Universal Fighting Game Guide: Understanding Frame Advantage As It Relates To Safe On Block

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Many moons ago, I wrote a post about how to read frame data. While this post is great on its own (and is one of the most popular on my site) I never got around to providing any practical applications of frame data. In this edition of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, I’ll provide an explanation for frame advantage and a practical use for it, which is crucial to grasp if you’re looking to elevate your game.

Before you read through this, I strongly recommend going back and reading my guide that explains how to read frame data. This particular edition of the guide won’t do you much good if you don’t understand the basics of frame data, so please check that out first. If you’ve already done that or already know the basics, then let’s move on with the show.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: How to Read Frame Data

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(UPDATE: Part 2 of the frame data sub-series of posts is now live. Click here to learn more about frame advantage!)

When most people play fighting games, they don’t think about the underlying mechanics that drive the on-screen action. Odds are, all they care about is whether or not they’re beating their opponent to a pulp. That’s all well and good. However, competitive fighting game players will go to great lengths to find any sort of advantage on their opponents. This can include learning advanced combos, specific tactics, or as deep as understanding the raw mathematics that drives how a fighting game works.

Yes, I did say mathematics. You see, behind the action are a series of mathematical constants, variables and calculations that drive how everything works. Most people never think about this side of a fighting game (or any game for that matter), but the math is there, whether you actively recognize it or not.

In this entry into the Universal Fighting Game Guide, let’s take a high-level stab at talking about one element of the math that drives a fighting game, which is frame data. Certain off-the-shelf guides will contain frame data for your game of choice, though online sites will likely be your best bet to find this type of information. To the untrained eye, frame data charts look like rocket science. If you’ve never tried to read frame data (or have attempted it and failed), this crash course in the basics may help.

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