Dragon Ball Z Budokai - Do You Know How To Play It?

Why Budokai Is Better Than Tenkaichi


Combo Tutorial, How To Cancel


Ki Energy Tutorial, How to Manage

Damage Tutorial


Now that you have seen how the game really works and is played at a competitive level, where do your current skills and knowledge about the games rank? Possibly one of the most underrated fighters to ever exist along with that single released Super Dragon Ball Z. Just because it’s based on an anime, doesn’t mean you can’t play it competitively.

I don’t see why people are so negative about the Budokai series. It may not be exactly like a conventional 2D fighter but it uses a lot of the same concepts. For ki management you need to do some zoning to force your opponent into doing things that will waste their ki to maintain the ki advantage. You can do pokes as characters have their own ranges with moves. Making effective use of armor on first hit combo strings can be the difference between a player getting the advantage over another. Countering armor through armor break moves are using ki blasts is an effective counter for these things. There is still quite a bit of depth to these games people simply overlook because of the simple combo system.

True, and even when you have mastered the cancel combo system, the real place where it shines is how you use it in battle; not how you can beat the computer with it. This is a series that because it doesn’t have online it has never gotten the popularity or respect it deserves. I mean heck, I play SF4 and both Budokai and SF4 are developed by the same company.

I’m a fan of Budokai 3, which was a big step up from the previous games.

Infinite World and Shin Budokai Another Road were even bigger steps from Budokai 3. Too bad Dimps has only been working on Street Fighter in the recent years. DBZ is in huge need of a good new game, with recent abominations like Ultimate Tenkaichi or Kinect

Because even when looking at high level play I find nothing to interest me as a fighting game player? Is it really so hard to understand that?

That may be your opinion. And that is fair enough. But there is depth to the Budokai games, I don’t see why people choose to speak about such things when they haven’t experienced high level play for themselves. I take my time to learn about a game and its various components before I start saying things like “This game has no depth.” or “This game is just a button masher.”

I’ve said nothing of the sort, I’m just saying I really do not care about it.

Saying it’s better as a fighting game than Tenkaichi isn’t saying much. No one really assumes otherwise.

But every game has depth, doesn’t mean the depth will appeal to everyone. Budokai’s doesn’t.

I apologize if it sounded like I’m saying you are the one who is saying that. I wasn’t implying you when I said it.

Actually I’ve met a handful of people who think the Tenkaichi’s are better fighting games than the Budokai’s. In fact, the other day I got a comment saying BT2 has more depth than both B3 & BT3.

Also, I beg to differ on “every game has depth” where is the depth in Ultimate Tenkaichi? Where is the depth in the Kinect game? Where is the depth in games like Asura’s Wrath? How about Super Mario World? Sure you can say it’s difficult to play but it’s a platformer and the only thing you need to do is run, jump at the correct times and possibly hop on top of enemies. Other than these things there is relatively no depth to the game. But I’m not saying a game without depth doesn’t appeal to people. Of course Super Mario World is really fun and it provides a nice challenge despite having such a simple design. Also I’m not saying that everyone will like the appeal of Budokai’s depth. People are free to have their own opinions on whether the games is fun or not. But people shouldn’t be judging its depth and how much depth it has without actually playing the game a decent amount and to a high level of play, particularly fighters.

And that is the most important thing. You have to actually know how to play a game well to judge it. Is fine to not like something for one reason or another cause everyone is entitled to their own opinion and taste. But there really exists people out there, and many within the SRK community who have questionable knowledge of games like Budokai for example and call it crap/shitty as someone in another topic did.

Lol, I find it kind of ironic in a site that’s meant for the elite of the fighting community for there to be people who think they are so good at one game or another, and think that this makes them know everything about every other game that exists out there.

So what is the general strategy for these games? What are some mix-ups? Good pokes? What’s the best way to approach the opponent? What kind of mindgames does these games have? What’s the general tier list look like? What are the rules with capsules? Are throws useful at all?

General strategy for these games is to force your opponent into unfavourable positions in order for them to burn ki and thus you can maintain the advantage in the fight. Mix-ups are generally an arrangement of using ki-blasts, strings which guard break, feinting guard break strings as some opponents will see it coming and react by side-stepping. Using supers during your opponents actions, like side-steps is also a decent idea with certain characters who have moves that can guard or armor break. Good pokes vary between all the characters. Typically characters like Broly and Piccolo are the best in this area purely due to their amazing range. But characters like Bardock who have armor on one of his cancel strings is typically great for a counter poke against character who have great range like Broly or Piccolo. Then it would be things like ki blasts for these characters as they won’t win against Bardock’s armor.

The start of the battle is always the most important part. Getting in there and making sure you can force a TC from your opponent will be the foundation of getting the lead in the battle. Once engaged I feel there aren’t really any more mindgames. The battles are fairly quick and there is rarely any downtime between the players fighting each other so it basically becomes what do I need to do to maintain a good ki advantage and do some decent damage.

There was a tier list on the DBC forums but I can’t really remember what it looks like now. I know Bardock is top tier because while he has a baseline ki of 3, he can dish out the most damage in the game. Omega Shenron was also up there because he has the highest baseline ki in the game and he is generally an amazing character with some good supers. I think Piccolo may have been up there also for his reach as well as just being a good character. I think Overlordtico knows more about the tier stuff.

My knowledge isn’t really as in-depth as some of the other players. I only got into the scene last year and I haven’t had much time to learn about what makes characters fall into which category with having University to do also. I’ve only really brushed up on some characters and I still don’t know about the majority of them. My knowledge of fighting games isn’t really the best either due to me not having the time to learn of such things. I have played some SSF4 and I’ve been to tournaments. So I can only tell you the things I have learnt while playing Budokai 3. People like Overlordtico or Saiyanjin2 are probably the guys to ask for further things about pokes, mix-ups, mindgames and the best way to approach opponents.

As far as I’m aware the capsule rules are basically use the breakthrough capsule on every character. Throws can be useful if you have a character that doesn’t really have any good pressuring strings which can guard break. It can also be useful to get an opponent off of you while they are pressuring you with strings. I’d say throws have about the same usefulness as they have in SSF4.

This is for Budokai 3, not Infinite World, SBAR or any other Budokai type game

Top Tier

Cell/Omega Shenron - (fastest combos and neutral P / max ki baseline and double DT)
Piccolo/Dabura - (best zoning in game / good zoning, good damage, fast neutral P)
Bardock - (highest damage in least amount of time via HP)

High Tier

Super Buu
Majin buu
Teen Gohan
Kid Buu

Mid Tier

Kid Trunks
Kid Goku
Great Saiyaman
Captain Ginyu
Android 16
Android 17
Android 18
Android 20

Low Tier

Kid Gohan
Cell jr

Bottom Tier


Throws vary by character, Cell has the best throw in game, able to link it directly right after a neutral P poke with near no delay and goes directly into a juggle.

Whats a decent place for information on the game?

I’ll admit, it’s too bad that I don’t like it too much as a FG. Because it’s the one time I actually mained God Tier.

There is a miss-mash forum we used to use that has a bit of info regarding characters and more in-depth stuff about the formation of the tier lists as well as a bit of debate for where characters should be on the list. But most of the information we have isn’t really all there. Any information we do have we have shared through a facebook group or through youtube. I don’t think any of us really have the time or skills at the moment to dump our knowledge of the game into the creation of a well constructed site like SRK. If you want to check the forum it is here. The forum deals with a lot of the other dragon ball games and Infinite World has probably received the most detail for a Budokai game.

This isn’t Street Fighter where throws are overemphasized, in Budokai like most fighters should be, throws are used against opponents who just stand there and block all day. Cuz throws get beat by normal moves or any kind of pokes. But if you land a throw there’s a big reward cuz some characters have juggle throws that lead to infinite combos and etc…

This is true in Budokai 3, but Infinite World has a couple of new variables that make throws more useful. With Aura Guard being so handy (negates all chip damage and eliminates pushback) throws act as a direct counter, and some characters like Bardock can kill you off of a throw. Energy throws are introduced as universal command grabs; they have slower startup but more range and do solid damage. You can even cancel certain normals into an energy throw to act as sort of a ‘kara-throw’, giving you even more range. There’s definitely more of a balance between offense and defense in IW as opposed to B3.

Crimson had some really good stuff up there, I’ll just throw in my 2 cents as well:

  • Mixups consist of how you pressure a blocking opponent. After a blocked string, you can cancel it and go into another string, but your opponent can use a priority attack like fP+K and break through it. You can counter this by firing a ki blast after your first string, which will put them into a juggle state on counterhit. You’ve also got other options like throwing, delaying your attack string, or going for a guard break.

  • Good pokes in the Budokai games are either very fast, boast a high amount of priority/armor, and/or have solid reach. As far as approach goes, you’d try to poke with said normals to stage an offense. Ki blasts make a great footsie tool in that you can stand outside of the range of your opponent’s farthest poke and punish them for hitting buttons. If a ki blast hits on counterhit, it causes a juggle state, allowing you to follow up.

  • As far as capsules go, the general consensus is that you’re allowed to have all of your moves. In Budokai 3, this means that you’d have all breakthrough capsules equipped. In IW, it’d be things like death moves, ultimates, and those special fighting poses that Recoome and Ginyu have.


There’s tons of information on the forums. The 2nd link is the older [dead] forum, but there’s some pretty nice info on it that’s worth looking into.

I’ve played IW quite a lot, and for energy throws it does more damage if you spin the joystick.

Well, if there’s one thing I learned, the best way to get people to see how your game can be played and to sway people to your side…is to show high level play.