Normal attacks are those done with the A button (which is assigned to the K key on keyboard by default). Each character has three normal attacks on the ground, done by holding back + A, neutral + A, or forward + A. Usually the neutral normal attack is the fastest.
Some normal attacks can be cancelled to special attacks if the normal attack hits or is blocked. Simply press B or C (keyboard L and semi-colon by default) once your normal attack hits or is blocked to cancel, if it’s special-cancellable.
Most characters only have one normal attack while jumping, though some characters such as Rook and DeGrey have a second one when they jump straight up and attack.
Special moves are done with the B and C buttons (keyboard L and semi-colon by default). They are iconic moves like fireballs and dragon punches and they define most of how each character works. All characters have B and C special moves on the ground, and different B and C moves while jumping.
Special moves can cause block damage. ***
Each character has one super move they can do while on the ground and another they can do while jumping. You can only do a super move when your super meter is full. *** graphic Super moves usually have invulnerability, so even supers that do only 1 damage are very useful because they beat other moves.
Your super meter automatically refills over time. It fills at a different rate for each character. There are only two things that can affect your super meter gain. First, if you’re thrown, you will stop gaining super meter until the throw is over. Second, if you yomi counter*** someone, you will instantly get full super meter. In general, you get super meter fairly quickly, so you might as well use it while you can; you’ll get another super soon enough anyway.
When you do a super move, there is a “super freeze,” meaning that gameplay is paused briefly while your character gathers power or gets ready to do the super move. All supers are invulnerable from the moment you press the button until the end of the super freeze. Many are invulnerable even after the super freeze, too.
During most of the super freeze, your opponent’s inputs are ignored. But if the opponent presses any buttons during the first 8 frames of your super freeze, or during the last 8 frames, then when the super freeze ends, they’ll do whatever move they input. This is important to know because it means if you think the opponent will press a button, you can do your super and even if they happened to press it just a couple frames after you. They will not be able to block on reaction, even if the super freeze was several seconds long! If they press anything during those first 8 frames, they are committing to doing that move rather than blocking. On the other hand, if they didn’t press anything, they can easily react to your super freeze and enter an appropriate move during very end of it. Their move (perhaps their own super) will come out at the first possible moment when your super freeze ends.
To throw the opponent hold toward or away and press the A button while close. The point of a throw is that it grabs and damages an opponent even if they are blocking. You can use it to punish overly defensive players. You can also throw opponents out of their attacks, as long as your throw becomes active before the part of their attack that can actually hit reaches you.
Throws have 2 frames of startup, meaning they become active on the third frame. Throws are generally powerful because of their fast speed, long range relative to throw range in other fighting games, good damage, and that they briefly deny the opponent super meter gains. That said, throws can’t be used as a reversal.*** In other words, if you are knocked down and get up into an opponent’s attack that’s completely on top of you, you can’t throw them there—you’ll just get hit because your throw has 2 frames of startup before it can actually grab anyone.
Opponents will have a difficult time jumping out of your throws. All characters have 3 frames of pre-jump, which means they leave the ground on the 4th frame after they press the jump button. These 3 frames of pre-jump ARE throwable.
If you think your opponent is going to throw you, all you have to do is let go of your controls! As long as you’re standing in your idle animation and not inputting anything, you’re immune to normal*** throws. If your opponent tries to throw you, instead you’ll automatically perform your character’s yomi counter on them. You’ll damage them and you’ll also instantly get full super meter.
You have to be in a “neutral state” to yomi counter. If you’re in recovery of one of your moves, you can’t yomi counter until your recovery ends.
You can use your opponent’s reflexes and unconscious decisions against them. Experienced fighting game players can’t stop themselves from trying to throw you so you can do setups like jump in and kick, then let go of your controls as they try to throw you. Or knock them down and walk right up to them at point blank range, then let go of your controls right as they get up. These techniques are risky because you’re open to being hit by ANYTHING that isn’t a normal throw, but if you can read your opponent well and yomi counter them, it’s demoralizing for them.