Street Fighter Alpha 2/FAQ

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These are the basic, intermediate and advanced strategies you should use in Alpha 2.

Basic Strategies

As in any other game, you have to think understand how developers intended the game to be played, what tools they designed to be strong, and what balance approaches they took. To excel at footsies, you have to know hitboxes and frame data. Since we do not have a good source of frame data, stick to what is simple: How fast you feel like the moves are.

Develop your game plan from it after you pick a character that you like. Although there is a tier list and some bad matchups, generally, A2 is very balanced and you can do well specializing with only one character.

How should I play Alpha 2?

-"FOOTSIES BY DESIGN" "Footsies" means taking little steps back and forward and correctly spacing your normal attacks to gain an advantage over your opponent.

A2 is all about footsies, so stay on the ground. The game was designed with fast jumps which allow you jump and punish strong attacks executed on the ground and moves not executed at the proper distance to hit (like a hadouken) or be blocked, and therefore cannot be cancelled into a second attack that would make it safe, but usually, medium and light moves will allow the grounded character to recover and anti-air you with a fast anti-air, so it is a good idea to stay on the ground and play the footsies. During footsies, prefer using light attacks and patiently just wait. Because of the alpha counter, blocking is a very good option. However, all characters have a good walk speed, and can bait your block by jumping with an empty or move done too early, to then activate a custom combo you cannot block low.

A2 vs A3

Alpha 2 nothing like alpha 3. If you play A3, play A2 more like ST. As a start, never use standing or crouching lights as anti-airs, and anti-air uppercuts work really well in A2. Also, blockstring pressure are not as effective as in A3 and the pushback on light buttons are much higher, as well as the blockstun and frame advantage for many moves are much lower, so no cross-up, c.lpx3, cross-up again.

A2 vs ST

If you play ST, this section is for you. You may have a special interest in this commentary if you thought about playing A2.

Basically, alpha 2 tried to approach itself to the SSF2 Turbo (ST) gameplay. However, it clearly intended to make the match last longer while keeping the same "turbo" feel and reduce pressure and ambiguous situations after a knockdown, leaving it to a higher risk/reward vs. meter management situation. The introduction of tech rolls to wake up quickly, along with games from the same era, like Vampire Savior, indicated Capcom's intention to alleviate post-knockdown pressure (sometimes referred to as "yomi").

To get a perfect blender/vortex setup, you have to manage your meter and get a knockdown at the cost of one AC. Since AC knockdowns cannot be tech rolled, you may have to decide trading 1 super stock for an ambiguous cross-up, so if you do, make that count. In other words, you will not see Daigo doing 2 Tatsumakis in Afrolegends' Boxer's neck ending the match (LINK: Afrolegends vs Daigo video).

Although some Alpha Counters (AC) leaves you perfectly positioned for cross-ups, it looks like cross-ups were generally nerfed. For instance, Chun j. mk is super small. At the same time, Sakura's diagonal j. mk has a specific, larger, made-for-cross-up hitbox that only lasts for 2 frames (cannot remember of only 1 or 2f actually). Unfortunately, in Sakura's case, it made it terribly worse. To know if you will be crossed-up you have to basically watch when she presses the button or at what height she is in relation to you when you are standing, which is quite hard and there are too many variables. Mostly you have to watch where and when she jumps from, then guess. It doesn't matter what I say or write, you will eat a lot of that, so let's just move on.


You must know the character's hitboxes. Hitboxes are squares of where you hit, usually represented in red. Hurtboxes are where you get hit, usually represented in blue. There are also throw hitboxes, representing a throw range, which show up 2 or 3 frames after you press forward plus a throw button, fireball hitboxes, and the push hitbox, which is the center of your character so two characters don't go over each other and occupy the same space, so they push each other. Examples:



See them in each character's section and also here:

Hitboxes Jigsaw

Alpha 2 was designed by people passionate about Street Fighter. Hitboxes and moves in Alpha 2 were carefully designed for an "if this, then that" situation. For instance, if Rolento does s.lp, answer with Chun, but if Rolento does c.lp, Chun must answer with Those hit and hurt boxes fit each other like jigsaw pieces.

Also, what you see is what you get and you can pick it up and play. There is no weird character with weird hitboxes, something that seems to hit high but hit low. If you think Sodom's slide was designed to go under fireballs, you are correct. If you think Rose's slide is also designed to go under fireball, you are also correct, but she can do it for only 8 frames, as her head hitbox disappears. Learn your character hitboxes. Whatever the feeling you have about a hitbox and how to use a move, in alpha 2, you are probably correct, so learn while you play. But have a look at the hitboxes section to get started with it.

SUMMARY - Play A2 like this

  • Learn how to play footsies
  • Don't be predictable. If something isn't working, don't keep on repeating it. If you uppercut once, don't try to uppercut five more times. Of course, there's the mind game where they might not expect it but that's more advanced.
  • Mix things up but DON'T BE RANDOM. That's one of the worst things you can do.
  • Use the air-to-ground vulnerability to set up damaging combos for people who like to empty jump in a lot. For those that don't know what that means: There's a point between when you come from the air and landing where your character is vulnerable to attacks (mainly low) whereas even if you try to land to crouch block if your opponent hits you at the right time you'll get hit every time you try to empty jump in. I suggest finding this point put the training dummy on "ALL GUARD" to either jump at you or jump straight up. Once you've hit your opponent at that point they'll think twice about empty jumping again.
  • Don't jump a lot. It's a bad habit you should get rid of.

VIDEO - Street Fighter Alpha 2 Basic Tutorial

--Scanman (talk) 10:20, 20 February 2019 (MSK)

Intermediate strategies

Intermediate strategies are all about putting the basic gameplay to work. Now that you know the basic gameplay, if you want to win more you should read this.

If you are familiar with fighting games, there is nothing too much new to you here.

Fight your opponent's mind, not their character

Since winning in fighting games is more about attitude and getting to understand what your opponent is thinking, don't be a whining scrub. That is, don't say people are "CHEAP" for any reason. Learn how to appreciate the techniques used by your opponent to incorporate them into your arsenal.

If you do not know how to get out of a certain situation, remember how the game was designed, and remember the AC, and keep your cool in situations such as Guy's and Ken's string corner blockstring pressure. Wait until you can AC and remember throws do not do too much damage. Once again, when you do this, you are thinking about how developers designed the game to be. Guy was designed to be like that, and even under that immense pressure, the damage output is not so high. Learn, therefore, how to appreciate this carefully designed Street Fighter game.

Characters matter too and are part of the basics. Keep in mind how different it is fighting, for instance, Charlie/Nash, from other characters. If you know how the character was designed to be, i.e., to be defensive and win fireball battles or move behind his Sonic Boom, you will also understand why his alpha counters are so slow, as they were made to be used against fireballs and reach the opponent during this animation. Or for instance, you are always safe from far away when using fireballs, but Guy and Akuma can approach you anticipating the fireball. Another example is, you are totally safe against Birdie by annoying him with slow fireballs, unless he has supers, then he can get around it. Birdie can do that with his qcfx2+K, which can be done in response to a fireball, If you don't know that, then you don't know the game yet. As soon as you know it, you know you cannot fight in autopilot and do fireball all the time at maximum distance mode without considering all variables such as if the opponent has a meter or not. You are not a computer. By doing so, you can also jump away and pretend you intend to use a fireball against an opponent who plays like a computer and use that super every time you do a QCF motion without completing it. You can also condition him to think that you are going to fireball every time from the maximum distance. Understand the characters you are fighting with and against, then move on to fighting a thinking player.

If you are losing

A character can only do a certain number of moves designed for predetermined situations, and you have to respect that. For instance, Rose is designed to reflect fireballs, so if your gameplan with Sagat is throw a lot of fireballs against Rose, that will have to change now. However, a player can do much more than what a character does. In a fighting game, you are fighting against brains controlling characters. Remember that.

If you are overwhelmed:

1) Stop and learn the basics of the game, such as the characters and the game mechanics, to get out of these situations. I mean, remember alpha counter and other mechanics you are forgetting.

2) Next, move on to think one step ahead of your opponent, such as "he can do this because of that" and "if I do this, he will respond with that" so you can actually make your opponent move the way you want him to move. By this I mean, you may prefer forcing your opponent to use an alpha counter as a defensive option than having that one stock that could save his life or kill you.

Counter hit/Throw Mixups

The basic idea behind a counter hit/throw mixup game is to have the opponent make a choice to defend one of these options and followup.

Let's say you have Rolento and you start doing standing jabs in front of the opponent. What you want to do is either have the opponent attack, giving you the option to do a counter hit jab into cr.Mk.png xx patriot circle combo, or have the opponent block so that you can throw them.

Post knockdown strategies

After you are knocked down or knock someone down, they can tech roll or not. Some players tend to follow the same pattern all the time and also are aggressive and try to do an LP roll and activate their custom. In this case you can just block. However, if they do not roll, they are open to some safe jump-ins, tick throws, cross-ups and high/low and throw mixups. (the reason why you fight,

Safe Jump-ins

A safe jump-in is when you jump-in with an attack and the opponents only options are to either block, or take the hit; If the opponent wakes up with a reversal uppercut/super/other invincible moves, since they have a certain start up, mostly 3 to 4 frames, if you land during these frames, you'll still be able to land and block in time. If your jump-in connects, you can hitconfirm into the combo of your choice, or set up mixups.

Upon executing a jump attack, you have 2 frames of recovery time upon landing (zero in an empty jump). A safe jump-in is set up so that your jump attack hits on the very last frame of your jump before you land, basically a meaty attack. If the opponent successfully wakes up with a reversal invincible move, by the time said move's start-up has an active hitbox, you're on the ground and blocking already.

This applies to every invincible move/super. Safe jump-ins are character-specific and differ based on character WAKE UP SPEED (see glitches).

--Scanman (talk) 10:20, 20 February 2019 (MSK)

Tick throws

Tick throw is when you poke your opponent with a light move and use your frame advantage to walk and grab him or walk and reapeat, or walk and do a more damaging move when he tries to counter poke-you or escape a throw.

Cross ups

Crossing up is jumping on your opponent and hitting with a move that hits both in front or in the back. Some can be very ambiguous, so you don't know which way to block, and they allow longer and more damaging combos since the move will push the opponent in the direction you are jumping to, leaving him closer to you.

Corner cross-ups

You cannot cross up someone in the corner.

The game has a "body pushbox" that, when touching the corner, will not allow you to switch sides unless it projects the attacker outside the screen and only works on the 2P/right corner. The only move I know of that can cause this effect is Chun's df+HK, which aligns the body perfectly in line with the downed character body push box, so the hitbox will be aligned behind the hurtbox of an opponent standing up, and push him to the left. However, as this does not work on the 1P corner. It suggests that there is a "move x+1 when this situation occurs" somewhere in the code, always moving you to the right, the reason why this happens on the P2 corner and not the P1 corner.

--Raf (talk) 21:34, 30 October 2019 (MSK)

However, watch when you have someone not really cornered and can be crossed-up. This may be really hard to know during the fast pace of the match, so you can just go for a cross-up attempt. See an example here on this video

--Scanman (talk) 10:20, 20 February 2019 (MSK)

Overheads and High/Low mixups

During the safe jump-ins and cross-ups mindgame, there is always a high/low mixup. You can hit your opponent very deep or whiff a move on purpose to force him to block high and hit him low.

Some character have "overheads," generally f+mp or mk, which you have to block high. They are usually slow enough to be blocked, but are good for an extra free damage and cannot be followed up (Sakura can if done early as meaty), so overheads are good round finishers, but you can also use them to condition your opponent to block high and hit low. You will also see in the Valle CC section that there is an unblockable CC, so you can whiff an overhead and start an unblockable CC right away.

Finally, since you conditioned your opponent to block high or low, you can simply walk back and forth and throw them, or do that and be close enough to pop a CC right when they try to preemptively hit you, or use the tick throw.

Final notes on intermediate strategies

It may not seem much, but those intermediate strategies will get you ready to win. As said, if you are familiarized with fighting games, there is nothing new to you here. If you are, it is always good to give it a quick read, but you may be interested in the more specific and advanced strategies.

Advanced Strategies

Some of these strategies are character-specific, but are listed here so you can have an idea of what they are.


Rose: Soul Illusion

After a knockdown, you can perform an unblockable combo if you activate soul illusion and time any move so that it will whiff, but only her images/shadow hits.

Example (probably, mk is the only mova that works): Df.png + Mk.png, c. Lk.png xx Lk.png SOUL DRILL (or fireball super to maximize damage).

This is not a glitch. It occurs because only the main "Rose" has a "proximity block hitbox." This is a special hitbox that if the enemy press a button close enough to you and you press back, you will start a blocking animation right away if you were doing nothing any other action that takes priority over blocking, and this how "blocking" was invented in fighting games. The proximity hitbox only stays there for the duration of the move. In ST, for instance, when you jump over E. Honda's sumo headbutt, and now on the other side you want to walk back for whatever reason, you can't, as you will get stuck into a blocking animation instead, even though you are not in front of the attack. There was much improvement from ST to A2, but unfortunately, the best way to fix that would be extending the duration of the attacks during soul illusion, as if they added proximity block to the shadow, you would likely be stuck in blocking animation for the entire duration of it and would be forced to take too much chip damage from her specials, or you could end up Alpha Countering the shadow, and not Rose.

Therefore, without the proximity block hitbox, you cannot block the shadows when only the shadow hits.

Valle CC

Discussed in its own section.

Hard to block setups

These are not real unblockables, but one may think so if not understanding how they work. They are ambiguous or hard to block.

Ambiguous Cross-ups

  • Sakura

Sakura is a special case because her has specific frames where it crosses up or when it does not cross up. Besides being too hard to block, you may have to invert the blocking direction, as she may land behind you, depending on where you are during your standing animation, and whether you roll or not.

  • Sodom

As Sakura, Sodom may hit front and land behind you, or hit and land behind you with j. lk. You always inverted the blocking direction of the second hit, but you have to guess the direction of the first hit.

  • Charlie/Nash

Quite similar to Sakura and Sodom.

Zangief: Do a 360+K in the corner. Jump towards your opponent to get a free SPD as a follow-up. You just have to time it to hit exactly when you land. You have 4 frames to do that. The opponent cannot escape with a jump, and have to reversal. Some characters, like Rolent, cannot escape.

Inverted block glitch: Inverted blocking directions that occur due to a glitch are not unblockables, but they are hard really to block. There is a specific section for that glitch.

Custom combo strategies

Custom combo is invincible for 3, 5 and 9 frames on level 1, 2 and 3 respectively. You can use it to cause damage, go through fireballs, escape damage or for specific situations. See the custom combo section for some examples. There are too many situations to be discussed, and basically, CC follows a natural gameplan that you should adopt. This section will focus, instead, on some killer techniques where you can use CC that are not so obvious.

Valle CC

Valle CC is a low, unblockable custom combo.

A bit of history: Valle CC got this name because of the historical B3 (Battle By the Bay) tournament that later became the Evolution series. Alex Valle won the B3 in the finals against John Choi (Ryu vs Ken, then Sagat vs Ken), taking advantage of this CC many times during the tournament. The players and organizers (John Choi, Tom Canon, Jeff Schaeffer) later partnered with Capcom to release a magazine with a series of tips and tricks for SF Alpha 2. This was a huge milestone for fighting games in the Americas, and one important step for the fighting games as esports. GGPO later started in it's alpha stage with SF alpha 2, which was, again, the introduction of a rollback-based net code that once more changed the future of fighting games.


  • If the opponent is standing, when you activate a custom combo, the opponent cannot block low for a few frames (8-10, see below). This means it is 100% unblockable into any low move (crouching kicks) CC you want, provided it is faster than this window and you time it right.
    • It is especially useful for Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Zangief and Rose that have far-reaching tripping c. HK (c. roundhouse).

Notice how this change footsies considerably. From a maximum distance, you are forced to block low constantly and cannot move forward, as you risk taking too much damage, and then have to submit to the fireball game, where the list of characters above excel at. Notice also that they can risk it and be safe if it fails.

  • Some say this occurs because you cannot change blocking direction for as long as 8-10 frames (needs confirmation) after a CC is popped. If true, this means that, in theory, there are unblockables for jump-ins as well.

Video: John Choi vs Alex Valle - B3 - 1996

Advanced Alpha counter strategies

The alpha counter plays a big role in SFA2. You must use it and also avoid it.

Alpha counter reversal

Easier said than done because it involves risks. And easier seen than explained, so watch the video.

Delay the follow up or cancel of any safe normal into an invincible move, and it will beat an alpha counter. As you delayed it, your second move will not come out unless the normal was Alpha Countered. The timing is hard to master and you may accidentally execute the move too soon or too late, so you better buffer the move and wait for the freeze.

By a "safe normal" we mean the move must have its animation ended or about to end before the AC hits you. Ex.: Bison's d+HK slide has a very long recovery, so it is not safe.

The rationale is that, since AC freezes the game for 16 frames, you cannot cancel a move into a special during the normal timing unless you do it before the AC, and if so, the AC will probably beat your move. If done slightly delayed, your inputs will be eaten by the AC freeze when it is done because this is the way designers found it would make the AC beat your move. The idea was to throw you off from your regular cancel timing a bit, so you miss the cancel. Just in case you cancel your move super quickly during the hit stop and before the AC, they also made the AC invincible for a few frames.

This way, AC was made good, but without making it too powerful. A very clever solution.

IN A FEW WORDS: To go around that, execute your move after your regular cancel window timing is up. That is it.

If the opponent ACs, your invincible move will come out after his AC starts, and you will beat it. It must be an invincible move to be invincible when the AC would hit you. Some AC's, like Charlie's Punch AC, have a very long startup on purpose (was designed to counter close fireballs), so you may need to watch that, or you may trade hits. Sagat's Tiger Blow has a very long duration and invincibility, and may be active and you will trade hits. Remember that AC will not let you tech roll, so this trade is usually to their advantage.

The timeline of events that allows that to happen is like this: Situation A: No AC reversal.

  • You hit, they block
    • You have 8 frames of hit stop + your recovery frames to cancel your move they blocked.
      • They AC, adding 16 frames of freeze for both of you.
        • Your move may come out a bit early or not come out because the AC messed up with your timing. Freeze animation stops, AC animation starts, and it is invincible. They hit you, beating either the move you cancelled too early or the normal move that did not recover on time.

Situation B: With AC reversal.

  • You hit, they block.
    • They AC, adding 16 frames of freeze. You start buffering your move.
      • Your move animation/cancel window ends or was extended for 16 frames. Execute the move around the end of this freeze (ideally on the 17th frame).
        • AC animation starts and you finish the previous move safely and starts a new move or you late cancel the previous move into a new invincible special move. You win.


  • Ryu/Ken/Akuma - c.fp,,, or, cancelled late into DP. Any of these are easy and probably the most basic and most seen AC reversals. In Akuma’s case you can AC-reversal with teleport and be really safe while baiting their AC in the process.
  • Adon - Only really has into RH DP
  • Chun -,, into qcb + k overhead special. Overhead has a good bit of invincibility so it beats a lot of ACs but not everything.
  • Guy - A bit iffy. I’d just use or really late (2nd hit) into MK hurricane but it can lose to a lot of things. If you wanna burn meter into qcf + P x2 Super should beat most ACs.
  • Dhalsim - Can bait with teleport just like Akuma, other than that not too much. Wouldn’t even use a super to AC reversal, better off saving the meter.
  • Gen - Probably the only character I don’t have much experience with AC reversals. I’d assume, into RH DP would work fine.
  • Sakura - Not a lot she can do since her shoryuken is too slow startup. You either have to AC reversal with a super or just eat the AC. Use or
  • Rolento - Mainly into qcb + jab. Doesn’t escape everything but it’s pretty nice.
  • Gief - or d/b into KKK lariat. Will beat pretty much anything :party:
  • Birdie - into turn punch? (And cancel into super, but not worth it)
  • Rose- c.fp to super fireball or lvl 3 grab
  • Sodom -,, c.fp into qcf + p x2 super
  • Sagat - Mainly just into fierce DP. use for late cancel if they can’t duck it
  • Bison - or into teleport.
  • Dan -,, or c.fp into a white DP, or just a super.
  • Dhalsim - b+mp or fp to super or teleport, but best save the meter unless you have a big lead or it will kill them.
  • Gen- pretty much anything, but best it s.fp to dp or dizzy super/lvl 2 rush. Lk dp is really good and safe.
  • Charlie- to mk FK
  • Bison- anything to immediate teleport


Negative edge AC

Have you ever had that feeling that an AC came out for you when you did not do anything? That is probably because it was done when you released a button.

Since you have to input it fast and finish with DOWN, which is not a defensive position, an AC is somehow risky, much more than a 3rd strike parry that is active for 10 frames. Therefore, if you hold any P and K, you can execute low-risk AC attempts in negative edge (releasing the button) instead of preemptively press a button and release your defense.


  • Hold several P and K after a knockdown to wakeup doing an AC with low risk. Pres b,d/b, and finish the command with d/b if you need.
  • During footsies, hold the kicks button held down, walk forward, execute a d, d/b, d motion and release the button, or press it again to counter a whiff poke attempt.
  • You can also do a far empty jump ending with b, d/b, d + P/K to AC a trip guard attempt.

Also, remember the BUTTON PRIORITY. You can input c. 3K during footsies to get a c. lk animation, then release the buttons during an AC motion in piano sequence to increase the chances of getting an AC by 3x against fast counter pokes (say lk vs lk). This is especially useful if your opponent has low enough health to bother with being hit by a c. lk and have to take higher risks, while you keep safe with fast poke attempts that allow you to anti-air or take other actions during footsies. This way, you do not need to rely on fireballs or other risky tools for chip damage, where you could eat a jump in or an alpha counter from Ken.

Negative edge is very useful to Ken, Sagat, Sodom, Rose's far-reaching kick ACs. Also, Rolento and Bison teleports towards the opponent, cannot be AC denied/reversed, and you can safely end the match using those ACs. Although it is confusing to be worried about releasing, instead of pressing buttons during the match, just hold the buttons and let the game rules automatically work for your benefit.

Kara-cancel and quick meter building

Canceling any normal quickly before the hit frames come out. For example: F.png+Mp.png xx raging demon or cr.Hk.png xx fireball.

Some characters can build meter very fast, ex.: c.fp kara into lp backroll with Rolento, or c.fp kara into a fireball with all the shotos.

Kara-cancels for meter: Chun- c.HP/s.HK xx kikoken or overhead Rolento- c.fp xx lp back roll Birdie- c.fp xx 360+lp Shotos- c.fp or c.rh xx hadouken, lk hurricane, or lp shoryuken Sodom- c.fp xx lp jitte scrape Zangief- c.fp xx lp glove Guy- xx lk hurricane Rose- c.fp xx mp or hp reflect Charlie- xx sonic boom

Kara cancels for other uses has a minuscule role in A2 but it does have its use.

High Knock Down Juggle Glitch

  • This is best explain by an old post from Endy 22, so I'm gonna copy and paste. Basically it is a knock down that pops your opponent WAY up in the air, allowing juggles. If you are too lazy just know easiest way to set it up is after a cc, ex Sagat does his cc, opponent tech rolls when Sagat is done, Sagat does c.rh which creates a HDK, juggles with HP tiger uppercut.
    • Awhile back I posted an article about how special juggle combos could be done after knocking someone down with a CC(i.e. with Sagat; couching Roundhouse, juggle with Fierce Tiger Uppercut). Since then I've learned a lot more about how the high knockdown trick works as well as a bunch of combos that can be done using it. For those who missed the original article or have yet to see someone use the trick, I'll explain how it's done...
    • Basically, when you're in CC mode and you do a move that knocks down, the opponent is knocked higher than they usually are when you are out of CC mode. For instance, when you activate a CC and then do a crouching Roundhouse, your opponent is knocked up in the air higher than a normal sweep would, so it's easier to follow up with another attack during the CC(this is one reason why the Valle CC is so devastating). The interesting thing is, you can still get the benefit of a high knockdown(HKD for short) _after_ a CC ends (meaning your CC meter has completely run out, and your opponent is getting up from the knockdown your CC caused). In order to get a HKD, you must first hit your opponent with any kind of CC that ends in a knockdown. Then, as your opponent is getting up or _right_ after, if you connect with a move that knocks down(a sweep for instance) they will be knocked high in the air(much higher than they normally should) allowing you to hit them with a juggling move before they land. note: You can only follow up a HKD with a move that juggles, like Akuma's DP or Guy's HK, all non-juggling moves will whiff.
    • An interesting thing about HKD's is that you can normally only juggle an opponent knocked in the air on the way up or at the apex, as soon\ they start to fall you can no longer juggle. However, with a high knockdown, just like in CC mode, you can juggle an opponent no matter how high they are off the ground. This means, if you do a crouching Roundhouse that results in a high knockdown, you can wait till just before the opponent lands and still juggle them. Also, you aren't limited to initiating a HKD with a sweep, certain special moves that knock down will work, too. Another cool thing about HKD's is that they can be initiated with combos, as well. So, with E. Ryu as the opponent is getting up, you could do crouching Jab, crouching Short, Fierce Red Fireball(HKD), juggle with a Fierce Dragon Punch. It's also possible to do repeated high knockdowns. For instance, with Sagat I could do a crouching Roundhouse as their getting up(HKD), juggle with a Fierce Tiger Uppercut. Then as they're getting up from the TU, I could do another crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Fierce TU, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Fierce TU, etc. As long as you keep getting consecutive HKD's it can be repeated.
    • Now, landing a CC and then hitting your opponent with a knockdown move or combo as they're getting up _will not automatically_ result in a HKD. Whether you get the high knockdown or not is _completely_determined by what your opponent does after getting knocked down by the CC. Obviously, if they just block as they're getting up, there is no way you can hit them, so there's no chance for a HKD. So, you can only get a HKD in certain circumstances(most of which involve your opponent doing a particular action as they're getting up). Those circumstances include:
      • 1. The opponent rolls after the CC - This is the easiest and most common way to land a HKD in a match. If your opponent rolls right after getting hit by a CC, simply hit them out of it with a knockdown move or combo and you will get a high knockdown, FOR FREE. note: This will only work in regular SFA2, since you can't roll after a CC in A2Gold(and I'm assuming, Z2A).
      • 2. The opponent whiffs a Reversal Attack("Reversal" _has_ to appear) - This means if they do any kind of Reversal Attack(including Supers), and it misses, you can hit them during the recovery with a knockdown move or combo and get a HKD. i.e. Ryu does a Reversal DP and it whiffs, if you do a knockdown move as he lands it will result in a HKD.
      • 3. You stuff their Reversal Attack - Just like #2, except if you knock them out of the Reversal Attack with a knockdown move you will get a HKD.
      • 4. You do an AC reversal - If you stick out an attack as the opponent is getting up which they AC and you reverse it, you will get a HKD. So with Sagat, you could do a crouching Strong(they AC), 2in1 Jab Tiger Uppercut(knocks them out of their AC and results in a HKD), then juggle with a Fierce Tiger Uppercut.
      • 5. The opponent is holding 'back' - Meaning, if they're simply holding straight back on the stick while they're getting up and you hit them with a knockdown move or combo, you will get a HKD. I have_no_ idea why this works, especially since holding in any other direction won't result in a HKD. note: While experimenting, this happens to be the easiest way to get a HKD, and is a great way for doing repeated high knockdowns.
      • 6. You dizzy them with a HKD move or combo - If you dizzy your opponent with repeated HKD's, then hit them while they're dizzy with a knockdown move or combo, it will result in another HKD. i.e. With Sagat, you do crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Fierce TU, repeatedly till your opponent gets dizzy. While they're dizzy you could do a combo like Jumping Roundhouse, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Fierce Tiger Uppercut. note: This is only really useful while practicing, since landing repeated HKD's on someone in a real match is just about impossible.
      • 7. You counter them as they're getting up - This one is kinda hard to explain, since I'm not exactly sure why this sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't. When I originally posted about the HKD trick, I believed that all you had to do was counter your opponent with a knockdown move as they're getting up and it would result in a HKD. Meaning, that if your opponent is entering any kind of joystick command(besides blocking) or button command, as they're getting up and you hit them with a knockdown move, you'd get a HKD. I soon found out that is not always the case. It works a lot of times when your opponent is going for a Reversal and miss-times it, and your knockdown move hits them, but not always. I guess it's something specific that they're doing that makes a HKD possible, but I'm not exactly sure what it is yet. note: This makes jump-in or crossup HKD combos possible.
      • 8. You AC their Reversal Attack - AFAIK, this one is worthless. If you rebuild your meter through repeated HKD's then have your opponent do a Reversal and you do an AC that knocks down, the AC will result in a HKD. Unfortunately, you can't follow-up the HKD because your opponent will have that 'spinning' animation and apparently can't be hit. I only mention this one, because I haven't bothered to try it with all the different AC's, so I'm not 100% sure that none of them can be followed-up.
      • 9. You link a knockdown move at the end of a non-knockdown CC - This is a special circumstance where you don't actually have to knock your opponent down with the CC before getting a HKD. Basically, if you do a CC consisting of all non-knockdown moves(like a bunch of standing normals or stream of fireballs) you can link a knockdown move at the end of the CC, and get a HKD. So, with Sakura you could activate a CC, do a bunch of standing normals(lame, I know), then just as your meter runs completely out, link a normal crouching Roundhouse while they're still in hit stun(results in a HKD), and then juggle with a Strong DP.
    • Here's a list of moves for each character that will cause a HKD after a CC ends.
      • Ken: Crouching Roundhouse
      • Ryu/E.Ryu: Crouching Roundhouse/Crouching Roundhouse, Fierce Red Fireball
      • Chun Li: Crouching Roundhouse(close)
      • Rose: Crouching Roundhouse, Soul Spiral
      • Zangief: Crouching Roundhouse, df+Roundhouse
      • Sakura: Crouching Roundhouse
      • Akuma: Crouching Roundhouse, Fireball(close), Red Fireball(1,2 or 3 hit), d,db,f,uf+Punch move
      • Sagat: Crouching Roundhouse, Jab Tiger Uppercut
      • Charlie: Crouching Roundhouse
      • Rolento: Has no moves that will HKD
      • Dhalsim: db+Roundhouse, Strong/Fierce Yoga Fire, Yoga Flame
      • Guy: Crouching Forward, df+Roundhouse
      • Adon: Crouching Roundhouse
      • M. Bison: Crouching Roundhouse(slide)
      • Sodom: Crouching Roundhouse(slide)
      • Gen: Has no moves in either style that will HKD
      • Dan: Crouching Roundhouse
      • Birdie: Crouching Roundhouse
  • Ok, now there are two basic types of combos that can done using the HKD trick...
    • Normal HKD combos:
      • Combos that can be done by characters who have specials that juggle(Akuma, Chun Li, Guy, E. Ryu, Sakura, Adon, Sagat) and can be done after any CC that knocks down(every other character has to rebuild meter so they can juggle with a SC). Examples:
        • Adon - Jumping Fierce, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Roundhouse Jaguar Kick
        • E. Ryu - Crouching Jab, crouching Short, Fierce Red Fireball(HKD), Short HK, Fierce DP. (vs. Zangief, corner only)
        • Chun Li - Jumping Roundhouse, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Triple Up-Kick
        • Sagat - Crossup Short, crouching Strong, Jab Tiger Uppercut, Fierce Tiger Uppercut
    • After Rebuilding Meter:
      • Combos that are only possible after you rebuild your meter through doing repeated HKD's. Basically, there is no way you'd ever, EVER get this type of combo off in a real match, but do indeed work with some setting up. Examples:
        • Charlie - Jumping Roundhouse, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Level 3 Somersault Justice (corner)
        • Guy - Jumping Roundhouse, crouching Forward(HKD), Level 3 Air Punch Super
        • Ken - Jumping Fierce, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), 2in1 Short Roll, Level 3 Shinryuken
        • Rose - Jumping Roundhouse, crouching Jab, crouching Short, crouching Strong, Short Drill(HKD), Level 2 Aura Soul Catch (corner)
        • Akuma - Jumping Fierce, crouching Roundhouse(HKD), Short HK, Short HK, jump towards Level 3 Air Super Fireball or Level 3 DP
        • Dhalsim - b+Fierce(headbutt), Jab Yoga Flame(HKD), Level 3 Yoga Inferno (corner)
        • Zangief - Crossup d+Fierce, bd+Roundhouse, Level 3 Air Catch Super(A2Gold, Z2A only)

There's a bunch of other combos that can done using the trick, but the examples should give you the idea. Also, it's possible to juggle with a CC after a HKD when you rebuild your meter.

Well, that's about all I have to report on the high knockdown trick. I hesitated to post all this, since A2 is such an old game, but figured someone may find it of interest. There's also another little CC trick I found that I was thinking of posting in the future, but this should be enough for now =).

--Jeff 22:17, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Tier List

1996 USA 1996 Japan 2018 2021 USA - Valle's Tier List 2021 Japan - Bas's Tier List

1) Ken
2) Chun-Li
3) Rose
4) Ryu
5) Akuma
6) Adon
7) Sagat
8) Charlie
9) Rolento
10) M. Bison
11) Guy
12) Dhalsim
13) Sakura
14) Sodom
15) Zangief
16) Gen
17) Birdie
18) Dan

1) Chun-Li
2) Charlie
3) Rose
4) Adon
5) Birdie
6) Rolento
7) Guy
8) Dhalsim
9) M. Bison
10) Ryu
11) Ken
12) Sakura
13) Akuma
14) Sodom
15) Sagat
16) Zangief
17) Gen
18) Dan

Top Tier

Second Tier

Middle Tier

Bottom Tier

(No particular order)
Chun Li

M. Bison



Well Rounded

Almost There
Chun Li


Play Solid
M. Bison

Actually Not Bad
Evil Ryu

Need One Chance

Better Then CvS2

Community Links


Speed Selection

If you're playing the USA board (960306), Turbo 2 is the default setting. If you're playing on the Euro board (960229), Asia, World, etc., Free Select 2 will be the default option, where "Turbo On" within the character select screen is the same speed as the USA Turbo 2 setting in the Service Menu. This also applies to the Zero 2 Japan board (960430), where Free Select 2 (フリ-セレクト2) is the same as the aforementioned Euro, Asia, World boards.

Game Versions

  • Arcade
  • PC - 30th Anniversary Collection
  • Playstation
  • Playstation 2
  • Sega Saturn
  • Super Nintendo
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Playstation 4
  • Xbox One

Besides Arcade, the second best version is a tie between 30th and the PS2 port. Both are arcade perfect, 30th you have to add in some input lag for modern TVs, and there is no way to play the game online unless you use FightCade, RedGGPO, or a recent mod (link will be below). PS2 you have Training Mode, Survival Mode, Dramatic Battle, and some quality of life features added in such as the ability to map 3p or 3k buttons. PS1/Saturn has load times (less on Saturn), an arranged soundtrack, some interesting combos only on the Saturn port,( and missing animations from bigger characters. Avoid the SNES version at all costs, it's mostly just for shits and giggles. (Keep in mind that this patch will ONLY work with Windows 10)

Stage lag and stage selection

The following Stages have stage lag, and stage selection is recommended to avoid it.

  • Rolento
  • Chun-Li
  • Birdie
  • Gen
  • Sodom
  • Dhalsim
  • Dan
  • Ken
  • Guy
  • Rose
  • Sagat
  • Sakura
  • Zangief
  • Akuma
  • Charlie
  • Grass (Sagat)
  • Ryu
  • Adon
  • Bison
  • Waterfall (Bison)

Stage selection

To select a stage, one person must choose their character in single player, followed by the opponent pressing start as a challenger. Once that occurs, hold start for at least 60 frames (~1 second) on the character's portrait before you select your character.

Special stages

Hold start and continue to hold until you pick your character:

  • Sagat (grass)
  • Bison (waterfall)

Other miscellaneous

  • For the Japan/Euro version, the default setting for the timer is "Normal" making the overall time per round similar to ST (around a minute real time per round)
  • In the USA version, the default is "Slow", which clocks in about a minute and 15 seconds real time per round from 99 to 00.

Japanese TV ad for Sega Saturn Click here

How to beat Shin Akuma (Alpha 2 Gold) Click here

Glitches & oddities

Auto-Roll glitches

Some super moves cause a forced roll animation, which caused some glitches because the hurtboxes were maintained. Corner combo glitch - Dhalsim only

Juggle glitches

Juggle glitch - Dhalsim only


Air super CC glitch

As a curiosity, when in CC mode, as long as you have the meter, you can perform your air super if in the air. Akuma can super fireball kara-cancelled from a F.png+Mk.png, which is very impractical, but it exists.

Inverted directions glitch & pseudo unblockables

During CC you start moving towards left or right non-stop, and if you are hit in the air during CC state, or the few landing frame, your "CC directions" will briefly remain that way after you wake up, or when you land if you are not knocked down. If a move that leaves you airborne started while the timer was active (shoryuken), it can be glitched as it counts as a CC action.

Everything you do is must obey that direction, including blocking, which can be inverted, resulting in a pseudo-unblockable.

Here is a video. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Inverted block glitch | SFA2 | SFZ2 with combos and setups

Raf (talk) 07:52, 17 December 2019 (MSK)

Tengu Walk Glitch

If Sodom does his Tengu Walk (412+K) while falling, it gives him his throwbox back on the way down and he can be air thrown before hitting the ground.

--Veri7as September 2021

Variable Input Window Glitch

If you hold the first input of a special/super before fully inputting the move, there is a chance (~9%) the game will not register the special/super.

The yellow bar under the special name is the counter that counts down to see if the next direction/input is within the allowed window to count toward completing the special. If you're holding the first input and the counter has reached zero, it will reset the counter. But if you hit the next input while that counter is at zero, the game thinks you didn't hit the motion in time, and the special/super won't come out. This does not apply to charge specials/supers.

--Veri7as September 2021

Mids Hitting Low Glitch

Most crouching mids that only make contact with a character's lower hurtbox will also hit low. Has to be a crouching mid, standing mids won't hit low.

--Veri7as October 2021

Game Navigation

Evil Ryu
M. Bison