DragonBall Z: Budokai 3
Advanced Gameplay Mechanics/Depth Guide
By: Fabian Ahmed
Table of Contents:
II. Basic Mechanics
III. Advanced Mechanics
Budokai 3 has plenty of depth that many scrub players just cannot get. Scrub
players such as Game Informer and just about all the raters who gave the game a
5 or below are also strong examples of players who also show scrub knowledge.
This guide is to cover the mechanics of this game, as well as the depth.
II. Advanced Basic Mechanics
First, you have a wide variety of things to know and think about in a Budokai 3
fight. These are the basic maneuvers of the game:
Flying into the air
Flying back to the ground
Believe it or not, each of those basic maneuvers offered at the different
gameplay levels have different mechanics behind them that can completely alter
your style of play.
Blocking: Executed by Holding the guard button (standardly X). Damage from
attacks is reduced, fatigue is gained. Ki is gained while blocking attacks.
Attacker gains ki as well. Grabs, ultimate launchers and fully charged power
attacks cannot be blocked. Some dash attacks are guard breakers, others pierce
guards. Special death moves pierce guards. Transformations break guards.
Dodging: Executed by tapping guard (standardly X). No damage is taken, no
fatigue is gained. 1/2 of a ki bar is consumed when dodging an attack. Attacker
gains ki. Ideal when making counter-attacks within a combo. Grabs, ultimate
launchers and fully charged power attacks cannot be dodged. Transformations
cannot be dodged.
Side-Stepping: Executed by pressing guard along with up or down. Character
jumps or steps to the side. Ideal for positioning yourself in an advantageous
position after an enemy attack. Good to execute after dodging attacks in a
Teleport Countering: Executed by pressing towards + guard. Character loses 3
bars of ki, but gets behind the opponent after any attack and launches a
powerful counter-attack sending the opponent flying. This attack can also be
teleport countered, as long as there is enough ki to support it. TC is the
frequently used short hand term for this. Fatigue is gained.
Teleport Rushing: Executed by pressing ki when an opponent is hit by a
knockback attack and is in the air. Attacker teleports behind the flying
opponent and power hits them forward. This can be done 3 times. Each teleport
rush takes up a bar of ki to use, and the opponent gains a bar of ki. You can
also direct at what angle you knock someone with a teleport rush. Press Up + E
to knock them up, E to knock them forward, and down + E to knock them down.
Dashing Forward: Done by tapping forward and holding it. Character takes a
small leap and flies forward. Others such as Kid Gokou run instead. Useful for
closing a space gap.
Leaping Forward: Done by tapping forward. Useful for closing small space gaps.
Due to the slow recovery, the forward leap is easy meat for a death move.
Leaping forward is done before a dashing forward.
Dashing Backward: Character leaps back and flies back. Useful for keeping away
from the opponent. Small leap makes an open spot for death moves.
Leaping Backward: Character simply leaps back. Useful for keeping a distance.
Leap makes an open spot for death moves and ki blasts.
Flying into the air: Done by dashing backwards and holding up. Character slowly
rises. Good if you want to take the fight into the air.
Flying Back to the Ground: Done by dashing backwards and holding down while in
the air. Character slowly descends. Useful if you want to take the fight to the
Hyper Mode: Done by pressing K, G, E and P all at the same time. Character
glows red. Ki slowly drops, but character is not phased by ki blasts, punches
and kicks. Standard attacks negate the invincibility of power moves. Ends when
starting dragon rush or when all ki runs out. When all ki runs out, character
takes a quick breather.
Note: Avoid using hyper mode against a skilled player. All a skilled player has
to do is outsmart and outmaneuver you. All a skilled player has to do is run
away from you, dodging and sidestepping as needed. Once you take the breather,
you're going to eat a crapload of damage.
Dragon Rush: Done by pressing E after a knockback attack in hyper mode. Both
characters go through a 3 stage sequence moderated by the four buttons square,
triangle, X and circle. If the attacker presses a button that the defence does
not, the next stage continues and damage is dealt to the defender. If the
attacker guesses the same as the defender, dragon rush ends.
Combos: Each character has a combo platform. Each character is easily capable
of doing combos by tapping P and K. Ps and Ks can be mixed into combos to
create different combinations. The forward and back motions can also change
some of the attacks.
Throwing: By pressing P + G, a character grabs the opponent and does a sequence
of attacks. Some throws can lead into juggles. Some throws might make a
character slide on the ground. Other throws just might send someone flying. It
keeps going, whether you are on ground or in air.
Taunting: By holding guard and then pressing down twice, a character taunts
his/her opponent. If the taunt connects, the opponent loses a bar of ki. Very
deadly maneuver if it can be used properly. Cannot be used if there is an item
Powering Up: Done by holding guard, pressing back twice, then holding back.
Character drops guard in order to gain ki at a faster rate. When powering up
and hitting max ki, the character yells and releases a little energy. In this
short span of time, the character is invincible to ANY attack. For characters
with high baseline ki, this helps.
Ultimates: After activating hyper mode with enough ki, some characters who have
an ultimate equipped can press PKGE again to do a special physical attack. This
attack deals no damage, but is unblockable and undodgeable. This attack, when
successfully connected, sends both characters into a sequence. It usually
consists of the attack beating the crap out of the opponent or charging
up/getting ready for the big ultimate attack. Each character now has a bar that
fills up. Players are to press the button (usually X) when the bar hits the
highest. If the defender wins, then he either takes no damage, reduces damage,
or makes the opponent take damage. Tien's Neo Ki Blast Cannon is the sole
exception to this. If defence wins, then Tien does even more damage. If the
attacker wins, they do the full damage, and the character adds more emphasis
into their attack.
Unless you are Trunks or Krillin, do not count on landing an ultimate in a
fight. The launchers can be seen from a mile away, can be easily side-stepped
or keeping enough distance away from them. You also have to be in hyper mode,
which is already a give-away.
Here are the other mechanics:
Ki: Energy. The more energy that is in this bar, the more special & basic
maneuvers can be done. Attack power and defence change at different ki levels.
There are 7 bars total.
Baseline Ki: A character's starting ki. When ki is below baseline, it slowly
rises back up to baseline. When above, ki slowly drops to baseline. When ki
goes a bar above base line, attack increases by 2%. When ki drops below base
line, defence is lowered by 2%. When powered up to 7 bars of ki, characters
except omega Shenron and Super Vegetto gain 4% to attack rather than two.
Fatigue: Measures how much ki is gained through powering up, what speed the
bars move during ultimate sequences, how long hyper mode can be held and when a
character gets tired when ki drops below 1. Fatigue is gained through use of
hyper mode, taking damage, and teleport countering/TC canceling.
Note: Fatigue is only visible through that little graphic of the person below
the health. There is an invisible bar that fills up when TCing or taking
damage. When that bar gets full, the fatigue is shown by the graphic changing
colors. When the graphic is blue, fatigue is low. When at yellow, fatigue is
moderate. When at red, fatigue is high. But more fatigue can be gained.
Once it is maxed out(which you have to take a guess at), the bar for ultimate
launchers goes VERY fast, and if you are struck by any type of attack when
below 1 bar of ki, your character takes damage and has to take a breather. The
attacker can now go about doing a cancel combo on you, while all you can do is
sit there and watch. The attacker now has 18 seconds of long combo canceling
strings to do. If they are brutal, they'll combo cancel into a death move into
dragon rush. If they are generous, they'll knock you into an ultimate or not do
a long combo cancel.
You can lower your fatigue by getting tired or using an item that recovers
This covers the basics of the game. Now, off we go to the advanced mechanics of
III. Advanced Mechanics
The advanced mechanics of the game come from capsules and features that sprout
from the basic mechanics.
Combo Charging: By holding an attack motion in a combo, the attack charges.
Only specific attacks in specific combos can be charged. By charging to the
max, the attack becomes guard piercing and undodgeable. Vegeta's ->PKKK
features two chargeable attacks. The first P and the second K. These charge
attacks are automatically released when fully charged, and can be released at
will anytime beforehand.
Combo Canceling: By charging an attack and then pressing guard, a character
stops charging and gets in a blocking stance. Basically, you cancel a combo.
Because the character is in a blocking stance, you can immediately stop
guarding and do whatever you want.
Say I do Gohan's ->PKK. I land the first two hits, and I hold the last K. As it
charges (as I hold K), I then press G, WHILE I am holding K. gohan is now
blocking, and the enemy is stunned. I let go of the block and kick buttons, and
then do a KKKK(cancel) using the same method. I can then do a <-PP followed by
a PPP->P then a taunt.
In many other fighting games, launching safe poke attacks that can lead into
deadly combos is the main thing to keep an eye out for. In this game, combo
canceling is the method of doing these safe poke attacks. In order to be
considered a decent Budokai player, you must be able to combo cancel. This is
what makes players easily capable of beating scrubs who play the game thinking
"as long as I can do a PPPPE, I can win with any character!"
Sidestep Canceling: Some combo cancels, or stuns for that matter, can leave an
opponent stunned for quite a long time. Within this span of time, its possible
to sidestep so you're behind the opponent, and continue the combo. Damage
changes when you're behind the enemy (it increases) so you always want to
sidestep cancel if possible. Remember the different stun times of each
character. It also allows some stuns or combos that would not work against
characters you are in front of, to work.
Teleport Counter Canceling: This is done in a very similar manner to combo
canceling. Instead of just tapping towards + guard, hold guard while tapping
towards. Your character does not counter attack, your character blocks. You can
then drop the block and do whatever you want. A whole new level of depth and
gameplay is added with this. This forces more emphasis on one of the rules of
high level Budokai 3 gameplay: The first person to TC is the loser. Simply
because, rather than using a counter attack, people can do long strings of
cancel combos. The only thing that breaks the rule of whoever TCs first is the
loser is if someone can TC more than the opponent.
Teleport Countering/TC canceling is like Bursting of GGX2#Reloaded. It is your
get out of jail for free card (although it normally costs 3 bars of ki, so its
not technically for free), but if you are outpredicted, you're in for a severe
Proper Ki Management: The key to winning a high level fight in Budokai 3 is
being able to keep your ki level as high as possible, while keeping the enemy's
as low as possible. Baseline ki and ki suppressing capsules both play a major
role in the ki management department. With high baseline ki, your ki levels
will often be high. With ki suppressing capsules, you can do ki-costing
maneuvers such as the TC without needing to use as much ki as normal.
When in a situation where you need to gain ki, focus on blocking instead of
dodging. Do not block for extended lengths of time, and do not dodge for
extended lengths of time. Blocking one combo or a death move is fine, but if a
character keeps on pounding on you with combo cancels, then blocking is going
to hurt you badly.
If fighting someone with a lower baseline ki, you can dodge more. If fighting
someone with a similar baseline ki, make effective use of both blocking and
Every combo a character does has a weak point. This weak point is any attack
that is slow to execute and slow to recover from. Vegeta's ->PKKK main weak
point is the sweep on the first kick. Dodge the first punch, then strike
immediately. While attacking, you gain ki. Attack frequently if possible.
Hitting is something that automatically happens when there is a weak spot. In
other words, once you start showing mastery of the game, you'll naturally
strike the instant you notice a weak point.
Taunting plays a major role, if you can use it correctly. You can only taunt
with 0% risk if you perform a knockback attack on the ground that an enemy
cannot perform an instant recovery from. Take Bardock's ->P+K. This is a power
move. If it connects on the ground, the opponent should start rolling back,
then ending up on the ground, down for a short count.
THIS is when you can taunt with 0% risk. Not when they are sleeping, but
immediately proceeding the attack (so you might start the taunt as the
character rolls). Sometimes, you'll have to juggle the opponent and then do a
knockback move once they are a certain distance up from the ground. Therefore,
skilled players of the game can do successful high ki building combo cancels
that have a finisher whether it be a standard hit or a death move that
initiates the rolling back on the ground effect, following it up with a
Sometimes, the taunt can successfully connect when a character is very high up
from the ground. Others can only be done when the target is inches above the
ground. Also, aiming a teleport rush downward can result in the rollback
effect, if the victim is a certain height above the ground.
The major effect of this is you gain plenty of ki, while reducing your
opponent's ki. This is what counts.
There are ki suppressing capsules and capsules that reduce/increase the amount
of ki it takes to dodge and TC. Ki suppressing capsules include Evil Grin,
Babidi's Scope, Paragas' Admonishment, the broken capsule Meditation and Ki
Control. The more slots a ki suppressing capsule takes up, the more ki is
Turtle Shell is a capsule that doubles the cost of dodging and TCing, for both
fighters. Dodging costs a bar of ki, TCing costs 6 bars of ki. Fights become
more reliant on combo cancels, and characters with high baseline ki dominate.
Concentration halves the cost of dodging and TCing for both fighters. Dodging
costs 1/4 of a ki bar, TCing costs 1.5 bars of ki. Fights become more focused
on TCing and characters with large combo platforms and characters with weaker
ones are a little more balanced out.
When turtle shell and concentration are both used, they cancel each other out.
Also, Meditation itself is the best capsule in the game, and its broken. It's a
close equivalent of adding +20 to ki.
1/2 ki maneuvers cost right around 1/4.
1 ki maneuvers only take right above 1/2 of a ki bar to do.
2 ki maneuvers take around 1.3 ki bars.
3 ki maneuvers cost 2 bars of ki.
4 ki maneuvers cost about 2.8 bars of ki.
5 ki maneuvers cost around 3.7 bars of ki.
6 ki maneuvers cost just over 4.5 bars of ki(Think I'm wrong here).
7 ki maneuvers cost just over 4.7 bars of ki.
With meditation, no move in the game requires even 5 bars of ki to do. Teleport
countering is reduced to an extreme amount of 2 ki bars. Other ki maneuvers are
greatly suppressed. And, it only costs 3 slots. Trunks and Krillin are far
ahead of a vast majority of the characters in the game, Piccolo and Gokou
become Gods, Teen Gohan and Adult Gohan are major beasts and Vegeta can become
This covers my guide based on the depth and mechanics of this game. If there is
anything I missed, contact me on AIM through NachoandCheese07 or email at
CjayC: Making this site
Budokai 1 Computer players: Showing me that some attacks in a combo can be
charged, and can be cancelled
Budokai 2 computer players: For showing me sidestep canceling.
Dimps: Making the game.
Atari: publishing the game.
Players of the game: For inspiring me to make this guide.
This FAQ is only been posted here in www.gamefaqs.com. If you see this FAQ
anywhere else, it is plagiarism. Feel free to distribute this FAQ as long as:
I: You do not change my name
II: Ask for permission
III: You do not change the contents to make it look like your own
IV: You do not make any money in any way off this FAQ
V: If you got any info from this FAQ, to give me credit.
Tell me if I made something wrong in this FAQ. I will gladly change it.
This document is Copyright 2004 Fabian Ahmed. All trademarks and copyrights
contained in this document are owned by their respective, trademarks and