Understanding Street Fighter 5 Frame Data and How to Read

Your in-depth guide to Understanding Street Fighter 5 Frame Data and how to read it for the future updates that may change the gameplay.

Frame Data in a fighting game essentially outlines and duration and usually everything about in-game attacks.

It is by no means necessary to have in-depth knowledge regarding Street Fighter 5 frame data in order to become a good player, but understanding it will indeed help you learn punishes, whiffs, and other gameplay tactics much faster.

For more help on Street Fighter 5, read our Tips and Strategies for Expert Players and PC Tweaks Guide.

However, there are some things that you need to understand before reading up individual character frame data. This guide details everything that you need to know about reading frame data in Street Fighter V:

Startup Frames
This is basically the animation an attack experiences before actually hitting an opponent or grabbing. The fastest normal and special in the game are on the 3rd frame; hence the 3 frames startup.

Useful normal attacks in the game have a startup frame range of 4 to 8 with sweeps and far-reaching pokes a tad slower. The fastest non-Critical Art throws in the game have 5 frames startup while Zangief’s Critical Art has 2 frames startup.

Successfully hitting an opponent during startup frames leads to a counter attack with increased hitstun and damage. During V-Trigger and Critical Arts, some of the startup frames appear before the animation and some after the animation.

Active Frames
This is basically the duration where an attack or throw actually connects. This is a pretty short duration and mostly lasts for 2 or 3 frames.

In the case of multi-hit attacks, there may be some inactive frames between 2 consecutive hits. For instance a 2-hit attack each with 4 active frames and 3 frames gap is usually denoted by 4(3)4. However, there are also some multi-hit attacks without any gap.

Players can also cause attacks to hit late during active frames and are called ‘Meaty’ attacks. These are usually used in order to frame trap an opponent while he/she is waking up, floored, or landing from an air attack.

The technique basically allows players to purposely decrease the attack’s functional recovery period since they hit it late, but in active frames. Lastly, there are attacks which are highly punishable when executed in neutral, but not when used as ‘Meaty’ attacks.

Finally, coming to projectiles, the startup of a projectile carries characters to the first active projectile frames. After that, since the projectiles separates from the character, the rest of the active frames are added into recovery.

Recovery Frames
Recovery is basically retracing frames of an attack before the character is in neutral state; ready to attack or block again. Due to the fact, short recovery is always best! Whenever you cancel attacks for mix-ups, you are essentially skipping the recovery period.

Anti-air attacks such as Shoryuken not only have recovery frames, but also landing recovery on the ground which is why they are highly punishable. As for reversals, even the invulnerable ones are vulnerable to counter-attacks during recovery frames.

Frame Advantage and Disadvantage
Once an attack connects, active frames and recovery frames must be exhausted before the next attack. On the other side, hitstun and blockstun must be exhausted!

Frame advantage is basically the advantage for the player who can act faster than his opponent. A frame advantage of +4 means that a player can land an attack 4 frames earlier than his/her opponent and vice versa for -4 frame disadvantage.

Frame advantage is usually expressed differently on hit and on block. On hit, every attack produces more frame advantage than on block. In addition to this, counter-hit grants frame advantage of +2. Crash Counters also grant frame advantage of +2 frames.

General Guidelines
Since the game runs at 60FPS, 1 frame is equal of 1/60 of a second, 5 frames are equal to 1/12 of a second, so on and so forth.

For the guide, you need to assume that the first active frame of an attack is the one that actually hits and the rest of the active frames are included in the recovery.

Air attacks in the game do not have recovery times such as ground attacks.

For air attacks, the recovery time is essentially how long it takes to land and undergo the landing recovery which is why there are no concrete values since air attacks can be executed immediately after a jump or while landing.

However, in case of special aerial attacks such as Cannon Strike and Drill Kick, it is important to know the data to gain an advantage over your opponents.

If there is something else you would like to know? Make sure to let us know in the comments section below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...