Introduction to Competitive Puyo Puyo

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Playing Puyo Puyo is simple. All you have to do is connect four or more Puyo of the same color and they’ll pop! (Click on the chains in this guide to view them in the chain simulator.) By clearing groups of Puyo, you can send Nuisance Puyo (a.k.a. "garbage") to your opponent.

You lose

When the third column from the left is filled up, the player will lose. So the objective of the game is to make chains that will fill up your opponent’s board with garbage. This symbol would be marked with a red X in Puyo Pop Fever.

The thing is, clearing one group of Puyo only sends a few measly units of garbage. It’ll take forever to kill your opponent if that’s all you can do! Well, unless your opponent just sucks like that.

That’s why you have to learn to make chains. “Chain reactions” occur when groups of Puyo clear one after another on their own. Click the chain on the right to see a chain in action!

Counter Rule

suck on that

In all Puyo games starting with Puyo Puyo 2, you can set off your own chain to offset, or counter, garbage that's about to fall on you. If your chain is a lot bigger than your opponent’s, you can send the overflow back at him! If you find this mechanic unfamiliar, that’s because Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine and Kirby’s Avalanche were clones of Puyo Puyo 1, which didn’t have a counter rule.

A Game of Risks

FFfffffff my beautiful chain -- oh wait I guess that's what I get for being an idiot and taking unnecessary risks.

So, the bigger the better, right? If you could theoretically make 15-chains all day every day, you'd never lose, right? Puyo Puyo is just about mindlessly making humongous chains, over and over, right?!

Hahaha. Nope. In Puyo Puyo, a small, well-timed chain can render you completely helpless or even outright kill you. If you aren't constantly paying attention to your opponent's screen, you'll die all sorts of shameful deaths.

You should consider Puyo Puyo to be more of a fighting game than just a simple puzzle game. Well, I guess that would be the best analogy. I'm too poor to play fighting games so I wouldn't really know!!

Theoretically, this is how a high-level Puyo match would play out (from your perspective).

  1. Construct your really big main chain to serve as your ultimate finishing attack.
  2. While the main chain is being constructed, fire off small chains (harassments) to put your opponent in a disadvantageous position by either:
    • Sealing off their trigger point, rendering them defenseless until they can dig it out.
    • Provoking them to set off their main chain early, so you can make yours even bigger while the opponent's chain resolves.
    • Outright killing them with a strong harassment.
    • Baiting some of other things that are beyond the scope of an intro page.
  3. Once you have the upper-hand, release your main chain or a sufficiently powerful harassment to finish your opponent.

So how do you go about engaging in intense battles with small and large chains flying back and forth? Well, if you're a newbie the short answer is: you don't. In order to compete on an average level, you're going to need to improve your chaining ability first. If you can't make 10 chains every round, everyone is going to kill you. Sounds daunting, huh? But if you practice hard and study these guides, you should be able to reach that level far sooner than you think.

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