Option pressing

What it is not

The “options” referred to in this article regard forcing the other player to choose an option.

Option select” is a term concerning game systems, wherein players may benefit (or suffer from) ambiguous behavior from the engine.

What it is

Option pressing is one of the tactics used in fighting games. As the name implies, you have a number of options in many situations, and your opponent has corresponding options at the same time.


In fighting games, there are no such things as perfect actions. In regards to certain actions, there are invariably some sorts of coping strategies. Using these, one presses the opponent with a number of alternatives; with some degree of probability, they are strategies that can make attacks succeed.

The most commonly used option pressing is the most basic mixup – where the attack options are between an overhead hitbox and a low hitbox; these cases give roughly one-half probability of hitting. If you add other alternatives, the success rate could rise to two-thirds or three-fourths.

Basic option pressing


An extremely easy setting in which to press options is when doing meaties against an opponent’s wakeup.

Among the moves that the character you use has, there are often overhead moves, low moves, and throws (particularly ones that cannot be throw escaped). For the sake of argument, let’s say all these are viable for your character; the rate of success in regards to the opponent’s action would be as below:

  • Jump or flailing

    If they manage to jump, only a strike with a high strike height will be effective. Against flailing, only a strike with fast startup will be effective. The rate of success is zero to two thirds.

  • Block
  • But for either strike, you can almost expect success. For both standing and crouching, if the throw comes out, it’s settled. The rate of success is one to two thirds.

As for the basic forms of evasion methods in relation to meaties, when reading into the opponent’s movements, there are the below actions.

  • Block
  • The safest form, which can evade strikes. Usually, this is a crouching block in 2D games, and a standing block in 3D games.

  • Jump
  • Hold the directional input up. As opposed to blocks, it will evade throws.

  • Invincible move
  • Can check both strikes and throws. However, if it is blocked, it will often leave you open.

  • Emergency evasion system

    Depending on the game, there may be an action common to all characters that that renders them essentially invincible (such as the backstep or emergency evasion). Other than the opening at the end of it, it is quite possibly defenseless against throws, so if the opponent predicted it, you will take a severe countermeasure.

Offense after a jump

When offending with a jump, assuming the opponent doesn’t get out an invincible anti-air move, you can press options using an “empty” jump.

If they aren’t doing a standing block, they will take a jump attack; if they aren’t doing a crouching block, they will take an empty jump and a low attack; and if they don’t jump, they will take a throw.

A special option press

With characters that have projectiles split between low and high levels, one can turtle with both projectiles and an anti-air move (à la SSFIIT O. Sagat or KOF98UM Krauser). The odd bit is, with so much room covered, this entire playstyle is option pressing.

The high projectile is defenseless at foot-level, the low projectile can be evaded by jumps, and the anti-air move leaves you more open. There is a possibility that you can be approached on the ground.

Further reading

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Based off the article on the kakuge.com wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 1 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.