Ultra Street Fighter IV

Ultra Street Fighter IV (USF4) is a 2D fighter that revitalized the fighting game community. Focus Attack is a new universal mechanic that gives every character a cancelable armored unblockable attack. Focus Attack Dash Cancel is a Roman Cancel that adds plenty of creativity and freedom to the game. Ultra Combo is like a second super attack that is guaranteed once a round. USF4 has one of Street Fighter's largest and most varied character rosters.

Helpful Resources

The USF4 wiki.
The USF4 Revival Discord server.
The USF4 Revival Facebook group.

Notation

Attack Notation

LP Light Punch Jab
MP Medium Punch Strong
HP Heavy Punch Fierce
LK Light Kick Short
MK Medium Kick Forward
HK Heavy Kick Roundhouse

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward
ub u uf
b n f
db d df

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

Ultra Street Fighter IV uses Modern frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup, it hits on the 7th frame.

Hard knockdowns are prevalent in USF4 as sweeps and throws cause hard knockdowns. After a hard knockdown, press down or any two attack buttons to delay wakeup by 11 frames. This cannot be done after not recovering from a soft knockdown.

After a soft knockdown, press down or any two attack buttons to quick recover.

Backdashes are invincible at the start, then airborne, before becoming vulnerable during the recovery frames.

Revenge Gauge fills when taking permanent damage and recoverable damage. When the Revenge Gauge has reached at least 50%, Ultra Combo becomes available. The more filled Revenge Gauge is, the more damaging the Ultra Combo will be. It's very common for players to save their Ultra for later use instead of using it at the first possible opportunity.

Ultra Combos are the most damaging attacks, even more than Super Combos. At the character select screen you can select Ultra 1, Ultra 2, or W-Ultra. W-Ultra allows you to have both Ultra Combos but their damage is scaled by 60-70%.

Ultra Combos break armor, making them powerful punishes for beating armored attacks like Focus Attacks. Ultra Combos cannot be canceled into from attacks and are usually comboed into from launchers, crumples, and FADC.

Sometimes comboing into Ultra doesn't do the full cinematic animation and instead you get a shorter animation that is much less damaging. Full cinematic Ultra is guaranteed during a free juggle state.

Ultras usually have a specific utility. Examples include Ultras that go through fireballs, are anti-airs, are good full screen whiff punishers, or are invincible.

Super Combo costs 4 bars of Super Combo Gauge and can be canceled from normal attacks and special attacks. It's not used often because players spend their super meter on other attacks.

Light attacks can chain into other light attacks. Hit confirming off a single light attack is impossible for a human being but a couple of light attacks is hit confirmable. Chainable lights cannot be canceled into special attacks. What you can do is chain a couple of light attacks together then link a light attack and special cancel off it.

Focus Attack

Press and hold MP+MK to Focus Attack. The"focusing" portion of the Focus Attack has armor and absorbs one hit as recoverable health. Armor does not start immediately. Releasing MP+MK unleashes the attack. The attack does not have armor unless it is fully charged. The startup and active frames of Focus Attack can be canceled into dash.

There are 3 levels of Focus Attack. Level 1 requires no charge and usually gives frame advantage after a hit is canceled into forward dash.

Level 2 requires change and crumples on hit, creating enough advantage after a forward dash for a combo. For most characters, Level 2 Focus Attack is plus on block after being canceled into forward dash.

Level 3 is a more powerful crumple that leaves the opponent vulnerable longer for an even better combo. Level 3 Focus Attacks are unblockable and break armor.

Counter hitting with a Focus Attack raises the Level up by 1. A counter hit Level 1 Focus Attack crumples on hit like a Level 2. A Counter hit Level 2 Focus Attack gives as much frame advantage as a Level 3.

If you are in the proximity of a Focus Attack and try to walk or dash backwards, your character will be stuck in proximity guard. To avoid this, start a Focus Attack then cancel it into a backdash or simply jump away.

Every character has armor breaking attacks, denoted by a lightning bolt icon in the movelist. Ultra Combo breaks armor. Any special attack done as a reversal breaks armor. A glass shattering sound effect is heard when armor is broken. Because Focus Attack only absorbs one hit of armor, it loses to multi-hitting attacks.

Don't jump at someone focusing. The jump in is too slow to punish it and your opponent will probably just absorb your jumping attack and hit you.

The Focus Attack itself can be absorbed by another Focus Attack. Be careful because if your opponent expects this they can charge their Focus Attack all the way to Level 3 to armor break.

Sometimes you'll see your opponent Focusing at a range that is close but not close enough for the Focus Attack to hit. They're hoping you'll extend a limb out to absorb and hit it. When they realize that's not going to happen they will dash because whiffing a Focus Attack is very punishable. If it's a forward dash, buffer a safe attack to hit their dash. If it's a backdash, chase after them.

Focus Attack loses to throws but there is a way to throw tech and Focus at the same time. Press LP+LK+MP+MK to perform a teching Focus Attack. This can only be done when the player has less than 2 bars of Super Combo Gauge otherwise a Red Focus Attack comes out. The tech window for this technique is a very short widow at the start of Focus and the rest of the Focus Attack can be thrown.

Focus backdash combines the armor of Focus Attack with the invincibility of backdash to create a new defensive option. It is slower than regular backdash as backdash can't be canceled out of Focus Attack for 4 frames. It also loses to throws and armor breaking attacks unlike regular backdash. The biggest drawback of Focus backdash is that you can absorb an attack at the beginning then get hit by another attack at the end of it.

Most attacks can be canceled into Focus Attack by spending 2 bars of Super Combo Gauge. This is called EX Focus Attack. This is rarely used as an attack, instead players immediately cancel EX Focus Attack into a dash. This is called Focus Attack Dash Cancel (FADC) and is used like a Roman Cancel.

MP+MK+any additional attack button is a Red Focus Attack. Red Focus Attack costs 2 bars of Super Combo Gauge. It absorbs an unlimited amount of attacks but still loses to armor breaking attacks and throws. The amount of Revenge Gauge gained from absorbing attacks with Red Focus is doubled.

Red Focus can be canceled from attacks as EX Red Focus Attack. EX Red Focus Attack costs 3 bars of Super Combo Gauge and is guaranteed to crumple on hit. It gives every character an easy way to combo into Ultra Combo.

Throws are performed with LP+LK and are teched with the same input. There is a whiff animation if unsuccessful. Throws have 3 frames of startup. Characters cannot be thrown 2 frames after leaving blockstun and 3 frames after leaving hitstun.

There is crouch tech in this game. While crouching press LP+LK to get a down LK that techs throws.

Plink is short for"priority link" and is a commonly used term in fighting games. It has a couple different definitions and uses but essentially it is pressing a button (combination) then immediately pressing another button (combination) 1 frame later. Like kara canceling, it takes advantage of fighting game engines allowing input leniency and "auto correcting" inputs.

The priority part of the term refers to input priority. I'm pressing HP+LP, HP+MP, and LP+MP. In this game when two buttons are pressed on the same frame, the stronger attack comes out. That means the higher strength buttons have input priority over the lower strength buttons.

I'm going to plink HP into MP. That means I'm going to press and hold the HP button then press the MP button 1 frame later. Because HP+MP is registered as an HP input, the game's input leniency accepts this as if I had pressed HP 2 frames in a row.

Normally it's not possible to press the same button 2 frames in a row because game engines register this as holding the same input down for 2 frames. A button press and a button release are considered different inputs. There needs to be at least 1 frame where the button is released before you can press the same button again for the game engine to register it as a new button press. Plinking allows the same input to be pressed 2 frames in a row and this extra input makes difficult link combos easier to execute.

Another common use of plinking is for plinking throw tech. The throw tech window in many fighting games allow 1 frame of leniency. During the tech window, the throw tech command does not have to be the first input as long as it is inputted immediately after the preceding input.

This also works with crouch tech in this game. This is called a plinking crouch tech.