Marvel vs Capcom 3 Beginner's Guide

It's finally here! Capcom's excellent sequel to the legendary MvC2 has arrived, and it's time to get down to business. After you're done mashing buttons and watching your favorite characters make loud noises and bright colors, you might want to consider taking the game a bit more seriously so you can actually win a match or two.

That's where this guide comes in; here we'll take a quick look at the basics of MvC3 so you can quickly make the transition from hopeless scrub to slightly less hopeless scrub. We'll have some more advanced tactics in the near future, but in the mean time, may all your mustaches be curleh and your scoops be Haggen-Dazs!



Normal Moves

Note: This is a general overlay of most characters moves, some characters’ individual moves may deviate from these descriptions, particularly in regards to the S attack.

Light (L): Normally a fast, low damage attack with short range

Medium (M): Slightly slower but does more damage, increased range over L

Heavy (H): Longest reach, most damage and stun, also the slowest attack.

Special (S): Varies from character to character, but is usually a slow, large radius attack like H.

More importantly, most characters’ standing or crouching S attack will launch the opponent into the air, allowing the player to perform air combos on them. This attack is sometimes called a Universal Launcher.



Unlike Street Fighter, MvC3 is based almost entirely around combos, especially combos that involve more than just your active character. The basic idea behind a combo is that the player is stringing together a set of moves that are timed in a way as to be unblockable once the first hit has occurred. This is possible because every successful attack cause Stun, an animation where the opponent reels or winces after being hit. Any attacks chained together within this window, including assist attacks, are considered combos.

Basic combos in MvC3 are not difficult, L L M H S works with virtually all characters in the game, while more complicated combos involve juggling opponents in the air, multiple assist attacks, Hyper Combos and even multiple character changes.


Assists And Active Characters

Another big change between traditional fighting games and MvC3 is assist attacks. Only one of your characters may be “active” at a time, but your 2 other characters may perform assist attacks to help. During character selection the player must chose one of 3 assist type attacks for each of their characters. Figuring out which assist attacks work best for your team is an incredibly important part of MvC3, and even mediocre characters can be extremely useful if their assist attack is good enough.

Assist attacks are useful because they create special opportunities to extend combos or patch up holes in a character’s offense or defense. For example, a slow, heavy-hitter like Hagar might benefit from a projectile based assist, as he has few long range options. After an assist attack is used it must be given a few seconds to recharge before it can be used again. It’s important not to spam assists wantonly though, as assist characters can be hit and damaged while they’re on the screen.


  • Kapwan - February 17, 2011 1:50 a.m.

    Mike your a little off on the Aerial exchange, Pressing left or right does medium damage and gets you half a bar of meter, pressing S and down gets you less damage but a full bar of meter, and pressing up and S does the most damage and about a quarter of meter.
  • razorwiretensho - February 17, 2011 1:20 a.m.

    Another good effect of X-factor is the reduced damage-scaling it gives you for the duration of it. For example, combos and special abilities (or hyper combos) that hit alot of times, like Ironman's hyper combo laser starts to suffer from diminishing returns if canceled into another high-hit hyper combo.
  • philipshaw - February 17, 2011 12:06 a.m.

    Great guide,this will be useful when I pick this game up at some point
  • Darkshine34 - February 16, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    @Effexor - Pretty sure it's just the Shoryuken with 2 attack buttons. (Forward-Down-Angle Forward)
  • Effexor - February 16, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    The only thing i'm having trouble with is activating level 3 hyper combos. Is there any easy way to activate level 3 hyper combos?
  • Phil0syfee - February 16, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    Excellent guide. X factor stuff I managed to figure out while playing last night. On the other hand was having trouble doing the aerial exchange. Thanks for the great tips.
  • Ilyere - February 16, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    Thanks very much! Of course, I'd probably spend ages in Training and Mission modes before I even hope to play online...
  • grizzly311 - February 16, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    Thanks for this. I have been having some difficulty with the transition from TvC to this game. This helps immensely.
  • lilbuddha - February 16, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    "It is an extremely useful, and almost totally safe way to change characters." Versus the CPU on Hard or Very Hard it will be countered about 50% of the time. Versus a good player, depends on how well they know you. I spent about 45min last night watching a RGP stream, you'd be amazed at how quickly tactics have been formed for this game. Common characters: Sentinel - He's still a beast and X-factored he is a complete game changer Mags + storm - The rest of the MvC 2 team, not quite as crazy but still good Trish - Very versatile, huge range on every move Wesker - Projectile king + has a spiderman style super Chris - Huge moveset, huge range Zero - every combo is many many hits, great assist Chunli - watched a guy do an aerial lightning kick + cancel + lightning kick repeat that ended at 42hits, but looked like it could be continued until they both hit the ground (its started at super jump height so he probably could have gotten to 60-80 hits) Ryu - Well rounded, lots of chip What i didn't see: No Aerial assist combos, not one. Too risky I'm assuming. She Hulk (i don't like her), Haggar (my favorite close range char), Tron (though they were commenting that tron has an infinite, but its hard to set up and that she's bad otherwise)
  • Killingjoke - February 16, 2011 6:08 a.m.

    Button Mashing can take me so far. It'll be much more enjoyable to actually know what Im doing Win Lose or Draw or in my case mostly losing right now. Im loving this game and Im a total rook cant wait to get the moves from each player down. Nice guide
  • sgloomy - February 16, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    Awesome guide. Anyone who wants to get good at this game should try to go through the Mission mode for the character they want to play as, it is not a complete trial but it gives the basics of the character and then go to training mode and practice, practice, practice. The very huge difference between MvC and SF is the concept of option-select, in MvC, if you don't input the move in a very exact form, it will not come out which can be annoying if you are used to the move shortcuts in SSF4
  • Robusken - February 16, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    Great guide! I'd like to see a more advanced guide later on. Right now Galactus is still giving me trouble.
  • lovinmyps3 - February 16, 2011 4:09 a.m.

    Thanks Grimm! I didn't know some of these. I'll go try 'em out now!
  • gangjute8 - February 16, 2011 2:32 a.m.

    I've never played a MvC game, but I'm planning on picking this one up... Let's hope my Tatsunoko Vs Capcom skills will carry over. Also, I had to do Recaptcha 4 times before it gave me letters that existed in the english language... O_O
  • shadowreaper72 - February 16, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    Thanks for the guide! I suck ass when it comes to fighting games but hopefully I can inprove my skills in this game.
  • Personamanxx - February 16, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    Thanks for this. I'm getting the game soon but I am a total newb.
  • Ridureyu - February 16, 2011 2:08 a.m.

    Nice guide! Covers a lot of the basics that most guides will forget to mention.
  • blakebeauchamp - February 16, 2011 2:06 a.m.

    nice guide, I just got into MvC

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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