The State of Charge and Motions in SFV. Is Capcom going too far?


So, if you haven’t really noticed…Vega was just revealed and the Vega thread is talking more about how he isn’t a charge character anymore than anything else about him at this point. Nash and Birdie already stirred up a bit of controversy with no longer being charge characters and no longer having 360 commands, but I think the fact that Nash plays more like his VS games counterpart and the fact that nobody gave a shit about Birdie kept people from flying off the handle too much about them.

Now Vega releases, another character known for being all charge motions minus his backflip for centuries, is now going through a beta change of being a chargeless character. It’s been said that it’s just a test and not confirmed to stay for launch, but people are already up in arms from the forum. Mainstay Vega players and some others complaining that the character will no longer feel like Vega and may have to find another character.

The thing about Vega and other characters like this, is that I think you have to identify when something like this is actually something that can cause gameplay related issues or if it’s just people with nostalgia glasses on. Some argue that if he has any invincibility on his Scarlet Terror reversal/AA without being a charge character he could become quite OP and bad for the game’s meta. Others like myself, tend to argue that not restricting him to a charge allows him to still be pokey like a 3S Chun or SFIV Adon, without having to be restricted in his movement as a charge. Considering he essentially is a ninja, having that freedom to not be locked onto charge with all of his new moves sounds interesting.

In the case of Chun Li and Bison, the only two characters currently in the game that have charge moves, I would say Bison is the only one of those 2 you could truly consider a CHARGE character. Sure, Chun Li has to charge to do her kikoken and sbk just like in 3S, but also like in 3S her super is now a qcf motion and her V Trigger is an attack that simply adds hits and frame advantage to her normals. TBH Chun Li wouldn’t really defy the laws of her archetype if her fireballs and sbk were not a charge motion. You could definitely have her be fair even if they were motions. Bison I think is the only character that has moves (really more so ONE move) that arguably would break what he is intended to do. Scissor kicks being a pressure tool that generally leaves him safe to everything and chips people down, would get a bit excessive if it was a motion. It would have to be changed frame data and property wise to accommodate for that which would change the flow of his character too much.

To relate this to two smaller games I was playing before this (Skullgirls and KI) in those games they have done away with a lot of typical fighting game commands. Skullgirls only has like one charge character (that I remember from early when I was playing) and like most anime games her charge time is pretty short. There are no hcf/hcb/double hcb/pretzel/reverse dp/triangle/raging demon or another other funny OG Alpha or SNK motions. Everything is dp, qcf, qcb, hold a button, charge or other very simple commands. KI kinda follows this as well except bumps things up a notch by completely removing charges. In KI1 most characters had at least one or more moves that were charge, which changed up to df to db commands in KI2. In the new game they just said screw all of that and now you just have your basic commands like Skullgirls as well. Except they even did away with the charge moves so there is no charge characters and will never be a charge character in the game. All charge characters are just tap input or motion like MK.

It seems that this emphasis towards more shorter motions, holding one or 2 buttons and removing excessive use of charge commands is just another thing that Capcom is borrowing from indie or smaller fighting games that have made it work. Capcom must have noticed that their general audience (including the non hardcore) react well to not having to be restricted to moving in one direction or holding a direction before doing a move.

What’s your thoughts on this? Is this a trend they should continue? Does it open up options or does it take too much a way from the tried and true play style of those charge characters? Would Blanka, Honda or DeeJay being a motion character destroy what they are intended to be?


I think it opens up the playability of those character. Charge characters require a level execution that most players won’t really care to invest time in, they almost verge on the level of “fringe”. I remember struggling to heck with Urien in 3s trying to execute his charge tackle combos, which required charge partitioning; and I practiced a lot with him. Even doing kara charging doesn’t guarantee you are hitting the motion points correctly to register the charge.

I do get the allure of charge characters as it’s a completely different mindset.

DeeJay should be a motion character. I’ve never found him to be damaging or dangerous, coupled with the fact that he required charging for everything…phawk dat gai.


I’m OK with the changes they’ve made if it results in less time learning execution and more time learning the character and the matchups.


progress has no limit. so no, they aren’t going too far, they need to try things.


Usually, charge characters get specials that have upsides to balance for the fact that charging limits your options and mobility. Guile is the prime example of this: his booms are, frame-data-wise, usually the best projectile in any game he’s in, but it’s balanced out by the fact that he needs to charge between them, and that throwing one out limits his AA options since he won’t have flash kick charge. Make his booms not require charge and you’ve suddenly got yourself a god tier (looking at you, SSF4 3D edition).
Conversely, give Ryu charge-based specials and the character would be ruined. It would limit his options too much, and he’d have to be completely redesigned. Again, it all ties in to what options the character has, and how you want him to play.

Vega is interesting because one of the few characters where I don’t think it matters much if he’s motion or charge. He’s usually way too based on normals and spacing to even care about specials. I also can’t think of a single special move, outside of maybe his flip kick, that would function very differently if he was motion character, so even in ST where he used his wall dives a lot it wouldn’t change much because it’s not particularly hard to charge for them in the first place.

I don’t want there to be only one charge character in the game though. I prefer playing motion characters as I don’t like the mobility restrictions charge usually puts on you, but I know people who swear by charge characters completely, and letting them have several options would be nice.

As someone noted in the Vega thread, it’s interesting how the evolution of special move commands has gone. In SF2:World Warrior, half of the playable cast was charge (Guile, Honda, Blanka, Chun) and half was motion (Ryu, Ken, Dhalsim, Zangief). Championship Edition added three new playable charge characters (Dictator, Claw, Boxer) and one motion character (Sagat), so the majority of the cast was actually charge in CE and HF. Now, you rarely see new charge characters: I would assume it is simply because motion is a more popular control scheme.


Maybe in SFIV, but this shit on that character in a lot of ways, charging was the least of his problems. Motion ST DeeJay would be absurd.

You can mash out a motion, you can’t mash out a charge.

I honestly things learning charge characters is highly beneficial for new players, it’s emphasizes blocking, causes you to be more patient, forces you to respect space because you don’t get to simply walk up and take it without giving up something in return (with slides being the exception).


I don’t care either way.


I feel compelled to pre-face anything I say by saying (again) that I think charge partitioning was the best way to allow charge characters to be mobile while still being a charge character. I will forever believe that that mechanic is a hidden, and sadly, forgotten gem by Capcom.

That aside, I have never really been a fan of the typical charge character design. It is very limiting, no matter how you look at it. You are not allowed to ingrain any of your own personal style into the character because of this limitation, and you are instead forced to play the character as it was intended to be played. This sort of linear character design is a put-off to me, personally.

Charge moves by nature have always been a bit overpowered, they are often: very safe, move very fast, invincible, or very rewarding. The crutch is that they are behind a time commitment, so you can never use them on reaction. So naturally, people want to always have them charged, so they can be used, which creates a very passive playstyle. It also forces a design decision that charge character archetypes must always be fairly similar. Some sort of down-up anti-air, and some sort of back-forward movement based attack. Otherwise, you would be too vulnerable, and too immobile to do anything. Playing these sorts of charge characters is like playing a reaction game, or in some cases, just a guessing game. I’ve never been a huge fan of it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t appeal to some people.

The issue I think most people are having with these announces changes, is that they are immediately throwing the concept over the existing SF games and coming to drastic conclusions. Obviously a charge character in SFIV who could freely do his moves without time commitment would be broken beyond belief because they weren’t designed around it. I would like to believe this new Vega will be. That, of course, creates the entire reason for the Vega players’ worries – will he even be Vega? The answer to that is more like a percentage, he obviously won’t be just like Vega of the past, but he may still somehow hold onto the playstyle of Vega despite being motion. Perhaps even with the ability to play in a new way.

One thing is true however, and this is a concept that you see heftily implemented into 3S because of it’s pace. You CANNOT have a pure charge character design in a game with a 3S level pace (SFV is slower, but it’s still faster than IV). You need some sort of other options. Every charge character in SF3 has a motion attack and all motion supers…

Urien: Metallic Sphere, all supers
Remy: Cold Blue Kick, all supers
Chun-Li: Kikkoken, Hazan Shu, all supers

All other characters of the cast have charge moves alongside motions. Oro has two charge moves, Alex two, but it’s a couple among many other motioned options. This mixed design I think is the choice that SFV should be going for for these characters, as opposed to pure one or pure another. Find the reasonable moves to be a motion, and make them one. The other option is to find their own unique solution. Allow charge characters to hold their charge via charge partitioning, allow certain attacks to have varying charge times based on the version used (EX being almost nothing or actually nothing in some cases in some games), or just take a piss on the concept of a pure charge character, which is what they are doing right now. It’s up to them. Charge characters not my thing, it’s only in 3S I can play them. While I think pure charge should never be a thing, I do still think a “charge” character can still exist in SFV, if they decide to put in the work.


I was fine with Nash being a motion character and Birdie’s 360 move being half circle. Vega, however, was too much. It was simply unnecessary. Ilost all the hype that I had for him being in the game when I learned he was a motion character now.

I wonder if it was a programming error on their part to make Bison a charge character? Who would object to him being a motion character as well, right?


I demand old school SNK inputs.

Let’s see some (f -> b)x3 -> d+hp+lk+hk. Or some df -> hcb -> reverse SRK+hp+lk.


Damn did those moves insta KO on hit?


No, though they are generally more game changing than moves with simpler inputs.

The first one I listed for example was invisibility for Hanzo in Samurai Showdown 2, which lasted until he was hit.


IIRC they did this to charge characters in the Marvel Vs. games (Charlie, Bison, Chun) and there wasn’t much fussing about it.

My guess is that with SF5’s emphasis on easier motions and easier links they just want to eliminate “harder” stuff, specifically the charge super/ultra motions. I don’t think charge specials are difficult, but those supers, I’ve known some experienced players that absolutely refuse to play Vega/Guile/Blanker because they literally can’t perform the super/ultra. With all the practice it took me to get it down I can understand their problem.

Do I agree with the change, though? Not particularly. I like characters that take some practice.


apparently charge characters were made because motions back then were much more strict, so charging was the easier option.(I say apparently because I’ve heard that nishitani said this in some interview regarding sf2, but i can’t find that specific line anywhere).

Although I’ve been gravitating towards charge characters, a problem they have is that it’s somewhat difficult to have a unique play-style with them and they are somewhat predictable with their specials. I think polnareff is one of the best charge characters of all time, his specials have opponents respect his space and applying pressure with silver chariot , allows him to get in on his opponents aggressively or he can safely zone them out. his supers are qcf/qcb, most of his supers (maybe except like one) have a multi purpose use.

i saw this video in which Daigo mentioned something about charge characters.

he made an interesting allegory to jojo in how every battle, opponents would try to hide their weaknesses so only the strengths are known.

as for vega becoming a motion character, i’ll have to wait and see how people are using him differently this time around.

EDIT: forgot to mention that i thought daigo’s idea of a reverse charge character was really interesting. which is why i linked that video.

I heard it’s because chun’s charge input for her fireball wouldn’t translate well for a fast paced game, so they gave her a hcf to compensate. im not too sure tho


Capcom makes charge characters bad in sf4.

How do they fix it?

Get rid of charging.



it seems like a pretty ingrained mechanic to just be throwing away however I’ve never been a charge guy so it doesn’t effect me much… I will say I find charge characters harder to get into by nature. My Ken struggles the most with charge characters… takes more brain power to open them up.

I said this earlier but If Ken became a charge character I would flip shit… so I understand the salt folks.

its ok, all that ocean salt is justified.


It all depends on how Vega actually plays.


Vega was relatively strong in ST, A3, and CvS2 and he had charge for all three games. He sucked in SF4 because of focus attacks killing his pokes, not because of charge. I dont care either way, but I dont really see a need for this change. If Vega was great in those three games I mentioned WITH charge and WITHOUT focus attack, why change it? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?


Because he has a completely different moveset? The only thing that’s the same is the FBA. Even the RCF is a lot different.

You actually think Capcom made Vega a motion character because he was bad in SF4?


This, Vega is getting quite the revamp in SFV.

Among all the revamps we’ve seen, his is probably the most meaningful since it shows a willingness to heavily revamp a character people were playing just a game ago - Nash and Birdie haven’t been seen since the 90’s. Meanwhile, Bison and Ken aren’t really changed that much. With Vega however, the changes are quite drastic.