*** Misconceptions of the SF4 Game System Mechanics - GREAT READ ***

I understand what you are saying about “lenient” and “strict” directional inputs, and I will add that later to the first post. But I think the shoryuken has a lenient forward, strict down, strict down-forward. But I’m not too sure, I’ll test it later when i get my 360 back.

Nah he’s correct, :df::df::df::p: / :df::df::r::p: works. However :df::df::d::p: doesn’t.

Oh okay, my bad. I’ll add it soon. Gotta do something right now.

Ilitirit, I understand we disagree on what is or is not a short-cut (personally, input leniency is just that. If a move requires 3 inputs, and you do 3 acceptable inputs, you haven’t cut any corners. No short cut has been taken if a shoryuken requires 3 inputs and you perform 3 acceptable inputs. You’ve done something that, in previous incarnations of Street Fighter, used to not be possible, but the way they designed this game allows for it)…

So according to my definition of what a short cut is, IE: a maneuver that reduces how many inputs are required for a move to occur, is Tenshin’s input of: :r::db::l::k: a short cut or not?

My opinion is that no, it’s not a short cut if Tenshin requires 3 inputs (which it does according to the game code, which is all that I’m arguing) and you do 3 acceptable inputs. You’ve satisfied waht the game requires of you.

The person that disagrees with me essentially says that because the game manual says otherwise, it’s a shortcut.

My opinion in a nutshell:
:df::df::p: <-- Short cut if it actually worked
:df::df::df::p: <-- Not a short cut since it satisfies the game’s requirements for performing a shoryuken.

Mind telling me what i said that was stupid & setting me straight rather than posting something an invalid might jot down

Thanks for posting this, Richard.

I’m tired of people complaining about 3P being the reason they miss their Ultras. I’ve said time and time again that that is a HUGE misconception, and that it’s because they hit their buttons TOO EARLY. Super motions, as you said, require two full :qcf: motions unlike almost EVERY previous Street Fighter, where :qcf::d::df: was all that was needed. Thus, if you hit the buttons one frame too early, that old Super motion never had a full Super code inputted, so it registered as a DP instead since the DP code is in there. There was a reason Ryu’s Super in ST was harder to pull off than the other characters: it was the only Super in that game that required the full :qcf::qcf: motion.

To fix this, I ALWAYS advocate the “Tiger Knee” method of performing Ultras, which is:

:qcf::qcf::uf: + 3P/3K

This makes it so that if you tend to press buttons too early, you’ll be pressing it at the final :r: instead of the :df:. That makes sure you come out with the Ultras more consistently.

And just as an FYI for a technical reason why Code Shortcuts exist, it’s REALLY EASY to state why. SF4 has one change in the game that did not exist in all previous games: switching between any of the 8 directions RE-REGISTERS ALL JOYSTICK INPUTS. Because a diagonal counts as both :r: and :d:, hitting the diagonal registers as both of those inputs. Now, in ALL OTHER Street Fighter games, shifting from :df: to :d: meant you let go of :r: and that’s all. It never registered as :d: being pressed again.

But in SF4, the game processes joystick inputs differently. Moving from :df: to :d: counts as PRESSING DOWN, not as anything being released, even though you’ve never let go of :d: the whole time. This is why Code Shortcuts work. So if you go from :df: to :d: back to :df:, the DP code gets processed because it registers the second input as pressing down again.

The proof of this is that SF4 is the only game where you can input the Raging Demon by sliding the joystick from one position to another. It’s really easy to do an anti-air Ultra Raging Demon with Akuma that is SUPER SAFE because you can actually hold :db: and tap :lp: twice (while Crouching) and then SLIDE the joystick to :l: and have it register as :l: being tapped. Then you can hit :lk: and then :hp: to activate Demon. Since the last part is you blocking, it’s safe to do (if you did it too late, you’ll Block their Jump Attack) and starting at :db: keeps you low when you :lp: so you can do the anti-air Demon really late.

Conversely, you can also do the Kara-Raging Demon Super off of his Overhead REALLY EASILY because the opposite also holds true. Hold forward and hit :lp: + :mp: at the same time (the overhead will come out) and tap :lp: again. Instead of letting go of the joystick and tapping :r: again to register the joystick motion for the Demon, you actually only need to SLIDE THE JOYSTICK to :df:. In old games, this would NEVER have registered as a tap of :r: on the joystick, but because in SF4 all changes of the joystick re-register all inputs, it does in SF4. So after you slide the joystick, tap :lk: + :hp: and voila! Instant Kara-Raging Demon.

Just some more info to add to this I think. I’m still debating whether or not I want to write a FAQ for this game like I did for CvS2 and Alpha 3 in the past, but if I do decide to write one, at least I know of someone I can get to help me out now. :slight_smile: Good shit, Richard!!

  • James

droolzorz. richard you are too sexy. have my children.

Hmm, thank you a lot James for the info. :tup: It looks like I might have overlooked the shortcuts a bit as well. I will test more as soon as possible.

And I can’t tell if that’s Eric or Alex. Make an SRK account already, Alex!

And thanks to all that repped me as well as those who just read the post. Much appreciation to you all.

Thanks to the mod who stickied this! I hope all the SRK members can now get some useful info from the highly knowledgeable posters in this thread.

I tend not to get too hung up on the terms. To me, saying “shortcut” is just an easier way of talking about leniency on directional inputs or the ability to omit certains directions. eg down, forward x 2 is a “true” shortcut motion because the diagonals can be skipped (not that anyone would do that), and any forward, any down, any forward is a shortcut that refers to leniency on DP’s. Applying the term to the latter description is obviously wrong, but that’s exactly why I wanted to clarify the mechanism behind it. I’m not too fussy about the name of things as long as people understand how they work.

Related to OP’s comments on walking c.mk xx hadouken:
Besides having a strict/lenient flag, directional inputs also have a delay flag which basically defines how long you have to enter the next input before the previous input is forgotten. One of the reasons it’s much harder to do walking c.mk xx hadou is because the delay on a DP’s input in this game is exceptionally high. The individual delays (I think) are 8, 8 and 11. So you can input :r: on frame 0, :d: on frame 8, :df: on frame 16, and press :p: on frame 27 and still get a DP. Contrast this with HDR with which allows for 16 frames in total for a DP, and ST which only allows for 8 frames for a guaranteed DP (the probability of the DP being executed decreases after that). So basically in SFIV you need to delay the between walking and crouching for at least 9 frames if you want to do walking hadou.

You might also want to add the reversal window to the list of misconceptions. It’s 4 frames, not 10 (as many people believe).

Okay, first of all, my definition of a shortcut is a way to do a move that is not the same as it is shows in the command list.

And are you sure about the leniency of the :d: of the shoryuken? I think it’s strict, because wouldn’t spamming :r: and :df: give out a shoryuken then? Last time I checked, this did not give a srk, but I can’t test it right now. But if it doesn’t, that means the :d: is a strict input. Also meaning :df: x 3 is not a shortcut for a srk

Wow, but the rest of your post is perfect. I always wanted to know exactly how many frames the game “remembers” the inputs. Do you happen to know a site where it lists all of these input windows for every move?

Oh, and thank you for pointing out the reversal windows. And do you have your source for this also? It’s not that I don’t believe you; I just want to read up more on what that site/thread has to say. Much props to you.

So, keep up the good work, guys, and I’ll review all upcoming comments and add them to the first post probably on Friday. Stupid finals… :tdown:

Edit: Oh and Mr. James Chen, that thing where you were talking about the Kara Super Raging Demon works in 3s also. I’m not sure about the :lp:+:mp: part (but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work) but I’m positive that the part of sliding from :r: to :df: works in 3s.

this helped me alot.
Also, I love when i do counterhit c.hp -> tiger uppercut in combo with sagat. its great damage!


This statement is not true:

Is that really true? How come seths super can take emty jumps if you do correct timing?

That is because Seth’s super and ultra can hit you when you’re still airborne.

SRK motions are definitely lenient on each input, and :r::df::r: works. It’s the only annoying “shortcut” to me, because it triggers when I hesitate between a crouching or standing poke and I don’t think it would have happened in other games. Even :uf::db::uf: counts though, since it covers all the lenient forward-down-forward inputs.

Anyway, some info on landing frames/trip guard:

-After a jump, there are 4 landing frames where you cannot walk/dash/jump again.
-If you empty jump, you can block immediately upon landing (standing or crouching, no difference), or do an attack the instant you land.
-If you attack in the air, then you cannot block for the first 2 frames when you land, and can’t attack for all 4 landing frames.
-You can always tech throws that grab you during your landing frames.
-If you attack in air and then attempt to attack during your landing frames, the attack will be buffered and performed as soon as the landing frames are over.

The landing frame buffer is particularly weird, and I think most people don’t know what effect it can have. If you try a link combo on the ground, your muscle memory is going to be based on a move taking X number of frames to hit. If you try the same link combo off a jump in though, and you press the first button during the landing frames, the attack won’t come out right away. The game still registers the attack, but it won’t be performed until AFTER the landing frames, so the attack can effectively take a couple extra frames to hit. This changes the timing for links, and can easily cause you to drop combos that you do by muscle memory. The way to avoid that problem is to manually delay your attack slightly when you land, so you don’t time it during the landing frames.

Anyway, how landing frames affect safe jumps:

-Invincible attacks that hit on the 3rd frame or faster cannot be safe jumped (your attack would whiff during their 1st startup frame and they’d hit you during your 2nd landing frame).
-Wakeups that are 4-5 frames can be safe jumped, but can’t be hit by option selects.
-Wakeups that are 6 frames or slower can be safe jumped, and then hit by your own invincible move as an option select.
-Invincible command throws cannot be safe jumped. Even though you can block, they grab you before you can do something that would actually avoid them, like jumping or DPing.

There’s a bit of ambiguity with diagonals as they pertain to shortcuts and I’m not quite sure what the rules are regarding them. But the :d: on DP’s is definitely lenient. It’s why you get teleport when you try to do Bison’s Ultra from a crouch block position and end on :df:

The values I got were actually recorded by noodalls using frame-accurate hardware macros, but you can examine the inputs (in hexadecimal) if you hack apart the files from the PC version. The value for the delay is coded on every input, but I’m not sure if it’s a 1:1 relationship between the actual hex value and the with the number of in-game frames. (EDIT: I checked the file and the delay values for SRK appear to be 0x08, 0x08, 0x0C, which translates into 8, 8, and 12 delay frames respectively)


Ughhhhhhhhh, why is Yeb so godlike?! And it was fun playing against you. I hope you like Tiger Uppercuts even more now. :razzy: But you are even gdlk in your knowledge. Thank you.

And thanks ilitirit as well!

You do not have to pause before executing :r:, :d::mk:, :qcf::lp:

:r:, :d::mk:, :d::mk:, :qcf::lp: will always give you hadou

EDIT: To clarify, double tap :mk:

I have one nitpick about your first post: light attacks cannot be plinked into one another effectively.

Consider the input display of a typical plink:


If you timed your link properly, you will get button A and you would think that your plink was effective. However, if you timed the a frame early, A+B will come out. In effective plinks, button A is a stronger attack than button B so that A always wins out when both buttons are pressed at the same time in any other situation.

Long story short: Zangief will eventually get a whiffed throw if he attempts to plink his low Shorts.

Great stuff. Could you add something about stuns aswell? I mean how to most efficiently get out of them, if there’s a difference between stuns(birds, stars, skulls) etc.

But if you’re crouching, :lp:+:lk: is like a crouch tech, which gives out a short (because you cannot grab while crouching). So, standing/crouching jab and standing short cannot be plinked. Only crouching short can be plinked.

But thanks, Jinrai for the post. You’re the one I learned much about the 3s game mechanics! :china:
Oro ftw btw. :rock:

Oh yeah, I remember finding some info about this. I believe the stun animation of bird, stars, etc. is determined by the last hit that hits them and character-specific. But I’m not too sure; I’m pretty sure Jinrai would know this though. What’s the answer? :wonder: