I've seen people talking about invincibility frames or i-frames, for example, Dark Souls 2. What are they and what do they do?

  • 3
    Please provide a little more context. What game/genre are you hearing the term used in? Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 6:27
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    I'd assume this is in relation to fighting games, that's the genre that typically refers to things as 'frames'.
    – TZHX
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 9:56
  • 1
    @TZHX yes, when I saw that the first thing that popped into my head is SF4.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 11:43
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    @TZHX invincibility frames aren't just for fighters, standard mechanic in platformers and shmups. Invincibility frames can save your life in Mega Man
    – Zelda
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 11:58
  • @PrinnyBrocka Indeed. That's why I said 'assume', and 'typically', not 'most certainly is' and 'exclusively'.
    – TZHX
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Based on Smashpedia, invincibility frames are the period of time (measured in frames) during which a character cannot be damaged.

During the invincibility frames, most damage cannot be dealt to the character, and most invincibility will render the player invulnerable to disable as well.

Invincibility frame can be applied to game for skillful playing, like rolling/dodging, and special skills/items. It could also be added to prevent instant death upon respawning. Here are some examples:

  • Dark Souls: Rolling
  • Monster Hunter: Rolling
  • Bastion: Rolling
  • Guild Wars 2: Rolling
  • DotA 2: Certain skills
  • League of Legends: Certain skills and items
  • Diablo 3: Certain skills
  • Ikaruga: Respawning
  • Gradius: Respawning
  • Apparently, rolling is the key to immortality.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 16:48
  • @Zibbobz you've never played witcher 2 have you :P I probably rolled around more (distance wise) than actual walking.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 17:14
  • Doesn't backstabbing / riposte grant invincibility in Dark Souls 2?
    – ediblecode
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 8:58

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