-From the NEOBRAIN ARCHIVES-
Custom Robo Game Mechanics guide

Archived by WYVERN_FOUR

____________Version II____________

Custom Robo is one of the most popular games in the world. Although the premise 
at first is simple, strategies and gameplay have much more underlying 
difficulty than first meets the eye. This guide will assist you in your goal to 
become one of the Custom Robo Arena Champions.

This guide is spilt into 4 sections:

1]Mechanics

2]Techniques

3]Online Strategies

4]Useful Links


1}
__________ -Game Mechanics-___________

..Combos..

All right, the problem here is that the whole "combo" thing is somewhat 
confusing to understand.

All you have to do is hit them before the "HIT" message on their status bar 
disappears. This means that you can actually afford some time to set up attack 
chains before you actually start downing them.

The combo damage itself lasts from when you first damage them (HIT message) 
until they re-birth after being downed.

You need to use at least 3 different weapons, but not necessarily limited to 
using them one time each.

Aerial and ground gun shots count separately toward the 3 weapons, but I am not 
sure whether aerial bomb/pod fire is different.

You have 3 hits of regular damage before they are knocked down, and after that, 
their damage taken is greatly reduced. (60-70 percent) Therefore, you want to 
do them the majority of the damage all at once and not have to rely on your gun 
hitting them while they are downed. You want to hit them the hardest at the 
start before they get downed, then hit them quickly before they rebirth.

-A quick example of this would be with the Needle Gun, Burrow Bomb P and the 
Umbrella pod. This combo probably won't get over 380, but it will give you an 
idea of how to set combos up.

1]Hit them with the Needle gun, stopping their movement and drawing them in 
toward you.
2]Launch a Bomb into the ground in front of them and then hit them with the 
Needle again, downing them and blasting them into the air with the Pillar type 
blast.
3]Launch the Umbrella pod while they are in the air
4]Use the charge attack to tack on some extra damage.

As you can see, it's all about moving them into your traps, then piling on the 
damage.

..Weapon Limits..

There is a set limit to how many of a weapon you can have in the field at once; 
once this limit is met, you will have to wait until there is sufficient spaces 
for you to use new ones.

Gun- 10 individual rounds
Bomb- 4 bombs (unknown if Dual bombs count for 2)
Pod- 3 individual pods

Once there are enough places, you are able to re-fire the parts even though not 
all of them have disappeared. You can observe these limits with the Volcanic 
bomb or Divide pod. Both use more than one unit at a time and use one less than 
the limit. However, if one of the units explodes, you are able to fire once 
again. Thus you can have 4 volcanic bombs and 3 Divide pod units on the field 
at once.


..Critical hits: The optimal range..

Some guns have a "sweet spot" or range where they do the most damage at. At 
this range, the majority of the shots hit the other robo and rack up the most 
damage. Experimentation is needed to find out what the optimal range is.

The critical hit ranges for all the guns can be seen in the Parts list/Damage 
chart below.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p277/Wyvern_5UN/CRAGundamagechart.png

*All damages were calculated with the Ray Mk III against the training robo/Ray 
Mk III in the Free Play mode; presumably they are the same robo.
Keep in mind that these figures are just guidelines for approximating damage. 
Multi-hit guns are espcially difficult to calculate max damages for because of 
the multiple rounds that often deal more damage at a certain distance. Ie: not 
at point blank


..Part Letters and their effects..

You'll notice that some parts have letters placed after their names. 
ie: Burrow P/Satellite H

These letters denote the effect of the blast. It is much easier to find a 
bomb/pod that has the right blast type for your set-ups if you know the 
meanings of all the letter types.

Letter Names and their effects:

Normal (no letter)-diagonally upward (orange/red blast)
Gazer- upward (small weak blast)
Horizon-slowly to the side (large white blast)
Burst-blasts sideways (medium pink blast)
Destroy-diagonally upward (skull blast)
Stun-paralyzes foe (small green blast)
Pillar-upward; leaves a blast zone (tall orange blast)
Flipper-knocks foe to the side (light blue pillar)
Cyclone- slowly upward (large blue blast)
Traction- toward robo that fired the bomb/pod (small yellow blast)
Knockdown- Knocks opponent down (medium size brown blast)
X (Explosion)- Diagonally upward high into the air (small brown white blast)


..Robo Special Abilitiies..

As alluded to in the notes section, some/all robos have a secret ability that 
is not mentioned in the manual/customization screen. The game itself only 
mentions three of them; the rest are apparently for players to discover on 
their own.

Shining Fighter
"Better intergration" with lag parts gives them better mobility than other 
robos with similar parts. Has a descending air dash which reduces lag.

Metal Grappler
Less DOWN time than other robos and better reload rate.

Little Raiders
Traction is similar to the effect from formula legs.
Incredibly low endurance makes them down from most attacks.


Little Sprinters
Traction is similar to the effect from Stabilizer legs.
Incredibly low endurance makes them down from most attacks.

Javelin
Unlimited quick charges at the expense of invincibility

Jameson
Cannot be downed by any weapon or charge, as well is invulnerable to blast 
effects from weapons or charges.

Lightning Sky
Has a unique long range single air-dash; also has a descending air dash which 
reduces lag-time.

Ray Sky
Shining Fighter mobility and less down time. Also has somewhat less 
vulnerability after a dash.

---
For robo special abilities, wild soldiers DON'T recover faster after shooting. 
Creators made a mistake.

Big Boys recover faster from shots.

Strike vanishers have shorter down time.

Burning beast have instant recovery when landing

Submitted by SHOMASAN (GF Mara)
---

The rest of the abilities are unknown at this point; as soon as more 
information becomes available it will be added, with due credit.



2}
________-Techniques-___________
A compilation of all current accepted Custom Robo Techniques

-Movement Techs-

.Short Hop- Pretty much a given, but when you have Ground, Feather or Quick 
Jumps on (or Burning Beasts) you can repeatedly jump back and forth low to the 
ground to get a quick burst of speed similar to an air dash. Big Boys can 
demonstrate this technique the best.

.Jump cancelling- When you jump and fire a weapon from the air, all movement 
stops and you can take advantage of the gun/bomb's aerial effects without 
having to jump as high. You also cancel the slide shot effect, making it easier 
for you to avoid guns like the V-Laser.

.Air-dash- The air dash is mainly used to traverse long distances quickly 
without the danger of being exposed to enemy fire. It can also be used to 
approach quickly. By tapping A twice near to the ground, you can dash lower to 
the ground, therefore reducing your vulnerability upon landing.
[See Stealthdash]

.Continuous jump- The counterpart to the air-dash. Although less useful for 
moving quickly, it is better for dodging fire because you are not left on the 
ground after using it. Time your jumps so that you jump right before the rounds 
are about to hit you.

.Wall dash- If you jump while moving alongside a wall, your airspeed will be 
significantly higher than if you had just been moving in mid-air and you will 
land farther away. You can really see this the best with Little Sprinters and 
Sassy Stunners with the Wide Jump legs. In most arenas you can jump across an 
entire wall without having to use a mid-air jump.

.Stealth dash- Strike Vanishers and Burning beasts have this special kind of 
air-dash which allows them to disappear while they are dashing.

.Prep Spin- You can keep yourself ready to run in any direction (especially 
stabilizer) by running in a circle. That way, you will be at top speed and 
ready to go in any direction while you wait for your opponent to rebirth.

-Gun Techs-

.Overloading- When you and another robo fire your gun at the same time, if one 
robo is downed, the other robo's rounds disappear. Try to overload robos whose 
gun take a long time to reach their opponent or stall in the air.
*NOTE: Only Gun shots overload. Bomb and pod explosions do not.

.Slide shot- When running, you can fire your gun and slide in the direction you 
were running. Use this technique to fire into an open area and then come to a 
stop behind a wall.

.Critical hit- Many guns have a range at which they will do the maximum damage. 
For example, the Halo gun's aerial shot actually does the most damage when used 
point blank. (150 dmg)
.Switch Firing- Some guns/bombs shoot differently from the air than on the 
ground. Fire during a Jump cancel with a gun or bomb to switch the round type.
Bombs usually fire straight when fired from the air, allowing them to be used 
akin to a gun (doing damage by hitting the robo instead of the robo being 
caught in the blast)

Switch firing also can be used at the end of some charges because of the slight 
vertical distance gained during the charge. An example of this is Swift or 
Pike; both use their aerial shots after a charge.


-Bomb Techs-

.Switch Firing- See Switch firing in the gun section above

.Soft landing: You know how when you dash twice (or more) in the air and you 
have that lag when you land if you're not wearing reduced vulnerability legs? 
You can cut that out with this. After your dashes (or whenever, really, if 
you're expecting lag when landing) Prepare to fire your bomb and hold it out 
until your robo lands. Then, fire, and your robo will be ready to go a lot 
quicker than if you hadn't done that. Tips to streamline the process is to 
practice starting the trick just before you land, so you're not in one spot for 
too long.

.Drifting: When you prepare to fire a bomb from the air, you drift slowly 
downward. You know this already, but maybe not how to apply it. You can dodge 
your enemy's gun if it has low homing and get a nice counterattack by 
manipulating your drift and letting go to dodge it.

.Stop on a Dime: You will stop immediately on the ground (and in the air if 
you're not a dashing LS) when you're firing a bomb. Use that if you've got poor 
turning/braking and don't have enough time to take a detour away from running 
into an explosion.

.Keep moving! : If you want to launch your bombs from the air and still be on 
the move, but you don't wanna give in and use a Lightning Sky? Try practicing 
this: Since bombs have no lag after they're fired, dash immediately afterwards. 
This is pretty brainless, but sometimes it needs to be said.

-Pod techs-

.Neutral Pod- When no button is pressed, pods go directly at your opponent, 
giving you more precise aim for cornering pods.



-Special Techs-

.Charge attack- All robos have a charge attack, which is a close range dash 
designed to allow you to simultaneously negate damage and cause damage. Using a 
charge attack always downs the opponent. Robos also have different types of 
charges with differing effects as well.
Its effect is shown next to its section on the customization screen.

Attack-
usually moves in a straight line and hits opponent either slightly ahead of you 
or into the air, away from your position.
Movement-
used for moving closer to the opponent without taking damage. Effect on 
opponent varies,
Evasion-
used for avoiding damage while remaining able to damage enemies up close. 
Knocks enemies away.
Flak-
used to hit mid-air enemies. Hits opponents up higher into the air. Also able 
to be used to jump into the air or over obstacles safely.


.Combos- Combos refer to an unavoidable attack sequence that happens in a short 
amount of time. Refer to the "combo" guide in the information section for more 
info.

.Rebirth invincibility- after being downed, there is a short period of time 
called the "rebirth" where your robo is invulnerable to damage. The Acrobat 
bomb/pods exploit this feature and the Little Raider/Sprinter's low endurance 
stat to give them temporary invicibility. By downing themselves behind walls, 
they are able to attack without fear of being damaged.

.Charge shielding- Even if you launch a bomb right next to an opponent, there 
is still a nanosecond where you can still move. To add on some damage really 
quick at close range, bomb and then charge right after. Often, just a simple 
combo like this will net 150+ damage because single bombs don't usually down 
robos.

.Prep Spin- You can keep yourself ready to run in any direction (especially 
formula) by running in a circle. That way, you will be at top speed and ready 
to go in any direction while you wait for your opponent to rebirth.

.Reload Tech- When you are hit by an attack, your gun will stop firing and you 
will regain movement. This effect is often ignored because of wifi's lag, but 
you can still you this to your advantage. The acrobat bomb counts as a hit 
since it takes away some of your endurance. If you launch a bomb ahead of your 
path and then hit it while firing your gun, you will fire the shot while having 
your reload vulnerability reduced. To use this in the air, jump, fire a bomb 
and then fire your gun so that you drift onto the explosion.
On the ground, fire it ahead of you and use your slide shot to drift onto the 
explosion.

."Check"- keeping a constant threat on your opponent is extremely helpful when 
playing competitively. Robo sets that can use the bomb pod and gun as well as 
the charge to threaten and eventually trap the other robo are the most 
successful.

.D'Glitch- When a bomb or pod happens to hit a robo at the exact same time that 
a charge hits, the robo will not down; instead the robo will miraculously 
emerge undowned. This can either be a blessing or a curse; not downing means 
that the robo does not gain the 70% damage buffer, but it also may be able to 
counter attack.

3}
________Online Strategies________

.Picking your stage: You want to make sure that the stage you pick corresponds 
to the robo you plan on using and what robo your opponent is using. You can get 
a hint of what they use most by paying attention their title when your opponent 
is announced. Titles like "the sparkling" indicate that their most used robo is 
a Shining Fighter like the Ray MkII , while the title "Get off my Lawn" shows 
that they favor Old-Timer robos such as Codger or Gramps.

You can check Killbot's "Title Research thread" to find the current list of 
title descriptions. However, there is no real way to determine what the titles 
truly represent or what the conditions are for obtaining them.

.Customizing your robo: Make sure that your choices are specialized for the 
stage that you picked. Don't be afraid to change up a few parts from your saved 
sets to match what robos you anticipate your foe using. Also, try not to be 
predictable with your choices. If you never change your parts, you will 
eventually find yourself unable to counter anything once your opponent figures 
out how to beat you.

.The robo cannon- the virtual starting block: Unless you have a strong, close-
range gun, try to fire away from the action, behind a wall or some barrier. 
This gives you less of a chance of starting the game off already behind in 
points. Try not to have your cube bounce around too much; it delays your 
unfolding. You will notice that some places will guarantee opening quicker in 
most situations/robo sizes. Try to remember where these are, because it will 
often mean losing 200+ hp because your opponent has the opportunity to use a 
perfect combo on you.

.Opening moves: What you should do first depends on each individual set, but 
there are a couple guidelines.
You should always have an opening combo worked out, even it just involves your 
gun and your charge. Don't lose the opportunity to deal 150 damage but waste it 
fumbling around. Experiment in the training arena to figure out a quick 
sequence. 

If you are far away, you may opt to just down them quickly with a bomb and 
prepare your attack while they are downed.

[[Countering strategies]]
Although there are seemingly endless customizations of robos, they eventually 
fall into a generic strategy type.

.Melee/ Gun Spammer-
The most common type of strategy used to by newer players, this strategy focus 
almost completely on the gun's high damage and homing to KO opponents and the 
charge to repeatedly hit opponents.

How to counter: Jump often while dropping pods behind you and using your slide 
shot to dash away from them. As long as you are in the air, you are for the 
most part invulnerable to damage except by their gun. Circle around them as you 
approach to negate their round's homing. Also make use of your surroundings to 
shield yourself. Once you are close enough or they are hit, quickly down them 
and run away again.

.Long-Range Flyers

The second most common strategy used on wi-fi is essentially the same as the 
melee gunner's, but they use their ability to fly over obstacles and fire 
without becoming vulnerable to distance themselves from you.

How to counter: This is one of the easiest traps to fall for. Since they are 
able to fire high power rounds that will down you easily, you will be hard 
pressed to win if you do not include at least one anti-air weapon in your 
customization. One of the best ways to fit this in is a gun that fires 
differently in the air. By mixing your air and ground shots, and you can keep 
them stranded on the ground where they are very slow. Also try to go for an 
overload by downing them quickly so that their high powered shots will 
disappear.
Once they land, they will be an easy target for you, so keep on the move, 
firing only behind walls and after they have just fired until they land.
Using a Flak-type charge that jumps into the air is also a good foil as they 
will be instantly downed and unable to get away.

.Close Range Runners

This strategy uses either the Little Raider/Sprinter models or Shining Fighters 
to dodge fire with their high speed. They then attempt to trap you or stun you 
before unleashing their gun on you.

How to counter: Because their speed is so high, the only time when you will be 
able to use a straight-firing gun is when they are sliding or when they are 
downed. The key to defeating these robos is a customization that emphasizes 
blocking tactics to trap them in a corner or keep them running around trying to 
dodge your blasts. Pods are the easiest way to block off paths due to their 
unique ability to fire in any direction and without slowing down to fire. 
Another good weapon to use is the V-Laser; it's long range blast shoots to the 
side and forces them to jump into the air to avoid your fire.
Take advantage of the Runner's typically low endurance rating and use weapons 
that can cause many explosions all at once to trap them and negate their gun 
rounds.

.Chipper

These robos try to damage you from afar using long range weapons and chip away 
at your health while you are unable to approach them up close. Sometimes one of 
the most frustrating opponents because they sometimes can simply stall the 
match with time running out.

How to counter: This strategy is a type favored by Aerial Beatuies, Big Boys 
and Old-Timers. Knowing this, the most efficient way to win them is by keeping 
them on the ground and behind a wall where they are slow, trapped and unable to 
damage you. Flying pods do the job best in these situations because they do not 
overload. Try to limit their range by placing Satellites or Beast pods in the 
corners or in a line diagonally across the stage for them to run into. Lastly, 
these robos's gun rounds are usually very easy to overload because of their 
slower speed and reload time. Since they are mainly trying to trap you in a 
corner and pummel you, stay in the open and weave behind walls, forcing them to 
avoid you instead of firing their gun. Once they land, they are an easier 
target. A direct charge is a good choice to down them; lag can make gun rounds 
not disappear.

.Heavy Hitters

These robos try to outlast your attacks with their high endurance, then slam 
you with massive amounts of damage before retreating away. 

How to counter: your main objective is to keep them away from you and unable to 
approach. Once they are within range of a charge attack, you are defenseless 
and they can rack up huge combos with little effort. Instead of trying to 
challenge them head on, try to pin them in one place and do your damage all at 
once so that the combined effect of your weapons will be enough to down them. 
Take advantage of their high endurance and juggle them between blasts. On the 
whole, their mobility is severely limited if they cannot jump due to their 
single air-dash. Keep them from jumping, at a distance and combo them once they 
are trapped.

.Combo Robos
These robos have a specific combo that they are designed to do. Often, they 
combine several elements of the aforementioned strategies but are designed to 
take advantage of a specific combo. The key thing to defeating this style is to 
understand what weapon begins the combo and focus on avoiding it so that you 
don't get sucked into the rest of the weapons.


[[Strategies]]

.First off, always keep a mental tally of your surroundings. By remembering 
where your opponent launched bombs and pods earlier, you can avoid most simple 
traps and make simple stationary traps much less useful.
Also related to this skill is keeping track of your opponent. Count how many 
air-dashes/jumps your opponent has taken so that you can calculate when to rush 
in for an attack. Keep special note if you see that your opponent has Plus-One 
legs- they can surprise you with a last jump to dodge your attack and hit you 
when you are most vulnerable.

.Predict where your opponent will move to next and make subtle changes to your 
attack so that you will be ready for when they try to bolt away. Likewise, 
learn how to spot a trap coming and move to another place to keep from being 
cornered.

.Keep yourself protected. There are no shields aside from charges, so you will 
have to rely on your jumps and on your environment to prevent losing health. If 
possible, end aerial jumps/dashes behind walls and end gun attacks by sliding 
behind a wall.

.Find their pattern. Most sets have a pattern of attacks. Typically it 
progresses like this:

POD BOMB GUN CHARGE

This is because each takes more time to use than the ones before it. By 
experience, you can decipher the pattern of attacks your opponent uses to trap 
you and you will learn the steps you need to take to evade the chain.
If you are realizing that your opponent has learned how to evade your attacks, 
it is time to switch tactics. Stay in the air/on the ground more. Use a 
different gun mode. Launch your bombs so that they are trapped in the corners. 
Place bombs and pods off-screen and run your opponent into a blind trap. If all 
else fails, focus on evading their attacks so that you don't take damage and 
let them make mistakes. An expert commander will be able to adapt to all 
strategies with the set they chose and formulate a counterÉ and the sooner, the 
better.

.Keep your cool. This goes without saying, but often in the heat of battle, 
take a moment to reflect on what technique they are using successfully and 
figure out how to get around it.

.Don't underestimate your opponent. Often the sets you have never seen before 
are the ones you are most likely to make big mistakes because you haven't had 
much experience countering it. In addition, make use of the time that you are 
shown your opponent's customization to make a quick battle plan.

.Learn the timing of attacks, reload times, bomb/pod blast fading times and how 
long it takes on average for your opponent to get out of rebirth. This will be 
incredibly helpful for you because you can guess at what is happening in the 
rest of the stage without actually seeing it happen. You can also time attacks 
so that you are attacking as long as possible while your opponent is 
vulnerable. 

.Learn from experience. If your opponent picked Seal Kid last time you picked 
Nature Park, a set made to counter it will most likely succeed if you pick that 
same stage again. Or, the opposite could happen. You use a set to counter their 
previous set- and they pick a counter for your counter! Over time, you can try 
to predict what your opponent will do in a given situation. Also make an effort 
to remember what sets they have saved in their garage. Commanders will rarely 
make a totally new set on the spot unless they are inexperienced because they 
have more experience with their regular sets.

.When making sets, focus on how all the parts work together, not just a single 
combo or how well the set takes over the field. The key to success is a set 
that combines damage potential, evasiveness, control and unpredictability into 
one single set.


4]
 __________Sources and Useful Links__________

Homerun's unofficial all-parts guide


ShadowWolf's Tips and Techs guide (link broken, message was probably deleted)

Killbot's Title research thread
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=930297&topic=48378192
_________________________________________

Wyvern's comments:

5-3-07:
This concludes the end of my research up to this point. I hope that in addition 
to being a reliable, credible source of information, it will also be a place 
where players can ask for advice, give tips to others, and serve as a showcase 
for worthy guides. If you would like to submit your guide for inclusion in the 
useful links section, kindly PM me the link and I will be more than happy to 
feature it.

6-26-07:
I added a couple more things to the Advanced techniques and linked to one of 
the Gamefaqs user's guides.

9-17-07
Version 2 includes a totally new strategy section to the wifi battles and has a 
couple of newly discovered techniques included as well. All the previous NSider 
html has been removed and two of the URLs to my sources have unfortunately both 
been broken since my last revision of this, so I had to remove them.

As always, I encourage readers to point out mistakes, inaccuracies or confusing 
portions as well as discuss the material and the evolving strategy in Custom 
Robo's wifi arena. I am a huge fan of this game and hopefully by reading this 
guide, some of the enjoyment that I got out of writing this guide will rub off 
on you. ;)

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