At the time of writing (6/22/20,) the Trainer’s School series of guides on Pokken Tournament DX has surpassed ten articles- eleven if you include the Pokken Primer as a retroactive inclusion to the series. While everyone can find them in one place- my Medium page- I wanted somewhere that people could read them in order. This article will be updated whenever a new guide debuts.

Last updated 1/4/2021. All planned lessons and guides completed!

Beginner’s Series:

Lesson One: Pokken 101
Lesson Two: Phase Shifts and the Attack Triangle
Lesson Three: Cancels and CADC
Lesson Four: The Pokedex
Lesson Five: Choosing Your Supports
Lesson Six: Picking…

The pros and cons of each system, and the problems they attempt to address

It’s always surprising to me when people say that “GGST should just re-use the lobby system from Xrd.” I assume they mean the aesthetics, but, on the PC version at least, the giant World Lobbies don’t work anymore due to major desync errors. As a result, games are usually only found in private player rooms.

The sixth Guilty Gear Strive Developer’s Backyard was published on June 4th, 2021. The blog post was very brief, and the developers likely didn’t have time to write up a deep breakdown of the poll results from the second Open Beta Test. Fortunately, director Akira Katano still provided a wealth of information about tutorial features, private lobby systems, balance changes, and fixes for the matchmaking. Katano noted that the Duel Station (arcade cabinets) and rematch button features “greatly improved the tempo of matchmaking,” but that there…

How characters and engines allow players to communicate in a match

I’ve often heard +R described as a game where you can tell two players in a mirror match apart just by watching how each character is playing differently. You probably can’t gleam that much info from a still image, but hopefully you can tell my Jam apart from the other guy.

I’m often asked, in response to my articles about the Guilty Gear Strive betas, if I believe GGST will promote a high level of ‘player expression.’ My usual answer is something like “yes, but it’s too early to judge exactly how high.” That being said, I think some of the people who ask me about player expression have different ideas about what that actually means, especially in comparison to myself. I’ve attempted to explore what ‘player expression’ in terms of fighting games means by defining it with three major…

New characters, revamped lobbies, and balance changes

The second Guilty Gear Strive Open Beta Test began at 8:00 PM PST on May 13th, 2021 and concluded at 8:00 AM on May 16th. OBT2 was preceded by a Japanese arcade-only location test where balance changes had been implemented in the game, following feedback from OBT1 and the game’s delay from an April 9th launch to June 11th. The most significant changes to OBT2 were the inclusion of Anji and I-No, the fourteenth and fifteenth characters in the game’s base roster, an improved lobby system, and dramatic balance changes around air-to-ground offense.

And what (little) we know about them

This week, I decided to take a brief look at some upcoming games with release dates slated throughout this year into the next. The fighting game genre has been experiencing a steady and exciting boom for the past several years, with titles of various scope and budget shaking up the player-base, from Dragon Ball FighterZ to Under Night In-Birth. But simply playing the cool new game isn’t enough, and developers have finally begun to realize that. Fortunately, four out of these five games from major IPs will have rollback out the gate, which…

It can determine everything about what, and how, you play

Super Smash Bros. Melee, despite being two decades old, has consistently been one of the most played fighting games in the tournament scene. While other retro titles such as Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R also have robust communities that maintain their legacy, Melee is arguably one of the most prolific due to its ensemble crossover roster and ease of play. Even as other titles in the Smash franchise come and go, the Melee community continues to play the game through pandemics and a…

Why you should still play the old game, and what to do when you encounter stronger players

Since the pandemic has started, anyone who wants to compete in a tournament format must settle for online events. I’ve been participating in the Guilty Gear brackets for XXAC+R and Xrd Rev2 for Wednesday Night Fights every week, as well as our region’s monthly arcadian brackets, and my skill has been progressing at an exciting pace. This past week, a newer player matched up against a stronger player early in the Rev2 loser’s bracket. (I’m not going to name anybody or give tags.)…

Why they’re important, and when you should use them

I’ve been practicing I-No to prep for GGST because she looks cool. (Also, eventually I’m going to run out of images of training rooms to use for my articles…)

The fifth Guilty Gear Strive Developer’s Backyard blog post went live on April 6th, the day that the early access build of the final game would have launched if not for development delays. The post detailed feedback the development team gathered both from the Open Beta Test’s in-game replay system and the survey conducted afterwards. Akira Katano explained the results of various polls, such as popular characters, opinions regarding balance, design intent, positive feedback about the rollback netcode, and features that will be added to the reworked lobby system. …

Fluff about what I’m playing now and what I’m excited for

Playing around with +R’s new replay features has been super useful.

Despite the global pandemic grinding traditional FGC operations to a halt, it’s probably never been a better time to get into fighting games. There’s lots of great new titles coming out over the course of the next year, and a lot of existing titles are getting updates, either with better online or new content. Online events are also becoming more prominent, encouraging new competition that we wouldn’t normally see in games that weren’t as popular when offline tournaments were commonplace. Even if the social, in-person aspect of fighting games…

What the major acquisition could mean for the tournament series, and other news

Sony Interactive Entertainment and Evo’s social media recently announced the return of Evo Online in August 2021, and that Sony had acquired the Evo brand in a joint partnership with newly formed esports organization RTS. Evo 2021 Online will be running across two weekends, August 6–8 and 13–15, and will feature four titles announced so far: Tekken 7, Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, and Guilty Gear Strive. This comes almost nine months after the initially planned Evo 2020 Online was cancelled and Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar…

Nathan Dhami

Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (,) and at your local.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store