The King of Fighters XV/Meters and Gauges
Depending on how much time is left on the clock determines how much life you regenerate the next round. The health values in XV are standardized once more like KOFXIII.
- 42-60sec: Recover 300 HP
- 30-41sec: Recover 250 HP
- 18-29sec: Recover 150 HP
- 0-17sec: Recover 100 HP
Combo Damage Scaling
The first hit of a combo will deal 100% of base damage and each subsequent "hit" will reduce the combo multiplier by 5%, to a minimum of 20%. All supers, including MAX and Climax Supers, will always do a minimum of 50% damage. Scaling damage is rounded down. Neither Super, Advanced or Climax cancels affect damage scaling in any way. Some other Supers (usually Climax) work differently and will always do a minimum amount of damage in certain parts that is usually more than 50%.
What constitutes as a "hit" in combos varies when it comes to special and super moves but others there are a few general rules
- Multi-hitting normals such as Terry and Vanessa's c.C only count as 1 "hit", no matter if cancelled from the first or second hit.
- Multi-hitting command normals only count as 1 "hit" no matter if cancelled from the first or second hit. The exception being Vanessa's 6A, which counts as 1 hit each.
- Multiple special inputs such as Kyo rekkas add 1 "hit" to the combo each.
Certain actions work differently with regards to the scaling
|Raw Shatter Strike||0%|
|Combo Shatter Strike||30%|
|Quick Max (Overhead Command Normal)||35%|
|Blowback (CD) Wall Splat||30%|
|Overhead||30% (including the hit)|
|EX Counter (Rock)||45%|
|Shinkuu Nage (Rock)||30%|
At the bottom of the screen is a number next to a meter that can gradually fill up over the course of a round. This is the Power Gauge, and the number represents how many stocks of meter the character currently has stored. As the number of stocks increases, certain additional actions become available to the character:
- ½ stock: Can perform EX Special Moves.
- 1 stock: Can perform Super Special Moves, Guard Cancel Roll (GCAB), Guard Cancel CD (GCCD) and Shatter Strike.
- 2 stocks: Can perform MAX Super Special Moves and activate MAX Mode.
- 3 stocks: Can perform a Climax Super Special Move.
The maximum number of stocks available to a character depends on the character’s position in the team order. The first character may store up to 3 stocks, the second may store up to 4, and the final character may store up to 5 stocks of super meter. Meter accumulated by a character who was knocked out will carry over to the next character, and the next character will automatically gain a stock when it is their turn. For example, if character A had 1 stock out of 3 when they were KO'ed, then the next character will have 2 stocks out of 4. Meter can be gained by:
- Connecting with attacks besides normal/air throws (this includes if the attack was blocked).
- Blocking your opponent's attacks.
- Performing a special move, regardless of whether they were hit, blocked, or whiffed (with some exceptions).
New to KOF XV is the Shatter Strike. At the cost of 1 stock of the Power Gauge, you can input + (236CD) to perform the Shatter Strike. The Shatter Strike is an enhanced version of your character's blowback attack that absorbs attacks performed by the opponent during its active frames, even projectiles, Super Special Moves and Climax Super Special Moves. However, Shatter Strike does not absorb throws, and it is possible to be thrown out of a Shatter Strike.
Shatter Strike behaves differently depending on whether or not it hits the opponent raw or when done in the middle of a combo. If Shatter Strike hits as the first hit, then the opponent will immediately act as if they were hit in the air if they are hit with a non-juggle attack. If Shatter Strike was used in the middle of a combo, the opponent will still be treated as grounded, making it a combo extender. Although Shatter Strike costs 1 stock to use, you gain half a stock back if it hits (as in, not blocked by) the opponent. This stock refund does not occur in MAX Mode, even though meter build happens normally.
Shatter Strike is useful for plowing through an opponent's poke in neutral if your reads are good enough, as well as breaking through gaps in the opponent's block pressure. However, in addition to being vulnerable to throws, Shatter Strike is also weak to frame-traps, as the armor only applies to Shatter Strike's active frames, and not the startup frames. Since Shatter Strike reuses your character's Blowback Attack animation, its usefulness will vary depending on the character.
When you have 2 or more stocks in the Power Gauge, the MAX Mode indicator will appear above the Power Gauge. This means you can activate MAX Mode by pressing and at once. MAX Mode comes in two varieties depending on when you activate it, either done raw or when cancelled into from a normal or command normal. Both cost 2 stocks to use. These are referred to as MAX Mode (Raw) and MAX Mode (Quick) respectively.
- MAX Mode (Raw) is indicated by a blue visual effect. It takes 30f to fully execute. It increases the damage and Guard Gauge damage dealt by the character's Normals, Normal Throws, Command Moves and Special Moves (but not EX Special Moves) by 25%. Additionally, it allows EX Special Moves, Shatter Strike, and Super Special Moves to be performed for free as long as the mode is active, taking small and large chunks respectively out of the MAX Mode Gauge instead of the Power Gauge. MAX Super Special Moves take the same amount of Max Mode Gauge as Super Special Moves, but also cost 1 stock of the Power Gauge. Climax Super Special Moves immediately end MAX Mode regardless of how much is left in the MAX Mode Gauge, as well as 1 stock of the Power Gauge.
The MAX Mode Gauge varies in size depending on what the number of maximum stocks for that character is. For example, the first character on a team, who has a maximum stock number of 3, will have 1000 Max Mode Gauge, the second character will have 1250 Max Mode Gauge, and the last character will have 1500 Max Mode Gauge.
MAX Mode (Quick) is indicated by a pink/red visual effect. It cancels the recovery of your current attack, stops time for a brief moment, and makes your character automatically run towards the opponent. This lets you extend a combo or blockstring. MAX Mode (Quick) is otherwise identical to MAX Mode (Raw) in functionality except for two major differences:
- The MAX Mode Gauge is shortened immensely to compensate for cancelling into it.
- Damage and Guard Gauge damage is not increased.
EX Special Moves
EX Special Moves are powered-up special moves. By default they use half of a stock, and in MAX Mode they take out a small chunk of the MAX Mode Gauge instead. They vary in functionality from simply doing more damage to extending combos to changing a move's function entirely (for example, Kyo's Kototsuki Yo is normally blockable, but the EX version is an unblockable command grab). Experiment with your character's EX Special Moves to get the most out of your special moves.
Super Special Moves
Super Special Moves are powerful special moves activated with specific command inputs, often harder to pull off than normal special move inputs to compensate for their increased strength. They use 1 stock of the Power Gauge, or a large chunk of the MAX Mode Gauge if in MAX Mode.
MAX Super Special Moves
MAX Super Special Moves are even more powerful versions of the Super Special Moves. They use 2 stocks of the Power Gauge, or 1 stock and a large chunk of the MAX Mode Gauge if in MAX Mode.
Climax Super Special Moves
Climax Super Special Moves are your character's strongest attack. They use 3 stocks of the Power Gauge, or 1 stock and the remaining MAX Mode Gauge if in MAX Mode. In KOF XV, all Climax Super Special Moves are performed with a universal command, 2141236CD.