SF4: Fireball Speeds


I just wanted to know a few things about fireball speeds. If anyone could help me out, it would be much appreciated. Please could some explain:
[]Advantages/disadvantages of a fierce/strong/jab fireball at full screen/midscreen/outside of your opponents poke range/within your opponents poke range/in the corner
]How do you know when to mix the speeds? - Can someone illustrate a scenario of utilizing different fireball speeds?
[]Advantages/disadvantages of constantly using the same speed?
]Any additional information that I should be aware of?
If there’s another thread, a website, a video of this topic could someone please point me in the right direction?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Speed/Recovery are the biggest differences.
The slower/lighter the punch the faster the recovery on the projectile, so the closer you get your opponent, the more jab/strong you’ll want to use because they have less chance of being punished.

Speed mix-ups just depend on how your opponent’s reacting to the projectiles. SSF4, for example, say you’re trying to zone with Fierce Fireballs and your opponent is trying to time his jump ins over them. If you throw nothing but Fierce all day, opponents should eventually get their timing down where they jump as soon as you shoot and punish you. If you’re aware of what their reaction will probably be, start throwing Jab/Strong projectiles because there’s a chance they’ll jump in and land on a slower one, or at least hesitate at the different timing.The more variety you use, the more they have to compensate for it in their game plan, leading to unsafe reactions, etc.

Generally, once you’re in footsie/sweep range, you’ll want to use fireballs sparingly unless you’re ending a combo, and the closer you get, the less recovery time the better.


Thank you for your reply. I didn’t quite understand the first bit though: ‘The slower/lighter the punch the faster the recovery on the projectile, so the closer you get your opponent, the more jab/strong you’ll want to use because they have less chance of being punished.’

I main Akuma and according to his frame data, his fireball recovery is 44 frames. If I use jab/strong I recover faster? i.e. less than 44 frames?


Akuma’s normal fireballs all startup at 14 and recover in 44 frames so it doesn’t apply there…
His red fireballs are easier to use as an example, they all have 25 startup frames, then
LP Red Recovery:50 frames
MP Red Recovery:57 frames
HP Red Recovery:63 frames

So if you’re closing in on your opponent, you’d want to stick with LP Red Fireball around mid/outside of sweep range, because if the fireball is jumped, you’ll have more time to react because LP has 13 less frames of recovery than HP. Hope that makes more sense.


Like previously stated, the different fireballs have different speeds. In some cases, their startup and recovery speeds are also affected. For example, let’s say you’re trying to zone a character out…say…a Honda. If you constantly use the slow fireball, you have more time to react to what they’re doing. So if they do nothing, you’re able to do a lk tatsu, or just walk up, to get closer to continue your fireball game, or threaten with normals. Or if they do a late jump, you’re able to anti air, or if they jump slightly outside of your anti-air ranges, you can close the gap to begin your close-up pressure, or simply push them out again with fireballs to push them towards their corner. But if Honda decides to do a neutral jump fierce, then he’s given a split second to walk up and threaten YOU with a poke, or a jab xx hands, or what have you, because that’s a brief period where you cannot throw a fireball, since you can only have one fireball on screen at a time.

Fast fireballs are better off used in mid-range poke situations, where you want a quick normal to catch them off guard. The fast fireball also gives them less time to react, whereas they are given more time to do a jump-in for a huge punish if you use a slow fireball.

Everyone has their own personal preference on which fireball speeds to use, but it’s important to mix-up the speeds of your fireball, for the same reason that you want to mix-up your attack strings. When your opponent has no idea what’s coming his way, there’s more of a chance for you to catch him doing mistakes, or finding an opportunity to land damage, both big and small. However if you have a clearly established pattern to the way you play your game, it’s a LOT easier for your opponent to begin making good reads against you, leading up to your loss.






Some projectile speed comparison vids…hope they help.