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Which releases are current?
The PS4 and PC versions are based on NSC 2.11, which is the current arcade version and the standard for competitive play. The PS3 version was based on the Sega Ringwide version of the game, and then patched to NSC 1.03, neither of which are played competitively anymore.
What's an NSC?
NSC stands for "New Sign of Catastrophe" which is the subtitle added to Chaos Code when it moved from Ringwide to Nesica arcade hardware. This move also marked a major update to the game and a change in the version number. While the PS3 release never got the name update, it was updated to NSC 1.03 balance changes.
What's changed since the original PS3 release?
Since the original release, there have been 2 major updates for console. The first was a patch which had balance changes for the whole cast and a lot of new animations. The second was the release of the PS4 version, which has another round of balance changes for the entire cast and 2 new characters (Ray and Lupinus), plus lots of reworked and new single player content (including unlockable boss characters for the entire cast).
How big is the buffer?
Chaos Code has an infinite buffer on held inputs, however it will not buffer motion inputs like 236, 214, 623, etc. For motion inputs there is still a rather large buffer, but it is not infinite. Additionally you cannot buffer a Throw as reversal.
I held down an input and got nothing?
If you change directional inputs while holding a button the game will drop the input. To avoid losing your inputs make sure to hold whatever directional input you want first, then hold down the button (6, then A to buffer 6A as opposed to A then 6)
Does this game have hold to tech?
Yes but it's a little weird. The tech input is A+B and you can hold this to tech out on the first frame, but it shares the quirks of the buffer system which makes it a little different from other games. Most important is that if you change the direction you want to tech you need to release and then re-hold A+B since you're changing a directional input.
What the heck is a bounce and which one should I select?
Bounce Selection determines what kind of dash you get and what your super meter looks like. Dash speed is character specific, but run and step are usually about the same. Runs can be canceled at any point into attacks, superjumps (any jump out of a run will become a superjump), or by hitting back. Steps cannot be canceled out of but can be canceled into. Some steps have a hopping animation that gives them a bit of lower body & throw invun. Cthylla and Celia have different dash mechanics, for them run is a hover dash and step is cancelable similar to other character's runs. For all characters Step has a shorter super meter/faster meter build. The choice between run and step is up to you, most characters can do fine in either, but all things being equal run is generally easier to use. For more information on what any given character can do with run or step check out their character page.
How do I jump cancel?
You can only superjump cancel, and all cancelable normals can be superjump canceled.
Why does my super sometimes cost 2 bars?
Canceling from a special move to a super move costs an extra bar of meter, but resets damage scaling. This means for basic combos you probably don't want to cancel into supers from special moves, but if you have a very long combo, such as an Exceed route, doing a special > super cancel will add a very significant amount of damage.
Sometimes when I anti-air I see the game say "ground-to-air", what does that mean?
That message pops up if you blockstring an opponent into an air unblockable normal (most grounded normals are air unblockable). When you do this, the game scales your follow-up combo more than usual since you didn't give them a chance to escape.
Tactical Guard activates as normal, but misses the opponent. Why is that?
TG hitboxes are just like any other hitboxes, they can be avoided with good spacing or by the properties of some moves.
Who should I play? Who is the best? Who is the worst?
As of NSC 2.11 the balance is generally considered good enough that you can play whoever. Ray and Kudlak are generally agreed to be the best, and Cait & Sith are generally agreed to be the worst, but tiers are pretty compressed, anyone can win.
No character in Chaos Code is really so hard to play that you should avoid them, so feel free to pick whoever you like for whatever reason. If you want a brief rundown of how characters play:
- Kai - A shoto-esc moveset with oppressive air normals
- Cerb - Good footsies and unique meter management with his bullet gauge
- Celia - Unique dash types, delayed projectiles, and good meterless damage
- Rui - Simple but strong moveset with a focus on close range pressure and mix-ups
- Kagari - Good fireballs and a good DP with solid reset options
- Bravo - Grappler with a surprisingly well rounded set of tools
- Hikaru - Shoto-style character who gets very high reward off of counterhits
- MG - Strong pressure and mix-up with high stun damage and good reset potential
- Ray - Unique stance pressure which gives him very high damage and unique command dodges
- Vein - Big normals and really active fireballs help him limit his opponent's options
- Kudlak - Snipes specific spots on screen, can summon zombies to slowly approach
- Cthylla - Oppressive lockdown with high reward on hit
- Hermes - Trap based zoning and setplay
- Lupinus - Good mobility and wallcling is an extremely strong mix-up
- Cait & Sith - Puppet character with lots of opportunities for setplay and strong high/lows
- Catherine - Good normals and corner carry with strong okizeme setups
How do I select MG Hikaru?
You should notice an arrow to the left of Hikaru's character select box. Highlight him and press left to select MG Hikaru.
What's a bounce and which should I select?
Your bounce is both what kind of dash you get and what your super meter looks like. Step is a short step forward with a fixed distance similar to Street Fighter, and run is a King of Fighters-style forward run that will go until you let go of forward. Runs are cancelable at any point which gives them more utility for general movement, but with step you can cancel any cancelable normal into a forward step which has its own uses. Some steps also have lower body and throw invulnerability. Additionally, the super meter for Step is smaller than the super meter for Run, giving slightly better meter gain.
Celia and Cthylla have irregular bounces; for both characters, Run is a hover-dash similar to Morrigan from Darkstalkers or I-No from Guilty Gear. Their Step is also different, as it can be canceled in the middle similar to a Run, cannot be used as a Step Cancel, and has a set max distance like a Step.
What are extra moves? Which ones do I want?
Extra moves are a set of 4 moves you can choose from to add to your character. You get to pick 2 of those 4 and there is no real set answer to which you should pick. Experiment with them all and see which you like, each character has their own unique extra moves and different combinations can sometimes change how characters play in big ways.
What are Chaos characters?
Chaos Characters have all 4 of their extra moves, but do less damage. They aren't tournament legal but it can be nice in training mode to have access to all extra moves at once. To unlock EX characters go to the bottom of the 4th page in collections and buy it for 10,000 points after clearing arcade mode twice.
What are boss characters?
Boss characters are special unbalanced versions of the cast, similar to unlimited characters in BlazBlue. They are not legal in tournaments. To buy boss characters, clear arcade mode once with the character who you want to unlock the boss version of, then go to the 4th page of collections below extra colors.
HI = Hikaru
KA = Kagari
CA = Catherine
BR = Bravo
CE = Cerberus
HE = Hermes
C1 = Celia
CS = Cait & Sith
VE = Vein
RU = Rui
CT = Cthylla
C2 = Celia 2 Kai
MG = MG Hikaru
KU = Kudlak-Sin
RA = Ray
LU = Lupinus
How do I get Ending B anyway?
Finish two of the first three fights of arcade mode with super moves, and you will fight your rival after stage 3. As long as you complete arcade mode successfully beyond this point, you will get ending B. Alternatively you can buy the ending movies in the collection menu.
What are EX options?
EX options are mostly just fun unlocks to spend points on like being able to set infinite meter or change the announcer's voice. The tournament standard for this game is the default, so you don't need to worry about grinding them out.
What's the fastest way to grind out points for collection mode?
Survival mode will give you points based on how many stages you beat. If you complete all 30 stages you'll get 30,000 points, but you'll get much much less if you don't finish it. Mission mode gives a good amount too, but only if you haven't finished a mission before. If you don't want to go through those, playing offline vs matches will get you points very quickly, although you wont get any for online matches.
What are the default controls?
In arcade the buttons are laid out box style:
On PC or console, you can play however you like if you find that uncomfortable.