Fighting Game General Guide

Fighting games have been a staple in video game competitions since the very beginning when people needed to gather in the arcades to watch the onslaught unfold. It was a great mixture of martial arts techniques and mysticism thrown together.

The mandatory arcade attendance has become a thing of the past while the competition remains and only gains momentum.

The scene has evolved from just arcade game fighters to include titles from all consoles, which has opened the flood gates regarding strategy. Just like no two games are exactly alike, no fighting game is identical to another.

Most fighting games have the common goal of defeating an opponent by either taking their life bar to 0 while keeping yours above 0, knocking them out of the ring, or something similar. The path is different, but the goal is the same – to beat the opposing character.

Fighting games typically consist of several rounds such as best out of 3, first to 3, or so on. Rounds typically have a time limit, that can be adjusted or set to unlimited in most cases. Whoever wins the best out of or designated rounds first, is the winner. If two players tie, there will be a sudden death round.

During sudden death rounds, there can be different rule parameters that apply from first hit wins situations to whoever wins that round, wins the match.

Typical Game Modes

  • Story Mode – Story Mode is the single-player mode that most fighting games have that tells the individual path of each character. It is the way in which the games try to explain why you are currently fighting against the opponent and add depth to each of the characters. Difficulty can be adjusted.
  • Adventure Mode – Not all fighting games have the option of an adventure mode, but when they do, it is glorious. Adventure mode is typically a much more expanded version of story mode and is often a whole game in of itself. It is primarily designed so that players can get a more in-depth lore experience.
  • Survival – Survival mode or Timed mode is often in most fighting games and is exactly what it sounds like, a race against the clock to see how long you can survive. The goal is to get as far as possible until you are either defeated or the time runs out.
  • Versus – Versus mode is your standard fighting game mode where you play either against a computer-controlled opponent or another player. This is the mode where fighting games truly shine and is the staple for their success.
  • Online Play – Online play is typically where the ranked competition occurs, and in fighting games, players can compete to climb the ranks. They will either be able to challenge friends to fights or play against random opponents, all while growing through the ranks to prove themselves.

Popular Fighting Game Terminology

Like many game genres, fighting games tend to share some common terms between each other:

  • Ring Out – Ring Out is a term that refers to knocking another player off the stage, which results in them losing the round. It does not matter the amount of life that the player has when they are knocked out because it will result in a KO regardless.
  • KO – Knockout – A knockout is a fight ending move that occurs typically when the opposing player’s life bar runs out, or they are Rung Out. When a knockout occurs, it symbolizes one player as victorious within that round.
  • TKO – Technical Knock Out – A Technical Knockout is a standard sports term of a knockout that is stopped via referee or ring physician for multiple reasons. In fighting games, it occurs whenever a player is defeated, just like a knockout. A Ring Out could be considered a TKO in fighting games.
  • DKO – Double Knock Out – A Double Knock Out occurs when both players hit one another with the last hit and are both KO’d simultaneously. When this happens, the match is a “draw game,” and both players will receive a round victory or go into sudden death.
  • Sudden Death – Sudden Death mode occurs when players are tied on rounds and a winner be declared. Sudden death can occur in multiple ways such as an entirely new round or the first player to get a successful attack on their opponent.
  • Knockdown – A knockdown occurs when one of the players is knocked off their feet and must recover. Sweeps are notorious knockdown moves in fighting games, and the idea is to follow their standing up with a quick counter-attack before their character can react.
  • Counter – A counter is an attack that is launched right after the opponent, often causing increased damage. An old-school example would be, if an opponent punches your character, you counter by ducking and delivering an uppercut.
  • Block – Block is a standard move in all fighting games that will either negate the attack entirely or reduce the damage taken by the attack significantly. There are different attacks available in most games to counter a player who non-stop blocks.
  • Combo – Combos are a mixture of attacks that complement one another to inflict further damage. The longer the combo, the more damage can be accomplished. Ideally, ending a combo with a disorientation effect can let players start the combo all over again.
  • Combo Chains – Combo Chains are just linking those combo attacks together so that you can create an even longer and devastating combo. A successful combo chain will link the attacks fluidly together and inflict maximum damage.
  • Juggle – Juggling is a technique where you keep an opponent in the air via back to back attacks, never allowing their character to hit the ground and recover. Professionals can juggle their opponent almost indefinitely in some games, and it is definitely not a situation you want to find yourself a victim of.
  • Throw – A throw move in fighting games is typically when a player gets as close to the other as possible, and executes a throwing technique, which often goes through blocks. Throws are great ways to take an opponent out of their desired element.
  • Unblockable – Unblockable is a term that usually refers to an attack that, cannot be blocked. In many fighting games, the throw ability is unblockable and can be utilized to destabilize a defensive opponent. Many games also have attacks that are unblockable and powerful but are slow.
  • Super – A super is a “special” attack that is built up throughout the match. When a super is utilized and connects with the opponent, it will often do a devastating amount of damage. Well-timed supers can be the difference between a victory and a loss in many situations.
  • Finisher – Finishers usually occur at the end of a match as an “extra” sort of feature to add to the victory over an opponent. They will typically be rather ultra-violent since the idea is that a person is “knocked out” at that point, and a finisher is to “end things.”
  • Projectile – Projectiles are anything that is launched by a character such as fireballs, weapons, and so on. They are often used in techniques of keeping your opponent at bay or finishing them from a distance.
  • Dazed – The term dazed in a fighting game means that the player is currently, stunned, woozy, or otherwise disoriented. This allows for a vicious set up to occur and can be utilized in the middle of a combo to either extend or restart the combo.