The first full new release in the Dead or Alive franchise since Dead or Alive 5 was released in September 2012, Dead or Alive 6 came out at the beginning of March 2019.
Like its predecessors, Dead or Alive 6 is a 3D fighting game where players can move around on a 3D axis, allowing sidestepping and more freedom of movement compared to 2D fighters. The game utilizes four buttons to pull off Strikes (punches and kicks), Throws, and Holds (counters). Most moves assigned to a character can be pulled off by pressing either punch or kick while holding down or pressing a direction on the d-pad or analog stick. However, elaborate and expert moves and grabs (such as Hayabusa's Izuna Drop) require longer strings of inputs with more precise timing.
The goal is to empty the opponent's life bar, or have the most vitality if the round timer hits 0. Players can use the environment to their advantage, utilizing the unique multi-tiered stages and environmental hazards to bounce their enemies and deal additional damage.
The Triangle System
As in other Dead or Alive titles, this game revolves around a rock paper scissors-style Triangle System, where certain attacks will beat out other attacks:
- Strikes Beat Throws: Punching or kicking an opponent during their initial grab (before the grab connects) will take priority over the grab and beat the grab.
- Throws Beat Holds: Performing a grab on an opponent while they are attempting to perform a counter hold will take priority over the hold, since grabs cannot be countered with a hold.
- Holds Beat Strikes: Performing the correct counter hold right before an opponent strikes will beat the strike and will result in a counter hold, dealing damage to the opponent.
Break Gauge System
For the first time in series history, DOA6 features a special meter. The meter can be used to execute two new special attacks.
- Break Blow - A devastating super attack unique to each fighter, that deals guaranteed damage if it connects, but uses 100% of the meter bar.
- Break Hold - A parry that works regardless of the height or type of attack if timed correctly, but uses 50% of the meter bar.
To help newer players get into the series, this auto-combo system has been added to the game. By simply mashing Fatal Rush up to four times, players will be able to deal a small amount of damage, augmented by a Break Blow (if the attacking player has a full meter at the end) and put their enemies in a Fatal Stun. However, the enemy can still Hold a Fatal Rush attack if timed right.
Another first for the series, players can customize the fighters' outfits and accessories to a certain extent.
Play through the game's story through the viewpoints of various characters along the way.
Win fights while completing specific tasks in the process.
- Time Attack
- Free Training
- Command Training
- Combo Challenge
- Ranked Match
- Lobby Match (not available at launch)
The DOA6 roster features over twenty returning fighters as well as two new ones.
- Diego - A Mexican-American fighter who hones his self-taught street-fighting skills on the streets of New York City.
- Kula Diamond (DLC) - A guest fighter from The King of Fighters series. She is a product of the NESTS cartel, designed as an "Anti-K' " with ice powers to contrast his fire.
- NiCO - A Finnish scientist working with MIST, she wears custom "EMF" rings that give her electric attacks, combined with her Pencak Silat fighting style.
- Ayane - A ninja who continues to hold a grudge against Kasumi while trying to uncover the latest scheme of M.I.S.T.
- Bass Armstrong - The muscle-bound wrestler who lets Rig stay in his home, Bass forms The Muscle with Tina to compete in the latest DoA tournament.
- Bayman - The Russian mercenary hired by Helena to uncover the truth behind M.I.S.T.
- Brad Wong - The drunken fist master who seeks a legendary wine hidden in an old pirate ship.
- Christie - An assassin currently working for M.I.S.T.
- Eliot - The young pupil of Gen Fu and Brad Wong who seeks to show his skills in the tournament.
- Hayate - The ninja who has finally recovered his memories, trying to find the truth behind recent events surrounding both Rig and M.I.S.T.
- Helena Douglas - The head of DOATEC who seeks to repair the damage that Donovan caused the organization.
- Hitomi - The Karate student who seeks to prove her strength in the latest DoA tournament.
- Honoka - A mysterious fighting prodigy and high school student who can copy the moves of anyone she fights.
- Jann Lee - Jeet Kune Do master and defending champion of the previous DoA tournament who looks for more meaning in his battles.
- Kasumi - An estranged ninja still on the run for breaking her clan's laws, she joins Hayate to defeat M.I.S.T.
- Kokoro - The Bajiquan master still trying to find the identity of her real father.
- Lisa Hamilton ("La Mariposa") - The genius scientist and part-time luchadora who was replaced by NiCO
- Lei Fang - The Tai Chi Quan master who continues trying to settle her score with Jann Lee.
- Mai Shiranui (DLC) - Guest fighter from Fatal Fury series. The original "bouncy" fighting game kunoichi.
- Marie Rose - Helena's servant who watches over Honoka.
- Mila - MMA fighter and Bass fangirl who enters herself back in the tournament.
- Nyotengu (DLC) - A tengu from the heavenly realm who tries to find entertainment in fighting and teasing various humans.
- Phase-4 (DLC) - The latest version of a clone ninja created from Kasumi's DNA, with the ability to phase shift.
- Raidou - The evil ninja who nearly destroyed his own clan in pursuit of power. Thought to be dead until M.I.S.T. launched a plan to resurrect him.
- Rig - Former oil-rig supervisor and taekwando practitioner who is unaware of another identity that sleeps within him, called "Donovan Jr."
- Ryu Hayabusa - The world's greatest ninja who finds himself involved in fighting against M.I.S.T.
- Tina Armstrong - Young wrestler who joins her father Bass in forming The Muscle in the tournament.
- Zack - Muay Thai practitioner who takes on a more ceremonial role in the latest DoA tournament.