Open beta for Guilty Gear Strive starts soon

Fans can play Guilty Gear Strive on February 17th (Image via Arc System Works)
Fans can play Guilty Gear Strive on February 17th (Image via Arc System Works)

Guilty Gear Strive is scheduled to release on April 6th of this year, but fans eager to get an early taste can play the open beta. It will be available for players who have pre-ordered the game starting February 17th and from February 18th for those who haven’t.

The Guilty Gear Strive open beta will be available on the PS4 and PS5 and last until February 21st. This beta test is meant to test the new rollback netcode in Guilty Gear Strive, an updated system that should make online games feel smoother and more similar to offline gameplay.

Guilty Gear Strive beta gameplay

Previously released gameplay for Guilty Gear Strive has shown a stark departure from the series’ traditional styles.

Guilty Gear Strive features a crisp modern UI and a smaller cast of launch characters, and the gameplay appears slower and more deliberate. These aren’t necessarily bad things, as the Guilty Gear series has been known for its chaotic and often swingy games.

Compared to Guilty Gear Xrd, Strive shifts the focus more towards playing in the midscreen. It repeatedly asks players to fight it out from a neutral position rather than engage in complex guessing games that feel more like puzzles.

While this sharp turn away from the previous game’s general playstyle may come as a shock to series veterans, it will almost certainly make Guilty Gear Strive less confusing and more welcoming to newer players. Hopefully, it will also retain the series’ traditional levels of high-octane excitement.

What to know before playing

The Guilty Gear Strive open beta will let people play 13 of the planned 15 launch characters, each with various move sets and play styles. Series veterans will know which characters they’re interested in, but the diversity gives new players plenty of entry points into the series.

Anyone who wants to try out Guilty Gear Strive will find characters like Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske simple enough to pick up with comprehensive gameplans that cover a wide array of playstyles. Of course, gamers should also feel comfortable exploring other characters that interest them. There’s no wrong reason to pick up a character so long as the player has fun.

Guilty Gear features five varied attack buttons and generally straightforward special moves that offer a lot of creative freedom in their use. The main mechanic players should be aware of are the “Roman Cancels.” By pressing Punch, Kick, and Slash together, players can use their meter resource to cancel any move, momentarily stopping time in the process.

Though simple, these mechanics are the core part of what gives Guilty Gear its freedom and why players are drawn to it.

Edited by Ravi Iyer

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