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Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo/System

From SuperCombo Wiki

General Game Mechanics

Normal Attacks

Each of the six attack buttons will unleash simple attacks when not performing any kind of special move. Light attacks tend to be the fastest, while Medium and Heavy attacks tend to last longer and deal more damage. An experienced player can learn to react to slower moves when they come out, and respond with an attack of their own before their opponent can block (Called a Whiff Punish.) In addition, there are heavier moves that when blocked, allow the blocker to get out of blockstun before their opponent can react with an attack. However, Super Turbo has a lot of attacks that can be punished on block (referred to as Minus on Block) that can be Special Canceled, making them much more difficult to punish. To see the math behind how long attacks last and what attacks can be punished, see Frame Data.

If you get closer to your enemies while standing, most buttons will give you a different normal standing attack. These are called "Proximity Normals". You can also use a whole different set of attacks while jumping, with two different sets for jumping straight upwards (or Neutral Jumping) and jumping diagonally. Thus, unless otherwise noted at the specific character sections, all normals will have a far standing version, a close standing version, a crouching version, a neutral jumping version and a diagonal jumping version. Some normals, such as New Ken's standing Roundhouse kick have only one standing version.

A notable exception to this rule, however, is Dhalsim. Both New and Old Dhalsim have close and far versions of their crouching normals, in addition to their close and far standing normals. The difference is, Old Dhalsim's normals are used entirely by proximity, while New Dhalsim can select which version of his normals to use by pressing back on the joystick alongside the button to select the close one, or keeping the joystick in neutral/pushing it forward for the far version. For instance, back and Jab gives his close Jab, down-back and Forward kick gives the thrust kick, and either neutral or towards and Fierce gives the double stretching punch.

If you use a normal attack while waking up from a knockdown, it will come out one frame later than usual. Also, normal attacks can not be used as reversals.

Throws

If you hold forward or back near the enemy and press Fierce Punch (or whatever buttons your character can throw with), your character will either throw the enemy or hold them while attacking. The enemy must not be knocked down, not in hitstun or blockstun, not invincible (which can result from some special moves), and not in a throw invincible state from a wakeup (See the section below). Throws are an important part of Super Turbo, as they force the enemy to attack back or try something, else they will be thrown or held.

As characters wake up, they gain throw invulnerability for a random number of frames. During that period, any throw attempted at them will fail, but they can still throw the opponent. The possible throw-invulnerable wake up times and their likelihood are as follows:

Throw-invulnerable frames 1 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29
Likelihood 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 3.125% 3.125%

Some characters also have air throws. For them to work, both characters must be in the air, and the jumping character must press toward or back and the appropriate throw button. There are also altitude requirements that can vary on the ascending and descending parts of the jump.

You can check the throw range matchups section to know each characters' throw range. Finally, the exact mechanic of throws have been unveiled by Dammit in his SF2 throwboxes article.

When both players are in range and input the command for a throw or hold at the same time, the game will randomly choose who grabs who. There are a few exceptions to this though.

  • If one of the players performed the throw on their reversal frame, they will always win, unless they're being outranged.
  • This is a rare setup, but if both players perform a throw on their reversal frame, no one gets thrown (unless one of the players is being outranged, in that case they end up getting thrown).

Some common advanced level strategies with throws can be found here.


Normal Throw Tech

Also called "softening a throw". When your opponent throws you with a normal throw, if you enter a throw command (back or towards plus Strong, Fierce, Forward, or Roundhouse) within 13 frames, you will take half the damage and recover in the air. You can tech while crouching, too, even though only Zangief has crouching throws. You can even tech with buttons that do not correspond to your character's throws. For example, Chun-Li can tech with the Forward or Roundhouse kick buttons, even though she does not have normal throws with those buttons. Holds (such as Blanka's Head Bite or Dhalsim's Yoga Noogie), Command throws (such as Zangief's SPD or Honda's Oicho), and Super throws (such as T.Hawk's Double Typhoon or Claw's Izuna Drop), cannot be softened. If both players input the command for a throw or hold at the same time and in case a throw wins, it will always be softened.

Only New Characters can soften throws. New characters can soften throws from Old characters, but Old characters can't soften no matter what. This presents a universal disadvantage for all Old characters.

Failing to soften a throw will leave you wide open for meaty attacks, ground ups and safe jumps, in addition to the additional damage and hitstun, so learning to tech is important. Take notice, however, for when you soften the throws of some characters, such as Cammy, Fei Long, or Dictator, you could potentially be setting yourself up for a ground cross up or some other immediate attack on recovery, so pay attention even if you manage to soften a throw.

Throwing your opponent when the next throw will K.O. or Dizzy them will make the throw untechable.


Holds

A hold is a type of normal throw that does multiple, and a variable amount of, hits. Examples are: New Ken's Knee Bash, Blanka's Bite, Dhalsim's Yoga Noogie, and Honda's Bear Hug. Holds are performed the same way that throws are, by getting within range, and pressing forward (or backward) plus any button that a hold has been assigned to.

While normal Throws have a 13 frame window in which they can be softened, Holds cannot be softened whatsoever. As a matter of fact, if you mash buttons and shake the joystick, you'll increase the amount of hits your hold does.

When mashing during a hold, the best directional command to input is alternating between any pair of opposite directions. This is the because the game engine requires directional mashing to pass through neutral in between each input, with any input that does not pass through neutral being ignored. Diagonal inputs do not count for extra, but when using a square-gated joystick it may be easier to use diagonals as the line between opposite corners is easy to follow without drifting away from the center and missing the neutral input. If you are playing a charge character, you cannot use directional mashing without losing your charge. In this case you can hold down-back to maintain your charge while only mashing buttons.

When mashing buttons, the game counts a single button press per frame, with any additional buttons pressed on that same frame having no effect. For maximum efficiency you should aim to piano multiple buttons in a way that registers individual presses on as many different frames as possible. Button inputs, however, are significantly less effective than directional inputs. Perfect button mashing (60 inputs per second) escapes a hold significantly slower than perfect directional mashing (30 inputs per second). Optimal mashing involves combining both directions and buttons.


Escaping Holds

So how do you escape holds? The answer - mash back. Mashing buttons and directions will allow players on the recieving end of a hold to escape quicker.

All holds can be escaped in 1 hit, but it's difficult. Escaping in 2 hits is more likely, and if your opponent hits you more than 3 times it means that you were probably caught off guard. This all takes steady practice. It is possible to escape holds without taking damage, however this is prohibitively difficult and also requires that your opponent does not struggle to increase his hold damage as well, so don't expect to regularly see anyone escape holds without taking damage.

Remember, even after you escape from a hold, you still aren't in the clear. After T.Hawk's Roundhouse hold he can cross both Ken and Ryu up with a jumping Forward Kick. Honda, after his Fierce Hold, can cross Guile up with his splash. Knowing what to expect after you've been released from a hold is just as importing as struggling to release yourself from the hold in the first place.

Holds do a set amount of hits if neither player inputs any commands after the hold has been initiated. So some holds have higher damage potential because they usually yield more hits by default and are naturally harder to struggle out of in lesser amounts of hits. Here is the list of how many hits each hold in the game does by default if neither player struggles or mashes:

  • O.Boxer's Strong & Fierce Holds - 12 hits
  • N.Boxer's Strong & Fierce Holds - 9 hits
  • Honda's Fierce Hold - 8 hits
  • Honda's Roundhouse Hold - 7 hits
  • Blanka's Fierce Hold - 7 hits
  • Dhalsim's Strong Hold - 6 hits
  • N.Ken's Forward Hold - 5 hits
  • Zangief's Standing Fierce & Roundhouse Holds - 4 hits
  • Zangief's Crouching Strong & Fierce Holds - 4 hits
  • T.Hawk's Fierce Hold - 4 hits
  • T.Hawk's Roundhouse Hold - 3 hits

--ShinVega 18:12, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
--VirtuaFighterFour - February 13, 2010
--Gavin Ward - October 22, 2018

Special Moves

Special moves are attacks or evading maneuvers that have special properties, but demand some joystick motion or button pattern to be performed There are motion specials, charge specials and button specials. Motion specials are performed by doing a certain joystick motion, such as D.png, Df.png, F.png, and either pressing or releasing a button. If you are Ryu on the left side, input a quarter-circle motion starting in down and ending in F.png and press - or release - any punch button, this will give you a Hadouken. There are many different motions and different specials for different buttons. Charge special moves demand that you hold a direction for some time, then complete the joystick motion and perform the correct button press. The main example is Guile's Sonic Boom. On the left side, hold the joystick left for around one second, then move the joystick right and press a punch button. If performed correctly, Guile will throw a projectile to the right. Finally, button specials are obtained by either pressing buttons at the same time, such as all punches for Zangief's Lariat, or pressing the same button (usually) five times in a row. Blanka can do his electricity attack by pressing the same punch button in quick succession, for example.

Special attack moves will cause damage even if they get blocked, which is called chip damage. The amount is around 1/4 of the move's normal damage. This can be used to force a reaction on part of your enemy, else they will lose due to the accumulated chip damage. They are also the only moves that give super meter points even if they whiff. This can be used to fill your super bar by whiffing short-recovery moves or forcing the enemy to block special moves that he or she can not punish. Finally, some normals allow that you cancel their recovery into a special move on hit or block, which makes special moves very important in block strings and combinations.

The exact routine for performing special moves is as follows:

  1. The game scans for the first input of all special moves from each character being played.
  2. If the first input of a special move is detected, the player is given a limited number of frames to perform the subsequent input. The amount of frames you receive for directional inputs will be a pseudo-random value between 7 and 14 frames, but on all Motion supers and some Charge supers (Boxer's and Claw's) the window is 8f larger, that is, between 14 and 21 frames. Note that if that input happens to be the first one for other special moves, this step is triggered for each of them.
    1. If the player succeeds, Step 2 takes place until all inputs have been performed. Note that the amount of frames you get to do the final input (the P/K input) is not random, instead it will be a fixed value that is bigger for the Light version of the move, and smaller for the Heavy version. Most special moves have it as 10/9/7f for light, medium and heavy versions respectively, but there are some exceptions: (a) 360 special moves have a 12f window for the Light version; (b) Motion specials that end with a 3P or a 3K don't have a fixed rule: Dhalsim's teleport will have a pseudo-random window like explained previously, but Akuma's teleport will have a fixed value of 6 frames; and (c) Super moves have a fixed time, no mater the strength of the P/K button press, and the actual amount of frames you get is distinct between each super. You can check the character pages for the specific input data for every move.
    2. If the player fails to perform the next input in time, previous inputs are no longer considered for that special move.
      1. When all inputs have been entered within the allowed time, the special move will come out, if the player is on an state that allows him to do so (e.g. not knocked down, not on air reset, not on block or hit stun, etc).

Sometimes, the conditions for more than one special move are met. In this case, the game has an order of precedence which is used to determine which of them will be performed. For instance, let us assume that a player controlling Ryu would perform →↓↘→ + P fast enough for both the Hadouken and the Shoryuken special moves. The last part of the command suggests that a Hadouken would be obtained, since the motion is ↓↘→ + P. However, the inputs for the Shoryuken have also been performed in the correct order, viz., →↓↘ + P (the last → joystick movement is not necessary). The game has the Shoryuken as the higher precedence special among these two, so that is the move which comes out.


Limitations of the Input Detection System

There is a limitation in the way the input system behaves that makes certain Motion special moves be unreliable if you were previously holding a direction that also doubles as the 1st input of that special move. For example, this "conflict" happens with walking towards and a Shoryuken, or stand blocking and a Red Hadouken/Yoga Flame.

For example, let's say you want to walk forward and then do a Shoryuken when close to the opponent, depending on the timing you go for downward (2nd required input for that move), a walk-in Shoryuken would always fail. And here's the explanation: on the 1st frame that you input towards (to walk forward, but remember that's also the 1st required input for a Shoryuken), the Shoryuken's input COUNTER will be updated and the input TIMER will receive a value that will be decremented on each frame (this is a pseudo-random value, which will be between 7 and 14 frames, as explained above). For example, let's say the game gave you a window of 10 frames, meaning you have up to 10 frames to input downwards (2nd required input for a Shoryuken). If you input downwards before that timer reaches 0, the COUNTER will be updated again and the timer will also receive a new random value again and will then wait for the 3rd input direction required (down-towards). But there's a problem: what if you spent all these 10 frames walking forward and then decided to input downward on the 11th frame? On that 11th frame, the game already considered that the Shoryuken input "failed" and is looking for its 1st input again (i.e. towards). If you do it on the 12th frame it will work though, since on the 11th it was looking again for towards as the 1st input (which will be satisfied, since you were walking forward still), and on the 12th frame it's now looking again for downwards. And that's only considering a frame perfect scenario, a human player will spend more than 1 frame to go from the 1st input to the 2nd in the case of a Shoryuken, since the 1st and 2nd inputs are not adjacent.

In general, this is mainly a problem for moves that have the 1st direction as forward or down-back.
In case of forward, this is mainly a problem for DP style special moves (e.g. Ryu's/Ken's Shoryukens, Sagat's Tiger Uppercut, Cammy's Thrust Kick, T.Hawk's Tomahawk Buster), since the 2nd required direction (downwards) is not adjacent to the 1st (towards). All you can do as a player to mitigate the problem for when going to a walk in DP is to try to do reach downwards as fast as you can, or you could also go to neutral and then do a normal DP, but that somewhat defeats the purpose of it. This also affects Honda's Oicho, Zangief's Banishing Fist (a.k.a Green Hand) and Ken's Outside Crescent (though in that case Ken is better off if it fails, lol), though in these cases the rate of failure is smaller due to the 2nd input required for it (down-towards) being adjacent to the 1st (towards). Lastly, 360 specials (i.e. Zangief's SPD and Atomic Suplex/Running Bear Grab, T.Hawk's Typhoon) are also affected by it, but in this case it can be totally mitigated if the player does a complete 360 with the P/K button press/release after the 360 being completed, since in case towards is discarded as the 1st required input, you'll still have 4 cardinal inputs (downwards, backwards, upwards, and another towards), which is what a 360 move actually requires.
In case of down-back (crouch blocking), the only moves affected by it are Cammy's Hooligan Combination and Fei's Rekku Kyaku (a.k.a. Chicken Wing). Not many people know, but the 1st input required for these moves can be any backwards direction (up-back, back or down-back), which at first can sound like good news, but i believe it's mostly bad. It can be bad because switching between one of these will not be enough to avoid the limitation of the input system, the only granted way to avoid the problem entirely is to do the move coming from neutral (or any non-back direction, of course). Special moves that start at backwards (e.g. Ryu's Red Hadouken, Dhalsim's Yoga Flame/Blast/Inferno) will also suffer from this, but of course only with the cardinal (i.e. non diagonal) backwards direction.

--Born2SPD


Reversals

A reversal is defined as: any time you go from a non-neutral state directly into a move (special, super, or throw), without ever going to neutral state. A non-neutral state is any state that your opponent inflicts on you: block stun, hit stun, getting up after being knocked down, dizzy, or being knocked out of the air. Only throws, special moves and super moves work as reversals.

For example, your opponent knocks you down, and just as you're getting up, you time a Dragon Punch perfectly, so that it comes out on the first frame possible once your character is standing. You never go into a neutral state - you go directly from your invincible waking up animation, to a Dragon Punch animation. The game will confirm your reversal, with a reversal message, and will add 1000 points to your arcade score. The reversal message only shows up when a special attack, special throw, or Super move is done as a reversal. You can use any of your special attacks as reversals, but they are mostly useful with attacks that are invulnerable for a split second or throws. For example, you are playing as Honda and someone decides to use a Fierce punch as you recover from a knock down. You can just block the move while getting up, but as some of his special moves such as the Jab headbutt are invulnerable for a few frames and hard to punish after that invulnerability period ends (Honda can only be hit on the back during the initial part of the move), they are great options for reversals. Thus, if you time a reversal Jab headbutt while your enemy is trying to hit you with (say) a Fierce punch, you will evade the punch due to being invulnerable, then hit him out of the move. Similarly, if you are playing as Zangief and someone is doing a meaty attack as you wake up, you can grab him out of the move with a reversal spinning pile driver.

Normal throws, despite not activating the reversal message and 1000 points, can still be used as reversals. So for example, you are playing as Dictator, and your opponent is playing as Ryu. Your opponent knocks you down with a low Roundhouse, and then walks up to while you are waking up, and does a meaty towards+Strong (Ryu's standing overhead command). If you input a throw command (forward or backwards + Strong or Fierce punch) at the reversal frame and Ryu is within your throw range, you will immediately enter throw animation while Ryu's move will be canceled.

While that sounds nice on paper, it is much harder to execute in practice, and it can be dangerous especially because the risk is almost always higher than the reward. So why are reversal normal throws, coming from waking up after getting knocked down, so risky? For one, you are limited by your character's throw range, so if you attempt to use a reversal throw to beat a low meaty ground normal, but your opponent was smart enough to stay out of your throw range, you'll lose that transaction. You'll lose because you need to be standing in order to perform a throw. Another unfortunate occurrence in Super Turbo is that even a perfectly timed reversal normal throw, that is done within the throw's range, can sometimes randomly come out as a standing normal attack anyways. So even if you had perfect timing, a random aspect of the game will put you on the losing end of that exchange.

The last reason that using normal throws as a reversal is risky, is because you lose the ability to negative edge with normal throws, meaning you have less of a chance to time a normal throw attempt as a reversal compared to special attacks or throws. Take a reversal Dragon Punch, you have six chances to time a punch command on the correct frame, you have the three Jab, Strong, and Fierce buttons when you both press them, and when you release them. That's two chances per button, on the press and release, for a total of six. Normal throws however do not come out when you simply release, or negative edge, the buttons. And some characters can only throw with one or two buttons. So for a reversal throw with Dictator, you have two chances, when you press Strong and Fierce punch, to time a reversal throw. And if you mistime both of them, which is highly likely, against a meaty attack, then you are going be on the losing end of a potentially huge combo.

Reversals are primarily useful against two things: meaty ground normals, and beating tick throw attempts. There are other more advanced uses for reversals so you should refer to each character's specific article to discover more.

--VirtuaFighterFour February 13, 2010.


Knockdowns

There are three types of knockdown in the game: sweep knockdowns, full knockdowns and long-distance knockdowns. Sweep knockdowns are a result of certain normal attacks, usually crouching Roundhouse, and Balrog's (Boxer) low rush punch. The character falls back up to some relatively small distance with its back to the ground, then rises up quickly after that. All characters can cause this kind of knockdown with a crouching Roundhouse kick. Additionally, some characters have extra moves that cause sweep knockdowns, such as Dee Jay's crouching Forward kick. Old Honda is known to have many attacks that cause sweep knockdowns, namely, all his far standing kicks and crouching Fierce punch.

Full knockdowns push the character further back, it bounces on ground as it falls for the first time and then stays there for some time after it touches the ground for the second time. This is often a much better type of knockdown to inflict on the enemy as it pushes the character back more in the direction of his corner, gives more time to build meter with whiffed special attacks, gives you more time to set up fireball traps, meaty attacks, safe jumps, cross-ups or mix-ups and gives you more time to recover from stun damage you had accumulated at that moment. Full knockdowns can be a result of normal attacks such as Chun Li's neutral jumping Roundhouse kick, but happen more often due to special attacks and dizzying the enemy. Some characters can only be safe-jumped if you score a full knockdown.

The long-distance knockdowns are a result of Akuma's Hadoukens, when they hit up close, Dhalsim's Super last hit, and Ken's special roundhouse kick, which is exclusive to the new version. These attacks cause the enemy to be thrown to the other side of the screen. That aside, they are similar to full knockdowns.


Dizzy

If you are hit by a number of attacks within a short time span, you may get dizzied, or "stunned". If that happens, your character will be knocked down, juggle state will be disabled, symbols such as birds or stars will appear above the character and when it gets up it will not be able to block for some time, being wide open for punishment. Wiggle the joystick while mashing buttons to recover faster from such a state. Check the section Escaping Holds for the optimal joystick and button pattern.

Each time you are hit by an attack, you are inflicted a random amount of dizzy damage, which belongs to a determined interval which varies from move to move. This also increases the value of a counter, which decreases over time, i.e., a decreasing timer. The amount of dizzy damage is added to whatever dizzy total you have, and as soon as it reaches a limit, you get dizzied, the dizzy total is set to zero and does not increase for about a second after dizzy state is over. If you are not dizzied, then the total value remains until the timer reaches zero, which causes whatever stun damage you have by then to disappear, that is, your total dizzy damage is set to zero when the dizzy timer reaches zero. Both the total counter and the timer remain zero until other attacks hit.

The dizzy damage is not the same among the different game regions. As an instance, Zangief's neutral jumping Fierce headbutt dizzies almost every time in the Japanese version of the game. The dizzy limit, which can be understood as a "dizzy meter length", starts at 30. If the character gets dizzied, its value changes to 34, and then to 35 if a dizzy happens again.

If someone is dizzied by a throw, they will remain throw-invulnerable for the duration of the dizzy.


Juggles

Super Street Fighter II Turbo introduced aerial combos in the SF2 series. As a character bounces up each time it is hit in the air, these combos are called juggles, or juggle combos. However, not every move can be used to start or continue such combos: only the so-called juggle-able moves can do so. If the enemy is in the air, any juggle-able move will work. If the enemy is on the ground, only a juggle-launcher can start the combo. Most juggle-launchers are special or super moves. After being hit by a juggle-able move, any juggle-able normal or special move can juggle for up to 2 more hits (except Sagat's Tiger Uppercut, which can juggle for up to 4 hits). Any non-throw super can juggle for up to 4 more hits.

Juggle-able normal moves

  • Ryu - diagonal jumping Strong
  • M. Bison (Dictator) - diagonal jumping Strong (both punches)

Juggle-able special moves:

  • Akuma - Forward and RH (grounded) Hurricane Kicks, Air Hurricane Kicks, Shoryuken
  • Balrog - Super
  • Blanka - Super
  • Cammy - Super
  • Chun-Li - Upkicks, Super
  • Dee Jay - Forward and RH Maximum Jackknife (the charge upkicks), Super
  • Dhalsim - Super
  • E. Honda - Super
  • Fei Long - Rekkuukyaku (Chicken Wing), Super
  • Guile - Super
  • Ken - Super
  • M. Bison - Super
  • Ryu - Super
  • Sagat - Fierce Tiger Uppercut, Super
  • T. Hawk - none
  • Vega - Scarlet Terror (flip kick)
  • Zangief - none

Juggle-launchers:

  • Akuma - Forward and RH Hurricane Kicks, Shoryuken
  • Chun-Li - Upkicks, Super
  • Dee Jay - Forward and RH Maximum Jackknife, Super
  • M. Bison - Super
  • Sagat - Fierce Tiger Uppercut, Super
  • Vega - Scarlet Terror

Sagat's juggle-able moves are launchers, but he can almost never combo unless the enemy is already in the air, and this still demands special setups.

Simply being a juggle-able move does not mean that it can juggle at any time. The opponent must first be hit by a juggle-able move, then you can follow it up with a juggle. For example, Chun can do upkicks (3 hits) to knock the opponent out of the air, then juggle with the super for 2 more hits. However, she can not follow up with a juggle super after knocking the opponent out of the air with a fireball, because the fireball is not a juggle-able move.


Special Canceling

In Super Tubo, when you hit an opponent, a brief impact freeze period would occur. Due to a bug in the original SF2, this would extend the kara cancel period, allowing normals to be canceled into special attacks on hit or block, not just whiffing or before becoming active. Thus, if an attack accepted inputs during its active frames, it could also be canceled into a special attack on hit or block during the impact freeze period, which created combos as we know them today and and allowed for extended block strings. Though it started out as a glitch, it became the defining feature of Street Fighter 2, and as of Champion Edition special cancels were coded into the AI's behavior so it would use them in combos.

Special canceling is extremely important, as it allows players to extend their block strings and combos, or occupy space in ways otherwise impossible. Several high damaging combos are a result of special canceling, such as Guile's jumping Fierce, crouching Strong into Flash Kick. It also allows a player to extend their attacking momentum. For instance, Ken or Chun Li can never combo a Hadouken or Kikouken from the tip of a crouching Forward kick, even if they cancel it. However, if the enemy has no super bar nor an invulnerable special move, odds are they will have to block the incoming projectile, even though they will have completely recovered from the block or hitstun by the time it approaches. This gives them time to recover from the projectile and act while the enemy is yet again in either block or hitstun.

Some normal attacks can also be canceled into Super Combos. However, Super Cancels do not make use of the extended cancel time from impact freeze, so they are much harder to obtain.


Hit-boxes

The so-called "priority" of attacks, that is, what move beats what, is explained by their hit-boxes. There is no actual priority in Street Fighter II, that is, a move which is coded to be completely invulnerable to a certain move but may also be coded to lose to some other move cleanly. What happens in game is that characters have boxes which represent their vulnerable parts. These are the defensive hit-boxes, or proper hit-boxes. They are mostly located around the character body, but do not necessarily match the whole art. When a character attacks, it places another kind on box on the screen: the offensive hit-boxes, or attack boxes. When an offensive hit-box from a character intercepts a defensive hit-box from another character, the game registers either a hit or a blocked attack, depending on the type of move and if the other player blocked correctly.

There is yet another type of box, which are the pushboxes. They determine the are the character occupies on the screen. The pushboxes from different characters can never overlap. Finally, when characters throw projectiles, they come with collision boxes around them. These are the boxes related to projectiles disappearing when they get close to each other.

There is a very good guest article by Dammit on Sonic Hurricane about hit-boxes. It has instructions on how to enable them on emulators and illustrative pictures of several interesting aspects about the theme.

Born2SPD captured the hitboxes from all attacks from both 'Old' and 'New' characters with perfect resolution and put them in the SRK wiki. They are found on the character pages. Papasi recorded and captured the hit-boxes as well, but with the disadvantage of them being a little blurry. It has a option to compare hitboxes side by side and drag and drop comparison which are worth checking though. Link.


Randomness

Unfortunately, in ST there is a fair amount of randomness. Known randomness includes:

  • The amount of damage done by certain moves
  • The amount of dizzy damage done by certain moves
  • Ryu's [cr.Short->cr.Short xx super] simply won't combo half the time, even when timed perfectly.
  • Gief's standing 720 (He'll just jump half the time, even when timed perfectly)
  • Who gets the throw when both players input the command on the same frame, and are in range to throw
  • The length of throw invulnerability on wake-up, and after being air reset
  • The time it takes for a character to recover from dizziness
  • The position of the rocks in Sagat and Chun Li stages
  • The speed/number of hits done by certain holds when both players mash

Majestros has also written up a good article on randomness in the SF2 series.

--NKI 03:41, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


Random Damage

Every normal attack (and most command throws) deal a random amount of damage. Why yes, this is a very fair mechanic.

Joking aside, while all attacks have a base amount of damage, you may notice in the character's move data that next to this damage value is another number surrounded in square brackets, like this (4[0]). The number in the square bracket refers to a spot in the random damage table, which in a nutshell, determines how much damage is added or subtracted to the base value.

The random damage table is as follows:

[Table 0] 0x000

Modifier -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 78.125% 6.25% 6.25% 3.125%

[Table 1] 0x020

Modifier -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 68.75% 9.375% 9.375% 6.25%


[Table 2] 0x040

Modifier -3 -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 46.875% 12.5% 15.625% 6.25% 9.375%


[Table 3] 0x060

Modifier -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 +0 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 37.5% 6.25% 9.375% 12.5% 9.375% 9.375%


[Table 4] 0x080

Modifier -5 -4 -3 +0 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8
Likelihood 6.25% 6.25% 3.125% 46.875% 6.25% 6.25% 15.625% 3.125% 6.25%


[Table 5] 0x0A0

Modifier -10 -8 -5 +0 +5 +6 +8 +10
Likelihood 12.5% 3.125% 3.125% 59.375% 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 12.5%


[Table 6] 0x0C0

Modifier -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 71.875% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 3.125%


[Table 7] 0x0E0

Modifier -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 59.375% 9.375% 9.375% 9.375% 6.25%


[Table 8] 0x100

Modifier -3 -2 -1 +0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 46.875% 9.375% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 6.25% 9.375%


[Table 9] 0x120

Modifier -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 +0 +3 +4 +5 +6
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 3.125% 40.625% 6.25% 15.625% 12.5% 9.375%


[Table 10] 0x140

Modifier +6
Likelihood 100%


[Table 11] 0x160

Modifier +13
Likelihood 100%


[Table 12] 0x180

Modifier +21
Likelihood 100%


[Table 13] 0x1A0

Modifier +30
Likelihood 100%


[Table 14] 0x1C0

Modifier +40
Likelihood 100%


[Table 15] 0x1E0

Modifier +51
Likelihood 100%


[Table 16] 0x200

Modifier +64
Likelihood 100%


[Table 17] 0x220

Modifier -8 -6 -4 +0 +4 +6 +8 +10
Likelihood 3.125% 3.125% 6.25% 43.75% 6.25% 6.25% 25% 6.25%


For example, 4[0] refers to a base value of 4 and a random modifier of 0, it will hit for 4 damage around 79% of the time, but to simplify matters it has about a 16% chance to do more and about a 6% chance to do less.




Frame Data

As mentioned in the Normal Attacks section, each attack has specific lengths of time in which they come out, stay out, and recover from. You could try measuring this stuff with a stopwatch, or you could use Frame Data.

Super Turbo runs at 60 Frames Per Second, which essentially means 60 images flash onto the screen every second, which is how you see the game. 1 frame, in this case, would be 1/60th of a second, so move timing is essentially counted in 60ths. The parts of each move are:

  • Startup Frames: - The "windup" of a move, where your fist is travelling towards your opponent. If two characters strike at the same time, the move with the lower Startup Frames will always hit first, so it's an important thing to remember.
  • Active Frames: - The time in which a move can deal damage. The more time it's out, the more opportunities to hit your opponent.
  • Recovery Frames: - By now the attack has ended, and your character is winding down. During this state, you're completely vulnerable to attack, so if you don't want to get hit, consider not spamming attacks with lots of recovery frames all the time.

Frame Data also is also very important when performing combos and blockstrings, as well as determining whether or not a move will be safe on block. If you hit your opponent, you can special cancel the move if there's enough hitstun left, or perform a link combo. If your move's blocked, the total frames of blockstun minus the recovery frames will determine how safe a move is.

Recovery frames work together with hitstun and blockstun to determine a move's safety and combo viability. Simple explanation, hitstun and blockstun are when opponents can't act after you land an attack, and when you subtract the recovery frames of a move from that, you'll get how much frames you have before your opponent can act. If you haven't figured it out, when you can act first, you're Plus on Block/Hit, when your opponent can act first, you're Minus on Block/Hit, and when you can both act at the same time, you're Neutral on Block/Hit. When you're plus on hit, you can perform a combo. When you're plus on block, you can perform another attack that your opponent will need to block before they can recover, or you can do a throw when they leave blockstun.

A few other things of note: If you're waking up from a knockdown normal attacks will have 1 extra frame added to their startup. There's also a bug where your opponent will end up in impact freeze for 1 frame less after the first hit of a combo.

Being Plus or Minus on block isn't end all be all, however. If a move is, say, -2 on block, and your opponent's fastest move starts up in 4 frames, they mathematically can't punish you. If you try to jab during this situation however, you'll likely get your ass jabbed back. Similarly, if you try to use a move with a long startup after a move that's only +2 on block, you'll likely get jabbed back if your opponent is on to you, so study your character's frame data and see which moves are Plus and Minus on block, as well as the frame data of moves you're having trouble with to see if there's a way to counter them.


Impact Freeze

As soon as an attack touches the opponent, on hit or block, the attacking character freezes for some instants while the character being hit shakes left and right, slightly. This is called impact freeze, or hit freeze. There are three important facts related to impact freeze in Super Turbo. They are special canceling, frame advantage on isolated attacks, and option selects.

First off, during Impact Freeze you can cancel any attack that lands into a Special Move. (See Special Canceling for more detailed information.

Next, there happens to be a strange engine quirk relating to impact freeze during isolated attacks, that is, attacks that aren't part of combos or block strings. When you hit an opponent with an isolated attack, they end up in impact freeze for 1 frame longer than if it was in the middle of a combo. As a result, some moves will combo after certain attacks only after the first hit, and link combos will be slightly harder from the second attack on.

Finally, a few option selects are available due to impact freeze either extending the recovery of moves or cancel time. The first kind of technique usually consists of inputting normals or specials during the impact freeze of non cancelable moves. If such moves whiff, usually due to invulnerable attacks, the other move comes out and either beats or trades with the opponent's move. Prime examples are safe jumps with embedded moves (| usually Shoryuken-like moves). One can also do a late cancel attempt. When going for an attack, you can perform a special move motion late into when impact freeze is supposed to happen. If the move connects, it will be canceled into a special attack. Else, as there's no impact freeze to special cancel out of, the normal move recovers normally.


Hitstun And Blockstun

When a character is hit by an attack, or blocks an attack, after impact freeze, they enter a state of stun known as hitstun or blockstun, also known as the "reeling animation". During hitstun or blockstun, a player is temporarily unable to control the character, but the character is also temporarily immune to throws, but not to subsequent attacks. If an attacker lands a subsequent attack before hitstun or blockstun ends, this results in a combo or a blockstring, and the defender will be unable to block the combo or perform any actions during the blockstring, except for switching from a standing block to a crouching block or vice versa (this is also known as "auto blockstun"). If a subsequent attack connects after hitstun/blockstun has ended, this will not result in a combo or a blockstring, and the defender will be able to block the subsequent attacks or perform an action to evade/counter the string of attacks such as a reversal attack or a jump.

Depending on the strength of a Normal Attack, the character will be in a longer state of hitstun or blockstun. As a general rule of thumb, Light Normal Attacks cause 11 frames of hitstun/blockstun, Medium Normal Attacks cause 16 frames of hitstun/blockstun and Hard Normal Attacks cause 20 frames of hitstun/blockstun. This may vary depending on if the attack is a jumping attack and whether the opponent is standing or crouching. This can also vary with Special Attacks and Command Normals. An important thing to remember is that all Jumping Normal Attacks cause the same amount of hitstun (11 frames), but cause different amounts of blockstun (depends on the strength of the Normal).


Standing/Crouching Normal Attacks vs a standing/crouching opponent:
Jab/Short = 11 frames of hitstun/blockstun
Strong/Forward = 16 frames of hitstun/blockstun
Fierce/Roundhouse = 20 frames of hitstun/blockstun

Jumping Normal Attacks vs a standing opponent:
Jab/Short = 11 frames of hitstun/blockstun
Strong/Forward = 11 frames of hitstun, 16 frames of blockstun
Fierce/Roundhouse = 11 frames of hitstun, 20 frames of blockstun

Jumping Normal Attacks vs a crouching opponent:
Jab/Short = 11 frames of hitstun
Strong/Forward = 16 frames of hitstun
Fierce/Roundhouse = 21 frames of hitstun

Command Normal Attacks (eg Overheads) have their own unique stun data. YBH claims it is totally dependent on the attack itself:
Ryu's Overhead vs a standing opponent = 11 frames of hitstun/blockstun
Ryu's Overhead vs a crouching opponent = 20 frames of hitstun
Ryu's Rushing Fierce vs a standing/crouching opponent = 20 frames of hitstun/blockstun



(All other command normals are currently unknown, Ken's Overhead is classified as a Special Attack since it does block damage, see below)

All Special Attacks (eg Shoryuken) vs a standing/crouching opponent:
20 frames of hitstun/blockstun

The blockstun for Super Attacks is unknown. It's not clear in any situation what the hitstun/blockstun for a Super would be. The hitstun for knockdown Special Attacks and Super Attacks doesn't exist, since they knockdown. Just to be clear, getting up speed has nothing to do with blockstun. Hitstun/blockstun data for Super Attacks is not 100% confirmable, unless someone counts the frame data. This info is not in the YBH.

--Blitzfu 06:42, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


Link Combos

So, you've wondering how you can further expand your combo game, huh? Well, as explained in the frame data section, attacks that have less recovery frames than your opponent can recover give you time to combo. Of course, you could always just special cancel moves that are able to, but if you wanna get the most damage possible, you're gonna have to do some links. Essentially, links are moves that start after your recovery frames end that have less startup frames than your opponent's remaining hitstun. Any move can technically be a link combo, but usually you'll be linking normal attacks together. Links can be hard, however, with some of the harder links giving you time as little as 1 frame to execute them. The important thing, however, is always to focus on a combo you can perform at a moment's notice, so keep that in mind with your own skill level when thinking about doing more difficult links.



Advanced Mechanics

Kara Canceling

In the original Street Fighter, special moves were quite hard to obtain. In order to obtain a special move, the players had to perform a specific sequence of joystick commands, then press the correct button. However, the joystick motions and the timing for the button press were strict. When developing Street Fighter II, Capcom's designers added a couple of mechanics which would help players when trying to use those special moves, and many more which had been created for the different characters. First of all, special moves could also be obtained by performing the joystick motion and releasing a button. Secondly, normal attacks were allowed to be canceled into special moves during the first frames of their animations. As a consequence, would a player press a button too early, before finishing the joystick movements, the special move would still come out if they released the button after the motion was complete.

Kara canceling is when you cancel the initial part of a normal move into a special or super move. The cancel can be done so quickly that you probably may not even see the normal move come out (but you will still hear it). And up until the first hitting frames appear on the screen, depending on the normal attack used. Also, you do not need to use the same button for the special move when using kara canceling. Say, you can kara cancel a Jab into a special move that is obtained with a Jab punch, but you can also kara cancel a Jab into special moves with any other punches, or even kicks.

For several characters, you can shorten the recovery time of their Strong and Fierce fireballs by kara canceling a Jab or Short normal attack into a Strong or Fierce fireball. See T.Akiba's frame data.) Let's take N. Ken for example. If he throws a Jab strength fireball, the recovery on the animation lasts for 39 frames. If he throws a Strong fireball, it's 40 frames. A Fierce fireball will have 41 frames of recovery animation. However if you kara cancel a Strong or Fierce fireball, off of a standing Jab for example, a glitch game will change the recovery of a Strong or Fierce fireball to the 39 frame recovery of a Jab fireball. You can read more about it here.

Mash moves are also often done through kara canceling. So you rapidly mash Jab with Honda for example, his standing Jab will come out and you'll hear it, but then the starting frames of that standing Jab will be quickly canceled into Jab strength HHS. You won't see the full animation for the standing Jab because the starting frames will get canceled directly into Honda's HHS. Same thing applies to other mash moves such as Blanka's electricity or Chun's legs.

Kara canceling is extremely useful for T.Hawk's command throw done as an empty throw. If you try to walk up and throw someone with T.Hawk's command throw you have to have incredible timing. T.Hawk's pre-jump animation is three frames. Meaning from the moment you hit the up direction as part of a walk up command throw attempt, you have only three frames to hit a punch button to get a command throw, or else T.Hawk will jump straight up into the air. However you can hit standing Jab with T.Hawk, then input the execution for a command throw, and the starting frames of your standing Jab will cancel into a command throw. This technique even makes it possible for T.Hawk to do walk up 720s or walk up super throws. So you can kara cancel a standing Jab into T.Hawk's super and throw your opponent with a super without buffering the super into a jump or off of a tick.

Kara cancels are very useful for things like auto mix-ups that involve special kara cancels built into whiffed normal throws. The idea with this auto mix-up is that you input a throw command and then do a dragon punch right after the throw attempt. If the throw is successful the throw animation comes out and your dragon punch never appears. If the throw whiffs, because your opponent did a reversal attack, then your throw becomes a normal attack, that normal attack is kara canceled into a special attack of your own, and depending on how good your special attack is you could beat your opponent's reversal. Dealing with O.Ken is nightmarish at close ranges because of this kara technique.

[VirtuaFighterFour]

Kara canceling is what allows special canceling in SF2, as explained in the impact freeze section, and is also useful when used in conjunction with Chain Canceling.


Chain Canceling

Formerly known as Renda Canceling.

In Japanese, "renda" 連打 is the word they use for rapid-fire chain combos, like Guile's cr.Short->cr.Short. Rapid fire moves (or Chain Combos) are moves which are allowed to be canceled into themselves. In old school Street Fighter (in the pre-Alpha games), you can not cancel chain combos into special or super moves the way you would a single move. If you chain two cr.Shorts, you can not cancel the second one into special moves immediately. Using kara canceling, however, you can get around this limitation. This is called chain canceling ("renda canceling", in Japanese).

Chain canceling consists of canceling a rapid-fire Jab or Short into another Jab or Short, then immediately kara cancel it into a special move.

An example would be Ken's cr.Short->cr.Short xx super. The input is D Short, D Short, D/F, F, D, D/F, F Short any punch. So in order to do TWO cr.Shorts into super, you actually need to hit the Short button THREE times. That st.Short on the end is being kara canceled into the super, which is why you never see it. Also note that you must go all the way to towards (even though Ken's super motion only requires you to go to down/towards). This is because for chain canceling, you must switch from crouching to standing (or from standing to crouching). Because you started with cr.Shorts, you have to end with a st.Short.

The reason why chain canceling is so incredibly good is because you can hit confirm (wait to see if it hits or not). If the Shorts are blocked, go for a throw or a DP. If the Shorts connect, just continue the combo into super.


Relevant Game Bugs

This section is destined to game glitches that are relevant to high level play.


Stored Moves

Through a programming glitch, it is possible to do a move's motion, hold the last direction, and then press the button whenever you want, and the move will still come out. This works with Chun's super, Honda's super, Honda's command throw, and Claw's Flip Kick (kind of).

For Chun's super and Honda's super, charge back, then hit forward, back, then forward and hold it. As long as you're holding forward (or up/foward or down/foward), you can press the button at any time to do the super.

For Honda's command throw, do a half-circle from towards to down/back, and hold down/back. As long as you're holding down/back (or back or up/back), you can press punch at any time to do the command throw.

For Claw's Flip Kick, after you charge down/back, you can switch to back or up/back without losing your charge. (Note that you can not store the move with towards.)

For Chun and Honda's supers, you can input the super motion without a full meter, and still have it stored. for example, do charge b,f,b,f then do hands until you have meter as Honda, then pressing punch will activate his super.


Projectile special moves recovery shortening

There's a small glitch related to projectile special moves: while the properties of the projectile (i.e. damage, travel speed, stun, hit-amount) are correctly defined by the button press responsible for the special to come out, the properties of the character recovery animation from the fireball throw is defined by the strength of the last normal move (i.e. light, medium or heavy) performed by the player. Because of this, it's possible, for example, to throw a Fierce projectile with it's corresponding Jab recovery on the character animation. And this is widely used and abused in high level play to get the best results possible while zoning the opponent out, or during fireball wars.
So, on the characters that actually have different recoveries assigned for each strength of its projectile throwing animation, you can make it so that every projectile thrown by you, regardless of it being the light, medium or heavy version, will always have the best recovery possible, all you have to do is make sure the last normal move performed was of a certain strength.

Here's the list of characters that have differing recoveries (i.e. they can abuse this game bug to get better recovery) [Light|Medium|Heavy]:

  • N.Ryu [41|42|43 for both Blue and Red Hadoukens]
  • O.Ryu [40|41|42 for Blue Hadouken, 41|42|43 for Red Hadouken]
  • N.Ken [40|41|42]
  • N/O.ChunLi [42|40|38. Note that in her case the Heavy version is the best, unlike on all the other characters]
  • N.Sagat [38|40|42 for both High and Low Tigers]
  • Akuma [41|42|43 for Blue Hadouken, 42|50|60 for Red Hadouken]


And here's the list of characters that don't have it:

  • O.Ken [40|40|40]
  • N/O.Guile [21|21|21]
  • N/O.Dhalsim [40|40|40]
  • N.DeeJay [34|34|34]
  • O.DeeJay [37|37|37]
  • O.Sagat [38|38|38 for both High and Low Tigers]


N/O.Ryu, N.Ken, N/O.Chun, N.Sagat and Akuma can shorten the recoveries of their projectiles. The better recovery is achieved with a light normal (a Jab/LP or a Short/LK, both works on all characters), EXCEPT for Chun, in her case the better recovery is on the heavy version, so the normal move you're looking for is a heavy one (Fierce/HP or a Roundhouse/HK).
Also, the infamous infinite corner trap Akuma has with his Red Hadouken is only possible due to this glitch: the idea is to throw a Fierce Red Hadouken, which gives 3 hits on block, but with Jab Red Hadouken recovery, so you can recover fast enough to throw another Fierce Red Hadouken before the opponent gets out of block stun and has a chance of doing a Reversal.

For the glitch to work, the normal has to come out for at least a single frame. Pressing the button during conditions in which the normal will never come out WILL NOT COUNT. For example: if you're knocked down, if during air reset, if during another move, etc. These will not count!
It can be a crouching, standing, or even an aerial normal move. Command normal moves work too. But Throws won't.
Some players like to kara cancel the appropriate normal into the projectile special move. This will achieve the same result, but you have to make sure that the kara is being performed during the motion, not after, so the total motion for the special move is not being slowed down just for it, otherwise you would be trading startup frames for recovery frames, which would be counter productive (startup is more important on most scenarios).
The kara cancel method works better with Ryu, Akuma and O.Chun though, since you can use a kick button without any conflicts with other special moves. But with N.Ken, you may get a Crazy Kick out by accident, with N.Chun you may get a SBK out by accident, and with N.Sagat you may get a Low Tiger when you want a High Tiger, or vice versa. You can aleviate the problem by keeping the button used for the kara cancel held, and only release it after the button for the special move is pressed.
So, basically, you want to make sure that you always had whiffed the normal of the required strength before throwing a projectile. You can either always do it with the kara cancel method, or you can pay attention to what you're doing and just whiff a normal (or kara it) when needed.

The glitch lasts for multiple projectiles, since it will always be looking to the strength of the last normal performed. As soon you perform a normal of a different strength, the recovery of the projectile will be affected.
The glitch resets on each round start. So at every round start, it will be as if you had just whiffed a Jab/LP or Short/LK moments before, which is optimal for everyone but Chun (since on her case, the better recovery is on a Heavy normal).

Finally, it's worthy mentioning that this bug was fixed in HSF2.

--Born2SPD



Strategy

When playing ST, the three most important things are:

  • knowing the match-ups
  • being able to execute
  • being able to out-smart your opponent

You can learn the match-ups by watching vids/reading strats, and you can improve your execution by practicing at home by yourself, but the only way to improve your mind games is to have lots of experience against human opponents. Experience is crucial.


Footsies

Since this game doesn't have any major movement mechanics, most of your movement strategy is going to be focused on positioning and knowing what your opponent might do. If you simply walk towards your opponent, expect to get hit over and over. Instead, take the first few moments of the game to see what your opponent is doing. Are they marching towards you, like I said? Hit them, over and over. Are they waiting for you to come closer? Weave in and out of their attack range, then strike them while they attack. They're playing super aggressively? Stay calm, and wait for an opening. This is a massive simplification of what is often called "Footsies" in the FGC, but it's a good strategy to keep in mind when you're still figuring out what to do. On that note, it's a good idea to know how each character can use their special moves to move around the screen as well, so check the character pages of matchups you're having trouble with and try to figure out how you can use their movement against them.


Stable Strategies vs. Shenanigans

It is important to rely on stable strategies and not on shenanigans. A good example of this is the opening attack of the round in a Ryu vs. Dictator match. If Ryu starts off the round by throwing a fireball, Dic can jump at him and do [cross-up j.RH, st.Short, st.Short, st.Short xx Psycho Crusher] for the dizzy, follow up with [j.RH, st.Short, cr.Forward xx Scissor Kicks] for the win.

That is a shenanigan. It is not something that you can consistently rely on to win matches. Your opponent will (hopefully) wise up to the fact that opening the round with a fireball is a bad idea for him.

The most stable strategy for Dic would be to just simply duck-block and wait to see what the opponent does. In the absolute worst-case scenario, he simply blocks a Fierce fireball. Another stable strategy would be opening with [slight step forward, st.RH], which would stuff fireballs and Hurrican Kicks, but lose to DPs.

Also consider the Psychic DP. The Psychic DP is where your opponent does a seemingly safe, non-blatant move, and you "read your opponent's mind", countering him clean with a DP out of nowhere. That might work once in a while, but the truth of the matter is that if you aren't Daigo Umehara, you shouldn't try Psychic DPs, because it is not a stable strategy.


Counter Characters

There are two very different schools of thought when it comes to character selection. One school of thought is basically that because the game has counter characters, you should learn more than one character in order to do well overall. Another school of thought is basically that if you just stick with one character and learn all of the match-ups inside and out, the "counter matches" will not be nearly as hard, and you won't ever need to switch characters.

Relying on counter characters can be a very unstable strategy. For one thing, every match is winnable, and for another thing, the numbers are overwhelming. For every one character you play, you need to know 16 match-ups, and that can take an extraordinary amount of time to learn. If you only stick with one character, say, T.Hawk, and if you just hunker down and learn all 16 matches, you can beat any character, even Dhalsim (as Toutanki has shown). Obviously Dhalsim still has the advantage, but it is definitely not a free win, as a lot of people would have you believe.

Playing counter characters will only work consistently against other people who also play counter characters (people who don't know their characters 100%). It will not consistently work against people who know the matches, and that is why I would not advise relying on counter characters.

A good example is the Japanese player Muteki Guile (whose name means "Invincible Guile"). He has unquestionably one of the best Guiles in the world, and he also plays a little bit of Chun (in casual matches). If he were to play in tourney against a Blanka player, he could try switching to Chun (who is considerably better than Guile versus Blanka), but if he wins, then his opponent could just switch it up to O.Sagat and counter-character his Chun (because Muteki Guile doesn't know Chun 100%).

But that situation will never come up for him, because he has taken the time to master Guile, and he has no need to switch to Chun. Even though Blanka vs. Guile is an uneven match, Muteki knows exactly what he can do, and that match is still totally winnable for him, even against the best Blankas.

While the advantage of counter characters is grossly over-exaggerated by a lot of players, it is true that certain characters have inherent advantages over others. Counter character examples that particularly stand out:

  • Ryu does extremely well against Honda and Blanka
  • Ken does well against Honda
  • Guile does extremely well against Honda, Zangief, and Hawk
  • Dhalsim does extremely well vs N.Sagat, Guile, and Zangief, and decent vs everyone in general except Claw and Chun
  • Chun does well against Honda and Dictator
  • Blanka does alright against Zangief and Hawk
  • Honda does very well vs most characters without a fireball
  • Zangief does ok vs Boxer
  • Fei does well vs Blanka and Cammy
  • Cammy does well against Zangief, and Hawk
  • DJ does extremely well vs Honda, Blanka, and Fei
  • Hawk doesn't do particularly well vs anyone, but has a slight advantage on Zangief
  • Dictator does well vs Hawk and Cammy
  • Old Sagat does extremely well vs Cammy, Hawk, Zangief, Ken, Blanka, and can give chun trouble as well. He has a hard time vs Claw and Dhalsim
  • Boxer does very well vs Blanka and Fei, and good on most of the cast besides Zangief and Chun
  • Claw does well vs everybody


Game Plan

You should never be free-styling a match. You should know before-hand exactly what your game plan is, what advantages/disadvantages you have, and exactly what moves of yours will counter your opponent's (as well as what moves your opponent can use to counter yours).

For example, if I'm Chun playing against Dictator, I go into the match knowing that Chun can get in his face pretty well, and there's not much he can do about it. Dic has no good anti-air, so I can do j.Forward a lot; Dic has no reversal other than super, so I can do meaty D/F RH for free; lightning legs will beat his Psycho Crusher and Scissor Kicks cleanly; upkicks will lose cleanly to his headstomp, etc.


Playing to Win

If you notice that your opponent has any particular weakness, you need to show no mercy and exploit it. Note that the opponent can notice any weakness on your game as well, so try your best to avoid those things below. Common weaknesses include:

  • Inability to consistently reverse throws
  • Inability to consistently reverse meaty attacks
  • Wanting to use the super as soon as the meter is full
  • Going for the "revenge super" after getting hit by something big
  • Overaggression (ex: always going for the reversal DP)
  • Panic moves (ex: throwing away the super, jumping back to the corner, or blatantly jumping at the opponent when in a really tight spot)
  • Lack of knowledge (ex: opponent keeps trying to Tiger Uppercut Sim's j.Forward, not knowing that Tiger Uppercut loses cleanly)
  • Patterns (ex: always doing a second Shoryuken if the first one whiffs)


Throw Strategies

Tick Throws

A tick throw is when you put your opponent in block stun or hit stun with an attack, and then throw them immediately after they recover from stun and return to a neutral state. As an example, let's say that you are playing Dictator and your opponent is using Guile. You would start by attacking your opponent with a standing Short kick from point blank range. After they block it, you then wait until your opponent recovers from block stun, and you throw them. You have just tick thrown your opponent. The 'tick' in that scenario was the standing Short kick.

Perfectly timed tick throws are when you throw your opponent on the very first frame that they return to neutral from a knockdown or stun. This requires timing your throw to the exact 1/60th of a second when they get out of stun. It's an incredibly difficult technique to get down, but with practice and continuous play, executing perfect tick throws can be done consistently. The exception to this rule is Zangief using a command throw, as his SPD has 11 active throw frames, so he only needs 11/60 precision timing for a perfect tick throw. T.Hawk and and N.Honda can negative edge their command throws up to three times for three chances as well, without having to worry about a whiffed normal coming out. Once you begin to effectively utilize perfect tick throws, you then leave your opponent no choice other than to perfectly reverse your tick throws.


Reversing Tick Throws

If you tick your opponent, and they continue to block after your tick, then you can throw them right away, since throws can't be block. So how do they beat that incoming throw? Or if you are on defense, how do you beat tick throws? The answer: you must reverse.

Reversal special attacks, reversal super combos, or a counter throws (which could be a normal, special, or super throw) on the first frame that you recover from stun are the only ways to beat tick throws. Not all reversal attacks work to beat throws however. Although attacks like fireballs, Boxer's rush punches, and Dictator's Psycho Crushers can be put out right as you get up, trying to reverse a tick throw with those attacks will get you nowhere. Refer to the chart further below to see what special moves can be used to beat tick throws for each character. Some characters also cannot use reversal supers because of a bug (further description below as well). Lastly, if you use a throw as a reversal on the first frame out of stun, you only have a 50/50 chance of getting a throw against a perfect tick throw. Why? Because when two characters throw each other on the same frame, within each others' throw ranges, the game engine randomly picks who gets the throw and who gets the whiffed normal attack or nothing at all. Throws also have no priority, providing that they are within range. This means that Guile's normal throw can beat T.Hawk's command throw when they are done on the same frame. However T.Hawk can stand outside of Guile's throw range, and then throw Guile, without having to worry about a counter throw because Guile is out of range. Refer to Geo's throw range chart or T.Akiba's data to see how throw ranges affect each character match. A more complex example of how throw ranges affect the game can be found in the Dictator section.

Timing anything, such as a reversal, with the precision of one frame is pretty difficult. That reversal frame, which in this case is the first frame of neutral state that your character returns to after recovering from either hit or block stun, lasts for just 1/60 of a second. And on that frame, during that 1/60 of a second window, you must perform a reversal attack or throw in order to beat a perfect tick throw. The timing is extremely strict, which is what makes tick throws quite powerful as offensive weapons. When you perform a perfect tick throw you give your opponent only a single frame where they can turn the tables before they get thrown. Multi-tapping and Multi-releasing will be a big help during these situations, however, since pressing multiple buttons for an input gives you more chances to perform your reversal of choice.

If the attacker tries to tick throw you, and they are within your throw range, you can try to counter throw them, but the result is going to be 50/50. And if the attacker has more throw range than you, and he ticks you to where you are outside of your throw range, then you must resort to a special or super move. So if you try to counter throw from outside of your throw range you'll be attempting to thrown in vain. Some characters reversal attacks require charge. So if you are playing Guile, and you get up to block an overhead attack, you lose the charge for a flash kick to beat tick throws, meaning you run a huge risk getting thrown. Dictator can only beat tick throws with his Super, which requires a full Super meter, and once its expended must be recharged. The point is that every character in the game has a move that can be used to get out of tick throw attempts, however, some characters have much better options than others.

  • Ryu: Shoryuken, Tatsumaki, Super
  • Ken: Shoryuken
  • Chun: Tenshokyaku (her upkicks special), Spinning Bird Kick, Super
  • Guile: Flash Kick, Super
  • Blanka: Horizontal Ball, Vertical Ball, backwards Hop, super
  • Zangief: SPD, Atomic Suplex (360 K, Super
  • Dhalsim: Yoga Teleport
  • Honda: Headbutt, Butt Slam, Oicho Throw (his command throw), Super
  • Hawk: Uppercut, Mexican Typhoon (his command throw), Super
  • Fei Long: Flame Kick, Chicken Wing (his twist kick move), Super
  • Cammy: Cannon Spike, Spinning Knuckle, Super
  • Dee Jay: Double Dread Kicks, Jackknife Maximum (his upkicks special), Machine Gun Upper, Super
  • Boxer: Buffalo Headbutt, Super
  • Claw: Backflips, Flip Kicks
  • Sagat: Tiger Uppercut
  • Dictator: Super

Blanka's Horizontal Ball and Vertical Ball have no invincibility, but they hit on the first frame, as well as being airborne (they have 0 frames of start-up), so they can also be used to reverse ticks, as long as the opponent is close enough so that the ball will hit on the first frame. If Blanka is too far away, he must use his back dash. Characters with special throws or super throws can also use those to reverse ticks, because command throws have large range and are also 0 frame moves. Due to a glitch in the game, Ken, Dhalsim, and Sagat can NOT use their supers for reversals.


Sacrifice throw (aka sac throw)

This is a strategy to counter early aerial attacks where the defender lets themself get hit (sacrifice) in order to gain a frame advantage and perform a counterthrow as a result. Specifically, sac throws only work against medium or heavy jumping attacks against a standing opponent since it's the only case where the hitstun remains the same (11 frames) regardless of the strength of the normal.

In all other cases, both hitstun and blockstun take more frames with stronger normals. For this same reason, the defender of the aerial attack can perform an early counterthrow if they let themself get hit instead of blocking the attack. The attacker is going to get caught by surprise as they are expecting the opponent to recover much later especially if they were attempting it with heavy normals.

Sac throws have two main uses:

  1. countering tick throw attempts
  2. blockstrings.

Against tick throws, the attacker expects the opponent to block against a safe jump. If they choose a medium or heavy attack, they should expect a long recovery. However, if the defender lets themself get hit, they will recover much faster and be able to counterthrow before the attacker attempts to throw them instead. Of course, this is risky. If the attacker decides to delay the timing of the aerial attack, the attacker can connect a powerful combo for free.

Against blockstrings, the idea is pretty similar, but the subsequent attack will be a normal or a grounded special attack instead of a throw. Attackers usually try to hit their jump attacks as low as possible in order to perform combos. With the use of ground normals, you can force them to aim their air attacks higher in order to beat those grounded normals. If you block those high aerial hits, they might try to perform a blockstring. But with a sac throw, you would have the advantage to throw them as soon as they land.


Throw For The Win

If you have the opponent's life down to where a teched throw would not kill him, but a non-teched throw would kill him, he will die regardless of if he techs or not. You will see him visually tech the throw, but he will still take full damage and die.

This also works with dizzies. If the opponent has gotten hit by a couple of moves and is at the point where a throw would dizzy him, that throw is untechable, and the dizzy is guaranteed.


Throw Range Matchups

Since throws and holds are such an important part of the game, it is useful to know whether you have a throw range advantage or disadvantage in any particular matchup. For example, if you're playing Ryu against a good Blanka player who utilizes their maximum throw range after a tick, you should know you will lose if you try to counter-throw if you're out of your own throw range, since Blanka's throw range is greater than Ryu's.



Multi-tap/Multi-release

Multi-tapping refers to hitting more than one button in an attempt to get a reversal. For example, if I simply hit F, D, D/F Fierce, I have to time my reversal with the precision of a single frame (about 1/60th of a second), and that's pretty hard. But if I do F, D, D/F press Jab~press Strong~press Fierce~release Jab~release Strong~release Fierce, I now have a SIX-FRAME window to work with, which is remarkably easier.

Multi-tapping can (and should) be used with throws as well. Don't simply hit one button if you are trying to do a reversal throw. Unless you are going for one specific throw (like Ken's knee bash) and you have extreme confidence in your reversal timing, you should use every button your character can throw with. With Chun, you should try to reversal throw with Strong~Fierce. With Ryu, you should try to reversal throw with Strong~Fierce~Forward~RH.

Option Select

Option select refers to doing one thing that covers more than one possible outcome. For example, I am Honda, and my opponent is trying to do a meaty attack to me as I get up. I do a half-circle to down/back and hold it, so now I have the command throw stored. I press and hold all three punches before I get up (so that nothing comes out), and with reversal timing, I multi-release the punches. There are only two possible outcomes:

  1. I timed the reversal properly, and I will throw the opponent
  2. I did not time the reversal properly, but I will block safely because I was holding down/back

Another good example of option select is safe jumping and safe reversing...


Safe Jumps

You can time a jump-in meaty enough so that it will force the opponent to block if they don't reverse, but if they do reverse, you can land quickly enough to block their reversal. This works because there are only a very few moves in ST that hit on the first frame, most reversals have a small delay before they hit.

Safe jumps are much more practical against moves that a slow startup. For example, it's very easy to do safe jumps against Boxer's Buffalo Headbutt, because the quickest version (Jab) has a window of 11 non-hitting frames in the beginning, which gives you plenty of time to land. Safe jumps are extremely hard (or impossible) against moves that have very few (or zero) frames of start-up. Don't try doing safe jumps against:

  • Ken's Shoryukens
  • Blanka's Vertical Beast Roll
  • Akuma's Shoryukens and Tatsus
  • Chun's Roundhouse Tensho Kyaku (i.e. up kicks)

Ken and Akuma Shoryus come out too fast to perform a safejump on them if they perform it as a reversal. And in the case of Akuma it can lead to high damage juggles. Chun's Roundhouse upkick comes out too fast to safejump as well, but it's susceptible to crossups, so favour those instead, although some high priority air normals may be able to stuff her upkick, but this is quite risky. Blanka has no invincibility on his ball attacks, though they come out instantly. If you have an air normal that can stuff it, then you can still "safejump" him with that, such as Chun's Jumping Fierce etc, although he can still usually escape with back hop.


Built in safe jumps

Built in safe jumps are set-ups in which a safe jump can be achieved without the need of timing the safe jump: just holding up/up-towards (so your character will jump on the first possible moment) will grant safe jump timing! Note that if the opponent touches the corner or a breakable object, it will interfere in the setup. Here is the list of known built in safe jump setups:

  • All Shotos:
    • vs Guile: knock him down with a sweep and then hold up-towards.
  • Ryu:
    • vs Guile: with Guile touching a corner, knock him down with Jab Shoryuken's 1st active part, then hold up-towards.
  • N.Ryu only:
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Zangief, Dictator, T.Hawk, Cammy, FeiLong, DeeJay: knock them down with the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku last active part that hits at the front, at its 1st active frame. Then, you'll have to perform a neutral jump and a jump towards the opponent's direction (in either order) as soon as possible. So just hold up/up-towards to jump as soon as the Tatsumaki animation is finished. After doing the first jump, hold up-towards/up (the other jumping direction) to jump again as soon as you land from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump. Against Zangief, the only moves that will beat a Reversal Lariat is a Neutral Jumping Jab, or the 2nd active part on the Diagonal Jumping Strong.
  • O.Ryu only:
    • vs Honda, Guile, Dictator: knock them down with the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku last active part that hits at the front, at its 1st active frame. Then, you'll have to perform a neutral jump and a jump towards the opponent's direction (in either order) as soon as possible. So just hold up/up-towards to jump as soon as the Tatsumaki animation is finished. After doing the first jump, hold up-towards/up (the other jumping direction) to jump again as soon as you land from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump.
  • Ken:
    • vs Dictator: with Dictator touching a corner, knock him down with Jab Shoryuken's 1st active part, then hold up-towards.
  • N.Ken only:
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Dictator, Cammy, Fei, DeeJay: knock them down with a sweep, cancel that sweep into the non-overhead version of the Roundhouse crazy kick (HCF+K) and then hold up-towards.
    • vs Cammy, Fei: knock them down with a sweep, cancel that sweep into the non-overhead version of the Inside Crescent crazy kick (QCF+K) and then hold up-towards.
    • vs Dhalsim, Zangief, Boxer, Claw, Dictator, Fei: grab them with the Knee Bash hold (the Forward kick throw) and hold up-towards. Against Zangief make sure to jump with a Jab cancelled into an aerial Tatsu, otherwise it will be very unsafe. Against Ryu and Deejay it may also be a safejump, but only with specific mashing, otherwise it'll not be a real safejump, meaning you'll be vulnerable to their reversal (any Shoryuken or the Roundhouse upkicks, respectivelly), so it's a total gamble. Also, this will be a safe jump vs Guile as long no one mashes, but it's too risky to rely on that, if there's mashing involved then sometimes Ken will land on the other side and the air normal will just whiff (Ken lands before the opponent's Reversal frame), allowing the opponent to grab you easily, so it's a total gamble.
    • vs Ryu, Zangief, Dictator, T.Hawk, FeiLong, DeeJay: knock them down with the Roundhouse crazy kick (HCF+K) 2nd part, then hold up-towards and keep it held until Ken jumps for a second time. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touches the corner or a breakable object.
    • vs Dhalsim, Dictator: knock them down with a Fierce Shoryuken 3rd active part (doesn't matter how many hits it does, as long the 3rd part hits on its 1st frame), then hold up-towards to jump as soon as you land for the Shoryuken.
  • O.Ken only:
    • vs Dhalsim, Claw: knock them down with a Fierce Shoryuken 3rd active part (doesn't matter how many hits it does, as long the 3rd part hits on its 1st frame), then hold up-towards to jump as soon as you land for the Shoryuken.
  • Honda:
    • vs Sagat, Claw: knock them down with a sweep (can be a Crouching Roundhouse as well as the command sweep) and then hold up-towards.
    • vs Guile, Sim, Boxer, Claw, Dictator, DeeJay: grab them with the Bear Hug hold (the Fierce throw) and hold up-towards. This may randomly be a cross-up against Guile, Dhalsim and Dictator, so be aware of that. When Jumping Roundhouse (not the Forward kick Belly Flop) crosses-up, it will also be safe vs Chun.
    • vs everyone but Ken, Blanka, Chun, Sagat: grab them with the Knee Bash hold (the Roundhouse throw) and hold up-towards. If the opponent doesn't hit the corner, that jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Sagat: with the opponent cornered, grab them with the Knee Bash hold (the Roundhouse throw) and hold up-towards. Against Cammy it also works as long you're not too close to her (which is what would happen most of the time). This will work vs Claw too, but you have to also be point-blank with him, so it's not very useful.
  • Blanka:
    • vs Boxer: with Boxer touching a corner, knock him down with a sweep and then hold up-towards. This will be a safe jump against his super too.
    • vs Honda, Guile, Dictator: knock them down with the Amazon River Run (i.e. slide) on it's 1st active frame, and then hold up-towards. This can also be safe vs Chun if the jump will be a cross-up, but that requires it to be done from very close, so it's not very useful.
  • Guile:
    • vs Boxer: with Boxer touching a corner, knock him down with the sweep's 2nd active part, then hold up-towards. This will be a safe jump against his super too.
  • Chun:
    • vs Sagat: knock him down with a sweep and then hold up-towards.
  • Zangief:
    • vs Ryu: beat a ground tatsu with a Crouching Jab before it goes into airborne recovery, and then hold up-towards (so Zangief jumps as soon as the jab animation ends).
    • vs E.Honda: when you're cornered, SPD him backwards to your corner, and then hold neutral-upwards or up-towards.
    • vs E.Honda: if you counter an approaching Headbutt with a Crouching Jab, holding up-towards (so Zangief jumps as soon as the jab animation ends) will be a safe jump, as long Honda doesn't touch his corner during the air reset animation. Honda will be outside the range of Diagonal Jumping Short though, so using this opportunity to set a tick into SPD is not very strong, but still this is a free safe jump so make use of it.
    • vs Guile, Dhalsim, Dictator: knock them down with the Punch Lariat's 2nd rotation (i.e. the 4th hitbox), and then hold up-towards. Keep it held so Zangief does a second jump right after the first. The second jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Ryu, E.Honda, Zangief, Dictator, Cammy, T.Hawk, Fei, DeeJay: knock them down with Kick Lariat's 1st rotation (i.e. the 2nd hitbox), and then hold up-towards. Keep it held so Zangief does a second jump right after the first. The second jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Boxer: with Boxer touching a corner, knock him down with the Punch Lariat's 1st rotation (i.e. the 2nd hitbox), and then hold up-towards. Keep it held so Zangief does a second jump right after the first. The second jump will be a safe jump.
  • Boxer:
    • vs N.Zangief, Boxer, Fei: grab them and then hold up-towards. Agaisnt Zangief, make sure to jump with Jab to beat a possible reversal Kick Lariat, and know that this will not beat O.Zangief's Lariats. Against Boxer this will be a safe jump against his Super too. This will also be a safe jump vs Cammy as long no one mashes, but it's too risky to rely on that, if there's mashing involved then sometimes the air normal will just whiff. Against DeeJay it may also be a safejump, but only with specific mashing, otherwise the air normal will whiff (Boxer lands before the opponent's Reversal frame), allowing the opponent to grab you easily, so it's a total gamble.
    • vs E.Honda, Guile, Dictator: with the opponent touching a corner, knock them down with a Jab or Strong Low Rush and hold up-towards.
    • vs Cammy, T.Hawk, FeiLong: with the opponent touching a corner, knock them down with a Fierce Low Rush and hold up-towards.
    • vs Dhalsim, Claw: knock them down with the Fierce Straight Rush and hold upwards so Boxer does a neutral jump as soon as possible. During the neutral jump, do a Neutral Jumping Fierce and steer it towards the opponent, and hold up-towards so Boxer jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touch the corner.
    • vs Dhalsim: knock them down with the Short Knockdown Rush and hold upwards so Boxer does a neutral jump as soon as possible. During the neutral jump, do a Neutral Jumping Fierce and steer it towards the opponent, and hold up-towards so Boxer jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touch the corner.
    • vs Dhalsim, Dictator: knock them down with the Forward or Roundhouse Knockdown Rush and hold upwards so Boxer does a neutral jump as soon as possible. During the neutral jump, do a Neutral Jumping Fierce and steer it towards the opponent, and hold up-towards so Boxer jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touch the corner.
    • vs Boxer, FeiLong: knock them down with the Strong Buffalo Headbutt 1st active part and hold upwards so Boxer does a neutral jump as soon as possible. During the neutral jump, do a Neutral Jumping Fierce and steer it towards the opponent, and hold up-towards so Boxer jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touch the corner.
    • vs Dictator, FeiLong, DeeJay: knock them down with the Super and hold upwards so Boxer does a neutral jump as soon as possible. During the neutral jump, do a Neutral Jumping Fierce and steer it towards the opponent, and hold up-towards so Boxer jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, as long the opponent doesn't touch the corner. This will also be a safe jump against E.Honda if he has no meter.
  • Claw:
  • Sagat:
    • vs Various (read description): knock them down with the Tiger Knee 2nd active part (doesn't matter if it hits twice or not). Then, you'll have to perform a neutral jump and a jump towards the opponent's direction (in either order) as soon as possible. So just hold up/up-towards to jump as soon as the Tiger Knee animation is finished. After doing the first jump, hold up-towards/up (the other jumping direction) to jump again as soon as you land from the first jump. That second jump will be a safe jump, deppending on the match-up and the Tiger Knee strenght. Keep in mind that O.Sagat has a faster jump, so what works for O.Sagat may not work for N.Sagat. In N.Sagat's case, you can use a Short Tiger Knee against Guile, Dhalsim and Dictator, a Forward Tiger Knee against E.Honda, Guile and Dictator, or a Roundhouse Tiger Knee against Ryu, Zangief (jump at him with a punch button to beat his Reversal Lariat), Cammy, T.Hawk, FeiLong and DeeJay. In O.Sagat's case, you can use a Short Tiger Knee against Dhalsim and Claw, a Forward Tiger Knee against ChunLi, Dhalsim and Dictator, or a Roundhouse Tiger Knee against E.Honda, Guile and Dictator.
  • N.Sagat only:
    • vs Ryu, E.Honda, Guile, Dictator, Fei, DeeJay: with the opponent touching a corner, knock him down with the Jab Tiger Uppercut 2nd active part, and then hold up-towards.
  • Dictator:
  • Cammy:
  • T.Hawk:
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Guile, Zangief, Dhalsim, DeeJay, Claw, Dictator: with the opponent near their corner, but not touching it, throw them with a Strong throw and hold up-towards. If the throw is softened and the opponent only touches the corner when falling to the ground, that jump will be a safe jump (there's a specific spacing for this to work, it's not super precise though). Against Claw and Dictator know that they will not have enough charge for a Scarlet Terror/Knee Press Nightmare right when they land, due to the side switching that happens during the grab animation).
    • vs everyone but N.Ken and Blanka: grab them with the Elbow Bash hold (the Roundhouse throw) and hold up-towards. This may randomly be a cross-up against Shotos and Deejay, so be aware of that. This works against O.Ken because only N.Ken's Fierce Shoryu is a 0f startup move, O.Ken's is 1f.
    • vs Boxer: with Boxer touching a corner, knock him down with the Jab Tomahawk Buster 2nd active part, and then hold up-towards.
  • N.T.Hawk only:
    • vs Sagat: knock him down with the sweep's 2nd active part and then hold up-towards.
  • O.T.Hawk only:
    • vs Guile: knock him down with the sweep's 1st active part and then hold up-towards.
  • FeiLong:
    • vs Boxer, Fei: with the opponent cornered, grab them with the Gankai Hou (the punch throw) and hold up-towards. If the opponent techs the throw, that jump will be a safe jump. This can be used pretty much against all charge characters by the way, even though you're not landing with safe jump timing, due to the opponent not being able to hit you with a normal move (not enough time for it) and due to not having enough charge for a reversal (no back charge because Fei switched sides with the opponent during the throw animation - which makes the opponent lose charge, and most probably no down charge too, since if the opponent teched the throw, he most likely was trying to counter-throw, which can't be done while crouching).
    • vs Dhalsim, Claw, Sagat: grab them with the Shuu Kubi Kari (kick throw) and hold up-towards. If the opponent techs the throw and doesn't hit the corner or a breakable object, that jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Dictator: with the opponent cornered, grab them with the Shuu Kubi Kari (kick throw). If the opponent doesn't techs the throw, hold up-towards till you jump a second time, and that jump will be a safe jump. This is not very useful though since if the throw is teched, jumping immediatelly is unsafe.
    • vs Dhalsim, Dictator: with the opponent cornered, knock them down with the Short Shien Kyaku (flame kick) 1st active part and hold up-towards.
  • DeeJay:
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Zangief, Guile, Dhalsim, T.Hawk, Cammy, FeiLong, Boxer, Claw, Dictator: with the opponent near their corner, but not touching it, throw them with a punch throw and hold up-towards. If the throw is softened and the opponent only touches the corner when falling to the ground, that jump will be a safe jump (there's a specific spacing for this to work, it's not super precise though).
    • vs Dhalsim, Claw: with the opponent on the ground and far away from the corner, knock them down with the Forward or Roundhouse Jacknife Maximum (and in the case of the Forward version, don't do the move again to get the 3rd hit) and hold upwards. This will make DeeJay jump neutrally as soon as possible. During that jump, hold up-towards so DeeJay jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the neutral jump. This second jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Guile, FeiLong, DeeJay, Dictator: knock them down with a Machine Gun Upper that is partially mashed (i.e. gives 3 hits) and hold upwards. This will make DeeJay jump neutrally as soon as possible. During that jump, hold up-towards so DeeJay jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the neutral jump. This second jump will be a safe jump. It will also be a safejump agaisnt Ken's Jab and Strong Shoryukens, but not against his Fierce Shoryuken.
    • vs Claw, Sagat: knock them down with a Machine Gun Upper that is fully mashed (i.e. gives 4 hits) and hold upwards. This will make DeeJay jump neutrally as soon as possible. During that jump, hold up-towards so DeeJay jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the neutral jump. This second jump will be a safe jump.
    • vs Ryu, Honda, Guile, FeiLong, DeeJay, Dictator: knock them down with his Super, but instead of following up with a Jacknife Maximum for extra juggle hits, hold upwards. This will make DeeJay jump neutrally as soon as possible. During that jump, hold up-towards so DeeJay jumps towards the opponent as soon as he lands from the neutral jump. This second jump will be a safe jump. It will also be a safejump agaisnt Ken's Jab and Strong Shoryukens, but not against his Fierce Shoryuken.

--Born2SPD


Safe Reversal

Safe reversal is a very useful (but very difficult) option select technique. When your opponent does a meaty to you, safe reversal allows you to attempt a reversal risk-free. For the command of the move you're attempting to do as a reversal, rather than leaving the stick in the command's final position and pushing the buttons, if you quickly move the stick to D/B and release the buttons after finishing the motion, you will block if you didn't time the reversal correctly.

For example, with Ryu, as you're getting up, hold all three punches, then do F, D, DF, D/B release Jab~release Strong~release Fierce. If you timed it correctly, you will get a DP. If you didn't time it correctly, you will block. Note that you only have a relatively small window of time to reach D/B and release the buttons, so you must be quick.


Instant Jumping Overheads

Only a few characters (Ryu, Ken, Fei) have true overheads as ground moves, but some characters can also do an overhead as a jumping attack immediately after leaving the ground, at point blank range. These typically can only be done to finish the opponent, because obviously you can't block on your way down from the jump. Good jumping overheads include:

  • Chun's headstomp (will beat DP clean)
  • Dic's j.Forward
  • Boxer's j.Short and j.Forward
  • Honda's j.Short
  • Zangief's j.Forward

Note that Dhalsim's drills, despite being jumping moves, can be duck-blocked. In fact, if angled correctly, they MUST be duck-blocked, because they can hit as a low move.


Cross-Ups

When a jumping attack has a long enough horizontal hitbox that it passes the character's origin point (basically their center), that attack is capable of a Cross Up. In a nutshell, when a character's origin point passes their opponent's, they are now considered on the other side of that opponent, and their blocking direction changes. That means when a Cross Up attack hits, the direction the opponent must block just changed sides. To make crossups even more dangerous, try to aim your character's origin point around the center of your opponent's. This makes which direction to block ambiguous, and this is an incredibly dangerous tool for combos and pressure.

Of course, you need to jump to perform a crossup, so consider saving them for knockdowns or when you're fully in your opponent's head.


Cross-ups and Horizontal Charge Moves

If you have a horizontal charge and the opponent crosses you up, you will lose your charge. The three exceptions to this are Chun's stored super, Honda's stored super, and Honda's stored Ochio. With those moves, you can switch the direction of your charge as your characters switch sides. (Side note: Claw can not do this with his stored flip kicks.) In general, if you're being crossed up while you have a horizontal charge, you can still perform the charge move at the moment of the cross-up, when your charge is forcibly removed. For example, Guile knocks down Honda and goes for a cross-up. Honda is already charged, holding the back direction. When Guile crosses up Honda, the back direction turns into the towards direction, and if Honda hits punch, he will get a Headbutt.

--NKI 14:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)



Zangief
SPD
T.Hawk
Typhoon/720
E.Honda
Oicho
Zangief
Rh Suplex
E.Honda
Normals
Blanka Dhalsim Zangief Normals/
Forward Suplex
Dictator Boxer¹
Strong
ChunLi Zangief RBG/
Short Suplex
Claw Zangief
720
Ryu/
Ken
Guile DeeJay Cammy Sagat Boxer¹
Fierce
T.Hawk
Normals
FeiLong
Zangief SPD +18 +25 +28 +30 +32 +37 +42 +42 +52 +43 +45 +46 +47 +47 +48 +48 +49 +50 +62 +53 +55
T.Hawk Typhoon
T.Hawk 720
-18 +7 +10 +12 +14 +19 +24 +24 +24 +25 +27 +28 +29 +29 +30 +30 +31 +32 +34 +35 +37
E.Honda Oicho -25 -7 +3 +5 +7 +12 +17 +17 +4 +18 +20 +21 +22 +22 +23 +23 +24 +25 +10 +28 +30
Zangief Rh Suplex -28 -10 -3 +2 +4 +9 +14 +14 +24 +15 +17 +18 +19 +19 +20 +20 +21 +22 +34 +25 +27
E.Honda Normals -30 -12 -5 -2 +2 +7 +12 +12 -1 +13 +15 +16 +16 +18 +18 +18 +19 +20 +5 +23 +25
Blanka -32 -14 -7 -4 -2 +5 +10 +10 -2 +11 +13 +14 +15 +15 +16 +16 +17 +18 +8 +21 +23
Dhalsim -37 -19 -12 -9 -7 -5 +5 +5 +11 +6 +8 +9 +10 +10 +11 +11 +12 +13 +21 +16 +18
Zangief Normals
Zangief Forward Suplex
-42 -24 -17 -14 -12 -10 -5 +0 +10 +1 +3 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +8 +20 +11 +13
Dictator -42 -24 -17 -14 -12 -10 -5 -0 -1 +1 +3 +4 +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +8 +9 +11 +13
Boxer¹ Strong Throw -52 -24 -4 -24 +1 +2 -11 -10 +1 +1 -7 +5 -5 +5 +5 +7 +7 +9 +10 +11 +13
ChunLi -43 -25 -18 -15 -13 -11 -6 -1 -1 -1 +2 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +6 +7 +9 +10 +12
Zangief Short Suplex
Zangief RBG
-45 -27 -20 -17 -15 -13 -8 -3 -3 +7 -2 +1 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +5 +17 +8 +10
Claw -46 -28 -21 -18 -16 -14 -9 -4 -4 -5 -3 -1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +3 +4 +5 +7 +9
Zangief 720 -47 -29 -22 -19 -17 -15 -10 -5 -5 +5 -4 -2 -1 +0 +1 +1 +2 +3 +15 +6 +8
Ryu/Ken -47 -29 -22 -19 -17 -15 -10 -5 -5 -5 -4 -2 -1 -0 +1 +1 +2 +3 +5 +6 +8
Guile -48 -30 -23 -20 -18 -16 -11 -6 -6 -5 -5 -3 -2 -1 -1 +0 +1 +2 +5 +5 +7
DeeJay -48 -30 -23 -20 -18 -16 -11 -6 -6 -7 -5 -3 -2 -1 -1 -0 +1 +2 +3 +5 +7
Cammy -49 -31 -24 -21 -19 -17 -12 -7 -7 -7 -6 -4 -3 -2 -2 -1 -1 +1 +3 +4 +6
Sagat -50 -32 -25 -22 -20 -18 -13 -8 -8 -9 -7 -5 -4 -3 -3 -2 -2 -1 +1 +3 +5
Boxer¹ Fierce Throw -62 -34 -10 -34 -5 -8 -21 -20 -9 -10 -9 -17 -5 -15 -5 -5 -3 -3 -1 +1 +3
T.Hawk Normals -53 -35 -28 -25 -23 -21 -16 -11 -11 -11 -10 -8 -7 -6 -6 -5 -5 -4 -3 -1 +2
FeiLong -55 -37 -30 -27 -25 -23 -18 -13 -13 -13 -12 -10 -9 -8 -8 -7 -7 -6 -5 -3 -2

¹NOTE: Boxer's grabs can only be activated when inside Close Standing Strong/Fierce activation range (which also explains why Strong grab has more range), this means that he is the only character in ST (this is not true for HSF2, because of the CPS1 characters) that has an activation range on his throw/grab(i.e. like close normals). Boxer's throwbox is huge, but he can't activate his grab from that max range because of the Close Normal range restriction, which will vary by which character your opponent is using. On top of that, different characters have different throwablebox sizes, which as a result made Boxer grab to have a "variable" range by matchups: on some matchups his grabs have a long range(Blanka, E.Honda), on others it has a very small range(Dhalsim, Zangief). The underlined values represent the values that deviate from the general rule, i.e. the values that differ from Dictator's (since, otherwise, they have equivalent throw ranges).

--Born2SPD


Ground Crossups

This is a useful way to get massive damage off a mixup, by walking under your opponent in a specific situation, some ground moves can hit from behind like Cross Ups. This pushes the opponent into you, allowing for some huge damage potential. The way to set these up varies on the character, either an air to air, or teched throw are common though, and some are matchup specific.

  • Shotos - Cr mp (Only on Blanka) : This is not really useful for Ryu, as he almost never gets a chance to go for this. Ken can use it after a kneebash however, this can be blocked high, but it does good dizzy if it hits, and links into most of your other normals.
  • Dhalsim - Slides : Mainly done with anti air slides (vs shotos and Sagat etc), if done at the right range it will cause Sim to move behind when it hits, allowing you to link other normals for big damage. Usually this is done with lk slide, you can link into cr mk for distance, or close hp, which will usually dizzy if it hits twice. In some cases you can set these up after teched throws, and in other cases it works as they get up (Only seen this used against Sagat).
  • Honda - Sweep : The part where his leg is behind him has a hitbox, so it will be perfect for this type of setup. This is good to do after a fierce throw in the corner, most characters are susceptible to this, however some like Sim cannot be walked under in order to go for it. You are safe if they manage to block at least, you may sometimes prefer to not bother and maintain corner pressure.
  • Dictator - Slide (cr hk) : This is nice in the sense you get a lot of ways to go into this, however it is very unsafe if blocked, so don't be too predictable. Best after a teched throw near the corner, or air to air/anti air normal. Vs Sim and Chun this can work mid screen after a teched throw, in addition to the corner. Dictator can cross most characters up with cr mp, but this is not much use, and a lot harder to set it up.
  • Fei - Close mk/lk : One of the most common moves for ground crossups, safe it it is blocked, and can lead to massive damage combos. The most effective way to set this up is to do a throw, and if they tech, you can walk under in time. Both throws let you do this, but kick throw/air throw is more lenient. For good damage and a hard knockdown, try close mk > cr lp> hp rekka.
  • Cammy - Close mk : Similar to Fei close mk, however some characters can crouch under this, making it less useful in those matchups. You can set this up well in most cases, if done after anti air close mp. Like Fei you want to link another normal after close mk for big damage and a knockdown. Usually close mk> cr mp> drill works well enough.

Corpse Hopping

Term used for moves that allow you to "pass over" a downed opponent. While there are many moves that can do this, some (like fierce srks, and flask kick etc) are not very useful at all. Only ones worth noting will be listed. These are either used to simply get on the other side, like to get out of the corner etc. Or in some cases to quickly hit the opponent from the other side as a mixup.

  • Ryu - lk Tatsu : Other tatsus will work, and so will srks. Lk tatsu is mainly to get behind them to escape the corner, or if you are against someone like dictator or boxer, you might use this to make them lose super charge. If you use stronger versions of tatsu it can go behind before they get up, and hit them from behind, this is character specific, and also quite easy to block if the opponent knows of this trick, so it's generally not much use.
  • Ken - hcf + kick, lk Tatsu - This is side specific, and only works on some characters in addition to this. You can not hold it and simply pass to the other side, or hold for the overhead, and you will go back to the front when you perform it. This is helpful in some matchups to avoid reversal moves, allowing you to punish afterwards. Keep in mind that reversal throws/command grab will beat this. LK tatsu is just if you need something quick to get out of the corner etc.
  • Blanka - Horizontal Ball, forward Hop - A useful tool in Blankas mixup game. The horizontal ball will fly over a downed opponent, this is useful in the corner, and after a bite hold. You will recover very fast after landing, letting you surprise the opponent for a combo. Hop is much of the same, but much slower, it will go through opponents even when they are not downed though. You can charge upball while doing this, if you activate it with df.
  • Zangief - Ground Headbutt (Fierce) - Fierce has a little more distance, allowing a corpse hop to be possible in most cases. Chances are the opponent will be able to react if they know about this, but it can be useful for making charge characters lose back charge, and escaping the corner.
  • Sagat - Tiger Knee : You can also go over them if they are crouching, though this is much easier on some characters than others. Not hard for them to react to, mostly used to reduce their input time so it's harder for them to reverse. So you want to go behind, then have time to land and do cr mk meaty etc.
  • Dictator - Psycho Crusher and Scissor Kick : Key mixup tool. With the obvious use of spacing (escaping the corner), it can also be used to create mixups using overheads and ticks. Mid screen both of these go over, in the corner it depends on the character you are facing, and the side you are on. Generally for most matchups, scissor kick works on both sides (but it's much slower, so psycho is favoured), and psycho works on their side.

--GolcarJack 2020

Game Navigation

General
Controls and Notation
System
FAQ
New Characters
Balrog
Blanka
Cammy
Chun-Li
Dee Jay
Dhalsim
E. Honda
Fei Long
Guile
Ken
M. Bison
Ryu
Sagat
T. Hawk
Vega
Zangief
Akuma
Old Characters
O. Balrog
O. Blanka
O. Cammy
O. Chun-Li
O. Dee Jay
O. Dhalsim
O. E. Honda
O. Fei Long
O. Guile
O. Ken
O. M. Bison
O. Ryu
O. Sagat
O. T. Hawk
O. Vega
O. Zangief