The King of Fighters XIII/Character States/Aerial State

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Aerial State

Committing to any type of hop, jump, or special attack that moves the character off the ground triggers an aerial state. Being airborne reduces the amount of options available to the player but can in some ways inhibit or enable combos. When in an aerial state, the player loses the ability to block and cannot alter the character's arc of movement without using character-specific air moves.

  • By jumping, the player initially chooses to move in one of ten different jump arcs. This is the most basic way to enter an aerial state and gives the player access to all of the character's air Normal Moves, Command Normals, Special Moves, and Desperation Moves. It is also possible to use Hyperdrive activation from a jump.
  • Backdashing is another way to enter an aerial state. It is possible to use air Command Normals, Special Moves, and Desperation moves during a backdash.
  • Certain Command Normals, Special Moves, and Desperation Moves enter an airborne state. However, do not assume that a move is airborne simply because the character appears to be off the ground in the animation.

Hitting Aerial Opponents

Depending on which attack hits an aerial opponent, the player can be put in different states afterward. Depending on how an aerial opponent is hit, it may open up combo opportunities. For details, see the Combo System Explanation.


The most fundamental of attacks and the easiest to anti-air with at times. Nearly all standing, crouching, and aerial normals will place an aerial opponent into a air reset state.

  • Crouching Heavy Kick (crouching D) will always cause a soft knockdown.
  • Blowback Attacks (CD attacks) will always cause a soft knockdown.
  • If the anti-air or air-to-air attack registers as a counterhit then it may be possible to hit the opponent again before the opponent flips backwards into a reset.

Specials and DM's

If a special move hits an aerial opponent, it will most likely cause a soft knockdown. This property can be taken advantage of as projectiles can anti-air for a knockdown instead of keeping the opponent standing.

  • Specific moves can cause a hard knockdown or register as a throw. The best way to find this out is to check out each character page.
  • DM's behave exactly the same against grounded and aerial opponents if they connect.

Air Throws

Every air throw in KOFXIII causes a hard knockdown and cannot be teched or broken. As the name implies, they can only register against airborne opponents.

Anywhere Juggles

Anywhere juggles will always connect against an aerial opponent even in instances where the player is already in a hitreset and cannot be further hit by conventional methods.

Strategy Corner

Being punished while airborne can hurt, although not nearly as much as eating a full grounded combo

  • At times it can be advantageous to quickly become airborne rather than staying grounded while risking being hit by a damaging command grab. One can enter an aerial state either by hopping or backdashing. Backdashing is the safer option because it becomes airborne immediately and moves away from the opponent. Hopping, however, is grounded for the initial startup, which is very vulnerable, but it allows one to punish an opponent for whiffing a command grab. As soon as the player enters an aerial state, the worst a normal attack can do is cause a air Reset.png or soft knockdown. Characters without strong reversal options may want to consider occasionally using these options to escape a situation where a delayed command grab attempt could deal heavy damage (as is the case with Iori's command grab). Even if the opponent attempts a normal Throw.png and anti-airs with a heavy normal, the damage dealt will be considerably less than the damage from the command grab.