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Street Fighter 5 guide: Stun gauge

Filling, combos and reversals

Smacking the other player until they're dizzy is not a new concept — in fact, Street Fighter 2 invented it — but in this game, that point has been thought out and refined.

Below the life bar is the stun gauge. How it works is pretty self-explanatory.

You get hit, and it fills up.

If the attacker keeps the pressure up, even if they are blocked, it'll stay where it is.

If you get away or land a V-Reversal, it empties out.

If it fills up all the way, you're stunned, and the other player can land any attack they want … which is typically going to be their biggest, most painful combo. This is the attacker's reward for landing so many hits in such a short time — and their motivation to do so. It's going to be really tough to come back and win the round if you get hit by a stun, and often the stun combo winds up being fatal.

Dealing stun damage

Dealing stun damage is a little bit different than dealing normal damage. The quickest way to stun the other player is just to win the poke game. The stun damage from counter-hit poke after counter-hit poke adds up very quickly. Throws also have high stun damage.

Another way is to land big combos. The one you see above uses EX Special moves to deliver stun damage (over half of the bar) rather than regular damage. A combo into a critical art beats this combo handily for damage, but critical arts don't deal any stun damage. Though a critical art is usually a better idea in exchange for all of your meter, keep an eye on your Stun gauge, and try to take advantage when it's high.

Advanced stun: stun, damage scaling and resets

This is a little advanced, but it's easy to explain: The more hits in a combo, the less damage each individual hit in the combo will do. You can see this listed in the attack data window under damage scaling. This has a number of implications, but let's talk about what it does for stun.

If I stun my opponent with a really long combo like this …

… my damage return for the next combo, after they’re stunned, is going to be pretty poor. Street Fighter 5 considers this one long combo, and as combos pile on more and more hits, their damage trickles down to nothing. With my deliberately long combo, I have scaled the damage down as far as it can get for this character. The only thing that can get me an appreciable amount of damage at this point is a critical art finish, which, due to the severely reduced damage, may not be worth burning my entire critical meter on at this point.

However, if I stun with just one hit — be it a jab, throw or whatever— the stun combo hits for all it's worth. This is important to keep in mind if you play a combo-oriented character like Karin or Ken, who inflicts a lot of hits. Stun with low number of hits? Go for that big combo. Stun with a lot of hits? Either land a few short, strong hits with a critical art …

… or you can put yourself in a situation to just start attacking again, hoping that you'll catch the other player off guard. (It's a great place to throw, for example.) Because ending the combo prematurely to attack again resets the damage scaling, players call this maneuver a reset.

  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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