If I wanted to learn a character in SFV (or any fighting game, really), how should I go about discovering new combos (without the use of videos). Should I be looking at frame data?

  • I don't have the game yet, but I remember the last SF game having a list of combos/moves you could pull up when the game was paused. Are you looking for something different?
    – pushasha
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:57
  • @pushasha Those aren't combos.
    – OrhanC1
    Aug 25, 2016 at 19:59
  • 2
    Ah, sorry, my mistake. I thought they were, since it said "Super Combo" and "Ultra Combo" next to the moves.
    – pushasha
    Aug 25, 2016 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Frame data isn't exactly necessary - it just speeds up the process of finding combos (and finding block punishes, but this isn't about block punishes).

Frame data is good for linking combos (timing the button presses) - but also it's good to find target combos (very lenient window of frames to combo).

So lets take Ryu for example - lets look at his frames http://wiki.shoryuken.com/Street_Fighter_V/Ryu

One simple combo is bHK - s.LK - SRK. You see that bHK is +4 on hit and s.LK takes 4 frames of start up. This means you have enough time to link bHK into s.LK and cancel it into a SRK. This is how you figure out combos. Frames are also good for not just combos, but for frame traps as well. Frames however can't really show you corner combos or character specific combos so that requires Training Mode experimentation.

So recap - frames only speed up the process of finding combos/setups. It's always possible to just go into training mode and experiment yourself.

FYI: different fighting game uses different frames data tables to read frames. For example: Street Fighter uses the word "start up frames" to tell how many frames it takes to hit a button to have active hitbox frames, whereas a game like Soul Calibur uses "impact" or "i". Like 4 startup frames would be called "i4"

  • So continuing with Ryu, c.mk is +1 on hit but can combo with fb. Is that come moves have a flag that says they're special cancellable?
    – OrhanC1
    Aug 26, 2016 at 14:06
  • Yes, that's because some moves are special cancellable. 2MK is +1 on hit, but that number is combining several variables: the hitstun of the move, the recovery of the move, and the number of active frames. When you cancel a move, the recovery and any remaining active frames are skipped; therefore you are technically vastly more plus, and can connect the fireball.
    – henrebotha
    Apr 11 at 10:39

Head into training mode and try stuff out.

It sounds snarky, but it's not. This is really the only definitive way.

Frame data gives you some answers in some contexts, but it can't tell the whole story, in part because it doesn't capture factors such as pushback. Sure, you may have a +5 roundhouse and a 3-frame jab, but if the roundhouse pushes the opponent too far back, that jab can never connect after the roundhouse.

Some specific things that you should check out include:

  • Which of your moves can be cancelled, and by what?
  • How plus are you on hit? How plus are you on counter-hit? How plus are you on special game-specific hit types (such as crush counter in Street Fighter V)?
  • Do you have any install-type moves that generally increase (or decrease??) the frame advantage of your moves?
  • Do you have any moves that have special properties allowing them to hit in unusual situations, such as against a grounded opponent?

Once you start figuring out some combos, specific questions to answer include:

  • How close do you need to be to the opponent to ensure that all hits connect?
  • How hard is it to connect all hits?
  • Is the combo confirmable?
  • How unsafe (negative) are you if you drop the combo and autopilot through it anyway?
  • Can you use techniques such as plinking or double-tapping to make the execution easier?
  • Does the combo give you the option of spending resources to extend it (e.g. by cancelling into super at the end) to secure the kill?
  • If the combo requires either player to be airborne, how high or low can that player be before causing the combo to drop? (This affects air-to-air combos, for example, where the combo will drop if either player is too close to the ground, or too high up.)

And some more advanced, tactical considerations:

  • Does the combo yield better damage, positioning, stun, resource gain, etc than other combos that can be performed in similar situations? Is it easier or harder than the alternatives?
  • Does the combo present good opportunities for resets?
  • Does the combo allow you to choose (as you perform it) how to spend your resources? Does it allow you to choose how to end it (e.g. hard knockdown vs better damage)?

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