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Capcom vs SNK 2/N-Groove

From SuperCombo Wiki
Cvs2 N-Groove Label.png
CVS2 NGrooveBar.png

N-Groove is one of the six grooves in Capcom vs. SNK 2. It features a meter system with gauge "stocks" that can be used as a Level 1 super or activated on-demand to grant a damage bonus and access to Level 3 supers. It is a groove that has a little bit of everything, giving it movement and attack options that no other groove has. N-Groove is inspired by the Advanced Gauge meter system present in late 90s King of Fighters series games, starting with KOF'98.

N-Groove is solidly a mid-tier groove in CvS2. It has a well-rounded set of features but does not excel in any one area, giving up something to each of the top-tier grooves.

Groove Data

N-Groove Data
Main Feature Power Stock Activation for an On-Demand Damage Boost
Groove System Advanced Gauge & Special Move System
Groove Subsystems
  • Run
  • Roll
  • Counter Attack
  • Counter Movement (Exclusive to N-Groove)
  • Small Jump
  • Safe Fall
Meter Length 216 Units (72 units × 3 stocks)
POWER UP Duration 150 Time Units (15 seconds)
Guard Bar Length 48 Units Standard
Meter Bonuses In POWER UP state: +20% damage

See Groove Subsystems for complete technical data on specific subsystems.

Meter System

The meter in N-Groove is a single bar with boxes for three meter stocks at its end. When the meter fills up, it adds a flashing red meter stock to the bar, after which the meter will reset to zero and the player can continue to build meter up for another meter stock. (Any action performed that "overfills" the meter bar will rollover and contribute to the next stock after the meter bar resets.) When three stocks are stored, the meter will remain full to indicate that no more meter or stocks can be gained.

The player can use a Level 1 super or system ability (Counter Attack, Counter Movement) per one stock. (When the player has three stocks, using one will deduct the stock and reset the meter bar to zero, allowing the player to build up a stock again.)

Players can also use a stock to activate POWER UP mode by pressing Hp.png + Hk.png. Doing so deducts one stock from the meter stockpile.

In POWER UP mode, attacks do 20% additional damage and enable access to Level 3 supers if an additional stock (not the one you used to activate!) is available for it. Meter cannot be gained during POWER UP mode. If in POWER UP mode without an additional stock available, players will not have access to any supers or system abilities since they always require a stock to use.

If the player performs a Level 3 super, the required additional stock will be consumed POWER UP mode will immediately end. The POWER UP mode 20% damage bonus does not apply to super attacks (since the mode ends before the super connects).

Stock activation must be done in neutral and on the ground, and cannot be cancelled into from any move or action. The breaking a stock animation takes a total of 20 frames to complete, during which you are completely vulnerable to attacks. However, the animation can be cancelled out of by a special or super move after the 8th frame, the point at which the actual use of the meter to enter POWER UP mode takes place. Due to this startup lag, it is possible to be hit out of the activation sequence before the meter is spent.

Meter (any stocks and any partial meter in the bar) is shared by the team and persists between rounds, win or lose. If a character was in POWER UP mode at the end of a round, the POWER UP state immediately ends; no meter will be recovered from any time remaining in the POWER UP timer.

Unique Groove Abilities


POWER UP mode is a special meter ability in N-Groove that allows the player to activate a stored meter stock and give themselves on-demand access to a 20% damage bonus and potentially a Level 3 super.

The power up state is also known as MAX Mode. This is the name of the system feature from the Advanced mode meter in KOF'98, where N-Groove drew its inspiration. However, on the wiki it will be referred to POWER UP mode to differentiate it from S-Groove MAX Mode.

After the player has stored at least one meter stock, POWER UP mode can be activated with Hp.png + Hk.png. Upon activation, the player character will enter a brief animation, during which a meter stock will be consumed and a timer bar appears above the meter. This timer lasts 150 time units (about 15 seconds) with the benefits of POWER UP mode remaining active during this period.

POWER UP mode grants the player a flat 20% damage bonus to all normal/special attacks and throws. Blocked attacks will also do additional guard crush damage.

If the player has an additional meter stock available while in POWER UP mode, any super performed will be a Level 3 super. This will consume the additional stock and also immediately exit POWER UP mode (the 20% damage bonus is not applied to the super).

It is not possible to perform a Level 1 super while in POWER UP mode. Additionally, no super can be performed if no meter stocks are available after activation. Meter cannot be gained in the POWER UP mode state.

"Pop Trick" Level 3 Supers

Level 3 supers are not available to N-Groove players without first needing to activate a stock. This is in contrast to (for example) C-Groove, which can unload a Level 3 without needing to perform an intermediate action. But in certain situations N-Groove players can go from their normal state "directly" into a Level 3 super in non-combo situations by exploiting the properties of the activation animation.

From start to finish, the activation animation lasts 20 frames. However, after a startup of 8 frames (which, if hit of, will interrupt the stock activation and not cost a meter stock) the remaining 12 frames of animation can be cancelled out of with a special or super move. This allows an N-Groove player with two stocks of meter available to unexpectedly go from a non-threat right into an activation (the "pop") and a Level 3 super (the "trick") in few as 12 frames, depending on the super being used and how quickly it can be buffered.

The three most practical uses of this technique are:

  • Punishes from a Distance - Supers that move across the screen quickly can catch out an opponent using special moves with long reach and/or slow recovery. Try to super through a fireball if they are predictable enough in throwing them and your character has a quick super!
  • Anti-air Punishes - If a character has poor regular anti-airs, or the opponent is coming in at a trajectory that makes sense for it, there is usually plenty of time to activate directly into super.
  • Anti-air Trades - Characters with decent anti-air specials may sometimes not beat the opponent's jump-in attack cleanly. If the attacks clash in a way where you recover immediately but they pop back into the air, there will be enough time to activate into a super, providing your character has good super for the situation.
  • Character-specific Setups and Juggles - Some characters also have specific special moves and supers that give them plenty of time to activate into super (Hibiki's counter), or buffer super inputs while activating (Akuma's Raging Demon/Morrigan's Darkness Illusion).

A related feature of the N-Groove meter system is that since N-Groove can have up to three stored stocks, but a Level 3 super only requires two of those stocks, many characters have the option to use all three stocks of the meter to perform extraordinary actions.

For some characters, that means comboing or juggling into a Level 1 super onto the end of their Level 3 super. (This can also be done in S-Groove.) It is also possible for some characters in POWER UP mode (the first stock) to perform a Counter Attack (the second stock) and juggle the opponent into a Level 3 super (third stock)! More information on how a characters can take advantage of these unique N-Groove features can be found on their individual character pages.

Counter Movement

Counter Movement is a set of movement options that allows players to cancel out of blockstun and perform either a Counter Movement Roll or a Counter Movement Backstep. Although technically a Groove Subsystem and not a baked-in feature, Counter Movement is effectively a unique feature to N-Groove given that no other groove has it.

Cancelling out of blockstun in CvS2 is a special system action that requires the equivalent of one super level of meter to perform, which is one meter stock in N-Groove. Once out of blockstun, the player will do either a normal forward roll, or a normal backdash (backstep), as inputted during the Counter Movement command.

To perform a Counter Movememnt, input one of the following while blocking an opponent's attack:

  • F.png+Lp.png+Lk.png for Counter Movement Roll
  • B.png+Lp.png+Lk.png for Counter Movement Backstep

If successful, the player character will break out of guard and perform the desired action, costing a meter stock and 10 points of guard bar.

All normal properties of the counter roll or backdash apply. Rolls are subject to the regular invincibility, distance, and recovery properties of a character's regular roll. (Characters with faster/better rolls will have better counter roll opportunities.) Backdashes do not gain any special invincibility properties if used as a Counter Movement, meaning they are vulnerable to sustained or follow-up attacks.

Generally, rolls are the preferred Counter Movement action, as they allow characters to potentially punish safe blockstring enders (sweep into fireball, but counter roll off the sweep through the fireball) or other hard-to-punish special moves, escape A-Groove Custom Combos, and survive chip damage death situations, among other uses. The backstep version is almost useless in comparison, though it does have a few use cases.

This video has a good overview of what Counter Movement is capable of in CvS2:

Groove Strategy

N-Groove is the mid-tier groove in CvS2. It has a good and plentiful combination of features that give it lots of options against top-tier groove and characters, and benefits greatly from aggressive, offensive gameplay. However, many of N-Groove's benefits turn out to be situational or weaker versions of the features present in the top-tier grooves, often leaving it lacking in comparison.


Pressure On-Demand with POWER UP - Of the three SNK grooves, all of which have timer-based meters granting advantages, N-Groove is the only one that allows the player to activate its benefit on-demand. This can help a player build or keep offensive momentum or put the brakes on an opponent's attacks by threatening a Level 3.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink - N-Groove has the most Groove Subsystems to work with, as well as its own unique features, giving players a myriad of movement and attack options. For example, it is the only groove with run and roll--running roll cancels, anyone? Small jump in combination with rolling can create different spacing and crossups for opponents to deal with. Counter Movement can get you out of bad situations, and put you into extremely good ones.

- Excellent comeback potential with full meter


Jack of All Trades, Master of None - N-Groove has the proverbial Kitchen Sink of movement and system abilities. However, while it excels in quantity, it lacks for quality. There is no one outstanding feature of N-Groove, particularly when you start to compare it to the top-tier grooves:

  • The 20% damage bonus in N-Groove pales in comparison to the much more threatening ~10-35% damage bonus and corresponding defensive bonus you get while Raged in K-Groove. That the N-Groove can choose when the damage bonus comes on is not that special, considering the Rage timer is longer than the POWER UP timer, and that the K-Groove player will go into the Rage state (and have Level 3 available) two or even three times a round. That's also possible in N, but it is very expensive from a meter standpoint.
  • Access to Level 1 supers is great, but you get that in C-Groove too, But C-Groove also gets Level 2s, plus Level 2 cancels, plus non-gimmicky instant Level 3s, plus Air Guard, plus insane meter efficiency, plus...
  • Activating in N-Groove is a good way to build or take back momentum in a round. But when A-Groove does it, it's invincible and leads into a often very damaging custom combo. If you want to talk about swinging the momentum of a match with an activation, A-Groove merely has to threaten it, causing their opponent to change tactics once the A-Groove meter is full. The activation benefit of N-Groove is a level or two beneath that.

- Unique features and character-specific tricks aren't nearly enough to overcome the persistent advantages other grooves have

- The longest total meter bar in CvS2 (though not too bad an issue given how the stocks are used)

Character Considerations

Groove Comparisons and Matchups

The info in this section is for direct comparisons between grooves and generic groove vs groove matchups, which may apply differently to specific characters. For more detail on how a character plays in and plays against the different grooves, refer to their character info page.

Cvs2 C-Groove Label.png

Cvs2 A-Groove Label.png

Cvs2 P-Groove Label.png

Cvs2 S-Groove Label.png

Cvs2 N-Groove Label.png

Cvs2 K-Groove Label.png

CvS2 Wiki Navigation

CvS2 Versions
Netplay/ Training
Groove Overview
Groove Subsystems
Capcom Characters
Akuma (Gouki)
Balrog (Boxer)
M. Bison (Dictator)
Vega (Claw)
SNK Characters
Boss Characters
Shin Akuma
Ultimate Rugal
Evil Ryu
Orochi Iori