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Street Fighter 5 guide: Control and execution

Mastering movements and motions

The movements and motions for which Street Fighter is known— small feats of dexterity for which few other games ask — are the most common stumbling block for the absolute beginner, so let's take a moment to talk about controls.

To practice these motions, drop into training mode and turn on key display in the menu. This will show you exactly, to the frame, what you're doing. You might find that your hand is doing things your brain doesn't want it to do.

Turning on key display

The video above shows you almost frame-perfect inputs for the next two moves we're going to discuss, so refer back up while you practice if you need to. You'll find that the game is extremely forgiving, though.

The Fireball

This is the main command in Street Fighter 5: Nearly every special move in the game can be done via this basic motion. You're doing a roll from down on your controller to forward (facing the other player). On a controller, a flick of the thumb will suffice. Half circle motions, from back to forward (or the reverse) are done with a similar motion. You’re just rolling a longer distance.

The Shoryuken

The input for a shoryuken

This used to be a sticking point when Street Fighter was less lenient about player input, but now it's pretty simple. Tap forward, and then start to do a fireball motion. In the middle, when you're at the space between down and forward, press punch.

This will be weird at first, but it quickly becomes second nature, especially as Street Fighter 5 is very forgiving about how you do it.

The charge

Charging a fan attack

Commonly called the sonic boom, this motion is the easiest standard special move. Characters who use it (FANG, Bison, Guile) are in relatively short supply in this game. Hold back for a short time (typically a little over a second), press forward, and immediately press the specified attack button. There are also down-to-up charges, which work the same way. Don't overthink it.

The 360 (Zangief)

Though nearly every other command was simplified for Street Fighter 5, Zangief's all-powerful screw piledriver remains as it always has been: a full spin of the directional control, plus any punch (generally you’ll want to use light punch). This is the only move that's still genuinely tough, as it has to be done pretty quickly.

The full rotation

Practice the move from a basic standing position. You want to roll from right clockwise (or from left counterclockwise) all the way around, and press a punch when you get back to where you started. If you're doing it fast enough, Zangief should remain standing even though you passed by the up direction. There's no need to actually be next to the dummy to practice this move. If you see the miss animation. it means you did the move the right way.

The short rotation trick (shhhhhh!)

Now, don't tell anybody, but as I was practicing this I figured out that you can actually just roll to up-back. Shh!

For the super-powerful critical art version of the move, you need to do the 360 motion twice, which means it won't work from a standing position. Try starting the motion while you're landing from a jump, when getting up from a knockdown, recovering from an attack, during a block — or even in a combo!

  1. Intro
  2. What am I trying to do in this game?
  3. Controls
  4. Basic movement
  5. Basic attacks
  6. The poke game
  7. Knockdowns
  8. Special moves
  9. Control and execution
  10. Combos
  11. Counter and crush counter
  12. Critical meter and critical arts
  13. V-System
  14. Stun gauge
  15. Dealing damage and combos
  16. Character select
  17. Advanced techniques
  18. Good buttons
  19. What’s different in Street Fighter 5 Season 2?
  20. This is just the beginning

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