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Groove Subsystems are major components of the Groove system in CvS2, rounding out the feature set of each of the six grooves. Most subsystem components are present in multiple grooves, making them less exclusive than unique features of the grooves but not as universal as the basic system functions of the game (movement, life meters, etc.) which are present with all grooves.
This page shows the technical information for each of the Groove Subsystems. Refer to individual groove or character pages for strategy considerations, as their use can vary.
Groove Subsystem Chart
This chart shows which subsystems are available in each groove.
A Dash is a rapid forward movement over a fixed distance. Although the speed, horizontal travel, and hop height of dashes vary by character, they all share the same properties:
- Execute a forward dash by tapping forward twice.
- Once started, you are committed to the dash until it ends, you are hit out of it, or you are thrown out of it.
- You cannot jump out of, cut short, or cancel the dash with an attack.
- You cannot tech throws made on you during the dash.
- Once the dash ends, you can immediately begin to attack or throw the opponent.
- Although some characters dash by sliding flat against the ground, all dashes are considered airborne, but with the following properties:
- If hit out of the dash with a normal attack, you will air flip out of it. In this situation, normal air flip out properties apply, allowing you to land safely and immediately block.
- If hit with a sweep, you will be knocked down as if you were not dashing.
- If hit with an attack that juggles, such as a fireball super, all hits will connect as normal.
- Characters that dash along the ground can be thrown out of a dash.
- Dashes do not pass through or crossover standing, crouching, or airborne opponents.
- Dashes can pass under an airborne opponent as long as the character pushboxes do not collide.
- However, some characters hop high enough into the air during a dash that they can cross to the other side of downed opponents (aka the "Corpse Hop" or "Dead Body Hop") or even dash over ground fireballs. See the Dash Data Chart below for more details on which characters have this ability.
As seen in: All Grooves
A backdash is the reverse of dash, a rapid backwards movement over a fixed distance. Unlike the forward dash, the backdash is a universal system mechanic present in all grooves, even the ones that use forward runs. It is listed here due to its obvious connection to forward dashes, and the sake of listing backdash data with regular dash data in the Dash Data Chart below.
All the properties of the forward dash listed above also apply to the backdash.
Dash Data Chart
The table below shows the distance and height, in pixels, of all (non-boss) character dashes and backdashes. Characters that can corpse hop with their dash (14 pixels of height or more) are bolded• with one dot. Characters that can hop over ground fireballs with their dash (22.5 pixels or more) are bolded•• with two dots. The table columns are sortable, with the initial sort separating the Capcom and SNK characters and displaying them by the default roster order.
|Character||Dash Horiz Dist||Dash Vert Height||Backdash Horiz Dist||Backdash Vert Height|
|Balrog (Bxr) ••||113||22.5||113||22.5|
|Vega (Clw) ••||112||22.5||113||22.5|
|M.Bison (Dic) ••||102||23.9||89||0|
A Run is a sustained forward sprint along the ground. The run speed of the characters are different, but (with one exception) they all share the same properties:
- Execute a forward run by tapping forward twice, holding forward on the second tap.
- The run lasts for as long as you hold forward and approach the opponent, even if you bump up into them.
- CvS2 does not have a system backward run, only a standard backdash available in all grooves. (See Dash/Backdash (above), or Maki's Saka Hayagake backwards command run.)
- If the opponent jumps or rolls past you, your run will automatically stop once you switch sides.
- Runs have a startup time of 4 frames.
- You can attack (any normal, special, or super), roll, or activate meter at any point after the run starts, including immediately after startup.
- Any attack or meter activation will immediately stop the run in place. There is no forward momentum carried into actions performed in this manner.
- You cannot throw while running.
- You are vulnerable to throws while running. If thrown out of a run, you will not be able to tech out of it.
- A jump during a run will always be a Superjump (even if attempting to execute a Small Jump).
- At the end of a run, there are 14 frames of recovery (skidding) before you come to a full stop.
- This skidding animation is considered part of the run, and can be cancelled with any the above-listed actions you can perform during a run.
- You must wait for the skidding animation to finish before you can attempt a throw, however.
Exception: Morrigan has a unique run that flies her forward and into the air at an angled trajectory. During this action she is considered airborne for the purposes of many of her special moves. See her character page for more information.
Run Speed Chart
The table below shows how many pixels forward per frame a character runs. The higher the number, the faster they run and the more distance they cover in the same period of time as slower running characters. The table columns are sortable, with the initial sort separating the Capcom and SNK characters and displaying them by the default roster order.
A Roll is an invulnerable evasive action that allows a character to move forward through attacks and/or for positioning purposes, though at the cost of some vulnerability during recovery.
They universally have the following properties:
- To execute a roll, press Light Punch and Light Kick simultaneously.
- This must be done in neutral. There is no way to cancel into a normal roll from any action (but see Counter Movement).
- Rolls are immediately full-body invulnerable from the first frame. Universally, this state lasts for exactly 27 frames during which time any physical attacks will miss.
- Rolls have a recovery phase where a character is (sometimes) partially and (always) completely vulnerable to attack.
- Immediately after the full invulnerably phase, some characters have a few frames of upper-body invulnerability only. High attacks will still whiff during this phase, but sweeps and other low attacks can hit.
- For all characters, at the end of a roll there is a phase of fully vulnerable recovery which lasts a few frames.
- The length of these two phases vary by character. The Roll Data Chart below lists which characters have which recoveries and their durations.
- Every frame of a roll is vulnerable to throws, including recovery time. When thrown out of a roll, you cannot tech out of it.
- Rolls can be reversals, allowing them to be performed (and for you to be invulnerable) one frame before you would otherwise normally recover from an attack or being knocked down.
- Rolls will pass through opponents regardless of their state (standing, crouching, down). When this happens, the player will turn around to face the opponent after recovering from the roll.
- Exception: When an opponent has their back to the corner, a roll will not cross through them. They will stay on the same side they started on.
- Exception to the Exception: If Player 1 falls into the corner in such a way where the 2P Crossup Glitch occurs, a roll by Player 2 into the corner will pass through and cross up upon recovery.
- Exception: When an opponent has their back to the corner, a roll will not cross through them. They will stay on the same side they started on.
- Once started, you are committed to the roll until it ends, you are thrown out of it, or you are hit out of its recovery frames.
- Exception: It's a big one! See below.
If the game detects a roll input, but then detects the completion of a special move input within 3 frames, it will assume the player flubbed trying to execute the special move and will cancel the roll animation to perform the special move instead. The roll animation stops but its invulnerability does not, leading to invulnerable special moves, a.k.a. Roll Cancelling, CvS2's most famous bug. It can only be done in grooves with a roll, so it is noted in this section for ease of discovery.
See Roll Cancelling for more information.
Roll Data Chart
The table below shows roll data for all (non-boss) characters in CvS2. The columns show:
- Character Name
- Distance of Character Roll, in pixels
- Number of Fully Invulnerable frames in the Roll (this is universally 27 frames)
- Number of Upper Body Only Invulnerable frames, if any
- Number of completely vulnerable Recovery frames of the Roll
- The Total number of frames of the roll from start to finish. This is the "true" speed of the roll in terms of game frames.
- The "Apparent Speed" of the roll. This helps differentiate visually "fast" and "slow" rolls as a factor of distance covered over equal frame time.
The table columns are sortable, with the initial sort separating the Capcom and SNK characters and displaying them by the default roster order.
|Character||Roll Distance (Px)||Full Invul (Fr)||Upper Invul (Fr)||Recovery (Fr)||Total Frames||Apparent Speed|
As seen in: S-Groove exclusively
A Dodge (also known as a spot dodge) is an in-place evasive technique that makes the player fully invulnerable for a set period of time. Available to all characters in S-Groove, they have the following universal properties:
- To perform a dodge, press Light Punch and Light Kick simultaneously.
- Dodges have 18 frames of startup, 13 stationary frames, and 4 frames of recovery, making all dodges 35 frames long.
- All 35 frames of a dodge are invulnerable to physical attacks.
- All 35 frames of a dodge are vulnerable to throws. If thrown during a dodge, you cannot tech out of it.
- Recovery from a dodge is completely safe from a sustained physical attack. After the last (invulnerable) recovery frame, you will immediately be able to block (or perform other actions).
- The dodge can be cancelled with any punch or kick button during the middle 13 frames. One is a ranged attack that will knockdown and the other is a close attack that is cancellable into special moves. Which button does which varies by character, but all have these two types of dodge attacks.
- Once you start a dodge attack, dodge invulnerability immediately ends.
- It is possible to "skip" the dodge attack animation and perform a special move (such as a command grab) or super directly out of the dodge state. While dodging, buffer the desired special/super move and press the cancellable dodge attack button three frames before completing the full move input. The dodge will cancel and start the dodge attack, but then the dodge attack will cancel directly into the input move. (The timing and concept is much the same as roll cancelling.) This will leave you vulnerable to attack for at least the frame after cancelling the dodge with the initial dodge attack, however.
- The dodge can be cancelled into another dodge during the 4 recovery frames. With good timing, it is possible to chain together several dodges to maintain invulnerability indefinitely.
- Dodges are performed in-place. You cannot move or jump until the dodge or dodge action has been completed.
- Dodges can be reversals, allowing them to be performed (and for you to be invulnerable) one frame before you would otherwise normally recover from an attack or being knocked down.
A Counter Attack (officially a Guard Cancel Counter Attack, and more commonly known as an Alpha Counter) is a special subsystem feature that allows a blocking player to cancel out of blockstun and directly counter attack the opponent back. The have the same properties regardless of groove and character:
- A player must be in blockstun and have the equivalent meter of a Level 1 super to perform a counter attack. Holding forward and pressing Medium Punch and Medium Kick together will cancel your guard and perform the attack.
- The equivalent meter cost for a counter attack in each groove is:
- C-Groove - One power level of meter
- A-Groove - Half the meter
- N-Groove - One stock (if one stock is activated for Power Up, another unbroken stock is still required)
- S-Groove - All remaining meter when in MAX mode (red flashing health cannot be used for counter attacks)
- The equivalent meter cost for a counter attack in each groove is:
- The attack for each character is pre-determined and fixed. They are not cancelable into other moves.
- The attacks are one of a character's pre-existing normal or special moves, but their counter attack versions may have different properties to them (startup, invulnerability, recovery, etc.). Some characters are even capable of juggling a counter attack into a Level 3 super in some grooves! See the character wiki pages for counter attack properties and usage strategies for each character.
- All counter attacks do a flat 600 points of damage (in Ratio 2).
- If the attack is a Counter Hit, and it usually is, it gets the 20% Counter Hit damage bonus for 720 attack damage.
- Counter attacks can never kill. If someone has less than 600 health points remaining and is hit with a counter attack, their health will only ever drain to 0 (you die at negative health in CvS2).
- Counter attacks do no chip damage and do not add stun.
- Counter attacks deduct 15 points off of your guard bar.
- If you have less than 15 points of guard bar remaining, a counter attack will drain your guard bar to 0.
- Counter attacks are not guaranteed hits. If an opponent is using a light attack or one with fast recovery, it is possible for them to block or even evade your counter attack attempt, potentially leaving you vulnerable.
- The guard cancel and attack portions of a counter attack are two separate events. Should the opponent perform a super combo after you start a counter attack and cancel out of blockstun, the resulting superflash (and input invalidation frames) will nullify the counter attack event. This results in the attack not coming out, returning you to the blockstun state. This will still cost meter and guard bar, however, as those resources are the cost to just cancel out of blockstun, which had already happened.
- Here is YouTube clip of this happening. Note that Chang's guard was crushed because his remaining guard bar was used to attempt a counter attack, but the attack never came out and Chang returned to blocking (with no remaining guard bar, hence the guard crush) due to the timing of Sagat's superflash.
Available in: N-Groove exclusively
Command: While in blockstun,
Counter Movement (officially, Guard Cancel Counter Movement) is a special subsystem movement technique that allows a blocking player to cancel out of blockstun and perform a Counter Roll or Counter Backstep (backdash). Available to all characters in N-Groove, it has the following properties:
- A player must be in blockstun and have one unbroken meter stock available to perform a counter movement.
- To perform a forward counter roll, hold forward (toward the opponent) then press Light Punch and Light Kick together to cancel your guard and perform the roll.
- To perform a counter backstep, hold back (away from the opponent) then press Light Punch and Light Kick together to cancel your guard and automatically backdash.
- Although it is a movement staple in The King of Fighters series, CvS2 does not have backward rolls/evasions.
- The roll or backstep/backdash performed after the guard cancel is the same as regular rolls/backdashes and share the same properties. This means:
- Counter rolls are attack invulnerable for 27 frames, and have a variable amount of partial/full vulnerability during recovery depending on character;
- Counter backsteps are completely vulnerable to attacks, just like the character's regular backdash.
- Like their standard counterparts, counter movements cannot be cancelled out of.
- Counter rolls cannot be (roll) cancelled into a special move.
- Counter movements deduct 10 points from your guard bar.
- If you have less than 10 points of guard bar remaining, a counter movement will drain your guard bar to 0.
- Players should take care to not accidentally perform a counter movement in neutral/footsies situations. Should you be gearing up for a regular roll, but an unexpected attack occurs to put you into blockstun, counter movement will trigger if you are still holding back when executing the roll. It will cost the meter and guard bar whether you do it deliberately or accidentally, so be aware of that.
Available in: C-Groove exclusively
Air Guard, more commonly called Air Blocking, allows players to block in the air while jumping. Virtually any physical normal, special, or even super attack from an opponent that connects air-to-air is able to be air blocked.
- To perform an air block, simply hold back to block while in the air. It can be performed during a jump of any angle.
- You cannot air block in a jump if you had previously done an air attack during that same jump.
- Only airborne attacks, or attacks that are considered airborne, are able to be air blocked. Ground-based attacks, or or attacks that are considered to be grounded, cannot be air blocked.
- Regular fireballs can generally be air blocked. Ground fireballs cannot be air blocked.
- Special moves that start on the ground but finish in the air vary on if they can be totally, partially, or not air blocked. For example, Ken's HP Shoryuken cannot be air blocked if it hits early because he is still on the ground, but it can be air blocked if it hits late after he has already left the ground.
- Any move blocked in the air does 50% more guard crush damage than usual.
- If a guard crush happens as a result of an air block, the character will quickly fall out of of the air and immediately go into their full guard crush animation (60 frames of vulnerability).
- Special moves that are air blocked do normal amounts of chip damage.
- Trip guard is lost when performing an air block. That is, there is a small recovery period (2 frames?) upon landing after an air block jump, where you are vulnerable to attacks on the ground before you can attack or block again.
A Small Jump is jump that is much lower to the ground than a standard jump. It has the following properties:
- To perform a small jump, you must be in neutral and input a jump direction for no longer than 5 frames. Any longer input will result in a standard jump.
- In small jump grooves, the player will remain on the ground for six frames while the game determines if the player is inputting a small jump or a regular jump. However, for the purposes of avoiding throws a player is considered airborne from the very first startup frame of any jump attempt, even if they are still technically on the ground.
- Attempting to small jump out of a Run, even with the correct input, will always result in a superjump due to the jump properties of runs taking priority. You must come to a complete stop from a run to be able to small jump again.
- During a small jump, a player can perform any air normal attack, air command normal, or regular air throw.
- A player cannot perform air special/super moves, parry, or just defend during a small jump.
- If a player does not perform any actions during the small jump, they will be able to block, attack, or perform other system actions (roll, just defend, etc.) immediately upon landing.
- If an action is performed during a small jump, the player is subject to a recovery period of 8 frames upon landing, during which they are vulnerable to attack or being thrown.
- This recovery period can be cancelled after 2 frames with any special move or super.
NOTE: Small jumps (in the form of hops) have long been a staple movement in The King of Fighters and other SNK games, which is why small jumps are present in the SNK grooves in CvS2. It was also added to P-Groove in an attempt to emulate the Universal Overhead mechanic of Street Fighter III: Third Strike, which allowed players in that game to perform a quick overhead hop attack.
A Tactical Recovery is a strategical option for changing the timing of recovery after a knockdown.
- To perform a tactical recovery, hold all three punch buttons as you are landing from getting knocked down. If performed successfully, a "shadow" animation will be applied to your character's recovery animation.
- A tactical recovery adds 15 frames to your rising/recovery animation.
A Safe Fall, also known as a tech roll or ukemi, is a technique that allows a player to quickly get up from a knockdown, though at the cost of some vulnerability before recovery.
- To perform a safe fall, press all three punch buttons just as you are landing from a knockdown. If performed successfully your character will hop off the ground immediately and step back into a neutral position.
- All safe falls are 28 frames in length. The first 17 are fully invulnerable, but the last 11 frames are vulnerable and you can be attacked before returning to a neutral (able to block) state.
- This makes "Safe Fall" a bit of a misnomer, as they are not always safe to perform.
- You cannot safe fall after being hit with a super combo attack.
- If the super is cancelled into a special move (in C-Groove) or interrupted with a string of normal attacks (rave supers), these can be safe falled out of as long as the last hit is off of a normal or special move.
- You can safe fall off of any normal or special moves that are a part of an A-Groove custom combo, except for the Level 1 super custom combo finisher.
- You cannot safe fall after certain normal moves or throws that force you into a "hard knockdown" state.