Command move

What it is

Mostly in 2D fighting games, and in most of them, command moves (aka command normals; in Japanese, they are tokushu waza, which means ‘special move’... but don’t confuse that with the English special move for a moment!) are moves that you can perform by having the directional input a particular way and pressing a button.


Unlike a special move, there is no need to do any stick twirling. In some cases, command moves are performed by simultaneous presses, making the stick input unnecessary.

Command moves tend to be like slightly special normals; e.g., the startup could be slower, in return for an overhead hitbox, or the moves could be more conducive to tactics during general conduct.

These moves usually have names, but there are plenty of games where they don’t.

Specifications in some games

  • In Breakers, the combo pattern of normal move command move ≫ special move was made possible. This style was adopted in The King of Fighters ’97 and every KOF game since. Command moves can be used to increase the damage, and because many of them have slow motions, combo command technique is made slightly easier due to them in many cases. Also, in the KOF series, command moves executed via a cancel will often have altered properties.
    • In fact, for some reason, command moves practically disappeared from KOF ’96, but in KOF ’98 on and afterwards, pretty much all characters except Ralf, Eiji, and Krauser have them.
  • In the Darkstalkers and Marvel series, they can be included in chain combos. Furthermore, in the Marvel type games, command moves are cancelable. From these influences, this is often the case in many other combo games.
  • In The Rumble Fish andAkatsuki Blitzkampf, the rush combos (similar to chain combos) can be further cancelled and tied into command moves.

Further reading

Original CSS design by
Attributed (but not necessarily endorsed) under
Creative Commons 3.0.
Based off the article on the wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 1 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.