You might have already heard of this title, which then leads you to ask yourself: is Naraka Bladepoint good and should I play it?

A truly one of its kind battle royale, it doesn’t contain gunplay like in PUBG, Fortnite, and the vast majority of titles in this genre.

Esports pros reveal the secret to getting good in Naraka Bladepoint — no, it’s not grinding

Naraka Bladepoint prides itself in delivering a melee battle experience built upon a rock, paper, and scissors core gameplay mechanic.

There are three types of attacks: normal, charged, and counterattacks. Charged attacks beat normal attacks, parries beat charged attacks, while normal attacks beat parries, hence the rock, paper, scissors system.

Viper Ning overlooking Naraka Bladepoint map Morus Isle in official screenshot
Credit: 24 Entertainment

On top of this, each character possesses individual skills and an ultimate ability. Deciding what to do in any clash becomes a mind game, involving fast reaction time, animation canceling, feigning, and spacing to name a few.

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ONE Esports spoke to two North American pros at the Naraka Bladepoint World Championship 2023 (J Cup) to find out more about why they love the game so much and what new players can expect.

Is Naraka Bladepoint good? Esports pros shares with us how they grew into the game

Naraka Bladepoint is a free-to-play melee battle royale, the only one of its kind. Instead of shooting opponents from a distance or building vertical structures, you’re forced to go up close and personal as the circle encloses.

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There are two modes, solo and trios, so you can choose to dive into the deep end or play with friends in a party. Some characters are better solo while others are more suited for trios.

Solo pro Froztivus competing at Naraka Bladepoint World Championship 2023 group stage
Credit: NetEase

Because of its in-built deep mechanics, the game has many facets. Besides the offensive rock, paper, and scissors system and chain combos, animation canceling, feigning, and movement are equally, if not more important because grappling is how you get around on the map.

It’s precisely because the game is so deep that solo J Cup finalist Froztivus enjoys it so much.

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“The game is mechanically very hard, but if you’re good at it’s very satisfying. So I feel like people don’t give that chance to the game,” he told media attending J Cup 2023.

Froztivus also pointed out the difference between playing Naraka Bladepoint on a ranked ladder compared to pro level.

“In tournaments, defensive options are way better compared to offensive. The best players like Liu ‘Mike’ Zheyu and Sui ‘Spider’ Xiangjun, their defensive movement and dodges are maybe on another level,” he said.

Froztivus standing on Naraka Bladepoint World Championship 2023 solo finals stage
Credit Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

It’s all about survival, after all, and these players tend to avoid getting into isolated fights outside of Realm of Yang which pulls players into a 1v1 arena where combos come into play.

Fellow competitor Joshua “Tryhard” Martinez, a two-time Morus Cup Solo Champion and J Cup trios finalist, had started playing the game casually before realizing that he had the potential to excel.

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While he did start placing higher in regional competitions, it wasn’t the results that inspired him, but rather his studying of other pro players and realizing he’s not that far off from their skill level.

Both of these pros agreed that watching other pros will speed up your learning curve, more so than grinding hours.

TryHard competing at Naraka Bladepoint World Championship 2023 group stage
Credit: NetEase

Froztivus highlighted that overall, Naraka Bladepoint has “a lot of similarities with fighting games,” and realized that not many have made that connection.

“There’s a lot of fighting game terms that relate to Naraka, but people don’t use it. So maybe I can try to explain,” he said.

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“There’s one term called a meaty. So whenever someone wakes up from the ground, there’s a startup frame where you can catch them,” Froztivus explained. “When your opponent wakes up and they try to hold, you can catch them and that’s called a meaty. And I feel like no one uses that term.”

In the context of fighting games, the term “meaty” refers to a specific technique or strategy employed by a player to time their attacks in such a way that they hit the opponent at the earliest possible frame upon waking up or recovering from a knockdown.

Naraka Bladepoint key visual featuring Kurumi
Credit: 24 Entertainment

This can limit the opponent’s ability to use certain defensive moves or escape options, making it easier for the attacking player to maintain pressure and continue their offense.

These mechanics turn Naraka Bladepoint into a true mind game, for there’s always an answer to everything your opponent does — but you’ll need enough experience and good reflexes to make the best decisions in every circumstance.

“Even though there’s a rock, paper, scissor mechanic, there’s a lot of ways to reduce or increase your chances. When the game was released, it was only like 50% chance of guessing correctly, but now I feel like you can increase your chances to maybe 70%,” Froztivus said, reiterating the importance of both mechanics and knowledge.

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