Question about reversal windows


Ever since vanilla SFIV I’ve seen a lot of discussion about how the game has a large reversal window. What exactly does this mean? From what I understand a reversal is simply a special or super move being done on the first available frame out of hit stun, block stun, wake up, and so on. So if we’re talking about the first frame how exactly does it have a large window?


Basically, you don’t have to time the final button press / release for a special to coincide with your first active frame when waking up or coming out of stun; you can perform the input a few frames early, and so long as it falls within the “reversal window” the input will be buffered until you could normally act and the move will come out on the first possible frame (“Reversal” will appear on screen, and that move will gain the armor-break property if it didn’t have it already.) This only works for specials, not normals or throws.

Edit: here’s the wiki article. SF4’s reversal window is five frames.

Also, you totally know what a reversal is. I just started typing the stock answer, I didn’t mean to imply that you didn’t know.


Ok gotcha, thanks for the answer. Got another question though. I always see people talk about lowering the reversal window to help with people mashing all the time in SFIV. Wouldn’t this not really affect anything but a few situations? Let’s say you’re comboing a Ryu and you drop it or go for a throw or whatever. If he’s mashing dp isn’t it still going to basically come out instantly and hit you, reversal or not?


Yeah it would come out anyway, but only if you timed it correctly. In the older games, there was a one frame reversal window, so timing a reversal properly was essentially like doing a one frame link, although there were ways to make it easier like piano-ing. The reversal window in SF4 is five frames, so it would be like doing a five frame link, which would be lenient enough for you to be able to mash it out and work like 95% of the time.


I didn’t know this.

And boy, am I now depressed. 5 frames?? ggs capcom.


people complaints are centered around two different things that coincide to create how reversals work in SF4.

large reversal window. already explained.

if you let go of down back, you don’t stop blocking. so say you’re putting me in a blockstring. I can mash reversal the whole time and not open myself up to attacks. if you drop your blockstring and leave a hole, my reversal comes out. if you don’t, I never stop blocking.

reversals in SF4 also have generally good invincibility with some exceptions.

mashed out reversals were generally not a problem in old SF games. SF2 has a very small window to time a reversal, SF3 does not auto block so if you stop blocking to input reversal during a block string you just start eating the attacks.