Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate – Starter Guide

I'm a fighter! Are you?

I'm a fighter! Are you?

The Dead or Alive series is a face-paced 3D fighting game that has been around since 1996. It has stood-out from all the other fighting games due to some of it’s unique fighting mechanics. What I mean is that, like Virtua Fighter, it emphasizes striking your opponents quickly, quick combos, and face-recovery time. Dead or Alive has a countering system which allows the players to perform a powerful counterattack that can stop their opponents while they’re hitting them. This is classified as a hold.

Like most fighting games out there, Dead or Alive‘s counter system in a unique feature that makes the game stand out from other fighting games. With this mechanic–making it more realistic than most fighting games, it changes the gameplay drastically which players must think extremely carefully on what move they should do next, it’s basically a mind game.

The Notation Legend:

This 8-Way directional format is used in pretty much every single forums for fighting games. If you’re trying to get into the fighting game community, then this will be a great thing to memorize since almost every professional fighting gamer knows this by heart.

Here are some other formats:
  • P-Punch
  • K-Kick
  • H-Hold
  • T-Throw
  • +-press the buttons simultaneously
  • ,-Moves are separate strings or inputs
  • FC()-Perform the input while fully crouched
  • WR()-Perform the input while rising from a crouch
  • Hld()-Hold this input for several frames
  • SS()-Perform the input while side-stepping

This can only be done if the player anticipates their opponent’s attack correctly, but it also requires perfect timing. Players must input the hold in a certain direction depending on where the opponent’s attack is coming from.

If guessed correctly, then not only you will stop your opponent’s attack, but you will also deal damage to the opponent. If guessed wrong, then the opponent can continually add more hits on you which can result in adding some serious damage to your life bar.


Strikes make up the vast majority of every fighter’s arsenal, it’s basically your bread and butter. They help the player maintain pressure on their opponents and also the foundation upon which all combos are built. Critical strikes and stuns are what gives the player opportunities to perform combos and mix-ups.

Learning how to use launchers and critical bursts can help players extend their combos. However, building them into high-counter combos can result into unbelievable damage. The first step in mastery, is to learn your character’s strikes and it’s properties.


Like most fighting games, throws can beat every defensive option like blocking, side-stepping and holds. In Dead or Alive, they play a unique role that’s different from other games. Unlike most fighting games, Dead or Alive‘s throws won’t beat strikes, with its unique role it guarantees a good chunk of damage to opponents, especially during punishment situations.

The majority of the throws in this game can cause a hard knockdown, allowing the player to perform a okizeme–strikes that are performed on a knocked-down opponent. In many cases, strikes are rarely fast enough to punish with. This means that when the opponent attacks you on block, depending on the move(s) they used against you, they are put at a disadvantage afterwards. However, they can immediately block any high or mid strikes, not lows.

This is where the throws come in, not only they safer than lows, they also deal a lot more damage on punish. Throws are also considered your bread and butter.

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate contains multiple training modes to help players better understand the mechanics of the game.

These modes include:
  • Tutorial – teaches the fighting mechanics to the player.
  • Command Training – teaches specific character’s moves-set.
  • Combo Challenge – help gives the player the general idea of what strikes can be used in certain combos with certain characters.
  • Free Training – allows the player to practice anything they want from combos to punishments, etc.

One more feature that Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate has that is very useful, is “Move Details.” Like most fighting games, you have to buy the guide or search the internet to find accurate frame data, but in this game, it has an option that allows you to see frame data and other useful information about your moves during any game mode. This helps the player understand which moves are safe and unsafe, this can be turned on and off in the options menus under “Fight Screen Info.”

I hope this starter guide help gives new players an idea of what to expect in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate. The game can be challenging to many players, especially to players who play Tekken, Soul Calibur, or Street Fighter. There is free version of this game that’s only available on PS3 called DOA5U: Core Fighters.

This version is the same as the regular version, but with a few difference is you must buy the story mode separately, you don’t earn any trophies and you are given only four characters: Kasumi, Ryu Hayabusa, Ayane, and Hayate. The rest of the characters can be bought separately and you can also play against players who have the full version of the game.

This free version is great idea from the developers, for it allow players to save money or test out the game. No confirmation has been made yet for the Xbox 360 version.

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