Hitting Two Opponents With the Same Attack
One attack can hit multiple targets when they are within range. For example one attack can hit BOTH Carl and Nirvana.
Normally, when an attack touches the opponent, the remaining active frames can not hit the opponent again. However, if there is a second hittable character, then the remaining active frames can still hit him!
This leads to visually strange situations like Ragna's 5B hitting Nirvana, then a moment later, Carl jumps into the active frames and gets hit. This is further compounded by the fact that hitstop only applies to the attacker and the target, thus allowing the attack to hit the unaffected character with the active frames plus the hitstop frames!
This even applies to projectiles like Jin's Hishouken, but since the projectile will disappear immediately after hitstop, this effect is much harder to take advantage of.
- Misc Notes
- With regards to cancels on hit/block, hitting assist characters counts as the opponent blocking an attack
- If two opponents are in range of your attack, they are hit on the same frame
When an attack hits an object, both objects freeze in place briefly to give the attack the feeling of more impact. This effect is known as hitstop and can vary in duration, like Hazama's 5A compared to his Jayoku Houtenjin (236236B) . Hitstop helps with combo consistency because you can buffer commands like special cancels during hitstop and it will be executed immediately after hitstop ends.
Hitstop applies to anything that can attack or get hit - including projectiles and assists. We will refer to all of these as "objects" for the sake of brevity.
Objects experiencing hitstop are frozen in place, but other objects are unaffected. For example, when Jin's projectile hits the opponent, Jin does not experience hitstop, only the projectile and the opponent do. From Jin's perspective, the hitstop the opponent experiences can be thought of as additional blockstun/hitstun! If an object also happens to have some other property, such as a guard point or invulnerability, while frozen by hitstop, that property will extended by the duration of the hitstop as well, so it will always end at the same point in the move as it usually would.
- Uneven Hitstop
When an attack hits an object, both the attacker and the receiving object usually experience the same amount of hitstop, but this is not always true. Some attacks deal different amounts of hitstop on hit vs block, or normal vs counter hit.
The most common example of this is counter hit - the defender experiences a few extra frames of hitstop compared to the attacker! These extra frames of hitstop can be thought of as extra hitstun since only the defender experiences them.
- Armor and Parry Stances
Attacks with armor and parry-type attacks are attacks that guard the opponent's attack before retaliating with their own. When these attacks guard the opponent's attack, they can also change how much hitstop each object experiences! This is why some counter type attacks can beat safe jumps; they force the attacker into more hitstop that the defender, and the defender can attack before the attacker can reach the ground and guard!
Hakumen's 5D is an example of this.
As mentioned above, projectiles are considered separate objects from the character that summoned them, so when they hit other objects, the character doesn't experience hitstop. The projectile itself does experience hitstop - which explains why multihit projectiles don't do their hits one frame after the other, they need to wait for hitstop to end before they can hit the opponent again!
- Assist Characters
Hitting assist characters (like Carl's or Relius's dolls) works the same as hitting any character with regards to hitstop.
- Miscellaneous Hitstop Notes
- Amount of Hitstop
- The amount of hitstop an attack deals depends on its attack level, but certain attacks can override these default values.
- Getting Hit While in Hitstop
- If a character gets hit while experiencing hitstop, then the previous hitstop immediately ends and the new attack's hitstop begins.
- Hitting Two Opponents With One Attack
- The attacker only experiences hitstop the first time they hit an opponent. Both opponents will experience hitstop each time they get hit.
- Projectiles where the Attacker Also Experiences Hitstop
- While very rare, some projectiles (like Nu's 5D) don't behave like normal projectiles and also put the attacker into hitstop
Instantly Stopping a Run
While running, a throw totally halts your character's momentum. This throw can be kara canceled into Barrier (done via [BC] > 4ABC) to immediately come to a stop, avoiding the sliding momentum that a regular Barrier run stop would have. The difference isn't normally worth it given the execution requirement but it could have situational applications or be used in precise spacing games.
Some mechanics in the game depend on priority, notably same frame situations such as throw trades. Character priority is determined by the latest player to strike the other, including with projectiles. The sprites of the character with priority will be displayed in front of the sprites of the lower priority character. Character priority can be gained or lost by doing actions such as walking or crouching.
Projectiles and dolls are always lower priority than characters. If a character's attack and a projectile hit on the same frame, the character's attack will be applied last. If a projectile and throw occur on the same frame, the throw will be applied after the projectile but will not purple.
During blockstun the defender will automatically block other attacks regardless of what direction the defender holds until blockstun ends! This lets the defender more easily prepare reversal inputs and more safely input Instant Blocks.
- Block carryover ends immediately when blockstun ends, event a one frame gap
- Block carryover works even when the opponent switches sides.
- Defenders must still block correctly - low attacks must be blocked low, and high attacks must be blocked high
- Hold any downward direction to block low. All other directions will block high.
Airborne Crossup Protection
If a character Normal Jumps, that character's facing will not change until one of three things happen:
- They finish using an air option: Double jump or Airdash.
- They block an attack.
- They land on the ground.
Because of this, jumping can be used to defend against crossups as the defending player does not need change block or barrier direction until facing is corrected by one of the above conditions.
Offensive setups can deal with this crossup protection by doing multiple hits quickly, which may or may not be possible to do depending on what the setup is.
For all the moves that require an direction combination first, the game looks at your input history to see what motions you might have performed. Not all of the motions shown in game, or even this wiki, show what the engine itself is actually looking for:
(All of the following inputs also apply to their mirrored versions)
- The following motions require every direction input, as written
- 236. There is a maximum of 10F between each direction pressed.
- 623. The timing is even more strict, allowing only 7F between 6 and 2, and 3 and the final button press. The 2 input can be held for 12F, strangely.
- 41236 motions, also 10F between directions at most.
- 6428 motions, with 12F between each input
- 22 and 66 motions are better throught of as 252 and 656 motions respectively, with 10F between each step, including neutral.
- For dashes performed with 66 (and 44) motions, a diagonal must not be seen just before the final direction. That is; 6536 is not a valid dash, however 6356, 65356 and 65326 are valid.
- 28, 646 and similar rocker motions have 12F between inputs.
- Other, longer motions, don't require diagonals at all (12F gap between inputs):
- 632146 may be input as 6246
- 236236 may be input as 2626
- 2141236 may be input as 2426
- 1632143 may be input as 16243
- 64641236 may be input as 646426
- 41236 41236 may be input as 426426
- Spin inputs also do not look for diagonals, but use an overall time for inputting the spin instead of a maximum a gap between inputs.
- 360 spins are any ordered sequence of all four cardinals or diagonals in either direction, you have 30F to input the spin after leaving the initial direction
- 720 spins are two identical 360s in a row, (So same start point and spin direction), 45F to perform the input
- 1080 spins are three identical 360s, with 75F to perform the input.
- Charge inputs have their own rules, the charge time is specific to the move so isn't mentioned here:
- 6 only looks at the horizontal direction throughout, so 6, 3 etc all work. There is a 10F gap between the two directions
- Similarly, 8 and 2 motions only look at the vertical motion.
- 1236 motions only look at the horizontal motion for the charge, but the start of the slide must be seen as a separate input (So 41236 is valid, 236 is not)
For all inputs, the first direction may be held for as long as you like before performing the rest of the motion. For example, you can do 2C 36A and get that character's 2C and 236A special. For all inputs that also need a button press, which is most of them, the button may be pressed on the same frame as the final direction input, or with a gap equal to the usual input gap for that motion. In most cases, excess or intermediate inputs that happen in the gap between the required inputs do not break the pattern. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to do a 623 input by doing 65123, as long as it's quick enough.
Direction inputs use the current facing of the character at the time the final input is pressed. Therefore if both players swap sides and turn around while a player is performing a direction input, the entire input will be read mirrored if they then press a button. For example, if an Azrael player starts inputting 236C but Azrael turns around before C is pressed, that will be seen by the game as 214C, giving Sentinel Dump instead of the intended Tiger Magnum. Note that the character facing isn't always towards the opponent; turning around can't happen while a player is performing a move, for example, so the inputs need to take this account to get the move you actually want.
When you press a button or multiple buttons, there are often various interpretations the game can make as to what move it should activate, if any. In order to feel consistent, and also to make inputs feel more responsive with mutliple buttons, the game uses a system of command priorities to ensure consistent move interpretation.
After pressing a button, the game tries to activate a move in this order:
- Overdrive/Exceed Accel
- Counter Assault
- Rapid Cancel
- Astral Heat
- Distortion Drive
- Special move
- Normal Throw
- Crush Trigger
- Normal move
- Super Jump
Within each category there is also a set of priorities:
- If multiple buttons are pressed at the same time, the game uses the order the moves are scripted in to determine which one to activate, obeying the above order. Typically moves are ordered from strong to weak in this way:
- For example, if you input A+C while playing Ragna, you will get 5C rather than 5A.
- For special moves, this ordering is not always obvious, for example; Mu and Makoto both have 236A specials with higher priority than their 623C. Because of this, inputting 6236A+B+C will result in 236A. It's useful to know what priority moves are when learning a character.
- For normals, there is a system of direction priority so that a move will always activate even if you don't hold the exact direction needed for it:
- When grounded; If you press a button holding a downwards diagonal direction and there is no move specific to that diagonal, the game will try to interpret that as just downwards (So inputting 3B will be interpreted as 2B rather than 6B)
- Similarly, if you're holding 6 or 4 and press a button and there isn't a valid move that needs that directional input (Such as Ragna trying to press 4A), the game will try to activate the direction neutral version instead (So Ragna would perform 5A)
- In the air, things are quite different:
- Pressing any j.9X or j.7X without a specific move for that diagonal will try to do the j.8X version if there is one, if not, then the j.X5 Direction, it will not try j.6X or j.4X in any instance
- Pressing j.3X will give j.6X in preference to j.2X if there is both. Similarly j.1X will give preference to j.4X instead of j.2X if there is one. if there is no j.4X or j.6X move, then you will get j.2X
- This priority list also applies when giving commands to Ignis or Nirvana.
If for some reason, the game reads a valid input for a move but the player cannot activate it (For example, trying to activate a distortion drive without enough heat), then the game will try to activate the next move it can in the order of priorities and repeat this process as many times as necessary, ultimately it will ignore the input entirely if there is no valid command (such as trying to attack when in hitstun).
In order to make multi-button presses and other inputs a little easier, the game has some leniency when it comes to activating moves. Some moves can have their first 3 frames of startup cancelled into certain other actions, when performed from a neutral state (not cancelled into from another move). For most normal moves and throws, you can cancel into any action with a higher input priority; notably this includes Barrier Block, Overdrive and all specials/supers. (Certain normals such as Hakumen's Drives cannot be kara cancelled.) Crush Triggers can also be kara cancelled but only into Barrier, Exceed Accel and Overdrive. This can even be done if the first frames of a move are extended by a super freeze; if you are in the startup of an attack during the freeze of an opponent's reversal super or Overdrive activation, you may still be able to kara cancel into barrier or an invincible option of your own to avoid a punish!
Note that the buttons used in the move being cancelled aren't important. For example, it's possible to press 5A~B+C and kara cancel 5A into a throw, despite the throw input not containing the A button.
Certain moves may have the property that they can be cancelled into another specific move(s) on startup; mechanically, this is not the same thing as a normal kara cancel, though it is functionally similar. The window for these startup cancels will depend on the move.
See Proximity Guard.