Tekken 8 Frame Data explained: How to use it to win more games cover image

Tekken 8 Frame Data explained: How to use it to win more games

Frame Data is key to rising in the ranks in Tekken 8. We made a Beginner’s Guide explaining frame data, frame advantage and more.

If you're hoping of climbing beyond Warrior Rank in Tekken 8, a key step to levelling up your game is to understand frame data. This concept is present in all competitive fighting games so learning it is worthy of the time investment.

What is Frame Data in Tekken 8?

Frame data in Tekken 8 and other fighting games, is a critical concept that bridges the gap between beginner and advanced play, fundamentally transforming how players such as yourself approach their matches.

At its core, frame data refers to the amount of time, measured in frames, that actions in a fighting game take to execute, sustain, and recover from. The more frames a move takes to perform, the slower it is to execute. The slower the move, the more risk you are of being struck first.

Most fighting games run at 60 frames per second, (FPS), so understanding frame data can let you make smarter decisions during battles. So if a move is 10 frames, that means its 10/60th of a second, or 1/6.

What is Frame Advantage or Plus Frames?

When your attack connects with your opponent, they will take several frames to recover. In Tekken 8 - as well as the majority of fighting games - even blocking certain moves can result in a stun. Whether you hit your enemy or they block, they need a number of frames to return to a neutral position. During this time they can not start a new attack. The difference between how long it takes you to recover from your attack compared to your enemy to recover is known as frame advantage.

Using Frame Data Info we can see Reina's left jab (1) is PLUS 8 (+8) on hit.
Using Frame Data Info we can see Reina's left jab (1) is PLUS 8 (+8) on hit.

What are plus frames and minus frames in Tekken 8?

Plus frames and minus frames in Tekken 8 refers to whether you have a frame advantage or disadvantage after performing a certain move. If a move is plus frames, it means you will recover quicker than your opponent and you can enter a new command faster than they can.

  • Example of plus frames: You perform a move that is +6 on block. That means your opponent still takes 6 frames to recover from blocking that attack. You both then try to go for a launcher move which is 12 frames. You will be quicker 100% of the time because while they were stunned for 6 frames, you've performed 50% of the move already and will connect first.
  • Example of minus frames: You perform a move that is -15 on block. This means your character will take 15 frames to recover if your enemy manages to block it. If after blocking the enemy went for a jab (left punch/1) which typically takes 10 frames, you will be unable to block it because you can not recover in time.

If its zero frames, then it means you and your opponent will recover at exactly the same time.

Know your Frame Data to avoid giving King easy setup for his throws
Know your Frame Data to avoid giving King easy setup for his throws

The Basics of Frame Data

Not all frames are created equal, and we can break frame data into three types:

1. Startup Frames: These are the number of frames it takes for an attack to become "active" or capable of hitting an opponent after the attack button is pressed. Faster moves with fewer startup frames are generally safer to use in close combat and can be effective in interrupting slower attacks from your opponent. In Tekken 8, a left jab for example (1) is a move with low startup frames.

2. Active Frames: This term refers to the duration, in frames, that an attack can hit an opponent. Moves with a longer active period might catch opponents more easily if they try to move or counterattack.

3. Recovery Frames: After an attack's active frames finishes, recovery frames are the amount of time it takes for your character to return to a neutral state, where they can block or perform another action. Moves with fewer recovery frames are safer and less likely to be punished if blocked or missed.

Use Practice Mode to learn the Frame Data for your favorite moves
Use Practice Mode to learn the Frame Data for your favorite moves

How to use Frame Data in Tekken 8?

Now we've explained frame advantage, plus and minus frames, startup-active-recovery frames, it's time to learn how to actually use frame data to help us improve! (and climb higher in the Tekken 8 Ranks)

The first step is to make sure we have Frame Data enabled:

  1. Load up your favorite character in practice mode
  2. In Settings go to Display Settings and turn on Player Frame Info (also turn on Player Attack info)

The Player Frame Info will now let you see the startup frames and frame advantage of any move you perform. Using this information, and knowing plus frames is good and minus frames is bad, start throwing out your favorite moves and combos.

Grab a piece of paper or open up NotePad or a Google Doc and start noting down the character's frame data. If a move you like is +5 on block, that means its quite a safe move, and you'd be fine to spam it. However, If a move is -20 on block it means you will most likely get punished hard if you don't get the hit. This might make it not a move to go for if you're already behind in the fight and want to play it safe.

A trick some players use after performing a move they know is minus frames is to perform a side-step. Not every move in Tekken 8 has tracking, so you can sometimes dodge a punish. If you find yourself being beaten in a match repeatedly by a certain character, watch the replay and look at the frame data.

Be a student of the game to quickly become the master

Understanding Frame Data in Tekken 8 will help you avoid a scenario where you're trying to pull off a cool combo but you keep getting punched or kicked first every single time. Make sure to pay attention to not only your character but also your enemies, as you will learn to spot weaknesses and know when to strike and when to block.