- a somewhat mental game, that involves getting your opponent into the right area so that your character is at an effective range for most of your moves, while leaving you with enough distance and reaction time that you're safe from most of their attacks.
- Cutting off the typical recovery time of a normal attack by initiating another move
- A chain lets you cancel a normal move with another normal move (like a jab into another jab), so you can throw jabs in quick sucession. However you cannot cancel a chained jab into a special move, like a fireball. People will often use the notation "XX" to signify chaining: cr.lp xx hadouken.
- When you hit an opponent, they have a few frames (1 frame = 1/60th of a second) where they're stunned or recoiling. If your attack finishes before their recovery ends, you'll have "frame advantage". This gives you time to link in another attack before they can fully recover.
- Input shortcuts make it easier to do certain motions. Rather than having to do the full SRK (
motion, you can get away with just hitting
. There are some other useful ones for doing supers/ultras and 360s. Input shortcuts actually get a lot more complicated than this, but for most purposes this is good enough.
- Focus Attack Dash Cancel. You cancel a lot of special moves by hitting MP + MK in the middle of your special move (try it with Ryu's EX Shoryuken), which will cause Ryu to burn two levels of EX meter and go into his focus attack.
The neat thing is that you can immediately cancel the focus attack by dashing! This means as soon as you hit MP+MK to stop the special move, you also input a :arrow::arrow: to cancel the focus attack. This makes the recovery time dramatically shorter, and lets you do fancy things like throw a shoryuken, FADC, and then hit your opponent with your Ultra Combo while they're still in the air.
Hyper Armor/Armor Breaking
- In most cases hitting someone while they're in the middle of doing a special or normal move will interrupt and stop that move from coming out. However some moves get armor properties that allow them to absorb a single attack, rendering the attacking character effectively invulnerable for one hit. The most common of these is the Focus Attack, which every character has.
However there are certain moves that are "armor breaking", and will ignore the invulnerability property when countering an armored opponent. When you use an armor breaking move you'll hear a glass shattering sound, and your opponent will take extra damage.
- a true block string is a series of chained or linked attacks that come out quickly enough that your opponent can only block, trying to do anything else like an attack, dashing or a focus attack will end up with them getting hit while in the start-up frames of their next action (try Balrog/Boxer's crouching jab).
- When you have to have pretty silly fast fingers in order to link one move to another so your opponent is unable to block (we're talking 1-2 frames) you'll almost simultaneously press 2 buttons in order to help you make the timing window.
Counter hits occur when your move hits during the start-up frames of an opponent's attack. The first hit of a counter attack will deal 25% more damage and 25% more stun than normal (mind you if a single attack hits three times, like an ex shoryuken, only the first hit of that attack will deal extra damage).
- when someone tries to throw you, hitting backwards and LP + LK will counter or "tech" the enemy throw, stopping it from happen. Note that this only happens with normal throws, and 'command throws' (like Zangief's Spinning Pile Driver) can't be countered this way.
- Refers to when your character has been knocked down. If you hit
while your character has been knocked down, you'll perform a quick wake-up, which will make you stand back up faster (also called a tech-ing). Being able to get your character back up on his feet safely after being knocked down is a big part of SFIV.
Performing an attack as your opponent is waking up or recovering, so they won't have enough time to start-up their own move and perform a reversal or counter, instead they'll be forced to either take the hit or block. Meaty attacks typically have a lot of active attack frames, and the trick is to time it so just the tail end of those frames hit as soon as the opponent recovers.
- damage scaling occurs when you get a multi-hit combo, and stops people being able to kill you with a single combo or infinite loop (like El Fuerte's RSF). The more hits you do in any combo, the less damage they do, until eventually hits that should be doing 100+ damage will be scaled down to just 1 damage each. You can reset damage scaling by simply ending the combo and allowing your opponent to have control over their character for a frame. The first two hits of a combo will do 100% damage, the third will be scaled down to 80%, and you'll lose 10% for every hit after that. An ultra or focus attack automatically counts as two attacks in terms of damage scaling.
Damage scaling also happens automatically as fighters lose health. A fighter at 50% health take 95% damage, at 25% health he'll take 90% damage, and at 15% health he'll only take 75% damage.
Typically when you jump in and attack an opponent in the air, when you land on the ground you have to sit through a few frames of recovery before you can put in any kind of input. however if you jump without attacking (an empty jump), you can input a command as soon as you touch the ground, or you can buffer in an option select (see below).
Option Selects -
this dude explains better than I ever could
- Using the forward movement of another normal move, then canceling that move into a special move, normal or throw. The most famous of these are Ken's Kara throws, which allow him to throw from a much longer distance than he'd normally be able to. However you can Kara a lot of moves, like Sagat's f.lk into Tiger Knee, so it can cover a lot more distance.
- Frame data explains the basic properties of every move in Street Fighter. It lists (in frames, 1 frame = 1/60th of a second) how long it takes for a move to start-up, the active frames (how long it will hit and damage an opponent for), recovery (how long it takes for a move to finish and let you input another move), frame advantage on block (how many frames faster or slower you'll recover from your move compared to a blocking opponent), and frame advantage on hit.
It will also list properties like damage, stun, invulnerability frames, and whether you can cancel or chain the move.
Playing the game by frame data is good to figure out why a specific move or strategy isn't working (why is Ryu always able to shoryuken me when I try to rush-punch him?), but you don't really need to get to into it if you just want to have fun playing. Advanced players (and nerds like me) like to argue about this stuff, but for most people you can do well with practically any character and this stuff won't make a huge difference.
You can find more about character's frame data here: http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2010/may/10/frame-data-super-street-fighter-4/
You can also get a longer list of glossary terms here: http://shoryuken.com/wiki/index.php/Glossary