Movement is an important part of gameplay in the Guilty Gear series. Characters generally can perform all of these moves during combat, but the speed at which they can be done, or whether they can perform them at all, depends on their playstyles.
Depending on the character's position on the stage, the player must input different commands to move. The inputs here are listed as if the character is facing the right side.
Walking is the most basic of all movement options. From X onwards, walking forward gives a character a small amount of Tension. Forward walking is done by pressing and backwards with .
A dash is used to cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time, and is useful for punishing whiffed moves or closing in after knocking an opponent down. It is done by tapping , while running is done by holding the second input. In general, the longer the character runs, the faster they will become. From X onwards, Tension is gained while running forward. It can be canceled at any point into any ground attack or jump. A dash brake immediately cancels a forward run into a blocking state, and is performed by doing a Faultless Defense while running. It can be used to quickly run up, stop, and throw an opponent.
It is available to a majority of the cast. Johnny, Justice, Slayer, A.B.A, Bedman, and Leo do not have a run, but they do a short dash forward, which may have different properties. I-No's run is unique in that it puts her airborne. Potemkin cannot run or dash forward at all; Kliff cannot do either in the original Guilty Gear but can dash forward a bit in XX.
A back-dash has startup invincibility and can be used to evade enemy attacks, but usually has a lot of recovery in the latter half of the move. They can be used to escape defensive situations or to escape the opponent's pressure during a knockdown wakeup.
Jumping is accessible to all characters (although each with different amounts of startup) in any upwards direction by pressing , or , or . Pressing any of the upward direction again is done to double jump. Also called a two-level jump, all characters can double jump, while Chipp is able to triple jump. Some air attacks are jump cancelable, allowing players to cancel an air attack into their air options. During a jump, momentum is conserved: a running will move much farther than simply at neutral.
Another jumping option is the high jump or super jump, which is performed by pressing + or or in neutral position. If using a high jump, the character cannot use their double jump option, but they can followup with an air dash. High jumps have startup and momentum that behave like normal jumps.
An air-dash is different from an ground dash. It is done by jumping or high-jumping and, accordingly, pressing or . If used, the character cannot double jump. After the startup frames of the air dash/back-dash, a player can cancel into any air attack except air throw. Instant air dashing is a technique that allows a character to air dash as close to the ground as possible after a jump, and it can be done by pressing , quickly returning to neutral, then .
Most characters can use air-dashes. Millia and Dizzy can air dash twice during one jump; Bedman has an eight-way air dash, while Raven's is unique in that that he goes downwards before gliding along just above the ground. Once again, Potemkin cannot air-dash.
After a character is knocked to the floor, and their brief vulnerable on-the-ground period passes, they enter a wakeup animation that is fully invincible. The amount of time each character takes to wake up is character-specific and depends on whether they are knocked to the ground face down or face up. A character can do a knockdown evasion by pressing plus any button to recover faster.
During a stagger, the character is momentarily helpless to the enemy's attacks and can be hit and thrown. A button icon will appear over the character's head to indicate stagger. Below the stagger icon there is a timer gauge that shows how much longer stagger will last. To escape sooner, the player must mash buttons as fast as they can.
Teching is a term used to refer to the act of returning to an airborne neutral state after getting hit in the air. To recover from the attack, the player must push any two attack buttons ( or or or ) simultaneously while in the air for the character to regain their balance and quickly ready themselves against the next attack. One will not be able to tech immediately after getting hit, especially with stronger attacks. After teching, double/triple jump and air dash options are reset.