How the New Drive System Mechanics in Street Fighter 6 Work

Capcom’s inclusion of Drive System to SF6 seems like an effort to balance offensive and defensive play, adding a new layer to strategy. It does bring in an added layer of complexity, especially when it comes to handling blocked attacks. The new drive system mechanics require you to be alert and adapt your tactics on the fly.

With the Open Beta nearly coming to its successful end, players have had a chance to try out the much talked about all Drive System Mechanics. In this post we will a take closer look at all 5 of the mechanics, and talk a little about how to use them and when to avoid them.

Related: Beginners Guide to Combos in SF6

The Drive System brings with it 5 New Mechanics & 1 New State.

  1. Overdrive (Mechanic)
  2. Drive Impact (Mechanic)
  3. Drive Parry (Mechanic)
  4. Drive Rush (Mechanic) 
  5. Drive Reversal (Mechanic)
  6. Burnout (State)


Let’s kick things off with Overdrive, or OD attacks. These are supercharged versions of a character’s special moves. Experienced fighting game players will find them familiar. They consume 2 stocks of your Drive gauge, but the gauge replenishes itself over time. Your strategy should involve experimenting with different Overdrive attacks to understand the unique advantages of each.

Overdrive or OD Attack - A new Drive System Offense Mechanic in SF6
Same as EX Special Moves from older SF games

Drive Impact

Then, we have the Drive Impact. This powerful universal attack uses up one Drive bar and comes with two hits of armor. With a bit of a startup delay, this move is similar to SF4’s level 2 Focus attack. Hit an opponent with it and you’ll send them flying; block it, and they’ll still get thrown back. But here’s the fun part – if you manage to punish your opponent with Drive Impact, you cause a crumple and land a solid conversion.

Sounds cool, right? Well, there’s more.

This new move is designed in such a way that it can catch someone if they launch a slow or reckless attack. Many attacks that are typically safe or even advantageous on block can be Drive Impacted on reaction, changing the game dynamics entirely.

Drive Impact - A new Drive System Offense Mechanic in SF6
Powerful strike that absorbs opponent’s incoming attack

There’s a flip side to this, though. Drive Impact is pretty easy to spot with its unique visual and sound effects, and that can make it a risky move. If your opponent is quick enough, they might counter with their own Drive Impact and, well, things could get ugly.

You can execute drive impact by pressing the Hard Punch and Hard Kick buttons together in classic control scheme. But if that’s a bit awkward for you, the game lets you map this action to a single button regardless of whether you’re using the classic or modern control schemes.

Drive Parry

Next up, Drive Parry is your defensive playmaker. It can defend against all high or low attacks but be cautious about throw attacks. Using Drive Parry at the right moment can cause a slow-down, creating an opportunity for a significant counterattack. It can quickly change the momentum in your favor.

In classic controls, you can perform the Drive Parry by hitting Medium Punch and Medium Kick simultaneously. If you’re using the modern control scheme, there’s a designated button just for the Drive Parry which can also be reassigned to any button you prefer.

Drive Parry - A new Drive System Defense Mechanic in SF6
Repel an opponent’s attack and replenish Drive

Drive Rush

Drive Rush is another strategic tool available to all characters. It can be executed in two ways, opening up new opportunities for you to press the offense against your opponent.

  • Method 1: The first method of executing Drive Rush is by performing Drive Parry and tapping forward twice in order to dash out of it. This method costs one bar after canceling out of the parry.
  • Method 2: The second way can be done by tapping forward twice after any cancelable normal attack. Be warned though, as this method consumes three Drive Gauge stocks (2 more than method 1).
Drive Rush - A new Drive System Offense Mechanic in SF6
Quick rush forward from a Drive Parry or cancelable normal attack

Depending on how you use it, Drive Rush can consume from one to three Drive gauge stocks. Despite this cost, it’s an incredibly potent tool at all levels of play.

Drive Reversal

Lastly, Drive Reversal is your counterattack drive system mechanic. After you’ve blocked an attack, this move allows you to strike back, costing two Drive gauge stocks. It’s an invaluable tool for turning the tide when you’re under pressure.

In classic controls Drive Reversal can be executed by pressing Forward, Hard Punch and Hard Kick at the same time while blocking. In modern controls Drive Reversal can be done by pressing Forward and Drive Impact at the same time.

Drive Reversal - A new Drive System Counterattack Mechanic in SF6
Counterattack while blocking an opponent’s attack


Now all these Drive System Mechanics are great for both offense and defense, however there’s a (rather costly) catch. If you get too excited with your Drive gauge and it gets depleted, your character enters the Burnout state.

In this state, you won’t be able to use any of the Drive System mechanics until your gauge fully recovers. It’s all about finding a balance, so you learn to manage your resources and use your Drive gauge wisely.

Burnout - A new Drive System State of Depletion in SF6

The Drive System in Street Fighter 6 is all about blending offense and defense in innovative ways with your unique playstyle. Practice those drive parries and get ready to dive into a brand new era of Street Fighter on 1st June 2023.

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