Collecting characters from across Shonen Jump’s storied history, Jump Force is a celebration of all things manga and anime, with frenetic action, spectacular special techniques, and spikier hair than a porcupine sanctuary.
With the game starting to go live around the world – especially with pre-order early access – here are a few tips to get you started.
Jump Force tips
Press triangle in Umbras Base to pull up a minimap
A simple one to start. Early on in Jump Force’s story you’ll be introduced to Umbras Base, our heroes’ operational hub as they set out to solve the mystery of why they’ve been brought to the real world.
As you progress, you’ll get different objectives around the base. Most are from the Missions Desk, but some require you to explore the Base with your Avatar and speak to someone. This can turn into a bit of wild goose chase, but if you just press Triangle on a PS4 controller or Y on an Xbox controller, it brings up a minimap with your objectives marked on – easy peasy.
Learn the timing of high-speed counters and dodges
Disrupting combos and your opponent’s moves are at a massive premium in Jump Force. Your movement gauge lets you escape easily once, but after that you’ve only got the speed of your own reflexes to rely upon.
Pressing guard just before you’re hit, or Rush attack just after you’ve taken damage, allows you to change the tide and go on the offensive.
As the difficulty of the game increases – or you head online – being able to reliably dodge enemy attacks or counter their combos will prove an immensely powerful tool in your arsenal, so jump into the training arena and practice.
Also learn to dodge backwards
Something else that isn’t immediately obvious with dodging is that you can hold backwards while pressing guard to dart quickly behind you. This doesn’t use any of your movement gauge, and if executed correctly can leave you opponent heavily exposed.
Use your Awakening abilities tactically
Another of the quirks of Jump Force’s combat system is that the power in both your Ability and Awakening meters carries over between rounds. This means that it’s not always the best idea to use your Awakening Abilities as soon as you can, but rather save them until the start of the next round.
That way you can lead off with a powerful attack, but still have enough time to build up energy again as the round progresses; possibly enough for even a second Awakening.
Customise your skill sets with the best ones you come up against
It can be tempting to stick with your Avatar’s starting suite of abilities for the whole game, since it’s perfectly serviceable. If you do that though, you’re leaving a ton of great specials on the table.
Naruto’s Six Paths Spar is strong since you can use it to counter melee combos. Pretty much all of the Saint Seiya characters’ skills are great, as is Kenshiro’s Awakening the Senses.
Chain your combos and specials
Speaking of specials, to maximise the damage output of your combos experiment with which abilities can be chained together.
For instance, with Ichigo you can perform a full Rush melee combo followed by his Piercer of Heavens: Zero, which can then be immediately chained with his Moon Fang Cross Blast to dish out a hefty chunk of damage in one fell swoop.
Collect better J-Skills from Free Missions
Just like with your specials, it can be easy to fumble through all of Jump Force’s story with the J-Skills you get at the start of the game.
Check out the Free Missions at the Missions Desk and press to “Toggle View”. This shows you the rewards for the mission, and which ones will give you new J-Skills.
There are much more powerful ones that the early freebies to collect, so be sure to stock up if enemies start to get too tough.
Don’t sweat too much about your story team
Right at the start of the game you’re asked to pick between Team Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. Don’t worry too much about this choice, you’ll still meet up and go on missions with characters from all over the Jump Force roster, it’s mostly just to determine your Avatar’s starting skills.