Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is an ambitious game. In many regards, it may be the most ambitious game set in the universe of the world-famous anime since PS2’s Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
If you saw gameplay footage of a battle, you’d be forgiven for thinking Kakarot was basically Xenoverse 3. Luckily, that’s not the case at all. Instead, DBZ Kakarot is much more of an action-adventure RPG than it is a fighting game. It has massive maps to explore, quests to undertake, and a long list of storylines to unravel. As such, it can be a shock to the system for DBZ fans and newcomers alike.
To best help you get started, I’ve split the tips and tricks below up into two sections: General Tips and Combat Tips.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot General Tips
Always Collect Z Orbs
When you’re flying, you’ll see Z orbs floating around of different colors like green and blue. The game has a lot of tutorials in the first few story arcs, but it doesn’t emphasize the right things. It spends pages of text explaining combat maneuvers that are self-explanatory, but glazes over important things like Z Orbs. These are crucial for your progression in DBZ Kakarot.
There are six different colors in total, but Blue, Green, and Red are the most common. You’ll use them to unlock new Super Attacks and skills that you can use to increase your damage output. You can do that on the Super Attack skill tree found in the Character menu.
Definitely grab all the ones that you can!
Complete Side Quests Often
Most zones in the game are littered with side quests. Some of them are very simple, like zooming around a town and talking to people, while others may involve combat or a bit of exploration to finish.
Either way, none of them are very difficult and they always give you something useful like consumables that could heal you in a pinch, ingredients for cooking meals, or Soul Emblems for the Community Board.
D Medals Are Rare and Extremely Valuable
While Z Orbs can be used to upgrade your character, you’ll need D Medals to actually learn new abilities. You can get these for completing some simple missions or short combat trials against side characters. If you win the training fight against the assigned rival, you can learn new skills by spending D Medals that you’ve accrued.
Understand the Community Board, Soul Emblems, and Friendships
Like Z Orbs, the Community Board isn’t explained well and is an unusually abstract series of menus that drowns you in stat lines and % bonuses very early on. I just ignored it for a while, but you can actually glean some pretty essential boosts from it with a bit of focus and effort.
Each time you get a Soul Emblem, which are those coins with character faces, you have to assign them to one of your Community Boards. Once they’re placed and you level up your friendship with them through increased interaction and working together, the bonuses will increase over time. It’s the type of thing that pays off well later on if you invest in it early.
…But You Don’t Really Need to Grind at All
Despite there being so many different upgrade systems and obscure trees and menus, you don’t really need to grind a whole lot in DBZ Kakarot — unless you just really want to unlock everything.
Thankfully, the game, despite its size, has a fairly linear progression arc. Between sagas, your key characters will advance to follow along with the story of the anime, so it’s not like you need to personally go grind for hours to make sure Goku is Super Saiyan in time for Frieza. A lot of that is just handled by the story progression.
When you’re flying around, you’ll come across random enemies a lot just out and about. You can basically ignore all of those entirely if you want. That is, unless they’re in the way of collecting some Z Orbs of course!
Remember to Go Shopping
This might sound like a silly suggestion for a game about super-powered aliens beating each other up, but you actually do need to go shopping in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. Unlike pretty much any other DBZ game, there is a lot of non-combat gameplay.
You need to check at merchants to see what sorts of items they carry, which ingredients they may have for cooking, and, of course, various side quests. Stocking up on ingredients and consumables is crucial to your success because meals can offer some serious bonuses before going into a big fight — especially healing items like Vitadrinks.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Combat Tips
Pay Attention to Your Ki Gauge
The Ki gauge is super important in combat because it’s your energy pool for big special attacks. If you’re not in the middle of a combo, you should focus on recharging that by holding down the Ki charge button.
After launching an enemy is a good time to recharge since you don’t need to worry about a counter-attack. But you can switch out of charging into a block or dodge as needed. If you’re quick, you should be fine.
Just like in the anime, you’ll typically want to fight aggressively in DBZ Kakarot. There isn’t much benefit to hanging back unless you’re extremely good at last-second dodges so you can teleport behind enemies to get in a free combo.
Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for an enemy Super Attack. Instead you should focus on melee combos to pummel away health bars and then cap things off with big Super Attacks when possible. Just keep an eye out for enemies charging up attacks or gearing up for a super because if you’re close to them, it’s much harder to dodge big Ki attacks.
Don’t Neglect Recovery Items
Don’t forget Vitadrinks and other similar items if you bring them into combat! Many battles are very tough and long, so death can mean restarting an entire fight over again. Heal when you need to and finish the fight!
Be sure to visit merchants ahead of time. See, I told you shopping was important.
By Design, Combat is Not Balanced
To that point, combat is not balanced in DBZ Kakarot at all. This is a single-player game without any multiplayer, so the developers didn’t need to think about how to balance characters against one another. Boss enemies will seem much more powerful at times and can unleash massively overpowered special attacks.
In a way, that emulates the anime. You’ll typically win these fights through quick reflexes and perseverance just like Goku himself.
Blocking and Dodging are Super Important
Blocking and dodging are super important in this game, more so than most other DBZ games. Blocking well can negate a ton of damage, even from super attacks, and dodging completely avoids it and even, potentially, gets you behind the enemy for quick counter-attacks.
You Can Break Out of Most Combos
The great thing about blocking is that you can actually break out of most combos with burst attacks to knock them back or with teleports to get behind the enemy even in the middle of their combo. That’s all dependent on your Ki gauge, though, which emphasizes the need to make sure that’s always charged up if possible.
Setup Creative Team Combo Support Attacks
Finally, don’t forget about your Support Attacks! There are three different types of Support characters (offensive, defensive, and special) that can lend a hand in various ways during combat.
Some unleash big attacks, defend you, or distract the enemy so you have time to unleash a big special attack of your own. It’s a good, dynamic system that keeps things fresh and fun.
Those are our beginner tips for both general gameplay and combat in Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot! How are you liking the game so far? Let us know your thoughts and your own tips down in the comments below!