Frame Data

Ive done some searching but unfortunatly I couldn’t find a thread discussing how to read frame data. Is there a topic discussing the process of learning such skill, if so, can you direct me to thread or discuss it here? I really want to know how frames work, although I do have a general idea; start up frames; active frames, and recovery.

post up the frame data you’re trying to interpret and you might be able to get some help.

When people say “frame data” I’m thinking of the closely-guarded information that you only see in officially sanctioned books published by the game companies. For example, the Yoga Bible has a lot of good ST information with charts showing what you mention, how many start up frames, active frames (where any hitboxes would happen), and recovery frames for every move of every character in the game. I think this kind of info should be open and available (just like displaying hitboxes) for any fighting game, but some people just accept it as “secret” or “part of the fun of figuring out the game”. I tend to like to have complete access to the full ruleset of the games I try to figure out how to play these days, but that’s just me. I don’t want to pay money to play (learn) a new game where I can’t even have access to the full ruleset.

btw some (visual) frames of the moves use the same image but are considered different frames.

I’ve made some free PC tools to help in the general effort, such as Wrectangles and Execution Aid, to be used in conjunction with emulators/GGPO. Wrectangles is used to grab frames from a movie file, and you can draw your best estimates of the hitboxes and play it back. Execution Aid shows you your input displayed on the screen, and lets you record and playback a set of inputs. You can also open the saved file in Excel or another spreadsheet to see how many frames you held down any given input for, and the timing in milliseconds. More info here [media=youtube]xi_BYZM1LsA[/media] and you can download it here


To the OP:

Thanks for the info guys; I appreciate it. Video-opera’s guide is very useful and pretty much gave me what I needed to get started, but also left me a bit confused.

Particularly, about advantage and disadvantaged frames. Bison d.rh has an execution of 6 frames (understood); ac frames of 35 (understood), and recovery of 18 (understood). I understand that if the first ac frame is blocked the remainder would be added to the recovery, adding 34 frames to the default 18, however instead of calling it 52 frames of vunerability, he called it -29. Why does he call it and how did he come up with that number?


Your 52 frames of invulnerability don’t account for the frames that a character is in “blockstun” after blocking a hit. If there was no blockstun, then there would be no point in throwing out an attack

on the topic of blockstun though, in a game like 3s, does every move have a certain blockstun number? or is it some universal formula

From the time you make contact with that kick, your opponent has started blocking it. As you said, it will take you 52 frames from that point until you can move again.

It sounds like, for that particular move, their “blockstun” lasts 23 frames. (This is that length of time during which their character is locked up and they’re just waiting to be able to control them again.)

The math goes like this: 23 - 52 = -29

That is to say, if they block that attack of yours on its first frame, they will be ready to move/attack/whatever again 29 frames before you. That means the move is very “unsafe on block”: your opponent has all the time in the world to hit you back and you can’t do a thing about it. Some people call this a “free hit,” or say that you can be hit back “for free.” The term “punish” usually refers to other situations (like counterhitting an attack they miss, or “whiff”) but it can also be used here. Note that in gameplay terms, this means you don’t want to do Bison’s slide unless you know it’s going to hit them (or get you far away from them).

Moves with negative numbers are said to leave you at a disadvantage of X frames. Plenty of moves have positive numbers; they are said to leave at an "advantage of X frames.

An attack of yours is considered safe on block whenever you can use it and have them block and still move again (in time to block any return attacks from them) before they can hit you for free.

  • Any move that leaves you at an advantage is safe on block.
  • A move with a negative number is safe if that number is smaller than the startup time on any of your opponent’s moves.
  • It could also be safe if the separation caused by the attack (pushback, knockback, bounceback, whatever) puts you out of range of any of their moves. Note that if you’re recovering slowly and they have a really fast walk speed, they may have the time to walk a step closer and then do the attack and still get you in time.
  • Also note that ranged attacks (like a fireball) will take some amount of time (frames) to travel that distance.

Obviously these things depend on the matchup (the character being played against) so sometimes you’ll hear people say “Peter’s big boot punt kick is safe on block against Jason and Daniel, but not against Steve and Tom.”

The actual concept is 100% black and white (it IS or it ISN’T), but when you factor in human reaction time and execution and mental state/readiness etc. etc. etc., something that is technically unsafe by a small margin may be very difficult to punish during real gameplay. Thus, you will sometimes hear people talk about degrees of safeness. “Peter’s big boot punt kick is not very safe on block” versus “Peter’s little pinky-toe kick is pretty safe on block.” The pinky-toe kick is unsafe, strictly speaking, but it’s very tough to actually hit back so you can use it much more recklessly.

Depending on the game, the length of time for which an attack puts the opponent in blockstun may differ from the length of time for that attack’s “hitstun.” (That’s how long they’re stuck looking hurt and stupid if the attack actually connects.)

If you hit an opponent with one move, and you can hit them with a second attack before they recover from the hitstun of the first, these moves will combo together for you. (f you can tag a blocking opponent with a second attack before they recover from the blockstun of the first, these moves will form a blockstring for you. For both of these, the opponent is “locked up” and can’t get out after the first hit until the whole thing is done; after the first hit, the rest of the series is inescapable.

Holy cow this is too long I’m such a loser tonight. :rofl:

Does different attacks equal different block stun?

I’m greatful for all the help I’m getting. I know frame data can be complicated subject to shed light on but I thank you for your patience.

Yes, each attack has it’s own value for hit stun and block stun. You usually won’t find data on it, since frame advantage is essentially the same information and much easier to use.

Props to everyone dropping knowledge in here I also wondered about frame data

A little off-topic, but I think I’ve read somewhere that sf4 will come with a strategy guide; will it include frame data? Any possibilities?

We won’t know until someone gets their hands on a copy.

subbing to this thread.