The General Fighting Game Strategies section contain a list of general strategies that can be applied to any of the fighting games listed on this wiki (unless otherwise noted). This list is made under the assumption that the reader already has a basic knowledge of how the respective games work (i.e. knowledge of attack buttons, defensive options, etc.).
- 1 Playstyles
- 2 Offensive Techniques
- 3 Defensive Techniques
- 4 Special Techniques
- 5 Metagame Strategies
An offensive playstyle. Basically a rushdown player tries to get up in their opponent's face and swing away until their opponent cracks from the pressure. Effective rushdown often utilizes quick normal attacks that are easily hit-confirmable into a combo and leave the attacker at a relatively safe frame advantage if blocked. Mixups come into play here as the rushdown player tries to open up their opponent with a mix of overheads, low attacks, throws, staggered strings, and even unblockables if available.
A defensive playstyle. A turtling player usually will want their opponent to attack them until they make a mistake that leaves them vulnerable, which a turtling player will punish. Various defensive options such as Instant Blocking, Slashback, Barrier Guard/Faultless Defense, and Pushblocking can help a turtling player in creating opportunities to disrupt an attacking opponent.
Zoning is when a player controls an area or space on the screen in order to limit an opponent's options while maximizing chances in creating their own. Old-school zoning incorporates long-ranged normal attacks and a projectile (think Dhalsim and Guile from Street Fighter 2), while new-school zoning can employ short-ranged normals with obscene hitboxes and quick recovery frames and numerous projectiles to make their opponents' lives a living hell (re: Venom from Guilty Gear, Lambda-11 and Arakune from BlazBlue).
A runaway playstyle is pretty self-explanatory; the player runs away and avoids as much contact with the opponent as they can. While it may seem "cowardly" to runaway, there are legit strategies to using this playstyle, such as using the clock to your advantage if you have a life lead or staying away from an obvious disadvantaged situation if your character is ill-equipped to deal with it. However, some games are starting to implement system mechanics designed to punish excessive running away (namely Guilty Gear and BlazBlue), so keep that in mind and do the minimum needed to avoid Negative Penalty.
Frame traps are a string of attacks designed to provoke a reaction from an opponent, and defeat the action the opponent chooses to take. Knowing frame data is essential in crafting a good frame trap that is essentially air-tight, yet leaves enough of a gap to make the opponent think they have an opening to take the initiative. Tick throws and staggers are used as part of frame traps.
Offensive Kara Cancels
Offensive kara cancels are special cancels used to extend or change a property of an offensive attack. Techniques such as kara-throwing and fast-falling with specific characters (namely BBCT/CS1/CS2 Carl and Litchi) are considered offensive kara cancels.
Attacking Option Selects
Attacking option selects are basically an attack sequence that can cover an opponent's multiple options while reducing the number of options to keep in mind. Attacking option selects are usually applied in okizeme as well as in mixup situations.
Offensive Fuzzy Guard
Offensive fuzzy guard is a mixup technique where an opponent is forced into a potentially nasty guessing game after blocking an attack that has to be blocked standing.
There are two types of unblockable attacks to keep in mind; the first one is special moves that are unblockable in design (such as GGXX#R Slayer's Undertow), and the second one is a string of moves that causes an unblockable due to the game engine itself even though the moves themselves are normally blockable if used separately. Famous examples of the latter include any iteration of Eddie from the Guilty Gear series and Carl from the BlazBlue series.
Burst-bait combos are basically combos designed to bait an opponent into using a burst in order to punish them for even more damage. They sometimes do less damage than a normal combo, but if done right and the opponent bursts in the middle of them, their burst should whiff and you should be able to tag them on their burst recovery with a fresh combo.
An attack that is timed so that the active frames of the move hit a knocked down opponent as they are rising. This is generally done to prevent the opponent mashing when they are getting up, but you can also time overheads, lows and throws to be meaty as well.
An attack/series of attacks/actions that can hit opponents during the vulnerable frames of their rolls or quick stands. The stronger tech catches not only catch these options, but can hit meaty as well.
Okizeme is the term for multiple attack options performed as the opponent is getting up after a knockdown. It differs slightly from meaties, as it emphasizes mixup rather than simply attacking the opponent.
One common okizeme tactic in pretty much any 2d fighter is the safe jump. Safe jumping is basically timing a jump-in attack on a downed opponent so that if the opponent attempts to block on wakeup, you will make contact and be able to maintain pressure, and if the opponent attempts a move with startup invulnerability such as a shoryuken, you will be able to safely block and hopefully punish the reversal move.
In guilty gear, it is also possible to accomplish the same thing with an FD option select. Instead of jumping in, you can run in, hold 1 and p, and press k. Assuming you timed the p correctly, if your opponent blocks, the crouching p should make contact and cancel into a crouching k, but if they attempt a reversal move, the crouching p will whiff and you will FD. Here is a video example.
Mixups are varying your attack options against a defending opponent. This includes highs, lows, throws, and frame traps as needed.
Defensive Kara Cancels
A Kara (Japanese for "empty") Cancel is a special type of Canceling that exists in games such as Street Fighter III, Street Fighter IV, and BlazBlue. In a typical cancel, the animation of the move is interrupted after it hits the opponent, thereby allowing a subsequent move to follow up the canceled move in a combo. However, when a move is kara canceled, it is interrupted while still in its start-up frames before it even hits the opponent. Often, kara canceling is used to increase the effective range of a certain subsequent move, such as a throw. In this case, the initial move to be kara canceled is typically a normal move that causes the character to move toward the opponent during the move's initial start-up frames. The throw command is then quickly inputted, right when the appropriate start-up frames have lapsed. By kara canceling the normal move into a throw, the normal move's initial start-up frames are utilized to move the character closer toward the opponent before the throw comes out. A throw executed in this manner is called a "kara throw". Kara canceling might also alter the properties of the subsequent move (a throw, in this example). In most games with kara canceling, only normal moves or command moves can be kara canceled. Because the kara canceled move must be interrupted during its initial start-up frames, the subsequent move must be inputted extremely quickly. The timing is usually significantly more demanding than a conventional normal cancel.
Defending Option Selects
A series of inputs that, when defending, cover multiple options depending on what the opponent does. Things like OS Houtenjin with Hazama (214214A+B) would fall into this category.
Defensive Fuzzy Guard
As a defensive technique in 2D fighters, Fuzzy Guard is a method of switching between standing and crouching block at key moments during an opponent's Block String to defend against high-low mix-ups. If the defender knows the typical timing of the highs and lows in the attacker's blockstring, he can defend against both possibilities without needing to react to the attacker's decision. The attacking player can defeat Fuzzy Guard by changing the timing of their attacks, such as by delaying a low attack to strike an opponent who switched to standing block to defend against a possible high attack. Fuzzy Guard is one of several defensive techniques that utilizes the defending player's knowledge of the attacker's typical timing to reduce the need to react to the attacker's mix-ups. The other Fuzzy defensive options include Fuzzy Jump, which defeats throws, Fuzzy Abare aka Fuzzy Poke, which lets the defender interrupt the attacker's offense with fast attacks, and Fuzzy Backdash, which can be used to escape pressure or defeat throws.
Defending against attacks, throws, and gaps in pressure greater than jump startup by inputting block -> jump -> block at the proper timing. Since grounded throws do not work against characters airborn or in jump startup and since you can not jump while in blockstun, as long as the inputs are timed right it will defend against all mentioned options.
The first block has to be timed to beat the attack you are fuzzy jumping against, and the jump has to be input during the blockstun of that attack. Since throw immunity exists for some frames after leaving blockstun, this technique will work. Beaten by delayed attacks to catch jump startup, during which the character is unable to block.
Example: Sol Badguy chooses to run a tik throw oki, by doing meaty 2K into wild throw, or does meaty 2K into c.S. In both situations you block 2K then you fuzzy jump the c.S or lack of it. Done properly, if he does c.S you block it and if he does wild throw you jump out of it and eliminate his tick throw threat. Sol can beat this option select most directly by delaying his attack after 2K, ideally with a 3f or less gap to catch jump startup or can call it out with air throw or move his tick throw to a later part in the string the opponent will be less likely to fuzzy jump.
In Guilty Gear Xrd the inputs for this are typically 1 FD > 7 > 1 FD but standing block can also be used in some cases. Faultless Defense is used to guard against grounded normals which otherwise are not usually air blockable.
Colloquially referred to as "up-backing", chicken blocking is when a defending opponent attempts to jump out, with the intent of blocking ground attacks in the air.
A technique for tricking the game into thinking you have more aerial options than you should have. The requirements and implications of a jump install can vary depending on the game's mechanics but typically it involves canceling a jump cancel then becoming airborne without normal jumping or recovering. Generally this won't allow you to exceed your character's aerial options (such as triple jumping when you can normally only double jump) but will allow you to bypass special limitations (such as double jumping after a super jump). Another way to rationalize it mentally is that you're tricking the game into treating a grounded move as an aerial move which lifts restrictions the grounded move would normally impose.
Primarily a footsie technique (though it has other uses), attack buffering is hitting another button/inputting a special move after an initial attack. For example, inputting a 2A > 5B - the 5B will only come out if the 2A connects.
Special Guard Cancels
Footsies refer to a time where neither player has a distinct advantage over each other - as in, neither player is attacking or defending. Footsies is a neutral time where both players are trying to either approach, or keep the other player away, depending on the situation.
Japanese word which means “to act violently”. It refers to using a move in a risky situation, basically disrespecting the opponent’s options. Moves used for abare are usually fast normals, so usually jabs (5Ps/2Ps), or moves with invulnerability (like most 6Ps). Can also be simply called “mashing”. It is used to punish resets in pressure, tick throws, capitilize on opponent mistakes, or large frame traps/staggered pressure and is an essential defensive tool in many 2D fighting games. Answerable by frame traps with smaller gaps than the button used to "mash" or proper spacing.
The Japanese word for "reading the mind of the opponent". Yomi refers to making a hard read on an opponent - as in, performing an action expecting an opponnet to do a specific action. A common example of an action based on yomi are psychic dp's.
Forced Choice Scenarios
A situation, usually a defensive one, where a player is forced to choose from a series of adverse/unfavorable options in order to escape. Usually, characters that have very strong okizeme games, like Valkenhayn, Rachel or Litchi, force players in these types of scenarios.
Risk vs. Reward
Essentially, gauging as towards whether a deed is worth what may happen if it would fail.
A common example of this would be using a DP upon waking up: If the opponent is within range and attempts to attack you after recovery, then activating a DP will probably lead to it landing, dealing it's damage, and placing the round back to neutral or allowing you to combo of it and/ or start your offensive game. However, if your opponent baits the action, and blocks/ FD or Barrier cancels, unless you have the meter to cancel it, this will probably give your opponent enough time within which you are recovering that they can freely hit you with a starter of their choice, perhaps leading towards large damage. There are also other factors to consider other than player action. If the opponent is low within health, perhaps towards the point that they would die from the DP, and you are within a far better state your - self, then the action becomes more advisable. Alternatively, if you your - self have a noticeably low amount of health, towards the point that another combo would probably equal death, then it is much more risky to perform. Another factor within this example would be whether you have enough meter to cancel the move or not. If so, then the risk becomes much less.
Trolling basically means within the Fighting Game Community what it does inside the wider internet: Intentionally doing actions which are generally considered idiotic, or at least not optimal, within an attempt to irritate somebody else, usually, within this case, the other player. This can range from a taunt (Not common, but has some chance of happening within professional play, although it can be considered shoddy sportsmanship.), to intentionally doing something deliriously unsafe or dropping a combo (Almost never presents itself within higher levels of play, due towards being viewed as simply too risky, although it can happen.). Although you may find some enjoyment out of it, if you are playing within a non-casual match, it is probably not advisable, seeing as most methods of it have match losing potential.