Figuring out combos



OK I’m very new here, and to SF4, so please excuse me if these questions seem stupid…

Is there a formula for discovering your own new combos? Or is there just a list of combos? Link timing is hard, what’s the key to getting that down?

I want to get a feel for the flow of Akuma, and I feel that memorizing a set of options for each situation I’m put in is going to be very tedious. I’ll do it if I have to, but is there a structure or set of rules to how to make a combo?

I’m thinking maybe it’s something like, a combo starts with a light short range hit, moves into a longer range light or medium hit, then links into a heavy hit, then into a special move, followed by a cancel into another special move, or something like that.

I guess the ultimate goal is finding a FORMULA to go by instead of having to MEMORIZE every single answer.

It’s like math problems. You can MEMORIZE every single possible answer to any question, or you can memorize the possible ways that you can arrive at those answer, in turn, having to memorize less, and mostly going by instinct.

Hope this all makes sense. Help is appreciated.


You must memorize your combos and do them by heart, those combos are called BnB aka Bread & butter combos that are universally done by Akuma players because they’re the most efficient, that way your execution will be on point due to muscle memory after practicing them again and again in training mode. You don’t improvise and make up a combo on the spot when fighting someone unless you’re styling on him lol.

Since you’re very new to the game, you don’t need to know every combo Akuma can do, learn a Hit confirm combo (for standing and another for crouching opponents) and one Punish combo that’ll be used for punishing moves that have a lot of recovery frames like a blocked or whiffed Shoryuken:

These will do:

Hit confirm vs standing:
cr.lp, cr.lp, cr.lp xx lk.tatsu, HP SRK

Hit confirm vs crouching:
cr.lp, cr.lp, cr.lp xx ex tatsu

s.hp xx lk.tatsu, HP SRK

cr.lp = crouching light punch
xx = cancel
lk.tatsu= light kick version of Tatsu special move
HP SRK = Heavy Punch version of Shoryuken special move
ex tatsu = EX version of tatsu special move, uses 1 bar
s.hp = Standing Heavy Punch

You should learn what those terms means if you don’t already, look up the rest on SRK wiki or forums


Makes sense. So to start I’ll learn just a small handful of the most efficient combos used in different situations. So between executing combos, it comes down to baiting the enemy into whiffing an attack, or trying to get in position for a combo, or set it up somehow?


You’ll use the hit confirm combos when you’re not not sure if the opponent blocked the first attack or not, that’s why you’re hit confirming to avoid using a special move that’s punishable on block (i.e lk.tatsu).

You’ll mostly use those after setups and pressuring your opponent, for example lets say you scored a knockdown with Akuma’s sweep (crouching heavy kick), now after that you can setup jump in mixups, the most basic one is jump ins because it can hit in front or cross up the opponent, so you do the and hit confirm with cr.lp x2 or x3 depending on how fast you can react, if the opponent is blocking, do not finish with a tatsu because it’s unsafe, if he’s not blocking continue with lk.tatsu combo if he’s standing or ex tatsu if he’s crouching (you’ll have enough time to recognize if he’s crouching or standing with your hit confirm combo).

As for punishing combo s.hp xx lk.tatsu, HP SRK, you’ll use these as you said when baiting the opponent to do an unsafe move on block or whiff and he wasn’t able to make it safe by using meter and FADC (focus attack dash cancel, uses 2 bars) out. You don’t need to hit confirm in these situations because you know for a fact the opponent is not blocking because he’s still recovering from the unsafe move he did. Sometimes the opponent also drops his combo due to an execution error, that’s another opportunity to use your punish combo for good damage.

You of course can only realize in time and getting matchup experience about what you can punish and what you can’t, not every special is unsafe in the game, learning frame data will help you understand what can and can’t be punished quicker. For example Ryu’s SRK is heavily punishable on block, but on the other hand some special moves like Bison’s lk scissor kick are completely safe on block.


You also need to memorize the optimal light attack (lp/lk) sequence on each opponent. Depending on their hurtboxes and your hitboxes, some moves that work on one will whiff on others. For example,
: xx c.lp, c.lp tends to whiff on ryu and ken. Instead you use xx c.lp, xx special move. Also, opponents that crouch are pushed back less than standing opponents, for example, xx c.lp, can whiff on a standing ryu, but will hit a crouching one. Crouching opponents’ hit box are also generally wider, so low attack might not hit when they’re standing will hit if they’re crouching, depending on the distance and normal.

You basically havr to memorize which combo is the most optimal to which character when they’re standing or crouching.


Thanks for the help guys! I’ll start there.


I think the best way (for a beginner) to go about learning combos is this: Learn the simplest way to link into a BnB combo for Akuma possible. For most players this is going to be c. lp x3 into lk tatsu HP shoryuken or clp cmp. Of course like Rikudou said sometimes you won’t be close enough to hit with lk. In these instances (which is why I usually prefer going for c mp since it cancels easily) you want to either go for a Hadoken or HK tatsu.

So to recap for a beginner:

-Practice his easiest BnB in every situation you can. Jump ins/Divekick on the ground etc. until it becomes 2nd nature.
-Practice being able to do a punish with HP -> lk tatsu for instances where your opponent whiffs something big (HP shoryuken for instance)
-Set the training dummy to “random block”. That way you can practice confirming 1 lp. into the rest of your combo. If they block you don’t continue the combo, or try going for something else (like a grab, tick throw or frametraps).

Once you get hit confirming lp. down it will open up all his other variants to you but don’t get too lost in trying to learn all his combos at once. Most people think they are losing matches because their execution sucks, when in reality they are lacking good fundamentals (footsies/zoning etc.).

Also there is technically a “formula”. You have to look at Akuma’s frame data under the “advantage on hit” area. Basically if you have enough of an advantage when you land a hit to cover the startup of the next move, you can combo it.

So to give an example: c. lp gives you +5 frame advantage on hit. close HP starts up in only 4 frames, that means you can easily combo this move since you have extra frames. Conversely CROUCHING HP starts up in 6 frames so you cannot combo it.

Using this method to figure out combos is very tedious though, and there are many many guides which will show you the most common/useful variants. 90% of the time the combos start off very similarly (ie clk or clp) and just link from there. The clp is crucial because it gives you time to react to what your opponent is doing if and if you connected.