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    Basics Guide by TRXiang

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 03/16/05 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Tekken 5 Basics FAQ
    Copyright 2005 Scott Jackson
    Authorized Reproduction: www.GameFAQs.com, www.Neoseeker.com
    Version 1.0: March 14, 2005
    Current Version: Version 1.2
    Version 1.2
    Fixed more typos and errors. Added more to various sections.
    Version 1.1
    Fixed some typos, added more terms to "Key" section and added "Random
    Information" section. Also added minor details to a few various sections.
    Table of Contents
       I.    Key
       II.   Movement
       III.  Frames and Buffering
       IV.   General Move Properties and the Crush System
       V.    Grabs, Parries, Reversals, etc.
       VI.   Walls and Techrolling
       VII.  Random Information
       VIII. Tier Rankings and Misconceptions
       IX.   Thanks, Credits, Contact
    I. Key
    First thing is first, you gotta know how to read this FAQ as well as any
    notation or terms that people may throw at you.
    1 - Left Punch
    2 - Right Punch
    3 - Left Kick
    4 - Right Kick
    F or f - Forward, the direction your character is facing.
    B or b - Back, the direction your character is not facing.
    U or u - Up.
    D or d - Down.
    D/F or d/f - Down-forward, the diagonal between D and F.
    D/B or d/b - Down-back, the diagonal between D and B.
    U/F or u/f - Up-forward, the diagonal between U and F.
    U/B or u/b - Up-back, the diagonal between U and B.
    N - Neutral. No direction inputs are being pressed.
    QCF - Quarter-circle forward. (d,d/f,f)
    QCB - Quarter-circle back. (d,d/b,b)
    HCF - Half-circle forward. (b,d/b,d,d/f,f)
    HCB - Half-circle back. (f,d/f,d,d/b,b)
    Capital letter difference - If a directional notation is in capital letters,
         you must HOLD the direction instead of tapping it.
    SS - Sidestep(s). Tap U~n or D~n.
    SSR - Sidestep to your character's right.
    SSL - Sidestep to your character's left.
    SW - Sidewalk(s). Tap U~n or D~n and then press and hold the respective
         direction after the character SS. (For example, after pressing U~n,
         press and hold U when your character SS) 
    FC - Full crouch. Press and hold D or D/B.
    WS - While standing. Usually includes a button input of some kind that should
         be pressed while your character rises from a crouch.
    WR - While running. Self-explanatory.
    BD - Backdash(s). (b,b)
    FD - Forwarddash(s). (f,f)
    CD/WD - Crouchdash/Wavedash. Explained in next section.
    cc - Crouch-cancel. Usually tapping f or u will take you out of crouch.
    , - Seperates inputs. It does not imply any timing for the input.
    ~ - Command following must be inputted immediately after the previous
    : - Just-frame input. The input following the ":" must be pressed during a
         certain window or frame (which will be explained).
    + - Press simultaneously.
    < - You may delay the following input.
    [] - Inputs are optional.
    ( _ ) - Or. For example, (A_B). You may press either A or B.
    () - Move is suppose to miss. Used in juggles.
    low - A move that hits low.
    mid - A move that hits middle.
    high - A move that hits high.
    CH - Counterhits(s). When a move interrupts another move.
    JS - Juggle starter(s).
    BT - Back turned towards opponent.
    TC/TJ - Technically crouching/Technically jumping.
    iWS - Instant WS. Performed d~(d/b_d/f)~n+desired input. Takes practice.
    Whiff - A move that misses the opponent entirely.
    Okizeme/Oki or Wake-up Game - Most Soul-Calibur-turned-Tekken players refer
         to oki as wake-up. This term simply refers to the ground game. Whenever
         someone says oki they mean a situation where one of the characters will
         hit the ground at some point. The majority of the time it will be used
         when a character is stationary on the ground and cannot techroll, but it
         is not exclusive to that situation.
    Poke or poking - This is what's usually called chip damage. A poke is when
         you do one or a couple moves that take minor damage off of your
         opponent's lifebar. Poking is a big part of Tekken because most JS are
         too slow to be considered the only source of damage you get. You can't
         expect to hit JS all the time.
    Turtle - A playstyle in which a player mostly blocks and does evasive moves.
         Not a lot of aggressive tactics.
    Pitbull - A playstyle in which a player use quick strikes to keep you off-
         balance while always attacking. This playstyle still uses evasive moves
         but in a very aggressive manner.
    II. Movement
    This section is short because there's only a couple of movements that you
    should know.
    WD. This motion is only important for characters who have a CD. The CD motion
    is performed f,n,d,d/f. Sort of like a Street Fighter uppercut. Characters
    that have this motion are characters like Kazuya, Heihachi, Jin, King, etc.
    A WD is simply a very fast repetition of CD. It's simple in theory but takes
    a lot of practice to get down. It's performed by doing a CD, cancelling
    with f and then performing another CD. So the notation would look something
    this: f,n,d,d/f~f~f,n,d,d/f. The reason that this is important is because
    you have to learn to see this motion from characters like Mishimas in order
    to know what you should try to block, parry, etc. Learn to see this motion!
    Backdash cancel. This is extremely important to all characters. A
    BDC is when you perform a BD, cancel with d/b and then perform another one.
    In order for this to be useful it HAS TO BE FAST. It was more valuable in
    Tekken Tag Tournament because the BD in TTT went further and the cancel
    happened faster. It's still incredibly useful in T5 but it's much more common
    to be hit out of it than in TTT. The correct notation for a BDC would
    be b~b~d/b~b~b~d/b... but I used to be a Mishima player and you can perform
    this by doing a backwards WD which is easier for me. HOWEVER, that method
    will NOT work with characters who have sways (i.e. Paul, Bryan, etc.) because
    you will get a sway instead of a BD, thus it must be done with the correct
    Sidestep cancel. This can be done a variety of ways, but the most common is
    simply holding B. The idea is to stop yourself mid-SS. It's usually not
    useful because if you cancel with B the cancel is usually too slow and you
    will get hit anyway. It's still important to keep in mind because you can do
    moves to cancel your SS.
    Miscellaneous steps - There's a few characters who have their own little
    unique steps that no one else can do. The first two that pop in my head are
    Lei and Nina. Lei has what's called a Ha-Ha step and Nina what's called a
    hayashida step. You'll encounter these from time to time.
    III. Frames and Buffering
    This is incredibly important to know. First thing, Tekken runs on 60 frames
    per second. In other words, 60 frames (or screenshots, pictures, whatever)
    are displayed in one second on your TV screen. You will need to know this for
    two reasons. One, I will use it frequently to tell how fast a move comes out.
    It's obvious to anyone who has played the game that when you press a button,
    your move does not come out instantaneously. This is where frames come in.
    Second, you will hear people refer to how many + or - frames you receive
    after a move is blocked or you block a move. This is INCREDIBLY important
    because this means that someone has an extra 1/60 (or more) of a second over
    their opponent to execute a move. Tekken is not near as slow-paced as some
    After a move is blocked, there is a recovery time. It's sort of a commonsense
    type of thing, but it's still important. When a move is blocked,
    both you and the opponent must wait for either the move or block animation,
    respectively, to finish before you can input another command and expect a 
    move to come out.
    However, there IS something called buffering. This isn't important to a lot
    of characters, but with characters such as King, it's a vital part to their
    game and you should familiarize yourself so you know what to expect. There's
    three different types of buffering. One you input directional commands and
    those commands stay in a "queue" of sorts and you can use those commands long
    after they've first been inputted. A good example of this is Julia's Mad Axes
    throw. Press QCB, wait a moment, SS and then press f+2. The throw should
    still come out even though you not only waited to finish the final input but
    you also SSed. The second type of buffering is when you input directional
    commands during a move recovery and those inputs still go towards any inputs
    that are pressed after the move has recovered. A prime example is King's
    Giant Swing throw. If you perform u/f+1+2 and it is blocked, during the
    recovery animation you can press f,b,d/b,d,d/f and then press f+1 when
    King recovers and he will immediately come out with Giant Swing. It takes
    timing, but it's very useful. Buffering, however, is MOVE SPECIFIC to both
    the move you're trying to buffer and the move during which the buffer is
    taking place. It's more a matter of the former than it is the latter, but
    there are still moves that will not allow buffering while you recover. The
    final type of buffer is input buffering. This is where you press and hold one
    button and then press another and it registers as a combination of the two.
    For example, press 1 with any character and do their normal jab. Continue to
    hold 1 and then press 3. A 1+3 grab should come out.
    When people say that something is "safe" they mean, depending on the context,
    that either the move on block does not yield free hits. The same is true for
    punishing but reverse. If someone says something is "punishable" it means
    that the move garuntees free hits on block. Both of these terms do not have
    to be used only when you are talking about moves being blocked. It can also
    refer to situations where moves are whiffed or hit.
    Back to frames though. If you still have not grasped the concept of frames
    and how important they are, I'll end with an example. If you press 1 (which
    is just a normal 8-frame jab) and it gets blocked, you are at a +1 frame
    advantage. Thus, if you press 1 again immediately when you recover and the
    opponent ALSO presses 1 (assuming they have a standard 8-frame jab), your
    jab will beat theirs out because it will come out 1 frame faster. So when
    someone says that you are left in positive or negative frames, they mean
    that you are recovering faster or slower than your opponent, respectively.
    This sort of scenerio does not apply when crushes are involved, but that will
    be explained later.
    IV. General Move Properties and the Crush System
    When a move hits or is blocked, a number of different things can occur. I
    will try to hit as many of them as possible. First are stuns. 
    Hit stuns are when a move hits you and your character is thrown into a stun
    animation in which you cannot do anything like move, throw moves out or even
    block. Grouping this into general categories, there are seven different
    types of stuns (Just a note, I did take these groupings from
    tekkenzaibatsu.com, credited at the bottom of this FAQ):
    Double-over or fall-back stun - An example of these two stuns would be
         Kazuya's CH WS+2 or WS+2, respectively. You are stunned for quite a long
         time and there is usually enough time for a JS to hit. However, you can
         press and hold F or tap f twice to break the stun.
    Minor stun - Using Kazuya again, his d/f+1 is a minor stun. It does not lead
         to extra hits and most do not. You are always in negative frames if hit.
    Kneel stun - Again, Kazuya's f+4 on a crouching opponent is an example. Does
         not always lead to extra hits, but can.
    Crumple stun - Bryan's b+2,1. Usually a follow-up jab will start a juggle.
    Crumple fall - Yoshi's b+1+4. On hit, you slowly sink to a Face-up/Feet-
         towards position.
    Crumple fall stun - Law's CH f+2~1. On CH, you slowly sink to a Face-down/
         Feet-away position. Usually extra hits are possible.
    Block stuns are also possible. A block stun occurs when you block a move and
    their character goes into a stun animation that does not occur when the move
    hits or misses. Law's d/b+4 on block is a good example. Extra hits are almost
    always possible.
    Moves that are blocked can also give something called a guard break. This is
    when a character blocks a move and their recovery time seems incredibly long.
    Usually one or both of their hands will fling into the air. Usually extra
    hits are not possible but the majority of the time, the blocking character is
    in negative frames. Law's DSS 3+4 is a good example. (See Law FAQ if you are
    unaware of what "DSS" is)
    Stagger hits are also possible when a move hits. Usually your character will
    grab a part of their body and take a couple steps back. Extra hits are
    sometimes possible.
    TC and TJ are things that occur often in Tekken 5. TC is when you perform a
    move and your character is considered in a crouching position. The list of
    moves which you can duck during a TC move varies but usually depends on the
    how far along in the animation the move is when the opponent throws a high or
    mid. Some moves can crouch only highs, some moves can only crouch highs
    during a certain point in the move, some moves may even go under some mids.
    TJ is the same idea except it usually does not go to the point that TC moves
    do. Rarely will you see a TJ move jump a mid. Sometimes it will CRUSH the mid
    but I cannot think of a case when a move can jump a mid. It's purpose is to
    jump lows.
    There are other blocking scenerios where a move may throw the blocker into a
    crouching position or something like that, but they are too numerous and too
    easy to miss because they're so subtle that it would be hard to cover them
    As stated earlier, the crush system affects whether or not certain move will
    beat out others. If you are familiar with Soul Calibur 2, it had the same
    sort of system. During my example of frames, I gave an example of only jabs.
    Well, if we take that example and twist it a little, it will turn into an
    example of crushes. Let's assume that the character who was at -1 is Law.
    Let's also say that he predicted the opponent would do a low and the opponent
    does do a low instead of a high jab. If the Law player does U/F+4, no matter
    HOW fast the low is, it will ALWAYS be crushed by the flipkick. This is
    because U/F+4 CRUSHES some highs and lows. The crush system works so that
    some moves will always have priority over others. To make it more realistic,
    I suppose. Generally speaking, most lows crush highs and most mids crush 
    lows, but most mids do not crush highs and vice versa. It all balances out in
    the end. Ever gotten pissed off at previous Tekkens when you did a jumping
    move and some stupid low jab hit you out of it? That's the purpose of the
    crush system; to stop that.
    Moves still have priority like they did in other Tekkens in that if moves hit
    at the same time or within a couple frames of each other, one will have
    priority and negate the other even though it might have been a few frames
    V. Grabs, Parries, Reversals, etc.
    Grabs - There are 4 types of grabs in this game. A regular high, a crouch
         grab, a ground grab and an air grab. Everyone has at least three
         different regular high grabs. A select few have the other three types.
         With the rare exception, the majority of those three types can't be
         All high grabs have 3 breaks. 1, 2 or 1+2. The break depends on the
         animation of the grab. In general, whatever side the input for the grab
         is will be the break. For example, everyone's generic 2+4 grab is a 2
         break. However, to be more specific, whatever arm leads during the
         animation of the grab is what side you should break. So, if the right
         arm leads, the break is 2. If the left arm leads, the break is 1. If
         neither arm leads, the break is 1+2. 
         Side grabs are a little different. They can still be broken, but you
         have to break whatever side they are throwing you. So, if they grab your
         right side, break 2 and vice versa. Back grabs cannot be broken.
         There is a new feature in Tekken 5 called "Advancing Grabs." This only
         applies to normal 1+3 or 2+4 grabs. It does not change any properties of
         the grab, but if you press f simultaneously with the grab, your
         character will take an extra step forward while grabbing. This increases
         the range of basic grabs considerable. Rarely will you see anyone doing
         a normal grab that is not advancing.
         It's a pure guessing game, but if you have troubles breaking throws,
         learn to mash something, ANYTHING, when you see a throw. It's better
         than nothing and definately a good place to start. You'll eventually see
         set-ups for certain grabs and break accordingly, but all in good time.
         The breaking system also applies to chain-grabs, though some parts of
         some chains cannot be broken.
    Ultimate Tackle - The ultimate tackle is when character tackles the other to
         the ground and begins pummeling them with jabs. There's a few different
         things that a character can do when on top.
         Jabs - You can do up to six jabs, stopping at whichever one you'd like.
              You can start with 1 or 2 and simply alternate between the two.
              When you hit jab number four, you can switch the order and do the
              same side twice.
         Arm break - Press 1+2 before any jabs or after three and you will do a
              cross arm lock. Not all characters can do this.
         Getting out of the tackle - Pressing the opposite punch of the attacker
              during a certain time will counter the tacklers punch and your
              character will shove the tackler off. If they do a cross arm lock,
              press 1+2,2,2,2,2,2 and you'll reverse the arm lock and you will be
              left standing while your would-be tackler is now on the ground.
         Character exceptions - There are a few exceptions to the rule. The first
              is Yoshimitsu. He CANNOT do anything but a sword stab. That's it.
              Second is Marduk. He has his own special tackle, so if you want to
              know what he can do, look in the movelist. Third is Nina and King.
              Both have special leg breaks they can do which can still be broken
              but instead of 1+2,2,2,2,2,2, the break is 1+2,1,1,1,1,1. Lastly is
              Paul. He has his own special mounted tackle grab that cannot be
              broken. The only way to get out of it is to reverse the first jab,
              which is why you'll see any good player mash 1 if they get tackled
              by Paul.
    Parries and Reversals - This is extremely character specific, but most have
              one or the other.
          Reversals - There's a few characters that when you press b+(1+3_2+4),
              they will make a little counter motion with their arms. If it's
              timed with a mid or high attack, they will reverse the attack and
              inflict good damage on the opponent.
          Special reversals - Some characters, such as Marduk, have unique
              reversal that only they have. Using Marduk, he has two seperate
              reversals. One for highs and one for mids.
          Chickens - A chicken is a reverse of a reverse. You do a chicken by
              pressing f+(1+3_2+4) during a reverse of your move. You must press
              f+ the grab of whatever side the limb being reversed is on. So, if
              you throw out a 1 jab and it gets reversed, you press f+1+3 during
              the reverse. For multiple button presses, it corresponds to the
              limb. So, Law's f+1+2 is both a 1+2 input but he uses his right arm
              and that's the one that gets reversed, so you must chicken with
              f+2+4. Some characters cannot be chickened, such as King. His
              reversals are for kicks and right punches and cannot be chickened.
          Parries - Some characters, like Law or Ling, do not do reversals but
              instead do parries. Parries cannot be chickened or broken. Some
              lead to extra, free hits, like Law's. Others simply toss the limb
              aside, giving the character an edge in momentum.
          Low parries - Pressing d/f during an opponent's low attack will result
              in your character throwing their limb aside. Every character gets
              some free hit off of a low parry. Most characters get juggles.
              Depending on what kind of move you parry determines how fast they
              recover. Generally speaking, low left kicks give the slowest
              recovery. Some lows cannot be low parried.
    Juggles - Pretty simple. If you hit your opponent and they float in the air,
           it's possible to get extra hits in that they can do nothing about but
           take. A move that launches the opponent is called a juggle starter or
    VI. Walls and Techrolling
    Techrolling - Simple concept. When you hit the ground, albeit from a
    juggle or off of a wall, if you press any button, you will roll into the
    foreground or background. If you press a punch, you will tech roll into the
    background; if you press a kick, you'll roll into the foreground. You can
    also hit f or b when you hit the ground. B will send you rolling backwards, f
    will make you do a spring-up kick or a pop-up if you land on your stomach.
    There are such things as slamdowns and air-stuns, however. A slowdown does
    just that... slams you to the ground. If this happens, you cannot techroll or
    do any of the options listed above. Air-stuns act in the same manner, however
    you are not slammed down but stunned in the air and unable to techroll once
    you hit the ground. Important to know in some situations because sometimes
    these will lead to extra hits.
    If you sit on the ground for a moment, you have some more options. One is
    simply press U and you will stand straight up. If you press a punch, you will
    roll right or left, depending on which punch you press. If you press 3 or 4,
    you will do either a low or mid knockdown kick, respectively. You can also
    do a spring-up by pressing b,b+3+4. Some characters have special spring-ups
    where they spin as well and are left BT. If you press f or b and allow your
    character to do a roll, then press f+1+2, they will dive at the opponent.
    The dives can only be done if you land Face-up/Feet-towards. There are
    exceptions where a character cannot do one and does the other or can't do
    anything, whatever.
    Walls - First, and most importantly for any of you Tekken 4 players out
    there, there's no wall-tech. If you hit the wall, you are staying there until
    you hit the ground. Once you hit the ground, though, you can techroll or do
    anything discussed in the above section, depending on how you land.
    There are three types of wall splats. The first two are high and low. 
    Obviously, if you get a high wall splat, more damage is garunteed. The third
    type is a side wall splat where the opponent is left in a standing stun that
    looks almost like they were nailed in the side and are about to faint.
    Usually, just jabbing someone in this position will start a juggle.
    VII. Random Information
    Ki Charge - This is when you press all four buttons at the same time and you
         do a power-up and your hands glow red. When this happens everything you
         throw out will register as a CH, whether it is or not. However, you
         cannot block and if they hit YOU it's registered as a CH.
    Running attacks - Everyone has the same basic running moves: f,f,f (which
         starts a run)+(3_4_1+2). f,f,f+3 is a jumping kick that gives +10 on
         block. f,f,f+4 is a slide that trips the opponent. And f,f,f+1+2 is a
         running head dive. This is just generally speaking. Some characters will
         do their own little thing, like King does a stronger version of his
         d+3+4 instead of the generic f,f,f+4 slide. 
    Arcade Mode, Customizables, etc. - This FAQ is intended to improve your
         gameplay, not beat the computer or look pretty. If you want all that
         info, go to tekkenzaibatsu.com.
    VIII. Tier Rankings and Misconceptions
    Tekken is divided into tiers. The best characters being at the top, worst at
    the bottom. It's generally excepted that the top four in Tekken 5 are Steve,
    Nine, Bryan and Feng, Steve being the only agreed upon as the best. The
    order of the other three are debatable. Law probably heads the middle-tier
    and then it gets muddled from there. It's also generally accepted that Lei is
    the bottom of the barrel, but Tekken 5 is still fairly new so things could
    And note on tiers: Tiers are based on "theory-fighting." In other words, the
    tiers are created by looking at character match-ups on paper as well as 
    tourny results. Tiers usually shift a lot throughout the lifetime of a game,
    especially in the middle. All things considered, though, every character in
    the game can win. It's that simple. If you're good enough at the game, you
    can beat anyone WITH anyone. There have been great players in the past that
    have taken low-tier characters to the top before. The only reason tiers
    exist are to show who has the easiest time winning.
    IX. Thanks, Credits, Contact
    Pretty much the only thing that helped me write this FAQ was
    www.tekkenzaibatsu.com. In my opinion, it's the most comprehensive site for
    anything Tekken. It got me started on the game and has gotten me better
    beyond anything I thought I could be. I have yet to find a site that can
    give you more information than that site can.
    If you would like to contact me, hit me up at yadamnskippy502@excite.com.

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