or even a basic crouching Heavy Attack. When you tag in a character by holding down Assist 1 or Assist 2, they come in with a Super Dash which can also be countered just like a normal Super Dash.

Vanish (Teleport Attack)

  • Medium Attack + Heavy Attack

If you’ve played almost any other Dragon Ball fighting game, you’re probably familiar with Vanish Attacks. In Dragon Ball FighterZ, Vanish Attacks cost one bar of super meter and cause a wall bounce, which you can follow with a Super Dash into a combo. You can even cancel into a Vanish Attack mid combo to extend your combo even further. Ideally you want to either save your Vanish for a combo extension, or use it when an opponent tries to attack with a raw super move from across the screen, or even just a barrage of Ki blasts. In some situations you can follow a raw Vanish with a full combo, especially if you have an assist character that can reach far enough to connect after a Vanish.

Ki Blasts

  • Special Attack

There’s a single button (Special Attack) that’s dedicated to Ki Blasts and similar attacks. You can rapidly press this button and most characters will throw out a barrage of Ki Blasts, just like in the anime. However, keep in mind these Ki Blasts can be deflected by a skilled opponent if they press Back + Special Attack with proper timing. An opponent can also Super Dash through your Ki Blasts, so be careful when you use them. You shouldn’t rely on this mechanic to inflict a lot of damage, but more so to annoy an opponent from across the screen. Most characters have special command Ki Blasts that require some sort of notation ending with the Special Attack button. For example, if Krillin presses Down + Special Attack, he will jump in the air and fire a Ki Blast down toward the ground.


  • Back + Special Attack

You can deflect Ki Blasts and certain other attacks by pressing Back + Special Attack. The timing can be strict depending on what attack you’re trying to deflect. If you’re just deflecting random Ki blasts, it shouldn’t take much practice to get the deflect timing down. However, if you’re trying to deflect beam super moves or other more complex attacks, the timing may be more strict. You can also only deflect while your character is in a standing position. You can’t deflect which crouching or while in the air. After a successful deflect, you can sometimes follow with a combo if you’re close enough to the opponent.

Smash Attacks

  • Heavy Attack
  • Down + Heavy Attack

Smash Attacks are basically the Heavy Attacks that are generally used to extend combos. This usually comes after a S>M>H combo string, making the full basic combo string, S>M>H>H. If you press Down + Heavy Attack you can launch an opponent into the air, then follow with a combo by tapping Up. Pressing Heavy Attack with no direction will knock an opponent to the wall and allow you to follow with a combo. You can press Heavy Attack after a Smash Attack to follow the opponent and start a combo. However, you can only use one Smash Attack to continue a combo. If you try to use a second Smash Attack in the same combo it will effectively end the combo by slamming the opponent to the ground or some similar animation.

If you use a down Smash, then hold Assist 1 or Assist 2, or Forward + Assist 1 or 2, most characters (not all) will tag in one of their partners to continue the combo. This is a great way to switch characters so you can end a combo with big damage, or just safely bring in another character. For example, let’s say you really like playing with Vegeta, but you can get more damage if you end combos with Goku. You can start a combo, then use a down Smash and tag in Vegeta to end the combo with a barrage of attacks into a super move, then use a second super move to bring Vegeta back in.

Guard Cancel Tags

  • Forward + A1 or A2 While Blocking (costs 1 meter)

If you have at least oen super meter you can cancel you guard (block) with a tag in. To perform this, you need to be blocking an attack, then hold Assist 1 or Assist 2. You’ll spend one meter and the corresponding character will tag in with a Super Dash. It should be noted that this can be a risky technique, especially if you’re closer to the middle of the screen. Because the character tagging in comes in with a Super Dash, there’s almost always enough time to see the Guard Cancel Tag and punish with a Down + Heavy Attack. However, it is a bit harder to react to if you Guard Cancel Tag while in the corner, because your character will have a shorter distance to Super Dash. Either way, when used well this is a good way to get a character out of the match to avoid pressure or simply tag in another character.

Instant Air Dash (IAD)

  • Up/Forward~Forward
  • Up/Back~Back

The Instant Air Dash (IAD) is a staple of the anime fighting game genre and that carries over into Dragon Ball FighterZ. In order to perform an IAD you need to dash forward immediately after jumping into the air. The notation for this is diagonally Up/Forward (a forward jump) followed immediately by Forward. What this does is register the Forward in the Up/Forward command with the second Forward to give you the Forward, Forward dash command. Together this results in a forward dash as soon as your character leaves the ground. This will take some practice to learn, but once you get the timing down you’ll be Instant Air Dashing like no tomorrow.

You generally want to use an IAD like you would an overhead attack. Pin an opponent down with an assist, then go for an IAD into an aerial Heavy or Medium attack for your overhead. If it connects you can continue your combo on the ground with a Light or Medium into whatever your normal combo is. With proper spacing you can also use an IAD to get to the other side of an opponent for a quick left/right mix-up that works even better when an assist is involved.

Sparking Blast

  • Light Attack + Medium Attack + Heavy Attack + Special Attack

The main comeback mechanic in Dragon Ball FighterZ is the Sparking Blast. If you perform it near an opponent, the opponent will get knocked back. However, if you use it in the middle of your combo, you can continue the combo afterward. While Sparking Blast is active, your character rapidly recovers all blue health over a short period of time. In addition, your attack damage is slightly increased to make it easier to defeat your opponent, and you can jump cancel your normal attacks even when they’re blocked. Keep in mind, Sparking Blast only has an impact on the character who is currently in the match, not your two assist characters.

How long Sparking Blast is active depends on how many characters are still alive on your team. If only a single character is alive when you activate Sparking Blast, it lasts much longer compared to having all three characters alive when you activate it. In most cases you want to save Sparking Blast for your last remaining character, but don’t hold onto it so long that you end up losing before you can use it.

Stay tuned to Prima Games as we offer more strategies and advice in our Dragon Ball FighterZ game hub!

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