Beginner in need of help with KOF XIII

Hello everyone, I’m 28 years old and to be honest, I’m not very good at video games especially the fighting genre. Many years ago I used to play many KOFs and SFs and even some tekken with friends but I now realize I was never any good because I couldn’t do any of the advanced techniques like parrying consistently on SFIII 3s or canceling special moves into others on KOF and many stylish and even practical combos were beyond me.

Right now I’m trying to learn KOF XIII (which I find appealing cause I’ve read on some forums that is well balanced) but sadly it’s been impossible to even do a jump HK into a standing HP, in other words I can’t even connect jumping combos, and I can’t do Mature’s rekka nor Athena’s DM consistently.

So this proves to me that I never went beyond the “scrub” level and all these years of playing fighting games are wasted cause I pretty much learned nothing.

So my questions are:

  1. How do you do a jumping combo? when/where should I press the HK button and when should I press the HP button for both of them to connect?

  2. Why am I failing to do the rekkas and Shining Crystal Bit consistently? How are they supposed to be done?

  3. The game seems so fast and it seems pretty impossible to know how to do combos in general, is there a technique or something that could help me do them better?

and finally… should I give up on fighting games given that I might be too old already to learn?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

I’m not well-versed in KoF but I can tell you that you’re not “too old to learn.” Also, most fighting games have a semblance of balance. If you want to learn how to play any other ones, just pick them up and play them. Some characters are hard to win with (Dan in SF4; Hsien Ko in Marvel), but there are people who get wins with them.

First of all you are pretty cool for wanting to learn kof xiii, it is my favorite.

You should know KOF XIII is a hard game, one of, if not the hardest out right now.
Alot of people say they like KoF but end up quitting because it is too hard.(please dont be like them)

Please understand that if it is your goal to be a competent Kof player, it is not going to happen next week or happen depending on what character you choose. Kof has a very deep neutral game and the getting it down is going to require patience and a willingness to improve and understand.

For your questions

  1. How do you do a jumping combo? when/where should I press the HK button and when should I press the HP button for both of them to connect?

**You have to connect your jumping hit pretty deep, pretty much just before landing. I believe that all jumping moves give the same hitstun and it is not very much so the deeper you connect your jumping attack, the easier it will be to connect a move after it. This is something I still have a problem with sometimes during the heat of a match **

  1. Why am I failing to do the rekkas and Shining Crystal Bit consistently? How are they supposed to be done?

Kof has a window that you are able to do moves in but it is not very forgiving on the inputs. They need to be precise or your move will simply not come out. Go to training mode and turn on you input display so you can see your inputs. There are no shortcuts to make the inputs easier but there are longcuts so that you can connect certain moves easier.

  1. The game seems so fast and it seems pretty impossible to know how to do combos in general, is there a technique or something that could help me do them better?

Button hold trick, the long cuts, and just getting used to the window that you have to be able to do the moves. The speed is something that you will just have to get accustomed to because it is really fast.

Kof is about knowing how to move, utilizing your space, and preventing your opponent from getting in your space to do certain moves by reading and predicting. Also you need to practice your hit confirms because in kof they are important and are how you will start your combos.
The best way to practice your hit confirms is to set your training dummy to “crouch” and set the guard to “random guard” this will make the dummy guard at random.
To practice hit confirms just run up to the dummy and press buttons(for example with kim you have cr. b cr. b cr. b… then combo)

When the dummy blocks, end your string after the third cr.b. If your opponent is hit then continue the combo. (example combo would be after the third cr. b to do… st. b forward forward a and then special)

Just find out your characters best way to hit confirm and start practicing. Set a goal number to reach like 10 or 20 and you successfully complete the combo(when the dummy is hit) or successfully stop(when the dummy blocks) then add 1 and if you mess up at any time, start all over. This will get your muscle memory going and start to let you see when your opponent blocks and gets hit so you can continue a combo or go for a mixup. is a good source to learn about your character and things.

Also is a source of info and character tutorial. Be sure to watch the system tutorials so you can learn about button holding and the long cuts.
Also juicebox has a live stream and you can go on twitch and get tips from him and other players in the chat. He can be an ass sometimes and even demeaning but the people in the chat are really friendly and will help you out.

Good luck to you buddy and keep playing kof.


I was in the same boat about two years ago… I am still fairly awful at the games I’ve been playing, and it’s taken a while, but my execution is far better than when I first started. I struggled to do a LOT of basic stuff in KoF, like jump-ins, hit confirms, hell even consistently getting the right hop/jump you want can take practice.

After a lot of “wasted” practice and spending time learning the wrong things, I’d recommend picking up some easy characters to learn (wouldn’t recommend Mature for now), pick simplified combos, if something is hard at first, just dumb it down to something easier and get yourself to the point where you can use your basic hitconfirms and punish combos, and use some meter and drive to add your damage, and at the same time learn the use of the normal moves of your characters - consistent anti airs, hop punish, mid air attacks, best jump in attack… stuff like that.

The idea is to keep it pretty simple at first so you can spend more time actually playing against others in local casuals or something, rather than working on optimal combo execution. You will have to spend some time grinding out the basics, though, especially for a game like KoF.


More KOF 13-centric tutorials here.

For the rekkas and super you have to be very precise with your inputs. Mature’s rekkas are quarter-circle-back motions and you have to put in the directional motion for each individual rekka. If you don’t finish the QCB (like Down-Down/Back and don’t end with Back) then the move will not come out. Most other current fighting games have an input buffer, or will recognize the input even if you don’t finish it, but KOF will not unless you’re spot on.

That video is magic for learning KoF, and Shermie is dope! Ahh’

Well so far I can do the King combo from this video (minus the starter HP canceled into df + HK)

So it seems that I’m having an easier time doing the hold button trick than the jump-in combo because I try to hit as deep as I can with the HK but it doesn’t come out and also I don’t know when to hit with the HP, do I have to press the button immediately after pressing HK or do I need to wait a little?

On a normal sized character, as long your jump-in attack is hitting from the chest and down you should be able to follow-up as soon as you land. For hops, ensure you’re hitting your attack at or after your character reaches the apex of their hop. If you hit the opponent on the way up, then you’re liable to get thrown as soon as you land.

My suggestion would be to go to training and set the opponent to 1 guard jump and do a jump or hop attack. When you land from the attack hit FP. If the dummy gets hit out of the air you were very late, if they get hit on the ground you were a bit late, and if they block your ground attack then it would combo if the opponent got hit.

As for King’s FP to df+HK the lack of input leniency in KOF actually makes this a bit easier. What you can do is hit the button for FP then input the directions down->down forward and hit HK. If you do this properly you won’t get her fireball because you didn’t complete the motion and her slide will come out.

Don’t worry man it’s never too late to get into fighting games. They take a lot of time and effort to get really good but that applies with any game where you’re facing other players. You’re not a scrub either, you’re just new. The term scrub is used for a person who doesn’t work to get around obstacles. Essentially that’s someone who uses illogical or unreasonable excuses as to why they lost.

Also here’s the KOF Advice thread if you ever have more questions or want more help:

I also started KOF recently but I’m a long-time fighting gamer. And yet, I’m still finding it more difficult than some of the other ones. Mostly because of the short hop and the huge emphasis on instant rushdown. Still, game is really good and I’m glad I finally gave the franchise a chance. My advice is pick 3 characters you want to learn, watch online tutorials, and just go play matches.

Well I can’t set the opponent to 1 guard jump in training mode cause if I put the dummy to jump the guard option gets disabled. Is there another way to practice this? I try hitting the HP as early as I can but it doesn’t come out or I hit later and doesn’t connect.

Under “Guard” scroll over to “1 Guard-Jump”. That will make the opponent block one attack and then jump as soon as they can.

As for the jump HK to standing HP, that’s just timing. You have to both hit the HK at waist-level and hit the HP when you’re on the ground.

Thanks, I’m already using the 1 Guard Jump to train but I’m still having issues seeing when the character lands on the ground.

Also I’m using this controller to play, is it useful or do I need to get a stick?

Theoretically you can play at any level with any controller. Most people prefer stick, but use whatever works for you. If you’re comfortable with that controller then keep using it and if you’re more comfortable using a stick then use that.

Well it seems that I’m getting better at doing the jumping combo, thanks everyone!

And now to the most important matter: I need to make a team. Which of these characters should I start learning since I’m just a beginner?

  • Mai
  • King
  • Yuri
  • Athena
  • Mature
  • Leona

LOL! First controller I ever used for fighters. It’s pretty decent but it’ll break down in about a year depending on how much you play. I’d go with a Hori Playstation controller over that one.

The beautiful thing about KOF is that all characters are viable due to the fact that game gives every character enough options to deal with tough situations ( Universal options such as rolls.) Play who you like or who looks cool. If you practice, you’ll learn the character no matter what skill. That and team order doesn’t matter until intermediate to top level play.

I’m also a KOF beginner. I’ve been using King, Athena, Kim, and Andy. I’ve been told they’re all easy to pick up, looks true so far.