Guilty Gear 2020 Alpha System Breakdown

See what system mechanics will potentially be in GG2020
By on November 4, 2019

The ArcSystemWorks dual stream dropped a ton of info along with showing game play for Guilty Gear 2020.

There’s a lot of excitement with the showing of this new footage along with some concerns. Thankfully the dev team has stated that they are early in development are open to feedback for the game, so there is a lot of possibility for change. With that, we’ll take a look at what we’ve seen in the alpha build that was shown.


What’s Staying the Same?

The staple mechanic of Roman Cancels (RC) is here

Guilty Gear will be Guilty Gear given it has some key elements that defines the game for what it is. Here’s the mechanics that seem to be sticking true to the identity of GG and are the same as they have been in most previous titles.

  • Movement options are still intact with airdashes and double jumps
  • The standard 5-button layout
    • Punch
    • Kick
    • Slash
    • Hard Slash
    • Dust
  • Tension gauge (meter) is still present. Meter gain is still rewarded for aggressive play.
  • Faultless Defense. FD is still activated by holding two buttons and block. FD will cause extra push back and neutralize RISC buildup and chip damage.
  • Burst. Blue burst will come out during hit/block stun. Gold burst still give meter and all bursts are still throwable (so we can still steal these souls).
  • Stylish mode inputs for beginners.
  • RISC gauge. High RISC will force counter hits.
  • Negative Penalty. Running away and moving backward will result in loss of meter.


What’s Same But Different?

No complaints allowed that the counter indicator can’t be seen.

Daisuke and his team have said they want to rebuild the game from the ground up and not look to any previous titles to build on. The team said they wanted to make sure new players didn’t have to find out hidden mechanics to play the game and it shows with the changes made here:

  • There is a new dash button that can be mapped. This should help a ton with Instant Air Dashing or getting grounded dashes when a player wants them.
  • Throws are still executed with a directional plus a button, but it is done with Dust now (ala 6D or 4D). The throws are not 1 frame and they have a whiff animation. This change was probably made to avoid option selecting normals with throw. Also we won’t be seeing much wake up throws or throwing opponents out of their pressure strings (sorry FAB).
  • Gatlings are present, but can only start from Slash (e.g. Slash > Hard Slash). Punch and Kick can only gatling into themselves or command normals.
  • Blocking mid dash is still possible, but does NOT require Faultless Defense (FD).
  • You can air block, but you don’t need FD to block against grounded normals. Air blocking will also increase RISC greatly.
  • Dead Angle is gone. In its place is a Roman Cancel mini burst with a different input. The RC burst can still be baited and punished. The opponent will be put in a blowback state if hits but can still block.
  • Chip damage is in the game, but chip death is not.
  • 2 Types of counter hits in the game. Standard counter hit happens with most normals and specials. A few specials and normals (namely 2D) will cause a slowdown vs the opponent while the attacker is at normal speed and can follow up with a big combo.
  • 2D is the sweep attack. This move seems to universally cause hard knock downs and causes the BIG counter on counter hit.
  • Off the ground (OTG) attacks are still in, but they don’t prorate (big damage).
  • Standing Dust is an overhead but it is much faster in this game and only comboable on counter hit. Standard hit will send the opponent flying toward the corner. This seems to play a part in the RISC management with making standing dust extremely dangerous when RISC is high.
  • Instant blocking is in but it will NOT reduce blockstun. It only gives extra meter.
  • Roman Cancel (RC) is still in. All RC’s will cost 50% meter.
    • Many forms of RC will be present not only Red RC or Purple RC. One RC mentioned was a dash RC which helps characters move into a desired position for combos or dodging moves.
    • Red RC happens during hitstun and slows down and floats the opponent if the circle HITS them (shows a clock around them to signify).
    • Blue RC happens when an opponent is not in hitstun and will slow opponents if it hits.


What’s Brand New?

The hidden truth of why corners exist in 2D fighters

Guilty Gear 2020 being a brand new game with a new vision will have to have brand new mechanics. The team mentioned in their interview that they wanted to look at the game and see what makes fighting games fun and implement that into the system. Here’s some new things that they’re coming up with in GG 2020:

  • Wall breaks are in the game. It seems after 3 wall sticks, the stage will transition to a new area. This seems to be a mechanic to help players stuck in the corner to reset the situation after getting beat up on.
  • Wall stick mechanic is in the game. Some moves like dust will cause wall stick/splat to increase combo potential.
  • No air ukemi/teching. Characters will fall to the ground after being air combo’d.
  • Stun, Stagger, Blitz, and Dangertime has been removed from the game. This seems like an attempt to reduce complexity and randomness in the game.
  • Wakeup timing is standardized across the characters. This will help a TON with timing okizeme properly and reduce unnecessary complexity.
  • Character select screen sorts characters by archetype. (e.g. balance, speed, power, tricky, etc.)
  • Button mapping and testing is possible at the character select screen.
  • The move list shows an animation of a selected move and also what the move is good for.
  • Post battle screen shows statistics of the fight and has notes for improvement.



The new system for GG 2020 seems to focus more on the decision making processes over deeper game knowledge. The shift to centering around grounded play and a bigger emphasis on landing counters hits with managing RISC seems interesting to say the least. I’m really liking the prospect of the quality of life changes with the reduction of unnecessary complexity (although I hope combos allow for more complexity). Overall I’m really hype about the game so far and can’t wait to see how it shapes up in the end.

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