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General fighting game glossary

Skullgirls Terms

Terms commonly used when talking about Skullgirls, including general fighting game and Skullgirls specific terms

Term Definition
Absolute guard Defense mechanic that allows a player to temporarily block both highs and lows by pushblocking and switching guard direction. Abbreviated as 'AG'
Active Period during an attack in which the attacking hitboxes are present. Another way to think of it is the period in which an attack can hit the opponent.
Air actions Refers to whether a character is able to use their double jump, air dash, or other air movement options within the context of their time in the air.
Air dash Air movement option which moves the character forward. The exact behavior of the airdash varies from character to character. In Skullgirls, not every character has an air dash.
Air throw Universal move similar to a grounded throw, it will throw blocking opponents in the air, and can be throw teched. To be specific, it can be referred to as 'normal air throw'
Airdash cancel Canceling an attack with an airdash. Abbreviated as 'ADC'
Alpha counter Defense mechanic which allows a player to switch characters during blockstun or a burst. As the new character comes in, they will perform their assist attack. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'stunt double'
Anchor The last character in a duo or trio team.
Anti-air throw In Skullgirls, an attack that is unblockable during the rising portion of the opponent's jump. Also referred to as 'air unblockable'
Armor Attacks with armor will not get hit when attacked. These attacks have a specified number of hits of armor, which indicate how many hits can be negated this way before the next hit will inflict normal hitstun. Armored attacks can still get thrown, and in Skullgirls, sweep attacks will ignore armor. See also: 'hyper armor'
Assist Team mechanic where a teammate will enter the screen, perform an attack, then exit. Reffered to by the in-game tutorial as 'ensemble attack'
Avery The bird projectile from Peacock and Double's j.HK
Battery A character that can effectively build meter
Beam In Skullgirls, a type of projecile that will instantly cover its entire range and is active for a fixed amount of time.
Blockstop The brief period of freeze for visual impact when an attack is blocked.
Blue bounce One of the four classifications of knockdowns in Skullgirls, indicated by the blue effect when the character bounces off the ground. Blue bounces will allow the player to perform a ground tech. See also: soft knockdown, invulnerable soft knockdown.
Blue burst A burst that completely whiffs, causing the recovery to be vulnerable. This is indicated by a blue effect surrounding the burst. See also: 'burst'
Burst alpha counter An alpha counter performed during a burst
Burst bait A setup which allows the opponent to burst, with the hope that the opponent will burst in such a way that is punishable. See also: 'blue burst'
Burst An attack that can be done out of hitstun which hits for no damage and knocks the opponent away. Players can only burst when certain conditions are met as defined by the IPS and undizzy mechanics. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'infinity breaker'. See also: 'blue burst', 'gold burst', 'burst bait', 'burst alpha counter'
Cancel / Special cancel / Super cancel Under certain conditions, a move can be interrupted early by inputting another move. Speical cancel refers to canceling into a special, and super canceling refers to canceling into a super. See also: 'chain'
Chain route Describes which normals a character can chain into each other. See also: 'chain', 'magic series'
Chain Canceling normals into other normals. See also: 'chain', magic series'
Chains backwards These attacks can chain into a normal that is earlier in the chain route. Also referred to as 'reverse beat' or 'rebeat'.
Chains into self These attacks can press the button again to chain into itself, sometimes with a unique follow up move.
Chicken blocking Blocking attacks in the air, negating the need to block high / low mixups. See also: 'land cancel'
Chip damage The amount of damage done by a special or super move on block. The damage is much less than if the attack hit.
Cinematic A move that goes into a unique, lenghthy animation that interrupts normal gameplay
Combo stage The way the infinite protection system divides up combos to determine whether buttons will become watched, or if the combo can trigger IPS. See also: 'IPS'
Command normals A move that requires a certain direction to be held and single button press
Command throw Throws done with a special move input. This typically implies that they cannot be throw teched like normal throws.
Corner carry A combo that will carry the opponent all the way to the corner
Counter hit In Skullgirls, a hit that occurs when the opponent is performing an attack, whether they get hit during the startup, active, or recovery frames. This causes them to flash red with a broken heart effect, and will subtract undizzy.
Cross under A type of mixup where a player will dash under an airborne opponent and hit them on the other side.
Crossup A type of mixup that hits the opponent on the other side, forcing a swtich of blocking direction
Crumple A hit effect in Skullgirls that causes the opponent to fall down to the ground in a lengthy animation.
Damage scaling When an attack only does a percentage of its base damage. In Skullgirls, the more hits in a combo, the higher the damage scaling. Some moves also scale the entire combo in addition to the former.
Dash block Dashing, then immeidately holding back to block any attacks and safely dash forward
Dash jump Dashing, then inputting jump, which will have the character jump further
Dead body combo Continuing to combo a dead character in order to gain positioning
DHC Swapping characters by performing a super, then canceling into a super from the next character in line. Referred to by the in-game tutorials as 'blockbuster sequel'. See also: 'safe DHC'
Double jump Performing a jump while already in the air
Double snap Hitting both the point character and an assist with a snapback in the corner, which will leave just the vulnerable assist. The player can then combo the assist until they're dead. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'double take'. See also: 'snapback'
DP assist Any assist with invulnerable frames
Fireball Synonymous with a projectile, usually one that travels horizontally across the screen.
Flight cancel Canceling an attack with flight. Painwheel specific
George Peacock's bomb projectiles
GGPO The netcode which Skullgirls implements. Instead of introducing input delay to deal with latency, it will run the game like normal and 'rollback' the game to make corrections.
Gold burst A burst that was hit, blocked, or met some other condition causing the recovery to be invulnerable and therefore safe. This is indicated by a gold effect surrounding the burst. See also: 'burst'
Grab Synonymous with throw.
Grappler A style of play that involves threatening the opponent with high damage throws.
Green bounce One of the four classifications of knockdowns in Skullgirls, indicated by the green effect when the character bounces off the ground. Green bounces are simply when a move that causes red bounce is used as an assist, and will always allow a ground tech.
Green sparks Green hitsparks that indicate a combo has triggered undizzy and the player in hitstun is allowed to burst.
Ground bounce A hit effect where the opponent bounces off the floor. See also: 'yellow bounce'
Ground tech / Ground recovery A defense mechanic that allows the opponent to roll left or right on knockdowns under certain conditions
Hard knockdown A hit effect where the opponent is forced to recover on the ground. This is the only type of knockdown in Skullgirls not associated with a colored bounce and will never allow the opponent to ground tech
Hatred guard A character specific version of armor, exclusive to Painwheel, that will abosrb the damage taken and deal it back to the opponent
High A move that must be blocked standing. Also known as an 'overhead'
Hit grab A move that can be blocked (is a strike) but has properties of throws, such as going into a unique animation sequence on hit and breaking armor
Hitbox The area in which an attack can hit
Hitstop drop An advanced technique which takes advantage of the fact that assists are not affected by super hitstop to uncombo the combo on the assist and deal much more damage, while still comboing the point character. See also: 'uncombo'
Hitstop The brief period of freeze for visual impact when an attack hits. See also: 'super hitstop', 'blockstop'
Hurtbox The area in which a character can be hit
Hyper Armor An armored attack with no limits on how many times it can be hit and still negate attacks. It also cannot be broken by sweeps. Sometimes referred to as 'super armor', although not all super moves with armor have this property. See also: 'armor'
IAD lockout The period of time in which an airdash cannot be preformed after jumping. The amount of time varies from character to character. See also: 'IAD'
IAD Abbreviation for 'instant air dash', which means to perform an airdash as soon as possible after jumping
Incoming Describes how after a character is killed, the next in line character enters from the side of the screen in the air. They can block like normal, but are suspect to incoming mixups.
Instant overhead A jumping move that hits as the character is rising, allowing for a quick overhead.
Invulnerable / Invincible A move which has a period of time where the character cannot be hit by any attacks. Some attacks are only invulnerable to specific types of moves. 'Fully invulnerable' refers to attacks that are invulnerable to all attacks. See also: 'reversal'
Invulnerable soft knockdown A hit effect where the opponent is knocked down, can ground tech as soon as they hit the floor, and is invulnerable as they're hit by the attack. See also: 'blue bounce'
IPS Abbreviation of 'infinite protection system'. System mechanic that allows the opponent to burst if a chain has been started with a move that has already been used, not counting moves used in the first chain. See also: 'combo stage'
Jump cancel Canceling an attack with a jump. Refers either to the super jump cancel property of launchers, or Robo-Fortune's unique ability to double jump cancel her air normals and air throw
Kara Meaning "empty" in Japanese, kara typically refers to a move that starts but gets cancelled into another move before active frames. A "kara cancel" typically enhances the range of a throw or special move by canceling the first frames of start up of specific move that will move the character forward. In Skullgirls, this is done in two ways. The most common is using the ability to special cancel from normals on whiff. The other way, and the only way to kara a normal throw, is to use the LP+LK input leniency and slightly delay the button presses, such that an attack will come out for a few frames before the throw.
Knockdown In many fighting games, a knockdown is a flexible term that simply describes a hit effect that forces the opponent to the ground and recover. In Skullgirls, it specifically refers to a type of knockdown that allows the attacking player to continue the combo with an OTG hit. If the opponent is allowed to fall to the floor, or if OTG was already used, the knockdown instead becomes a soft knockdown and the opponent can ground tech. Often abbreviated as 'KD'. See also: 'red bounce'
Land cancel Blocking an attack in the air with the intent that the player will land on the ground, negating any blockstun from the air attack. See also: 'chicken block'
Launcher An attack which sends the opponent into the air and allows for a super jump cancel on hit
Lockout A period of time which assists cannot be called and tags and DHCs cannot be performed
Low profile An attack with very short hurtboxes, allowing the character to avoid some moves by going under them
Low An attack that must be blocked crouching
Macro Mapping multiple inputs to one button
Magic series Describes which normals a character can chain together, following the L > M > H format. See also: 'chain'
Mashing Preemptively inputting a reversal repeatedly during a combo in case the attacker attempts a reset or drops their combo
Meaty 1. Attacking an opponent the moment they wake up
2. Attacking an opponent on wakeup, specifically with the latter portion of an attack's active frames, providing better frame advantage for the attacker
Meter scaling When an attack only grants a percentage of its base meter gain to the player. In Skullgirls, the more hits in a combo, the less meter the atacker will get and the more meter the opponent will get.
Meter A resource gained during gamplay and is spent on super moves, DHCs, snapbacks, or alpha counters
Mid 1. An attack that can be blocked crouching or standing
2. The middle character on a trio team.
Minimum scaling A rule that ensures some moves cannot be scaled more than a certain percentage, even when the damage scaling would scale it more under normal conditions
Normals The set of moves that every character has, performed by pressing a single attack button while either standing, crouching, or jumping
Okizeme Attacking an opponent as they wake up. Often shortened to 'oki'.
OTG The method of continuing a combo after the opponent bounces off the ground with a red bounce. This can only be done once per combo. OTG also refers to whether a combo has used an off the ground hit yet or not. See also: 'red bounce', 'blue bounce'
PBGC A defense mechanic in Skullgirls that allows players to reduce their overall blockstun via pushblocking, and typically perform a reversal action. A successful PBGC will have the player character flash green.
Perfect Winning a game without taking a single point of damage
Pixie A character archetype with short range but good movement and mixups
Point 1. The first character on a duo or trio team
2. The current character in the player's control on a duo or trio team
Projectile A classification of attacks that describes attacks physically separate from the character
Pushblock A defense mechanic which allows the defender to push the attacker away while in blockstun. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'reaction shot'
Ratio Describes bonuses to life and damage given by team size selection
Recovery 1. The amount of time a move has after the active frames to have the character return to a neutral state
2. The moment when a character just recovered from hitstun or blockstun
Red bounce One of the four classifications of knockdowns in Skullgirls, indicated by the red effect when the character bounces off the ground. Red bounces will not allow the character to perform a ground tech. They also provide the opportunity for the attacker to hit the opponent OTG. If OTG has already been used in a combo and a red bounce occurs, it will become a blue bounce. See also: 'knockdown', 'sliding knockdown'
Red health The portion of damage taken that is left as red health. Red health has the potential to be recovered if the character is not in play.
Red sparks Red hitsparks that indicate a combo has triggered IPS and the player in hitstun is allowed to burst.
Rejump Performing an air combo, then landing and jumping again to continue the combo in the air
Reset A strategy core to maintaining offense in Skullgirls. It involves the attacker intentionally dropping their combo and performing a quick mixup
Restand When a character in hitstun in the air lands on the ground and the hitstun is carried over once they land. Restands are a very useful technique for combos and resets.
Reversal Performing a move immediately once the character has actions available after a period of being knocked down, blockstun, or hitstun. Typically, an invulnerable move is most useful to use in this situation, since the attacker will usually have an advantage over the opponent. For this reason, some moves are referred to as 'reversals' and used interhangably with 'invulnerable'
Runaway A style of play that involves running away from the opponent and not letting them close in
Safe DHC Using a DHC to make a super safe, such as DHCing into a low recovery super, or into a super that will keep the opponent in blockstun. This is a very strong tactic as it can allow reversals to be done with much less risk.
Safe Any attack that cannot be punished, given the context of the situation
Sekhmet Eliza's skeleton which she can summon to attack
Sliding knockdown A type of knockdown that does not allow the opponent to ground tech if the attacker chooses not to use OTG. See also: 'red bounce'
Snapback A universal attack that will swap out the opponent's team members on hit. Often shortened to 'snap'. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'outtake'
Soft Knockdown A type of knockdown that will always allow the opponent to use a ground tech. See also: 'blue bounce'
SoID Abbreviation of 'shadow of impending doom', Peacock's item drop attack
Sound stun Big Band's unique mechanic that gives some of his moves much more hitstun and hitstop once per combo
Specials A move performed using a motion and single attack button or throw. These moves are typically more unique in the utility they provide than normal moves
Stagger A hit effect which puts the opponent into a dizzied state with a long duration. The state is similar to normal hitstun, except that they can still tech throws. The opponent can shake out of a stagger to reduce the total stagger time.
Startup The time it takes for an attack to perform its active frames after its executed
Strike A classification of moves that will put the opponent into hitstun on hit and into blockstun on block. In other words, not a throw. Also referred to as 'hit'
Suki cancel A technique where a player does a launcher attack where the opponent blocks it but their assist gets hit, allowing a super jump cancel even though the point character blocked it
Super hitstop In Skullgirls, when a super flash occurs, some hitstop is applied only to the opponent. Since it is effectively the same, it is usually just referred to as 'hitstop' but is also sometimes called 'super hitstop' or 'superstop' to be specific.
Super jump A type of jump that reachers a greater height than a normal jump, performed by tapping down quickly before jumping
Supers An attack performed with a motion and two attack buttons, costs meter, and includes a super flash at some point. Referred to by the in-game tutorial as 'blockbuster'
Sweep An attack that ignores armor. Every c.HK attack (c.MK for Robo-Fortune) has this property.
Tag Switching characters using their unique tag attacks. Sometimes referred to as 'hard tag' if done in a risky manner such as outside of a combo
Taunt A move designed to taunt or mock the opponent, typically due to the animation and / or the move lacking any practical purpose. Some taunts will even provide small benefits to the opponent, or hit for negligible damage. Despite the name, a few character's taunts are beneficial or even integral to their game plan, removing the taunting stigma from the move. Every character in Skullgirls has one taunt, each inputted like a command super (a series of button and input directions).
Tears Parasoul's mine projectiles
Tech 1. Shorthand for throw tech
2. Shorthand for ground tech / ground recovery
3. Any piece of game knowledge such as combos or resets, shorthand for 'technology' or 'technique'
Throw 1. A universal attack that will beat blocking opponents on the ground and can be throw teched. To be specific, it can be referred to as 'normal throw'
2. Any attack with throw properties
ToD Abbreviation of 'touch of death'. A combo which ensures the opponent will die, even if they're hit at full health
Turtling A style of play which minimizes risk, taking offense only when it is safe, and scoring hits with defensive moves and techniques
Unblockable protection A mechanic that prevents impossible to block and/or humanly unblockable setups
Uncombo Dropping the combo on an assist to reset the damage scaling. Even though the combo is dropped, the assist is defenseless and cannot block subsequent attacks
Undizzy / Drama The mechanic in Skullgirls which limits combo length, indicated by the green bar under each player's health bars. Undizzy will accumulate as a combo goes on, and the opponent can burst if undizzy if the attacker triggers undizzy by starting a new chain while the bar is full.
Wake up Refers to the moment after a knockdown when a character completes their invulnerable 'getting up' animation and becomes vulnerable again. Typically the attacker has a huge advantage in this situation and can set up a meaty.
Wall bounce A hit effect where the opponent bounces off the wall. See also: 'yellow bounce'
Wall splat  ???
Whiff When an attack misses completely and is neither hit nor blocked
Yellow bounce One of the four classifications of knockdowns in Skullgirls, indicated by the yellow effect when the character bounces off the wall or ground. Yellow bounces will simply let the opponent fall to the floor, and when they do it will be a knockdown (red bounce). There are no limits on how many yellow bounces can occur in a combo. See also: 'ground bounce', 'wall bounce', 'wall splat'
Zoning A style of play which involves denying the opponent to commit to using certain areas of the screen

Other Terms

Terms that are common use in other fighting games that refer to similar concepts in Skullgirls under a different name

Term Definition
Advancing Guard Marvel vs Capcom term for pushblock
Break Term from other fighting games for a throw tech.
Breaker An an attack that can execute during hit stun and interrupt an opponent's combo in progress. These techniques are analogous to a burst in Skullgirls. Originally used in Killer Instinct's "C-C-Combo Breaker!" Sometimes seen in Mortal Kombat.
Crossover Counter Marvel vs Capcom term for a tag / counter attack technique similar to an alpha counter in Skullgirls.
Dead Angle Guilty Gear term, an attack where the defending player can attack during block stun at the cost of some tension. This technique is functionally similar to an alpha counter in Skullgirls.
Double Over Stun 3D fighting game term for a stun that causes the opponent to fall to the ground slowly, vulnerable to further attacks. These are similar to a crumple in Skullgirls.
Gatling Guilty Gear term for 'chain'
Guard Cancel Term from many other fighting games referring to any technique that lets you attack out of blockstun. In Skullgirls this typically refers to pushblock guard cancel (PBGC).
Hyper Combo Marvel vs Capcom term for a super move.
Square jump Marvel vs Capcom term for a movement very similar to an IAD.
Striker King of Fighters term for a mechanic similar to an assists.
Tech Hit Vampire Savior term for pushblock.
Wire King of Fighters term for an attack that creates an effect very similar to a wall bounce.


Skullgirls 2nd Encore+
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