For any player who is hoping to get into Soulcalibur 6, this is the definitive guide for you
Soulcalibur 6 is the latest game in the Soulcalibur series. It was released in 2018 and has enjoyed a moderate following so far. It is still going strong, and it is possible we could see a new installment for the game in the near future.
Soulcalibur 6 is also notable in that, like Mortal Kombat; it also rebooted its timeline, meaning that the events that take place in this game are unconnected to any of the other games in the series. It also means that all the story advancements that have taken place over the last two decades or so have been wiped out in favor of a fresh storyline.
So, for you, the new player, this means there is no better time to get into Soulcalibur than right now. With everything so fresh, you can catch up with the story from the very beginning and start your journey here.
Now that you’ve purchased a copy of Soulcalibur and you’ve popped it in, what do you do next? That is what this guide is for. Here, we’ll take you through all the basics you need to know, and then you can learn to fly and do some amazing stuff.
First things First
There are 29 characters in this game, all with different skillsets and moves. So, choosing a character might be daunting, but don’t worry; who you start with doesn’t have to be a permanent choice. So, when you start the game, feel free to go with whoever looks the coolest and start playing. As you understand the game and play, you’ll definitely find the character that works for you, and you can then go for that character.
Once you’re done picking who you want to start off with, you might want to start fighting everyone you come across but wait a moment and learn some of the basics first. One option could be to go to the training mode to acclimate yourself to the buttons and so on, but personally, I will say you should try out Libra of Souls.
Libra of Souls
This is one of the story modes found on Soulcalibur 6, and it is a mode that allows you to create a character and travel around the map facing off against enemies from the storyline and others that are created by the community. Libra of Souls is a great starting point as it contains a tutorial that teaches you the game and all the things you need to know. Besides, Libra of Souls also lets you customize your character, meaning you can use any style you want. The customization tools available in Soulcalibur 6 are amazing and should really be tried out.
This is the other story mode in the game, and it is a great way to get to know the main story and meet the cast. Soul Chronicle is great for newbies because it introduces you to the story of Soulcalibur, and since this is a reboot, you don’t have to worry about feeling lost in the story.
How to Play
Once you’ve got all the story stuff out of the way, you can now get to what you really want to do— play. How do you play Soulcalibur 6? Soulcalibur 6, much like Tekken, is a 3D game which means that things work a little differently than with the regular 2D games you might be used to. Starting with…
The movement in a game like Soulcalibur 6 is so important. This is because the game utilizes a system known as the ‘8-way run’, which means you can move in just about any direction, including to the right and left. Learning how to move properly is important in Soulcalibur 6 especially considering how necessary movement is to get wins in this game.
There are five primary means of attack in this game, and they are:
Movement is vital for all of these as they can be the difference between getting hit to oblivion or dodging an attack. Typically, high attacks can be ducked under or blocked. If you dodge a high attack by ducking low, it could create an opening for you to hit the foe. Meanwhile, mid attacks are best crouch blocked, and low attacks can either be crouch blocked or jumped over. As for vertical and horizontal attacks, you can bend and get under most horizontal attacks, and you can also sidestep vertical attacks. Ensure you keep in mind how to block or avoid each attack, so you don’t get hit. For instance, if you try sidestepping a horizontal attack, you are likely to get punished, so you should always ensure that you are cognizant of how you plan your movement.
The other thing to mention about movement is what to do when you’re on the ground after suffering a knockdown. Thankfully, Soulcalibur 6 allows you to start blocking the moment you get off the ground. This should be varied as a wily opponent could apply a mix-up and punish your naivety. On the other hand, you can also roll to either side, which can be beneficial in helping you recover. If you can execute your wake-up effectively, you’ll find that you are having a much better time playing the game since you won’t be punished anytime you suffer a knockdown.
Soulcalibur 6 Core mechanics
While we have looked at movement and some of the regular attacks available to you as a Soulcalibur 6 player, mechanics are present in most fighting games especially 3D fighters. However, in this section, we’ll be looking at the mechanics that are unique to Soulcalibur 6.
The lethal hit is a new mechanic added to Soulcalibur 6, which is a hit that deals damage and provides an armor break. The requirements for a lethal hit are varied as they are sometimes achieved from a counterhit (just like Tekken). When the lethal hit is achieved there is a slowdown in gameplay and a zoom-in to emphasize what has just happened. Lethal hits can be achieved through certain moves landed in the right condition. Once this is done, you can really lay into your enemy.
This is one of those underrepresented mechanics in Soulcalibur 6 that very few people talk about. So, what is guts? It is a system that seeks to make comebacks a lot easier. Therefore, when the opponent’s life bar hits 10% or lower, guts kicks in and heavily scales attacks in favor of the opponent. What that means is that if your opponent is close to death and you’re hoping to carefully end their life with a cheeky low that brings them down, you might find that your low move which would normally take about 10% health now takes 5%. This means if you sleep, your opponent will take advantage and rob you of the win. The guts system is not the most popular mechanic, but knowing about it could save you regardless of what end of the life bar you find yourself.
This is another of the mechanics that doesn’t get enough love. The air control mechanic allows you some power over how you move in the air when launched. So, you have a bit of a say on where you land. This is a mechanic that is particularly useful to avoid ring-outs.
Now let's talk ring-outs. So, if you’ve had any experience with fighting games, you’ll know that each player usually has a life bar. The aim of most fighting games is to deplete the opponent’s life bar while leaving yours as intact as possible. There are some games that have a different way of doing things. For example, there was a little-known game back in the 90s called ‘Fighters Destiny’ which was on the Nintendo 64. Instead of life bars, the characters won games by earning points. So a knockdown was worth 3 points, a throwdown, 2 points, and a ring out was worth 1 point. Soulcalibur 6 also has a ring-out mechanic that instantly wins the round for the person who knocks the other over. So, if you are on a stage with edges that lead to a drop, you can win the round either by depleting the opponent’s life bar, or chucking them off the stage.
This is a defensive mechanic in Soulcalibur VI which can easily be performed by pressing the guard button just as an attack is about to land. The Guard impact comes in two forms: parries and counters. Pressing the guard button with the forward notation will lead to a counter while back will be a parry. Guard Impacts must be well-timed to ensure they work. When a counter is achieved, the opponent stumbles a bit creating an opportunity to attack. While the opponent in this state cannot particularly fight back, they can do a parry or counter of their own. There are some special Guard Impacts that are available in the game including characters who possess moves that act as Guard Impacts. Also, there is the Just Impact which is a Guard Impact pulled off with the most precise timing. When achieved, the opponent falls back completely and is incredibly vulnerable to attacks as they are unable to institute a Guard Impact of their own in this situation. Just Impacts are essentially lucky breaks as it is nigh on impossible to achieve one simply by trying.
Unlike the Guard Impact which has existed in other Soulcalibur games, Reversal Edge made its debut in Soulcalibur 6. It is a defensive move that throws the user into a cutscene state where they get to parry almost anything thrown at them. If you hold on to the button (R1 on PS4) it will deliver an unblockable but doesn’t do any damage. In the ‘cutscene’ state, players can choose one of eight actions that could lead to some damage and even a win in some cases.
This is an offensive mechanic that, as the name suggests, breaks your opponent’s guard and leaves them open for an attack. In Soulcalibur VI, when a break attack hits an opponent who’s guarding, it chips that guard. This is represented on the life bar which flashes yellow. The more damage the guard takes the weaker it gets and it’ll flash red. When broken, the opponent is momentarily stunned and will grant you a free hit even if the foe is still guarding. In that state, the only recourse for a player is a well-timed Guard Impact. So, if an opponent is getting to happy with their guard, you have tools with which to break them down.
Soul Charge is one of two ways to utilize your meter in Soulcalibur 6. With Soul Charge, your character gets a power-up that makes them stronger, changes the properties of some moves, or add new moves to a sequence. Soul Charge is plus on block which makes it relatively safe to do and it causes a push back meaning that activating it while under pressure is an effective combo breaker. In some specific situations, you can even use it to win a round. This is possible if the Soul Charge is activated close to the edge of the stage and the push back knocks your foe over the edge. Soul Charge is great for comebacks as your enhanced character deals more damage and even gets chip damage on a blocking opponent.
There isn’t too much to say about Critical Edge. Think of it as a super or an ultimate move. So, if you can land a Critical Edge, you will deal a LOT of damage and when successful, you have your character perform something of a pop-off. Critical Edge is a great round ender and when used after dealing a significant amount of damage can finish off the opponent.
Hopefully, at this point, you have an idea of how to do the basic things in the game. But, the most important piece of advice I can give is this: have fun. Soulcalibur 6 has one of the best single-player content in fighting games and there is a lot to do and explore. Check out the museum when you can and buy cool stuff (with in-game money of course) and have a good time. The more time you spend with the game, the better you’ll get.