Capcom just launched Street Fighter V, and… well, it’s been a bit of a mess, really. The game lacks multiple standard game modes, the online is barely functioning, and on the whole, there is the distinct feeling that the game was launched before it was ready.
But none of that changes the fact that when it does work, Street Fighter V is a joy to play- it’s a glorious thing of beauty, demanding player skill and expertise like few other games on the market can. Street Fighter can consume you as you try your best to master it- happily, we are here to help you with the process of getting the hang of the game’s multiple nuances and intricacies.
Combos are the bread and butter of any fighting game. It is, in fact, entirely possible for you to play the game casually without ever even knowing what a combo is. But if you want to actually want to compete (and Street Fighter V is all about competition), then you need to be able to pull combos off.
In this section, we demonstrate some combos that you can execute in the game. This isn’t a complete list- by definition it cannot be, since a lot of combos are entirely reliant on player improvisation. We don’t have them for all characters just yet, and this is by no means complete- but we’ll keep updating this section as more tech is developed by the competitive community.
LP, MP, HP = Light, Medium, Heavy Punch
LK, MK, HK = Light, Medium, Heavy Kick
xx = Cancel
c. = Crouching
s. = Standing
j. = Jumping
f. = Forward
b. = Back
CC = Crush Counter
Combos are, as mentioned above, the bread and butter of any fighting game- but you cannot rely on just combos to master a fighting game as nuanced and complex as Street Fighter V. Instead, you must rely on a whole host of techniques, and more importantly, you must know when to use these techniques.
We list out some of the most effective ones in this section:
Cancelling: Canelling can essentially turn your regular attacks into Specials. Street Fighter V allows for this much in the same way that Street Fighter III did. You just need to chain two light attacks, and you cancel into a Special. Street Fighter V does not require frame perfect timing like Street Fighter III did- so this should be relatively easy for you to pull off.
Blocking: Blocking Special attacks no longer causes you to be KO’d in Street Fighter V. If you successfully block a strong attack, you receive a sixth of the damage you would have ordinarily- and if you receive no further damage for the next 90 frames, you regain that health you lost to the sixth of the damage.
Frame Trapping Recovery: Frame trapping is no longer a thing in Street Fighter V. Simply hit D or B after you are knocked down, and you can recover. The one exception to this is knockdowns caused by throws, or by Crush Counters.
Throws: Throws are extremely important in Street Fighter V, since they are your easiest way to create a frame trapped combo (owing to them causing knockdowns that can’t be immediately recovered from). Keep in mind that LP+LK now has priority over all other attacks, however, and that throws can no longer be mixed with crouching LKs.
Yes, frames get their very own section here. This is because, without a proper understanding of frame data, what it means, and how it works, you are never going to be able to properly master Street Fighter V.
In fighting games, time and duration is not measured using actual time passed- it is measured using frames. Street Fighter V runs at 60 frames per second- that means that if something requires a button press after 1 frame, you literally need to react within 1/60th of a second. That’s the kind of dexterity we are talking about here.
Let’s try to understand the general basics:
Startup Frames: Think of this as the equivalent of the windup animation of your attack. Starting frames are the frames where the animation of your attack before it actually connects with the opponent are shown. Normal attacks generally have 4-8 starting frames.
Active Frames: The number of frames for which your attack physically connects with the opponent. Generally speaking, attacks don’t last for more than 3-4 frames. Properly manipulating your attacks can cause you to manipulate exactly what frame your attack connects with the opponent on, giving you an advantage by having your attack hit the opponent when they do not expect it.
Recovery Frames: These are the frames where your character completes the attack animation after it hits. These are basically cooldown periods between multiple attacks- when combined with vulnerability, these can give your opponent a major opening to exploit. As a result, balancing lighter Normal attacks with short vulnerability and very few Recovery Frames versus stronger attacks with longer Recovery Frames and longer vulnerability. When you Cancel, you essentially skip the Recovery Frames by directly chaining into a mixup.
Frame Advantage and Disadvantage: This is really quite simple- if you have a frame advantage, you can hit your attack before your opponent can. A frame advantage of +3, for instance, means your attacks can connect with the opponent 3 frames before their attacks can connect with you.
Street Fighter V introduces Critical Arts, special moves that are similar to Super Combos. This video below has every Critical Art and Ultra Move:
Street Fighter V basically has two forms of currency- actual real world money, which can be used to purchase characters and stages as microtransactions and DLC, and an in game currency called Fight Money (FM).
Of these, FM is what you are rewarded each time you accomplish something in Street Fighter V. FM is used to unlock further characters and costumes- so you want to have as much of it as possible. This is how you earn FM in Street Fighter V:
Finish Story Mode, including the character-specific Tutorials, with each of the 16 characters to earn 10,000 FM for each character you finish it with, for a total of 160,000 FM.
Presumably, the extra DLC characters also net you 10,000 FM for completing their Story Mode stories
The full Cinematic Story Mode launches in June. Presumably that has more FM bounty as well.
Finish Survival Mode on all four difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hell) with each of the 16 characters to earn around 5,000 FM times 64 for a one-time total bonus of 320,000 Fight Money.
Presumably, DLC characters also unlock more Survival Mode FM bounties.
Win online matches and get 50FM per victory.
Remember- you must be connected to the internet to get any FM, even in the single player modes. If you are not connected online when you finish Survival Mode, for example, you won’t get any FM at all.
With Street Fighter V, Capcom has eschewed the (admittedly bloated) roster of Ultra Street Fighter IV and trimmed it down to the basics. Street Fighter V ships with a grand total of 16 characters- which may not seem like a lot, but honestly, 16 highly differentiated characters, each with their own nuance and tech, is far better and more desirable than 40 characters, with a dozen clones.
The characters in Street Fighter V are:
All sixteen of these characters are available for you at launch. You do not need to unlock them, like characters often needed to be unlocked in previous games in the series.
In addition, another six characters have been confirmed as DLC:
These DLC characters can be unlocked in two ways:
You can buy them for $6 each (Season Pass holders get all characters for free);
You can spend 100,000 Fight Money on each
Stages are definitely not as important in Street Fighter as they are in, say, Smash Bros., but still, fighting on the same backdrop over and over again can become boring. That’s why stages still matter!
Unfortunately, this is also an area Street Fighter V scrimps out on- there are only 11 stages available in the game at launch. What’s more, there are no unlockable stages at all- presumably, more stages are made available once the In Game Shop launches in March, but right now, these 11 stages are all you get:
Bustling Side Street
City in Chaos
Lair of the Four Kings
At launch, there is only one basic costume available for each character- in March, however, once the in game shop launches, you will be able to purchase an alternate Story Costume for each character with 40,000 FM.
THE NEVER-ENDING PATH (PLATINUM TROPHY)
“Sweet! You got all the trophies! You’re really somethin’. Isn’t that right, Ryu?” “You have done well to reach the end of this one journey. The path to becoming a true fighter still lies ahead, but let us take time to share the joy of your accomplishment.”
BACK FROM HELL (GOLD TROPHY)
Feel like taking the plunge into Survival Mode on extreme? Come back alive, and I’ll grant you an audience with none other than me, the great Lord Bison!
LET’S FIGHT SOMEONE STRONG! (GOLD TROPHY)
Finally, Golden League! There are so many potential rivals! Now the fun really begins!
NUMBER 2 IS THE NEW NUMBER 1 (GOLD TROPHY)
Niiihehe! 2, 20, 200! Such a glorious sound, I could say it twice more! 200! Raise you player level to 200! I already have, niiihehe!
BAM, BAM, WIN! (GOLD TROPHY)
Winning 300 matches will put the word out for Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu! It’ll be like, “the succesor or Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu, Laura Matsuda is right here!”
A TRUE WARRIOR’S SPIRIT (SILVER TROPHY)
A warrior’s soul is ri…ripened in Survival Mode. Emerge victorious on hard difficulty and you’ll be ready for me to co…consume.
BURNING SPIRIT (SILVER TROPHY)
Your player level is a reflection of your passion! Aim for the stars, and reach level 100!
MUSCLES BRING VICTORY! (SILVER TROPHY)
Did you make it to Silver League?! Horosho! You have very good muscle! You can get much stronger from now!
CEASELESS EFFORT (SILVER TROPHY)
Ah, your 100th Ranked Match victory. That look in your eyes tells me it was a fulfilling battle. Go forward one step at a time, and never forget this feeling.
SLOW BUT STEADY WINS THE RACE (SILVER TROPHY)
Your objective should be to raise a single character to level 30. There is great meaning in accomplishing what is difficult. To find your answer, you must set your sights high.
MASTERING THE BASICS
Why don’t you try finishing up the tutorial? You might’ve mastered the first step, but nailing down the fundamentals is what’s important.
LUCKY WE MET!
Whoa, I’m really mixing it with the celebrities here! C’mon, Rashid, you’re the Raging Storm! Get out there and finish 5 Character Stories!
ONE STEP FORWARD
If you’re at a loss for what to do, why not raise a character to level 5? It should help you realize what you’re missing.
QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
Level up 5 characters! Up to level 5 should do the trick. When it comes to food and fightin’, it’s quantity over quality, mate.
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
Your stats are as pitiful as your strength, maggot! Come back when you’ve raised all characters to level 5.
Raise your player level to 50. Level up that much and you’ll be about ready to exact you revenge.
MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF
Why don’t you see if you can collect 10 titles? There’s nothin’ like a good title! Even Mel said they make me look cool!
SULTAN OF TITLES
I am Rashid of the Turbulent Wind! You can change how you feel, just with a title! If you had 30 of them, you’d be set for the rest of your life!
FIGHTING ON THE INTERNET
Alright, time you fought 10 network battles! The Internet is like my backyard – not a place I tend to lose! (Excludes Battle Lounge)
ALL GOING TO PLAN!
Master Zangief! I fought in 50 network battles! The ring came to life with the clash of burning spirits! (Excludes Battle Lounge)
A FIENDISH TRAP
Impossible! You fought in 300 network battles? Well then, the time for you to witness my Psycho Power draws near. Mwahaha! (Excludes Battle Lounge)
WAITING IS HALF THE FUN
Patience is key to any warrior’s training. Fight in network battles 30 times using the standby function. The longer you wait, the greater the joy will be when you finally get picked.
I KNOW KUNG FU!
Congratulations on your first win! Keep practicing your Kung Fu in those Ranked Matches and I know you’ll only get better and better!
ADDICTED TO WINNING
It seems you’ve won 10 Ranked Matches. Never forget how it feels to win, or your future will soon be eclipsed by defeat.
WORKING UP AN APPETITE!
30 Ranked Matches already? Lemme go catch up to that! Dinner always tastes better after you’ve pummeled a bunch of chumps!
ALWAYS SOMEONE STRONGER
Why not try fighting someone stronger than you in a Ranked Match? There’s a lot you can gain from fighting stronger opponents. Beat 10 of ’em and you’ll understand.
SAVORING THE WIN STREAK
Achieved three consecutive victories in Ranked Matches, have you? It appears you are getting a handle on your power. Maintain your modesty, and focus on your training; the path ahead is long.
Master Zangief sent me flowers to celebrate me moving up a league for the first time! I can’t read the card with all these tears!
GO OUT WITH A BANG
“Finishing with an EX Special Move sure feels good, old man!” “You finally understand then, young one? How about you try doing it 300 times?” “Wha?! You know how many years that’ll take?!”
300 Critical Art finishes… It would seem a crimson rose that blooms within an ugly heart can still be beautiful…
NOT OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER
When you get that feeling like “I can’t let it end like this!”, that’s when you should use a V-Reversal. Practice it 100 times, and then you’ll be able to pull it off in your sleep!
There is a power that resides deep within you. If you wish to know what that power is, trigger a V-Skill 100 times. Do so, and that power will belong to you.
You know, the V-Trigger is pretty handy for shifting the flow of battle. You’ll know just how effective it is once you’ve triggered it 100 times.
You must set a character as your favorite! Can’t decide who to choose? Niiihehehe! Well, you can’t go wrong with Lord Bison!
ALL IN A NAME
You’ll never stand out without an original title. Try choosing an appropriate title for me.
FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL
Collect 30 replays, kid. Once you’ve done your prep and know your opponent’s weaknesses, you’ll be in control of the fight. Don’t risk your life by rushing in blind.
SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS!
Visualization is a crucial skill, so try watching 50 replays! I watched so many, I started seeing Master Zangief in my dreams!
When someone sets their sights on you, don’t you just wanna try even harder? Add someone to your Favorites and see what happens!
I have the direct lines for all the world’s leaders recorded in my pocketbook. You should have 30 names in your Favorites at the very least.
BODYBUILDING IS LIFE
Go try out Training Mode for 30 minutes! “Bodybuilding never let man down.” I borrowed that one from Master Zangief!
WIN OR DIE TRYIN’
It’s about time you cleared Survival Mode on normal difficulty. You know what happens if you refuse, don’t you? Let’s just say the only way you live is if you keep on winning!
You managed to get 1,000,000 FM. That’s pretty good! The real value, however, is in the path you walked to earn that much.