Fighting Game Training Mode (Part 3)

Combos and Conversions

Christian Bianchi / August 23, 2019

Welcome back everyone! Last post, we talked about how normals and specials are important for your success, but today we’re going to discuss further ways to push your attacks: Cancelling and combos.

Let’s talk about cancelling first though, as it varies from game-to-game. For the sake of example though, let’s continue to use Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator to show off cancelling.

Cancelling” is the shorthand for “interrupting one animation by starting another.” It sounds complex, but in reality, if you’re playing fighting games, you’ve probably done it many times without realizing it. There are numerous types of cancels you can perform depending on the fighting game, but the best part is you might not even realize the ones you’re already doing.

For sake of simplicity, let’s start out showcasing the most basic cancels every player can perform: normal cancelling. In most modern fighting games, you can cancel normal attacks into each other (**with some minor exceptions I’ll get into later**). In Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator 2, These types of cancels are known as “revolvers” or “gatlings” for their quick succession and ease of input. You can see an example of this above: cancelling 5P into 5K into 5S into 5HS for a quick combination.

Jump cancels are just about the same, with interrupting an animation of yours by jumping, usually hitting 7,8, or 9 respectively in numpad notation. Above, you can see a jump cancel out of 2HS, a normal attack that’s excellent at hitting enemies out of the air. Because it’s jump cancellable, you can follow this up very easily, keeping jump happy opponents in check.

Next up is special cancelling, which just like the others is interrupting an attack or input with a special move. In the case above, 5HS is cancelled into Gunflame (236P). Special cancels vary between characters and the special move you intend to use so make sure to test them out with your character of choice.

Finally, we’ve got super cancelling, where you interrupt another move with a super input. This is more difficult when starting out simply because supers tend to have more complicated input commands than just about any other moves you can do. Above, you’ll see 5HS cancelled into Sol’s Tyrant Rave super for big damage.

It’s finally time to talk about Combos. Combos are an essential aspect of nearly all mainstay fighting games these days as they are the primary method of capitalizing on an opening in your opponent’s defense. In a layman’s terms, when you crack open their guard, hit ‘em with everything you’ve got! Combos are a playground in fighting games and just like how everyone has a preferred play style, people have a preferred way to combo enemies. Depending on what moves you cancel into each other and string together, you can find all sorts of different results.

The last thing I will bring up today is what I mentioned earlier: The exception to the cancels we’ve talked about today is a whole discussion as it’s unique to Guilty Gear’s mechanics: Roman Cancelling and it leads to the next hot topic for fighting games.

Tune in next time for part 4: Advantage and Disadvantage!

About the Author


Christian "Phace" Bianchi is a creative writer and a wandering warrior on the stage of history who seeks out games that get your blood pumping.