Tekken 7: Understanding Tekken Notation

Important Note! I have scrapped the majority of this blog’s content, but I will be leaving this post up. This guide has surprisingly gotten a large amount of views and it seems it has helped many newcomers to the series. I love Tekken, but I know that I am by no means an expert. As I mention below some of this info is outdated. If anyone happens to see any glaring mistakes, please let me know so I can fix it!

Hello Tekken beginners or possible veterans that never got around to learning the notations! In this article I will be explaining what each button means in Tekken notation as well as explaining some of the abbreviations that Tekken players use. When first starting out in a fighting game it can be very difficult picking it up. But when veterans consistently speak in basically a different language it becomes exceedingly difficult to follow.

Important Note

I have tried my best to compilate most of what I could find, but some of my information is outdated. I will try to modernize this guide as I get around to it!

The Basic Attack Buttons

  • Left Punch- (Square/X)= 1
  • Right Punch- (Triangle/Y)=2
  • Left Kick- (X/A)= 3
  • Right Kick- (Circle/B)= 4
  • Both Punch- (Square+Triangle/X+Y= 1+2
  • Right Punch + Left Kick- (Triangle+X/Y+A)= 2+3
  • Both Kick- (X+Circle/A+B)= 3+4
  • Left Punch + Right Kick- (Square+Circle/X+B)= 1+4

The Basic Movement Buttons

  • Backward Input- (Tap Back : away from opponent)= b
  • Forward Input- (Tap Forward : toward opponent)= f
  • Up Input- (Tap Up Directional)= u
  • Down Input- (Tap Down Directional)= d
  • Up Backward- (Tap Back+Up)= u/b
  • Up Forward- (Tap Forward+Up)= u/f
  • Down Backward- (Tap Back+Down)= d/b
  • Down Forward- (Tap Forward+Down)= d/f

Advanced Movement

  • Quarter Circle Forward Input- (Directional Down->Directional Down Forward-> Directional Forward)= qcf
  • Quarter Circle Back Input- (Directional Down->Directional Down Backward-> Directional Backward)= qcb
  • Half Circle Forward Input- (Directional Backward->Directional Down Backward-> Directional Down-> Directional Down Forward-> Directional Forward)= hcf
  • Half Circle Back Input- (Directional Forward->Directional Down Forward-> Directional Down-> Directional Down Backward-> Directional Backward)= hcb
  • Hold Back-(Hold Backward Directional=B
  • Hold Forward-(Hold Forward Directional)=F
  • Hold Up- (Hold Up Directional)=U
  • Hold Down- (Hold Down Directional)=D
  • Hold Up Diagonal Left- (Hold Backward+Up)= U/B
  • Hold Up Diagonal Right- (Hold Forward+Up)= U/F
  • Hold Down Diagonal Left- (Hold Backward+Down)= D/B
  • Hold Down Diagonal Right- (Hold Forward+Down)= D/F

Frame Data

Frames are essentially how much time elapses for a character to finish an animation. Tekken 7 is locked at 60 frames per second; meaning that a frame equates to a fraction of a second. Understanding frame data can give you insight on when to execute which move for maximum effectiveness. Start up frames are the amount of frames for an executed move to hit. Frames on block is how long it takes for you character to recover after being blocked.

The fastest moves in the game are 10f (minus a few exceptions). In Tekken many refer to startup frames as impact frames. So instead of a 10f start up you would just say an i10 move.

Hit Ranges

  • High Attacks- can be blocked by standing guard and will whiff on crouching opponents. These moves are usually the fastest moves in the game. Most throws function as high attacks. Also high attacks are prone to attack reversals and parries.
  • h- Hits High (block b or duck)
  • Mid Attacks- Can be blocked by standing guard, but will hit crouched opponents. These moves are great for catching crouching opponents, but they come with frame disadvantages; which makes some mids unsafe. Generally mid attacks are more negative on than high attacks, but it still depends on the properties of the move. For example df1 moves are generally very safe; whereas there are plenty of unsafe high moves/strings.
  • b- Hits Mid (block b)
  • Low Attacks- Will hit standing guard targets, but can be blocked by crouching opponents. These moves can also be low parried and jumped over.
  • l- Hits Low (block d/b)
  • L- Hits Low and grounded opponents (block d/b)
  • ! = Unblock-able hit
  • (!)= Unblock-able hit which can be ducked
  • [!]= Unblock-able hits grounded opponents
  • ” = Indicated block points in a string hit

Notations

  • FC= Full Crouch Animation
  • WS= While Standing or While Rising
  • N= Joystick Neutral
  • WR= While Running
  • SS= Side Step
  • SSR= Side Step Right
  • SSL= Side Step Left
  • []= Optional Command
  • , = Followed By
  • ~= Immediately After
  • + = At The Same Time
  • ( _ )= Or
  • < = Delayed Input
  • Equal Sign = Next In Sequence
  • : = Just Frame Input.

Position Notations

  • PLD/FUHT/FUFA- (Play Dead Position/ Face Up Head Towards/ Face Up Feet Away)= Face up with feet away
  • KND/FUFT/FUHA- (Knock Down Position/Face Up Feet Towards/Face Up Head Away)= Face up with feet towards
  • SLD/FDHT/FDFT- (Slide Position/Face Down Head Towards/Face Down Feet Towards)= Face down with feet away
  • FCD/FDHA/FDFT- (Face Down Position/Face Down Head Away/Face Down Feet Towards)= Face down with feet towards
  • Off Axis- Basically laying down with side to opponent.

Move Properties (Some of these are outdated; I will try my best to add modern lingo as I come across them)

  • “s” = s is used in frame data to denote crouch status. For example “s” in Startup Frames will leave your character in crouch. “s” in block or hit frame will force opponent into crouch when it is blocked or connects as a normal hit. “s” counter hit frame will force opponent into crouch if hit connects as a counter hit.
  • BT= Back turned to opponent
  • FF= Face forward to opponent
  • OB= Forces opponent’s back to face you
  • OC= Forces opponent into crouch
  • OS= Forces opponent’s side to face you
  • JG= Juggle Starter
  • BN= Bounce Juggle Starter
  • RC= Recover crouching after a move
  • CH= Requires a counter hit
  • DS= Double Over Stun (tap f to escape, usually can launch opponent)
  • FS= Fall Back Stun (tap f to escape, usually can launch opponent)
  • MS= minor stun (various animations. Doesn’t always guarantee hit)
  • KS= Kneel Stun (Opponent forced to one knee. Doesn’t usually lead to combo starter
  • CS= Crumple Stun (Opponent crumples to the ground in front of you. Acts as a combo starter)
  • CF= Crumple Fall (Opponents stays standing for a moment before crumpling to ground. Acts as a combo starter)
  • CFS= Crumple Fall Stun (Opponent pushed away while crumpling to the ground. Acts as a combo starter)
  • BS= Block Stun (To attacking character)
  • SH= Stagger Hit
  • GB= Guard Break (Opponent immobilized briefly. Usually gives opponent offensive advantage)
  • TT= Throw Transition (Results in throw on hit)
  • TC= Technically Crouching State (crouch status during this move crushes high attacks)
  • TJ= Technically Jumping State (jump status during this move crushes low attacks)
  • HA= Homing Attack ( For example non-homing attacks can often be side stepped in only one direction. Homing Attacks can be used to track sidestepping opponents.)
  • B!= This move causes bound state (This usually results in floor break)
  • F!= This move causes floor destruction (This move doesn’t create a bound state, but still breaks floors)
  • b= Block modifier
  • c= Counter Hit modifier

Combo Specific Abbreviations

  • cc= Crouch Cancel (tap u of f,f while crouching)
  • cd= Crouch Dash (f,N,d,d/f usually)
  • iWS= Instant While Standing (D/B~n and D/F~n)
  • WGF= Wind God Fist (f,N,d,d/f+2)
  • EWGF= Electric Wind God Fist (f,N,d~d/f+2)
  • TGF= Thunder God Fist ( f,N,d,d/f+1)
  • big= Combo that only works on big characters
  • ( )= Missing hit (required for the next hit)

Typical Tekken Lingo

  • Backdash Cancel (BDC) – Cancels your backdash with db to cut the recovery period and allowing you to perform another action. This is done via (b,b db~b, b, db~b b….)
  • BT = Backturned, it’s basically just your character putting their back towards the opponent.
  • Crush – a property of a move where it is designed to go cleanly through a move depending on high or low crush property.
  • High Crush – a move that’s designed to be “invincible” to high moves. 
  • Homing move – a move that is designed to shut down sidestepping. 
  • Hopkick – a standard low crush launcher that most characters have. Usually i15 and done by either uf3 or uf4. 
  • Launcher – a combo starter, usually the fastest launcher is i15 for most chars.
  • Low Crush – like high crush moves, low crush moves just simply hops over lows. 
  • FC – Full Crouch , a state where the character is in crouching and there is an exclusive moveset in this state. 
  • Rage – a state a character is in with 25% or less health remaining. It gives your character a very slight damage increase and access to Rage Art and Rage Drive. Noticeable when your HP bar glows red.
  • Rage Art – An attack that uses up your character’s Rage this move is usually easy to punish if it is blocked. It does have super armor though so you can attempt to power through an enemies attack with it, but you can still be defeated.
  • Rage Drive – another option you can spend your rage on. This move is a better version of an already existing move for your character. Some Rage Drives are good and some are not as good. Depends on the character.
  • Range 0/1/2/3 etc. – Range 0 is point blank, Range 1 is a single backdash away. Range 2 = 2 backdashes etc
  • Power Crush – an armoured move available for all chars. Each character has different moves unique to them. this move allows characters to absorb mid and high attacks while allowing their own attack to continue.
  • Screw attack – a move that causes them to spin and fly away in a juggle allowing for enders. An example would be Jin’s EWHF.
  • Seeable – means it’s reactable, usually referred to with lows.  
  • SWL – Sidewalk left – basically a longer but more vulnerable step, done by tapping for SSL then holding down the button
  • SWR – Sidewalk right – same as SSR but tapping then holding down the button.
  • Wall Carry – a combo that is designed around taking your opponent to the wall.
  • Wallsplat – a move designed to splat the opponent vs the wall for a followup combo. This allows you to further combo an opponent similar to juggling. Damage scaling is reduced when the opponent is very low on the wall; so delaying your string can be an effective method for dishing out higher damage in a combo.

Hopefully this guide has been helpful for anyone who didn’t know Tekken notation or wanted to brush up on it. Thanks for reading!

Author: Kazjynh

I write articles on video games, Tabletop RPGs, and anything nerdy that I feel like writing.

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