Tips for Plinking?


I’ve been going at one ofDesk’s Plink Training Loopsfor awhile now (SPS > cr.MP > cr.MK xx Hado FADC) and I’m getting frustrated at my lack of ability to do it consistently. Sometimes my the second input is too late, sometimes it’s too early. Other times the normal that’s supposed to have less priority will come out; for example, in that sequence I mentioned where I have to plink a cr.MP after the Solar Plexus, I’ll plink Strong with Jab and sometimes I’ll get jab - ditto for when I use Short to plink with forward; I’d sometimes get Short instead even though the priority is lower. Does anybody have any advice?

  1. Proper input should look like:
    lp+mp-second input
    mp-first input

  2. If you are doing the plink too fast you’ll get:

  3. Too slow:

*What you are most likely doing wrong is this; you are performing the plink itself wrong(the plink is too slow, option 3). The mp input is being “eaten” during the recovery frames of the SPS and the only thing coming out is cr.lp.

Put on your inputs and if you are doing the plink properly you should get either of these 2 options:

  • nothing
    Even with option 2, if you did the plink too fast, you should get the or nothing.

So, you need to perform the plink cleaner, really REALLY look at your inputs in training.
Only way to get it down is practice, for this there are no shortcuts.


I can perform the plink properly when I’m just whiffing consecutive normals but when I try to combo then everything flubs???

EDIT: After an hour of just sitting in Training and practicing just plinking I think I’m starting to get it down. Inputs in the input display aren’t exactly what they should be
But they’re still hitting regardless and I’m getting a lot less of the lower priority normals replacing the ones I want. The idea is to just keep a clear head while doing what you’re doing.


can someone explain to me what plinking is?


Plinking is one of the 3 finger techniques that dedicated arcade stick users employ.
Since you got those big sensitive buttons laid out on the right side it allows for these techniques to be used.

Plinking is short for priority linking. What it does is using SF4’s input leniency to your advantage. First thing to note is that hard attacks have priority over medium attacks, medium attacks have priority over light attacks and kicks have priority over same strength punches.
What that means is when you hit heavy punch and medium punch at the same time, a heavy punch comes out.
So what you do when you want to plink is hit the button you want to actually hit first and a lower priority move shortly (1 frame apart) afterwards.
The SF4 engine will first register the move you wanted to hit and then think you wanted to hit both buttons at the same time, effectively giving you the same input twice, one frame apart.
This is useful for hitting 1 frame links in combos, because you effectively double your chance to hit that link, assuming that your general timing for the link is right. Other usages are kara throws, where you cancel a move going forward into a throw, effectively increasing your throwing range as well as other kara moves (this is very character specific) and certain option selects.
Note that plinking is ONLY useful for SF4 since no other fighting game uses an input leniency system like SF4 does.

Double Tapping is a technique similar to plinking, where you hit a single button twice in quick succession in order to get 2 inputs. They won’t be one frame apart like with plinking though, since pressing a button and releasing a button both count towards the frame count.
The best you can do is get 2 inputs inside a 3 frame window (press, release, press), which can as well help you with execution, especially of 2 frame links and special/super/ultra moves (it’s better than nothing for 1 frame links too if you tend to hit your buttons early).
The way you do it is by hitting the button you want to hit with your middle finger, slide it down the button and as soon as your finger is off the button your index should hit the button.
You can check if you do it properly by picking Sagat and hitting his standing heavy kick, since if you double tap that move, Sagat with only fake it instead of going through the full animation.
That technique took me about 2-3 weeks of irregular training to pull off constantly. It probably takes a lot longer to get perfect 2 frame apart double taps.
This technique is applicable to all fighting games.

Piano is the last arcade stick specific technique which is mainly used for characters who have moves like Honda’s hundreds hands slap or Chun Li’s lightning legs.
It’s used to get those moves out as fast as possible in order to combo into them for example.
If I’d want to hit hard lighning legs for example, I’d hit lk>mk>hk>lk>hk. Last two inputs are so far from each other on the button grid, so you don’t accidentally hit ex legs.
It’s looks like you’re playing the piano, hence the name.
This one is also applicable for every fighting game, not just SF4.

See, if you buy yourself an arcade stick you should learn to use these techniques, because otherwise your purchase was worthless and you’re just a scrub with an arcade stick.
These techniques are the advantage you get over a controller so not learning them equals stupidity in my opinion, since you gave up the controllers innate movement advantage (D-Pads are faster and more accurate than sticks due to the lower distance your thumb travels over their buttons compared to a stick which needs quite a bit of movement) and gained nothing in return.

If considering an arcade stick over a controller, ask yourself if you’re actually going to commit to the stick and learn that stuff, because if you don’t you just threw out over a hundred dollars/euros for something that does nothing for you.


PLinks make it easy the execution but the timing of execution is the same than a non PLink input?


@ArtVandelay‌ After reading that last part I decided to go ahead and ask about pinking, because I’ve been watching lots of videos about it, and no one realy explains in what situation u can do it. I understand the execution but idk how/why to incorporate it into your combos? I play Bison, you got any examples of how/why I would want to plink? I don’t understand the point.


I don’t play Bison so I couldn’t tell you any specifics on that one but it is a universal application. It increases the likelihood of hitting links, for instance a tight combo might require at some point a 1-frame link between inputs, the game runs at 60 frames a second so your input would have to be timed to 1/60th of a second - virtually impossible for a human to do consistently, plinking gives you a frame advantage so makes it makes that 1-frame link in to a 2-frame link, still tight but twice as ‘easy.’