The Action Gauge is the traditional "super meter" and a very important resource in the game, as it can have a direct effect on the player's options, such as access to their available Decisive Actions, their Decisive Climax, and the Force Cancel. Making effective use of the gauge can often be a key factor in a win or a loss for each match. The gauge itself can stack up to five bars at maximum.
Building the Action Gauge
Filling up the Action Gauge is normally done by performing offensive actions, such as running towards the foe, attacking, etc. Of course, it is also possible to fill the gauge up by blocking attacks and being attacked as well, but doing so will net you less meter. As such, the general rule is that going on the offensive will build meter at a faster rate while playing more defensively will slow the process down by a fair bit.
However, it should be noted that the amount of Action Gauge filled up, along with the amount of damage dealt from attacks, will decrease as a combo is maintained. This means it is possible to maintain an needlessly-long combo while not gaining any meter and/or dealing any damage at all.
Speaking of which, if ever the player decides to keep running away from the foe without putting up a good fight, whether from a distance or not, or maybe even just standing there like a complete dumbass, which most people probably won't allow, that'll eventually net the offender a warning and, should they choose to ignore it, will eventually come back to bite them in the ass with the much-dreaded Negative Penalty.
Getting hit with this state will instantly empty the offending party’s Action Gauge, and the rate at which the gauge is built is drastically reduced, albeit temporarily. On top of that, it also increases the amount of damage received from the opponent while active. It should go without saying that you'll want to avoid getting this penalty at all costs.
The Guard Gauge essentially dictates how powerful a fighter’s defenses are; the less-depleted the gauge is, the tougher their defense is. The Guard Gauge is depleted whenever a fighter blocks an attack with either a standard block or a Royal Block, while using either the Shield or Anti-Shield does not cause the same effect.
When a player’s gauge is even slightly depleted, the amount of damage received from an opponent’s attacks will not be affected by damage scaling until it becomes full again. However, it’s when the gauge is half-empty that things start to become dangerous, as all attacks that the opponent successfully connects are considered Counter Hits, making combos that were not normally possible unless it was a Counter Hit even easier to pull off.
Since the only way to get the Guard Gauge to refill and avoid getting hit with a Zero Guard state is to stop blocking incoming attacks, this means that constantly blocking throughout the match is not an effective long-term plan in a fight.
In the event that the Guard Gauge is completely drained, this will immediately put the receiving party into a Zero Guard state. While in this state, the receiving party will be momentarily stunned and open to the opponent’s onslaught. In addition, on top of all damage from an opponent’s attacks being unaffected by damage scaling and all successful hits being considered Counter Hits, damage received is also increased, albeit only until one-third of the Guard Gauge is refilled.
The Burst Gauge is an equally-important resource to keep an eye on in the game. The gauge allows players to use the Crash Burst and the Reversal Action, which can turn the tide of battle when used correctly. However, they can only be used with enough stocks of the Burst Gauge. With the Burst Gauge’s three stocks - its maximum number of stocks, as well as meeting other requirements, a player can initiate their Shutdown State.
Building the Burst Gauge
Unlike the Action Gauge, the Burst Gauge only fills itself up at a steady but rather slow rate, meaning attacking won't make it fill up faster. However, getting attacked by the opponent can fill it up a little more quickly, but that means losing some health, so it might be best not to let the opponent control the match too much.
Disabling the Burst Gauge
It is possible to have usage of the Burst Gauge disabled for a few moments. This is indicated by a red "X" covering the Burst Gauge and the causes of a disabled Burst Gauge are as such:
- Being hit with a throw.
- Being hit with a Decisive Action or Decisive Climax.
- Becoming stunned.
- Getting hit with attacks that cause a kind of non-standard hitstun.
Gameplay Mechanics: Movement & Cancelling, Offense, Defense, Gauges, Attack Attributes