Charge Attacks (チャージ攻撃, Chāji Kōgeki; alternatively referred to as Strong Attacks, Power Attacks, Combo Attacks, or Heavy Attacks, depending on the game and/or the localization) are powerful moves found in Warriors titles that can usually be executed by pressing (default setting on PlayStation ports). They often take more time to execute than normal attacks (thus leading to some charge attacks being easily blocked during mid-attack string), but they can offer special effects like breaking an enemy's guard or initiating automated attack sequences.
- On Nintendo consoles like the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch, is B (Regular Attack), and is Y (Strong/Combo Attack). In the Nintendo Switch version of Persona 5 Strikers, is Y and is X.
All charge attacks are normally indicated by a distinct visual and/or sound effect to differentiate them from normal attacks, usually with a small aura effect on an extremity or two of the character executing the charge attack in question. Despite their naming, very few or even none of these moves can actually be "charged up" via the normal conventional way of holding down the input; they are dubbed as Charge Attacks mainly for the visual aura/sound effect alone.
To abbreviate specific combinations, fans sometimes refer to the sequence by stating C and a variable number for the charge attack's sequence in the chain. For instance, , , , would be called C4 since the charge acts as the fourth input.
Here is a visual guideline that shows the common abbreviations for charge attacks.
|, , ,||C4|
|, , , ,||C5|
|, , , , ,||C6|
|, , , , , ,||C7|
|, , , , , , ,||C8|
|, , , , , , , ,||C9|
Additional attacks that are attached to a single charge attack is sometimes referred to as C# ~ # of the extension (for example: , , , () would be C3~2). While combo fans may refer to each input individually, these extra inputs are assumed to be included when most players refer to that particular input.
Fans may also prefer to state the literal combo input for clarity, such as "Square-Square-Square-Triangle", which is oftentimes abbreviated as SSST.
For the third-party crossover titles, many of the characters' charge attacks are taken straight from their source material and may already have a name associated with the attacks. Fans may opt to use the attack's canonical name instead of the numbered abbreviations.
The formula for this combo chain has evolved over the years and each Warriors related series adds a new element to the system.
Expanding the original game's combos, Dynasty Warriors 2 began the series with a four button combo chain. The following title adds two more charge attacks. Jumping charges were added to the series in the fourth title; the fifth game grants all characters more unique jumping charge attacks than the previous installment.
The aforementioned fifth title allows normal attack chains to have unique extensions with the Evolution chain system, adding 9 hits total when the Musou Attack gauge is full and with the proper type of weapon equipped. Depending on the character, the extensions are either a reprisal of the last 4 hits of the normal attack chain or a string of moves into a C4 attack, along with a unique "charge attack" effect to differentiate and the eighth input always inflicting a minor launch on hit.
Each charge combo had its own properties and followed a general pattern for every character with little variation. The main exception to this is the sixth title's Renbu system, an reworked expansion of the Evolution system.
However, a majority of these attacks especially in older titles could not actually be 'charged up' via holding down , despite the mechanic's implication, not even to this day in this series of the franchise save for very few exceptions.
- C1: In previous titles, these attacks were simply slow strong attacks that had fairly wide attacking range, though they acted as guard breaks in Dynasty Warriors 2 and 3. Starting from Dynasty Warriors 4, they became unique to reflect a character's trait. Dynasty Warriors 7-onwards instead makes every C1 attack into a different form of guard break, where they are unblockable while inflicting both slowed-down-hitstun and very little base damage.
- C2: A small, centralized attack that launches enemies upward. Ideal for juggling foes for longer combos. This is very rarely an elemental activation attack, especially in Dynasty Warriors 5. Though as of Dynasty Warriors 7, they may possess a few traits akin to the prior C5 attacks of older titles.
- C3: A chance-on-hit stunning attack. Dynasty Warriors 4 and the fifth title replaces this with the Charge Rush, a multi-input chain combo that ends with either a stun or a stagger on hit. Increasing the weapon level and button taps () could raise the number of attacks performed. In Dynasty Warriors 7, the attacks may be throws, but variations of both prior versions of the C3 attack exist as of the said title.
- C4: Powerful attack that sends enemies flying several meters away. The range will change depending on the character/weapon, and it may be the best crowd clearing attack available (due to often inflicting crashing knockback).
- C5: Added in Dynasty Warriors 3. Varies based on title. For the third and fourth title, it was a combo sequence that trapped enemies within range, known as the Charge Drive. Characters would strike their foe upwards and another tap of the charge button could smash their aerial foe downwards with a single strike. The fifth title changes it to an area of effect attack, sometimes one with a good distance in front of the character, to launch multiple enemies up in the air. Dynasty Warriors 7 mixes these traits with a few additions based on the weapon being used. In the third and fourth titles, the attack is programmed to automatically lock-on to the most recent single target's position upon the attack being inputted (even if they are defeated); this is dropped by Dynasty Warriors 5.
- C6: Added in Dynasty Warriors 3. An attack unique for each character/weapon. Depending on the character/weapon, the attack can be a single strike, a multi-input sequence, a throw, or something else entirely. These charges usually become available for characters equipped with their third or final weapons.
Dynasty Warriors 6 simplifies the combo system by making the charge attacks their own four-button combo chain. The charge button can also be held to unleash a wide crowd clearing attack. Jumping charges were given a renovation and dashing charges for each character was added. Some characters shared weapons and movesets, but the differences of the shared actions between each character were their personalized effects for charge attacks, nature of their Special Attacks, or Musou finishes. Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce adds aerial charge attack strings and a dash charge (press while dashing).
EX Attacks in Dynasty Warriors 7, or attacks created for each character affiliated with a particular weapon type, were essentially extended charge attacks (for instance, C3~2 or C1~2) that changed based on the character. To avoid confusion with EX Attacks, the charge attacks for each weapon moveset don't normally require multiple charge taps as its predecessors (save for most C3 attacks and other exceptions). EX Attacks are the only unique charge attack for characters; otherwise, characters use each weapon in the same manner. Some circles instead use the same type of abbreviation for a Technique-type character's enhanced charge attack for EX Attacks (such as "C3-EX"). Most EX Attacks cannot be cancelled directly into Switch Attacks, and will drop the charge stages of any chargeable Switch Attacks during their execution. Nearly all EX Attacks however, lose elemental activation in the eighth title, severely neutering their effectiveness against tougher enemies.
Jumping charges and dashing charges were also removed, though the former was brought back in the eighth installment in the style of Warriors Orochi 3 prior (where the same weapon-types all share the same jumping charge attacks), only aerial momentum is now slightly-carried. All ground-impacting jump charges like in the Samurai Warriors series, can now damage downed targets unlike in past games. In said installment, EX Attacks also both grant Hyper Armor during their execution and ignore weapon affinities, meaning they will make any target flinch.
Samurai Warriors is limited from C1-to-C4 with 8 total inputs for the normal attack chains, but features longer finishers if the player taps multiple times. Similar to earlier Dynasty Warriors titles at the time, the weapon decided the number of attacks the character could perform. Jumping charges for this series are similar to the jumping charges introduced in Dynasty Warriors 4, only they cover less area around the character, and are able to hit targets lying on the ground which deals increased damage in that case.
Charge Attacks and normal attack strings are often more radically unique and less "structured" compared to the Dynasty Warriors characters since the first title. However, many of the attacks' structures follow this archetype which is retained mainly for Charge and Special-type characters as of Samurai Warriors 2 onwards:
- C1: Usually a unique attack of some sort that may sometimes follow the input criteria of certain C4 attacks, in that the attack can be "charged up" with extra button taps before the attack comes out in a fashion akin to an actual "charge attack". Though for some characters, it normally may either be a unique form of attack, or a simple multi-input chain. Most C1 attacks if not all of them via their first inputs are able to break guards.
- C2: Several of these attacks act akin to the aforementioned launching-charge-drive C5 attacks, only they lack the auto-lock-on and for the finishing input usually involves a small quake (akin to a jumping charge) caused by the target struck down for extra area-of-effect for better safety. Some characters will not actually chase after their target in midair for their C2 chains, and may instead remain grounded. Even then, these sequences can only be fully inputted if the first input successfully connects on-hit against a target.
- C3: For practically all characters, one of the inputs of this charge attack (chain) is always a stunning attack, but it varies for each character in terms of which input it normally is. Other than that, it acts like a typical multi-input series chain, but usually with a unique finisher.
- C4: Like the prior C4's that inflict crashing knockback, but with a twist; while it may act akin to a C1 for some characters as aforementioned, a consistent element for this attack is usually a finishing blow can be done on its own via a single input, it is able to have extra prior attacks (or charging periods) added before the said blow comes out when extra inputs of are tapped quickly/soon enough. However, for some characters (such as Kanetsugu or Katsuie), it may be akin to a generic multi-input attack instead, just like the rest.
The second title also started the trend of assigning moveset types for each character. Another feature that was introduced as of this title, future Warriors games included the concept of leveling up to unlock extra move inputs at specific levels, regardless of the type of weapon used; normal attack chains also do not exactly correlate with how many available charge attack inputs are unlocked, as specific sets of inputs are locked at certain levels.
- Charge (referred to as "Power" in later titles): Charge attacks C1~C4 have three general extensions each, while normal attack chains have a total of 8 inputs. This is the moveset type closest to the first title.
- Normal: Chain total climbs up to C8, but only one button input is used for each charge attack (there are exceptions for some characters). Normal attack chains are stressed up to 12 inputs total, and each charge attack property follows a scheme that's often much closer to the singular-input style of the Dynasty Warriors series (from C1-to-C6). A majority of C7 attacks for this moveset type tends to be an unblockable grab.
- Special: C1~C4 have two inputs each, with normal attack chains having 8 inputs total (like the Charge-types). Balanced reliance on both normal and charge attacks, but instead have up to three different tiers/inputs for each Special Skill.
Up to Samurai Warriors 3 and its expansions, normal attack chains past their 3rd input use their own distinct "charge attack" effect (akin to the Evolution combo system in Dynasty Warriors 5) to indicate the period when charge attack inputs are no longer viable in the chain. For Normal-types, this occurs on the 8th input instead. This effect also occurs even on their mounted normal attack string, unlike in other titles of the franchise.
Regarding mounted attack strings, Samurai Warriors figures only have up to 8 total normal attack inputs regardless of moveset type, and only have horse charge attacks from C1-to-C4; however, each mounted charge attack animation is completely different from one another, unlike in the Dynasty Warriors series where most mounted attack animations tend to be recycled from one another.
Starting with Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends, a new charge attack is added for each character (C5 or C9) that often combines elements with the characters' R1 skills, but they all only have a single input regardless of the moveset type. However, some C5/C9 attacks may not actually resonate with the said R1 skills, even for Special moveset-type characters.
In the third title, all Special-types retain the usage of two special skills instead of having only one, but now have their Special Skills branch off differently due to the removal of the Special Stance system (pressing R1 by itself activates a default Special Skill which can be boosted with two presses, while pressing quickly before the default skill activates allows for the second one to be performed with only one extra press).
Samurai Warriors 4 changes every single C1 to be the starting input for the new Hyper Attack string, which in Japanese is known as the Shinsoku Action (神速アクション, Shinsoku Akushon, lit. Godspeed Action), a dashing attack sequence that acts akin to a normal string, with the attacks normally inputted through reversing the usual charge attack combo order (i.e.: , , ). These are all often abbreviated in Japanese as S# ("S" for "Shinsoku") for standard Hyper Attacks, and SS# (for "Shinsoku Strong") refers to finishers dubbed as "Godspeed Strong Attacks" (神速強攻撃, Shinsoku Kyō Kōgeki).
However, only a total of three different Hyper Attack finishers are available, as a Hyper S2 is the same as a Hyper S4, while the Hyper S3 is the same as a Hyper C5 for all characters all barring their Hyper C6. Any Hyper S2/S4 attacks can easily be interrupted quickly into a normal attack input.
Hyper Attacks normally stun sturdier targets on grounded-hit, but at the same time any physical Hyper Attacks are very easy to deflect via normal blocking, shielded units, and joint-attacking spearmen, which cause the player to bounce back from recoil; this often limits their usage to enemy peon crowd control only, as even when directly comboing enemy officers during a juggle, they will not be as easily carried into their chain (they will fall to the ground sooner) nor will they take any reasonable damage from them as they will also recover out of them fairly quick. Enemy generals also have armor against Hyper Attacks and will not flinch from most of them.
Because of their damage that's viable only against peons, Hyper Attacks are literally the weakest-damaging-attacks towards generals (unless enhanced by specific weapon elements; even then the damage still may not be worthwhile), and the damage only becomes reasonable against them if they convert into retreating units who have lost the will to fight. Hyper Attacks also cannot destroy destructible objects (such as barricades), sans battlefield item-containers such as pots and crates.
Enemy generals, both playable and generic, will always signify their Hyper Attack startup with a brief guarding animation, allowing the player to time their guard to deflect their attack if needed. However, the enemy generals' Hyper Attacks also pose little threat to the player in the same fashion should they connect, and blocking their Hyper Attacks also forces them to stagger instead of bouncing back.
Hyper Attacks in the Samurai Warriors 4-II expansion are further hampered in high-enemy-morale areas, where units are literally denser (preventing Hyper Attacks from passing through as easily) and will decrease Hyper Attack-damage severely towards all enemy units until the area's morale level returns to normal.
Also in the fourth title, another moveset type is added, called "Hyper"; characters under this type will have a heavier reliance on Hyper Attacks, with having 8 inputs for the Hyper chain instead of the normal 6. They also have a few extra finishers, and with only their Hyper S6 being the recycled finisher (same as their Hyper S8); though it is their Hyper S2 and Hyper S5 attacks that are the finishers that allow for interruption into normal attacks however. Their normal and charge attack schemes are the same as Special-type characters, only their standard C5 attacks are all a single input instead of two.
Other major changes in the fourth title include the alterations of several characters' C5/C9 attacks, making them more in-line with their moveset type; a majority of Charge-types now gain 3-input C5 attacks (which may either be reworked prior moves or new attacks outright), while most of the Normal-types have minor changes to their C9 attacks. However, nearly all the Special-types have new C5 attacks that are in-line with being two inputs total, with the C5~2 being the R1 skill-based attack that now works the same for all Special-types.
In Samurai Warriors 5, much of the moveset scheme now follows the scheme from Pirate Warriors 4 in regards to how most of the conventions are now subverted, along with certain characters now having full-on aerial strings. Most importantly is the addition of characters when equipped with their personal primary weapon of choice, having access to extra inputs exclusive to them. Hyper Attack strings however, no longer have finishing inputs, but some characters now have full-on aerial Hyper Attack strings.
In the first title, characters from both Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors retain their original charge combos albeit with some minor changes in elemental activation. The sequel rectifies a few of these modifications in favor of keeping each attack style faithful to their game of origin. For instance, characters from the Dynasty Warriors series can instantly perform mounted charge attacks once again while the ability to stomp or leap with horses is now reserved for the Samurai Warriors cast.
However, the sequel also nerfs the aforementioned elemental activation, with a majority of C1 and C2 attacks just like in Dynasty Warriors 5 no longer applying it, and only activating on specific parts of multiple-input charge attacks much like in Dynasty Warriors 4 and for Samurai Warriors 2 (mainly the final inputs; Cao Cao's C6 is the only exception on both first and final inputs only). The sequel also does not retain any of the unique C5 and C9 attacks for the Samurai Warriors characters via Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends; characters who appeared prior the said title did not have them introduced to their movesets just yet at the time.
Warriors Orochi 3 brings back jump charges for the Dynasty Warriors characters (something omitted for them via their seventh installment), which for ones that impact the ground they can now hit downed targets as aforementioned akin to the Japanese characters/figures' jump charges. Characters who use the same weapon movesets gain certain charge attacks to distinguish them from other users, with the only consistent exception being jump charges, since same weapon categories all now share the same jump charge which also cancel aerial momentum.
For the Samurai Warriors characters, every character's C5 and C9 attacks are re-included in the said title through Samurai Warriors 3 as aforementioned, but with the exception of Musashi, Kojirō and Goemon (as well as any Japanese figure prior to the third installment); this can be quite true for any characters who were more likely to retain one of their special skills to act as their R1 Type Actions in tandem.
The combo styles of the original and collaboration characters are based on either Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors. Figures from Japanese mythology use Samurai Warriors 2 charge attack types; characters derived from Chinese folklore or Western settings utilize the Dynasty Warriors style of charge moves.
Notably for the Chinese characters/figures, they are mainly focused on the Dynasty Warriors 5-style of moveset due to the time of the first installment's release, thus up to Warriors Orochi 3, all the aforementioned Chinese characters/figures (including the prior Dynasty Warriors 5 characters in the first two titles) have their Evolution chains as part of their moveset without the need of the specific-type of weapon, as it will replace their default six-input normal attack chain (up to 9 inputs) when their full moveset is unlocked. The prior "charge attack" effect is also omitted for such moves. However, Chinese folklore characters new to the third title also gain EX Attacks of their own akin to Dynasty Warriors 7.
The Technique-type characters are also known for their ability to perform Enhanced Strikes (or "EX Charge Attacks" in Japanese) at the cost of Musou which are sped-up versions, abbreviated with "C#-EX" ("C#-EX-SP" is usually used for their Type Action-based special that possess both attribute flags for a charge attack and R1 Type Action), where for characters with multi-input charge attacks will have their enhanced versions execute the full chain on a single button tap. Enhanced C1 and C2 attacks from this character type are the only ones that normally retain elemental activation in the aforementioned Warriors Orochi 2 and in Musou Orochi Z along with double the original Musou cost as a trade-off; this ability is removed for them in the third title however.
Both Technique and Wonder types can naturally inflict critical hits carried over straight from the engine used for Samurai Warriors 2 with their charge attacks and Evolution chains throughout the series, and can also apply to the Dynasty Warriors 7 EX Attacks as of Orochi 3. The former type inflicts them through any airborne hit, while the latter type inflicts them on staggering targets; critical hits are indicated by a blue spark upon a connecting target akin to the ones in Samurai Warriors 2 as aforementioned.
Warriors Orochi 4 however, makes a majority of charge attacks suffer from only being able to proc one, two, three or four elements per enemy target as opposed to all currently-equipped elements at once, usually depending on the attack in question (which overall is a notable nerf). However, Samurai Warriors figures with their movesets carried over from Samurai Warriors 4 can activate elements naturally on all their Hyper Attack inputs, making them be able to massively damage certain monsters and/or airborne targets (especially officers) with ease on-top of procing sustain attributes; a trait that wasn't present in the original Samurai Warriors 4 games. Of course, their physical Hyper Attacks will still be deflected by enemy officers and/or monsters in general, often requiring the target to be in a juggle state as aforementioned, or abusing any disjointed-shockwave/energy Hyper Attack inputs.
The 1.05 patch for the fourth title however, has brought a majority of EX Attacks from the Dynasty Warriors figures and/or charge attacks from any other Chinese-based figure (or non-Hyper Attack user) in-line by giving them all extra elemental activation; as a result, some EX Attacks akin to the third Orochi title can now proc elements once more.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam
The first title sticks close to the C4 combo system. Although it may vary with the Mobile Suit (MS), the C1 in this series usually acts as a quick long-ranged attack. The pilot will either shoot from their head turrets or from the rifle that their Suit is holding. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 also introduced the idea of the Boost Attack. After certain charge attacks, the player may tap (Dash) immediately after their chain has finished. Their MS will perform a damaging thrust forward and may continue their offensive. Players can also use this avoid leaving their backs open. They can normally use this attack up to three times in a row.
Its sequel adjusts the charge attacks based on a Suit's tier. Level 1 Suits (like Gundam) can perform six charge attacks and will likely have additions attached to them. Level 2 Suits (MS that are specially made for characters) retain the four charge attacks from before. Level 3 Suits (mass-produced MS) only have one charge and cannot perform any charge related combos.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 gives a few Mobile Suits charge attack makeovers, changing a few properties or attacks based on the series's second moveset. A few secondary MS (C4 only MS) were remodeled to have C6 combos available. Returning mass-produced MS also gain a dashing/aerial charge and a secondary charge attack.
Unlike the other Warriors titles, the Suit that the pilot is using determines how the player can attack. The pilots themselves give supplementary abilities to their Suit's capabilities with their individual Stats and Skills. This is particularly pressed in the second title. Charge attacks also do not regularly break an enemy's guard, requiring good timing and patience if the player wants to use them during battle.
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage
In this series, Charge Attacks and Strong Attacks are not synonyms. Strong Attacks are performed by tapping and the Charge Attacks are performed by holding down. Most of the time, they are two different versions of the same move, the later being usually more powerful. Some moves have different levels of charge (depending on the charge's length) and can become new attacks. There are several types of movesets in this series: Hokuto Shinken, Nanto Seiken, Hokuto Ryuken, and Special.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors
In the series' third installment, all playable characters have the same moveset input layout when fully upgraded:
- , , , ,
- , , , () (C2~2/3)
- , , , , () (C3~2/3)
- , , , (C4)
- , , , , (C5)
- , , (C1~3)
- , , , () (Inverted S2~2/3)
- , , , , () (Inverted S3~2/3)
The and inputs in parenthesis can only be performed during Kizuna Rush mode when a character is not level broken yet. These usually are either a completely new attack animation, or they simply extend the duration of the existing one. Once a character is level broken, these inputs start to get added to their movesets for normal use, and are no longer exclusive to Kizuna Rush (with some exceptions of movesets that are fully transformed during a Kizuna Rush).
Ironically enough, along with a few other games in the franchise, charge attacks in this series can actually be traditionally "charged" via holding down the respective button, though only a few select characters are able to perform such a mechanic (also applies to some R1 skills). There is an equip-able in-game skill called Quick Charge, a skill that is used to shorten the charge time of such moves by a radical amount. In the third game, executing such moves during an active Kizuna Rush will reduce the charge time by nearly 100%.
However, the fourth title removes the inverted strings, making most singular inputs reminiscent of a combination of both the unique C1 inputs from other Warriors titles and the R1 Special Skill from the second and third Pirate Warriors installments, essentially reverting the mechanic back to the first installment and/or giving some characters expanded variations; some strings now even deviate from the original prior formula (such as a C2 no longer acting as a main launcher). Some inputs can be charged up via holding down the button while other characters even have full-on aerial strings. However, as another form of compensation, the R1 skill set includes extra Special Attacks that can performed with any face button.
Hyrule Warriors mixes the C6 combo system with the C5 system. Normal attack chains and combo chains can vary in length, according to the weapon moveset being used. X can be held down or pressed repeatedly for extended effects in several movesets. Some characters can perform extensions of their aerial attacks by inputting Y while in the air. The C1 move is used as each character's special skill, often being an independent attack or a type of support buff, or both.
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend
In addition to the C6 system, players can also use the Charge Shift by using R1, making the player's charge string more powerful. By utilizing Charge Shifts, players can extend their attack string by switching to another weapon mid-string, allowing full use of all the weapons in their arsenal.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk
While using the C8 system, players can have three inputs with the button on lower C versions. Like Pirate Warriors, some of the charge attacks can be traditionally charged by holding down the respective button. When in an active Frenzy Mode, chargeable attacks have their charge times reduced a significant amount.
Fire Emblem Warriors
The game uses the C6 system. On the player's starting class, they start with up to C5 attacks. However, once the player promotes their characters, they can gain the C6 charge. The player's C1 can be charged up or rapidly pressed.