Charge move

What it is

A charge move, in its most common use, involves “charging” (holding) the stick in a direction or a button down, then releasing that charge.

There are two more obscure kinds of “charge” move that are covered further below: holding down a button waiting to release a move, and holding down a button and letting it go to activate a move.

Charge move

Usually, a charge move entails either holding the backward direction (4) or the downward direction (2), then hitting its opposite direction (6 or 8 respectively) and the appropriate button.

For example, a command of “4 (charge) 6 + P” means that (in theory) you hold 4 for a certain amount of time, then input 6 + P when you are ready to use the move.

There are some more exotic charge move commands (usually from older Capcom offerings), such as “4 (charge) 646” and “1 (charge) 319”.


The first thing you should know about charge moves of this type is that (in 2D games, at least) holding the 1 direction counts as holding both the 4 and 2 at the same time; plus, you will be ready for a crouching block.

It is possible to begin charging during jumps and when knocked down; the former is essential for combos and the latter for reversals.

Some games will let you begin a charge before a round starts, so that you can use a special move at the very beginning of a round if you want; in this case, it is important to keep your options open, particularly if you have a projectile.


Once again, it is worth noting that charges that allow you to hold the 1 or 4 directions allow you to input the command while blocking, and begin the move immediately after; for moves with quick startup, this is exceedingly good at counterattacking.


The particulars of charge move execution vary from game to game, so a charge character may be easy to use, but not necessarily good for beginners.

Charge a move’s button press

Mostly found in 2D fighting games, there are some moves for which you may continue to hold the button down when you press it for the command input. This will cause your character to wait until either you let go, call it off (which is not always possible), or wait long enough (at which point they will just do it anyway).


There are not that many moves that allow you to do this, but they are frequently found for special moves and super special moves in the KOF series.


Some moves gain additional properties when you do this, such as higher damage the longer you hold it in, or becoming unblockable if you hold it as long as possible.

Other moves don’t give you anything for doing this other than the ability to play around with the timing, which is certainly still an advantage in many cases.

Some moves like this allow you to call off the move by pressing some other kind of button while still holding the primary button.

Charge a button on its own

There are a few moves out there that are activated by holding down a button, then letting go. This is operated without the stick.

You obviously cannot use the held button itself while you are holding it, and there may be other restrictions imposed due to it. This makes it pretty difficult to use these moves at all, but on rare occasions, they can pay off.

Further reading

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Based off the articles on the wiki (1, 2, 3), edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 1 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.