The Custom Screen is a menu that appears in almost every game of the Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force series of games. It is the menu where players select attacks and plan tactics for battle between turns.
The Custom Screen is tied directly to the Custom Gauge, and can only be reopened during battle once it fills up completely.
Mega Man Battle Network series
In the Mega Man Battle Network series, the Custom Screen is where players select their Battle Chips and transformations during battles. Usually the player is given 5 chips to select from, with a few rules of chip selection - the player can either:
- Select several chips of the same code or having a * code
- Select several copies of the same chip
The Custom Screen capacity can be extended beyond this 5. In the first game, the player can use the "Add" button to extend the capacity by another 5 chips, though by doing so he cannot use any chips for the turn. This can be done to extend the Custom Screen up to 15 chips, though the effect wears off if the player chooses to use any chips. In the Operate Shooting Star remake, the maximum Custom Screen capacity has been reduced to 10, though the Add function remains unchanged.
In Mega Man Battle Network 2 and 3, the maximum capacity has been dropped to 10 chips, but in exchange for this the Add function works differently. Through use of the Add button, the player discards the selected chips in order to permanently extend his Custom Screen capacity for the rest of the battle, according to how many chips are discarded (e.g. Discarding 2 chips via "Add" will extend the capacity by 2). Style Changes also allowed the player to start with an expanded capacity, with the Custom Style usually being the one responsible for this.
In Mega Man Battle Network 4 to 6, the maximum capacity has been dropped to 8 chips, and the Add function removed. This means that the only way to expand the Custom Screen capacity is to use "Custom+" parts for the Navi Customizer. However, certain Souls (like Number Soul) and Crosses (like Charge Cross) allow for the player to gradually or temporarily expand capacity, or tamper with the selection of chips at his disposal.
Mega Man Star Force series
In the Mega Man Star Force series, the Custom Menu has the same function. It is where players select their Battle Cards and transformations, though it follows a different set of rules. The Custom Screen is displayed on the bottom screen of the DS, and thus can be interacted with either the buttons or the stylus.
Cards are aligned in a 3x2 grid, and the player is only allowed to either select multiple copies of the same Battle Card, or only Battle Cards within a single column. White cards (and, by extension, cards which are selected as Favourites) are exempt from this rule.
Selecting a Brother Card allows the player to either perform a Star Break transformation of that Brother's version, or start a roulette that transforms the Card to one randomly chosen from that Brother's Favourites. While MegaMan is under a Star Break transformation, he can now choose different Battle Cards within the same row along with the other card selection rules.
After a certain number of turns, the Custom Screen will begin to leave blank spaces when opened, even if there are more cards in the player's folder.
Cards are still aligned with the same grid and under the same rules, with row selection only available while Mega Man either has Side Select equipped, or is under the Zerker Tribe transformation. The Custom Screen is where players may merge with a BrotherBand card in order to perform the Tribe On, Double Tribe, Tribe King, or Rogue Tribe forms.
Unlike the Star Break transformation, initiating Tribes via BrotherBand cards will cause said card to convert into the Tribe's emblem rather than disappearing, thus limiting the player's card selection options until the transformation is cancelled.
The Custom Screen was completely overhauled for the third game. While cards are still aligned to a 3x2 grid, their positions may vary slightly within the grid, allowing them to overlap other cards. Battle Cards' sizes also vary based on their category - Giga Cards are significantly larger than Mega or Standard Cards, and thus have a higher chance of being overlapped or overlapping other cards in the screen.
Cards that are overlapped cannot be used normally - they either can be converted to support cards or be the only card the player can select for the turn. Under normal circumstances, different elements of cards provide different support abilities, but Ability Waves or Noise Kaizou Codes can change them:
- None - Area Eater
- Fire - Atk +10
- Aqua - Invisible
- Elec - Paralyze Plus
- Wood - Grass Stage
The Custom Screen in this game also makes row selection standard instead of exclusive to a specific form or ability. Brother Cards can be used to initiate Merge Noise or the standard roulette, and the option to initiate Finalized Noise appears under high Noise levels.