The meter in Street Fighter 6 is a essentially greatest hits collection of the series’ best mechanics, and fans are already excited about it.
Meter has been a significant part of the franchise ever since Super Street Fighter II Turbo introduced the concept way back in 1994. Street Fighter III introduced alternative supers and EX moves, while Street Fighter 4 added a special canceling option in the form of focus attacks. Street Fighter V divided options up between the normal meter and the V system. Street Fighter 6 appears to incorporate nearly all of those options into one unified system.
New Street Fighter 6 meter has offensive and defensive options
The new meter for Street Fighter 6 is called the drive gauge. It appears to start full in every round and gradually recovers over time as it’s used. There are five different mechanics available from the drive gauge and all Street Fighter 6 characters, confirmed or not, will have access to them.
Drive impact is an armored attack that will absorb opposing attacks and power through enemy hits. This option costs one drive bar and can be used to break out of tricky situations. It also causes a wallsplat if used in the corner, even if the opponent blocks it. This could make cornering an opponent especially important in Street Fighter 6.
Overdrives replace EX moves from previous Street Fighter games. Based on the in-game commentary trailer, the EX moves can increase the number of hits on a projectile or open up new combo opportunities. Overdrives cost two drive gauge bars each, so two can be performed in the same combo. All Street Fighter titles since Street Fighter III have featured EX moves.
Drive parry, which costs half a bar, allows players to read their opponents and parry an incoming strike. A perfectly-timed drive parry will initiate a slowdown for a big punish opportunity. This mechanic is clearly inspired by the universal parry system from Street Fighter III.
The most expensive drive gauge option is drive rush, which cancels an attack into a forward run. This can be used to extend offense and trap the opponent in close quarters. It costs three whole bars when canceled from a normal attack, but canceling into it from a drive parry costs just one bar. Dash canceling is sprinkled throughout the cast of Street Fighter IV, but it is more commonly found in anime fighting games like Blazblue and Guilty Gear.
Finally, drive reversal is the premier defensive option of the drive gauge. For two bars, players can initiate a counterattack after blocking an opponent’s move. The Alpha series’ metered alpha counters and the Street Fighter V’s V reversal set a precedent for these types of options.