Frame data refers to the set of numbered properties of all moves in a fighting game that determines how fast the move comes out, attacks and recovers and for how much time it gains specific properties like e.g. being invincible. It applies to every single action from normals to super attacks as well as throws and dashes.
Frame data usually includes the following entries for each move:
- startup frames are the number of frames before the moves become active and can therefore connect with the opponent - the lower the number of startup frames, the higher the priority of that move and the chance to score counter-hits;
- active frames are the number of frames the move can connect with the opponent after the startup and before the recovery frames. A higher number of active frames allows for the move to stay out longer and to perform better meaties;
- recovery frames are the number of frames it will take for a move to recover and reset the character back to neutral in case it didn't connect with the opponent. Low recovery frames means the move will be harder to whiff punish for the opponent;
- Frame advantage/disadvantage on hit/block: the number of frames the player will be ahead or behind the opponent if the move lands or is guarded. A move that is +x on hit/block and connects/is guarded will allow the next move performed by the player with n startup frames to be x frame ahead of his opponent, hence beating any non invincible move that is pressed at the same moment and has more than n-x startup frames. Example: if the opponent guards a st. MP that is +1 on block and after that both players use a st. LP with 3 frames of startup, the player's st. LP will stuff the other's and score a counter-hit, but if the player uses a move with 4 or more frames of startup it would either trade or be beaten by the opponent.
It may also include the frames for these specific common properties:
- invincibility frames refer to the number of frames a certain move is invulnerable to other kind of attacks. Invincibility can be full (no attack or throw can hurt the character) or partial, either in the part of the character's body that is invulnerable (e.g. low or upper body invincibility) or in the type of attack it is invincible to (e.g. projectile invincible, throw invincible, strike invincible);
- airborne frames are the number of frames a move puts the character in an airborne state with all properties that are tied with it - e.g. can't be thrown or triggers an air reset instead of a standing counter-hit when being hit.
Reading frame data