The just recently released DNF Duel has taken the fighting game world by storm. With a roster of powerful, interesting characters, some really unique mechanics, and a stiff competitive atmosphere, this game is set to quickly dethrone some of the fighting game community’s heavyweight games. If you’ve been engaged with the FGC for a while and you’re getting into DNF Duel, you’re probably on stable ground. It uses many mechanics that are old standbys but gives them a twist to make them unique. Veteran fighting game players will feel right at home.
However, if you’re new to fighting games and are only jumping in because DNF Duel looks so cool, then you’ll likely be completely lost. Fighting games have come a long way since the early days of Street Fighter, and many-layered mechanics now determine your success or failure in a match. Thankfully, I have this list of helpful DNF Duel tips & tricks that should help even the most novice fighting game player become a fighting game warrior. If you’re ready, select your fighter and get ready for battle, let’s get started!
Most fighting games have something called “comeback mechanics”. These kick in when you’re low on health and need a boost to get back to being competitive. In DNF Duel, the comeback mechanic is called “Awakening”.
Awakening differs from character to character. Some get buffs, some get debuffs, and some even get brand new moves, so you’ll need to be familiar with your chosen character’s attributes. Activating Awakening at the right time can cause you to completely turn over the match and come out victorious.
However, the same goes for your opponent. So, as much as you want to try to activate Awakening when you need it when your opponent’s back is up against the wall you’re going to want to prevent them from entering that state.
The “special meter” is another standard fighting game feature. It builds up over time due to landed hits, taken damage, or a number of other reasons, but it allows your character to pull off extra powerful moves or buffed-up defensive maneuvers.
DNF Duel’s version of the special meter is MP, which builds up as your character takes damage and as time runs low on the match. MP allows you to do complex moves with simple inputs such as a press of the directional button, but doing so will result in a penalty to MP recovery. Some of the best moves for each character use MP, but doing so early in the match will eat up your meter quickly, so be mindful of when and how often you use it.
Keep Them Guessing
DNF Duel’s combat revolves heavily around something called conversions. Conversions are when you cancel out of one move and into another, confusing your opponent with a stylish mix-up. Mastery of conversions can unlock all kinds of great combos and create block pressure for opponents who don’t know how to deal with the onslaught.
To use conversions, you will need to have some “white health” on your health bar. This is damage that has been taken but is recoverable. Just like with Awakening, you’re going to want to prevent your opponent from being able to use conversions by eliminating this white health with SP attacks at the end of your combos.
The guard break meter, which is located on the end of your health bar closest to the timer, shows you the health of your block. As your opponent attacks you with a long combo, this meter gets whittled down until it depletes and your guard is broken. Once this happens, you will be unable to block and will take increased damage.
There are characters in the game who are built to attack you until your guard breaks. These are some of the most powerful characters in the game, but there is a way to combat them. You can guard cancel while being attacked by pressing forward along with the conversion input. This will interrupt your enemy’s barrage and give you some space to recover.
Every character in DNF Duel, along with just about every fighting game character, has an invincible reversal. Colloquially known as a DP in the fighting game community (Dragon Punch), invincible reversals take after the iconic Shoryuken from Street Fighter.
It is just an attack that can’t be interrupted, even if you’re in the process of being attacked already. It is wise to use these when you are under pressure or need an opening for a big combo.
DNF DUEL Controls (PC & Xbox One)