Granblue Fantasy Versus System Breakdown

By on May 30, 2019

Granblue Fantasy Versus is the latest game from world class fighting game developer Arc System Works. With gorgeous anime aesthetics and tight gameplay, Granblue is looking to be a big contender among the fighting game community. The developers are known for games that are very deep with complex mechanics, but they have stated they want to keep this game simple and make it accessible to all players. With this system breakdown, you’ll see how the developers are hoping to achieve extra simplicity while keeping true to their legacy of deep games.

Button Layout

Granblue has a 6 button layout that is perfect for an arcade stick or mapping the snappier buttons of a pad controller.

The following is the button layout that will be in the game and which Playstation controller button they are mapped to by default:

Single Buttons

  • Light Attack (Square)
  • Medium Attack (Triangle)
  • Heavy Attack (Circle)
  • Unique Action (X)
  • Skill (R1)
  • Guard (R2)

Combination Buttons

  • Throw (L1 or Square+X)
  • Overhead (L2 or Triangle+Circle)

Special Moves

Katalina’s skill list on 2P side.

The biggest unique system mechanic is definitely the Skill button that allows 1 button special moves. You can do a special move by pressing either back, down, forward, or neutral with the skill button. This makes it super easy for newcomers to utilize skills but it does come at the cost of extra cooldown time.

If you input a special move using a manual combination of directions + buttons, it will reward you with less cooldown. At a high level, the skill button may become useful for option selects or avoiding mis-inputs for moves in certain situations. Also, these special moves have EX versions that have an extended cool down (it doesn’t cost meter though).

The order of the skill list also changes depending on if you are on 1P side or the 2P side. The aim seems to be to reflecting the directional input for the move when on your starting side.

Super Moves

Geegee comes out to play for Ferry’s Skybound Art

Every character in the game has two super moves called Skybound Arts and Super Skybound Arts. The Skybound Art performed by inputting quarter circle forward and the skill button. If you are at low HP (30% or lower) then you can perform a Super Skybound Art by inputting half circle back and the skill button. Interestingly, the meter (SB meter) is only meant for this super move.

There is no other use for the SB meter as far as we know, since EX special moves do not cost meter but instead only have extra cooldown time. The meter also does not stay with you after the round ends. The developers intended for the supers to end rounds in a flashy manner.


In GBVS, you are able to walk, back dash, normal jump, and run forward. Although there is no super-jump, you do seem to be able to jump further forward when you perform a run.

You also have an invincible roll that can be performed by pressing forward and the block button and a standing dodge with back and the block button. You can also hold block and then tap forward or back for the respective evasive maneuver.

Universal Attacks

Lancelot needs to watch his dome by stand blocking these overheads

Along with every character having their own 1-button move list, they receive some universal attacks.

Every character announced so far seems to have chain attacks allowing you to combo easily. No button layout has been shown yet, but it probably allows hitting the Light, Medium, and Heavy button in a sequence for an easy combo.

Universal overheads can be performed by the cast by pressing medium and heavy attack together. It seems to avoid throws by making the character airborne and it also seems to be safe on block.

Standard throws are performed by pressing light attack and the unique action button simultaneously. What is unique is that throw teching late will cause damage to the throw recipient.


Gran forgot that there is a block button in this game…

Blocking in GBVS has the standard 2D-game blocking affair with holding back to block, so you will need to input the proper direction to block overheads, lows, and cross ups. But uniquely the game will have a dedicated block button. There isn’t much information yet as to how this will actually function and what caveats comes with using this block button.

The Just Defend mechanic also makes its way into GBVS. If you press back/block button at the same time you’re about to be hit, then you get rewarded for it. Normally you are not able to block while jumping but with Just Defend, you can block in the air. We’re unsure if the air Just Defend mechanic works against every attack or only particular ones. Other than that, not many details are known for this mechanic. Typically, Just Defend has rewards such as lowering blockstun, gaining extra meter, or avoiding chip, but these things have yet to be confirmed as of this writing.

Also, chip death is in the game from blocking supers and possibly special moves. The victory screen clearly shows “Chip” when it happens.

On-Screen Information

There’s a lot of message prompts that show up to give great information about what’s going on in the game. They have an array of messages that help players and observers understand what’s going on in the game.

  • First Attack: You get the first hit in a round
  • Down: You are knocked down to the floor.
  • Counter Hit: When you hit the opponent out of a move they were executing. Causes more hitstun and damage.
  • Recovery: Recovering in the air so you can stand upon landing.
  • Punish: Your character hits the opponent while they are in recovery frames from a move.
  • Invincible: You perform an attack that has invincibility frames, usually a dragon punch (DP) or super move.
  • Just: You performed a Just Defend
  • Reversal: You perform an attack immediately out of blockstun (maybe on wake up as well?)
  • Good, Great, Nice: Not sure what these indicate. Random affirmations to reduce salt?
  • Crush: Not clear on when this happens, but it appears to be a type of counter attack with special properties.

You also get a double !! when you are hit with an overhead.


So far this game is looking very promising and a lot of the FGC seems pretty excited to play it (I know I am). We’ll be sure to give a deep dive analysis of the game once the PS4 beta on May 31st drops.

*You can view the follow up article here!

What do you think of the game so far? Are there any details that we missed? For any Granblue fans, are there characters you predict will be in the roster to round out the initial cast? Let us know in the comments!

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