The Custom Gauge (カスタムゲージ) is a recurring element in all of the main games of the Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force series. In both series, the player starts battles by selecting Battle Chips or Battle Cards in the Custom Screen. However, once the battle begins, players may not select more Battle Chips or Battle Cards until the Custom Gauge fills up completely and the player presses either the L or R button to return to the Custom Screen. The Custom Gauge normally takes about 8 to 10 seconds to completely fill.
Each time the Custom Gauge reaches full and the Custom Screen is opened is considered one turn. Some transformations and battles are limited to a set amount of turns, after which a specific effect will happen, such as the transformation being cancelled.
In Mega Man Battle Network 4 and 5, a Double Soul will only last a total of three turns. After this time, MegaMan.EXE will revert to his normal state. Similarly, Chaos Unisons will only last a single turn. In Mega Man Battle Network 5, there are some Navi Customizer items that can extend the length of time that a Double Soul will last.
In Mega Man Battle Network 6, after the Beast Out transformation is implemented, MegaMan's Emotion Window receives an Emotion Counter, which normally maxes out at 3. This Counter determines how many turns he can use Beast Out. At the start of each turn while Beast Out is active, the Counter decreases by 1, and at the end of the turn where it reaches 0, Beast Out is cancelled and MegaMan enters a Tired state, where he cannot enter Full Synchro.
If he attempts to use Beast Out after entering the Tired state, it triggers Beast Over, which turns MegaMan berserk but boosts the power of all his attacks. Once the Custom Gauge fills, however, the Custom Screen is forcibly opened, terminating Beast Over and forcing MegaMan into a Very Tired state, which greatly impedes his battle performance.
Unlike the turn counter for Double Souls, the Emotion Counter carries over between battles, and finishing a battle without using Beast Out will increase the Counter by 1.
In Mega Man Battle Network 5's Liberation Missions, players must fight the clock during any virus and boss battle. Each time the Custom Gauge reaches full during combat, the Custom Screen is automatically and forcibly opened. Because players only have three turns to beat a virus or boss during Liberation Missions, this limits how long players can fight, because battles are forcibly ended when the gauge fills up on the last turn.
Bosses who are not defeated by the time the last turn ends in a Liberation Mission will still retain any damage to their HP taken during fight(s).
In Operation Battle modes, the Custom Gauge determines when a Battle Chip can be used, filling in three levels, with each chip class consuming a different amount of the gauge. When the gauge is low (light blue), no chips can be used yet. Standard Chips (orange) consume 1/3 of the gauge, Mega Class Chips (blue) consume 2/3, and Giga Class Chips (red) require a full gauge. Attacking enemies will make the gauge fill faster, but it is decreased when damage is taken. The player can also use 1/3 of the gauge to shuffle the current Battle Chips, except for Mega Man Battle Network 6.
There are several Battle Cards and Battle Chips that affect the Custom Gauge, or are affected by the Custom Gauge.
Slow Gauge, known as Heavy Gauge (ヘビーゲージ Hebī Gēji) in Japan, halves the Custom Gauge's filling speed. This is vital during Liberation Missions since it buys more time for the player to defeat viruses, giving a greater possibility for One Turn Liberates. It is also notable that Mega Man Battle Network 5 is the only game where Slow Gauge's capacity is sharply increased to prevent players from setting it as the Folder's default chip and exploiting it for Liberation Missions.
Fast Gauge, known as Quick Gauge (クイックゲージ Kuikku Gēji) in Japan, doubles the Custom Gauge's filling speed. This makes this chip useful for several situations, like Operation Battles, and is vital for quickly deleting bosses, especially where SP chips are concerned since they power up with faster deletions.
Full Custom (フルカスタム Furu Kasutamu) automatically refills the Custom Gauge. While this makes it more useful than Fast Gauge, it is recommended to remove this chip before Liberation Missions and avoid using it with the chips Custom Sword and Custom Volt.
Custom Sword is a sword chip with a 2X3 radius. Its power is based upon the fullness of the Custom Gage. The beginning of the match starts it off 10 damage reaching attack power above 200 damage shortly before the gauge reaches fullness. Once the gauge fills, the sword's power drops down to zero.
The Custom Volt (カスタムボルト Kasutamu Boruto) chips release an electric blast in a t-shaped pattern, hitting the panel ahead and three in the column in front of it. It gains additional points of damage as the Custom Gauge fills, reaching the limit (+100) when the gauge is filled by around 80%. If the Gauge is completely filled before it is used, it resets to the default damage. Custom Volt 1 deals 10~110 damage, Custom Volt 2 does 30~130, and Custom Volt 3 50~150.
Battle Chips by game
Mega Man Battle Network
|111||SloGauge||Slows down custom gauge||None||H,K,N,O,Q||**|
|112||FstGauge||Speeds up custom gauge||None||A,C,E,L,N||**|
Mega Man Battle Network 2
|146||SloGauge||Cust Gauge slows down for battle||None||*||10 MB||**|
|147||FstGauge||Cust Gauge speeds up for battle||None||*||10 MB||**|
|148||FullCust||Cust Gauge is always full!||None||*||10 MB||**|
Mega Man Battle Network 3
Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge
Mega Man Battle Network 4
Mega Man Battle Network 5
Mega Man Battle Network 6
|Standard Chip 174||SloGauge||CustGauge slow-down||None||A,B,G,*||42 MB||***|
|Standard Chip 175||FstGauge||CustGauge speed-up||None||E,M,R,*||48 MB||***|
|Standard Chip 176||FullCust||CustGauge instantly refills||None||*||50 MB||****|
The first and second Mega Man Star Force games lack any Battle Cards that affect the Custom Gauge. Instead, BrotherBands with Pegasus players (first game), or the Ability Wave Quick Gauge (Mega Man Star Force 2 and 3) can speed up the rate at which the Gauge fills. Battle Cards related to the Custom Gauge only appear in the third game as the Illegal Cards Quick Gauge (クイックゲージ), Normal Gauge (ノーマルゲージ), and Slow Gauge (ヘビーゲージ, Heavy Gauge in Japan).
Mega Man Star Force 3
|Illegal Card||QuickGauge||Speeds up Custom Gauge||None||White|
|Illegal Card||NormlGauge||Restore norml Custom Gauge speed||None||White|
|Illegal Card||SlowGauge||Slows down Custom Gauge||None||White|