Tekkenpedia English:Art of Fighting

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Tekken fighting is a complex art that mixes fast paced command input with psychological strategy in a way to produce satisfying methods of pounding your opponent into the ground. Given a vast array of characters and their varying fighting styles, different ways to play the game have emerged.


General terms

Winning terms


Whiff is a term used about an attack that completely misses the opponent, i.e. the attack is sidestepped, dashed away from or otherwise evaded. In some cases a whiff is intentional, such as when juggling, because the attacks are part of a string that must be completed. Sometimes, when an attack is a whiff, the player that performed the move takes damage. An example of this is when Nina Williams' "Forward Flip Kick" (f,F+4) is a whiff.

The name stems from the sound a fast punch or kick makes when "hitting air" in real life.



Movement is similar in Tekken like in other fighting games. The common commands have been, when facing right:
Right = forward
Left = back
Up = jump (side walk away from screen in Tekken 4)
Down = crouch (side walk towards screen in Tekken 4)
Up+Right = jump forward
Up+Left = jump backward
Down+Right = crouch and walk forward
Down+Left = Low block (walking backward included before Tekken 4)
Tap Up = short hop up (removed when sidestep feature was added in Tekken 3)
Tap Up+Right = short hop forward
Tap Up+Left = short hop backwards

Tekken 3 introduced a sidestep feature for all characters. Tapping up would sidestep towards the background while tapping down would sidestep towards the foreground. Tekken 4 made up and down entirely sidestepping, except they could actually walk sideways by holding up or down. Tekken 5 brought back the Tekken 3 version of sidestepping, but double-tapping the direction and holding it would make the character walk.

Tekken 3 was the first for most certain characters to backflip by inputting QCB (quarter circle back) starting with the up direction. Unlike 2D fighters, the character doesn't jump unintentionally, because performing the move would be like tapping up instead of up making the character jump, which must be done by holding the direction. The only characters that can do this are:
Yoshimitsu, Kunimitsu, Nina, Anna, Ling Xiaoyu, Eddy, Tiger, Christie, Jun, Asuka, Raven, Lili, and Zafina.


Attacks are executed using input that corresponds to movement and each of the four limbs of the fighter. A widely used notation is to label the limbs as follows:

Attack Notation
Left Punch 1
Right Punch 2
Left Kick 3
Right Kick 4

Attacks have hit ranges that determine how the attack lands and how the opponent should defend against that attack.


There are two types of blocking and two types of deflection:


Grappling is the act of grabbing an opponent and attacking, usually with a throw or hold. Everybody has a basic throw by inputting 1+3 or 2+4. Tekken 5 allows you to step in farther by pressing forward while inputting either of these two commands. Everybody has at least 5 or 6 throws: front throws with either hand, a left throw, a right throw, a back throw, and a special throw (at least 1 or 2 special throws per character). Special throws are throws that must be performed by inputting specific commands, usually directional commands, then an attack button or buttons. All frontal throws can be escaped by 1_2_1+2 depending on the preceding arm, side throws can be escaped with side-specific escape command while back throws cannot be escaped. Few characters have special throw combos that must be performed by entering a series of button commands. Unlike other 3D fighters with throw combos, these are more complicated, because instead of simply inputting different directions with a button afterwards, all of these require memorized button patterns that don't use directions at all. The only exception is Paul's Ultimate Choke. Escaping these throws is very complicated, because player must guess what throw the opponent will perform after the previous throw and time it just right. Tekken 4 was the only game where 1+3 would not damage and throw your opponent into the ground, but instead switches place with the opponent or pushes the opponent in a specific direction for better utilization of environmental hazards.

Advanced Techniques

Tech Rolling

Quick Rolling, better known as Tech Rolling, was introduced in Tekken 3 and is a roll initiated the moment a launched character hits the ground in order to get up faster, but are not without risk as it leaves the opponent free to attack during the Tech Roll animation. A tech roll is activate by pressing an attack button at the exact moment the character is hitting the ground. 1 or 2 makes the character roll away from the screen while 3 or 4 makes the character roll towards the screen, so it doesn't matter on what side the character is standing. In some cases, tech rolling can be used to reduce damage from an attack or throw, such as King's Giant Swing. However, certain attacks are able to prevent a character from tech rolling, like Nina Williams' Blaze Stinger.

Tech Trap

Tech Traps are attacks directed towards an opponent who is tech rolling. Because of the speed of which a tech roll is executed vs the speed of an attack executing, tech traps are chanced attacks, meaning that one has to anticipate whether or not the opponent will tech roll after being knocked down. If the opponent doesn't tech roll, when starting the tech trap, it usually means that the advantage is lost, and in some cases, the opponent will be able to turn the tables based on that mistake. However, Tech Traps are still extremely useful, and can in many cases lead to a new juggle.


Juggling refers to the art of keeping the opponent airborne by stringing attacks together. The advantage in a juggle lies in that while airborne, the opponent cannot block or dodge an attack. Juggles can be flashy, doing little damage, but looking cool (which can be a big aspect when playing in arcades while having a crowd), but are generally used to inflict as much damage as possible. In some cases, a round can end after two successful juggles.

Just Frames

Just frame refers to moves that require precise timing and are quite difficult to use by inexperienced players. A just frame move usually has advantages such as recovery and power, or are simply used for "stylistic" fights. Examples of these are Hwoarang's Just Frame Sky Rocket (d, n, d/f+4 or d, n, d/f:4) and Jin's Just Frame Tidal Wave (u/f+1+2~u/b+3+4 or u/f+1+2:u/b+3+4).

Okizeme (or Wake-up game)

Okizeme, generally just called "oki", is what can be thought as something similar to a juggle. While a juggle aims to do as much damage as possible to an opponent in the air, okizeme aims to do as much damage to an opponent on the ground, and preventing them from getting up.

Universal Moves

Some moves are available to all characters (or a subset).

Name Command Comment
Low Parry d/f Time with opponents low attack, to throw them off balance. Can be followed by a launcher. First introduced in Tekken 3, but was only usable by a select few, and the input was d/b+(1+3)_(2+4). In Tekken 4, the low parry became available to all characters, using the d/f command.
Wall Jump b,b,u/b Perform with back against a wall. Different effect for each fighter. First introduced in Tekken 4.
Backflip u, u/b Backflip away from the opponent. Only works for Anna Williams, Asuka Kazama, Lili, Christie Monteiro (to handstand), Nina Williams, Raven, Yoshimitsu, Zafina, Alisa Bosconovitch (uses jets), Lars Alexandersson, and Ling Xiaoyu. First introduced in Tekken 3.
Step while down d+3 Performed while in Knocked Down Position. Character will perform a small kick to the shins while still lying down. Heihachi Mishima has never been able to perform this move. First introduced in Tekken 3.
Spring Forward f_F While airborne and until hitting the ground or simply when hitting the ground. The character executes a spring-up, which can slightly damage an opponent who is too close.

Playing Styles


A masher is basically an inexperienced player, who simply mashes random buttons, hoping for the best. Mashers have a tendency of picking Eddy Gordo, Tiger Jackson or Christie Monteiro because of their ability to chain together almost any possible input. While inexperienced, they are also hard to read (because they more often then not don't even know themselves what they are doing), which can lead to some frustration.


A poker is a person who uses low damaging, but very fast attacks. These attacks usually consist of jabs or fast kicks, and are used to mess up the opponents rhythm in order to create openings for a launcher. Inexperienced pokers have a tendency to only use high jabs, leaving them open to crouching and while rising attacks.


A turtle is a person who plays a more defensive game, blocking and evading attacks, waiting for the best opportunity to launch an attack. Some turtle players also incorporate reversals or parries into their game, but it is rarely seen. Inexperienced turtle players have a tendency of simply pressing and holding backwards on the d-pad (in order to constantly block), leaving them open to grapples.


The exact opposite of a turtle, a bulldog is a person who attacks relentlessly, not allowing the opponent to catch his/her breath. The bulldog will rarely back away from the opponent. Inexperienced bulldogs have a habit of using strong attacks, without considering wind up time or recovery rate, leaving small holes in their chain of attacks, which can be exploited


A master is essentially a player who as mastered the poker, turtle and bulldog playing styles and is able to effectively switch between each style in order to effectively win a battle.

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