Marvel vs Capcom 3 Beginner's Guide

Aerial Exchange

COMMAND: When performing an aerial combo, press FORWARD, BACKWARD or DOWN and S

Using the S attack and no direction on an airborne opponent will slam them into the ground, while pressing left, right or down plus S will cause you to perform an Aerial Exchange. This quickly tags in one of your other characters midair, and allows them to continue and extend your air combo. It is an extremely useful, and almost totally safe way to change characters. It also builds an extremely large amount of Hyper Meter, making it even better. Pressing Down and S ground bounces the opponent and gives you a full bar of Hyper Meter. Pressing left or right builds slightly less meter but does additional damage. (Thanks Kapwan)


Hyper Meter Basics

Your Hyper Meter is the meter at the bottom of the screen. You gain Hyper Meter by connecting attacks on your opponent and by being hit by attacks. You may have up to 5 levels of Hyper Meter. Hyper Meter is used primarily for executing Hyper Combo attacks, but it can also be used to quickly switch out a character while blocking via a move called a Crossover Counter.  


Crossover Counter

COMMAND: Press forward and an assist button while blocking to perform a Crossover Counter. (Consumes one bar of Hyper Meter)

The Crossover Counter is an alternate way to tag in a teammate. While not as safe as an Aerial Exchange, a Crossover Counter is slightly faster than simply holding down the assist button. As soon as it's performed your blocking character will jump out and your new character will switch in with their assist attack. Crossover Counters can still be unsafe as the characters switching in are not invulnerable and can be hit as usual. Characters switching in can immediately Hyper Combo though, so this move should be limited to characters whose assist moves or Hyper Combos have invulnerability properties.


Snapback Attack

COMMAND: Quarter circle forward (fireball motion) and an assist button

The Snapback Attack forcibly switches the opponent’s current character out with one of his reserve characters depending on which assist button you use. This is useful as it allows the player to draw out a character with low health and prevent them from regaining health (the red bar) while they’re tagged out. It also allows the player to pick a more favorable match up depending on their character’s strengths and weaknesses.


Advancing Guard

COMMAND: Press two attack buttons while blocking an attack

Advancing Guard, also known as a "push block", is a variation of blocking that, if performed correctly, pushes the attacking player away from the defender. The advantage of this is that by pushing the attacker back, it makes it more difficult for them to put pressure on the opponent as they have to make up for lost space. Important for projectile characters or characters with poor close quarters options like Dormammu.


X-Factor Abilities

COMMAND: To activate the X-Factor , simultaneously press L M H and S.

The X-Factor is an interesting ability that can be used for a number of strategies. When activated, the X-Factor ability increases the speed and strength of your character while simultaneously regenerating their red health bar back to regular yellow health. The speed/damage bonus that the X-Factor ability grants is based on the number of remaining characters you have:

All 3 characters =  X-Factor  lasts 10 seconds

2 Characters =  X-Factor lasts 15 seconds

1 Character = X-Factor lasts 20 seconds and provides the biggest damage/speed boost

Even more interesting, X-Factor can also be activated during a move or hyper combo to automatically cancel the move, allowing for special combos or setups that usually wouldn’t be possible. Also note that while X-Factor is active, the character is immune to chip damage from special moves, though blocking them will temporarily prevent the character’s health from regenerating.


  • 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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