Pressing the B, A, X or Y buttons when your character is in the idle state makes them perform an attack. You can select which attack you want using the control stick – holding up and pressing B is a different attack to holding down and pressing B, for example. Every character has a B and A attack for up, down, left, right, and neutral, as well as a B and A attack in the air, and a ‘turnaround B’ attack performed when your opponent is behind you.
Every character has at least one X attack, performed using neutral-X. Some have more, selected using different control stick directions – again, up, down, left, right, and in the air.
Every character has a neutral-Y throw and nearly every character has an airthrow (Kankuro is the only exception). Some characters have a down-Y throw as well. Throws don’t care about block, but they can be teched by pressing any attack button as the throw starts. Throws tend to be easy to combo out of.
GNT Special is built around natural combos. Pressing B multiple times results in multiple hits. I’ll refer to these natural combos as ‘chains’, and linking together a chain, a throw, or a special is a ‘combo’. A chain is said to be ‘safe’ if a blocking opponent can’t retaliate and hit you during the movelag afterwards. In practice, whether a chain is safe or not depends heavily on which character you’re fighting.
Attacks can have a number of different properties:
- Unblockable. Most neutral-X specials are unblockable.
- Melee. Some counter moves only activate on melee attacks.
- Ranged. Some counters don’t activate on ranged attacks.
- Disjoint melee. Some attacks are a kind of melee attack at a distance. They trigger melee counters like melee attacks, but don’t trigger cutscene counters.
- Poison. Some attacks poison opponents if they hit, causing damage over time and reversing left and right.
- Confusion. Some attacks cause confusion in opponents, reversing the B and A buttons.
- Power armour. Attacks with power armour can’t be interrupted by taking damage (you don’t enter hitstun). Some power-armour attacks don’t protect against getting knocked into the air by launchers.
- Block. Your character is considered blocking while performing attacks with block frames. Your guard can’t be broken while performing an attack with block frames.