GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide 1 -
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide 1 -
This is a very basic guide to Zato. Looking at things from a surface level for the most part. Mostly made for people who are trying to get into Zato but don’t know where to start, Including what buttons to use when and what strings to use. Not a COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE.
The main idea of this is that it can be read in a few minutes. Who likes guides that are long? Why read when you can play the game?
Why Play Zato when you can play Sol and do half the work for the same outcome? Because you hate yourself


Why play Zato?

Zato is a puppet character the creates unique setups with Eddie (the puppet…) which allows him to go for mixes on their opponent.

Why not to play Zato

Zato has a low health pool as well as being very reliant on Eddie for just about anything.


Here is the following guide for understanding what I’m saying. I’m going to assume you know what the inputs are for this game (P,K,S,HS,D) as well as cs meaning close slash, fs meaning far slash, j.pkshsd meaning Jump and a button, RRC = Red Roman Cancel, PRC = Purple Roman Cancel.

Also, since we’re talking about Zato, it is important to know negative edge notation.

For holding down a button you use [P], for letting going you use ]P[. Simple enough.

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Eddie Gauge

“What the heck? I have another bar at the bottom of my screen?” – you
Yeah of course, do you think Eddie is around forever? We wish.

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Guess what happens when you summon Eddie? The bar goes down slowly. Guess what happens when you make Eddie do a move? It goes down even faster. When the bar runs out, it slowly has to charge back up before you can summon Eddie again.

You can unsummon eddie by doing 214H, unsummoning Eddie manually will make the Gauge go up much faster.

Also, if you or Eddie get hit, he will unsummon and slowly recharge.

Good Buttons for neutral.

Zato has no buttons that are “plus” (advantage) on block. You will usually be relying on Eddie to fill in the gaps between your pressure. I am just going to go over a few of Zato’s buttons that are good.
ALL HIS BUTTONS ARE IMPORTANT! This is not a full list of them of course. If you want to know all the nerd stuff about frame data the link is –

Some of Zato’s best buttons include

  • 2S
  • 22H
  • 5P
  • 2P
  • J.P
  • 623S
  • 214S
  • 6K
  • 632146S


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Slow, but nice long range button. Use to poke from a distance.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Good button for controlling space, stays active on the ground for a long time.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Both of Zato’s fastest buttons, use when the opponent has gaps in their pressure to stop it or to check your opponent.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Zato’s air to air button, very good for stuffing people out in the air, hits 3 times.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Zato’s command grab. Refills Eddie’s Gauge.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Pogging Eddie, Reflect projectiles and if Eddie is summoned when you use this move he dashes forward quickly.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

One of your mix up options, this move is an overhead and will hit crouching opponents and gives you the opportunity to do a combo off of it with Eddie.


GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Not really a “good button” but if your Eddie gauge is at zero, you can spend 50 Meter to fill it back up instantly with this super as well as positioning Eddie wherever the sword lands.

Eddie’s Buttons

You can Summon Eddie by pressing 214H, or you can summon Eddie directly into a move by inputting 236P,K,S,HS. Eddie will also do a move if you let go of a button, so think of letting go of a button as another input (This is called Negative Edge). Since Steam Formatting won’t let me do the correct notation for Negative Edge, I will use -S- in place of ]S[.

Although below it says how much bar it uses, say you have about 10% left of Eddie, and you want to use Oppose which is a 100% usage of it, you can still use it and get its full value.

Pierce (236P,-P-)
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Uses ~33% of Eddie’s Gauge when used. Travels far and hits twice. There is a gap in between his hits and opponents who know this will mash out of it. This is why you need to be in between the gaps hitting a button not allowing them to do that and make them respect your moves.

That’s a lot(236K,-K-)
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Uses 50% of Eddies Gauge when used. A good button to hit to lock down your opponent, allowing you to go for a high/low mix up.

Leap (236S,-S-
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Uses 50% of Eddie’s Gauge when used. Good Anti-Air move and hits twice. If the 2nd hit hits, you can run up and 2S for some more free damage

Oppose (236HS,-HS-)
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Uses 100% of Eddie’s Gauge when used. An armored attack that will absorb hits that would otherwise hit Zato. (Not Including Overdrives). You can go for a Counter hit, or a grab here.

Flight and It’s importance.

Flight is a very important tool to escape your opponent when you don’t have Eddie, or a good tool to approach your opponent when Eddie is on the ground.GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- Actual Basic Zato Guide

Basic Blockstrings with and without Eddie.


Why are blockstrings important?


They give you the chance to lock down your opponent and study their habits as well as potentially leading into a combo if they mess up.

None Eddie BlockStrings


2S > 22H
2K > 2D > 22H
5S > 5HS > 22H
5S > 2HS > 22H

Eddie Block Strings

These are much harder than the ones above. But they work much better.
REMINDER: You can change out some of the Ps and Ks to 6H or some other command normal for the mix up

CS > 236P > PRC > 214S > 5P > 5K > 214S > 5P > 5K > 214S > 5P > 5K > 214S

CS > 5H > 236P > 236S > 236P > CS > 5H > 22H

No Combo Section? Why? What the heck?

New and Veteran Players get hyperfixated on doing combos rather than the important stuff. Combos of course are important but things that lead to those combos and getting good at confirming them is much more important. Plus what fun is it to just copy someone else’s combos? What if I gave you optimized combos that deal half the damage they should and you take it as word? What if you take any of this as truth?
Not all of these are good, but could be a start for you

Gameplan and Conclusion

Your game plan is getting in your opponents face and locking them down with your pressure and setups spread between you and Eddie, where each of you cover the gaps in your pressure. Allowing for mix ups that lead to combos. This can be down either when you’re in the corner or when you put Eddie on the other side of them and “sandwich” your opponent in between you two.


Written by Von

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