Street Fighter IV/Gouken

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Gouken is a console-only character with tools to shut down many common character types, including charge & shotokan characters. He is best played by someone who can consistently predict his opponent's next move based on their prior patterns. He has the concept of Shoto style, but no shoryuken, and a much different hurricane kick. This leads to a weak wake-up game, and his worst matchups are against characters with many safe or armor-breaking moves like Dictator and Boxer. His combos are very high damage, which makes up for his lack of offensive options.

How do I unlock Gouken?

Follow the instructions on the main SFIV page.

There are 2 forms of common notation, traditional (six button) and numpad notation. Traditional notation refers to directions and motions by their English names. Numpad notation uses numbers and sequences of numbers to refer to directions and moves, as corresponds with a number pad.

Six Button Notation

  • Jab - Light Punch (LP)
  • Strong - Medium Punch (MP)
  • Fierce - Hard Punch (HP)
  • P - any punch
  • PPP or 3P - all three punches simultaneously
  • Short - Weak Kick (LK)
  • Forward - Medium Kick (MK)
  • Roundhouse (RH) - Hard Kick (HK)
  • K = any kick
  • KKK or 3K - all three kicks simultaneously

Motion Abbreviations

Most special move commands consist of one or more of the following motions combined with an appropriately timed button input, typically following the completion of the motion.

QCF - Quarter Circle Forward (D, DF, F)
QCB - Quarter Circle Back (D, DB, B)
HCF - Half Circle Forward (B, DB, D, DF, F)
HCB - Half Circle Back (F, DF, D, DB, B)
DP  - Dragon Punch Motion (F, D, DF)
RDP - Reverse Dragon Punch Motion (B, D, DB)
360 - Full Circle Motion (for example F, D, B, U, F)
720 - Double Full Circle Motion (for example F, D, B, U, F, D, B, U, F)
AD  - Air dash (in air, PP); Commonly followed by specified direction 
      (e.g. ADDF = Air dash DF)
PP or 2P - Press two punches simultaneously 
      (e.g.  LP + MP)
PPP or 3P - Press all three punches simultaneously.
KK or 2K - Press two kicks simultaneously
      (e.g. MK + HK)
KKK or 3K - Press all three kicks simultaneously.
Charge - Hold specified input for ~two seconds before proceeding to next command.


Cammy combo in SFV: j.HP, cr.LP, b.MP > HK xx HK Cannon Spike xx CA

So in this example, Cammy jumps in with Hard Punch, does crouching Light Punch on landing, links that to back Medium Punch, which chains into Hard Kick target combo, which she cancels into Hard Kick Cannon Spike, then super cancels into Critical Art (SFV's Super Combo).

Numpad Notation


Often a numbering system is used to discuss joystick positions. Below is a guide explaining how this notation works.

                   .- up (u)
  up+back (ub) - 7 8 9 - up+forward (uf)

      back (b) - 4   6 - forward (f)

down+back (db) - 1 2 3 - down+foward (df)
                   `- down (d)

Note: These numbers can be easily referenced by looking at your keyboard "numpad". Think of it as a joystick/controller that is facing to the right. "5" is used to signify "neutral".

Motion Abbreviations

  • 236 - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
  • 214 - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
  • 41236 - Tilt stick backwards, then to downwards and backward, then to downward, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
  • 63214 - Tilt stick forwards, then to downwards and forward, then to downward, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
  • 623 - "Dragon punch" or DP, Tilt stick forwards, then to downward, then to downward and forward.
  • 360 - Full circle - Complete a full (360 degree) rotation of the stick
  • 720 - Two full circles - Complete two full (720 degree) rotation of the stick
  • Charge - [2]8 - [4]6 - Hold a tilt - Hold the stick in either B or D (Depending) then move to F or U respectively.
  • [ ] - Indicates the button or direction inside the brackets is to be held down, such as for a charge move or the point where one begins holding a button to set up for negative edge.
  • ] [ - Indicates the button or direction inside the brackets is to be released, such as for a negative edge move, like Boxer's Turn Around Punch, or Cody's Zonk Knuckle.

Common Nomenclature

State Modifiers

These prefixes refer to the position, or "state" you should be in when executing the respective attack.

s.  - Standing; always followed by specified attack
      (e.g. s.LP = Standing LP)
c.  - Crouching; always followed by specified attack
      (e.g. c.MP = Crouching MP)
j.  - Jumping; always followed by specified attack
      (e.g. j.HP = Jumping HP)
sj. - Superjumping; always followed by specified attack
      (e.g. sj.LK = Superjumping LK)
cl. - Close; should be performed close to the opponent, while standing
      (e.g. cl.Forward, perform a Forward while standing close to the opponent)
f.  - Far; should be performed far from the opponent, while standing
      (e.g. f.Forward, perform a Forward while standing far from the opponent)
+   - Simultaneously with; always placed between two actions
      (e.g. F+MK = Press forward and MK)
xx  - cancel; always placed between two actions
      (e.g. c.MK xx QCF+P = Cancel c.MK into QCF+P)
->  - chain; always placed between two actions
      (e.g. s.LP -> s.MP = Chain s.LP into s.MP)
/\  - jump; clarifies transition from ground to air actions
      (e.g. c.HP /\ j.LP = Jump-cancel c.HP into j.LP)
\/  - land; clarifies transition from air to ground actions 
      (e.g. j.HP \/ s.LP = Follow j.HP with s.LP)


  • ~ Immediately after, e.g "Strong~Fierce" means press Fierce IMMEDIATELY after Strong, f~f means to double tap forward (dash).
  • , Link
  • xx Special Cancel
  • > Chain Cancel
  • jc Jump Cancel
  • sj Super Jump Cancel
  • adc Air Dash Cancel

Miscellaneous Notation

  • Claw = American Vega = Japanese Balrog
  • Boxer = American Balrog = Japanese Bison
  • Dictator (Dic) = American Bison = Japanese Vega

Not everyone plays on the American version, and some character names are different in the Japanese version, so to avoid confusion, we should not use the names Vega, Bison, or Balrog.

Move Analysis

Normal Moves

  • c.FP: Great anti-air, general poke & combo starter.
    • Combo timing changes when you hit from further away.
    • Hit it late as an anti-air.
  • s.HK: Distance poke; unpunishable on block.

Normal Throws

  • LP + LK or f + LP + LK: Regular throw
  • b + LP + LK: Dat backthrow. Follow up with...
    • Full 3-hit Ultra
    • c.FP xx Demon Flip
    • j.MP (one hit) combo. ??
    • QCB + HK
  • s.HK ~ LP + LK: Kara-throw.

Command Normals

  • f + MP: Overhead

Focus / Saving Attack

Special Moves

  • QCF+P: Hadoken
    • P strength determines angle - lp is horizontal, mp is slight upward angle, hp is sharp upward angle.
    • Juggles - combo into dash punch whenever possible.
  • Ground QCB+K: Tatsumaki (Hurricane Kick)
    • Most useful when guaranteed after an EX Rush Punch or backthrow
    • EX: Invincibility frames on startup. Useful if your enemy is pressuring you on wakeup, but NOT if they're crossing over. Hitbox is high, so it can whiff on many characters if they are crouching.
  • Air QCB+K: Air Tatsumaki (Hurricane Kick)
    • Travels horizontally
    • Can punish Gief's Lariat at the right height
    • EX Forward-back direction can be controlled.
  • DP+P: Senkugoshoha ("Rush Punch")
    • Armor Breaking
    • Has three "phases": startup, dash, attack. Is invulnerable during the dash phase. Dash phase will end prematurely if Gouken reaches the opponent.
    • Punch strength determines the startup time & "max range" of the dash portion. All version (incl EX) are punishable.
    • EX: Two-hits, launcher.
  • Reverse DP+K/P: Kongoshin ("Counter")
    • Can be cancelled into super.
    • Punch version generally counters high hits (high with regards to hitbox, not hit type). It will counter Chun-Li's sweep and Akuma's slide kick.
    • Kick version counters low hits.
    • EX: Counters high & low, does slightly less damage.
    • Vulnerable against...
      • Armor-breaking moves (including reversals)
      • Grabs & grab supers/ultras
      • Certain multi-hit moves (loses to Zangief's EX palm, but beats Bison's Scissors)
    • See Matchups for a table of which Ultras and Supers can be countered.
  • DP+K: Demon Flip
    • EX: Invincible startup frames; tracks opponent.
    • Followups
      • P: Focus
      • K: Dive kick - does more hitstun than the bare Down + MK dive kick. Can hit-confirm into c.hp for combo starter.
        • The lower you are when you hit, the more frame advantage you'll have. This is why you cannot combo if you hit the top of Zangief's Lariat, and why a Sagat can punish this on block if you hit him high.
      • LP + LK: Grab - works on standing and crouching opponents. Timing is very tight.
        • Has instant recovery as soon as you hit the ground.
      • No Input: Slide kick.

Super Move

Kinjite (Forbidden) Shoryuken: QCF, QCF + P

  • Can be cancelled into from Counter or Dashpunch

Ultra Move

Shin Shoryuken: QCF, QCF + PPP

Comboing into Shin Shoryuken

  • Backthrow, Ultra
  • Ex Palm xx FADC, Ultra
  • Tatsu xx FADC, Ultra
  • Demon Flip, Dive Kick xx Ultra
    • This only works if you basically kick their toe. This works because you hit the ground sooner, and thus can hit the Ultra while they're still in hitstun.
  • Corner
    • Counter xx FADC, Ultra
    • EX Palm, Ultra
    • EX Palm, EX Hadoken, Ultra

To combo the full 3-hit version from a juggle, your opponent has to "fall" onto the first hit, so don't time it too early. If it still catches someone, a many-hit version will come out

Trades with Gief's Lariat

FADCing into Shin Shoryuken

Practice this: MP+MK, QCF, QCF, PPP. If you do the QCF, QCF fast enough, the "forward" parts will count as the double-tap you need to dash cancel the Focus Attack. That is, QCF, QCF will count as your dash input and your Ultra input. All you have to do is time the PPP once you recover from your dash, and you'll Ultra. Make sure you release MP+MK as you hit PPP, or at any time before you hit PPP.

The Basics


Any combo beginning with s.FP or c.FP can be started with an FP or deep MK jumpin, or a dive kick.

BnB's (Bread 'n Butter Combos)

  1. FP, EX DP+P, DP+P
    • Works against all characters
    • DP+MP is easier to time than DP+FP
  2. FP, EX DP+P, dash forward, QCB+HK