The offset rule (相殺 Sousai, neutralizing in the English version of Puyo Puyo Tetris) is a game mechanic introduced in Puyo Puyo Tsu, having many variants in subsequent games. In every implementation, the player can reduce or "offset" the number of incoming Garbage Puyos with their own chain. Should the player completely negate all incoming Garbage Puyos, any excess will be sent to the opponent.
There are two primary offset rule variants, described and (unofficially) named below:
- Classic offset is the offset rule originating in Puyo Puyo Tsu. In games that utilize Classic offset, any garbage waiting above a player's field drops into play as soon as that player's chain finishes. This means that the player generally, but not always, has exactly one chain to try to mitigate the garbage that waits for them.
- Continuous offset is the offset rule originating in Puyo Puyo Fever. Unlike Classic offset, any chain that the player creates will prevent Garbage Puyo from dropping into their field; this continues until the player places a piece that doesn't clear any Puyo.
In subsequent games after Puyo Puyo Tsu, offsetting may also include added effects aside from simply negating queued Garbage Puyos.
Puyo Puyo SUN
Main article: Sun (rule)
In Puyo Puyo Sun, offsetting gives the player Sun Puyos. They increase the amount of sent garbage, although provides no score bonus to a chain. Light beams will appear on the player's field, indicating the columns where Sun Puyos will fall. No Garbage Puyos will fall on a turn that the player receives Sun Puyo into their field.
Main article: Yon (rule)
Puyo Puyo Fever and Puyo Puyo Fever 2
Main article: Fever (rule)
In Puyo Puyo Fever and its sequel, offsetting adds a point to the player's Fever gauge. In Puyo Puyo Fever, Puyo Puyo Fever 2, Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary, and Puyo Puyo Champions, offsetting adds one second to the opponent's Fever time while in Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary, and Puyo Puyo 7, making chains without offsetting adds one second to the player's own Fever time.
Puyo Puyo 7
Main article: Transformation
In the Transformation rule in Puyo Puyo 7, offsetting adds one point to the player's Transformation gauge. Aside from this, all other offsetting mechanics in Transformation work similarly to the Fever rule.
A related rule also introduced in Puyo Puyo Tsu is Rensa Shibari (lit. Chain Requirement, a.k.a. Target Chain). When active, no garbage will be sent until the specified chain length requirement is met. For instance, setting this rule to "5" will only cause chains longer than five to send garbage, thus a 4-chain or less will not send any garbage. This is important in games with more complicated variants of the offset rule, as the extra action triggered when offsetting does not occur even if a chain is made.
Aesthetically, in Puyo Puyo Tsu and Puyo Puyo Sun, sparkles can be seen on a player's Garbage queue when offsetting. Starting with Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary (except Puyo Puyo 7 for unknown reasons), when a player clears all the Garbage Puyos in the queue and sending them back to the opponent with at least 3 chain, the character vocalizes a unique line (these are referred by "Counter" on the chants table on the respective character page, or their Chants sub-page). In Puyo Puyo Champions and Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, the action of offsetting gained a visual indicator (except when a single offset is repeated in Fever in Champions, and in Party and Fusion in Tetris 2) above the Garbage queue, which having the offsetting character jostling the opposing character (and vice versa if the opponent makes a chain during the offset). If there are more than 2 players are playing, a smaller indicator appears below the offsetting player's field, and the portrait of the opposing character is replaced by that of a pile of Garbage Puyos.
- Despite being formally introduced in Puyo Puyo Tsu, the Offset rule was already accessible in Super Puyo Puyo through the use of a special options menu accessed through cheats.