Thursday, January 13, 2011

Introduction to KOF - Part 1

With KOF 13 hitting the console port soon I decided to write some basic info/pointers for training and learning general KOF mechanics and stile of play.I haven’t played 13 yet so all you see here generally applies most to kof 98 but also to 2002 and their UM versions. Also playing these versions will help you a lot in “learning” XIII.

Small note*

! – It is very important to pick the type of controller that fits you best!I generally recommend an arcade stick like HRAP 3 or Madcatz TE stick (I use this one because it’s very big, heavy, easy to exchange parts and for the most part I have no problem pulling out moves and combos – in a word it is very reliable and accurate! ) but if you are a pad player the only pads that I played and felt ok were Logitech brand and the Sega Saturn (original pad).The SS pad can be moded but I haven’t tried that because I only have two and these are hard to find these days.

If you are new to arcade sticks or if you go from pad to stick it will take about 1-2 weeks to accommodate…just be patient and practice a lot.

With that out of the way let’s begin:


The jumps in kof are the most important and also the first thing you need to learn and control with ease. For someone playing other fighting games this might sound ridiculous but unlike other fighting games kof has 4 types of jumps. A very good tutorial on that can be found here: (yes I am lazy to explain all that written in detail)

The jumping mechanic helps the player have a lot of diversity in his gameplay and also it can provide a good means of attacking and strategy for aggressive rushdowns.

For the most part abusing block in kof gets you nowhere unless you like being a punching bag (this game is not a rushdown fest and blocking in kof is like in other fighting games important but only if done right ..but we get to that soon ).


A – low punch

B – low kick

C – Heavy Punch

D – Heavy Kick

By pressing AB and holding left or right the character will roll in that direction. Why is rolling important to learn you might say…

With AB you can escape from a lot of hard situations and also gives more freedom to the player.

You can roll to escape special moves (including fireballs) , DMs (desperation moves/aka super moves), combos and in tense situations you can avoid tacking chip damage.


! With AB you can’t escape from command grabs!

!Do not roll from far away because you can be easily punished!

!Do not use AB too often because you can be predictable!

!Use it right!

A lot of players use AB how you are NOT suppose to use it .. .so here is some tips on how to use rolling in your gameplay:

! Usually when a player attacks and lands the first hit he will do either a special move, or continue with a combo – even if the first hit is blocked! (you can observe this while playing).If he does that often you can punish that with AB :)

Just block the first hit and quickly hold forward and press AB. Before you know it you will be behind him ready to punish! – this “fast” AB takes 1 DM point (while attacking and taking hits you gather energy for performing a DM…so be sure to have at least 1 before attempting to do this)

!If someone makes a random DM block the first hit and like in the previous case hold forward and AB. Depending on the DM sometimes is best to just block it but if the DM consists of numerous hits it’s better to use AB to escape taking any kind of damage (this is very good strategy when you are very low on heath and the other players goes for chip damage) !

CD – if done on ground it will knock down the opponent.(Also it can be done while jumping)

it best to use for:

- mind games (press CD and quickly do a move.)

examples for kof 98:

Clark : CD + qcf + A or C

Vice : CD + hcf + B

Iori: CD+ f,d,f + B or D


- escaping a rushdown and get “some space”. When the other player hits just block and press C+D.

Warning/Tip! If someone is low on energy he will use CD more often. To counter CD you can ..depending on character. Do a normal hit (or) CD and quickly to a special move or DM.

Examples for kof 98 ..some might work in 2002 but right now I am not in the mood to check them out for each lazy bastard =))

Normal Yashiro : Attack with CD and quickly do f,d,f + A

Mai – do a hit and quickly DM (Qcb, Hcf + B ) ..this might not work on all characters…I am not sure

Iori – CD + f,d,f + B (can be continued with qcb + A or B x 3)

In all of this cases if the other player does CD after your first hit it will get punished. Also this works the other way around.. if you do CD after the first hit you will be punished =))

Experiment this in practice mode (put your opponent to counter) and see what works with each character best! You will have to do a lot of practice to learn this game at a decent level so stop reading now if you don’t have time for this or if you feel discouraged.

Also it is very important to play more against another human opponent than spending too much time in practice mode or watching match videos. Experiment a lot in practice mode and during matches. Try to be diverse and learn the game mechanics.

If you do all that, little by little you will see improvements in your gameplay and strategies. Patience, determination and finding good opponents is the key in learning this game. Try to find decent opponents and remember that for now it’s not important to win but to learn the game! Before you learn to win you must learn to loose =)) ….and you will loose a lot!

End of part 1 (if there are other aspects that I missed, or if you have any questions leave a comment and I will cover them in a future article)

This is not a word by word strategy guide or manual for kof. Just some thoughts that a new or beginner player should keep in mind while learning kof!I try to make this series easy to read (and to understand) and practical.If you have any suggestions i am ready to listen.


RX-Strider said...

Incredible Blog, Congrats man!

Helps a lot for some tricks that I was looking for avoid and conter attack.

Thanks pal! ^^

peace187 said...

How to find frame trap to score counter hits in kof98?

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