How ‘Soulcalibur VI’s New Reversal Edge System Works

Jeremy Ray
Games PlayStation
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The biggest new system in Soulcalibur VI is the Reversal Edge. This cinematic, slow-motion clash gives players a moment to breathe and push one decisive button. Your choice relative to your opponent’s decides the winner of the exchange — but while this has been billed as a “rock, paper, scissors,” the reality is a little more complicated.

You might’ve seen it in trailers or gameplay footage — the edges of the screen go blurry, weapons glow red, and the action turns slow-mo. This is triggered by pressing RB or R1, and is a chargeable attack with hyperarmour — meaning it can tank some damage during its swing and still connect.

It doesn’t take any meter to initiate, and you can tell one is coming when your enemy is slowly winding up a vertical attack. If it hits, you’re in a world of red.

Mitsurugi hits Nightmare with a Reversal Edge
Nightmare will take more damage without his armour, too.

There are eight options to choose from when a Reversal Edge is initiated. These are:

  • Horizontal Attack
  • Vertical Attack
  • Kick
  • Sidestep (background or foreground)
  • Forward crouch
  • Backstep
  • Guard
  • Guard Impact

The top three are the main trio of attack options. These do form a traditional rock, paper, scissors system. Two of the same attack will bounce off each other, and the fighters will try again. If it happens a second time, the Reversal Edge is over.

But when you factor in the five movement options, it becomes more complicated — if you were to try to draw lines between them all, it’d look like spaghetti.

For a full table on what beats what, see below.

Reversal Edge counters
Guarding is safe, but verticals are quite common.

Like ‘Soulcalibur VI’, but Slower

In a way, Reversal Edge is a microcosm for how to think about every exchange in Soulcalibur VI. Every skirmish, slow-mo or not, is subject to similar rules. It’s not an exact match — you can usually block a vertical attack, for instance — but it could get newcomers thinking along the right lines.

Just like in normal Soulcalibur VI play, sidesteps are effective against vertical attacks but get caught by horizontal swings. In Reversal Edge, it’s quite a cinematic effect:

The guard is the safest option, neutralising most other moves and only being beaten by a vertical slash. Also of note is the Guard Impact, a forward-moving block that beats all top three attacks on the list. In practice, this is something like Sophitia bashing her way forward with her shield.

It also makes sense that a crouch goes under a horizontal attack, but gets owned by a vertical.

In the end, it’s all about what will put you in a better position once the Reversal Edge is over. The movement options might not do damage straight away, but you’ll be put into a dominant position. After you’ve won the exchange, you can now initiate the best combo you think you can get away with.

Is Reversal Edge Luck-Based?

Kind of. Similar to penalties in FIFA, we can imagine players bringing their controllers up to their faces and hiding their inputs for this one. But there are a few other things to consider.

There’s the distance involved, whether you’re close to a Ring Out, health levels, and the all-important knowing your opponent’s tendencies.

But it does raise the question of where Reversal Edge sits in the grand scheme of Soulcalibur VI play. We don’t see Reversal Edge being a popular move among higher level players. It could potentially be used by a lesser skilled player to even the odds, but they’d want to be careful of that — a good player will punish it.

Reversal Edge attacks are vertical attacks, with their own ranges and wind-up animations. They can be sidestepped or countered in other ways, even before the Reversal Edge begins. If someone capable recognises the telltale charge-up, they don’t even need to read you. They can sidestep based on reaction alone.

There are different playstyles in fighting games though, and if you’re finding that one particular player is constantly outplaying you in footsies/distance management, then Reversal Edge could be one way to close distance and win an exchange.

Or perhaps, someone might do it for a chance of pace and momentum. It does provide a moment to breathe.

Even though Reversal Edge isn’t the most exciting feature from a competitive gaming standpoint, it does provide a bit of cinematic flair which makes the game easier to watch. We don’t expect Soulcalibur VI to be an esport on the level of Tekken 7 or Dragon Ball FighterZ regardless. Reversal Edge doesn’t get in the way of high-level play, but it does give lower levels more eye candy.

Jeremy Ray
Managing Editor at FANDOM. Decade-long games critic and esports aficionado. Started in competitive Counter-Strike, then moved into broadcast, online, print and interpretative pantomime. You merely adopted the lag. I was born in it.
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