Animation/game speed correlation


Hi guys!

Been animating sprites for a fighting game in my spare time, but am confused about frame rate.

Fighting games run at 60fps. It therefore makes sense that I animate at 60fps.

I’ve created a 3 frame animation (stand lk).

Animating at 60fps, however, is crazy. Things will move so fast you won’t see anything but the first and last frame, with some flickering in between. I therefore have doubled the time each frame is visible. This means my animation is running at 30fps now. Things are visible again. But now it’s no longer a 3 frame normal in-game. It’s now a 6 frame normal, isn’t it?

How is it possible to have a game run @ 60fps, have visible animations, and have 3f normals all at the same time?

I’m an animator and am used to animating @ 24fps. I don’t know a lot about how fighting games handle animation.

Am I missing something?


Normally when people say ‘3 frame normal’ they just mean the amount of frames before (usually including) the first frame with an active hitbox. All moves have start-up, active, and recovery frames to account for.

Or maybe I’m just not following you.


Yes, I’m referring to a move that “comes out” in 3 frames. In my current example, I wouldn’t want damage to occur until at least the third frame of the animation (knee fully extended). But if I play these 3 frames @ 60fps, the middle frame (bending knees) will be just a flicker. You’ll see the character stand, a flicker, and then dmg will occur with a knee sticking out.

Is there some kind of interpolation or something that occurs in order to make the middle frame not flicker but still maintain game speed?


Honestly can’t answer that question for you, sorry. Hopefully someone else here can.


Isn’t the first frame you’ve drawn his neutral stance? Seems like you’ve actually drawn a two frame move.


Some thoughts.

Firstly as people have stated, this would be a 2F normal in several games. Further, you still need to add active hit frames and recovery frames, which can reduce the amount of flicker in the animation.

Street fighter uses hit stop, whereby if the move connects the animation will freeze for a set number of frames to emphasize the hit (with a little bit of judder but not new animations). This can last for about 6-10 frames, depending on the move (and I’m sure there are exceptions of less and more). Tekken does not use this, but inerestingly Pokken does.

Also, depending on the game, 3F is almost as fast as it gets. e.g. in Tekken/Soul Calibur the fastest moves are 10F (although some reversals are active before that). In Pokken they look like they are 15F (perhaps more like 9F once lag avoiding programming is accounted for).


It’s been awhile since I seen this video but this should have the information you’re looking for. Keep in mind though, that jabs typically are 6f or so in skullgirls.


Take a look at the ST wiki. It has every frame of animation with how many screen updates @ 60 fps each frame is visible for.

For example, the first sprite in your animation would be on the screen for 2 frames, the second for 2 frames, and the third for 4 as the active hit. Check out the ST wiki for sure though.


Thanks for the advice Moonchilde. I checked the ST section of the SRK wiki but I didn’t see any frame data charts. Am I missing something?


Check each character. That’s where each frame of animation is with a number under it representing the number of frames it shows on the screen.