How the heck are you supposed to consistently link?


I’ve been at this for a few hours now.

I’m playing Ryu, trying to do a combo I saw in a Ryu match: Cr. MP, Cr. MP xx FB FADC Cr. FP xx DP.

The problem are linking the Cr. MP’s and then trying to cancel it into a fireball.

The timing is semi-accurate, its about 50% of the time that the two Cr. MP’s will hit, or else the training dummy blocks them. When I do hit them, I can’t seem to get the fireball to combo into it.

Is there a more efficient way of practicing linking? The timing window is so damn narrow :confused:


Same principle how piano players always hit the buttons at exactly the right time or how people play guitar.
They practice their asses off until it becomes second nature.

The 2 mp are 2 frame links, you can double tap them to increase your chances, but that technique takes a lot of time to learn as well.


Practice. Once you figure out the timing, you could use a visual or rhythmic cue to help you store it into muscle memory.

You should also preemptively be buffering :d::df::f::hp: after the second cr.:mp: so you get the hadoken afterwards. Even if you miss the link, xx hadoken is safe.


I play piano and that analogy doesn’t really seem to work ^_^; we press the keys according to how the music is written, so we are actively reading what’s there… nothing ambiguous about timing cuz everything’s strict in music (well at least in classical).

Ok I sound like some snarky faggot there, apologies.

Uhhhh I can see that when Ryu’s first Cr. MP is almost retracted, I can always get the second one out, it’s just inconsistent with when its actually in the 2 frame window or slightly later.

But muscle memory is the main key, okay. I’ll keep practicing then.


The piano analogy works fine if you learn to improv like a musician, not just play staff like a robot. :stuck_out_tongue:

I kid, I kid.

But not, in a 4/4 piece assuming consistent BPM, it does take practice to reproduce rhythm consistently. Developing execution is the same.

Also, read the stickies. The execution thread has lots of tips.


I’m slightly insulted :frowning: Feels like you’re implying that you’re not a musician just because you’re not improvising… takes a master to reproduce a piece perfectly, even though its not improvised…

(in my defense, I improvise too >_>)

Alright, I’ll check that out again too. Thanks :3



But really, though. It’s just paying attention to timing, feeling it out, and once you have it, repeating it, over, and over, and over, and over, and over again until you have it locked.

Yeah, I know.

Plinking can help, but that’s a technique in its own right- so, just the basics:

Try out part 1 of the combo (linking cr. MP to cr. MP). You have to wait until cr. MP’s animation finishes before pressing the button.

If the second hit doesn’t come out, you pressed the button too fast- you were early.

If the second hit got blocked, you pressed the button too slow- you were late.

If the second hit actually hit, you got it!

(No buffering in sight. Doesn’t this drive you nuts?)

When you can link cr. MP to cr. MP to your liking, move on to part 2.

Part 2 of the combo is the cancel (canceling cr. MP to Hadoken, or “cr. MP xx Hado”).

There’s a little lee-way when canceling, but not much (if any… OK, I lied…). Generally you want to cancel moves ASAP, which means you should treat cancels as one move. That is, every time you cancel you’re fully committing to it (since if you’re too late, the move may not come out, or it may come out late and not combo at all).

If you can, you want to scrunch up your inputs to do this. So, instead of cr. MP, d, d/f, f+punch, you can do d+MP, d/f, f+punch, or d, d/f+MP, f+punch. This’ll make the input register much faster.

So then, put together part 1 and part 2. Link cr. MP, cr. MP, but remember to tack on the cancel at the end, treat it like one move- so it’s [cr. MP], [cr. MPxxHado].

It should sound like “tap” pause “tap-tap”.

Generally, since you have to wait for the animation to finish when linking, linking is “slow”, and cancels are “fast”.

Looking at the full combo of cr. MP, cr. MP xx Hado xx FADC, cr. HP xx Shoryuken, the timing would be-

Slow - Fast-fast - slow - fast.

It’s a little more complicated than I’m describing it (Hadoken xx FADC has a certain timing to it that isn’t necessarily as fast as possible, IIRC) but that’s what makes these combos so tricky, is that you have to switch gears and change the speed of your inputs. It’s a very strange rhythm. But the rhythm itself doesn’t change! (Or at least, it shouldn’t!) So as long as you take your time to learn it, once you have it it’s there forever.

Again, it helps with the cancels to always input them as one; so you should be thinking [cr. MP], [cr. MP xx Hado xx FADC], [cr. HP xx Shoryuken].

If you have trouble canceling, just practice the cancel at first. Remember to squish those inputs (like with cr. HP xx SRK; you could do d/f+HP, d, d/f+punch, using the “323” leniency shortcut to speed up your input).

If you have trouble with putting a section together, just practice that part (like Hado xx FADC to cr. HP), and then add on the other parts as you feel confident.

Wherever the combo breaks down, just go over that particular section until you feel satisfied with it.

I strongly suggest you look into the SF4 Combotrainer for PC (you have this on PC right?)
Once you have your combo dialed in, you can hit “play” and hear what it’s supposed to be like. We’re singing along like Disney!
Actually hearing the correct timing really helps, since you don’t have to figure it out at that point- all you have to do is copy what you hear with your fingers.


Thanks for the in-depth explanation :smiley: Though I kinda knew about the early/late principles of linking as well as buffering haha. Just practice really, I’ll keep at it. Mod can close this thread if he wishes (am I supposed to PM this? erks)


I’m just messing with you. And slightly jealous that you can play by eye.

Anyway, the reason we compare execution to musical instruments is there is a great deal of training muscle memory. Although you’re right that in classical people output what they see, it requires a lot of practice to do so. Just because you can read staff, you need the dexterity to keep up with it. That comes from practice.

Also, we don’t usually close answered posts. There is typically no need.


im messing you as well (well trolling you). every time I sit down with someone who took band class and try to write original music with them they can’t. And when I show them something I wrote, they ask me to write it down for them lol. As far as links, there is rythym to a set beat. you cannot speen up or slow down that beat and still have it work like in music. The brain will want to forget the link timing and mess with you. a simple link to get but the timing can help cement timeings is for you is practice with links, even if you dont plan to compete every day, do links every day


Great news everyone! (Futurama? anyone?)

I got MP to link pretty consistently now. Also got cr. MP to cr. FP consistent too, the timing is pretty much the same (2 frame link?) however wow is it difficult to get a cr. MP link sweep to come out. Is that a 1 frame link? :confused:


You can learn double tapping for 2-frame links and p-linking for 1-frame links though in order to make it easier for you.

Google “VesperArcade Plinking Double Tapping” or search for that on Youtube.
There’s a guy making decent SF4 tutorials and except for shortcuts, all of his information is still correct.


Interesting, I’ll look into that. Thanks!