P4AU/Movement

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Ground Movement

Walking
Hold either left or right to walk forward/backward. This is the slowest form of movement, but also presents the least risk.
Run (Dash)
To run forward, press InputIcon 6.pngInputIcon 5.pngInputIcon 6.png in quick succession when on the ground and keep holding InputIcon 6.png to continue running forward. When you stop running your character will slide to a halt for 2 frames. During the sliding animation, the character is considered standing and cannot block or crouch, but it can be canceled it into attacks (including crouching attacks) and jumps.
Microdashing refers to quickly cancelling a dash into an attack, allowing you to link certain moves in pressure and combos by using the forward momentum of the dash to increase the range of an attack.
Backdash (Backstep)
To perform a backdash, pressInputIcon 4.pngInputIcon 5.pngInputIcon 4.png quickly. All backsteps have 6 frames of invincibility at the start (Aigis's Origa mode backdash has 7), so they are useful for escaping enemy attacks if timed correctly. Backsteps can not be canceled into anything: you must wait for the entire backstep to finish before performing any further action, with the exclusion of Aigis's Orgia backdash. This means that while backsteps can evade attacks, they can be baited if the opponent performs a slow, long-reaching attack, or if the opponent anticipates the backstep and moves forward to hit you out of the backstep's recovery. Backdash recovery time varies among characters, with some recovering faster than others.
Backdashes are disabled in the following instances:
  • Upon wakeup: the game's engine disables backsteps for the first 4 frames after recovering from knockdown.
    • Aigis's Orgia backdash is not disabled on wake-up.
  • When blocking: in order to backdash out of your opponent's pressure, there must be a gap between their attacks.
    • You cannot backdash for 1 frame after blocking low, meaning that there must be a 2 frame gap in an opponent's string if you wish to change from blocking to backdashing. If you attempt to backdash when there is not a sufficient gap, you will change to standing block but fail to backdash, leaving you vulnerable to low attacks.
    • When blocking high, there must be a 1 frame gap between your opponent's attacks.
Evasive Action (Roll)
P4ArenaQuick Escape.png
Press A + C to perform a dodge forward that can avoid attacks and pass through the opponent, similar to a forward roll found in the King of Fighters series. This can be used to evade enemy attacks and projectiles, but not throws and command throws. There is a recovery period at the end of an Evasive Action that is punishable, as Evasive Actions leave the player in a counter-hit state. Finally, Evasive Action's strike invincibility does not begin on the first frame, so they are a poor option on wake-up, as the opponent can easily beat the Evasive Action before it gains invincibility.
In pressure, rolling allows you to create cross-up scenarios by having your persona attack from one side while you move to the other: since the opponent must block in relation to the player's position and not the persona's, Evasive Action offers interesting cross-up options. However, there are restrictions on left-right cross-ups, which are discussed here.
This is one of the few methods of movement available when shocked.
Evasive Action invincibility:
  • 1-2F projectile invincible.
  • 3-24F strike and projectile invincible, can pass through opponent.
  • 33F total duration.
  • Counter Hit state from 3F onward.
Evasive Actions are commonly called "rolls" by players, while in Japan, they're often referred to as "Quick Escapes."
Ground Ukemi (Ground Tech)
Can be delayed.
When your character is knocked to the ground, press any single button to recover, causing your character to flash white and flip off the ground. This entire animation is invincible (duration: 33 frames), but it is slow, thus giving your opponent time to set up a mixup.
You can delay when you ukemi (tech) in order to throw off the opponent's attack timing, but this carries some risk. You are vulnerable while laying on the ground, and if you wait too long to tech, your character will automatically rise from the ground. This rising animation is completely safe, but the time before you start rising is completely vulnerable and allows the opponent to start a new combo on you with damage scaling reset!
If you do not ukemi immediately when you touch the ground, there is a short period of time where you can not ukemi (duration: 30 frames). The opponent can hit you during this time and continue the combo, though the HUD will show that the combo was invalid (since you could have escaped earlier) and the proration from the previous combo will carry over.


Air Movement

Jump/Double Jump
Press any of the upward directions to jump. All characters can also perform a double jump by jumping again while midair. Ground jumps have 3 frames of startup where you are still considered on the ground, are invincible to throws, can not block, and can cancel the jump startup into ground Skill Attacks. Once airborne, you will not be able to block for the first 5 frames, making jumping a risky evasive maneuver.
Super Jump
To Super Jump, start from InputIcon 5.png, then quickly press any downward direction, then any upward direction. Super Jumps have startup just like normal jumps. They are used to create vertical distance between you and your opponent as well as to run away; super jump over the opponent, then air dash away! Note that you can not double jump after a super jump, so your only air option is to air dash.
Hop
Low and Throw Invincible on Frame 1! Now a combo and pressure tool.
Press InputIcon 2.png + A.png + C.png while on the ground to perform a short jump forward.
Hops have Foot attribute invincibility and throw invincibility on startup, so they're useful for jumping over the opponent's low attacks and ground throws. Actions can not immediately be performed after a hop (you must wait a until the apex of the hop) and you can not perform air dashes/double jumps at all during a hop (but you can air turn). In addition to that, you can not block at all during a Hop, are in counter-hit state during the move, and any attack performed by cancelling into a hop can be blocked both high and low.
Hops can be canceled into from many normals, making them useful offensively to reset pressure strings and as a combo tool. Cancelling into a hop from a normal attack is considered to be a special cancel.
Defensively, hops can be used to beat opponents mashing throws and low attacks. And just like Evasive Actions, hops can performed even when shocked!
Air Turn
P4ArenaAir Turn.png
Press A.png+C.png while airborne to turn around mid-air. This can be used to turn to face opponents who run under you to the other side, to hit the opponent as you jump over them, as well as to perform forward air dashes away from the opponent (which not only travel a longer distance than air backdashes, but also prevent you from entering Negative Penalty).
When inputting specials, you must input them in relation to your character's direction.
  • For example, if Narukami is facing away from his opponent, you must input j.236A to perform Raging Lion, not j.214A.


Air Dash Forward/Backward
While airborne, press 66 to perform an air dash forward, and 44 to perform an air dash backward. Airdashes are used to cover large distances quickly, but they are vulnerable during startup.
All air backdashes are invincible from frames 1-5.
A common tactic is to perform an air dash immediately after jumping in order to cover distance quickly and avoid ground attacks; in fact, this tactic is so common that it has its own name: Instant Air Dash (IAD). IADs are performed by pressing 956 for a forward air dash and 754 for a backward air dash. The idea is that the jump includes a directional input that also counts as an input for the air dash command.


Air Ukemi (Air Tech)
Pick a direction with InputIcon 4.png, InputIcon 8.png, InputIcon 6.png, or InputIcon 5.png
Air ukemi when the blue bar at the bottom is empty.
After being hit in the air, a blue bar will appear under the combo counter. This bar represents how long air ukemi (air tech) is disabled. Hold any button down while you are getting hit in the air and you will air ukemi as soon as the blue bar empties. By holding left, right, or up (or no direction at all), you can choose the direction you recover.
Air ukemi takes 15 frames and you are invincible the entire time.
If you touch the ground before you air ukemi, you can then perform a ground ukemi.
Usually, you will want to ukemi immediately when possible, but opponents can take advantage of this behavior by setting up a mixup that you will be forced to block when you ukemi. A common counter to this tactic is to delay your ukemi in order to throw off the opponent's mixup timing, but this carries some risk; the opponent can simply hit you before you ukemi and continue to combo you!
Additionally, when choosing to air ukemi, be mindful of the opponent's position. After an air ukemi is performed, you are vulnerable to air unblockable attacks, allowing your opponent to catch your air tech and reset you into a new combo for huge damage.
Regaining Air Options
After air blocking, air ukemi, or breaking an air throw (or having your air throw teched) you can air dash and double jump again. Therefore, it's possible to do things like air dash, get hit, air ukemi, then air dash or double jump a second time! Or Super Jump, break an air throw, then double jump!
Prejump
Jumps and High Jumps are not instantaneous - before going airborne, your character will enter a state called prejump, where you can not block, but are invincible to throws. If you are hit during prejump, you will enter standing hitstun.
Characters have different amount of prejump frames, but the rule of thumb is that the heavier/slower your character is, the longer the prejump. Exact values for prejump can be found in each character's frame data.
It is actually possible to cancel prejump into Skills, and SP Skills, though for most characters is not used very often. The reason for this is that attacks that involve an Up input, such as Mitsuru's Bufula ([2]8C/D) can be used without doing tricks to hide the jump input (such as whiffing moves beforehand).
Landing Recovery
Some airborne moves have landing recovery like Yu's Aerial Zio.

This is straightforward; upon landing you will enter a landing animation where you are completely vulnerable.

When landing from a jump, there is still a unique 4F landing recovery that disables certain actions for limited amounts of time.
1F after landing you can cancel into all actions except forward/backward walk, all jumps, and backdash
4F after landing all actions are possible

Another quirk about landing in this game is that the frame before landing, you are considered grounded meaning you can be hit by ground throw during the last frame of jumping and getting hit on the last frame will result in ground hitstun.

Cancels

Auto Combo
Each character has a combo that can be done by rapidly pressing the A button. More information can be found here.
Special Cancel
Most normal attacks can be canceled into specials, Furious Actions, and super attacks. This is generally used to create combos, but can have other applications as well.
Jump Cancel
Some normal attacks can be canceled into jumps, super jumps, and hops. This is used in combos as well as block strings and mixups. Some attacks can only be jump canceled on hit.
One More! Cancel
Press A+B+C to cancel any attack that does not whiff (in other words, any attack that touches the opponent) to cancel the attack and bring yourself back into a neutral state. This type of cancel is very powerful for use in making new frame traps, creating and extending combos, or making your attacks safe. More detailed information can be found here.
Super Cancel
Cancel a Skill or Furious Action into a super in order to extend combos. Super Cancels convert 6.5% of your max health into Blue Health.
Dash Cancel
Some attacks can be canceled into a dash (either forward or backward), such as Chie's 5C. This is different from canceling into a run since this dash runs a preset distance and cannot be canceled into anything else.
P Combo
Normal attacks can be canceled into other normal attacks and jump. Each character has different rules as to which normals can cancel into what other actions (some attacks can't be canceled at all!). This is analogous to Guilty Gear's Gatling or BlazBlue's Revolver Action. The general flow is that attacks cancel from A > B > C > D. You can find your character's exact rules in the Frame Data section.
Clash
P4Arena clash.png
Clashes happen when two opposing hitboxes touch each other. During a clash each character can cancel the attack into any action the attack can normally be canceled into on block, in addition to always being able to cancel into throw, sweep, All Out Attack, Specials, One More Cancel, or Supers.

The cancel window is very small, so you must be fast to react to it. Thus when clashes happen either the players are unable to react to it because it is unexpected, or they understand how the attacks interact well enough to intentionally cause a clash to cancel out the opponent's attack, then retaliate with their own!

Input Buffer

Advanced Input

When you hold down an attack button in P4AU, the game repeats the button input every frame for as long as the button is held down for up to 3 frames (speculated). This means that difficult links are easier to do by holding the button a little earlier than usual.

Example: Mitsuru can do Throw > 5A in the corner, but the timing is difficult. By holding the button a little before the end of the throw's animation, you will be able to do the 5A immediately after the throw finishes its recovery.

The technique is useful for punishing opponent's blocked attacks as quickly as possible.

Similarly, the same principle can be applied to runs/backsteps/airdashes!

If you input a run within 3F (speculated) of the end of an attack's recovery, then regardless of any directional inputs after that, you will begin dashing as soon as recovery ends. This can also be done any time while your character can not move, such as during blockstun, on wakeup, etc.

This technique is especially useful for runs because it gives your attacks more range for free; by buffering both an attack and a run, you will attack as soon as possible while sliding forward! This technique is useful for linking together combos as well as punishing things after blocking. In fact, some combos rely on this property to link a running 5A/B/C/D or else the combo wouldn't work.

One caveat to this is that advanced input for runs will not work when you are in a crouching state, such as after crouching attacks. Advanced inputs for buttons inputs will still work.

Super Flash Buffer

During an opponent's super flash/freeze (when they perform a super attack, the screen freezes briefly), you can input commands and they will be executed immediately after the super freeze ends. This means that provided you are not in the middle of an attack, it is trivially easy to react to an opponent's super attacks with an attack of your own.

This buffer is often used to execute an invincible attack (such as an Evasive Action, a B+D, or your own super) that will avoid the opponent's attack! This is because supers usually have a bit of startup even AFTER the super flash. If you can have an invincible attack out before the opponent's attack becomes active, then you can avoid the attack!

Super attacks list their startup values as: startup pre-flash + startup post-flash.

Meaning an attack with startup 5+5 has 5 frames of startup, then the super flash, then 5 more frames of startup.

Supers With No Startup After Super Flash
Some supers are special: they have no additional startup after the super flash. This means that you cannot use this super flash buffer to beat these supers because the attack will already be active immediately following the super freeze.
Kanji's Super Throw (Burn to a Crisp!) is a prime example of this: you must already have some way to avoid Kanji's Super Throw prepared BEFORE the super flash if you want to beat it.