The Fighting System in KOFXIV

Home  >>  KOFXIV  >>  The Fighting System in KOFXIV

Before you read, check glossary for common terms.

New players often wonder what they are supposed to do in situations where they feel there’s is nothing to do. There always is, and kof is not that deep!

  1. How to attack
  2. How to defend
  3. How to counter

How to attack

To attack, you need a move!

First things first, frame data is incredibly important. For those who can tell the difference between fast and slow moves, this confirms that “feeling” with facts.

Look up the app or get the Google document or go to the Japanese site. Look at description for links.

Screenshot of attacks

What do you want to do? It’s a fighting game, so obviously you want to hit the opponent until they are knocked out.

To do that we need to hit them; the question is which moves to use?

The answer: the fastest one, and if invincible, even better.

In kof 14 You have 3 sets of moves

  1. Normals
  2. Specials ( Ex specials)
  3. Supers (/ Max supers / Climax  )



Normals have no invincibility and can be activated without cost. They normally require just a button press. Some normals can cancel into specials or supers.  They do not inflict damage when blocked.

There are 5 normal moves

LP LK HP HK Blowback

Moves do not hit immediately, they have frames of “start up” animation, before they become active and hit.

Light moves are on average 5 frames

Heavy moves are 8

Blowback 14

Screenshot of startup frames

When we say this move is, for example, 5 frames, we are actually talking about how many frames of animation it takes before it is active (at which point it hits).

Light moves are generally faster with less range than heavy. Obviously they inflict the lightest damage points.

Punches generally have a mid to high hit box while kicks have more range. Of course all this depends on the fighting style of the character, especially when you use a boxer.

Blowback moves are extremely slow but inflict the most damage and cause knockdown.

Look at this far light kick vs heavy kick clip

> screenshot/ clip <

Every move is different. And each character has different strengths through moves that have different frames. Here’s an example, where two hard punches start at the same time. Who will hit first? Or will they trade?

What happens to the damage? There is often a relation between the speed of the move and the damage, the slower the move, especially in terms of recovery, the more damage points it inflicts.

Iori close standing HP is 4 frames, which is outrageous, but that’s one of the reasons he’s so strong.

The move that hits first wins. The only exception is if it’s invincible. There’s no point winning versus a projectile.

If both moves are in their active frames when they collide, then they will trade, which means that if one opponent used a Blowback versus an light move, they have a serious advantage. If the opponent hits the other during the start up frames, they will get a counter bonus, which will reward them with a free juggle hit.


If the opponent simply blocks your move, you will be pushed apart. This prevents abuse of attack. If they are in the corner, you will be pushed back.

If the move is blocked, they have a period of recovery, which, if long enough, gives the opponent a chance to counter. This is the data listed as “on block” or “recovery”. Some moves do not have a recovery and in fact cause the opponent to remain in block stun, so that you can continue to press, or back off. These moves are what we call “positive on block” and normally are listed as such. Ex specials are commonly +2.


If the move whiffs I.e. misses, it completes its animation with a period of recovery, where you can counter. It is the fans
Light moves generally have short range and short active frames. They are generally faster than heavy moves. The strongest characters usually have moves that abuse these guidelines, such as a heavy move that is faster than a light move.

We have the CD move which actually is the slowest of all, but it’s animation is often deceiving and it causes knockdown.

Specials & Super Moves

The only difference between these and normals are invincible frames, damage and recovery.  Specials may have invincibility and inflict more damage without cost but usually have more recovery, leaving your character vulnerable. Supers can be used at the cost of a bar; often have invincibility, relatively huge damage and the longest recovery. Both specials and supers normally inflict damage even when blocked.  We call this “chip” or “tick” damage.

Attack Situations

Let’s go through the situations with each possible counter.

  1. Both standing
  2. Opponent in air
  3. After knockdown
  4. Reset

Both Standing: you need to hit the opponent or inflict chip damage. Use your fastest move!

Opponent in air: you need to anti air or bait/ react to an early jump attack and punish with crouching LK

After knockdown, if opponent has an invincible anti air, find a safe jump, otherwise do not jump.  Employ the safe jump then attack with your string as normal.

Reset means that instead of using a special move or super to finish a falling opponent (in juggle state) you hit the opponent with a normal, this means they wont be knocked down but instead recover to land on their feet.  This gives them less time to think and an opportunity to employ a mixup strategy.

Escaping these situations:

Blowback Counter

Block then push back the opponent, at the expense of a bar.  Useful when the opponent has a great mind game or you see a guard crush coming.

Tech rolling

While it’s great for punishing block strings, especially with projectiles, not every move, or each hit in a move sequence is techable. This makes certain characters stronger.


How to defend

On the receiving end, when an opponent is jumping towards you, you need to watch their animation, or just guess.

Note about reaction time

players often wonder if they are fast enough to play a game. The fact is that when you don’t know what is happening, the real problem is that you don’t know what to expect. When you jump towards an airborne opponent with a Blowback, it’s likely that either:

  • opponent will get hit
  • You will get hit
  • Opponent will get hit with counter bonus

If you can narrow the outcomes to this, you only have to react to 3 things. This means you have less to worry about. You are focused and will be ready for these outcomes. In this mental state, your reaction time is faster than in a situation where anything can happen (because you don’t understand the situation). In fighting games, the expert players know all the situations. To learn, you just need to play more!

Reaction time is also reduced under stress. Playing an important match or with money on the line, this is why you’ll see players blocking when they should have anti aired and just performing badly aka “choking”.

If you have an invincible anti air, use it! The only thing that beats this another invincible move such as Maxima’s ex air vapor cannon. If you execute early you are vulnerable to big jumps and baits.

Screen shot of bait hop B against LP DP

If you have a normal anti air, such as a crouching HP, the only thing you need to worry about is the opponent’s move activating before yours. If they happen at the same time, then you trade. If they use a blow back, then you are at a disadvantage: you will lose more energy and get knocked over.

Psychology tip

If you display your anti air, the opponent will think twice about jumping. Consider jump attacking immediately after, as the opponent will switch to a ground based attack.  If they’ve read this guide, well, better do the opposite.


Here we are looking at situations, not moves.

After attack, opponent thinks you will jump again and wants roll out of corner:

Jump in attack, then back dash

Hisa vs Kula clip


Vs Grappler

They jump in and then seem to do nothing.

If you think they will press a button then you should press your button that will beat them


If you IMMEDIATELY press your fastest normal, usually crouch LP, after your block stun ends, it beats opponent if they try to:

  • jump
  • Hit with a slower normal
  • Delayed throw


It will be beaten by:

  • Throw/grab
  • a move that is faster than yours
  • An invincible move

…zzzzz what do write next?

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this, for a 12 month period.