Trigger Mode is one of the four universal mechanics which require the use of Bullet Counters.
To activate Trigger Mode, the player has to keep the Trigger button pressed while inputing an attack. The Trigger button can be kept pressed before or together with the attack input (e.g. press Trigger, the press 6P while Trigger is down and 6+Trigger+P are both accepted inputs for Trigger 6P). Only attacks with physical hitboxes can be Triggered: projectile attacks and non-damaging attacks cannot be used to start Trigger Mode and don't gain any benefit from it.
If the input is successful, one Bullet Counter is used, a gunshot sound effects plays, and the gun cylinder near the Bullet Counters (see the HUD page) will rotate.
Trigger Mode provides a multitude of buffs to the attacking player:
- Attacks performed while in Trigger Mode gain a Guard Break property: If the opponent blocks the attack, they are put in a Strong reaction state instead, while receiving no damage;
- Throws and Throw Attacks performed while in Trigger Mode cannot be teched and are thus completely unblockable;
- Attacks connecting during Trigger Mode gain a 1.2 damage multiplier and a 1.2 hitstun multiplier, up to a maximum of 36 frames. Weak reactions are automatically upgraded to Strong reactions. Thus, Trigger Mode allows for combos that are usually not possible without it. These are named Trigger Combos;
- After each hit, a graphic "black and white" filter is applied to the screen, while time is consistently slowed down, allowing the attacking player to perform chains with strict timing in an easier way;
- The hit effect is replaced by a special Trigger hit effect which varies depending on the character (not a gameplay buff, just a cool graphical cue that Trigger Mode is active).
Trigger Mode has also two downsides:
- If the opponent performs a Trigger Guard, the attacking character is put in a Impact reaction state instead of the standard Strong reaction;
- Moves have 6 frames of additional recovery after the end of the animation.
End of Trigger Mode
Trigger Mode remains active as long as the player manages to chain together attacks without returning to a neutral state. This means that, while Trigger Mode can allow for link combos to start, it cannot be used to continue them. Knowing chain paths becomes thus important to keep Trigger Mode active as long as possible. Trigger Mode also ends when an attack whiffs. Attacks without hitboxes (e.g. Amy's 2T/8T side roll) keep Trigger Mode active. If the attacking character is hit by the opponent, Trigger Mode ends instantly.