Street Fighter V/Game Systems

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Street Fighter VStreet Fighter V#CharactersStreet Fighter V/Basic ElementsStreet Fighter V/Universal AbilitiesStreet Fighter V/Controls and TerminologyStreet Fighter V/Game SystemsStreet Fighter V/Advanced TechniquesSFVHeaderButtons.png

Grey Life

Grey Life (often called White Life as well) is potential damage. After a short amount of time of not being attacked, grey life will begin to convert back into real life. If you are hit by any move all the accumulated grey life will disappear in addition to taking the normal damage from the move.

SFV Grey Life.jpg

Grey Life can be caused in several ways:

  1. Any blocked medium or heavy attack (deals 1/6 of total damage as grey life)
  2. Armoring through an attack
  3. Being hit by a V-Reversal

Because of this offense that does not result in a full combo can still cause damage further into the round by building up the opponent's grey life, then getting a stray hit removing a chunk of the opponent's remaining life.

Note that when a round ends due to a time out, grey life does not factor into remaining health. So if Ryu has 30% health and Ken has 25% health and 6% in grey life (31% total), Ryu will still win by time out.

Combo System



Special Cancels

V-Trigger Cancels

Counter Hits

A counter hit occurs when you strike your opponent during their startup frames. When a counter hit occurs, it will display "Counter" on the side of the screen

SFV Counter Hit.jpg

Counter Hit Benefits

The biggest benefit counter hits give is +2 frame advantage on moves, allowing new links and more damaging combos. In addition, counter hits give a move a 20% damage and stun bonus. For multi-hitting moves the properties can vary per move, but usually the benefits only apply to the first hit of a move. For example with Ryu's b+HK Axe Kick it normally does 40*40 damage for a total of 80 and is +4 on hit, and on counter hit it does 50*40 damage for a total of 90 but is still only +4 on hit. Similarly, Ryu's f+MP Collarbone breaker which does 30*30 for 60 damage and is +1 on hit does 36*30 for a total of 66 damage but is still only +1 on hit. However, if only the second hit of Ryu's b+HK or f+MP hits, they will be +6 / +3 on hit allowing more damaging combos.

Crush Counters

New to Street Fighter V are Crush Counters; these are similar to the Fatal Counter system in games like BlazBlue an Persona 4 Arena. Each character has a variety of moves that when they land as a counter hit, they will cause a special hit effect with a loud "explosion" noise, and cause special effects such as causing the opponent to crumple forward, spin backwards, or go flying into the air often allowing follow up combos. These moves are typically on HP and HK; either standing, crouching, or as a command normal. Universal to everyone is the crHK sweep, which will cause a hard knockdown forcing the opponent to do a delay rise, giving plenty of time to either form a setup or activate resources such as Alex's V-Skill or Ibuki's Kunai Reload.

SFV CrushCounter.jpg

In addition to the larger combo opportunities, Crush Counters generate V-Gauge; the amount generated depends on the move and character.

New in Season 3 is a universal adjustment to Crush Counters, which causes the combo to be scaled more heavily. Crush Combos start the combo at 2 hits instead of 1, meaning the next hit will cause 80% damage instead of the normal 90%, the third will cause 70% instead of 80%, and so on. Because of this other counter hit combos will often cause more damage but not give the V-Gauge gain.

Armored Moves

Certain moves in Street Fighter V have a property called Armor. Armor allows the character to absorb an attack, without being interrupted. Common examples of this are Laura's EX Bolt Charge, Urien's specials after activating his V-Skill, and Abigail's HP while in V-Trigger 1. When absorbing an attack the damage it would normally inflict is instead converted into grey life. Armored moves are typically EX Specials or V-Trigger bonus, however certain normals such as Zangief's charged HP have it as well.

Most armored moves can only absorb 1 hit of any type of attack, meaning many EX Projectiles such as Ryu's EX Hadoken will still beat them. However some can absorb multiple hits of armor. Abigail's EX Nitro Charge can absorb 2 hits while in V-Trigger, and his Metro Crash in V-Trigger 2 can absorb up to 99 hits when at maxed charged making it nearly impossible to break through.

Armor breaking moves are much rarer in Street Fighter V than IV. Any CA will break armor, and a couple of character specific moves such as Ed's V-Skill will break armor.

Moves that are armored have a special red hit effect when they absorb an attack.

SFV Armor.jpg

Pre-Jump Frames

After pressing up, a character will begin to jump however it actually takes a few frames (4 for most characters) before they become airborne. These are called "pre-jump frames". During pre-jump frames the opponent cannot be thrown, however if hit during them they will still be counted as grounded for a full combo instead of flipping out or being knocked backwards like most air hits.

Landing Recovery

Trip Guard

Trip guard is the ability to guard immediately upon landing from a jump attack. Notably it is NOT attacking an opponent who is unable to guard; this term is commonly used wrong. The ability to trip guard is determined by if a normal move was used during the jump

Landing Frames

If a move was used during a jump, then upon landing there are a few frames (3-4) where you are unable to do anything. If a move whiffed and the opponent times it properly, they will be able to get a sweep or worse a combo for free during the landing frames where you cannot block. However, landing frames only happen if you inputted a move; if you do not you are able to block immediately upon landing.

Empty Jump

Empty Jump is the term for not inputting any move in the air. If not action was taking in the air, then the landing frames can immediately be canceling into an attack, throw, or blocking (they cannot be canceled into any movement option however, meaning there is no way to escape from a perfectly timed command grab). This is especially useful for empty jump lows; by jumping the opponent tries to block high anticipating an air attack. Instead you do not press any button and hit them with a low attack upon landing. If a button was hit in the air the low would be delayed by the landing frames making it more likely the opponent could block in time or even interrupt the low with their own moves.


Some moves have invincibility from certain types of attacks. Most of these are exactly what they sound like. When it comes to invincibility some moves have it at the beginning, while some have it in the middle of it. Knowing when the invincibility happens during a move is important to use it effectively.

Throw Invincibility

Throw invincibility means the character cannot be thrown during the move. These moves include Ryu's LP Shoryuken, Zangief's EX Spinning Pile Driver, and any airborne attack such as Urien's headbutt.

Projectile Invincibility

Projectile invincibility means the character can go through any projectile, and are useful against characters such as Guile and Sagat. If the invincibility runs out while over the projectile however they will still take damage; this means against slower moving projectiles it is still not possible to get through them reliability. These types of moves include Ryu's Tatsu, Alex's EX Stomp, and Karin's Ressenha.

Upper Body Invincibility

Upper body typically means the move is invincible to airborne attacks. These types of moves are excellent for anti-airs. These moves include Ryu's MP Shoryuken, Laura's HP Bolt Charge, and Juri's MP Tensenrin

Complete Invincibility

These moves are fully invincible to all types of attacks. These include most CAs, Ryu and Ken's HP (starting on frame 3) and EX Shoryuken (starting on frame 1), Necali's HP and EX Raging Light, and Sagat's MP and EX Tiger Uppercut.


Every character has the ability to go from a "non-hittable" state instantly into a Special Move, EX Special Move, or Critical Art with nothing happening in between. This includes from blocking and during wake-up. Whenever you successfully perform a Reversal, the message "Reversal" will appear on the side of the screen.

SFV Reversal Icon.jpg

Dragon Punches

While Reversals technically mean what is stated above, in Street Fighter V reversals usually refer to fully invincible moves, such as Ryu's HP/EX Shoryuken, Urien's EX Headbutt, Falke's EX Psycho Schnieder, and so on. These are commonly called DPs (the original, Ryu's Shoryuken, roughly translated to "Rising Dragon Punch" and the name stuck), and are the most common reason to reversal. These moves usually have long recovery making them high risk moves, as whiffing or being blocked while using one will lead to taking big damage. A special note on them is during their recovery, opponents are in a counter hit state allowing larger combos or crush counter punishes.

Damage Scaling


GUTs is a term used to describe how damage works at lower health levels. The lower an opponent's HP is, the lower damage they will take. This is to prevent the game from ending off a poke and is implemented in most modern Capcom fighting games.

  • Below 50% HP, moves cause 95% of their normal damage
  • Below 30% HP, moves cause 90% of their normal damage
  • Below 15% HP, moves cause 75% of their normal damage

Note that this applies to the next time a move connects under that threshold. For example, if Ryu has 50% HP and is hit by Ken's sHK, it will inflict 100% damage. At 49% HP however, it will do 95%. These numbers also apply mid combo, so if Ryu is at 50% the first hit will do 100% and take Ryu below 50% HP, meaning the second hit will now do 95% and so on.

This is why when checking damage values in training mode, it is important to let the CPUs HP regenerate. Otherwise GUTs will be in effect and give different data.

V-Trigger Cancels

Canceling into a V-Trigger automatically scales a combo by 2 hits, reducing the next attack by 20%. A simple example of this is with Ryu; doing MP MP will cause 114 damage (60*100% + 60*90% = 114). Doing MP VTC MP does 102 damage (60 * 100% + 60 * 70% = 102). Subsequent hits will be 60%, 50%, and so on. This means canceling into V-Trigger can actually REDUCE the total damage a combo would normally do despite being more hits. V-Trigger Cancels often allow combos from moves that normally are not possible to combo from such as Ryu's MK, however for normal combos they should be used as late as possible to get the heaviest hits up front before the additional damage scaling effect is applied.

SFV Scaling VTC.jpg

Crush Counters

As of Season 3, a Crush Counter causes a combo to start at 2 hits instead of 1, meaning all subsequent hits will do 10% less damage than they normally would as the next hit will start at 80% instead of the normal 90%. For example, with Ryu performing HK, HK with the first being a Crush Counter, the first hit will do 108 (90 + 90*20% from the counter hit bonus), however the second hit will do 72 damage (90 * 80%). Because of this for punishing reversals it is now a decision of getting the max damage possible or gaining V-Gauge.

SFV Scaling CC.jpg

Critical Arts Scaling

Critical Arts will always do a minimum of 50% of their total damage. Because of this they are great way to win a round.

Hit Priority System

New to Street Fighter V is the hit priority system, which refers to when two attacks collide on the same frame. In Street Fighter 4 when two moves landed on the same frame and neither has invincibility, both players would take damage regardless of the strength of the move; the stronger move would cause more damage and have more advantage but still be hit usually meaning he cannot continue a combo afterwards. In contrast, Street Fighter V uses a hit priority system where if two moves land on the same frame, the higher strength move will win. A simple example is a 5f medium punch that is +1 on block. Pressing MP twice will cause a 4f gap; in Street Fighter IV the opponent could press a 4f light attack and trade, sacrificing health to get out of pressure or secure a win if the opponent is at low enough HP. In Street Fighter V however since medium is higher than light, the medium attack will beat the light attack with the Ryu player taking no damage. Further, it will count as a counter hit allowing bigger combo opportunities. Because of this it makes getting out of block strings and pressure in general much more difficult, and playing the neutral game scarier.

The priority system is easy to remember: mediums and heavies beat lights, heavies beat mediums, and specials beat normals. When two buttons of the same priorities collide, they will trade as in Street Fighter IV without any benefits.

Input Priority System

When multiple inputs are entered on the same frame, the game will decide what action to take based on its input priority system. It works as follows, with those higher on the list taking precedence over all those lower on the list.

  • Throw takes precedence over all others
  • V-Trigger takes precedence over V-Skill
  • V-Skill takes precedence over specials
  • Specials take precedence over any normals
  • Command normals take precedence over regular attacks
  • Heavier attacks take precedence over lighter attacks (Medium over light, heavy over medium and light)
  • Kicks take precedence over punches

Critical Arts have the same properties as a special for these purposes

For a few examples:

  • If MP+LP if inputted, MP will be performed because MP is a higher strength than LP
  • For Ken, if b+MK+HK is inputted, b+MK will be performed because command normals have higher precedence then HK even though it is a higher strength
  • if as Ken qcb, f+HK is inputted, qcb+HK will be performed because specials have higher precedence than command normals
  • If as Ken qcb+MP+MK is performed, MP+MK (V-Skill) will be performed
  • If as Ken qcf, qcf+LP+LK+MP+MK+HP+HK is performed, throw will happen because it has the highest precedence.

Note again that these scenarios only work if entered on the same frame; for example if qcf, qcf+LP+MP+HP is entered on frame 1, and qcf+LP+LK+MP+MK+HP+HK is entered on frame 2, then EX Shoryuken will come out instead as it was the first valid input read.

Input Buffering