Easy Guide to Numpad Notation in Fighting Games

    What are these numbers???

    Have you ever wondered how gamers talk about fighting game moves? They use something called “numpad notation”. It’s like a secret code but easy to learn! You will see it a lot in fighting game content, so it is essential to understand it. In this guide, you will learn about numpad notation, its importance, and how to read it in fighting games.

    Numpad Notation and Its Importance

    A visual display of numpad notation and how it works in fighting games

    Numpad notation is a way to write joystick movements and button presses in fighting games. It uses numbers like on a keyboard’s numpad. Imagine your joystick or directional pad as a numpad. For example, 2 means down, and 6 means forward. Additionally, press 8 for an upward jump, 7 or 9 for diagonal jumps, and 2 for crouching. The middle number, 5, is marked as no input. 

    Keep in mind that some games will describe certain attacks differently. For example, in Street Fighter, you have punches and kicks. Each of them has light, medium, and heavy versions. 5LP is standing light attack and 2LP is crouching light attack. 5LK is standing light kick and 2LK is crouching light kick. In other games, it is only described as light, medium, and heavy attacks. They have fewer attack buttons than Street Fighter, making it easy to describe. For example, in Granblue Fantasy Versus, 5L is standing light attack, and 2L is crouching light attack.

    Using numpad notation is crucial because it’s clear and universal. Moreover, it helps players from different countries share tips and strategies. It’s also more straightforward than writing out the names of moves. This makes learning and discussing fighting games more accessible.

    Special Moves and Combos

    Ken doing a tatsu on Honda. If you learn numpad notation in fighting games, you can easily know how to say this move in notations

    As you may know, fighting games have special moves. To do this, you must move the joystick in a pattern and then hit a button. For example, 236 means move down, then down-forward, then forward. This is called a quarter circle forward (qcf). There are other patterns, like 623, for a dragon punch motion. Additionally, there is a motion called half circle (hc), which is essentially done by doing 41236. You start from holding back, then moving all the way down till you get to the right, which is 6.

    Additionally, moves often combine directions and button presses. For example, 236P means move down, down-forward, forward, then press punch. You use this input motion to summon a Hadoken in Street Fighter. Sometimes, you need to hold or release a button for a special move to come out. This is shown with square brackets. ‘[X]’ means hold the button, with X being any number you must hold. For example, Guiile’s Sonic Boom input is [4]6P. You must hold back for a few moments, then input forward and punch simultaneously.

    Combos are a series of moves that hit one after another. They are also written in numpad notation. Symbols like ‘,’ (comma), ‘~’ (tilde), and ‘>’ (right arrow) are used in combos. A comma shows a link between moves. You have to input the next move as soon as it’s available. A right arrow means you must cancel one move into another. An example is doing a crouching medium kick into a Hadoken in Street Fighter. A tilde means do one move right after another. 

    Numpad Notation in 3D Fighting Games

    However, the notation is slightly different in games like Tekken, Dead or Alive, and Virtua Fighter. While some things still apply such as quarter circle and half circle motions, there are some differences. Below is a list of how numpad notations are for 3D games (Use the picture above for great reference):

    • Left Punch – (Square/X)= 1
      Right Punch – (Triangle/Y)= 2
      Left Kick – (X/A)= 3
      Right Kick – (Circle/B)= 4
      Both Punch – (Square+Triangle/X+Y)= 1+2
      Right Punch + Left Kick – (Triangle+X/Y+A)= 2+3
      Both Kick – (X+Circle/A+B)= 3+4
      Left Punch + Right Kick – (Square+Circle/X+B)= 1+4
    • Backward Input- (Tap Back : away from opponent)= b
      Forward Input- (Tap Forward : toward opponent)= f
      Up Input- (Tap Up Directional)= u
      Down Input- (Tap Down Directional)= d
      Up Backward- (Tap Back+Up)= u/b
      Up Forward- (Tap Forward+Up)= u/f
      Down Backward- (Tap Back+Down)= d/b
      Down Forward- (Tap Forward+Down)= d/f
    • WS = While Standing or While Rising
      N = Joystick/D-Pad Neutral
      WR = While Running
      , = Followed By
      ~ = Immediately After
      + = At The Same Time
      cd = Crouch Dash (f,N,d,d/f usually)

    Tips for Beginners When Learning Numpad Notation in Fighting Games

    Street Fighter chun li

    Seeing all of these numbers in this guide might overwhelm you. But don’t worry, this can be fixed! It’s important to visualize your joystick or directional pad as a numpad. This helps you remember the numbers and where to move your thumb or fingers. The more you do this, the more natural it will become.

    On YouTube, there are tons of combo videos for different fighting games. These videos will use notations to describe the combos. You can practice memorizing numpad notations by looking at a specific notation and trying to remember how you would input it on the controller. Apply these tips, and you will learn numpad notation in no time!

    Numpad notation is a vital part of fighting games. It’s a simple, universal way to describe complex moves. It helps players communicate, learn, and improve together. If you’re new to fighting games, take your time understanding and practicing this notation. It will make your gaming experience much better!

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