Basic frame data guide for newbies


Thanks, OP: I found this thread very useful.

One question: why does Ryu’s link into cr.lp when it’s +2 on hit, and cr.lp has 3 frames of start-up? Is it one of those weird cases of something comboing when the frame data says otherwise, or did I understand something wrong?


It’s chaining from the light punch. Lights in general can chain together for like half the cast and most of the shotos.

You’ll notice this when you just mash on lights they come together, without needing timing.

As a side note, one of the things they don’t tell you is that you can’t cancel into specials from chains.

That is why you’ll notice if you do cr. lk into a tatsu or a fireball it will cancel, but shouldn’t if you do cr. lp, cr lk, fireball.


I’m not great at math, but I’m gonna do my best learning this. I kinda understand it a bit, but I definitely need to read it up more. Thanks for simplifying it a bit for everybody.


But I am confused. How can it ‘hit’ on the 4th frame if you’re in startup? I thought it is only considered a hit once you are in active frames.


I had a discussion in SF5 forum about this. It isn’t in startup.

There are two conventions for frame data. He mentions in his description at the top he is referring to the convention where the last startup frame is considered the first active frame ‘because apparently people find it hard to add one in their head’.

Convention #1 Factually Correct
Startup is just the initial frame of the move so startup+1 = actual speed of the move a 3 frame move would have 2 frames of startup. Total duration for this move is now easy Startup+Active+Recovery.

Convention #2 Easy for looking at 1 frame Links
Startup = startup+first active frame so when you look at hit / block stun you can figure your links and frame traps without having to worry about if you added 1 to it or not. If you are +5 after cr. Jab then any move that has 5 or less in the startup column will link. Downside to #2 is that the total duration of the move is actually startup+active+recovery-1.

Old games use #1 but when SF4 came around more places started using #2 for obvious reasons (SF4 being retarded link heavy). Thus a lot of players became familiar with #2 so now most places use #2 but if you look up older game frame data they typically use #1.


Sigh I just cant. None of this makes any sense to me. Like why does framedata even include the extra frame in startup if you just have to subtract it later? Shit makes no sense at all…




Why do you want to subract it later? What are you trying to figure out?

In a game like SFIV, if an opponent’s move is -8f on block, just look for a move in your arsenal that has its startup listed as 8f or less to know if you can use it to punish. You don’t need to subtract anything.


Well, in the OP, he writes,

“The next column represents the move’s total lifespan in terms of frames. In this case, it’s 12. “But 4 + 3 + 6 = 13!!” I hear you say. That’s true but remember that the first frame of a move’s active phase is included in the startup! So it’s actually 3 + 3 + 6.”

So aren’t you supposed to subtract 1 to get the frame data for stuff…? I’m confused…


I never liked that notation for that reason, it can confuse some people because it is sort of a misnomer. To me start up should only be what leads up to the first active frame. That other notation has overlap where what they are calling start up includes one of the active frames.

I think of it simply as, if a move has a 3 frame startup, it can’t punish things that are -3 frames or less, even if it’s a frame perfect punish, because the move isn’t active until the 4th frame.

If I refer to something to a 3 frame jab, is means it has 2 frames of start up, and is active on the third frame, thus it can punish things are -3 or worse.

This really isn’t conveying any different information than the posts above, merely rephrasing it a bit.


My question is what are you trying to figure out with regards to actual gameplay? Why do you want to know how long the move lasts?

There’s not really much you can do with that information that you don’t already know intuitively.

Remember, the first post also says this:


Need some help.

Trying to read this but I have no idea what the number means at the start of the move in question e.g. 5LP

Can someone tell me? Used to seeing crouch lp or c.lp


It’s anime game notation. The numbers are your keyboard’s number pad. They correspond to joystick directions. 5lp is neutral light punch.


Many thanks!


Thanks a lot for this guide. Now I start to get an idea, what this frame data is all about.
One question: How are the frames per action determined? I mean, you can’t just count them, can you?


For whatever reason I’m still not getting it. I have guides and I understand a little bit, but for the most part I am CLUELESS!!!


I get the basics. But what about the more complex frame data?


Such as?


So I’d like to know if there’s a program or applet somewhere that I can use to figure out how much time is passing between button presses. I want to learn to kara-throw in 3S and it’s killing me.


Search on Youtube for “3s Training Mode Emulator Guide”. The relevant part of the video is at 9m24s