What it is

A “delay” refers to a deferred cancel (usually). As such, it can be required for the cancel to happen (e.g., if the buffer doesn’t hold the input long enough), or for a desired effect (e.g., a combo requires it). Thus, we have two common definitions:

  1. To put off a cancel. A “delayed cancel”. A “late cancel”.
  2. To put off the timing of or for an add-on move.


In conduct

In lots of cases, it can be used in general conduct.


If your normal move is blocked, then if you don’t cancel as quickly as possible, you may cause your opponent to think you have made them an opening, tempting a counterattack attempt; when their blockstun comes undone, if they advance, you may already be ready to hit them with a projectile or something due to your delay.

Using this, you will raise your chances of more safely being able to use patterns that aren’t actually cancels, or use, say, a teleport move after a normal move.


Making someone block a poke and being aware of the block, you can can often settle the matter with a throw right around the time their blockstun goes away.

By doing this, your chances of landing a throw that does lots of damage will be higher, and along with strikes, will press the opponent with two options.

In combos

Delays can also be useful in combos.


For example, let’s say you were using a 2-hit launching move via an add-on input (remember, just an example). By delaying the timing of said input to right before you are forced into a recovery, you could get the second hit to... well, hit.

With this, other than being able to reduce the opening if you’ve been blocked, you can heighten the opponent’s floating, and widen your window for a juggler.


In The King of Fighters ’97 and later in the same series, canceling from a normal move into a command move may change the command move’s properties, but the technique of delaying the cancel can allow some of these to be done without the properties changing.

By using this, overhead moves that would have upright hitboxes can remain with overhead hitboxes, and you may fool opponents into thinking they can safely block crouching.

Also, moves that would become uncancelable may be done cancelably this way.

Further reading

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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.