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Street Fighter 5 guide: Critical meter and critical arts

The Street Fighter 5 critical meter bar at the bottom of the screen fills up pretty quickly as you fight. There are two things you can do with this resource, and managing that choice properly is a major skill.

EX special moves

This is an enhanced version of a special move that costs one third of the critical meter to use. This move will deal more damage, have a special property or both. It is always executed with the same command as the normal special, but with two punch or kick buttons.

Countering the hadouken

For example, Ryu's EX hadoken hits twice, dealing more damage, but you can also use it to pass through opponents' fireballs, winning a fight at range and allowing Ryu to close in.

An invincible EX reversal

If your character has an invincible reversal, it’s an EX special move, so they need one bar of meter to use it. When you're empty, like when you've just used a critical art, the other player can harass and pressure you with impunity.

Think about it: If you know your opponent can’t throw out that shoryuken, don’t you have a lot less to fear from them?

Laura’s EX elbow

Some characters have armored EX moves, meaning they can take a single hit from their opponent and pass through as though they hadn’t been hit at all. The damage they take from the attack they passed through becomes grey life, which recovers over time. If you're hit out of (or after) an armored move, the grey life disappears, meaning you take all the damage from the move you previously passed through.

Critical arts

Bison’s critical art

The flashiest and fanciest moves, the ones you see in the trailers. These are trump card attacks. When you use these you’re betting the arm on a single strike. Critical arts consume the whole meter, will push through most normal attacks, and do big damage. You'll also hear longtime players call them supers or ultras.

If missed, naturally you're a sitting duck, so don't throw critical arts out there at random. They also don't deal any stun damage, so there are cases where it might be better to finish a combo normally to get the stun, and then use a critical art.

There are two best times to use a critical art. One is at the beginning of the round. You'll build up all that meter later, better to cash in on it than sit on it. The other is to finish off an opponent who’s low on life. If you ever have a clear shot at a critical art to end the round, take it.

  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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