Frame Data describes how much of an advantage or disadvantage a character is at after a move he or she performs is on block or hit.
This is how to perform the attack. May include alternative inputs to perform the same attack.
This is the hit level of the attack. h = High, m = Mid, l = Low. Capital letters mean the attack can also hit grounded opponents. Sm = Special Mid, meaning the attack can be blocked either standing or crouching, and can also be low-parried.
This is how much damage the attack does on successful hit. If he move has multiple hits, it will display how much damage each individual hit would inflict.
This is how many frames the attack would take after the last input is pressed until the attack’s actual impact. This does not include input frames for multiple directional buttons (however they may be listed in parenthesis).
This is how many frames of advantage or disadvantage the attacker would be if the opponent were to block the attack.
This is how many frames of advantage or disadvantage the attacker would be if the opponent were to get hit by the attack.
This is how many frames of advantage or disadvantage the attacker would be if the attack were to hit while the opponent was trying to perform another attack.
Negative On Block
If a move is -8 on block, the attacking character cannot do anything for 8 frames. This allows the blocking character 8 frames to do anything (in a sense, giving the blocker +8 frames). If the blocking character has an 8 frame jab, this would be an ideal time to perform the attack, as it’s also free damage. Since the attacker cannot do anything for 8 frames and the blocker can perform his 8 frame jab, this is often referred to as an 8 frame punish.
Now let’s say a move is -15 on block. The attacker, this time, cannot do anything for 15 frames. The blocker, in this situation, can still use his 8 frame jab since he or she is free to do anything for those 15 frames. However, this also allows other attacks which may be 10, 12, or 14 frames which may deal stronger damage. Hopkicks in general, are usually 15 frames, and since they’re launchers, they can lead to even stronger damage through a combo. This would make hopkicks as the ideal 15 frame punish.
In general, the best punishers are those that can lead to the most damage. If something on block allows for a free hit, take it. If it allows for a free launcher, even better.
“Safe” On Block
Some moves may be “safe” on block, despite how negative they may be, due to pushback. In this situation, some characters may not have the reach to punish.
Positive On Block
Some moves may be positive. Let’s say a move is +5 on block. This would mean the attacker can do anything for 5 frames (and in the same sense, the blocker is at -5 frames). If the attacker tries to immediately do an 8 frame jab, the opponent can still block it. Now let’s say the blocking opponent tries to attack back with his own 8 frame jab. Since the blocker is at -5 frames, the attacker’s 8 frame jab will be coming out in 8 frames while the blocker’s would come out in 13 frames (8+5=13). Since 8 frames is faster than 13 frames, the attacker’s attack would be the first to hit.
In the same situation, if the attacker were to do a 13 frame attack instead, both attacks would be coming out at the same speed, and would trade hits.
Some moves like the generic Running 3 give false advantages. On block, it gives +17 frames. The attacker can still do anything for 17 frames but the blocker can also block or duck any incoming attacks.. he just can’t attack back during those 17 frames.
Attacks On Whiff
Attacks on “whiff” offer a special situation. There is no frame data for whiffed attacks. However, most attacks on whiff will have the attacker to recover very poorly. If an attack which would usually be -14 on block, were to whiff, the recovery could so bad that an opponent could use a 17 frame attack as a punish. This is why backdashing and sidestep/sidewalking can be very advantageous, turning a defensive maneuver into an offensive attack.
The whiff situation also apply for moves that can be ducked. If a move that was high were to be ducked, the recovery could be so bad, it could allow for something like a launching WS+2…
Speed Of Attacks
Frame data also describes the “speed” of attacks. Tekken runs at a rate of 60 frames per second (60fps), and each attack comes out at a certain number of frames.Let’s take the 8 frame jab example. From the time the button for the jab is pressed, it would take 8 frames before impact to occur.
Some moves may require directional inputs before the attack can come out. In the frame data tables, the speed of moves are listed as the last input is pressed. Paul’s Deathfist (QCF+2), for example, comes out at 13 frames. This, however, does not include the input frames to execute the attack. In Tekken, one input can be entered during every frame. So for Paul, the fastest possible speed to perform his Deathfist would be: d (1 frame), d/f (1 frame), f+2 (13 frames) = 1+1+13 = 15 frames.
By this logic, f,f moves would come out at their listed speed+1. Neutrals (N) before another direction are usually counted as +1, while Neutrals before a button are usually counted as +2.
It’s also possible to buffer inputs after a block or hit to shorten the time to perform an attack.