Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is kind of rough. Part of that is because of how many systems the game throws at you without doing a great job of explaining them. So if you’re a die-hard DBZ fan and want to get to grips with the title regardless, here are some tips that should help you out in your quest to help Goku save the universe.
1. Get Back When Enemies Glow Red
There’s this animation that almost every enemy in Kakarot does where they freeze up while crackling and glowing red. It reads like they’re stunned, but it’s actually the opposite — it means they’re charging up an attack. To be clear, I’m not talking about the actual ki charge animation, which can be interrupted with attacks. This one seems to put enemies into an unflinchable mode, and after a few seconds they’ll respond with a big hit. When you see it begin, that’s your cue to back off rather than press your attack.
2. Krillin is Your Best Friend
In DBZ, Krillin and the other non-Saiyan characters become more or less useless by the time of the Frieza saga. That always seemed weird to me, considering how many cool tricks those characters have up their sleeves. And in Kakarot, Krillin never stops being a useful support character, largely in part to his Solar Flare super attack. Activating it from the support menu will temporarily incapacitate opponents, from lowly robots all the way up to big bad Frieza. It gives you a lot of breathing room and can help you set up your own supers.
3. Beams Are (Mostly) Useless
Kakarot has the same problem that its predecessor Xenoverse had when it comes to ki attacks — beams like the Kamehameha and Gallick Gun can be casually sidestepped, leaving you totally open. You can definitely land hits with these moves if you’re careful, and they’re especially powerful when you’re in Surge mode, when you can rapidly chain them together without giving your opponent a chance to react. But most of the time, you’re better off with moves that either launch a lot of smaller ki blasts or that chase the opponent with a single attack, like Goku’s Spirit Bomb.
4. Don’t Forget to Equip Know How and Super Moves
When you unlock new Super Moves via training or “Know How” (passive stat boosts) via your Super Tree, don’t forgot to equip them. You might remember to do this for Super Moves, since you have a limited palette of four to work with in battle. But you also have to equip Know How to receive the stat bonuses they grant, which is kind of confusing.
More Dragon Ball:
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Adds a New, Female Ginyu Force Member
- Aggretsuko’s Power Walking Women Are Basically Dragon Ball Z Characters
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Review: The Balls Are Inert
5. Use Your Gifts
Throughout Kakarot, you are going to stumble on a lot of weird items — my favorite is the “Romantic Apron.” These are gifts, which you can give to each character in the Community menu to increase the bonuses they provide. Characters don’t have specific likes and dislikes — rather, each gift provides a set bonus to one or more communities when given to a character.
6. You Can Buy Maps, If You Want
Looking for every fishing hole, fruit tree, resource, and bit of interactivity that Kakarot has to offer? You could fly around scouring the wilderness like a chump, or you could just head to a city and buy a map. If you’re looking for the “Memorial Spots” that contain little bits of story from the original Dragon Ball series, talk to Baba the Witch in Olive Village, who will tell you the location of one for 1,000 Zeni.
7. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (And It’s All Small Stuff)
Kakarot throws a lot of progression systems at you. When you first jump in, it can all feel pretty overwhelming. But the truth is that you don’t really have to engage with any of this stuff if you don’t want to. Most battles can be won fairly easily by spamming the right super attacks, and when you hit one of the game’s rare difficulty spikes you’ll probably be able to get through by taking a healing item with you into the fight. For better or worse, the Food, Community, and Super Trees systems are largely optional.