How Fighting Games End Combos -

How Fighting Games End Combos

El Portel
Views: 365
Like: 31
Combos in fighting games are fun and flashy. The kind of thing that entices people to sit in the training room for hours to invent and perfect them. However, combos can’t go on forever, so there has to be a way to eventually end them.


Video Sources in order of appearance:
AZAngelic – Undefeated 2016 Pools KiT| Cloud805 vs IHeartJustice

Skullgirls Championship Series – Skullgirls Championship Series 2021 Final Blockbuster

Low Kick Esports – COMBO BREAKER 2022 – SoulCalibur VI Top 16 to 8

Team Spooky – COMBO BREAKER 2022 – Tekken 7 Tournament – Top 8 Finals

Team Spooky – COMBO BREAKER 2022 – Street Fighter V Tournament – Top 8

Low Kick Esports – COMBO BREAKER 2022 – Them’s Fightin’ Herds Top 12

Mechzdeus – 2021-10-09 The Pinnacle 2021 BBCF

Numakie – Vortex Gallery 2021 – Eternal Fighter Zero NA/EU Tournament

Tessiro – Hisoutensoku @ AnimEVOnline 2020 – Full Tournament

The Official Pokémon YouTube channel – Pokémon Players Cup IV – Pokkén Tournament DX Global Finals Day 1

21 Hits – Pokkén Tournament DX – Phase Shift Points

Team Spooky – Marvel vs Capcom 2 Tournament Top 8 Finals ft. Justin Wong, Chris Matrix – Defend the North 2019

Djchamploo132 – Iron Man Infinite Tutorial Mvc2

Music Sources in order of appearance:
Street Fighter V – Alex Theme




  1. "No combo system is perfect"KI 2013: hold my beer

  2. Sick video idea and performed extremely well! I actually prefer the more basic combo systems built around mix-ups or character limitations. Like how all Smash games limit combos by increasing knockback(despite the goal being about ringouts) or how MK4/PSASBR have hard combo limits but high hitstun.

  3. "Yo u wanna learn howta do a fuggin infinite?!"

  4. Sometimes I wonder how practical it would be for the defending player to have options to avoid hits and the attacker has to chase them down.

  5. Interesting video, but it makes a fundamental misstep by trying to delineate combo systems and fitting titles in them when in fact, all fighters use all three systems to some degree. After all, every single combo system is predicated on hitstun and every thing else is a variation of that or a system designed to extend hitstun states.

  6. Small correction at 5:10 – I say that Phase Shift Points have a 12 point threshold, but the visual shown uses 24 points. This is because the community usually counts PSP with a 12 point threshold, but some moves have 0.5 PSP with that counting system. As a result, a system that avoids decimals would use a 24 point threshold. More information about Phase Shift Points can be found in the source video: 21 Hits' Pokkén Tournament DX – Phase Shift Points. A link to that video can be found in the description.

  7. Really interesting video especially from a design perspective

  8. Cool video, but it felt like I was just watching Leon Massey's video on combo variety but in american

  9. Another move-based combo system (well, a component of a hybrid combo system that also has hitstun decay, but not gravity/knockback decay if I recall correctly) is Marvel Versus Capcom Infinite. That game allocates 1 wallbounce, 1 groundbounce, and 1 OTG per character in a combo, meaning that once you've used one of those, if you use a move with the same property (e.g. trying to go for a wallbounce move after you've already used one), that 'extender' will not apply (they'll just go flying, but you can still keep the combo going if they're in the corner for example, you just won't get a wallbounce). This lets you have plentiful ways to sculpt the first part of a combo into conditions you're familiar with (very useful given that the start of a combo can be ALL SORTS of circumstances in an MvC game), and means your combo design has to account for specific resource limits.

    Otherwise, the game is highly freeform aside from those 'repetition' limiting resource-mechanics. I once had a community member tell me when I was new, that you can literally use whatever moves you want for the first 5000 damage of your combo and it'll barely affect your overall damage and hitstun scaling, and then the game gives diminishing returns on damage to curve your damage down as you approach the average 'high damage' limit of 7k-8k meterless.

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