What it is

Stances are poses that some characters can take.


For the most part, stances are special modes that are only available to some characters (with a few exceptions, like the Stand system in the JoJo games that gives it almost all of the characters).

When in a different stance, you will be able to perform some different moves; likewise, some other moves will be unusable unless you switch to the proper stance to perform them.

Many stances leave you unable to block, or at a disadvantage somehow.

Some stances undo themselves after a certain amount of time, and some are permanent (i.e., you can’t go back, or not easily at any rate).

There are many cases where using stances at the right times open up an avenue to powerful combos.


Super special moves and MAX modes and such that require the expense of the power meter, as is common in 2D games, temporarily allowing you heightened abilities are not generally considered stances.


Simply having stances makes a character a bit complicated, so it can be a pretty good sign that a character is aimed at advanced players.

Some stance-using characters

  • Gen (in the Street Fighter Alpha series)
  • Futaba Hotaru (in and after NEO·GEO Battle Coliseum)
  • Chin Gensai (King of Fighters)
  • Jeon Hun (King of Fighters)
  • May Lee (KOF 2001–2)
  • Chae Rim (KOF Maximum Impact)
  • Mignon Beart (KOF Maximum Impact)
  • Jivatma (KOF Maximum Impact)
  • Xiao Long (KOF Maximum Impact)
  • Gim Gap-Hwan (in Capcom vs. SNK)
  • Amakusa Shirō Tokisada (in Samurai Shodown VI)
  • Kōryū (last boss from Last Blade 2)
  • Siegfried Stauffen (Soul)
  • Kazama Akira (Rival Schools)
  • Minadzuki Kyōko (Rival Schools)
  • Zaki (Rival Schools)
  • Archer (Fate/Unlimited Codes)
  • Gilgamesh (Fate/Unlimited Codes)
  • Doronjo (Tatsunoko vs. Capcom)

Further reading

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Based off the article on the wiki, edited on 30 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 9 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.