Are you playing the newly released The King of Fighters XV? Is this your first foray into the wide world of fighting games? Even if you aren’t necessarily new to the genre, there is so much to learn about any fighting game, and the first few weeks after release are where the most opportunity for growth happens. After the die-hards go hard in the lab for the first two or three weeks, it’s much more difficult to get your foot in the door in the online scene. Thankfully, it is still quite early for this particular game, and in this article, I will go over a few things to make note of on your fighting game journey that could help you grow and rise through the ranks faster.
So, let’s get started and take a look at the Top 5 Tips & Tricks to Make You Into a King of Fighters XV God.
Make Use of Grabs!
In The King of Fighters XV, grabs are ultra-powerful, impossibly fast moves. This makes them a great option for both offense and defense, depending on the flow of a match. Every character in the game is capable of a one-frame grab, meaning that there is only a single frame of animation between you pressing the buttons and the action happening on screen. This near-instantaneous nature of grabs makes them almost impossible to stop unless you or your opponent is able to read the move before it happens and react with frame-perfect timing. This kind of skill is very difficult to acquire, so generally, you’re safe when doing a grab. Another note, a grab move will beat out a basic attack if they hit at the same time.
Make Use of Max Mode
A returning feature from past King of Fighters games is Max Mode, which gives you several advantages when it is active. First, if you activate Max Mode from a neutral stance, you will get a sizable power bonus to your basic combos. If you activate it mid-combo, your character will rush forward, opening an opportunity for another set of juiced-up combos, but at the cost of a much shorter Max Mode duration. Another advantage of Max Mode, and perhaps the most beneficial, is that it makes EX moves and level one supers essentially “free” to use, only costing some of your Max Mode meter. It also reduces the cost of level 3 supers to a single bar, making it super easy for you to finish off a heavy combo with a level 3 if you have enough meter for Max Mode at the end of it.
Know Your Character’s Fastest Moves
As in most fighting games, the fastest moves most characters will have are their basic jabs, especially their crouching jabs. Some characters, like Andy, are special in that their fastest moves are their close heavy attacks. This might seem counterintuitive since heavy attacks are generally much slower, but these characters have alternate heavy attacks when you are very close to your opponent. These alternate moves complete in fewer frames than their quick jab attacks, and do much more damage to boot! For close combat with characters like Andy, you’ll want to default to these close-heavy attacks. They even transition into combos better, allowing for more damage output overall.
Guard Points Make You Invincible
The King of Fighters XV isn’t the first fighting game to feature guard points, but it is special in that if you’re skilled enough to pull off these moves, the damage is completely negated. Other fighting games merely reduce damage on a successful guard point. However, not every character has guard points. They are treated as a special feature and are mostly available with the bigger “brawler” type characters. Mastery of guard points can also eliminate the threat of projectiles like fireballs, since a successful guard point will cancel them out. Utilizing guard points on multi-hit attacks is slightly more tricky, since you’ll have to be frame perfect to stop every hit. And even if you have the timing down, it is possible to run out of guard point frames before the opponent is finished attacking. Even so, if you tend to gravitate to larger characters, this can be an invaluable skill!
Perhaps the most important thing to know about The King of Fighters XV, is that you regain health in between rounds. The amount of health you get back depends on how much time is left on the clock. Squeezing out a win early on in the match will give you a much larger percentage of health than if you manage to win in the last few seconds. Either way, being able to gain even a small amount of health back is an awesome feature that can keep you competitive, and it’s something every fighter should take advantage of. Unfortunately, that also means the opponents you will face. But, if you’re on the wrong side of a difficult matchup, dragging out a fight you don’t think you can win will result in your opponent having less health on the next round.
I hope these tips & tricks will help you on your King of Fighters XV journey, and that you remember them in the heat of battle when you need them the most. For newbies to the fighting game genre and veterans alike, good luck, and fight on!