What is buffering?

Some normals can be cancelled into special moves, and some special moves can be cancelled into CAs. You can even chain both, normal -> special -> CA.

Cancelling means you have completed the inputs for the next move before the current move has finished, and it stops the current move immediately and the next comes out.

Every move, normal, special, etc has a certain number of frames that are considered startup, active, and then recovery. Some moves have more than one active phase, if they hit more than once.

Let's say s is startup, a is active, and r is recover, and c is cancelable frames, and let's say you're doing a crouch medium kick.


s s s s s a a r r r r r r r
- - - - - c c c c - - - - -

Now say you want to cancel cr.mk into tatsu, we'll overlay that.


s s s s s a a r r r r r r r
- - - - - c c c c - - - - -

--------------s s s a--..etc

The motion for tatsu was done during the frames of cr.mk, that is called buffering the motion/move. Notice there is a window (marked by c) where the button for tatsu needs to be hit in order to make it cancel. These windows are often during or around the active frames of a move. Soemtimes you can only cancel say, the first hit of a move, but not the second, that's because there is only a cancel window during the first hit. Sometimes there are multiple cancel windows, like I mentioned, often in multi hit moves.

So that's how cancelling works. But your question is about buffering, and the terms are sometimes confused. Cancelling is when you actually do cancel a move.

Buffering a move is when do the motion/input for a move you would like to cancel, ONLY if it hits. This means you watch closely to see if a move hits or is blocked, and based on that, in this case determines whether you push the final MK or not.

So you always buffer the motion in case it hits, but you don't always push the final button, in this case MK, until you have visually confirmed your first move, in this case cr.mk has hit. This is the basis of a hit confirm.

So that's technically what the words cancelling and buffering mean, but there is one more case you're going to hear buffering a lot.

cr.mk cancelled to tatsu happens too fast for humans to visually do a hit confirm. You can totally visually confirm a hit on other moves, but probably not cr.mk xx tatsu.

The next rule is: Cancels will not happen on whiff, in this case even if you push the final mk on cr.mk xx d,db,b,mk, if the first cr.mk whiffs, no tatsu will come out. Cancels only happen on hit or block.

Let's say your tatsu is unsafe on block. What people do is throw out the whole string, if the first cr.mk whiffs nothing happens, no tatsu. If you manage to tag someone with the cr.mk, the buffered tatsu DOES come out, and it seems like some kind of psychic hit confirm. People will refer to this as buffering too.

The downside is if you throw it it and they block the first cr.mk, it didn't whiff so the unsafe tatsu does come out, and you get punished.

Hard to explain in text, so hope that helps.

/r/StreetFighter Thread Parent