Plinking / Tsuji-Style: KARA BUFFER Inputs for Easier Links and More!

I’m an Akuma player, and over the past few days I’ve been testing out this alternative way of hitting my links.

For instance, for the following BnB combo:
Jump-in, cr.LK, cr.LP, cr.LP, cr.MK xx EX Gohadouken
Note: the link from cr.LP to cr.MK is a one-frame link.

Instead of double-tapping the MK in the above example, what you can do is:
Jump-in, cr.LK, cr.LP, cr.LP, cr.MK+LK (MK~LK input) xx EX Gohadouken

By MK~LK input I mean, you almost-simultaneously press LK and MK buttons with your index and middle fingers, but hit the MK button with your middle finger slightly earlier (1 frame) before the LK button.

If done right, in the training mode with input display on, you should see this:

(second frame) down+LK+MK
(first frame) down+MK
Note: if you pressed the two buttons too fast/simultaneously, you’ll see (first frame) down+LK+MK and that’s it, no (second frame to speak of). If you pressed the two buttons too slowly, it would have been (first frame) down+MK, (second frame) down+LK.

I’ve found this method to work more than 90% of the time for me - whereas double-tapping (perhaps due to my poor technique) works maybe half the time.

**Update 01-19-2010: Plinking versus Double-Tapping - when is which better? **

Recently I read in a Japanese SF4 wiki that whenever you double tap a button, what happens is you’re (1st frame) pressing the button, (2nd frame) releasing the button, (3rd frame) second tap of the same button. Two inputs of an attack button in 3 consecutive frames.

If you use plinking or “sliding frame input” (which btw is a loose translation of what the Japanese call plinking; none of that Tsuji-style egotistical nonsense which I wish some mod would remove from the thread title), you basically get two inputs of an attack button in 2 consecutive frames.

The wiki just stops there and moves on to how you can apply this knowledge to your game (source: ).

But if we inspect closer, we can see that if you’re someone who can perform both double-tapping and plinking perfectly (or at least, very competently), each technique actually has its own advantages. Theoretically speaking, at least.

For one-frame links, plinking is undeniably superior. With plinking you can either hit the button one frame early (-1), or time it perfectly (0). The margin of error for plinking here is 2 consecutive frames. With double-tapping, however, you either hit it two frames early (-2) or squarely on the dot (0). The margin of error here is still 2 frames, but they are not consecutive frames.

For two-frame links and onwards however, double-tapping (if you can perform it perfectly) is superior. For a two-frame link, the margin of error for double-tapping is 4 consecutive frames (-2, -1, 0, +1) whereas for plinking the margin of error is 3 consecutive frames (-1, 0, +1).

Same goes for three frame links. Double-tapping has 5-frame margin (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) whereas plinking has four (-1, 0, +1, +2).

That said, personally I find double-tapping to be incredibly to pull off perfectly, and so I stick to plinking for all cases (except for LP link, which plinking cannot be applied to). But if you’re someone who can do both, you should test out and see if double-tapping is indeed easier for hitting 2-frame-and-up links.

The same thing can be done for MP, HP, HK links:

MP links = MP~LP (or LK, but obviously LP is easier to hit)
HP links = HP~MP (or MP or LK or LP, but obviously MP is easier to hit)
HK links = HK~MK (see above)
(Remember: you have to press both buttons almost simultaneously, but with the stronger-strength button a split-second earlier than the weaker-strength one)

It also works for cr.LK, BUT ONLY IF your character’s cr.LK is not chain-cancellable.

cr.LK links = (while crouching) LK~LP

This method will not work with cr.LP, due to the fact that down+cr.LP+cr.LK is always interpreted as cr.LK. It will also not work with standing LP or LK because then it becomes a kara throw.

In summary, for p-linking to work, you have to understand two things:

(1) When you do a slide input (press the second button one frame after the first button) like AA~BB, the first input (AA) will be repeated in the second frame (AA+BB).

(2) Whenever the game detects an AA+BB simultaneous input, it will always give you the strongest attack button in the following order:

LP (weakest), LK, MP, MK, HP, HK (strongest).

Therefore HK+HP is executed as HK.

If you were to enter HK~HP, the game would read it as HK (one frame later) HP+HK, and execute it as HK (one frame later) HK.

However, if you were to enter HP~HK, the game would read it as HP (one frame later) HP+HK, and execute it as HP (one frame later) HK.

This is important to note if you want to p-link specials, like Ryu’s forward+MP -> Shoryuken.
You can’t p-link SRK with two punch buttons because you’d get the EX. So you’d have to p-link it with either MP~LK, or HP~MK.
(Disclaimer: not sure if you can p-link specials. At the very least, I couldn’t pull off Ryu’s forward+MP -> SRK)

Disclaimer: this linking method will not automatically make you a link combo god - you still have to get the timing right and everything. Like double-tapping, this essentially turns a one-frame link into a two-frame link by giving you two chances to nail the input window.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, here’s why it works:

A couple of days ago I was practising my Kara throws in training mode with Akuma (HP~LP+LK) when I noticed something - the game recognises my kara throw input as:

(second frame) LP+LK+HP
(first frame) HP
Note: The first input repeats itself when you do HP~LP+LK

And as we all know, whenever two or more attack buttons of different strengths are pressed, the game will give you the strongest strength attack i.e. if you press LP+MP+HP, you’ll see that the game executes that as a s.HP.

In other words, if you were crouching, essentially the above input could be interpreted by the game as:

(2nd frame) down+HP+LP+LK (you’re stuck in animation, but if you were not, this would have been executed as cr.HP)
(1st frame) down+HP (executed as a cr.HP)

So what happens when you’re in the recovery frames of some other move, like, say, Akuma’s cr.LP on Counter Hit (+5 on hit, and an additional +1 for Counter Hit)? You now have two chances to nail the one-frame window required for cr.LP to cr.HP link (Akuma’s cr.HP has 6-frame startup), depending on if you hit the down+HP squarely on the window, or one frame before that. One-frame links become two-frames. Two-frame links become three, etc, etc.

This is effectively a double-tap HP. Only thing is, you don’t have to cram both of your fingers on a single button, which surely takes some level of finesse to pull off, especially under pressure. It should make link combos, in general, a lot easier. Personally I can hit cr.LP to cr.MK about 90% of the time.

Some other examples you can try:
Ryu’s cr.MP, cr.MP, cr.HK
Sagat’s cr.LK x3 xx Tiger Knee

But of course, if you’re very good at double-tapping then you may find double-tapping to be better/easier.

EDIT: rewrote a few things. Special thanks to everyone who’s helped clarify things. :smiley:

Kara linking is not really the right term for this IMO…but good find. It should be called like…Priority linking or something.

^^NICE, i have hard times with one framersgonna go test this out now.

-edit… priority linking sounds nice. wonder if the japs or STINGY americans have already been doing this…?


that japanese dude that figured out kyou could do a walking demon with this trick, and prolly where this dude figured out the input bs.



i’m a happy boy… 1 framers were hard for me.

tested with chuns cr.lpx 3> st.hp

normal consistency for me in training mode is 30-50%…

i got it up to 90% just now.

magus yeah he probably got it from the demon video.



I’m going to test this in the evening. Thanks for the info.

Glad it’s helpful. :slight_smile:

But what’s this demon video you guys are talking about? Link please?

EDIT: Walking demon? Are you referring to, forward+LP+MP, LP+MP, back+LK+HP?

It’s just a method of timing and should work with which ever character you use and whatever game you play. It’s really no different from double tapping other than using a different button.

Why does this even work though? I haven’t tested.

edit: If you’re double tapping, but using a different button, why does the initial button come out and not the jab/short?

because the second button acts as if it were the first cause of input priority.


I understand the theory behind it, I just don’t get why the game allows such a function to exist :looney:

Cuz Capcom is fucking crazy.

To be honest I can double tap but it doesnt increase my consistency at all…theres DEFINITELY an input buffer in this game because most of the time I can perform 1-frame links just by memorizing the timing and doing it single tap.

You’re tapping during the recover/hit frames of the move you did. It’s really nothing, just keeps your timing. It’s not a glitch or anything like that, so you can really say it “works”. It’s the exact same thing as double tapping, without the reassurance of getting the attack you want to come out.

To be honest SF4 is like the second game in which I use piano/double-tapping (the first was SF2HDR), so I’m not sure if it’s like this for all fighting games.

I have a query about what you said regarding input priority though: what if I were to enter MK~HK instead of HK~MK? Does MK~HK = double-tap MK? That’s what you mean by priority input, right?

Cos I’m pretty sure if you were to enter LK~MP, MP will definitely come out. This was how I tested it: as Sagat, I did a cr.LK, followed by a crouching LK~MP - and the game would always give me a cr.MP link instead of cr.LK.

Just tested it out

Was at maybe 30% consistency, now at around 80%! Thanks for the tip!

chalk it up to sf4 dumbed down inputs… everything is easier in this game from special moves to reversals etc… i dont know whether capcom foresaw this and added it in to make links easier or what. but i see no problem with it… streetfighter shouldn’t be all about execution… its the MINDGAMES and reactions that make the game what it is… this could get more people interested cause they can pull out hard links easier, which was always one of the reasons that streetfighter got somewhat of a bad rap:

people complaining that executionally it was to hard to master. i’d be inclined to agree were it not for the fact that i got over that hurdleYEARS ago… if sirlin can change chickenwings and tiger knees for ease of input, i can see no reason why we cant have SLIGHTLY easier links also.


i dont know honestly.

i’d say your first lk was mistimed to early and that the resulting LK+MP input or just MP input was input on the first frame it could be resutnig in your combo…

i dont think it “saved” your input though like it would for specials… that would be stupid… but maybe it does cause it sees double button inputs as a semi special move and saves the input for 2-3 frames…?

anywho i dont care i like this 'cause double tapping was too hard on my big black guy hands.

if you wanted to use this trick for sagats lk’s i’d suggest trying lk~lp cause lk has priority over lp (as seen in crouch teching)


I’m pretty sure if you tapped MK~HK you would be tapping MK once and HK once.

If you hit multiple punches/kicks at once the game will ALWAYS give you the strongest one you hit. So LK~MP will get MP. If you want to get two inputs for the same button (“priority link”) , you can tap MP~MP+LK. Then you will get one input for MP by itself, and one additional MP input for MP+LK (game will give MP priority).

if do just MK~hk you’ll get MK every time, if you press them at the same time you’ll get hk everytime. You were getting because you did the lk~mp during the recovery of the initial if you did, stop for 2 sec. then, you’ll get

This method is similar to a nmemonic device, it’s just to help with timing, exactly like double tapping.