Melty Blood/MBTL/Getting Started
Getting The Game
Melty Blood: Type Lumina (or MBTL for short) is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Steam, and Xbox One. Once you start the game you may wish to start the tutorial mode, which goes over the basics of the game and progresses to more advanced topics as you complete it.
Type Lumina has an extensive in-game tutorial, with individual lessons ranging from basic terminology to more advanced technique demonstrations. The tutorial is more hands-on than any written guide can be, so use it when you don't understand something and need to see a clear-cut example. That said there will be many lessons that gloss over the nuances of mechanics as players develop strategies around them. As a newcomer you may feel tempted to work through most if not all of the tutorials, but you won't retain much information simply by doing a motion once or twice once and moving on to other lessons. Consider getting a basic understanding of the content in this guide and answering lingering questions through the tutorial, system pages, or training mode practice.
Some terms in this guide may be notated with the relevant lesson number from the tutorial as (X-Y).
Mission mode is a series of combo challenges for each character. The intention of these challenges is to teach you some key aspects of how the character's combo theory operates, so try to complete them over time, but more importantly, consider what pieces of the combo you can take apart. How do you get your opponent in the air? How do you combo into a particular special move? What is a good option to end a combo? These are questions you can answer just by trying pieces of the challenges.
See the Controls page.
Melty Blood Type Lumina is what’s known as an “air dasher” (a term often used interchangeably with “anime fighter”) so while a lot of the basic movement will be familiar to people who have played other fighting games, Melty Blood Type Lumina has faster ground movement than most other fighting games, and it places a lot of emphasis on air mobility, with each character having their own unique air dash forward and backward, super double jumps, and even the ability to steer characters mid jump.
Attacking and blocking
Like a lot of other fighting games, attacks come in three varieties: low, mid, and overhead attacks. Lows must be blocked while crouching by holding down-back on the controller. Overhead attacks must be blocked high by holding back on the controller. Mids can be blocked either standing, or crouching. In general, lows are faster and harder to react to, and overheads are easier to react to. All attacks performed in the air also are considered overhead attacks, even when performed close to the ground. This means most of the time, it’s easier to block by holding down-back, and swap to holding back if you see an overhead attack start up.
Melty Blood Type Lumina has some more unique properties to attacking and blocking to go over too. Such as:
- Blowback Edge attacks are alternate versions of attacks that are performed by holding down the attack button. Sometimes this turns a mid into an overhead, sometimes it adds armor to the move, and sometimes it makes the move completely unblockable. Check each character’s tutorial or the relevant character page to learn about their Blowback Edge attacks.
- You can block in the air even after air-dashing, which is more rare for fighting games as a whole. In order to balance this, grounded attacks cannot be blocked in the air, and have to be shielded. Characters beginning their jump are still in range to be hit by grounded attacks, which prevents jump-blocking from being too powerful for escaping pressure.
- Melty Blood Type Lumina’s Beat Edge is similar to other games with gatlings (also known as Magic System) but you are free to use moves in any order you like, as long as you’re cancelling into moves you haven’t done before. This means combinations such as B>C>A and C>A>B are possible, allowing you more freedom to create unique sequences of attacks.
- Rapid Beat is a system new to Type Lumina, and it is what’s known in other games as an autocombo. These are 1-2 unique normals you can get by pressing the same button more than once in a combo or blockstring. By default, this allows beginners to get a basic combo off pressing one button over and over, letting them try out characters without having to do a lot of studying, but for advanced players it gives you extra normals to use when you’ve run out of reverse beat options.
Shield is one of the two flagship mechanics for MBTL and it ties into the Moon System, which will be described later. Shield is a high-risk high-reward defensive option for calling out predictable or reactable offense.
On a successful shield you gain access to 3 separate follow-ups, A or C will launch the opponent for a combo, B will teleport behind the opponent for a mix-up, and B+C will spend more of your Moon Icons to perform a rising lunge attack, which has the most safety and combo potential of all three options. When you shield a move your opponent has the option to activate their own shield or B+C lunge, allowing for their own counterplay.
Just like blocking, shielding can be done standing or crouching. However, unlike blocking, mid attacks aren’t blocked by both shields. Crouching mids need to be blocked with crouching shield, and standing mids need to be blocked by standing shield (with some exceptions). If you attempt to shield the wrong type of mid with your shield, you will take some chip damage and lose some moon icons. It’s also important to note mid Blowback Edge attacks will counter-hit the wrong type of shield, leading to a high damage combo.
As mentioned before, while grounded moves cannot be blocked in the air, they can be shielded. Shielding in the air is very committal, and leads to a lot of recovery if you land without shielding anything, but it can be strong against opponents who throw out very aggressive options to counter your jump. Air shield has different follow-ups to grounded shield, but the general purpose of each option remains the same.
Throws & Command Throws
Type Lumina handles throws similarly to other games; Grounded throws will only hit characters on the ground, and have a window where they can be teched by pressing throw. One of the unique elements to Type Lumina, however, is that throws have an auto-run on startup if used out of range. Throws are unblockable and unshieldable.
Command throws function similarly to ground throws with some added properties - they are unable to be hit by regular throws, and cannot be teched. This means to avoid a command throw you have to hit the opponent out of start-up, backdash, or jump.
In addition air throws and some command throws can be used as parts of combos, with air throw in particular being a universal meterless combo ender.
See the Magic Circuit section of the Resources page for more information.
Magic Circuit is one of the two types of resource available to spend in a match. It is analogous to super meter, or just “meter” from other fighting games. (2-2) It can be spent in the following ways:
These are empowered and more damaging versions of your character’s special moves. They cost 1 bar of Magic Circuit to use. The exact ways your character’s special move might be improved is dependent on the move itself, but some examples might be, making them faster, invincible, giving a specific type of knockdown or providing more combo ability. Your character’s wiki page will have information on the ways the move gets improved by being performed as EX Edge. (3-9)
These are your character’s super moves. They cost 3 bars of Magic Circuit to perform. They are usually used as high-damage combo finishers as they do a lot of damage on hit, however, they are usually extremely easy to punish if used poorly. All Arc Drives are invincible on startup, however most are usually poor choices for reversals since they are extremely committal, expensive, often reactable, and extremely punishable on block. (3-14) (5-10) (5-11)
Pressing A, B, and C at the same time puts your character into heat mode. This creates an unblockable (but shieldable) explosion effect around your character called Forced Release which is often done at the end of a combo, on wake-up, or in block-stun. You cannot enter Heat while being hit. Being in Heat lets you perform EX Edge moves and your Arc Drive at reduced cost, gives a buff to your damage, and slowly regenerates your recoverable health (referred to in-game as Vital Source (3-1)). Spending more bars of meter extends the duration of heat and causes EX Edge specials to consume less of the duration. (2-24) (5-3) (5-12) (5-13)
After losing a round, your character will enter what is known as Awakening. Awakening gives you an extra bar of meter, as in, it adds a whole extra bar of meter to the cap, as making the cap go up to 4, and giving you an extra full bar to work with. When your character is awakened they gain access to two unique mechanics, Blood Heat, and Last Arc. Blood Heat is activated the same way as heat, but is done when you have 4 full bars of Magic Circuit. Blood Heat is one of the two ways you can use the other mechanic, called Last Arc. Last Arc is similar to Arc Drive, but costs 4 bars of meter, and usually has very limited use outside of the huge damage it inflicts. Last Arcs can be done by pressing A+B+C+D when you have 4 bars of meter, or by shielding an attack in Blood Heat. It’s important to note if you shield an attack in Blood Heat your opponent just gets hit by the Last Arc, regardless of how far away they are or what you shielded. Activating Last Arc removes the Awakening effect from your character, reducing your max bars of Magic Circuit back down to 3. (3-15) (3-16) (3-17)
See the Moon System section of the Resources page for complete details.
The Moon System is new to Type Lumina, and is the other resource you will manage in-game. (2-1) The Moon System plays a core role in the fast paced gameplay of Type Lumina in the following ways.
This is the Moon Gauge itself, and is commonly referred to as such by basically everyone. Each Moon Icon represents 10% of the gauge, from an empty circle waxing to a full moon. Each time you spend or gain gauge the Moon Icon changes to represent how full it is. Shielding, using Moon Skills, and using Moon Drive all use Moon Icons.
Moon Skills the Moon System's counterpart to EX Edge specials, they are enhanced and more damaging specials that cost Moon Icons rather than Magic Circuit. They cost 3 Moon Icons to use. If you have 1 or 2 Moon Icons you can still use a Moon Skill, and it will empty your gauge. Just like EX Edge specials, the exact changes each special gains is dependent on the move itself, but in general, they are faster, easier to input quickly, build a lot of Magic Circuit, and are designed to be very easy to start combos with. If your Moon Skill gets shielded you cannot activate your own shield, making them risky to use in the wrong situations. (3-8)
As long as you have 5 or more Moon Icons you can activate Moon Drive by pressing B+C. This causes you to enter an enhanced state somewhat like Heat. However, the amount of time you spend in Moon Drive doesn’t scale linearly with the amount of Moon Icons you have. If you have 5-9, the timer lasts for about 10 seconds, but if you have 10 Moon Icons the timer lasts for around 33 seconds. (3-10)
As for the many benefits of Moon Drive, firstly, activating Moon Drive slows down the game briefly, making your character invulnerable. For this reason, it can be very useful to respond to tricky situations on your wake-up. Being in Moon Drive gives buffs to your Moon Specials a very slightly faster start up, and gives them clash frames, allowing them to ignore being hit by your opponent’s attacks during these frames. You generate a small amount of Magic Circuit continuously when in Moon Drive, which can allow you to perform stronger combos easier. You also gain access to a third jump and second airdash. Both of these have some restrictions on their use, so for all the details, see the Moon System page linked above. (3-11) (3-12)
Training Mode and Replays
Playing online or locally is easy in MBTL and that's a good thing, however you cannot learn and improve purely through back to back matches. You can adapt your gameplay on the fly while playing over a long period of time but many situations may seem impossible to counter act and adaptation becomes impossible without greater understanding. When you encounter a situation you can't figure out an answer to you have two essential tools: Training Mode and replays.
Training Mode is a very useful space where you can freely practice many things, including but not limited to combos, setups, okizeme, blockstrings, blocking, movement, mixups, and more. There are a variety of useful tools such as dummy recording and playback with five recording slots and a random playback option, the ability to make the dummy perform a specific action on block, the ability to alter the dummy's recovery options, and quick and easy character/stage/BGM swapping without having to go back to the Character Select screen, among other things. Training Mode has everything you need to improve and get good at Type Lumina, outside of experience.
Replay is a mode where you can watch recordings of your matches. You can save a replay after you finish an online match (you can set replays to save automatically from the Options menu). From the Replays menu you can filter replays by character, mark replays as favorites, and see who won and lost.
Although it might be harmful to one's pride, watching replays of your losses can help you understand *how* you lost. You can recreate the situations you struggle with in Training Mode. Combining both Replays and Training Mode is the fastest way to improve in MBTL, and most other fighting games as well.
Outside ofusing a Japanese keyboard or IME, it’s pretty difficult for most people to type arrows, making communicating about fighting game inputs and combos relatively difficult. Due to this, numpad notation was invented.
These are the 8 digital directions you can input in MBTL. Because the inputs are in a 3x3 square, people use the layout of a keyboard’s numpad to represent them.
So, if you were communicating in a text document or forum post, you could write “236” to represent a quarter circle forward rather than faffing around with unicode to write “↓↘→” (assuming the forum you were talking about fighting games on even accepted unicode). Due to its simplicity, this system stuck around for the communicating about the vast majority of fighting game inputs, and is relatively quick to learn by referring back to the chart when you need help.
Reading Frame Data
As a beginner, reading frame data can seem like a waste of time or too confusing, but frame data can still be useful in some situations to understand the interactions between various moves. The wiki has frame data for all the attacks in the game, and here’s the explanations for the key elements of reading frame data:
- First Active: Also known as start up, this is the first frame the move hits on. This is so you can compare the relative speed of attacks. The fastest attacks in the game are 5A or 2A attacks which are usually 5 frames. Throws are even faster in MBTL at 4 frames.
- Active: This is how many frames the attack is active for. It’s especially useful to know for moves which slide you forward like sliding kicks or advancing attacks, since you might not hit the opponent with them on the first active frame.
- Recovery: How long the attack animation takes to finish after the active frames end. For normals, you can usually cancel the recovery using the Beat Edge system, but for specials, you usually can’t. This, alongside advantage, can be useful to gauge how risky a move is.
- Overall: A move’s total duration in frames. This is useful for seeing how long a move takes to animate if you completely miss it. Besides 5A and 2A attacks, if you miss with your attack you are locked into the animation until it ends.
- Advantage: Besides “first active”, this is the one that matters the most, and you will see people talk about the most. This is how comparatively quickly you can act on block in comparison to your opponent. If a move is 0 on block, both you and your opponent can act at the same time. If your move is +2 on block, you can act 2 frames before the opponent. If your move is -2 on block, it means you can’t act until 2 frames after the opponent can. This is important, as any move which is -5 or slower is vulnerable to being hit by an opponent’s jab before you are allowed to block - assuming the opponent’s jab will reach. This only refers to moves when you don’t cancel them, and let the full animation play out, however. If you use the Beat Edge system to cancel the recovery of a normal, you won’t be at the listed advantage for the move.
- Property: Many moves in MBTL have extra qualities to them that make them stand out, such as: Armor, Launch, Armor Break, and more. A full list of the properties and their explanations can be found Here!
Finding matches and advice
Melty Blood has a very active community, for both Type Lumina and the older games in the series. The easiest way to get games is of course to hop into online mode and see who’s playing. However, if you want feedback or advice, or a more social experience, this probably isn’t the best way to find matches. Luckily, there are multiple active discord communities. You can find a list of them on the links page Here!