Because LK roll is the safest/leaves you with the most time to buffer/do that whatever.


There are three standard ways of pulling off a 360:

  1. Perform a normal attack. This is usually the preferred way of doing the move. Street fighter allows you to 'buffer' an attack up while doing another motion, and this is very similar to how to buffer up a charge attack as well.


Have you ever seen Zangiefs going forward and backwards, which translates to left and right, very fast before a pile diver? They do this as footsies plus they buffer 2 of the 4 required cardinal directions, they only need to input down and up + punch to execute the move.


Links are performed by executing a follow up move as soon as the first one finishes. They cannot be performed by cancelling or buffering, so they are very timing dependent and mashing is unlikely to succeed.


I think I get the gist, but I'd like a dictionary-tier definition.

  • So, all your examples seem to be from Street Fighter. Was this intentional? If so, perhaps a SF-specific tag would be appliacable.
    – TZHX
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:06
  • No, not intentional. I searched for the term in Arqade, but I know it can be relevant to other games as well, such as games in the Super Smash Brothers series.
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:07
  • At first I was confused why you didn't just go to a dictionary, I then tried googling it, and to my surprise the typical video-game definition came up and not the one used in this question.
    – Shelby115
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


noun 5 : a temporary storage unit (as in a computer); especially : one that accepts information at one rate and delivers it at another

"Buffer." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buffer.

To buffer is to queue input—hence the term being more specifically known as "input buffering"—during an uninterruptible animation so that the input is executed after the animation ends or becomes interruptible.

To buffer, the video-game must be a system that buffers. A notable example is the difference between Super Smash Bros. Melee vs. Super Smash Bros. Brawl:

Whenever a move is used in Brawl, a tiny "window" of time is created at the end of every move and animation; a time of 10 frames, in comparison to Melee's 0 frames.

In other words, Brawl buffers, but its prequel does not.

More definitions:
- http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_fighting_games#Buffering
- http://critical-gaming.com/critical-glossary/
- http://devilmaycry.wikia.com/wiki/Input_Buffering
- http://www.speedrunslive.com/faq/glossary/


a temporary memory area in which data is stored while it is being processed or transferred, especially one used while streaming video or downloading audio.

From: Google

This pretty much sums up the concept. In many fighting games, users can "queue" moves or button-presses while their character is doing something else that will then be actioned at the next sensible point. Your second example pretty much describes this.

Of course, it can also mean many other things and is often open to interpretation and may have other meanings dependent upon the context.

  • "inbetween frames"? So you mean "moves or button-presses" performed within the time span between two consecutive (usually) 60ths of a second? What's a "sensible point"?
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:26
  • A more precise definition might be "performing inputs that the game cannot act on immediately." For example, performing most of the inputs for a move while another move's animation is still occurring. This is how you do a 720 motion (which normally would make your character jump into the air) without actually leaving the ground; because your character is busy doing something else while you enter the input, and can't jump. Buffering also often means that you don't HAVE to execute the buffered move, but you have the option to by finishing the input.
    – Cloudy
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:28
  • BTW, 'queue' is a wonderfully apt term.
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:31
  • Typically, such timing precision is not necessary for inputting combos into a game. "sensible point" can be assumed with common sense. "Frames" aren't really used in the same sense as in FPS, but to give the relative lengths of various moves, or at least I don't think it's particularly helpful to consider them that way. That said, I've removed the frames bit to try and make it a bit clearer.
    – TZHX
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 16:34

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