Mindgames in Tekken

How do they work?

I’m watching the old levelupyourgame series and… It just seems like every freakin character is fei long. Do x string which is x amount of frame advantage on block, hope your opponent messes up, also do hi/low to screw up your block and hopefully you’ll get a combo and if not you are able to block their junk, get out of the way and punish.

It just seems so random. Whenever I see a tekken match I see all of this random pressure and hi-low on block and it usually will either lead to a combo or… Nothing.

Fei long is street fighter. Marshal Law is Tekken ;). Footsies help’s me out :slight_smile:

I think he was referring to overall play styles among characters :razzy:

In sf2 , Fei Long is a character that is highly based around strings and frame advantage, while trapping the opponent into doing dumb things so he can juggle/combo.

I just don’t get mindgames in this, and from what I’ve seen/read, it’s apparently all random frame data. I have yet to see a setup, and whiffing moves for footsies in a 3d fighter- unless just out of range of a punish- seems incredibly dangerous. A lot of 3df footsies or whatevre to me just looks like dashing around rather haphazardly like another fighter, but on crack, in an out of range and hoping the opponent whiffs something that corresponds to x range that you dashed into. And then other times, it’s blockstrings… That don’t seem to have any purpose, like the player just threw out an attack string and hoped it would hit. To me, that’s a waste.

Just… Someone give me some info on how you mind game or set things up in this. Most of the game seems to be strings, a few whiffs, and whiff punishes.

Mind games is only a portion of what competitive Tekken has to offer. Execution, movement, character knowledge all play huge roles as well. But if your questions is solely on mindgames about Tekken then I’ll give you some examples. The beauty about Tekken is that the majority of the cast doesn’t have one optimal way of playing them (aside from Bob, Lars, Lili, Bruce IMO). When you were talking about Mindgames, there’s so many options I don’t know where to begin.

For example, I main Armor King, his capital punishment is u/f+1+2 and if it connects it leaves them in a stun that can lead to a pretty damaging combo. If it connects it leaves me at a pretty good frame advantage to keep applying pressure with pokes. But pokes are usually very linear and can be easily sidestepped, however, my opponent will probably expect that and I can anticipate that he’ll try to sidestep my d/f+1 and I’ll do d/f+2 instead which will track to his direction of sidestepping. That’s something thatFightingGM did to defeat Erdalista in the last round using Lee when Erdalista expected linear poke pressure to retaliate Christie’s RLX f+3+4 but GM anticipated it and did a move that tracked in that direction.

Another thing is that u/f+1+2 is very linear as well and can be EASILY sidesteppable. The one thing about u/f+1+2 is that it can done from very far range, so someone might expect that from long range and prepares a sidestep, in my mind I can prepare a f,f+3 which is also a long range move AND a homing move which tracks in all directions to punish the opponents sidewalk if they thought I was going for u/f+1+2. But the disadvantage there is that f,f+3 is high and if it’s ducked it’s big damage on me. Just a very small fragment that you can also add to frame advantage and whiff punish mindgames that you fear is the only thing prevalent in Tekken.

But by and large the biggest piece of where mindgames can come into play is wake up. Something very unique about Tekken is the insane variety of ways you can get up, you can tech roll in both directions, you can getup into low attack, getup into mid attack, backroll, forward roll, spear tackle, side roll, among so many others. Each method has its uses for example, if I did a juggle that didn’t end with a spike and left them to land only 2-3 character lengths away from me, if the opponent decides to tech roll I can anticipate that and set up a tech trap with an unblockable moonsault. However, if they decided to wait and backroll or side roll, they’d avoid that trap and be on equal footing again. That’s one thing which Makes Bryan so dangerous is that he can guarantee damage on you if you decide to backroll or tech with his taunt and tuant cancel into qcb+4 and such. Back to the Armor King example, but if I know he’ll backroll, I can do a 3+4 cartwheel and catch him to float him in the air and get a free combo (If I’m really good, I’ll time and space my u/f+1+2 to land on him perfectly for massive damage that would scar my opponent for life for trying to backroll :P). And likewise, getting up into low kick or midkick is a good mixup to break the relentless pressure but if anticipated it is also big damage for you. Safest thing is always just to simply get up and defend :wink:

I hope I answered your concern. I’m a trash SF player so I really can’t think of parallels in the SF universe to help reinforce what I’m saying to help you understand.

This is just the way Tekken is. Whereas SF focuses on macro level mindgames and set ups (e.g. getting yourself / opponent in a certain position to force a poor decision), Tekken is more of a micro level game focusing on frame traps, throw break mix ups, twitch attacking / blocking. Less visual cues means less things to react to and thus set up. System changes of limited movement / evasion, better tracking moves, and high damage have also created less opportunity for setups (e.g. on wake up).

It’s all about the movement and timing.
You want to attack but you never want to whiff an attack (there are always exceptions) or get interrupted while you attack.
And your opponent always wants to make you whiff an attack or make you use predictable moves for a counter hit and/or juggle.

When you see characters dancing around in tekken matches, that’s what is happening. Tekken allows the player to have very precise control of a character’s movement, eg one can back dash cancel as fast as possible, but they won’t cover much ground, or one can back dash cancel a bit more slower and cover a lot more distance.

The ground game, the mixups at the wall, juggles, that was all set up because the player did the hard work to get their opponent there in the first place.

It starts at movement, timing, and correct spacing (so you don’t whiff and don’t get interrupted). After that you have a chance to think about the opponent’s general strategy and try to predict what they’ll do so you can punish them.