Gauge charger

What it is

The act of deliberately charging the power meter can be a very powerful technique when it pays off.

In most games, this is done by landing hits, and whiffing a lot of moves that won’t leave you very open (not necessarily zoning).


In a few games, there is a gauge charger as a specific action that can be performed on its own.

Gauge charger as a system

A gauge charging system is implemented in a few games, such as the Art of Fighting series, and early King of Fighters games.

By using the specified button input, the meter is charged. Between rounds, the power meter is often emptied (KOF ’98 UM being the notable exception).


When one uses the gauge charger, the character will pause in a particular pose, being visibly defenseless during that period.

However, while charging, there will be no immediate response if one uses the directional input, so it is possible to buffer in a special move command and stuff the opponent if they come in with an attack (much like a reversal).


In KOF ’95, you can also hold down A and B, then hit C repeatedly with careful timing, causing an alternation between a taunt (BC) and a gauge charging (ABC).

Also, some games allow you to cancel the recovery on some normal moves with the gauge charger.

Some games with a gauge charging system

  • Art of Fighting trilogy
  • KOF ’94–’96, and Extra Mode in ’97 and ’98.
  • Capcom vs. SNK (SNK groove) and Capcom vs. SNK 2 (S groove)
  • Daraku Tenshi
  • Melty Blood Actress Again (Full-moon style)

Some gauge charging moves

  • Sanchin no Kata (Takuma in KOF ’99)
  • Kiryoku Jūjitsu (Mr. Karate in Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition)
  • Kasshin Hadō (Mr. Karate II in KOF Maximum Impact)
  • Kiai Nyūkon (Ghengis Khan in World Heroes Perfect)
  • Psycho Charge α (Juli in Street Fighter Alpha 3, in Dramatic Battle only)

Further reading

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Based off the article on the wiki (1, 2), edited on or before 6 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 6 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.