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Street Fighter X Tekken/System
One of the most overlooked fundamentals of the Fighting Game genre is proper familiarity with movement. If you are playing Street Fighter X Tekken properly, over 50% of your actual in-game actions will be comprised of these fundamental tasks: Walking, Crouching, and Blocking. And then there are Jumps, which are one of the most potent forms of offense in the game, though they come with a great risk.
Walking and Crouching
- To walk, simply hold Left or Right on the controller in the direction you want your character to walk in.
- To crouch, hold any of the three Down positions on the controller.
At any point, you can make your character walk forward or backwards simply by moving your controller left of right to move in that direction. If your character is facing right, right will make him/her walk forward while left will make him/her walk backwards. If you are facing left, the opposite is true: holding left makes your character walk forward and holding right makes them walk backwards.
You can also crouch by hitting any of the three Down positions on the controller (down, down/back, and down/forward). This gives you access to another set of attacks performed from Crouching, and also allows you to take a more defensive stance, crouching low enough to duck under many higher hitting moves.
- Hold Back to block while Standing. Hold Down/Back to block while Crouching.
- High attacks can be blocked with either Blocking stance. Low attacks must be blocked while Crouching. Mid attacks must be blocked while Standing.
- Once you block an attack, you are stuck in Block Stun for a short period of time.
- While in Block Stun, you will automatically block any attack that connects before your Block Stun ends.
- While in Block Stun, you must still adjust between Standing and Crouching to properly block Mid and Low attacks.
- Proximity Blocking causes your character to only go into a Blocking Animation if the opponent’s attack is performed near you.
- Blocking Animations will prevent your character from continuing walking backwards.
First, the basics: hold Back to block moves while Standing, and hold Defensive Crouch (Down/Back) to block while Crouching.
Blocking will allow you to defend against your opponent’s attacks, thus saving yourself from taking damage. In order to understand Blocking, you must understand that all attacks in this game fall into one of three categories of attacks: High attacks, Mid attacks, and Low attacks.
The difference between these attacks is defined by the direction you need to block them. Mid Attacks, which include Jump Attacks and Overheads, must be blocked while Standing. Low Attacks, such as Sweeps, must be blocked while Crouching. High Attacks can be blocked at either Standing or Crouching, although a few High Attacks will be avoided completely when Crouching.
Once you block an attack, however, you are rendered "stuck" in what is known as Block Stun. Block Stun lasts various lengths depending on the attack that connects against you. While in Block Stun, you are not allowed to perform any actions other than to block again. So if another attack connects on your character before you end your Block Stun, you will again be put into Block Stun. In fact, since you are stuck in Block Stun during an attack, you can let go of the controller altogether and still block the next attack if you have not recovered from the first Block Stun. So for example, if Chun Li performs her Hyakuretsukyaku, once you block the first hit, you can let go of the controller because you will automatically block every other kick from that move. This is what is known as a true Block String: a sequence of attacks that, once you block the first hit, you are trapped in Block Stun for the entirety of the sequence. It's basically a "combo" against someone who is Blocking.
However, if you are Blocking in the wrong height (in terms of Mid/Low attacks), even during a Block String, you will still be hit. So, let's say the enemy does a Jumping Hard Kick and you stand block it. If the enemy does a Crouching Hard Kick while you are still in your Block Stun and you don't switch to a Crouching position, you will get hit even though you were in Block Stun. You still have to adjust high or low for Blocking, even during Block Stun.
In Street Fighter X Tekken, as with most of the recent Capcom Fighting games, there is something known as “Proximity Blocking”. This describes the effect you’re your character will never actually go into a Block animation unless the opponent’s attack is near you. In other words, if your character is a screen away from the opponent, and your opponent throws out a bunch of Crouching Light Kicks, your character will not go into Block stance. The attack has to be near you in order for it to cause you to go into a Blocking animation. This is significant because the instant you go into this Blocking animation, particularly while standing and holding Back, your character will no longer be able to walk backwards while in Blocking animation and will stand in place.
Note: For those of you who may be more familiar with Street Fighter terminology, the terms for a "High" and "Mid" Attack have been reversed. This is due to the terminology that has long been used by the Tekken franchise, as well as pretty much all 3-D fighting games. So while this may seem a bit confusing at first, Street Fighter X Tekken has opted to go with the Tekken terminology. Thus, High Attacks can be blocked either direction and Mid Attacks must be blocked high. In older Street Fighter games, it was often described that High Attacks must be blocked High and Mid Attacks could be blocked in either direction (in fact, the Street Fighter IV sections here in this Wiki itself has used that terminology). But keep in mind now that the terms have been swapped to keep up with what is more familiar to the Tekken franchise.
- Jumping allows your character to jump into the air.
- Pressing Up makes the character Neutral Jump.
- Pressing Up/Forward causes a Forward Flip.
- Pressing Up/Back causes a Back Flip.
- Forward Flips and Back Flips have the same set of Normal Move attacks. Neutral Jumps have their own unique set of Normal Move attacks.
Jumping allows your character to take to the air, giving them access to a third set of attacks. Also, it allows you to leap over the attacks of your opponent and attack from above. However, jumping is a very risky action, as it leaves you fairly defenseless, as you cannot block while Jumping. However, the positional advantage that is gained from connecting with a jumping attack is very significant, and can quickly change the momentum of a fight.
You can Jump in three different directions, controlled by the three different Up positions on the controller. Pressing Up will cause your character to perform a “Neutral Jump” where they jump straight up and down, landing where they started. Pressing Up/Forward on the controller will cause your character to jump forward with a Forward Flip. Pressing Up/Back will cause them to jump backwards with a Back Flip, though they will still be facing forward. Please not that once you jump, you cannot turn around in the air, even if you end up Jumping over the opponent. Also note that Neutral Jumps give you a completely different set of attacks than the set you have from Forward Flips and Back Flips.
- High Jumping causes characters to jump higher than a standard Jump.
- To perform a High Jump, press Down on the controller briefly right before any of the three Up positions.
- High Jumps do not cause character to travel farther distance.
- High Jumps only change height and length of time in the air.
Every character in Street Fighter X Tekken can perform a High Jump. To do this, tap Down on the controller before hitting any of the three Up positions to High Jump in that direction. You cannot be holding Down beforehand, you have to tap Down to get the High Jump.
High Jumping actually does not behave similarly to High Jumping in a game like Third Strike. High Jumps don't actually cause the characters to jump any farther distance. The characters only jump higher, and not that much higher than a normal Jump. They also stay in the air slightly longer as well thanks to the increased height.
As of now, the uses for High Jumping haven't really made themselves apparent. In fact, most people who play the game are actually unaware High Jumps even exist in the game! But as more tactics are developed, if any new tactics involving High Jumps surface, this section will be updated.
- Tap Toward on the controller twice rapidly to perform a Forward Dash.
- Tap Back on the controller twice rapidly to perform a Back Dash.
- Forward Dashes are considered grounded.
- Back Dashes have a few invincibility frames right at their start and are considered airborne for the start of the Back Dash.
- The end of a Back Dash is vulnerable and considered grounded.
Dashing allows you to make your character cover a fixed distance quickly, whether it be moving forward or moving backward. You perform a dash by quickly tapping either Towards twice (to dash forward) or Back twice (to dash backwards). This will cause your character to move in that direction much more quickly than their normal walking speed. But once your character has begun a Dash, your character is committed to that Dash, as you can no longer perform anything else while Dashing.
Forward Dashing is mostly useful for positioning, surprise attacks, and just to traverse distances more quickly than walking. During a Forward Dash, all characters are considered grounded. That means all moves that connect against you while Forward Dashing will keep you on the ground so you can be comboed and easily punished.
Back Dashing is a very defensive maneuver thanks to the inclusion of invincibility frames in everyone's Back Dash. The actual number of invincible frames aren’t that large, but it's still enough to be useful to escape a lot of situations and attacks, as every Back Dash is invincible starting from the very first frame. Not only that, but once the invincible frames run out, the first few vulnerable frames after a Back Dash for the majority of the characters are considered airborne. So even if you get hit out of the first few vulnerable frames, you'll be popped into the air so it's much harder to punish with combos.
However, even though you are considered airborne during those frames, you can still be hit by moves that normally miss against airborne opponents. If someone Sweeps you with Ryu's Crouching Hard Kick, for example, as you are in your airborne frames, you'll still be hit and get sent to the floor as usual.
After those airborne frames run out, you will have some vulnerable frames where you are grounded, so if the opponent times it properly and hits you at the tail end of your Back Dash, they can hit you on the ground and execute a full grounded punish combo.
Although Street Fighter X Tekken is a team-based fighter, you're going to be spending the majority of your time using one character at a time... meaning you'll really have to learn and understand the offensive tools your solo character has in order to fight your opponent as effectively as possible. This section here deals with all of the powers on offense that a character can perform without the aid of your teammate.
- Five States of Normal Moves: Standing, Close-Up, Crouching, Angled Jumping, and Neutral Jumping.
- Not all characters have Close-Up Attacks for all buttons.
- Some Normal Moves can be canceled into Special Moves / Super Arts / Cross Arts.
- No Normal Moves can only be canceled into one but not the other two. If it is cancelable, it will always be cancelable by all three.
- Damage has been homogenized for almost every character in Street Fighter X Tekken.
- Grounded Normal Moves do 30, 60, and 90 damage respectively for Light, Medium, and Heavy Attacks.
- Jumping Normal Moves do 40, 70, and 100 damage respectively for Light, Medium, and Heavy Attacks.
- Only Zangief, Hugo, and Marduk do more damage than those standards with their Normal Moves.
- Some other moves can stray very slightly from those values as well, such as multi-hitting Normal Moves.
- Normal Moves do not cause Chip Damage on block.
- Any hit of any Normal Move can be canceled into a Manual Launcher.
- Some Normal Moves have unique properties, such as Crumple on Counter-Hit or Ground Bounce vs. airborne opponents or Knock Down on grounded opponents or cancelable into a Jump on hit etc.
- Normal Moves leave behind 1/3 of their total damage as Recoverable Health for the opponent.
As with pretty much all standard Capcom-based Fighting Games, the Normal Moves will be the core of your offense. The majority of your game plan will be focused around Normal Attacks, and they should make up the majority of your offense and damage output. Mastery of Normal Moves is typically what separates a good player and a tournament-winning player. So definitely make sure you understand your Normal Moves as much as possible.
In general, there are five states of Normal Moves. What this means is that the attack you get when you press one of the 6 attack buttons will produce a different attack based on your state, giving a huge variety of attacks possible with the 6 attack buttons. The five states are as follows: Standing (hitting an attack button while your character is standing at a distance from your opponent), Close-Up (hitting an attack button while your character is standing very close to the opponent), Crouching (hitting an attack button while you are also holding any of the Down positions on the joystick), Angled Jumping (pressing an attack button during a Forward or Back Flip), and Neutral Jumping (pressing an attack button during a Neutral Jump). This gives you a total of 30 different basic Normal Attacks.
For Close-Up Attacks, each Close-Up Attack has a different "threshold" for what qualifies as Close-Up. For example, you can perform Cammy's Close-Up Hard Kick standing a decent distance away from the opponent. However, Chun Li's Close-Up Hard Kick must be performed nearly point blank against the enemy. Even the slightest distance away from the opponent will wield the standard Standing Hard Kick. Also, some characters may not have Close-Up attacks at all will some buttons. A few of the Tekken characters, for example, lack Close-Up Attacks on a good portion of their buttons. Asuka, for example, only has one Close-Up Attack: Light Kick. But for the most part, most characters have two version of all 6 buttons while Standing depending on the distance from the opponent.
Normal Attacks contain various different properties which vary from Normal Move to Normal Move, but there is one property that pretty much all Normals have: they do not cause any damage when blocked. If properly defended, Normal Attacks cannot cause what is known as "Chip Damage." Also, one new property unique to all Normal Moves is that they can all be canceled into a Manual Launcher by pressing Hard Punch and Hard Kick whenever a Normal Move makes contact with the opponent. But outside of those two properties, Normal Moves will come in all sorts of variety: some Normals must be blocked while Crouching, some Normals will hit more than once with just a single button press, some Normals can be canceled into Special Moves, some Normals will knock the opponent down, some Normals will cause Crumples on Counter-Hit, some Normal Moves can be canceled into Jumps on hit, etc. etc. Learning what the various properties of your character's Normal Moves are will simply just take familiarity and memorization.
However, one interesting thing about Street Fighter X Tekken has been the damage homogenization of Normal Moves. In pretty much all previous Fighting Games, different characters would cause extremely varied damage output with their Normals, with large, slow characters generally doing much more damage per Normal Move than a quicker, smaller character would. However, in this game, characters all do pretty much the same damage with all of their Normal Moves. All grounded Light Attacks do 30 damage. All grounded Medium Attacks do 60 damage. All grounded Hard Attacks do 90 damage. All Jumping Light Attacks do 40 damage. All Jumping Medium Attacks do 70 damage. And all Jumping Hard Attacks do 100 damage. The only characters that do not fall under this paradigm are Zangief, Hugo, and Marduk. All three characters do more damage than the above standard, with Hugo dealing the most damage, then Zangief, and finally Marduk being the closest to the base damage. Also, multi-hitting moves, such as Rolento's Crouching Medium Punch (which hits three times), stray from the rule ever so slightly. These moves will sometimes do more or less damage overall, but they never stray far from the base damage that has been established in this game. Rolento's Crouching Medium, for example, does the same 60 damage (three hits of 20 damage each). However, his Jumping Medium Punch, which also hits three times, will also do 60 total (20 per hit), 10 less than the standard 70 damage from a Jumping Medium Attack.
Typically, in a Capcom-based Fighting Game, Normal Moves had some very different cancelation properties. There have always been many different ways to cancel a Normal Move, whether via Special Moves or Focus Attacks or Super Combos etc. Street Fighter X Tekken has really narrowed the cancelation properties down. Nowadays, it's pretty much a yes or no property: either the Normal Move can be canceled into a Special Move / Super Art / Cross-Art or they can't. There have always been certain Normal Moves in older Street Fighter games, even since the debut of Super Combos in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, that could be exclusively canceled by a Super Combo. This is no longer the case. If a Normal Attack can be canceled into a Special Move, it can also be canceled into a Super Art and a Cross-Art. If a Normal Move can be canceled into a Super Art, it can also be canceled into a Special Move or a Cross Art. If a Normal Move can be canceled into a Cross Art, it can be canceled into a Special Move or a Super Art. There are no unique move cancelation abilities anymore. Also, keep in mind that, for Normal Attacks that have multiple hits, each individual hit can be cancelable or not. For example, with Chun Li's Crouching Hard Punch, which is two hits, only the first hit can be canceled into a Special Move or Super Art or Cross Art. The second hit has no cancelation ability. Lastly, Special Move cancelation can apply to Jumping Attacks as well if the character has a Special Move that can be performed in the air. These cases, however, are very rare. Juri's Jumping Medium Punch is an example of this and can be canceled into her Shikusen.
Also, as mentioned above, all Normal Moves can be canceled into a Manual Launcher. Unlike with Special Move cancelation, this works for every hit of every grounded Normal Move. An exception to this rule has yet to be noted, though one may exist. But for the most part, it's safe to say that every hit of every Normal Move can be canceled into a Manual Launcher.
Finally, it should be noted that Normal Attacks normally will not cause a Knock Down on an initial hit against an airborne opponent. The opponent will simply flip in the air and land on the ground on their feet, and thus cannot be Juggled before they land. However, if the hit is within a Combo or if it's registered as a Counter Hit against the airborne opponent, the opponent will be knocked down and fall onto their backs, and be open to being Juggled before they hit the ground. Also, some Normal Moves just cause Knock Down on airborne opponents no matter what, such as Juri's Crouching Hard Punch.
Normal Moves allow for the largest amount of Recoverable Health when connecting on the opponent. Whenever a Normal Move lands on a character, 1/3 of the total damage done will remain as Recoverable Health. So if a move does 90 damage, 30 of that will be Recoverable if the character tags out.
Normal Moves being chainable into each other will not be discussed in this section here, but will be talked about in the Cross Rush section. Please refer to that section for all rules involving chaining Normal Moves into each other.
- Typically performed by holding a specific direction on the controller and hitting one of the 6 attack buttons.
- Cannot be used in Cross Rushes.
- Cannot be canceled into Manual Launchers.
- Almost all Unique Attacks are guaranteed Knock Downs against airborne opponents. A few exceptions exist, such as all of Dhalsim's stretching attacks.
In Previous Street Fighter games, Unique Attacks were simply extra Normal Moves that were accessed by holding a different direction on the controller and pressing one of the 6 attack buttons, making them not particularly unique from your standard Normal Move. In Street Fighter X Tekken, however, Unique Attacks live up to their name and are very unique when compared to Normal Moves. In fact, many of the rules established above in the Normal Move section do not apply to Uniquer Attacks at all.
First of all, most Unique Attacks typically have very special properties attached to them. Many or, for example, "Overheads" which must be block while Standing. A great deal of Unique Attacks move the character forward when performing the move (most Normal Moves keep the character in place). And so on and so forth. While Unique Attacks retain the same rules when it comes to Special Move / Super Art / Cross Art cancelation (i.e. that some can be canceled and are always cancelable into all three if so), Unique Attacks cannot be canceled, ever, into a Manual Launcher. Nor can they ever be used as a part of a Cross Rush.
Also, almost every Unique Attack, whether performed in the air or on the ground, are guaranteed Knock Downs when performed against an airborne opponent. This includes Unique Attacks such as both Zangiefs Jumping Down + Light Kick (Double Knee Drop) and Jumping Down + Hard Punch (Flying Body Attack) and Ken's Towards + Medium Kick (Forward Step Kick). For Tekken characters, almost all of the cast contain special Tekken Strings that are separate from the Cross Rush attacks. With these Tekken Strings, every hit outside of the first hit will almost always cause a Knock Down. If the initial hit in said Tekken String, however, is also a Unique Attack on its own, then it, too, will cause a Knock Down. There are exceptions to this rule, such as Ibuki's Back + Medium Punch (Agemen), where the first hit is a guaranteed Knock Down but the second hit is not. Also, all of Dhalsim's Unique Attacks (since all of his stretching attacks have been changed to Unique Attacks in this game) are exceptions to this rule. The only Unique Attack that Dhalsim possesses that will cause a guaranteed Knock Down is the Yoga Mummy (Down + Hard Punch in the air).
One last thing to note is that while pretty much every character has a Unique Attack, there is the rare instance of a character who has none at all. Balrog and Cammy, may be the two sole characters in the game that possess no Unique Attacks at all.
Cross Rush is a technique that allows you to chain Normal Moves into each other. However, as they typically lead into tagging in your teammate, the detailed description of Cross Rushes are listed under the Team Offense section. Since the following two sections, Target Combos and Tekken Strings, refer heavily to Cross Rushes and how they differ from them, it's actually recommended that you read the (soon to be written... heh) Cross Rush section first to understand what the differences are.
You should soon be able to find the Cross Rush section here: FUTURE_LINK
- Target Combos are a fixed sequence of Normal Attacks that chain into each other.
- Target Combos are exclusive to Street Fighter characters.
- Target Combos and Cross Rushes cannot be mixed together.
- When the codes for a Target Combo and a Cross Rush overlap, the Target Combo takes precedence.
- Target Combos that contain cancelable moves allow you to cancel into non-EX Special Moves.
A few characters in Street Fighter X Tekken have Target Combos. Target Combos are Normal Moves or Unique Attacks that can chain into each other in a specific sequence. Target Combos are exclusive to the Street Fighter half of the cast. In general, to perform a Target Combo, just press the buttons in the proper order while making sure you hold any required directions on the controller to perform them. Examples of Target Combos are Ken's Standing Medium Punch into Hard Punch, Rufus's Standing Light Kick into Towards + Hard Kick, and Ibuki's Jumping Light Kick into Towards + Medium Kick.
The timing to perform a Target Combo is strict, but not too strict. You have to press the next button in the sequence the instant the previous move makes contact with the opponent. And earlier or later, and the move will not chain into the next attack. Also, it should be noted that Target Combos cannot be performed if a hit whiffs. In order to chain one move into the next for a Target Combo, the move must connect on the opponent, whether they get hit by it or they block it.
Target Combos also do not play nicely with Cross Rush. For the most part, whenever a Target Combo is required, the game forces you to use a "Unique Attack" version of the Normal Move to distinguish it from a Cross Rush. For example, Ibuki's Target Combo 9 starts with Standing Light Kick into Towards + Medium Kick and ends with a Towards + Hard Kick. If you notice, however, the first two hits of Target Combo 9 look identical to a Standing Light Kick into Standing Medium Kick Cross Rush. However, the two Medium Kicks used are actually different. In the Target Combo, it will do more damage and recovers quicker. Not only that, but it can't be chained into a Heavy Attack to continue the Cross Rush... it can only be followed up by a Towards + Hard Kick from the Target Combo. So for the most part, Target Combos and Cross Rushes do not overlap, though as with everything there are exceptions. The most glaring one is Ken's Standing Medium Punch into Standing Hard Punch Target Combo. These are both done at Neutral, so it actually ends up overriding the Cross Rush. If you perform Ken's Standing Medium Punch into Hard Punch, you actually can no longer use the Cross Rush to chain into a Launcher anymore (though, interestingly, you can still cancel it into a Launcher manually by hitting Hard Punch and Hard Kick).
The main reason for this is that many Target Combos actually allow you to perform Special Move cancels at the end. Cross Rushes only let you cancel into EX Special Moves and Super Arts, but Target Combos that contain cancelable moves allow you to cancel into normal Special Moves and Cross Arts. For example, with Ken's Target Combo above, since it overrides the Cross Rush, it allows you to still cancel the Standing Hard Punch into a regular Special Moves. Same goes for Ibuki's Target Combo 4: the last Hard Punch hit can be canceled into any of her Special Moves or even a Cross Art.
- Tekken Strings are fixed strings of attacks that can chain into each other.
- Some Tekken Strings have branches with different possible follow ups.
- Tekken Strings used primarily for mix-ups and pressure.
- Tekken Strings can be performed fully even if attacks are whiffed.
- Most moves found in Tekken Strings are guaranteed Knock Downs.
- Tekken String timing is more lenient than Target Combos, and some chains can even be slightly delayed.
- Some Tekken Strings can lead into Cross Rushes.
Tekken Strings behave very differently than Target Combos, though at first glance they seem like they should be the same thing. Tekken Strings are used exclusively by the Tekken half of the cast. Like Target Combos, they are a fixed sequence of attacks that must be performed one after another, but in many cases there are "branches" in Tekken Strings where you can choose to follow up with two or more options. For example, with Heihachi, if you perform a Towards + Light Punch attack (the Lightning Crush), you can follow it up with three options: another Light Punch for the Double Palm Strike, a Medium Punch for the Muso Tettsui, or a Hard Punch for the Muso Kageki. Many Tekken Strings have these varying branches in them, while most Target Combos only have the one sequence that can be performed. It's also significant to note that many of these branches are designed for mix-ups, with one ender being something that must be blocked while Standing and another ender being an attack that must be blocked while Crouching. Tekken Strings, in general, are used heavily for mid/low mix-ups and pressure strings.
The next major difference between Tekken Strings and Target Combos are that moves don't need to connect to perform a Tekken String. You can do an entire Tekken String with every hit whiffing. As mentioned in the Unique Attacks section, all hits of a Tekken String after the first hit are guaranteed Knock Downs, and it's only because you can perform Tekken Strings when they whiff that this is even possible. Also, again, if the first hit in a Tekken String is also a Unique Attack, such as with Kazuya's Back + Light Kick, it will also be a guaranteed Knock Down. Contrast that to Kazuya's standing Light Punch. Which that does lead into a Tekken String, where the 2nd and 3rd hits are guaranteed Knock Downs, the first hit is not because it counts as a Normal Move.
A third major difference between Tekken Strings and Target Combos is that the timing needed to perform Tekken Strings. Tekken Strings will continue into the next move so long as you've hit the next button in the sequence at any point during the previous move's Startup Frames all the way up until the move connects. So, unlike Target Combos, there really isn't a timing that can be considered "too early." Also, in some very specific instance, you can still chain into the next move of a Tekken String long after the previous move has stopped hitting. The most obvious example of this is, again with Kazuya, the Rampaging Demon Tekken String of Back + Medium Punch into Medium Kick into Light Punch. While the first two hits are a fixed timing, the third and final hit can actually be delayed ever so slightly. You can perform the Chain as quickly as possible and Kazuya will go straight from the high kick directly into the gut punch. But if you perform the two first hits and wait a split second before hitting the final Light Punch, you can actually see Kazuya start to pull his leg back down for its Recovery Frames before going into the last gut punch. This can be useful for performing baits and such, with your opponent thinking you're gonna stop the Tekken String prematurely and then surprising them with the delayed gut punch.
Finally, the fourth difference between Target Combos and Tekken Strings is that there exists Tekken Strings that actually play very nicely with Cross Rushes. While rare, there are instances where Tekken Strings, even though they end with a move unique to the Tekken String, can be continued into a Cross Rush. For example, continuing with the Kazuya examples, he has a Tekken String called the Agony Spear of Standing Light Punch into Medium Punch into Medium Kick. The last hit of the Tekken String can still be chained, via Cross Rush, into any of the four Heavy Attacks. For example, he can cancel the Agony Spear into a Stand Hard Punch and then Cross Rushed into a Launcher. Alternatively, he can do the Agony Spear into a Crouch Hard Punch canceled into an EX Demon God Fist. Or he can do the Agony Spear into a Crouching Hard Kick for a Sweep ending. Oddly, the Agony Spear chained into a Stand Hard Kick doesn't come out fast enough for the Hard Kick to combo, but it can be done.
As with Target Combos, some Tekken Strings will have cancelable moves either in the middle or the end of the Tekken String. Most characters have at least one or two, but some characters, like Steve, have zero and other characters like Asuka have as many as eight.
- Requires more complex inputs to perform than Normal Moves
- Special Moves do damage even when blocked.
- Chip Damage is 25% of the normal damage.
- Normal Moves can be canceled into Special Moves for Combos or offensive tactics.
- Special Moves CANNOT be canceled into Super Arts or Cross Arts, unlike in some previous Street Fighter games.
- Special Moves leave 1/5 of the damage the attack did behind as Recoverable Health for the opponent.
While Normal Moves may be the core of your offense and what you base your battle plan off of, Special Moves define your character and are what make them unique from all of the other characters in the game. Typically, you learn how to use your Normal Moves to bolster the effectiveness of your Special Moves. Special Moves typically require a more complex input than Normal Moves, which are single button presses. Special Moves, in most cases, require a specific controller motion previous to hitting the attack button. For example, with Ryu, throwing a Hadouken Special Move requires you to input a Down, Down/Toward, Toward motion on the controller (a quarter circle turn at the bottom, front corner of your controller) before pressing a Punch button. Other times, it’s merely that the Special Move requires you to hit multiple buttons at the same time, such as Zangief’s Double Lariat attack which requires the pressing of all three Punch attacks at the same time.
So what makes Special Moves so… special? Special Moves typically allow your character to perform very dynamic moves or use extremely versatile tools. Not only do they typically do more damage than most Normal Moves, many have extra properties associated with them such as Knock Down properties or invincibility to physical attacks. They also tend to have extra mobility associated with them, making characters leap into the air or fly across the playing field to attack. They can be used for longer ranged offense, such as with Projectiles. Special Moves really do come in all shapes and varieties.
But the two main things that make Special Moves so vital to your tool set are that, firstly, Special Moves do damage to the opponent even when Blocked, often referred to as “Block Damage” or “Chip Damage.” Chip Damage is only 25% of the damage a Special Move would do if it connected, but while that doesn’t seem very significant, it can make all the difference in breaking down an opponent’s defense. Also, Chip Damage can be used to defeat an opponent with no life remaining in their Life Meter. So even at low health, blocking a Special Move can result in defeat.
Secondly, what makes Special Moves so effective is their ability to be used in conjunction with Normal Moves. Certain specific Normal Moves can be canceled into Special Moves, as discussed in the Normal Moves section. This is very important, as this act of canceling, often referred to as “Buffering a Normal Move,” is critical to the success of almost every character. Not only does this ability help you shape your offense, but it is one of the core mechanics to maximizing the damage output of your character for Combos.
One other advantage of Special Moves over Normal Moves is that the amount of Recoverable Health they leave behind is less than with Normal Moves. Instead of the 1/3 Recoverable Health Normal Moves leave behind, Special Moves leave behind only 1/5 of the damage done by the Special Move. So if your Special Move does 150 damage, only 30 of that would be Recoverable if the character were to tag out.
In previous iterations of Capcom Fighting Games, the ability to cancel Special Moves into Super Arts was added for even more potential damage from Combos. This ability, however, does NOT exist in Street Fighter X Tekken, nor can you cancel them into Cross Arts. You CAN, however, follow a Special Move with a Switch Cancel, just like Normal Moves.
EX Special Moves
- Special Moves can be enhanced to EX Special Moves at the cost of one block of your Super Meter.
- EX Special Moves gain stronger properties, such as added Wall Bounce or added invincibility or faster movement or quicker recovery.
- EX Special Moves are performed by pressing two of the same kind of attack (punches or kicks) at the end of the Special Move’s motion.
- Not all Special Moves have EX versions.
Nearly all Special Moves can be enhanced in the game to become EX Special Moves, but at the cost of one block of your Super Meter. For the most part, EX Special Moves carry all of the same system properties of a regular Special Move: certain Normal Moves can be canceled into them, they leave behind 1/5 Recoverable Health, etc. But the actual move’s properties change. When a Special Move gets enhanced, it tends to perform a more powerful version of the Special Move, with more damage or extra properties or better mobility.
For example, Ryu’s Hadouken, normally, is a one-hit Projectile that does not cause Knock Down. However, by using one block of your Super Meter to perform an EX Special Move, the EX Hadouken will now cause two hits and knock the opponent down with the second hit, even if the opponent was standing when they got struck. Ryu’s EX Shoryuken has much more invincibility than the standard Shoryuken. And Ryu’s EX Joudan Sokutogeri not only is much safer on block than the regaulr versions, landing it causes a wall bounce to the opponent, giving you more free damage afterwards.
To perform an EX Special Move, simply perform the Special Move as you would normally, but activate it with two attack buttons of the same type instead of one. So to throw the EX Hadouken, perform the Down, Down/Toward, Toward motion of the regular Hadouken but activate it by pressing TWO Punch buttons instead of one. To perform an EX Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, perform the Down, Down/Back, Back motion and press two Kicks instead of just one.
Some Special Moves do not have EX versions. Zangief’s Double Lariat is an example of this.
- Every character has 1 Super Art.
- Super Arts cost 2 blocks of Super Meter to perform.
- Super Arts are performed by performing the motion and pressing all three attack buttons of the same type (3 punches or 3 kicks).
- In general, Super Arts cause about 300 damage.
- Like Special Moves, certain Normal Moves can be canceled into Special Moves.
- 100% of Super Art damage is permanent. It leaves behind no Recoverable Health.
As with every Street Fighter game since Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter X Tekken includes the ability for every character to perform a “super combo,” in this game referred to as the Super Art. Super Arts are even more powerful attacks that require two full blocks of your Super Meter to perform. Every character has only one Super Art and is executed by performing the appropriate input on the controller and pressing all three of the proper buttons. For example, with Ryu once again, to perform his Shinku Hadoken Super Art, you will do the same Down, Down/Toward, Toward motion on the joystick and activate it, this time, by pressing all three Punches at the same time.
Super Arts serve pretty much one purpose: to unleash a large chunk of damage all at once. They all do, on average, around 300 points of damage. And just like Special Moves, they can be canceled into from Normal Moves that are cancelable into Special Moves.
One extra benefit of landing a Super Art on your opponent is that the damage done is permanent. Super Arts leave NO Recoverable Health behind whatsoever. So if your Super Art does 300 damage to the opponent, absolutely none of that will be recoverable at all.
Chargeable Special Move
- Every character has one Special Move that can be charged by holding down the attack button.
- Release the attack button to perform Special Move.
- Charge is vulnerable, but can be canceled into Forward or Back Dash.
- There are two phases of the Chargeable Special Move.
- Holding the attack button down for about 1 second will charge up from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
- If attack button is released during Phase 1, character will just perform the regular version of the Special Move.
- If the attack button is released during the 2nd phase, character will perform EX version of Special Move.
- Dash Canceling the 2nd phase will give you Counter Hit properties on next performed move.
- If move whiffs, Counter Hit is lost.
- Can use EX Meter to perform an EX Special Move and charge that to start directly in Phase 2.
Every character in Street Fighter X Tekken has one specific Special Move that has been predetermined to be their “Chargeable Special Move.” What this means is that, for that one Special Move, you can perform the controller inputs for the Special Move and then, instead of tapping the button to execute the attack, you can press the button and continue to hold the button down. Your character will then enter a “charging” animation where they appear to be building up for their Special Move. If you let go of the attack button during the charge up, your character will perform the Special Move you have been charging up.
While charging, your character is completely vulnerable and cannot block or walk or jump at all. The only thing you can do is to cancel the charging animation with a Forward or Back Dash. Not only can you use this for throwing off your opponent by altering the timing of your Special Move, it’s also useful for pressure, allowing you to perform “Dash Cancels” by canceling a Normal Move into a Chargeable Special Move, holding the attack button down, and canceling the Chargeable Special Move into a Dash. It’s very similar to a Focus Cancel into a Dash, but at the cost of no Super Meter.
This also can give some characters longer Juggle Combos, such as with Raven. Raven can repeatedly juggle with Crouching Hard Punches by performing repeated Dash Cancels with his Chargeable Special Move. However, on the ground, Dash Cancels aren’t ever fast enough to allow direct links on the basic Normal Moves.
There are essentially two phases of charging up as you continue to hold the button down. When you first start charging your Special Move, you immediately enter the first phase. During this first phase, letting go of the button will just cause you to perform the Special Move with no extra benefits.
If you hold the button down for about 1 second of real time, your character will flash, indicating that you have entered the second phase. In the second phase, if you let of the attack button, your character will perform the EX version of your Special Move at no cost of your Super Meter. Note that the Special Move, when performed will NOT have the added “EX” flashing animation accompanied with it, but it has all of the EX Special Move properties.
Also, there is another benefit of the second phase: if you cancel the charge animation with a Forward or Back Dash, your next attack will register as a Counter Hit if it connects against the opponent, regardless if it’s an actual Counter Hit or not. However, if you whiff an attack, even a whiffed Throw, you lose the stored Counter Hit. Teleports, however, will not cause the stored Counter Hit to go away. Oddly, if you have a Counter Hit stored up, performing the EX version of the Chargeable Special Move will not cause a Counter Hit if it connects.
Once you’ve reached the second phase of the charge, if you continue holding down the attack button for another 1 second, your character will finish charging and immediately go straight into their Super Art, again, at the cost of no Super Meter.
You can also spend one block of your Super Meter to start directly into Phase 2 by performing the EX version of your Special Move and charging from there. This does mean that if you do an EX Chargeable Special Move and immediately Dash Cancel it, you will have a Counter Hit stored up. Also, that will cut the time down to reach the Super Art in half.
- Reversals transition your character from one of four states instantly into a Special Move, Super Art, Cross Art, etc.
- The four states from which you can perform a Reversal are:
- Block Stun
- Hit Stun
- Getting up from the ground
- Landing after being hit out of the air by a non-knock down attack.
- If performed properly, a “Reversal” appears under your character’s name.
- Reversals can be performed after a Forward Roll, but no “Reversal” message will appear.
There are four states in the game that allow a character to go instantly from that state into a Special Move, EX Special Move, Super Art, etc. with no gap in between. The four states that allow for Reversals are Block Stun, Hit Stun, getting up off the ground, and landing after being struck out of the air by a non-knock down attack. Right before you leave any of those four states, there is a small window of frames that, if you press the attack button for your command in that window, your character will perform the Special Move, Super Art, etc. the very first frame possible. Whenever you successfully perform a Reversal, the message "Reversal" will actually appear on the screen under your character's Name.
Reversals are most useful in conjunction will moves that are invincible on start up. Since you go instantly from one state into a move immediately with a Reversal, that means you cannot be hit between, for example, Block Stun and an invincible Dragon Punch from Ryu. You cannot be hit right when you get up off the ground if you perform a Reversal EX Messiah Kick with Rufus, which is instantly invincible.
Also, you’ll often hear Reversals performed when getting up off the ground as a “Wake-Up Attack.” So if you read something like, “Ryu performed a Wake-Up Dragon Punch,” it means that you performed a Reversal Dragon Punch when getting up off the ground.
Also, there is actually a fifth state you can perform a Reversal: right after a Forward Roll from the ground. It should count as the same state as getting up off the floor, but the reason this must be specifically called out is that, for some reason, the “Reversal” message does not appear when you perform a Reversal off a Forward Roll.
- Perform a Throw by pressing Light Punch and Light Kick at the same time.
- Throws have a 7 frame startup.
- If not in range, the Throw will whiff and leave you vulnerable for a short period of time.
- Performing a Throw with the controller at Neutral or Toward will perform a Forward Throw
- Forward Throws will always keep opponent in front of you.
- Performing a Throw while holding Back on the controller will perform a Back Throw.
- Back Throws will always cause you to switch sides with the opponent.
- Some characters have Air Throws which can throw airborne opponents.
- Throws will whiff against characters in Hit Stun and Block Stun.
- Throws leave 1/3 of damage behind as Recoverable Health.
Throws have always been an integral part of the offense in Fighting Games. They are essentially the main counter to Blocking, as you can throw characters while they are trying to block. It’s best to utilize Throws during offensive pressure when the opponent gets overly defensive. Throws, however, do not have very good range and, in Street Fighter X Tekken, the range is particularly small and every character has the same Throw Range. Also, Throws are slower in Street Fighter X Tekken than they were in previous games, having a 7 frame startup.
To perform a Throw, just press Light Punch and Light Kick at the same time while standing. If you are within range against an opponent who is standing or crouching, you will throw them. If you have the controller in Neutral or holding Toward on the controller when performing a Throw, you’ll perform a Forward Throw. If you are holding back on the controller, you’ll perform a Back Throw. For every character in the game, Forward Throws will always keep your opponent in front of you after the Throw. Back Throws will always throw the opponent behind you, so you switch sides with your opponent. If you are not within range to connect with a Throw, your character will go into a short Throw Whiff animation during which you are completely vulnerable.
Some characters also have Air Throws by pressing Light Punch and Light Kick during any of the three Jumps. Air Throws can only grab opponents that are considered airborne.
There are actually some states where characters cannot actually be thrown. For example, you cannot throw a character while they are in Hit Stun or Block Stun. Trying to do so will cause you to perform the Throw Whiff. Ground Throws can never grab anyone considered airborne, and Air Throws cannot grab anyone on the ground. Throws cannot grab characters lying on the ground after being knocked down. Also, some moves just have Throw Invincibility properties and cannot be thrown at all.
Finally, characters cannot be thrown for 4 frames when they are eligible to perform a Reversal, i.e. right after getting up off the ground, right after Hit Stun, and right after Block Stun. Trying to land a Throw during that period causes you to go into the Throw Whiff animation.
Throws, when it comes to Recoverable Health, are like Normal Moves in that they leave behind 1/3 of their total damage as Recoverable Health.
- Quick Combos are a pre-programmed series of attacks performed the instant you activate it.
- Quick Combos requires 1 block of Super Meter to perform.
- All characters have two Quick Combos available to them.
- Press Light Kick and Hard Punch for Quick Combo 1.
- Press Light Punch + Hard Kick for Quick Combo 2.
- The character will perform all moves in the sequence at earliest point possible.
- So on whiffs, moves will be performed one by one.
- Quick Combos that use Charge Moves require no charge to perform them.
- Some Quick Combos use EX Special Moves, so make sure you have enough Super Meter for the entire sequence.
- If no meter is available for the EX Special Move, the Quick Combo just aborts where the EX Special Move was supposed to be performed.
Quick Combos are essentially a pre-programmed series of attacks that a character will perform the instant it is activated. They require 1 block of Super Meter to perform and every character has two Quick Combos available to them. The first Quick Combo is activated via Light Kick + Hard Punch and the second Quick Combo is activated via Light Punch + Hard Kick.
For most characters, the first default Quick Combo is a basic 4-Hit Light, Medium, Heavy, into Launcher Cross Rush sequence. The second Quick Combo varies greatly between characters. You can perform Quick Combos while crouching and, if the first attack in the Quick Combo is just a Normal Attack, you can perform it in the air as well. They’ll do the first attack in the air instantly, but then continue with the next move after they land.
Once activated, your character will try to perform all of the moves in the sequence at the earliest moment possible. For example, if you happen to not be in range for the Cross Rush Quick Combo, your character will literally perform all four attacks one after another, all whiffing, thus leaving you completely vulnerable the entire time.
Some Quick Combos involve Charge Special Moves that can be performed without any charge! So at the cost of 1 bar of Super Meter, you can punish opponents with combos that require charge even if you don’t have it charged up. In fact, one particular Quick Combo isn’t even a legal combo! Balrog’s Quick Combo 2 uses two Dash Uppers in a row, which isn’t humanly possible to charge up in time for those.
Some Quick Combos actually use EX Special Moves during the Quick Combo, and they will use up the appropriate amount of Super Meter. If you activate the Quick Combo but then no longer have the available Super Meter to perform the EX Special Move in the middle of the Quick Combo, the Quick Combo will just abort right where the EX Special Move is supposed to be performed.
Street Fighter x Tekken has a great deal of defensive mechanics at your disposal to help fight against the numerous strong offensive options characters have. Thanks to how many different defensive options there are for various situations, you can keep your opponent guessing during their offense / oki which will let you turn the tables on them or avoid dangerous situations like a vortex. Listed below are the main defensive options and ways they can be used.
The most standard defensive mechanic in fighting games, blocking puts you in block stun where you cannot act other than using a Cross Cancel but it allows you to avoid or reduce damage taken as well as generally putting you at better frame advantage / less frame disadvantage from moves.
In Street Fighter x Tekken you can block standing or crouching to guard against various types of attacks (there is no blocking while airborne). Standing block (hold back / 4) allows you to guard against high and mid attacks (mid attacks aka overheads, like jumping attacks), while crouching block (hold down+back / 1) allows you to guard against high and low attacks. All characters have various options to force you to switch between which way you are blocking, so knowing how an attack hits is important.
It is important to note that while you will nullify damage from normal attacks, blocking a special attack will only reduce the damage (special attacks that are grabs or unblockable will still deal full damage) and if your health is low enough, this reduced damage will still be able to KO.
Due to the unblockable set up prevention in SFxT, any additional attacks you receive during your block stun will automatically be blocked, so if the opponent locks you down with a low hitting attack and tags into their partner and does an overhead you will block both at the same time even though it would normally be impossible. Even attacks that are designed to be unblockable like King's Moonsault Body Press, will be blocked if they attempt to hit you with it while you are still in block stun.
Done by rapidly inputting back (4) twice, Back Dashing makes your character quickly move backward to gain distance away from the opponent (unless you are in the corner).
Back Dashes in Street Fighter x Tekken have invincibility on startup as well as counting as being in an aerial state, this allows you to escape situations in which you may be attacked or grabbed. Although they are invincible on startup, it is only for a short amount of time (8 frames) so opponents that are expecting it or using an option select can hit you during the end of the back dash as a punish.
The usefulness of back dashing varies from character to character, with some traveling a great distance, and others hardly going anywhere at all; but in general they are a strong defensive option with lower risk than something like a DP.
While not exactly what you would normally consider a standard defensive mechanic, Quick Rise (done by inputting 2 punches, or 2 kicks, or down/2 as you hit the ground) can be incredibly useful as it will make your character stand back up much quicker after getting knocked down, giving the opponent less time to set up strong okizeme options, and sometimes making it impossible for the opponent to reach you in time to pressure you on wake up.
Note that there are many moves in the game that cause a hard knockdown which does not allow you to Quick Rise. Also worth noting in some cases Quick Rise is not always preferred as there are set ups designed to mix up people that do a Quick Rise (for example, Blanka's Up Ball knockdown into Horizontal Ball will cross up the opponent if they Quick Rise.)
Forward Roll (done by inputting forward / 6 while knocked down on the ground) is a useful defensive option to escape various set ups and keep your opponent guessing on how you're getting up off the ground, as well as escaping the corner. It is invincible during the majority of the roll and passes through the opponent while going a pretty far distance forward from where you were on the ground.
While it is invincible during most of the roll, it is vulnerable to throws near the end of the roll and these throws cannot be teched in any way. There is also an opening toward the end of the roll where you are vulnerable to attacks, you are allowed to block during this time but you cannot preform any other actions, so attempting something like an invincible DP will still cause you to get hit before it can come out.
Many characters have moves that have partial or complete invincibility, which can be used in various situations to either interrupt the opponents pressure with an attack, or be used to escape the situation with a movement option. Some characters have meterless options and some must use meter, either 1 bar with an EX special or some characters only have the 2 or 3 bar super/cross art as an option.
Most invincible reversals are unsafe on block or can be punished in some way (for example Blanka's EX Electric is strike invincible and plus on block but is vulnerable to throws) making them a high risk / high reward option, but no doubt they are another great defensive option to keep your opponent guessing during their pressure / oki and give you a chance to fight back.
Cross Cancel also known as Alpha Counter (done by hitting forward+hp+hk while in block stun) costs 1 bar and interrupts your block stun to go into an attack that will knock down the opponent, and generally gives you enough time to set up some oki or safely do a raw tag to get your partner in without getting punished, although this depends on the character.
Every Cross Cancel resembles a move from that characters arsenal, so the usefulness of them varies from character to character (some being much slower than others, or having a smaller hitbox), but in general it is a strong option to stop pressure if you have the meter.
Performed by inputting HP+HK, Launcher is an attack that will put the opponent in a juggle state while tagging your teammate in.
What makes this a fantastic defensive option is the fact that it is invincible to crouching attacks. Depending on the match up, this is a very powerful option to shut down many options the opponent has for oki/pressure.
On average this move has 13 frames of startup (three characters have 12 frame startup: Kuma, Paul and Cody), meaning many light attacks timed right still have time to recover and block the launcher, so make sure you are using it in the right situations depending on match up.
Done by inputting qcb+MP+MK (214+MP+MK), costs 3 bars. This mechanic puts both of your teams characters on the screen at the same time (the other character is either controlled by an AI or a human teammate) for a limited time. This also splits the total health of the both characters on your team evenly, which is a great way to save one of your characters from dying when they are at very low health by healing them at the expense of lowering your other characters health. Lastly during Cross Assault you will have infinite meter, free to use as many EX attacks as you wish, however using a super art will immediately end the Cross Assault.
Done by inputting throw (LP+LK) around the same time that the opponent attempts to throw you (does not work on special move command grabs). When successful, a tech will be preformed where no throw is done and instead both players will be pushed back a short distance.
Throws are weaker in general in SFxT compared to something like SF4 since the startup is 5 frames and the range on them are very short. However, there are definitely uses for them thanks to the buff they received in v2013 where they remove all recoverable health, and can punish forward rolls; so throw teching is still a very important defensive mechanic to utilize.
Just like in Street Fighter 4, you can input down+back+throw (1+throw) to do a crouch tech option select. Doing so will tech if they try to throw you, block if they attack (when delayed slightly), and will attack with a cr.LK if they leave a big opening. This is a strong tool but keep in mind that timing a throw tech this way is much more strict than while standing (stricter than SF4 crouch tech OS timing as well).
Multiple characters have special moves that act as a counter, where they will go into an animation and if the opponent attacks them during that, they will perform an attack to punish it. The types of attacks you can counter vary from character to character, with some having full or near full body countering, or some only getting high/low attacks.
These can be a high risk / high reward defensive option, if the opponent does not fall for it then generally they have a long recovery time afterward where they can punish it, but if you land it then you can turn the battle in your favor.