Buffered input

What it is

A buffer can be imagined as a device that keeps track of input that has already come forth; once a certain condition is met (such as a short time limit or the completion of some discernable pattern), the input is put into action.

Because these are designed to make your life a lot easier at simple actions by fudging the results a little bit, it is also possible to (in many cases, anyway) fudge things around so that the buffer allows you to perform something that would be harder (often nigh impossible!) to do without its helpful interference.

With buffered input, you can pack in a sequence of things in one go. This is great for all sorts of neat tricks, but the most useful purpose is still its original intention: making input manageable.


The primary function of buffered input is to allow one to perform command motions for special moves and super special moves and such. Some games have pretty long buffers, making them very easy to use (in particular? The KOF series for one).

This comes in handy for reversals, combos, and counterattacks especially.


The longest buffer of all is probably that of Art of Fighting 2.

Use in combos

By splitting apart the command, buffered input allows you to more easily input difficult cancels.

Basic pattern:

  • Ryū: two crouching LK’s into Shinkū Hadōken
    • LK, LK, 236236 + P requires less speed performed as
    • 2 + LK, 362 + LK, 36 + P

Pattern that enters a jump:

  • Asamiya Athena: ascending jumping LP into Phœnix Fang Arrow:
    • The highly exacting “9 + A, 236236 + K” can also be performed as
    • 2369 + A, 236 + K
  • This particular stick motion is often known as a “Tiger Knee”, because of Sagat’s so-called move requiring this input in some games.

Use in general conduct

Sometimes, you will find that it is to your advantage to do the command input without pressing the button; then when you see an opportunity, you press the button and the command is ready to go counterattack or stuff the opponent. This can be that little extra edge you need sometimes.

Pattern for doing a special move after a dash

  • Clark Still: Dash into an Ultra Argentine Backbreaker
    • Normally, this would be 66 then 6321463214 + P. But then recognize that the first 6 is unnecessary because you already have the input there with the dash. But taking advantage of the buffer...
    • 6321466, 3214 + P

Pattern for a counterattack after blocking

  • Jang Geo-han: From a block, spring into Tekkyū Daikaiten
    • 4 + P repeatedly (no need to let go)

Reversal pattern

  • Enter the stick portion of the command, then mash the button (in KOF, just hold it)

Pattern performing a midair move as quickly as possible, from the ground

Further reading

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Based off the article on the kakuge.com wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 1 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.