Stylish Ranks are measurements of how "Stylish" the player's combat is, and is represented in the Stylish Rank Gauge. It is a constant struggle maintaining the steadily-depleting Style gauge in order to reap greater rewards from battle.
Operating on a letter grade system, which increases as the player uses a continuous stream of varying or difficult techniques, as well as parrying enemy attacks with their own. Each attack adds a certain amount of points to boost the Style gauge. Performing the same moves repeatedly will see diminishing returns on the boost, all but requiring variation in attacks and weapons. While firearms aren't normally a powerful form of attacking, they still have an important place when it comes to the Stylish rank; what they lack in power and points, they make up for in being able to steadily maintain the gauge, keeping it mostly the same. At the same time, Bullet Juggling can still boost the gauge if not done for too long for the move to become stale. Taunts also steadily increase the Style gauge when executed completely, but, like attacks, will not increase the Style gauge when done in succession.
Once the gauge fills up, a new Style grade is reached, denoted by a higher letter. The full names for each grade vary between the games, but it always starts with D, and ends with a variation of S. The Stylish Rank at the time of an enemy's death determines how many Red Orbs they will relinquish (and possibly Green Orbs), and it is a main component of the final mission score. This system is also used for the Combat Adjudicators, which will not break until a certain rank of stylish combat has been achieved against them.
In DmC: Devil May Cry, the Stylish system also increases Dante's speed the higher up the rank gets, urging the player to create better and crazier combos.
|Devil May Cry||Dull||Cool!||Bravo!||Absolute!/Awesome!||Stylish!||None||None|
|Devil May Cry 2||Don't worry||Come on!||Bingo!||Are you ready?||Showtime!!||None||None|
|Devil May Cry 3||Dope!||Crazy!||Blast!||Alright!||Sweet!||SShowtime!!||SSStylish!!!|
|Devil May Cry 4||Deadly!||Carnage!||Brutal!||Atomic!||Smokin'!||Smokin' Style!!||Smokin' Sick Style!!!|
|DmC: Devil May Cry||Dirty!||Cruel!||Brutal!||Anarchic!||Savage!||SSadistic!!||SSSensational!!!|
The player's Stylish rank will deplete through inactivity, or by continuously using the same attacks without much variation between them, which will not boost the gauge. The higher the current grade of Style, the faster the gauge will deplete. If struck by an enemy's attack, the Stylish rank is also greatly affected, and in the first two games was completely lost.
In Devil May Cry 4 and DmC: Devil May Cry, the Stylish rank is given a few minor retention factors; inactivity will empty the gauge, but otherwise keeps the grade itself unless the battle concludes. In Devil May Cry 3 and onward, being hit by an attack or otherwise interrupted will drop the grade down two or three ranks (usually to C), depending on how high the Stylish grade was before the strike. In Devil May Cry 4, when the player is damaged, the Stylish Rank will grade down two levels (this is revealed when the player reaches at least B (Brutal!), where it goes back down to D (Deadly!)... and when the player get hit with an A (Atomic!) rank drops down to C (Carnage) and rank S/SS/SSS (Smokin'!, Smokin' Style!, Smokin' Sick Style!) to B (Brutal!)), however there are no point deduction for the Stylish Points.
- In Devil May Cry, the ranking of A rank depends on the region - it's Awesome! in NTSC regions and Absolute! in PAL regions.
- In Devil May Cry 3 and 4, it's possible to attain at least a high D grade by performing one full combo on an enemy, although variety is then required from then onwards
- In Devil May Cry 3 and 4, after viewing the final cutscene for a mission (the point before the Mission Results screen appears), several bullets will "pierce" through the paused screen, just under the graphics for the Mission Results. The number of bullets will indicate the overall Stylish Rank for the mission score. Such that when the bullets would seemingly take up half of the screen, it will prove to be an S Rank, and lower number of bullets proves lower rankings. In addition, the bullets will also be fired to spell out a certain letter or symbol depending on the mission's scenario; typically in normal proceeding missions, A ranks will be a clean sideways A, while boss fight ending missions spell out certain kanji, where having an overall S will take it even further and overwrite the symbol into an infinity symbol.