General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Its all about USF4 now
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General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Caliostro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:01 am

I've been wanting to do this for a while... We have specific forums dedicated to every specific fighter, but we have no one "reference point" regarding the game in general. And by that I mean things that apply to every fighter. To everyone. To Street Fighter IV, the game, and not to one specific character.

I figured it would be a benefit to new and old players alike to condense and aggregate general Street Fighter knowledge in one place of reference, so I'm making this thread. It'll be an amalgamation of links to in-depth guides, personal knowledge/"mini-tutorials" and pretty much whatever can be of help to SF players that isn't related to any one character specifically.

For obvious reasons this will not cover anything already covered on the main EH page.

Also, check out the Fundamentals and Advanced Gameplay thread in general. These sort of complement each other.

Without further ado:

What is (...)?:

Street Fighter IV: Term Glossary.
The fighting game scene in general, and Street Fighter particularly, has a rather rich set of terminologies. If you've ever wondered what a specific word means (frame traps? okizeme? FADC? option selects?) this is the place to visit.

The Footsies Handbook.
A veritable bible for any self-respecting competitive fighting game player. The backbone of high level gameplay. The knowledge within it is paramount to a good player.

Cross Counter's Guide to Ryu featuring Air
Yes, this is a character specific guide, but it's so in-depth that it actually covers a LOT of common ground for everyone. A very good introduction to Street Fighter in general for new players.

Frame Data and you.
Spoiler: show
First, make sure you read this.

Now, I've seen people with questions regarding frame data, more along the lines of understanding its principle than just understanding the values on the frame data tables.

So what IS frame data?

In Street Fighter IV any move you perform has 3 stages:

Startup: This is the period of time that goes from the move starting to actually doing damage. It is usually the most dangerous part of any move, as being hit during this period not only cancels your attack, but earns your opponent a counter hit (see appropriate section). There's no hitbox during this period, but there is an hurtbox. The smaller this number the better - the less it takes for your move to actually hit something.
While every part of a move's data is crucial this is arguably the most important part of a move. The faster your move is the more it can punish, the move it can combo into, and the safer it is to stick out.

Active period: This is the period of time during which your move sticks out and is able to damage an enemy. This is the time your move's hitbox appears and will "hit" any hurtboxes it collides with. The bigger this number (within reason) the better - the more your move sticks out to tag someone.

Recovery: This is period of time that goes from point where your move stops being able to damage an enemy, to the point where you regain control of your character. During this time the hitbox disappears and you're, again, left with just a hurtbox. This is usually the most vulnerable period of any attack, and the period during which you can be "punished" for throwing out a move. The smaller this number the better - the less time someone has to throw something at you that you can't block.
Note: Recovery can be nullified in some cases, if you cancel a move into another move. See "The difference between a cancel and a link" section.

These properties are inherent to any move, apply directly to your character, and will be present regardless of what happens. There are, however, two more properties that can be applied to the opponent if there is contact during a move's active period:

Block Stun: Happens if an opponent blocks your attack. This is the period of time during which your enemy is "stunned" in his block stance, and is unable to move or attack. The bigger this number the better - the longer they're stuck and unable to punish your movement.

Hit stun: Happens if an opponent gets hit with your attack. This is the period of time during which your opponent is "stunned" and can't do anything at all, not even block. The bigger this number the better - the longer your opponent is stuck getting hit and unable to do anything about it.
Note: When this number is absent from a move's data it usually means the move causes a knockdown.

So how do you calculate frame advantage on hit or block? Simple:
(Time it takes for your move to recover) - (duration of the opponent's block stun) = frame advantage on block.
(Your move's recovery) - (hit stun) = frame advantage on hit.

This leads us to another matter:

How is a move safe or unsafe?
A move is considered safe on block/hit when there's nothing an opponent can throw at you that hits you before your move's recovery is over and you are able to block it, and unsafe when there IS something the opponent can hit you with during the move's recovery (i.e.: when you can be punished for being blocked, or worse, hitting).

For example, Sakura's St.Cl. :punch-medium: is safe on both block and hit, as there is nothing any opponent can throw at her after blocking or being hit by that move that can hit her before she can block it/tech it/jump it. It's impossible to punish it on block/hit unless the Sakura player forgets to defend.

On the other hand, her Hard Shouoken ( :joystick-right: :joystick-down: :joystick-down-right: :plus: :punch-hard: ) as with all Shoryuken-type moves, is extraordinarily unsafe on block, allowing pretty much any character to punish her with just about any move they have.

So what makes an attack safe or unsafe on block or hit? Mostly two things: Frame advantage on block/hit and spacing.

Frame Advantage:
(We're considering frame advantage on block/hit, however, since almost every move is safe on hit, you usually only need to consider frame advantage on block. The exact same logic is applicable to moves on hit, however.)

+X frames: Completely Safe. Frame Trap. Any move that is positive (+) on block/hit is safe regardless of other issues. Positive frame advantage means that your character recovers before your opponent, giving you the initiative. Better than safe, if you start an attack now your opponent needs to use an attack X (whatever the +X may be) many frames faster than yours to beat you.

0 frames: Mostly Safe. Any move that is neutral or null (0) frame advantage on block means that both players recover at the very same time. There is only one way to punish a move, and that is using a 0 frame attack. The only 0 frame attacks in SFIV are 0 frame grabs, which are extraordinarily rare: Raging Demon at point blank (Akuma, Oni and Evil Ryu - Super), Wrath of the Raging Demon (Akuma - Ultra 1), Final Atomic Buster (Zangief - Super), Ultimate Atomic Buster (Zangief - Ultra 1), Double Typhoon (T.Hawk - Super), Raging Typhoon (T.Hawk - Ultra 1), Oil Coaster (Hakan - Ultra 1).

These moves are considered safe except against those characters, and even then only when they have super/ultra (respectively). Even then, your move can be truly safe if it creates enough distance between you and the opponent so those moves whiff. After an attack like this, you and your enemy are on equal footing frame wise, so behave as if no attack had taken place.

-1 frame: Mostly Safe. Almost exactly the same as above except a few more rare supers/ultras (like Senretsukyaku - Chun-Li's Super at point blank) can also punish you. The big difference here is that you're now at frame disadvantage, meaning that if you try to attack again right after, you need to use an attack that is at least 1 frame faster than your opponent's, since you'll start a frame later.

-2 frames: Mostly safe. Punishable by Throws. At -2 you can now be punished by throws (also everything else mentioned before, obviously). Except for specific supers and ultras, the fastest attacks in the game are throws: normal throws ( :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: ) and some specific command throws (like Zangief's Spinning Pile Driver or T.Hawk's Mexican Typhoon) that have a 2 frame startup. Given the limited range of throws these moves are usually considered safe unless: a) you're fighting a grappler character with a 2 frame command throw (Zangief and T.Hawk), or b)the attack leaves you within normal throw range. The attack is still considered mostly safe, as it is very difficult to punish unless one of those two conditions are met.

-3 Frames: Warning. The fastest non Super/Ultra or throw attacks in this game have a 3 frame startup, which means that they can now punish this attack. It's still not punishable by every character in every situation, as not every character has a 3 frame startup attack, but you can no longer rely on it to be such a "free poke". Additionally, it is very difficult to do any attack after, even a 3 frame one, that won't get outright stuffed by the opponent. These moves CAN be punish, but not by every character, and rarely with high damage, especially on reaction.

From this point on don't even think about attacking after.

-4 Frames: Unsafe. Low Risk. Every character has at least one 4 frames light attack of some kind, meaning that pretty much any character on the cast can punish a -4 move. From here on moves are no longer safe at all unless they create really good spacing. These moves CAN be punished by every character, but often with low damage. You can throw one of these out once in a while, so long as your opponent doesn't see it coming.

-5 Frames: Unsafe. Medium Risk Any character can punish it easily, on reaction, a few with BnB medium damage combos. At -5 you can be easily punished by light attacks and even some medium attacks that open up more damage possibilities. Don't expect to end a move at -5 and not be punished.

-6 to -10 Frames: Unsafe. High Risk. Any character in the game can, and will, punish you significantly for this. The best you can hope for from a competent player is a sweep as setup for something else. Odds are you're going to eat a BnB ("Bread n' Butter" combo) and your life bar will hurt. Don't throw these out unless you know you're going to hit or you think your opponent is REALLY distracted.

-11 Frames or more: Insanity. It's. Going. To. Hurt. A. Lot. From here on we enter the ground of heavy combos and even raw ultras. Best you can hope for is a decent damage combo if your opponent is distracted. Never be in this position unless you're a sucker for punishment.

Naturally, any "punishment" that applies to one of these "layers" will apply to all subsequent "layers".

Any move, regardless of frame data, can be rendered completely safe so long as it creates enough space between the player and the opponent that no attack fast enough to punish the move will reach the player. This is more evident at -3 and -4 frames of disadvantage, where a very small margin can be the difference between an attack being punishable with a jab, or requiring at least a 5f+ medium attack to reach it.

This is the reason why Dan's Haoh Gadoken (Ultra 2) is surprisingly safe on block despite the abysmal -85 frame disadvantage - because it shoots Dan so far back that it's difficult to even reach him in time to punish him.

A few final extra notes:
- Very, VERY, few attacks in this game are unsafe on hit.
- Very, VERY, few attacks, if any, in this game, are truly safe on whiff (when it doesn't hit anything), as you have to go through the entire move's recovery without the mitigation of hit/block stun. It's almost always better to be blocked than to hit nothing and stay within range of being hit back.
- While it's not exactly linear, the faster attacks usually also have the worse range. Meaning that the more frame disadvantage an attack leaves you at, the further it needs to leave you away from the opponent in order to be considered safe.
- Some moves have special properties, like being invincible at startup. That changes the value of some Frame Data somewhat. For instances, while Seth's EX Shoryuken has a 5 frame startup, as opposed to most Shoryuken's 3 and 4 frame startup, it will beat out most attacks in the game, even if done at -2f (2 frames disadvantage), simply due to the abysmal amount of invincibility (22f).
- For the most part, when it comes to negative frame advantage, moves that set you airborne are a little safer than moves with identical frame data that keep you grounded. Airborne moves are a bit harder to punish for most characters, as you can not be thrown and hitting you will either cause a reset or knockdown, keeping them from doing many big damage combos.

Counter hits.
A Counter Hit happens when you hit your opponent during the startup or active frames of their moves. A Counter Hit move is rewarded with +25% damage (125% total for that hit) and some frame advantage (light attacks get +1 frame of advantage, medium and heavy hits gain +3 frames of advantage).

The difference between a cancel and a link.
Spoiler: show
In simple terms: A cancel is when you cancel one move's animation so they'll "chain" into one another. A link involves exploiting a move's frame advantage on hit to sneak in another hit before the opponent's hitstun wears off.

In slightly more complicated terms: Certain moves in this game allow you to cancel their recover into another move (for example Ryu's cr. :kick-medium: into Hadoken). This means that the move will not go through it's "recovery frames", making it much easier to combo into whatever move is being canceled into. This means these moves were designed to be easy to combo into each other.

However, there's another way to create a combo: If your move can go through its startup and reach its first active frame while the opponent is in hitstun, and therefore unable to block the new attack. Unlike cancels most links require strict input to be performed. Hit the next move too soon and it will overlap the previous move, and given that they can't cancel into each other, the new move will simply not happen. Hit the move too late and the opponent will be out of hitstun and able to block.

A link can exist when one move's frame advantage on hit is at least one frame more than another move's startup frames. A move that is +7 on hit can link into any move with 6 frames of startup or less.

Everything you need to know about option-selects.
An extremely in-depth guide to options selects. What they are, how they're done, how they work... pretty much everything.

A Small Primer Concerning Buffering.
A well written and easy to follow guide on input buffering.

The Mix-up Game.
Spoiler: show
If you've been reading about SF at all, you've probably come across the word "mix-up" (or variations of) more times than you could count. But what IS a mix-up?

To understand what mix-ups are you need to first understand a fundamental tenet of Street Fighter: To every tactic there's a counter. There is no one tactic that has no answer. Normal attacks can be blocked or interrupted. Throws can be teched. Focus Attacks can be interrupted. Even block can be broken and chipped. Nothing in this game is "fullproof", and any one tactic can be easily stopped, or, at worse, heavily punished. If your opponent keeps doing the same thing over and over again, punishing it becomes a trivial matter of pattern recognition. Even attacks that are safe on block can be punished if expected. So if no attack is 100%, if everything can be blocked, teched, interrupted, countered... How do you damage a defensive opponent? Doesn't that make a defensive character full proof?

Enter the mix-up.

As I said before, no one tactic in this game is full proof... And that includes defensive tactics. Every defensive option you take has a hole, a flaw, a weakness you can exploit and turn into damage. The Mix-up is all about utilizing (or mixing) different offensive approaches that require different defensive options.

Is your opponent constantly blocking that block string? Throw him. Or stop the block string short and jump over them. Is he teching all your throws? Throw him a curve ball and neutral jump. Is your opponent mashing crouch tech? Set him up with a frame trap. The mix-up game is, in its essence, a constant game of "rock paper scissors":

[Note: All attacks are dependent on frame data, hitbox, and attack specific properties. For the sake of this chart we're assuming the player made the best choice of attack for the situation.]

This is where Yomi comes in. You learn your opponent, or you "teach" him to react to a certain option, then, when you expect him to react with a certain defense, throw him a curve ball with one of the options his current defense can't hold against.

The quicker, the more imperceptible and/or unexpected your change is, the harder it'll be to react to.

Basic example:

Setup - Seth knocks down Saggat.

- On the first couple of times, Seth follows up with a safe block string ( :kick-light: :punch-light: :punch-light: :punch-medium: ), teaching Saggat to hold down block.
- On the third try, Seth does a mix up, by starting his block string ( :kick-light: :punch-light: ) but instead following with a tick throw on the :punch-light: . Since Saggat is expecting a full, safe, block string, and therefore recognizes the best action as blocking, he'll eat the throw.
- Fourth time around, Saggat expects the block string, and chooses to wake up with an EX Tiger Uppercut, which has major invincibility frames, and would blow through Seth's two previous setups. However the Seth player expected it and, instead, just blocked. Sagat is now going to eat a big punish for his trouble.

And so forth...

The point of the mixup game is to not be predictable, and keep your opponent from being (and feeling) safe with any one defensive setup, forcing them to take chances and make mistakes you can punish. And remember: The more comfortable a player is with one setup, the less likely they are to react to anything unexpected.

Jumping and you.
Spoiler: show
So you know all about jumping right? Hold up the stick and your character shoots off the floor. You know you can jump in 3 directions ( :joystick-up-left: , :joystick-up: or :joystick-up-right: ). You even know different characters have different jump heights, speeds and distances. You have mastered jumping... Not quite.

See, jumping is one of those things in Street Fighter IV that's a lot deeper than people give it credit for. At a basic level the above knowledge is fine, but if you really wanna step up your game, you need to know a bit more about it.

Pre-Jump Frames.

For once, jumping is NOT instant. A lot of people don't know it, but in SF, jumping has prejump frames. Meaning, there's a small delay from the moment where you input the upward command, and the moment your character actually gets off the floor.

Most characters have 4 pre-jump frames. Dhalsim has 3. Hakan has 5 on Neutral and Back jumps. Gief and T.Hawk have 6 (!).

During these pre-jump frames, however, your character can NOT be thrown, as they are marked thrown-invincible. So you can use jumping as a "0 frame" counter to any grabs.

So what is the use of this you ask? Let me answer that with an example:

You are fighting Akuma. You just got hit with a cr. :punch-medium: (+2 on block), leaving you at a 2 frame disadvantage. You're sure this particular Akuma is going to follow up with a sweep ( cr :kick-hard: ), which has 6 frames of startup. Can you neutral jump it for a sweet punish?

If you're most characters, you can't! 6 frame startup - (+2 frame of advantage) = 4 frame startup. Most characters have 4 pre-jump frames, so you'll be hit just as you're leaving the floor. That's the Tokido trap setup.

...But what if you're Dhalsim? Yep. Dhalsim only has 3 pre-jump frames. So you can jump out of it, and with good enough execution, maybe even punish it with Yoga Shangri'la (Ultra 2). Knowing your pre-jump frames is important to know what you can and can't jump out of.

Landing Frames.

So we've covered startup, what about landing? You land and that's it? Again, not exactly.

Street Fighter IV has something called Trip Guard. Trip Guard is sort of the polar opposite of pre-jump frames. When you land, you have 4 "landing frames" during which you can't perform any kind of movement (including dashing or crouching).

If you didn't perform any attacks during the jump (i.e.: empty jump), then you can cancel all of these 4 landing frames with any attack (normal attack, special attack, super, ultra, focus attack, throw) the moment you land, and you can block during all 4 frames.

If you did perform any attack during the jump, however, the first 2 landing frames are "recovery" frames, and can't do anything, not even block, making your landing punishable. You can only tech throws. The 2 following frames, allow you to block, but not attack.

As you can see there is a huge difference between an empty jump and a jump with an attack... Only one of those is safe on landing.

There is an exception to this: Any air command attack (be it special attacks, supers or ultras) ignore landing frames and instead come with their own recovery data.

As an additional note, please remember that you can't buffer attack inputs during the jump if you want an "empty jump" recovery. Even if you're too low for an attack to come out, if you hit any attack key ( :punch-light: , :punch-medium: , :punch-hard: , :kick-light: , :kick-medium: or :kick-hard: ) before the landing you WILL receive the "non-empty jump penalty". This is a common, and very easy to overlook, mistake people make, in that they start hammering the input for the special/super/ultra as they're about to land, but press an attack input BEFORE the landing... And get the worse of both worlds: No attack to cause blockstun, and the penalty recovery of having performed an attack midair.

The Super Jump.

So... Done with jumping right? We covered going up and going down. Not yet. There are 2 characters in this game that take jumping one step (leap?) further: both Ibuki and Crimson Viper have a Super Jump (a.k.a. High Jump).

Super jumps are generally loved as they give the character much longer jumping reach, make them harder to air- to-air, and allow the player to cancel many moves with it, creating otherwise impossible (and generally quite damaging and cool looking) combos. However, super jumps are not just normal jumps with more height and the ability to cancel attacks. Their entire behavior as jump is very different:

For instances, super jump's 4 frame start up is NOT throw invincible except for the first frame. The 3 following pre-jump frames can be thrown, making super jumps unreliable as a "throw counter". Also unlike normal jumps, there's a small window after the start of the jump during which you can't perform any attacks at all. This means that the start of a super jump is actually much more vulnerable than a normal jump, making it a bad choice for closer ranges where you can be easily thrown or "air-to-aired" at the start.

On the way down it gets even more complicated: [b]an "empty" super jump has 11 full frames of recovery[/b] where you can't do anything at all, not even tech throws. These are full fledged recovery frames, and a lot of them at that, making an empty super jump very, very, punishable, even by ultras. Strangely enough, if you perform any attack during a super jump, you only get the "normal jump attack landing penalty" (2 frames of nothing but tech throw + 2 frames of nothing but blocking and tech throw), making it insanely more advantageous to throw any attack when you super jump.

Finally, C.Viper's Super Jump has a specific characteristic that no one else has (not even Ibuki): The startup of her super jump can be canceled with a focus attack, allowing her to do a Super Jump Focus Attack Dash Cancel (which is even harder to do than it sounds). This is, easily, one of the most technically difficult and highly rewarding maneuvers to pull in SFIV, which requires you to super jump cancel an attack, then focus cancel the super jump in its first 4 frames, then dash cancel that focus attack. Done right, however, this allows for some meterless (!) cancels and some insane combos.

And here you thought jumping was simple... right?

Kara Throws
Spoiler: show
A Kara Throw is the act of canceling a normal or command attack during its startup into a throw. Usually this is done with attacks that move your character forward a certain amount of space, effectively allowing you to add that much extra range to your throw, greatly extending its normal range.

The most infamous example is Ken. Ken can kara cancel his Forward Step Kick ( :joystick-right: :kick-medium: ), which causes him to take a very large step forward, into a throw, more than doubling his effective throw range.

This is done by inputting the attack you want to cancel almost at the same exact time as you input the canceling throw. The timing is a little difficult to understand at first, but think of it as p-linking (see the respective section), because that's what it is actually. The input needs to almost overlap, to be done almost exactly at the same time. The way I recommend is to press all the buttons at the same time while holding out the normal attack's finger slightly ahead. It requires some training, but it's a bit like riding a bike: it's only hard till you understand exactly what you're supposed to do.

Given that it depends on each character's attacks and their properties, it's easy to understand that not every character has a kara throw, and different kara throws have different bonuses, ranging from Ken's godlike full-step extension to Rufus' actually negative "bonus" (Hint: it's useless).

List of known kara throws:
(NOTE: List is a work in progress)

Cr. :kick-hard: - Only works for Command Throws

St. :kick-hard:

St. :punch-hard:

Balrog (Boxer)

St. :punch-light:

St. :kick-medium:

:joystick-right: :plus: :kick-medium:

St. :kick-medium:
St. :kick-hard:


ANY standing attack.

Dee Jay


St. :punch-hard:

E. Honda

El Fuerte
St. :punch-hard: (NEGATIVE bonus - Don't use)

Evil Ryu
St. :kick-hard:
St. :punch-hard: (Best)

Fei Long
St. :kick-hard:

Mantis: St. :punch-hard:
Mantis: St. :kick-medium: (best)
Mantis: St. :punch-medium:
Crane: St. :punch-medium:

St. :kick-hard:

St. :kick-hard:
St. :punch-medium:
St. :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: (?)

St. :punch-medium:



St. :punch-medium:

:joystick-right: :plus: :kick-medium:

:joystick-right: :plus: :kick-light: (Best)
St. :kick-light:
St. :kick-medium:

M.Bison (Dictator)

St. :punch-medium:
St. :kick-medium:
St. :kick-hard:
:joystick-right: :plus: :punch-hard: (Best)


St. :punch-hard: (NEGATIVE bonus - Don't use)
St. :kick-hard: (NEGATIVE bonus - Don't use)

St. :kick-hard:


St. :kick-hard:

St. :kick-light:
St. :kick-hard:

Vega (Claw)
St. :kick-hard:



St. :kick-hard:
Cr. :kick-hard:

Note: Most kara throws seem to gain a very slight additional range if you add a forward input ( :joystick-right: ) to the canceled normal. So, for instances, Juri's :punch-medium: kara gains some slight range if it's done as :joystick-right: :plus: :punch-medium: .

Remember that this is just an informational list. Not every kara throw listed is worth learning, let alone using.

How to (...)?:

How do I make a safejump?

Spoiler: show
An edited version of my post here:
To "calculate" a safe jump you need:

a) Untechable knockdown setup. Well, it's not required per say, but if it's a techable knockdown the enemy can quick rise, making a safe jump unreliable. This should help.

b) The frame advantage on that setup - You need to know how many frames of recovery you get and how how many frames it takes for the other char to get up. You can get the first part with the above link, but for the second part I'm not sure where you can get it to be honest... Gotta do your own research on this one. Don't know of any one place that compiled this info.

c) Calculate how many frames it takes you to jump to your opponent. You can find SFIV related info here. Don't know about any AE version, so, keep in mind a lot has changed since vanilla. I could have sworn this very website had an "updated" version, for SSFIV at least, but I can't find it.

Also useful info

Ideally, you should be able to land your jump in before your enemy can perform any reversal.

Then, give it a try in training and hope it connects as expected. Bit of trial and error never hurts.

Goodluck. And if you come across the missing info there, feel free to post it. Would be quite useful.

Info provided by Dustlooper: here

Frames on the ground:

Face Up:
20F ( - 1F): Adon (1F invincible bug)
21F (+0F): Others, “Neutral stick” Gen (with 1F
invincible bug), “Neutral stick” Yang
(with 18F invincible bug)
22F (+1F): Blanka, Dhalsim, Claw, Sagat
26F (+5F): Hakan

Face Down:
33F (+2F): Blanka, Yang (2F invincible bug)
32F (+1F): Sagat, Cammy, “Neutral stick” Gen
(with 1F invincible bug)
31F (+0F): Others

Face up means they're laying on their back (most knockdowns). Some knockdowns force you to fall on your belly (like Zangief's SPD). They have different frame data.

Neutral stick refers to never pressing a direction. For example, if Yang gets knocked down on his belly and never taps his joystick, he's immune to everything for 14 frames or until he taps a direction. When there's an immunity glitch like that, it's referred to as an "invincible bug".

Here for video reference.

Knockdowns that result in the opponent falling onto their belly include, but are not limited to:

Fuerte : Tortilla/Forward throw
Fei Long : Forward throw
Abel : Forward throw
Guy : bunshin izuna
Zangief : SPD
Rose : Forward throw
Gouken : Forward throw
Dhalsim : Forward throw
Seth : SPD/Forward throw/Ultra 1
Sakura : Forward throw
Cammy : Forward throw
Claw : Forward Throw/Flying Barcelone
Yang : Ultra 2
Gen : Backthrow
Juri : Backthrow
Chun Li : Backthrow
Viper : Backthrow

How do I calculate my Focus Attack frame advantage on hit/block?

Spoiler: show
From here

Lvl 1: 15 - [Dash Speed - 1] = Block/Hit Advantage
Lvl 2: 21 - [Dash Speed - 1] = Block Advantage

For a lvl 1 FA, the frame advantage is the same on block or hit.
Obviously Lvl2 has no data for "on hit" since it'll cause a crumple.
Lvl 3 can't be blocked and is armor breaking, so if the opponent is within range it's always a crumple.

My throws keep missing when an opponent is in range. How do I know when can I throw someone?

Spoiler: show
Range is only one of the conditions that has to be met in order to throw someone. Throws in Street Fighter IV are not instant, they have startup and active frames like every other attack, except they bypass block.

In SFIV normal non-command throws ( :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: or :joystick-left: :plus: :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: ) have a 2 frame startup, and 2 active frames. Meaning the throw only comes out after 2 frames, during which it can be interrupted. No normal attack in this game has less than 3 frames of startup though, so it can only be beaten preemptively or with some rare supers/ultras that have faster startup.

Additionally, you can not be thrown under certain conditions:

- You can not throw an opponent during hit or block stun - But you CAN during their hit-recovery. This is done to prevent abuse, such as hitting a blocking opponent with a move that has +3 frames or more of advantage, which would then make the throw unblockable, while still allowing you to use it as a punishment.
- You can not throw opponents that are downed or getting up. You can only throw them AFTER they get up. At least one active frame of your throw needs to overlap with the first "active" frame of an opponent after their getup.
- You can not be thrown while jumping (save for air throws, see bellow). This is also applicable to any move that has airborne frames. For example, Juri's Close Standing :kick-medium: or Guile's "upside down kick".
-- It's worth noting that while your character is NOT airborne until 4 frames after the :joystick-up: command of a jump is input, those first 4 frames are marked as throw-invincible, so it's always possible to jump out of a throw from block or hit.
- Certain moves have thrown invincibility as part of their properties despite not being airborne (most notably: Abel's Tornado Throw).

Air Throws, as the name implies, will be able to hit airborne opponents (whether they're jumping or performing any more that has airborne frames). As a trade of, Air Throws can not throw grounded opponents.

Command Throws are any throw that's performed with an input that's not :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: or :joystick-left: :plus: :punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: (like Zangief's Spinning Pile Driver, Abel's Tornado Throw, or Fei Long's Tenshin/Flip Grab). These throws generally have different, individual, properties, but share the common property of being impossible to tech.

0 Frame Grabs (such as Akuma's infamous Shun Goku Satsu/Raging Demon, or Zangief's Ultimate Atomic Buster) are, generally, super or ultra throws that have 0 frames of startup. What this means is that they're impossible to react to within range, so if you haven't jumped BEFORE the super flash/ultra animation and are standing within grab range, you will be hit.

This should, hopefully, make it clear why Super or Ultra grabs with more than 0 frames of startup are generally frowned upon: You can't combo into them outside of FA setups (since you can't grab opponents during hit or block stun), and unlike other throws they're accompanied by the very conspicuous super flash/ultra animation. Since the opponent always has to be able to jump (i.e.: out of hit/block stun) for your throw to land, and the super flash/ultra animation lets them know very clearly that the move is coming, it becomes a trivial matter for a player to hold :joystick-up: during the initial flash/animation and evade the throw completely. They CAN, however, be used as heavy close range punishments, since they can hit an opponent that's stuck in their own move's recovery.

Instant Air Attacks / Tiger Knee Input

Spoiler: show
Due to the way input leniency works in this game, it's possible to buffer move inputs for a few frames.

For air attacks without height restrictions, this makes it possible to input the move's command BEFORE jumping, thus bypassing the delay involved in normally inputting the command after you jump, allowing you to perform certain air attacks much closer to the ground than it would be otherwise possible.

For example, Viper's Air Burning kick has considerably better startup and recovery than her grounded counterpart, but trying to input the normal command ( :joystick-down: :joystick-down-left: :joystick-left: :plus: :kick: ) after a jump, even with very fast hands, will result in a relatively high or slower Burning Kick. Using the aforementioned input buffering, you can replace the normal input for :joystick-down: :joystick-down-left: :joystick-left: :joystick-up-right: :plus: :kick: ) and Viper will perform her Air Burning Kick in the first few active frames of her jump, making it faster and safer than the normal Burning Kick.

Cammy's Cannon Strike ( :joystick-down: :joystick-down-left: :joystick-left: :plus: :kick: ) works the same way in Super Street Fighter IV, but in Arcade Edition she was given an height restriction to the move, so the TK Input will no longer work.

Why is it called Tiger Knee Input? Because the original input for Sagat's Tiger Knee was :joystick-down: :joystick-down-right: :joystick-right: :joystick-up-right: :plus: :kick: .

If you're having trouble with the input you can find a nice tutorial right here

How can certain players perform charge moves after dashing or otherwise "breaking charge"?
Spoiler: show
Another feature of input leniency. While Street Fighter IV does NOT have "charge partitioning", charge is "held" for 6 frames after you let go of the input, during which the game assumes you're in neutral stance and switching to the opposite direction. You may input anything else during these 6 frames, including a dash, without losing charge, so long as you're back to the charge position by the end of the 6 frames.

How do I plink?

Spoiler: show
Short version: You input two commands at almost the same exact time (think pressing down both keys at the same time, but with one of the fingers, the high priority key, slightly ahead of the other), causing two simultaneous inputs for the game: A first, "clean" input, and a second input that the game accepts as both key presses, but which the engine prioritizes one specific input over the other. In practice this turns a one frame input into a two frame input, making links one frame easier.

The way the game engine chooses input priority is as follows, from lowest priority to highest:
(lowest priority) :punch-light: > :kick-light: > :punch-medium: > :kick-medium: > :punch-hard: > :kick-hard: (highest priority)

This means that, without some rather tricky bypasses, you can't plink :punch-light: , as it is the lowest priority input for the game. Additionally, you can't plink with the same strength keys, as they all have preset functions:

:punch-light: :plus: :kick-light: : Normal throw
:punch-medium: :plus: :kick-medium: : Focus Attack
:punch-hard: :plus: :kick-hard: : Taunt (can be disabled by choosing "no taunt" in the character select screen)

So if you wanted to plink Juri's st. :punch-light: > cr. :kick-medium: , you would input :kick-light: :plus: :kick-medium: (with the aforementioned very slight, barely noticeable, delay to :kick-light: ).

If you do it right, the in-game input will look something like this:
:kick-light: :kick-medium: (kara buffer)
:kick-medium: (second input)
:punch-light: (first input)

There is a phenomenal in-depth post about it right here, so if you really wanna learn about plinking and kara buffers, take the jump.

Comparisons And Other Resources:

Street Fighter IV: Tutorial Videos
A compendium of known SF4 tutorials for every char.
Youtube for Street Fighter. Amazing match up library, and good for some high level gameplay.

SF Projectile Comparison
A comparison between Ryu's, Ken's and Akuma's projectiles.
SF Projectile Comparison Part 2
Part 2: Rose, Chun-li, Dee Jay, Seth and Guile.
SF Projectile Comparison Part 3
Part 3: Cody, Ibuki, Akuma and Juri.
SF Projectile Comparison Part 4
Part 4: Dhalsim, Sagat, Sakura, Gouken

Rules and Exceptions
Much like physics limits reality, SFIV limits its players to certain "rules". However, certain characters are allowed to break certain rules, becoming exceptions:
Spoiler: show
Rule: Only 1 fireball on Screen at any one time: A character may only have one fireball on screen at any one time. Attempting to fire another fireball before the first one disappears will ignore the command (potentially causing another command to be buffered/used in the process).
- Juri - No fireball limits.
- Dhalsim - Can have 1 normal/ex fireball + Ultra 1 (Yoga Catastrophe) + Super (Yoga Inferno). Normal/EX fireballs can't be used while Yoga Catastrophe is out, but Yoga Catastrophe CAN be used while one fireball is out.
- Gouken - EX Gohadouken fires 2 fireballs.
- Akuma/Gouki - EX Air Fireball / Zankuu Hadouken fires 2 fireballs.
- Dee Jay - EX Air Slasher fires 2 fireballs.
- Seth - EX Sonic Boom fires 2 fireballs.

Rule: Supers and Ultras deal no stun.
- Gouken's Denjin Hadoken - Deals 400 (no charge) to 800 (full charge) stun on hit.
- Balrog's Dirty Bull - Deals 700 stun

Rule: Block attacks deal no stun.
- Gouken's Denjin Hadoken (again) - Deals 50% of normal stun if blocked. However, a blocked Denjin Hadoken will NOT stun the opponent, even if the stun threshold is met, the "stun meter" will simply remain "full", until it's either depleted normally, or the opponent receives any further hit, which will immediately cause stun.

Hopefully I'll add more stuff as people contribute or I remember more relevant things to add. Cheers.
Last edited by Caliostro on Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 20 times in total.

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Caliostro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:01 am

And reserving this one just in case.

This is now the to do list:
- Kara Throw Ranges - How in the **** do I even tackle this? Video comparison? Maybe.
- Out of ideas. Tell me what's missing.

- "What is: A Gootecks" - No idea.
Last edited by Caliostro on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:10 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Dustlooper » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:25 am

Good **** here.

We've talked about having someone write an article a week (or so) and having them all compiled into a thread. Someone mentioned wanting to cover zoning-vs-footsies and OSes-vs-mix-ups, I'd want to do things like how to use frame data, etc. If you want to, we can just start hosting a catalog of articles on your guide, since it seems to be the best place to start.

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Caliostro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:49 am

Dustlooper wrote:Good **** here.

We've talked about having someone write an article a week (or so) and having them all compiled into a thread. Someone mentioned wanting to cover zoning-vs-footsies and OSes-vs-mix-ups, I'd want to do things like how to use frame data, etc. If you want to, we can just start hosting a catalog of articles on your guide, since it seems to be the best place to start.

Cheers. Sounds good to me. And I, for one, would be quite interested in maybe writing some such articles.

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Lionwrath » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:33 am

This is the best thing I can find on plinking. I have it personally saved and I think it's a good reference. You could probably link YouTube videos on plinking and stuff of the sort. ... ore.64022/
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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Caliostro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:28 am

Lionwrath wrote:This is the best thing I can find on plinking. I have it personally saved and I think it's a good reference. You could probably link YouTube videos on plinking and stuff of the sort. ... ore.64022/

gdlk. Added a section for it, with a small "short" explanation of my own. His post is much better though, mine is just a "small intro for newbies" :P

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Dustlooper » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:52 am ... ts.141486/

This might be too specific for your needs.

But, we should just grab some topics and do an article every so often. I'm all for doing a section about meaties (because I'm learning Makoto, this would help me).

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Legacy Virus » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:21 pm

Don't we already have this??

Just saying...

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby Caliostro » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:25 pm

Dustlooper wrote:

This might be too specific for your needs.

But, we should just grab some topics and do an article every so often. I'm all for doing a section about meaties (because I'm learning Makoto, this would help me).

Option selects are quite the common topic, and that thread is really damn good.

Legacy Virus wrote:Don't we already have this??

Just saying...

...Didn't even know that existed... Well, if they wanna lock this one, sure.

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Re: General Street Fighter IV Knowledge Base

Postby IlIl00 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:01 pm

Ohh this is sweet. Thanks alot.
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