(SFV) Option Select, How Does It Work?


Greetings everyone,

I’m new to SFV and one thing that’s always eluded me were Option Selects. After a quick search here I learned what they’re about but I can’t quite understand its mechanics nor what I’m supposed to do.

Your help is much appreciated!


You do a move and while the move is starting up or at the same time, you input another move. Depending on what happens the game will throw out either one move or another.

Think Ryu’s crouching medium kick into fireball or shoryuken.
You input the crouching medium kick and after that the fireball or shoryuken as fast as possible. If the medium kick connects or gets blocked, you will cancel the medium kick into the special move, but if the crouching medium kick whiffs, no special move will come out at all.

You can use this to your advantage in some situations:
Say you notice your opponent dashing forward a lot. What you can do is throw out crouching medium kick or punches buffered into a fireball or an ex tatsumaki from a distance that the punch/kick would normally whiff, now if the guy decides to dash, he dashes right into fbe punch and it gets cancelled by the special giving you both space and damage.

There’s not a lot of relevant option selects in SFV so far, so this one and maybe jumpback throw tech os are the only ones that matter in this game at this point.

You shouldn’t worry too much about that if you just started out. This game is a lot more about mindgames, proper defense and mixing your opponent up rather than setplay and going deep into the games mechanics.


Thanks a lot! That explanation was crystal clear. I’m currently playing Cammy so I’ll keep an eye out on any OS that could get discovered in the future.


I have wondered about option selects for a while in SF. How can you take advantage of OS when either hitting the opponents dealing damage or if the move you throw out is blocked?
With your example, is there a way for the fireball or dragon punch to “only” come out if you actually hit your opponent? In other words, if the crouching medium kick is blocked, you don’t follow up with the fireball, but if it hits, the fireball or dragon punch automatically connects?

Or is this all visual, meaning you would input the fireball or dragon punch motion but only hit the button IF you see the move connecting? But if this is the case, then you are not really using an option select, right?


As he explained, OS are motions that are done regardless of what your opponent does because the game itself selects the correct option depending on what your opponent did. In the case of the jump back OS you do the exact same motion every time, but you will either tech the throw attempt, block the meaty or jump away if the other player did nothing. It is different from simply buffering and waiting for the visual cue to confirm the combo.


You take advantage by restricting your opponent with the additional Hadouken (he has to block more) and pushing him further away from you. Not every move has to do damage to lead to an advantage.



  1. No.
  2. No. Forget that Art said cr. MK > DP. I’m not a Ryu player, but I’d imagine you would never want to do that because it’s the risk is insane. The fireball is safe, so there is no risk if the opponent gets hit by it or blocks it, so there isn’t a lot to be afraid of if you just throw it out when you’re in range.

Furthermore, some will disagree with me, but I don’t even like calling cr. MK into fireball an Option Select. You’re not covering multiple options. It’s just a 2-hit combo, nothing more.

A better example of an option select would be from SF4.

I’ll use a Ryu again. Jumping HK into Tatsu. This covers multiple options that the opponent has. You input the Tatsu command during the j. HK (I think only during active frames?). If the j. HK hits, the Tatsu won’t come out but you’ll have time to input a combo. If the j. HK gets blocked, it gets blocked, but it’s free pressure. Now, here’s where the Option Select kicks in. If the opponent backdashes (which is invincible in SF4), the j. HK whiffs, but as soon as you land the Tatsu will come out and catch the backdash. You are selecting multiple options to cover whatever you opponent does.


Yup. An easier one is using ryu’s crouching lp + sweep.
If when you’re playing a backdasher you can input crouching light punch and on the second cr.lp also hit sweep at the same time. If opponent backdashes LP will wiff but sweep will come out right after and punish the backdash. If not then you get two cr.lp which = free pressure.


It doesn’t really matter that you don’t like calling it an OS, it is an OS because of how it works. You do cr.MK>fireball and the game decides whether or not the fireball comes out depending on whether or not the cr.MK hits. That is the very definition of an option select. It covers 2 options: throw fireball or don’t throw fireball.


Don’t confuse buffering with an OS. Either the FB comes out on hit/block because it was cancelled or it doesn’t on whiff because the low forward was recovering.


It’s not buffering when you do the whole move every time.


I would ask you to clarify what you mean from that sentence but at this point it’s probably just not worth it.


It might be worth it to the OP or someone else. Buffering is when you do the motion for a move, but you don’t finish the move unless there is a hit confirm. In the case of the cr.MK>fireball OS, you do the full fireball input every time and let the game decide whether or not the fireball comes out.


I think you’re both saying the same thing.


Yeah. I’m a little confused about why buffering was brought up though.


Maybe this is just ignorance speaking but I’ve never heard someone say ‘I option-selected fireball from low forward’.

Maybe it’s just semantics at this point but I just don’t see how low forward xx fireball is considered an OS.

If we’re trying to give examples of actual OSes then it’s probably better to talk about things like jab OS sweep or Ryu’s parry OS.


I already explained why it’s an OS. You don’t even need to give an example of one. Anytime you do an input and the game chooses what comes out based on what the opponent does, you have an option select. People are dwelling on specific examples of OSes, but all anyone needs to know is how an OS works to see what is and isn’t an OS.

It’s not semantics, c.MK>Fireball is an OS because of how it works.


So how is that an option select? The game isn’t choosing the fireball to come out based on what the opponent does, it’s basing it what you’re doing. It doesn’t cover anything based on your opponents response.

You know what c.mk>fireball is? It’s a target combo. If the first strike connects (hit or block), the second strike will come out. It doesn’t cover a damn thing based off of what your opponent does.


Here’s a bit of a history lesson and some trivia for you guys:

cr.mk xx fireball was never called an Option Select. In fact, there was never even a name for it. It was just something that emerged from gameplay. You were never always going to connect the cr.mk, but you did the QCF + P anyway. The technique of doing a move in case (well, the default was that it was always expected to hit) the previous one connected started becoming known as “buffering a move”. Buffered moves were in fact what some people called combos. Now while buffered moves are technically Option Selects, the key difference is that with a buffered move the default is that we expect every move in the sequence to hit giving the expected outcome for that input. With an OS, the sequential moves usually only occur if the first move does not hit, and in cases of complex inputs, the secondary input may not even make sense giving the current context. Meaning that if your secondary input is QCF + K and your character has no QCF moves, then the OS is probably used to cover scenarios where the opponent avoids the first input by switching sides.

Now these techniques were only developed long after buffered moves were named. In Japan, OS’s have various names depending on the game. In SFIV, it’s called “Emilio Technique”, named of the SFIV Ken player who popularised them. However, anti-backdash OS’s themselves were already used in SFIV like after the first month. Emilio Ken popularised the more complex OS’s that involved chains into combo, or Ultra 1 if they backdashed. The more basic OSs were just called “installs” or “built-ins”. eg. a j.hk OS DP would be a jumping hard kick with a built-in Shoryu. Japanese commentators would just call this Shikomi Shoryu. Other specialised OSs also have different names like SGGK in 3S, or DED which is a special version of a buffer, but it’s an OS due to the inputs being non-sensical in the default context. The first piece written on the Web (not the newsgroups…) that I know of regarding “built-in” moves in SF (Option Selects) is from 2006.

Right, so of what use is this to anyone? Firstly, that even though it’s technically true that cr.mk xx hadou is an OS, it’s a technique that’s so in-grained into the mechanical aspects of FGs that it’s more confusing than not to call it anything but a buffered move. After all, we lived with this for 15 years without considering it to be anything particularly special.

And secondly, by applying a bit of general knowledge, we can figure out that “shikomi” is written as 仕込 in Japanese.

So what if we search for videos with the words SFV and 仕込 in the title/description?

We find SFV option selects:


There’s also the Daigo DP tech to counter Dhalsim’s teleports. You input a reverse medium DP. If he teleports in front of you, you just get a regular medium punch and don’t put yourself at risk. If he goes behind you for a gale cross-up, you end up DPing. Sure, it’s not advanced tech and one of the options is basically just “we remain in neutral”, but it’s still an Option Select where the outcome changes depending on your opponent’s actions and covering you regardless of what he does.