Grab your clean Turtle School Gi and start charging your Ki! It’s time to jump into the crazy world of martial arts, power levels, and space monkeys with Dragon Ball Legends. Bandai Namco’s new card-based battle game is now available worldwide via the Google Play Store and is free to download for all budding Super Saiyans with Android phones and tablets (and on iOS devices via the App Store).
In this guide, you’ll find some essential tips and tricks to assist you in Kamehameha-ing your foes into oblivion in Legends’ PvP and story modes, and get you on the right track to unlock the very best characters in the game.
How to unlock new characters
The entire Dragon Ball franchise, be it in the manga, anime, or many many video game adaptations, would be nothing without its often wacky entourage of heroes and villains. Whether you’ve got a soft spot for the usually outmatched Z Warriors or want to wield the full destructive power of an intergalactic tyrant like Frieza, Legends is happy to oblige with an ever-growing roster of unlockable characters to train and do battle with.
Unfortunately, you can’t just pick which characters you want from across the franchise — you’ll have to strike it lucky with a good Summon or complete lots of Event rewards.
The Summon system is the main way you obtain new characters. It’s a Gacha-style randomized drop mechanic that requires you to spend Chrono Crystals (Legends’ premium currency) to unlock any one of the game’s many characters.
Each day you’ll be given a one-off discount on the first Summon, dropping the cost to just 20 Crystals. Otherwise, you’ll need to spend 100 Crystals per Summon. While you can drop duplicates, these are also useful as they upgrade existing characters’ Z Power levels (more why that’s important later).
Your other option for unlocking characters is the Event Story mode. These limited-time quests usually reward small amounts of Z Power for a specific, Event-related character as a first-time completion reward and for completing Event Missions. These missions are usually really simple — like “battle using a specific character 10 times” — so make sure to check the list and try to unlock as many as you can at once to preserve precious Energy.
Best characters — Rarities and Types
So you got lucky and managed to unlock Goku, the series’ iconic hero, and Vegeta, the mighty Prince of all Saiyans. All you need to do is add them both to your party of six and start destroying your enemies, right? Not quite.
While the traditionally more powerful characters from Dragon Ball are usually among the best to use in Legends, you need to factor in two variables: rarity and types.
Currently, there are four different variants of Goku in Dragon Ball Legends, each based on a different part of the ongoing Dragon Ball saga.
Two of these (pictured in the gallery above) are based on Goku’s powers and abilities during the Frieza arc. These are Sparking rarity, and currently the strongest characters in the game. However, the Super Saiyan Goku variant is a Ranged Type, while the version charging a cheeky Spirit Bomb is a Defense Type. They also have different Elements, which is important too (more on that in the next section).
As you might expect, the Ranged Type is capable of unleashing devastating blast attacks, while the Defence Type is tuned more towards absorbing damage.
The final two Gokus are based on the Saiyan saga. One is an Extreme rarity Melee Type, while the other is a Hero rarity Ranged Type.
In general, you want to be aiming for a balance of the four types — the final one being Support — in your six-person party to combat tough opponents (especially in PvP). Likewise, you don’t want to fill your entire party with Hero rarity characters as these are the most common drops from Summons and are accordingly the weakest of the lot.
Extreme characters aren’t quite as strong as Sparking variants, but usually have enough base strength to become useful when leveled and powered up.
Understanding Leveling up, Training, Limit Breaks, Soul Boost, Class Up, and Equipment
Fittingly for a series where most of the heroes spend half of their time training, there are multiple ways of raising a character’s stats in Dragon Ball Legends. I’ll go through them one by one to avoid any confusion (trust me, it gets very confusing trying to keep track of them all).
- Story EXP: This is the simple one. Each character in your party gains experience (EXP) when completing a Story or Event Story stage. You can complete these repeatedly until your Energy runs out.
- EXP Training: Head to the Training menu, select a character and wait for an allotted time for some bonus EXP. Use Training Weights to increase the EXP gains. There’s also an option for Limited Time Training but nothing has popped up here just yet. It’s worth noting that you set a character to train and still use them in battles, so you don’t have to worry about temporarily losing your strongest fighters.
- Limit Breaks: Gain Z Power from Summons or Story rewards to massively increase a character’s overall power, indicated by stars. You can Limit Break a character up to 7 stars.
- Soul Boost: Upgrade a character by unlocking new Boost Panels on the Soul Boost board. These are minor upgrades to individual stats like Health, Strike Attacks, and Blast Defence, but they all add up eventually. Unlocking new Boost Panels costs Zeni (the non-premium currency) and Souls, both obtained by completing Story chapters and Missions. You can also trade Rare Medals (from Missions and by fully completing all Story challenges) for Souls in the Exchange Shop.
- Class Up/Boost Cores: Once you’ve unlocked a set number of Boost Panels you can activate a Boost Core (called Class Up on the Soul Boost board). This increases the character’s maximum level and opens up new, more powerful Boost Panels.
- Equipment: Interchangeable items that offer Passive stat buffs. These can be leveled up by spending Souls and Zeni and are obtained by completing Story chapters and Missions. You can sell duplicates to get more Zeni. You can also occasionally unlock more Equipment slots for each character by activating a Boost Core.
How Elements work
If you’ve got this far, you’re almost ready to start taking the fight to your enemies. Almost.
The last variable Legends throws at you is Elements, which is ostensibly rock, paper, scissors just with more options. Put simply, if you don’t have the right Element when duking it out on the battlefield, you are probably going to lose.
Each character has a specific Element which are handily color-coded. The five main colors are Red, Yellow, Purple, Green, and Blue. Each main color Element is strong against one Element and weak against another. This all falls into a nice pentagon shape when put together, as you can see in the image below.
The two wildcards are the two Special Elements: Dark and Light. Dark is strong against all five of the base Elements, while Light is strong against Dark. So far, there is only one playable character that has a Special Element and that’s Shallot, the main protagonist of the Story mode.
You’ll want a good mix of Elements when battling so you can counter your opponent in real-time during the fight. Thankfully, you don’t have to remember all of the Element match-ups during a battle. An upward facing green arrow will show against a character’s profile if they are strong against the current enemy, while a downward red arrow indicates you should switch immediately!
How to win PvP battles online
You’ve trained hard, your party is full of mighty warriors, and you know how to outsmart your opponents. It’s finally time to take the fight online.
As you might expect, fighting an actual person in real-time is much harder than taking on an AI opponent in the Story or Event modes. This is especially true in Rating matches where the gloves really come off as you compete to gain better rewards by climbing the leaderboards each season.
Matchmaking is currently a bit iffy in Legends, and trying to beat a higher level opponent is usually a fool’s errand. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been matched up with someone who has a party that’s over twice the level of my own just in Casual matches, let alone for Rating duels.
Regardless, certain tactics can turn the tide of a tense fight. Here are just a few:
Heed the advice from everyone’s favorite Namekian and dodge! It’s tempting to start any engagement by flying in and attempting to plant a fist right in your opponent’s smug face, but sometimes waiting for an opening is the best way to avoid a beating.
Swipe left or right when an attack is about to hit you (indicated by an exclamation mark) and you’ll perform what’s called a Vanishing Step. This will teleport you to the side of your foe leaving them open to a counter attack.
You can’t dodge forever though, as Vanishing Steps deplete a unique status meter. This recharges quite quickly, but you should keep an eye on it so you don’t get caught with a Ki Blast while flailing around.
Watch your Ki Gauge
Your most powerful standard attacks are all performed by selecting Arts Cards, which drain your Ki Gauge by a set amount. The Ki Gauge refills over time, though you can recharge it faster by holding down on the screen. Only do this when your opponent is stunned by an attack, as it leaves you completely defenseless for a few seconds.
The key to victory is carefully managing your Ki Gauge. Using multiple Arts Cards in a row leads to a chain of attacks that can unleash a devastating amount of damage. Use too much Ki, however, and you won’t have anything left in the tank to follow up with.
The best strategy is to only chain attacks together when you know the combined damage will knock out the character on the other side of the fight. Whittle their health down first and then throw everything at them to wipe them out quickly.
Only use Rising Rush on full health opponents (or to seal a win in style)
Hitting a Rising Rush is the most satisfying part of Dragon Ball Legends’ combat. Once you get all seven Dragon Balls by using specially marked Arts Cards (they have little Dragon Balls on them) you’ll get access to a cinematic attack during which, if you pick a different Art Card to your opponent, your remaining team members will all group up and fire their signature blast attacks in a single, explosive attack.
Not only does this look awesome, it also deals an enormous amount of damage. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be dropping a Rising Rush on a foe with one health point remaining, at least unless it’s the last fighter and you want to finish with a spectacular flourish in true Dragon Ball style. That’s perfectly acceptable.
In most cases, a successful Rising Rush will completely obliterate an enemy’s entire health bar. Use this to your advantage and only activate it when a fresh-faced foe is switched in. That way you send them packing immediately and give yourself an easy numbers advantage.
Do you have any tips and tricks to share with other warriors? Share your techniques and strategies in the comments!