Chip K.O.

What it is

You attain a chip K.O. by performing a K.O. via chip damage. This is one of the ways to win by chipping (other methods including chipping right before a time over to maximize stalling time or as a wimpy turnaround).


By looking at an opponent’s lifebar when they do not have much left, by getting them in contact with special moves that have a high enough hit count, you can beat them even if they block, due to the chip damage they will take.

This is often effective on players who rely on blocking as a crutch when they land in a pinch.


However, a player who reads ahead and correctly guesses when (and that) you will attempt such a thing will use something like an invincible move to counterattack, or use a guard cancel or something to avoid too much chip damage.


Some games (e.g., the JoJo games, the Melty Blood games, and the Arcana Heart games) disallow you from performing a chip K.O. at all.

In other games, there will occasionally be special treatment given when a chip K.O. occurs, such as a different way of collapsing, or a different voice (see below as well).


Depending on the game and the circumstances of a match, a chip K.O. may be considered cheap. There certainly are a lot of people who don’t like it, and it can certainly get beginners upset.


For example, Street Fighter II and KOF players tend not to view it as quite so unfair (it happens pretty often in these games, in fact).

On the other hand, Street Fighter Alpha and its sequel showed a “cheese” icon for chipping one’s way to victory. Street Fighter III and Street Fighter Alpha 3 indicated this with C for “cheap!”, and the Darkstalkers series also dubbed this a “Cheap Finish”. So at least at Capcom, this tactic is accepted, if grudgingly.

Further reading

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Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 8 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.