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A combo in Dead or Alive is a successful chain of attacks that go into each other to cause a certain amount of damage, although there are different combo types. A basic combo is a natural combo, an attack combo that is quick enough to cause a "jail" reaction(when the opponent is unable to do anything until after the natural combo is done, for example if the first strike hits they can't block or hold the next quick strike, or if they block, they will be unable to cease guarding or anything until after the natural combo is over). Most characters in the game have their double quick punch combo(PP) that function as a natural combo on both normal hit and counter hit, however most characters have attacks that become natural guaranteed combos when performed on counter hit; An example is Kasumi, who's basic punch kick combo is guaranteed when done on counter hit.
Another combo type is a stun combo, a sequence of attacks that link together when you have caused a stun. The amount of attacks you can do depends on the advantage of the stun which allows attacks that are quick enough to connect to continue the combo, and it also depends on the max critical stun threshold, which will end the combo if the player performed the same move in stun twice, or if they did an attack that exceeded the max amount of damage from the critical threshold, leading to them being knocked back. Stun combos are also not fully guaranteed, as the opponent can attempt to perform a hold to escape the combo by countering the attack if they guessed correctly, but this can sometimes be prevented by performing moves like sit down stuns or certain stun types that are deep enough to guarantee specific attacks. Dead or Alive 5 introduces critical bursts which when done at the very end of the critical stun threshold, will cause burst stun that guarantees combo damage if the opponent didn't correctly guess against the attack. Dead or Alive 6 overhauled this by creating fatal stuns, a stun from specific moves or from fatal rushes that doesn't allow normal holds and will virtually guarantee launchers or follow ups unless the opponent has the meter amount to perform a break hold which will escape fatal stuns.
Depending on the game, how combos can be ended from a critical stun threshold generally vary depending on the game due to differing mechanics. In the games before Dead or Alive 5, the standard way to maximize damage was to simply perform a launcher(an attack that will send the foe into the air at a certain height which will guarantee the remainder of the combo since they are unable to hold) and then follow up the launcher with a combo of your choice. In Dead or Alive 5, the game added critical bursts, which as mentioned prior guarantee the launcher of your choice allowing you to go for a combo, but the opponent can stagger escape to lessen stun length and this can be used from certain stuns escape an incoming critical burst. Power blows and power launchers are also able to be used in stuns or after critical bursts, with power launchers being able to launch the foe up a very high distance, allowing the player to execute a combo that can potentially exceed power blow damage if done correctly and without error.
In Dead or Alive 6, combos are more like how they were in earlier games, with game being more stun launched based as launch height isn't affected by how close the stun damage was to the max threshold like in the previous games, making it possible to go for most max damage combo set ups by simply quick launching upon successful stun. Fatal rushes and fatal stuns however can affect launch height, making them a useful way to use near the end of stun thresholds to go for max launches. 6 also added a new type of "bound" mechanic, which when done with certain attacks from each character's move list, will cause the foe to be slammed downwards into the ground, leaving them vulnerable to either close hit attacks(attacks that deal more damage when done close to the opponent), break blows, or even alternative combo enders that vary depending on character and combo length. Break blow cancels can also be performed to maximize the combo damage further, with the player being able to use the fatal cancel stun to go for another launcher or fatal attack stun into one, or they can go for a normal stun combo set up if they're willing to risk the foe being able to hold normally.
Other combo types can also come from different situations; danger zones in games from Dead or Alive 5 and onwards often will allow the player to perform a guaranteed combo but the damage may vary depending on the character and danger zone specifically. There are also characters who possess launcher throws, holds, and other special maneuvers that allow them to go for combo damage without risk.
However, the maximum amount of combo hits that can be performed in normal situations is 30, and if the player attempts to try to connect another attack after that it won't connect and will miss. This combo limit prevents combos from being too damaging, as later game mechanics make it pretty easy to go for higher combo counts, especially with characters like Christie and Phase 4 who have attacks that hit multiple times in succession. Some characters like Momiji however have unique attacks like strike throw sequences that allow them to exceed the normal 30 hit limit.