Jump Force for PlayStation 4: Tips and tricks

Ready to jump into Jump Force? This anime mashup game — featuring dozens of characters from popular Shonen Jump series like Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Hunter x Hunter — is actually pretty easy to pick up and play, but if you want to dominate your competition, there are some things you should know. Take these Jump Force tips and to beat your opponents into submission!

Watch your stamina bar

With it being an arena fighter, Jump Force has lots of moments where you and your opponent aren't quite near each other. There's a chase mechanic in the game that allows you to close the distance quickly, usable by tapping L1 on your DualShock 4 controller.

But before you go spamming, note that you can only do this a finite number of times. A stamina bar dictates your ability to pull off the various movement mechanics. If it's empty, you're not going anywhere, and if you only have a little bit, you won't go far. Think of it like gas in a car: fill up before you roll out!

Counter and block

There's nothing worse than feeling helpless as an enemy lays into you. Thankfully, you have a few tools at your disposal for getting out of the way. Use them.

Your primary tool for blocking damage is your guard, engaged by holding R1. This will absorb almost all of the damage of an attack, even ultimate ones. Keep holding it until your opponent is finished and then come back with some punches of your own, but remember that you have to guard before an attack lands if you want to keep it up.

If you find your opponents are doing this a lot, learn how to grab. You'll just need to press the Circle button when you're in close range. Grabs neutralize all block attempts, so don't be afraid to use it when the shoe is on the other foot.

You can also escape an attack (mid-combo, even!) by tapping L1, counter an attack by pressing Square just as a hit is about to connect, and execute a high-speed dodge by tapping R2 just before an attack hits.

Patience is key

Because a team of fighters share all the same resources and health bars in Jump Force, the team-based gameplay isn't necessarily about managing multiple health and energy bars. That changes the way you have to play the game.

Instead of going all out with flurries of attacks that have the potential to leave you open, sit back and be patient. See what your opponent is doing and try to react to their actions. You don't always want to use a passive play style, but beginners especially would benefit from working on well-timed counter attacks instead of trying to button mash their way to victory.

There's no 'I' in team

When picking your team, you'll likely be tempted to go for your favorite characters, and if it means you'll enjoy the game more, you almost always should. However, if you want to GiT gUd, you'll need to identify characters that work well together and use them synergistically. (Plus, with enough time and practice, your favorite characters can also become your best characters.)

Try to choose team members who do different things well. It's better to choose based on range more than any other metric, as you'll want to be able to fight both intimately and from afar. Your third character should offer a bit of utility, as this game has several debuffs that can make all the difference in the fight.

Jump Force is also unique compared to most team fighters in that you have to cycle through your teammates in a specific order, so it's also about putting your team together in a way that'll maximize the effectiveness of your team attacks. With so many different possible combinations in the game, the only way to figure out what works best for you is to not only try out a bunch of different teams but also to try them out in different orders.

Experiment with combos

Jump Force can technically be played by tapping the same attack button over and over again. Don't do that. Try and mix your attacks up between light and heavy, with up and down modifiers, and even coming into or out of different animations.

Keep trying different fighters to see what you like most.

Try to end a combo early and parlay it into another one. Figure out how to knock your opponent into the air and then see which moves keep them there. Conversely, see which moves knock them back down to the ground. Figure out how close you need to be in order to hit that special move without fail. Note the timing between attacks of a long combo chain and decide whether a certain combo might take too long to dish out damage for your liking. The theme here: never stop experimenting with everything your characters can do, even if you think you already know everything.

Get a helping hand

Your teammates aren't just there to keep things interesting throughout a fight; they can come in and help you deal with your opponent, whether that be through direct damage or some sort of utility-based attack. Look for these opportunities whenever you can get them.

Holding LT will prompt one of your teammates to come in and lend a hand before returning to the sidelines. This attack isn't always hurtful, but it'll at least serve to keep your opponent on their toes.

More potent is if you call in your partner for a clean tag while you have your opponent locked into a combo. They'll come in with a bit more devastating of an attack while the tag is being made. And would you believe me if I told you there was something even more potent? If you have your Ultimate Awakening, all three of your fighters will come in and pull off something special.

Use your awakening to turn the fight around

It's a little bit hard to see, but there's a thin bar surrounding your character's portrait. This is your Awakening meter. It'll fill up over the course of the match as you take damage and land attacks, and it'll turn red once ready.

You can press R3 (click the right analog stick in) to activate your Awakening, giving you more powerful attacks and higher damage numbers. You can activate it as soon as you reach 50%, and if you wait until you're at 100%, some characters will even transform to something else entirely and let off a huge attack.

Keep playing with your favorite fighters to make them better

Our last tip is simple: keep playing with your favorite fighters. Go into training mode, use them in the campaign, and practice with them online. Not only will you get more comfortable with that character and eventually find it easier to win fights as you gain more familiarity, but you'll also gain actual experience points toward those characters.

Fighters can get up to level 75, and the higher they are, the more powerful their attacks and resistances become. This doesn't apply in ranked mode, but you'll want them in fighting shape for those times you want to change it up.

Are you playing Jump Force?

Jump Force is out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Will you be on the front lines fighting when all these worlds collide?

More: Jump Force review

Quentyn Kennemer