The relationship between high, mid, and low attacks is common to every 3D fighting game, going back to the genre’s origins in Virtua Fighter and Tekken. It’s a fundamental mechanic, and if you don’t understand it in Soulcalibur 6, you’ll be at a big disadvantage.
High attacks aim for the head. They are often some of your fastest moves, and the basic A, A string of high horizontal slashes is one of the most useful moves both for hitting first and for keeping your opponent in place. Other high attacks are power moves meant to catch the opponent running.
However, because these attacks aim for the head, it’s possible to crouch underneath them. Hold G and press down and you will crouch, causing high attacks to pass harmlessly over your head and opening up your opponent for a counterattack.
Mid attacks aim for the body. Though they won’t hit an opponent in a standing guard, they will always hit an opponent in a crouching guard. Mid attacks tend to be your hard hits and combo starters, so crouching is a much more dangerous position than standing.
A horizontal move that hits mid is especially desirable, because there’s no way for an opponent to evade it. If your character has a move like this, don’t overlook it.
Low attacks aim for the legs. They’re hard to see coming and will hit a standing opponent whether they are guarding or not. The best way to defend against a low attack is to crouch guard, but many low attacks are so fast that you can’t expect to be able to block them on reaction. As such, low attacks sprinkled judiciously into one’s attack pattern are a great way to slowly chip away at the opponent’s life bar.
The drawback to low attacks is that they leave you more open when blocked than other attacks, especially the big sweeps. A crouch guard is a risky proposition, and that risk pays off if you block a big sweep.
The rock-paper-scissors relationship
The beauty of it all is that no one attack is completely safe, and no defense is perfect. If I don’t ever want to be hit by a big mid attack, I can decide I’m hardly ever going to crouch. But if my opponent notices that I outright refuse to crouch, they’re going to chip away at my life bar with low attacks until I do.
If you only play rock in rock-paper-scissors, your opponent doesn’t have to guess that they need to use paper. Players win by forcing the opponent into as many guesses as they can, and then by making the right read on their opponent that leads to victory. That’s the same in every fighting game, and so it is in Soulcalibur 6.