I'm making this thread as an easy reference for any new players who may be confused about all the lingo/jargon that is thrown around on these forums. I will be adding to this list often so if I missed anything (which I undoubtedly will) please remind me!
Most of the more seasoned players and many newer ones refer to the buttons by their traditional names, so it's good to learn them.
Quarter-circle forward. Down, down-forward, forward
Quarter-circle back. Down, down-back, back
Half-circle forward. Back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward
Half-circle back. Forward, down-forward, down, down-back, back
Full circle with the joystick. Typically used for throws such as Zangief's Spinning Piledriver and Hugo's Moonsault Press
2 full circles with the joystick. Typically used for super throws such as Zangief's Final Atomic Buster and Hugo's Gigas Breaker
The "Dragon Punch" motion. Forward, down, down-forward. Made famous by Ryu and Ken's Shoryuken.
Jumping X (j.MP = jumping strong)
Double jump X
Super jump X
Triple jump X. Only a few characters can triple jump; Chipp and Millia in Guilty Gear, Taokaka in BlazBlue are some.
A motion originally used for Sagat's Tiger Knee in SF2. Input the QCF/QCB/Etc. before jumping so you use an aerial move as soon as you leave the ground. Down, down-back, back, up-back, kick, for example.
Jumping straight up
When used in combo notation, indicates a cancel. cr.MK xx Hado means crouching forward canceled into a Hadouken (see 2-in-1).
2 punches, 2 kicks, 3 punches, 3 kicks
Press one button, then immediately press the other.
7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3
Number notation, often used for combos in Guilty Gear, Melty Blood, BlazBlue, and other anime fighting games. 5 refers to neutral, other joystick positions refer to you facing right.
QCB Kick would be noted as 214K. DP Slash would be written 623S. Etc.
An example of frame data: http://www.eventhubs.com/guides/2008/nov/13/ryu-frame-data-street-fighter-4/
I'm not 100% on my definitions of some of these, please correct me if you see anything that is wrong.
Number of frames before an attack is "active".
Number of frames in which an attack can actually connect with the opponent.
After a move is active, you will be in recovery frames until you can attack again. Safe moves typically have low recovery frames.
When an attack connects (hit or blocked), you may recover faster or slower than your opponent. For example, if you are +5 on hit after an attack, you will recover 5 frames faster than your opponent and can link any attack that has a startup of 5 frames or less. Similarly, if you are -3 on block, that means your opponent recovers 3 frames faster than you and can punish you with any attack that has a startup of less than 3 frames.
How many frames an opponent is stunned for if they block the attack.
How many frames an opponent is stunned for if they are hit by the attack.
Old term for canceling, used in the SF2 days.
2D Fighter. Another netplay tool.
Anti-air. An attack that hits in an area that is good for knocking the opponent out of the air.
A dash performed in the air (44, 66 in the air). Can be done in Guilty Gear, Melty Blood, BlazBlue, and many other anime fighting games. See also: IAD.
Throw executed in the air, leaves the opponent on the ground like a normal throw. In some games, everyone can airthrow while in others, only some characters can. In SF4, the characters that can airthrow are Cammy, Chun-li, El Fuerte, and Guile.
Air to Air:
An aerial move commonly used to beat the opponent's aerial moves.
Air Hyper Viper Beam. One of Cable's supers in MvC2. Also known as just "Hyper Viper".
A series of attacks that force the opponent to stay in blocking position. Used mainly for limiting their options, baiting responses, pushing them to the corner, etc.
Bread and butter. Refers to basic combos that form the core of your gameplay.
The character that is known as Balrog in the US, and M.Bison in Japan.
Pressing the inputs for an attack while in a state that prevents the move from coming out (in block/hitstun, on the ground, during another move). Moves with multiple inputs can be simplified by pressing all but the last input while unable to attack, then just a single button press will be needed for the second attack to come out. Akuma can buffer most of the inputs for his SGS into a crouch forward/roundhouse to lower his hitbox as seen here:
Charged attacks are executed by holding a direction for a certain amount of time, then pressing another direction and an attack button. In SF4, charged moves must be held for 2 seconds. Guile's Sonic Boom is done by holding back for 2 seconds, then pressing forward and any punch.
Another name for Fei Long's Dragon Arc kick.
Special moves, when blocked, still do a small amount of damage, which can be used to chip away at an opponent's health.
The character that is known as Vega in the US, and Balrog in Japan
A throw that is not executed using the game's standard throw input. Cannot be teched in most games. Examples are E.Honda's Oicho Throw and Makoto's Karakusa.
Intentionally switching characters so that you have a better chance of beating the opponent. Can be considered a shady tactic. (See "matchup")
Playing on a stick with your hands crossed: right hand on the joystick and left hand on the buttons.
A deceptive attack that makes the opponent guess which direction they need to block in.
A technique in Street Fighter Alpha's V-Ism, and Capcom vs. SNK's A-Groove. Used to combo moves that shouldn't normally be able to be linked together. Example:
Dead Angle Attack:
Tool in Guilty Gear used by pressing forward and any 2 buttons. Attacks the enemy and knocks them away, even if they were in a combo (not usable during hit stun, only when blocking). Takes 50% tension. Known in BlazBlue as Counter Assault.
Delayed Hyper Cancel. A feature in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 that allows one character's hyper combo to be canceled into another on your team by adding the second input in before the first hyper combo has finished. A common example is Storm's Lightning Storm (air HCB+PP) DHCed into Sentinel's Drones (QCF+KK) super.
The character that is known as M.Bison in the US, and Vega in Japan.
Aerial attack used by some characters to apply pressure, done by pressing down-forward+kick in the air. Used by Rufus in SF4, and Yun/Yang in SF3.
When a character is hit too much in a short period of time, they will be rendered defenseless for a few seconds or until they are hit.
Focus attack dash cancel. Tool in SF4 for canceling moves into a focus attack that can be dashed out of. Can be used to make unsafe attacks unpunishable or to extend combos. Takes 2 EX bars.
Defensive technique in Guilty Gear. Press back and hold 2 buttons. While FDing, enemies will be pushed away on block and you won't take chip damage. Drains tension while active. Known in BlazBlue as Barrier, but does the same thing.
FD Stop/FD Cancel:
In Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, and other games, you can use Faultless Defense to cancel movement. For example, when running towards the enemy if you stop to block there are a few frames where your character skids to a halt. You can cancel these by going straight into Faultless Defense state.
False Roman Cancel. A Roman Cancel performed during certain frames after certain moves. Flashes blue around your character rather than red, and takes only 25% tension. See also: Roman Cancel.
Fierce Feint Fierce. A combo tool used by C.Viper in SF4.
A complicated playstyle combining spacing, zoning, and pokes. Generally refers to close- to mid-range poking that revolves around baiting the opponent to throw out a poke and punishing the whiff with your own.
An attack that, when timed correctly, opens up enough of a gap for the opponent to try to attack but nothing the opponent does will come out fast enough to avoid being stuffed.
An emulator/netplay tool developed by Ponder, used by many players for classic games such as 3S and A2/3. http://www.ggpo.net/
Akuma's name in Japan.
Character with strong throws who often works hard to get in on the opponent, but does huge damage once he is in. Examples include Zangief from SF2/4, Hugo from SF3, Potemkin from GG, and Tager from BB.
Technique in MvC2 to render the opponent defenseless when switching a new character in. Once a character blocks in the air and returns to a non-blocking state, they cannot block again until they hit the ground. By hitting the new character as they appear onscreen, and hitting them again before they reach the ground (in a separate combo), they will not be able to block the second string and will be rendered defenseless. See this video for some examples:
Similar to a dizzy, but occurs after blocking too many attacks. Found in such games as Capcom vs. SNK and BlazBlue.
Using normal moves to lead into an unsafe special so that you don't leave yourself in a dangerous situation. For example in 3S, Chun-li and many other characters hit-confirm their super combos with a crouch forward.
The area/range of an attack or a character's body (which is sometimes called "hurtbox"). Example:
(blue encompasses the area where the character can get hit and damaged by an attack. Red is for attacks).
Instant Air Dash. An air dash that uses the jump input as the first left/right input for the dash. Performed with the input 74 or 96. The up-left or up-right to jump counts as the first left/right input. See also: Airdash.
A combo that can be repeated an infinite number of times until the opponent is dead.
Certain attacks are invincible during their duration. Ryu's EX Shoryuken gives him upper body invincibility and can be used to beat out almost any attack.
Just Defend, seen in Capcom vs. SNK 2, Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, among other games. Press back as the opponent's attack lands to block while recovering faster.
Technique in Guilty Gear that allows an attack that leaves you airborne to be canceled, basically adding an extra jump to your character. Most characters can do one double-jump or air dash, with jump installing you can do a second one. More info: http://www.dustloop.com/ggac/tech/ji.html
Canceling the startup of one more into another. In SF4, Ken can kara cancel his step kick (toward+forward) into a throw, or Sagat can cancel his toward+short into an uppercut, knee, or fireball.
Comboing from one attack to another that isn't a cancel. Attacks can only be linked if the second attack comes out faster than the opponent recovers (see Frame Advantage).
Programmable command on a controller that allows for multiple inputs on one button press. Almost always banned in tournaments.
When two characters fight against each other at the pinnacle of perfect play, who has the better chance of winning. For example, Sagat vs. Zangief is a 7-3 matchup in Sagat's favor because Zangief has a hard time getting in through Sagat's fireball game.
An attack that hits an opponent as soon as they wake up to they are forced to block it in its later active frames. This is often an attack with high active frames such as SF4 M.Bison's crouch short. When executed correctly, gives more frame advantage due to hitting later: there are less active frames to wait through.
Making the other player guess what you are about to do. Mixup options include high attacks, low attacks, throws, etc.
Money Match. A match played between two players for money. Depending on the amount at stake, may be first to 3, first to 5, FT10, etc.
The input that occurs when a button is released. Balrog's (Boxer) Turn Around Punch uses negative edge: it charges up as long as you hold 3 punches or kicks, and hits the opponent when it is released.
One character victory. Can refer to one player winning a match for his team in team tournaments, or one character in team games such as Capcom vs. SNK 2.
What you do when your opponent is getting off the ground.
Exploiting the game's input detection to give yourself the best option based on a certain input. For example in SF4, if you press down+jab+short, the game may use a crouching attack, or tech a throw, or do nothing. UltraDavid's SF4 Option Select video:
Off the ground. In some situations, characters can be hit off the ground to continue combos.
An attack that must be blocked standing. Most jumping attacks are overheads. An example is SF4 Sagat's toward+fierce elbow attack.
In the SF3 series and CvS2's P-Groove, an attack could be parried by pressing forward on the joystick as it hit you. This allowed players to punish better and avoid taking chip damage.
Method of pressing buttons where you roll your fingers across the buttons like playing a piano's keys.
Also known as Priority Linking. Inputting a second command one frame later to trick SF4's input reader into thinking you pressed the first button twice. Kind of complicated, more info here:
Using relatively safe moves to "poke" at your opponent. Ryu's crouch forward is a strong poke that you will see many players use.
Determines whether an attack will beat, lose, or trade with another attack upon collision. Note: Not an actual value on a move, but rather a combination of speed, hitbox, etc.
Extending a combo causes the remaining hits of the combo to do less damage. In SF4, the remaining damage of a combo is reduced by 10% for every hit over 2 (multi-hit attacks such as Ryu's EX Tatsu count as only hitting once).
Tool in MvC2 done by pressing back+PP as an opponent's attack lands. Pushes them away from you and negates chip damage. Similar to Guilty Gear's Faultless Defense. (Someone confirm this one, I don't play Marvel).
Recovering off the ground faster than normal. Done with a different input in different games.
Ranking battle. A series of tournaments where the top placers get points toward their overall standing. After several tournaments, the points winner wins the pot accumulated over the course of the series. Often played over several weeks.
Roll Cancel. Technique in CvS2 where a special move is input during the first 3 frames of a roll. The special inherits any special characteristics of the roll, such as being invincible for a short period. See also: Roll.
Understanding the opponent's patterns to guess what he or she is going to do before they do it.
An attack that knocks the opponent out of the air back onto his feet, "resetting" his position.
Using an attack in the first frames coming out of a state in which you cannot attack (waking up, coming out of blockstun, etc). For example, Akuma can use his Raging Demon super to punish E.Honda's blocked Sumo Headbutt when he has reversal timing.
Reverse One Character Victory. In a team game or tournament, the last character/player on a team stops the other team's first character/player and goes on to defeat all remaining opponents. See also: OCV.
Technique in SNK games and CvS2, where a character rolls forward and gains some limited invincibility. Performed by pressing jab and short (LP+LK). See also: Roll Cancel (RC).
A cancel used in Guilty Gear by pressing any three attack buttons. Takes 50% of your tension and returns you to a neutral position, can be used to extend combos or make moves safe on block.
Rush that shit down!
A style of play that revolves around attacking quickly to make the opponent guess what you are going to do. Often goes hand-in-hand with mixup. Certain characters play better with a rushdown style, such as Akuma and Makoto in SF3.