Skullgirls/Game Elements

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Skullgirls#BasicsSkullgirls#Game ElementsSkullgirls#CastSkullgirls/Game SystemsSkullgirls#Fun StuffSkullgirls/Strategy TacticsMvC3HeaderButtons.png

Controls and Notation

Skullgirls uses directional inputs and 6 default attack buttons for gameplay. The six buttons are light punch, medium punch, heavy punch, light kick, medium kick, and heavy kick. All characters have standing, crouching, and jumping versions of their normal moves associated with the 6 buttons. Button and directional inputs combine for command normals, special moves, super moves, and other universal commands.

In character move lists, this guide will use the Shoryuken.com Wiki's default symbols to represent button commands. For written sections LP, MP, HP, LK, MK, and HK will abbreviate the buttons. Street Fighter series players may know these buttons as jab, strong, fierce, short, forward, and roundhouse, but those terms will not appear in this guide.

SG lp.png SG mp.png SG hp.png
SG lk.png SG mk.png SG hk.png
 = 
LP MP HP
LK MK HK

For directional inputs, this guide will use the default wiki symbols whenever possible. For written sections, unicode arrows will represent the 8 vertical, horizontal, and diagonal directions. Many Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and Tekken series players use f, b, d, and u to abbreviate forward, back, down, and up directional inputs. Many Guilty Gear, Blaz Blue, and Virtua Fighter players prefer a keypad based notation to represent all 8 directions and neutral. Both are shown here for new Skullgirls players with experience in other fighting games.

Ub.png U.png Uf.png
B.png N.png F.png
Db.png D.png Df.png
 = 
 
 = 
ub u uf
b   f
db d df
 = 
7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

This guide will also use the Shoryuken.com Wiki symbols for directional motions required by special and super moves. All of these commands are common to 2D fighters.

Visual Notation Motion
Qcf.png 236
↓↘→
A quarter circle forward (QCF), or a smooth motion between the down and forward directions. Sometimes called a fireball motion.
Qcb.png 214
↓↙←
A quarter circle back (QCB), or a smooth motion between down and back directions.
Dp.png 623
→↓↘
The dragon-punch motion (DP), or a tap forward before hitting down and down-forward
Rdp.png 421
←↓↙
The reverse dragon-punch motion (RDP), or a tap backward before hitting down and down-back
[ B.png ] , F.png [4]6
← (hold) →
A horizontal charge motion, or holding back then pressing forward. Sometimes called a sonic boom motion.
[ D.png ] , U.png [2]8
↓ (hold) ↑
A vertical charge motion, or holding back then pressing forward. Sometimes called a flash kick motion.
360.png 360 The 360 motion, or a circular motion that hits all four axis directions in sequence. Since there is no '0' in numpad notation, '360' is used to describe the motion in numpad notation for brevity, even though it doesn't describe the literal directions.

Move Properties

Cancel and Movement Properties

Term / Symbol Definition
Airok.png Special moves and supers that can be performed on the ground or in the air have this property.
Aironly.png Special moves and supers that can only be performed in the air have this property.
Chains Twice Many characters have moves that can be chained into themselves, but only for two hits. Moves with this property are the only normal moves that can cancel their recovery with a normal move on whiff. Some moves Chain Thrice.
Dashcancel.png All air normals can be freely canceled to an air dash on start up, active, or recovery frames. Is this for ground moves only? Does it even exist?
Rpdfire.png These moves will chain into themselves any number of times with rapid button presses.

Hit Properties

Term Definition
Airthrow.png Air throws are unblockable attacks that deal damage during an uninterruptable animation on hit. All air throws must be preformed in jump state and cannot hit opponents on the ground. All characters have a normal air throw (air LP+LK) and some have special or super move air throws.
Chipdamage.png These normal moves deal chip damage to blocking opponents, much like a special or super move. Are there any rules on what does this? Possibly projectiles only?
High.png For a defending character on the ground, high moves must be blocked while standing (←).
Low.png For a defending character on the ground, low moves must be blocked while crouching (↙).
Throw.png Throws are unblockable attacks that deal damage during an uninterruptable animation on hit. All air throws must be preformed from standing and cannot hit opponents in the air or while starting their jump. All characters have a normal ground throw (LP+LK) and some have special or super move throws.
Throw.png (on hit) These throws are blockable, but still deal damage during an uninterruptable animation on hit. Only special or super moves have this property and, unlike other throws, will connect on a defending player in hit or block stun.

Hit Effects

Term Definition
Sweep These normal moves, typically on the same command for every character (↓ + HK), are all low and cause a unique knockdown on hit. Sweeps cannot start a combo if the defending player quickly uses a ground recovery.
Launch.png Launchers are normal moves that send the opponent in an upwards direction on hit. All characters have at least one launcher. Launchers can be canceled into a super jump and are the only moves that can be canceled into any jump.
Knockdown.png Knockdown attacks will always cause a normal knockdown for the opponent if they connect. The defending character can use ground recovery when appropriate during normal knockdowns.
Knockdown.png
(vs air)
These moves cause a knockdown against aerial opponents only. Many air normals have this property and can never cause the defending character to land on their feet in hitstun.
Groundbounce.png If an an attack with ground bounce connects, it causes the opponent to to slam into the ground and bounce into the air. Ground recovery cannot stop a ground bounce and an unlimited number of ground bounces can occur in the same combo.
Groundbounce.png
(vs air)
These moves cause a ground bounce on hit, but only against an aerial opponent.
Wallbounce.png If an attack with wall bounce connects, it causes the opponent to fly across the screen quickly and bounce off the side of the stage. If defending character is allowed to hit the ground after the wall bounce it causes a normal knockdown. If the wall bounce attack does not force the opponent into a wall they go through a brief slide stun when they hit the ground. Like ground bounces, wall bounces can occur an unlimited number of times per combo.
Wallbounce.png
(vs air)
These moves cause a wall bounce on hit, but only against an aerial opponent.
Slide Stun Attacks that cause slide stun quickly send the opponent to the ground. Defending characters slide along the ground for a set distance before they can use a ground recovery. More than one slide stun in the same combo allows the the defending player to use ground recovery at the very beginning of the slide.
Slide Stun (vs air) These moves cause a slide stun on hit, but only against an aerial opponent.
Crumple.png When a move with crumple stun hits, it causes the opponent to go through a unique animation where they slowly fall to the ground from standing. The defending character is vulnerable to any attack, including throws which would not normally combo, during the crumple. The opponent is considered on the ground during the end of the stagger animation. After the first crumple in a combo, any additional crumple stuns leave the opponent invulnerable to all attacks during the later, grounded part of the stun. If a crumpling attack hits against an airborne opponent it will cause a normal hit stun instead.
Stagger.png Staggers leave the opponent in a unique standing stun animation. A stagger starts with a 60f period of vulnerability to everything, including throws which would not normally combo. The end of the stagger animation is 20f and is vulnerable to any attack but throws. Players can "shake out" of a stagger and shorten the stun with rapid directional inputs during the stagger. Successfully shaking out of a stagger requires 4 distinct ← or → inputs and reduces the throw vulnerable part of the stagger by up to 15f. After the first stagger in a combo, any additional moves that would cause stagger cause a shorter, normal hit stun instead. If a staggering attack hits against an airborne opponent it will cause a normal hit stun instead.
Startupinv.png These moves have some invincible frames of animation at their start. Attacks that would normally interrupt these moves will go harmlessly through the attacking character during the invincibility frames. Some moves with start up invulnerability are only invulnerable to hits or throws.
Armored.png Armored moves can absorb one or more attacks and keep going. Attacks absorbed by armor are taken as 100% recoverable damage, will still count towards a combo, and are subject to damage scaling.
Proj.png A fireball.
Projectilereflect.png Rejected send it back.

Glossary

General Fighting Game Terms

These terms are all common to fighting games. Skullgirls and this guide uses them freely.

Term Definition
Anchor The last character on a team, expected to be able to fight with no teammates left alive.
Battery A character who gains super meter never uses it, saving it for a teammate instead.
Command grab A special or super move throw.
Command normal Any standing, crouching, or jumping attack preformed with a simultaneous attack button and single direction input.
Cross-over Any attack made while switching sides with an opponent over their head, forcing a change in block direction.
Cross-under Any attack made while passing under and switching sides with an aerial opponent, forcing a change in block direction.
Fireball Synonymous with a projectile, usually one that travels horizontally across the screen.
Grab Synonymous with throw.
Grappling A style of play, specific to the player or the character, that centers around constantly threatening the opponent with high damage throws.
Hard Tag The only way Socal knows how to win games.
Mashing Hitting buttons and directional inputs at random and as fast as possible. While no move or technique explicitly requires this tactic, some players find it's use the easiest method to preform special and super moves. Use at your own risk.
Normal Any standing, crouching, or jumping attack preformed with an attack button and no other input.
Overhead A standing normal move that must be blocked high.
Point The active, currently player controlled character on a team. Can also refer to the character selected to fight first on a team.
Reversal Preforming an attack, typically an special or super move with start up invulnerability, on the first frame a character gets out of hit stun, block stun, or gets up from the ground.
Runaway A style of play, usually specific to the player, that centers around staying as far away from the opponent as possible to the point where they are out of range to attack back.
Rushdown A style of play, specific to the player or the character, that centers around going to the opponent and attacking as fast as possible.
Safe Believing in yourself wins less games than being safe.
Special move Any move preformed by a specific directional motion or sequence before pressing a single attack button.
Super move A move preformed by a specific directional motion or sequence before pressing two of the same attack button. Supers consume one or more stocks of super meter and create a super flash effect before their active frames.
Taunt Any meaningless, harmless, or counter productive movement or action that intentionally gives the opponent an opportunity to hit the taunting player for free.
Turtling A style of play, usually specific to the player, that attempts to win with as much defense and as little offense as possible.
Whiff An attack that does not hit the opponent or the act of missing an opponent with an attack. A "whiff cancel" will typically reduce the recovery on a whiffed normal move by canceling it with special move.
Zoning A style of play, specific to the player or the character, that centers around restricting the opponent to a specific distance or position on the screen.

Terms From Other Fighting Games

These terms, concepts, and techniques all appeared in other fighting games first, but can be useful when talking about Skullgirls. Players with experience in older games may find themselves more comfortable using the older vocabulary.

Term Definition
Advancing Guard Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series for a defensive technique similar to Pushblock in Skullgirls.
Alpha Counter A Street Fighter series attack where the defending player can attack during block stun at the cost of some super meter. This technique is functionally similar to a Stunt Double in Skullgirls.
Auto Guard The King of Fighters and Guilty Gear series attack property that allows the attack to block or absorb one or more hits during start up frames. This is functionally similar to armor in Skullgirls.
Break Term from many 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 an Infinite Escape in Skullgirls. Originally used in Killer Instinct's "C-C-Combo Breaker!" Sometimes seen in Mortal Kombat.
Burst A Blaz Blue and Guilty Gear series attack that, among other functions, can execute during hit stun and interrupt an opponent's combo in progress. This is analogous to an Infinite Escape in Skullgirls.
Crossover Counter Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series for a tag out/counter attack technique similar to a Stunt Double in Skullgirls.
Dead Angle A Guilty Gear series attack where the defending player can attack during block stun at the cost of some super meter. This technique is functionally similar to a Stunt Double in Skullgirls.
DHC Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series meaning Delayed Hyper Combo. A DHC involves a tag out during a super move, much like a Co-Star Combo in Skullgirls.
Double Over Stun Term from mostly 3D fighting games for a stun that causes the opponent to fall to the ground slowly, vulnerable to further attacks. These are very similar to a crumple stun effect in Skullgirls.
Drive In Blaz Blue, the Drive button preforms character specific attacks. If the character has any techniques or tactics that no other character has, they tend to use the D button. The HP button in Skullgirls has some similarities to the D button in Blaz Blue.
Dust In the Guilty Gear series, the Dust button can perform an overhead Launcher, equivalent of a Sweep, or unique attacks specific to a character. These techniques exist in Skullgirls but are not necessarily on the same button. Dust may still be used to describe a launcher.
Hard Knockdown Term from many fighting games for a knockdown state that does not allow the defending player to use a Ground Recovery or similar technique. A Slide Stun is the closest thing to a hard knockdown in Skullgirls.
Hyper Combo Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series for a super move.
Instant Block Term from the Guilty Gear series for a timed block that reduces overall block stun. In practice, this is very similar to Pushblock in Skullgirls.
Just Frame Term from the Tekken series for a move requiring an input in a extremely small, often 1f, window in order to execute properly. Although no single moves require these inputs in Skullgirls, combos often do.
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 normal move. A "kara throw" cancels a normal attack to a normal throw. Kara canceling special to super moves is possible in Skullgirls.
Ratio Term from the Capcom vs SNK series to indicate team size dependent life and damage bonus for a character. This is analogous to the bonuses to life and damage given by team size selection in Skullgirls.
Red life Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series synonymous with recoverable damage in Skullgirls.
Square jump Term from the Marvel vs Capcom series for a movement very similar to an IAD.
Striker Term from the King of Fighters series for a mechanic similar to assists in Skullgirls.
Super Armor Term from various games for systems similar to the armor property in Skullgirls. Sometimes "Hyper Armor" shows up when Super Armor just isn't enough.
Tech In addition to being shorthand for a Throw Tech, teching may refer to the equivalent of Ground Recovery or even Push Block in other fighting games.
Tech Hit Term from the Darkstalkers series for a defensive technique similar to Pushblock in Skullgirls.
Ultra Term from Street Fighter 4, similar to a super move in Skullgirls and other games.
Wire Term from the King of Fighters series for an attack that creates an effect very similar to a wall bounce in Skullgirls.