Jump Force release date, roster, gameplay, and everything we know so far

Jump Force is fast approaching its February 2019 release date, and with 26 confirmed fighters so far, it's time you started picking your Shonen Jump dream team. If you haven't seen it in action, Jump Force is a 3D crossover fighter from Bandai Namco featuring mega-popular Shonen Jump series like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Naruto as combatants duke it out in 3v3 bouts. If you're looking for all the known Jump Force facts, you've come to the right place - here's everything you need to know before the game hits PS4, Xbox One, and PC in a few short months.

Jump Force's release date is February 15, 2019

Bandai Namco has officially confirmed that Jump Force will launch on February 15, 2019 - not such a long wait, in the grand scheme of things. As with other Bandai Namco fighters, you can expect plenty of DLC additions and balance updates well after launch, so the game will continue to expand throughout 2019. The Jump Force closed beta test has come and gone, but Bandai Namco may be planning an open beta before the full release to help stress-test the servers and do some last-minute balancing. We'll be sure to let you know if and when an open beta is announced.

Jump Force's roster features Shonen Jump's greatest hits (with some exceptions) 

The characters in Jump Force all hail from Weekly Shonen Jump, a manga anthology you'll find at any Japanese newsstand that's been consistently popular for decades. The latest addition to the lineup is Asta from Black Clover and an iconic hero and villain duo from Rurouni Kenshin. Here are all the confirmed playable fighters in the Jump Force roster, along with the series they originally appeared in, organized alphabetically by the Western show name: 

  • Asta (Black Clover)
  • Ichigo (Bleach)
  • Rukia (Bleach)
  • Aizen (Bleach)
  • Ryo (City Hunter)
  • Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Piccolo (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Cell (Dragon Ball Z)
  • Kenshiro (Fist of the North Star)
  • Gon (Hunter x Hunter)
  • Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter)
  • Killua (Hunter x Hunter)
  • Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter)
  • Naruto (Naruto)
  • Sasuke (Naruto)
  • Luffy (One Piece)
  • Blackbeard (One Piece)
  • Sabo (One Piece)
  • Sanji (One Piece)
  • Zoro (One Piece)
  • Himura Kenshin (Rurouni Kenshin)
  • Shishio Makoto (Rurouni Kenshin)
  • Dragon Shiryu (Saint Seiya)
  • Pegasus Seiya (Saint Seiya)
  • Yugi Muto (Yu-Gi-Oh)
  • Toguro (Yu Yu Hakusho)
  • Yuske Urameshi (Yu Yu Hakusho)
  • Galena (original Jump Force character)
  • Glover (original Jump Force character)
  • Kane (original Jump Force character)
  • Navigator (original Jump Force character)

The roster looks like it's just about complete, but Bandai Namco has a whopping nine DLC fighters lined up for after launch (though their identities and series of origin are still a mystery). This is pure speculation, but I'm willing to bet we'll see heroes and villains from My Hero Academia and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. One thing's for certain: don't expect to see your favorite sports manga folks joining the fray. "Adding in sports manga characters is a bit difficult… it’s mainly battle manga characters," said Nakashima. In other words, it might be a bit odd if the teenagers of Haikyu!!, Prince of Tennis, or Slam Dunk got into a fistfight with Goku. That match would be over in a hurry.

Though we saw Death Note's Light Yagami and Ryuk make a brief cameo in the initial Jump Force reveal trailer, they won't actually appear as playable brawlers. Granted, all Light would have to do to win a duel is just write down the name of his opponent - "He'd be too strong" said producer Koji Nakashima in an interview with Siliconera. Instead, certain characters will play a part in the story - which has Jump universes mysteriously merging into our reality - without actually joining the in-game fights.

Jump Force's gameplay features 3v3 brawls set in real-world locations

With a behind-the-back camera reminiscent of Spike Chunsoft's own DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi, Jump Force pits two teams of three against each other in sprawling 3D arenas. Because the story of Jump Force takes place in our world, you'll be able to duke it out at famous locations like New York City's famous Times Square or the snowy peaks of the Matterhorn (the real one in the Alps, not the Disneyland attraction). The levels look like they'll all feature stage transitions a la Injustice 2, complete with quick cutscenes of mass destruction as the fighter on the receiving end gets tossed around like a ragdoll. 

Though the stages look massive, there will be plenty of ways to close the gap if your opponent tries to create distance and pepper you with fireballs; most of the fighters look like they have a way to dash or teleport to their target to continue the beatdown. Interestingly, all three characters on your team share the same one life bar - so tagging in your other fighters only serves to extend your combos, rather than regenerating lost health as in games like Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. There's also an Awakening meter that acts as a comeback mechanic, though little is currently known about its precise mechanics. And it looks like some fighters will have their iconic transformations for super moves, like Goku going Super Saiyan, Luffy becoming Bounce Man, and Naruto unleashing Kurama, the Nine-tailed Demon Fox. 

Jump Force's roster is a who's who of the anime world, but there's a crucial character you won't have seen before: a customized fighter of your own creation. Bandai Namco is letting you build your own fighter from scratch using a variety of aesthetic options, then assigning moves from the other characters to a unique avatar. Soul Calibur 6's custom character creator got a lot of mileage (to hilarious effect), so hopefully the Jump Force customization tools will let you breath new life into the lineup with heroes and villains born from your imagination. Or you could just stick with the included fighters - your choice!    

Mastering these Dragon Ball FighterZ tips will help pass the time until you can play Jump Force!