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The buttons on the arcade are typically laid out in the following fashion:

Arcade-Button-LPunch.png Arcade-Button-HPunch.png

Arcade-Button-LKick.png Arcade-Button-HKick.png

L stands for light attacks, and H stands for hard attacks. In general, light attacks are less powerful and faster, and hard attacks are more powerful but slower. Capcom players will notice the absence of the middle attack buttons. However, many Capcom fighters can access their medium attacks now by press left or right and the light punch or light kick buttons.


The joystick works intuitively in that pressing left will generally move your character left, and pressing right will generally move your character right. But it is more important to think in terms of relative direction.

  • If your character is facing to the right, then pressing left on the joystick means backward, and pressing right on the joystick means forward.
  • If your character is facing to the left, then pressing left on the joystick means forward, and pressing right on the joystick means backward.

For this reason, all instructions are given with respect to forward and backward since the left and right directions change purpose when your character switches directions.

The following directions assume that your character is facing right, the starting direction of every fight for player one, who begins on the left side:

Jump straight up.
Arcade-Stick-UL.png Arcade-Stick-UR.png
Jump diagonally backwards. Jump diagonally forwards, possibly over your opponent's head, switching directions.
Arcade-Stick-Left.png Arcade-Stick-Right.png
Block an imminent attack, or move away from your opponent. Move toward your opponent.
Arcade-Stick-DL.png Arcade-Stick-DR.png
Blocking crouch. Crouch, avoiding high attacks.
Crouch, avoiding high attacks.

Super Jumps[edit]

Press Down, then immediately Up-Back, Up, or Up-Forward to perform a Super Jump in the corresponding direction. Super Jumps are slightly higher than normal jumps, as well as much quicker and create an afterimage of the character.


Tap Forward twice to quickly dash forward one step. Tap Back twice to dash backward one step. These are both useful for dodging attacks. Once Dash & Run (Secret 77) has been unlocked and purchased from the Secret Shop, Dashing can be disabled from the Game Options menu. Note that both Dash and Run cannot both be enabled at the same time.


Unlock and purchase Dash & Run (Secret 77) in the Secret Shop to enable the Run option in the Game Options menu. Tap Forward, then press and hold Forward to make a character run forward. This is an easy way of rapidly moving around the screen during a fight. Note that both Dash and Run cannot both be enabled at the same time.


Press Light Punch and Light Kick together to perform a forward roll. While rolling, a character is invulnerable to attack. If performed close to an opponent, your character will end up traveling behind them.

How to Play[edit]

Match Play[edit]

At the start of each game, a player must select a Groove (see below), and then select a team of fighters, in accordance to the rules of the Flexible Ratio System. Each character has a number of Ratio Points, from 1 to 4. Characters are assigned ratio points based on their strength and rank/importance to their respective story lines. Teams are composed of fighters such that their ratios add up to 4. This means you may select:

  • Four Ratio 1s
  • One Ratio 2, two Ratio 1s
  • Two Ratio 2s
  • One Ratio 3, one Ratio 1
  • One Ratio 4

Before a match, each player will select the order in which the team's character will fight.

For the home console versions, an alternate rule may be chosen in Pair Match Mode. In this mode, every character is considered a Ratio 2 character, and thus all teams are strictly composed of two fighters. A team may consist of the same character twice. Secret 71 must be unlocked and purchased to play this mode.


Each battle consists of an elimination match between your team and your opponent's team. At the start of each battle, the first fighter of both player's team begins with a full health bar. When one player drives the other player's health bar to zero, that match is over, and the losing player's next fighter takes over. The winning fighter regains a segment of health in proportion to the remaining time. The first player to defeat the entire opposing team wins the match and moves on to the next battle. If a single player loses to the computer, the game is over and the player must continue to rematch the recent opponent. If two players knock each other out at the same time, a double K.O. occurs and both fighters are eliminated.

While a fight is in progress, a timer counts down from 99 to 0 (roughly one minute in duration). If the timer runs out, the fighter with the most life is awarded the win.


To block an attack, you must hold the joystick in the opposite direction that you are facing. You must press backward and down to block low attacks. Normally, you won't take any damage when blocking an attack, but if the attack is a special move, or a Super Art, you take a small amount of damage (roughly one pixel of health per hit) known as block damage. You may also block in mid-air by pushing back while you are off the ground. Some attacks are unblockable.

Guard Crush and Dizzy[edit]

If a player continues to block attacks for an extended period of time, they risk having their defense broken with a Guard Crush. When this is about to happen, the character's Vitality Gauge will flash red. Characters suffering a Guard Crush are stunned for a second and open to attacks. If a character is hit multiple times without dealing damage themselves, they risk getting dizzied. In this state, they are defenseless and unable to move. Recover from dizziness by pressing the Punch and Kick buttons rapidly.

Special Attacks[edit]

In addition to normal attacks there are attacks known as command moves and special moves. Command moves are special combinations of a joystick direction and a particular attack button that produces a different attack than when the button is pressed alone. A special move is a move that requires a more complicated joystick motion and an attack button to perform. Special attacks can be blocked like any other attack, but they do what's known as "tick damage." That is, even when blocked, they removed a single hit point from your health bar. Most special moves have a pause associated with them that leave you vulnerable to attack if you miss the opponent, or "whiff".

Super Moves[edit]

In addition to the health bar shown at the top of the screen, each player has a super meter at the bottom. Depending on the Groove selected, the super meter fills up under different conditions, but usually by attacking and blocking attacks. See the Groove selection below for more information on how to execute Super Moves. When they are successfully executed, the game will freeze for a brief moment, and then the animation and attack associated with the super move begins. If the super move connects and is not blocked, it will do substantial damage to the opponent. Super moves can be used to turn the tide of a battle. Every character typically has more than one unique super move.


Performing a Special Move the instant the character gets up after being knocked down will make them flash white for a split-second. This also works while performing a Special Move while blocking an opponent's attack. In both cases, if the Special Move hits, it will deal slightly more damage than normal. This will also work with Super Combo attacks.


The last form of attack available in this game is a throw. Throws are executed by standing immediately next to your opponent, pressing the joystick either towards or away, and pressing a punch or kick button. Some characters are even capable of performing throws in mid-air. If performed correctly, your character will grab the opponent and toss them to the ground in a manner specific to your character's fighting style. Different characters have a different array of throws, so while some characters can throw with the medium or hard kick button, not all characters can. Some grabs can inflict extra damage by pressing buttons or moving the joystick during the animation. Throws are unblockable, but they are escapable.

Throw Escapes[edit]

Players can escape being thrown by immediately pressing forward or backward and any hard attack the moment an opponent grabs your character. If successful, your characters will bounce back and take no damage from the throw. However, Throw Escapes will not work against Air Throws or Special Move throws.


Lastly, your character can taunt the opponent. In the arcade, this is performed by pressing your start button. On consoles, this is typically performed by holding the Light Kick button and pressing Start. Taunts are generally just for fun, and initiate a short animation for your character. You are entirely vulnerable when this occurs, so it is best to taunt when you feel entirely safe from attack for the next second or two. Some taunts can actually connect and put the opponent in his or her stun animation, while not actually doing any damage to the opponent. In this sense, they can be comboed in.

Groove System[edit]

Capcom Groove[edit]

Fighters can accumulate up to 3 levels of energy in the Super Combo Gauge by attacking and performing Special Attacks. In order to perform different levels of super combos, you must use different combinations of buttons, as shown in the chart below. Some Super Combos can only be performed at Level 3, and are marked with the "MAX" icon.

SNK Groove[edit]

Players can manually build power in their Extra Gauge by holding Arcade-Button-HPunch.png+Arcade-Button-HKick.png. When the Gauge is full, the character's attack power increases, but the Gauge drains slowly. The character can also perform a Super Special Move, which empties the Gauge. When the character is at critical vitality (blinking health meter), they can perform Super Special Moves at any time, with no need to build the super meter. When the character is at critical vitality and the Extra Gauge is full, they can perform a MAX Super Special Move. Some Super Special Move can only be performed under these conditions, and are marked with the "MAX" icon.

Level Capcom Groove SNK Groove
1 Have at least 1 level stored in your Super Combo Gauge
Perform the Super Combo with the light attack button.
Either have a full Extra Gauge, or
be in critical health (flashing health meter).
2 Have at least 2 levels stored in your Super Combo Gauge
Perform the Super Combo with the hard attack button.
No equivalent.
3/MAX Have 3 full levels stored in your Super Combo Gauge
Perform the Super Combo with both attack buttons.
You must have a full Extra Gauge, and
be in critical health (flashing health meter).

Groove Points[edit]

This is a real-time ability-based score system, that only appears during one-player games. The GPS Gauge is located in the bottom middle of the screen, between both teams' Special Gauges. Each attack or defense taken by the character will earn a GPS grade of D (lowest), C, B, A, or S (high).

Grade Points Original method Pro method
S +2.00 Counterattack with a Super Combo. Interrupt an opponent's Super Combo animation,
or interrupt an opponent's attack with a Super Combo.
A +1.00 Hit with a Super Combo or Counterattack with a Special Move. Counterattack with a Special Move
B +0.50 Hit with a Special Move or a normal attack. Hit with a Special Move or a hard attack.
C +0.01 Use a Throw or a Grab. Use a Throw or a Grab or a light attack.
D -1.00 Get hit by an opponent's attack. Get hit by an opponent's attack.

Players will start the game with 20.000 GP. After not getting hit for a few seconds, the GP counter will slowly increase by +0.10 GP every second. Likewise, "turtling" (continuous blocking without attacking) will cause the GP counter to decrease by -0.10 GP every second. A blocked special attack by an opponent is worth +0.001 GP. Comboed hits are worth +0.001 GP each after the initial hit. Likewise, opponents' combo hits deduct -0.001 GP each after the initial hit. Blocking an opponent's attack can also score Groove Points, depending on how quickly the attack was guarded from a vulnerable state. D is the rank for getting hit.

Performing one special attack over and over will deduct -0.02 GP every second until the player does something else. Having a character K.O.'d is worth -15.00 GP to -25.00 GP, depending on the amount of GP. If you are defeated and continue with less than 20.000 GP, the game will increase the counter to an even 20.000 GP.

Finest K.O.[edit]

If an opponent is defeated with a counterattack Special Move or Super Combo, this is known as a Finest K.O. and will earn upwards of 40 Groove Points, depending on the difficulty of the counterattack. Similarly, defeating an opponent with a simple attack such as a jumping attack or low attack will decrease your total by upwards of 15 Groove Points. In Capcom vs. SNK Pro, a Finest K.O. is awarded whenever you defeat you opponent by earning an S grade.


The score is decided after the match is over. The Groove Point score earned is multiplied according to its rank and added to the total score:

Groove Points multiplier
39.999 or less 100
40.000 to 59.999 200
60.000 to 79.999 300
80.000 to 89.999 500
90.000 to 91.999 800
92.000 to 93.999 1000
94.000 to 95.999 2000
96.000 to 97.999 3000
98.000 to 99.999 5000

If a player manages to complete a battle with 100.000 Grove Points, they are awarded a perfect score of 1,000,000 points. There are also several special bonuses for extraordinary accomplishments during battle:

  • Perfect: Defeat an opponent with a full Vitality Gauge. 10,000 Points
  • Straight: Defeat all opponents without letting a character get K.O'd. 10,000 Points
  • Perfect Straight Defeat the last opponent on a team with full vitality, without letting a character get K.O'd. 50,000 Points