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Level up your Tekken skills with this crash course mechanics guide

If you’re new to Tekken and want to learn how things work, or just need to take your skills to another level, @omgitsnewton has written a very tight and compact guide to help you do just that. In it he covers character states and movement, attacking and defending, frame data and punishment, getting up from the ground, crush system, throws, strings, combos and more.

He likes to write in all lowercase, so think nothing of it. Check it out.

an attempt at a shortest possible tekken mechanics guide (WIP)

hello everyone. with tekken picking up popularity, this guide is meant to be a crash course of sorts for tekken’s general system, with just enough info for new players to pick up and get into the thick of the game rather than spending ages reading multi-page infodump tutorials and still not making sense of much of anything.

for most cases a link to a more comprehensive tutorial is provided for the reader to explore at their own pace. do note that this guide is still being worked on, so changes will happen frequently, especially once tekken 7 is released.


03-11-2016 : published


1 : lp
2 : rp
3 : lk
4 : rk

f : towards the opponent
b : away
u : up
d : down
n : neutral
diagonals are indicated by a combination of above, e.g. df or d/f
if the above are written in capitals, you have to hold the input.

ws : while standing
wr : while running

+ : inputs are pressed together (df+1)
, : inputs are pressed one after the other (1,4)
, followed by a space : inputs are pressed one after the other, denotes separate moves instead of a canned string, (“1, 4” denotes two separate moves done one after the other, compared to the string “1,4”)
~ : inputs are pressed instantly after the other, usually as fast as possible (4~3)
< : delay, applies to strings (df+1<4)
: : just frame timing (d+4:2:1+2)


character states and movement

if you do nothing, you’re in a standing state. this has an autoblock built in.

pressing/holding f or b will make your character walk towards or away from the opponent. this is slow, so you can do f,f or b,b to dash towards or backdash away. if you’re a certain distance away, pressing and holding f,f,F will make you run towards the character.

tapping u~n or d~n will make you sidestep one step into the screen or out of it. tapping and holding u~n~U or d~n~D will make you sidewalk into or out of the screen around the opponent until you let go.

pressing/holding d will make you crouch. any move you do here will be a full crouching move. letting go will put you back in standing state.

pressing u will make you jump. don’t do that. unless you’re akuma.

all of these movements except jumping can be cancelled into each other, e.g. you can backdash with b,b and follow up with d~n to sidestep out of backdash, then cancel that sidestep into a forward dash with f,f, then cancel that into holding B, yada yada. there’s a whole lotta “advanced” movement shenanigans you can do, one of them being chaining backdashes into itself (b,b~db~b,b~db~b…), chaining sidesteps into itself (d~n~b~n~d~n~b~n…) among other assorted character specific shit.

tekken movement guide by the main man:

attacking and defending

pressing buttons makes your character do things, one of those things is attacking. checking the movelist to see what button presses makes your character do which thing is generally considered a good idea.

every attack, without exception, hits in one of the four hit ranges: high, mid, special mid, or low.

  • when you are standing and blocking (either neutral guard or by holding b), you block highs, mids and special mids, but you get hit by lows.
  • when you’re crouching and blocking (holding d or db), you go under highs, and block lows and special mids. you want to do that since almost every low is punishable. but you can get hit by mids.

you can also sidestep moves to make them whiff. moves generally can either track by virtue of their hitbox, track everything, or track nothing at all. moves that are deliberately coded to track everything are called “homing”, every char has a few.

note that some moves can’t be blocked at all. these show up as a ! symbol in practice mode.

frame data and punishment

every move has a startup time and a recovery time on block, hit and whiff. how fast you recover relative to the other defines whether something is punishable or not.

for example, almost every character’s 1 is a jab with a 10f startup, and is +1f to the attacker if blocked. what this means is if player 1 did a 1, and player 2 blocks it, the next move player 1 does will come out 1f faster than player 2, since player 1 is at +1f.

moves that are -10f or higher on block are deemed punishable. what exactly you can do as punishment depends on the character’s moveset, how far the move’s pushback on block is and other assorted variables like wall placement. for generally most of the cast, -10 on block warrants a jab string punishment (usually 1,2 or similar), -12 or -13 on block warrants a barge knockdown or a stronger standing punishment, -15/-16 on block warrants a launcher into a juggle. the general lowest common denominator for the entire cast is -19, where everyone in the cast can get a launch from standing position.

on whiff, everything is punishable if you’re quick enough. you can induce whiffs by either moving out of range, sidestepping or shenanigans like crouching under highs (this lets you do a while standing move to punish). punishment depends on what whiffed and your reaction time; if you’re fast you can launch punish a whiffed df+1.

frame data faq by noodalls:

understanding frame data by aris:

View the full Tekken mechanics guide here:

Aziz Peregrino-Brimah aka Zee the CEO | Founder / Editor-in-chief of TekkenGamer | Gaming has been a passion of Zee's since the early days of Atari and ColecoVision. His first experience with Tekken was in the early 90's, and it was Tekken 3 that sealed the deal. True story... As a teenager Zee once received his Winn-Dixie paycheck and spent it all at the arcade the same day. Needless to say, his mother wasn't pleased.


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