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VF Step System - A Guide to Evading Attacks for New VF Players

Discussion in 'New Starter' started by b4k4, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. b4k4

    b4k4 Well-Known Member

    Hi VFDC!


    The following is a short, but hopefully useful, explanation of how the step/evade system works in VF, and how to start to apply it to your game play to get better results on defense. For complete technical information, please check out the excellent resources that exist in the VFDC Wiki's Movement Section.

    Part 0 - VF isn't Insert Other FG Here:

    The step system and the throw system in VF are the two things players coming to VF from other games seem to have the hardest time adjusting to. The sidestep system in particular is probably the single biggest thing that I see players coming from other games (mostly Tekken and SC) complaining about. A lot of Tekken and SC transplants to the game say things like "step is broken in this game" or "VF movement sucks" etc. The issue is that they try to play VF like it's Tekken, and then get mad when it doesn't work. VF isn't Tekken (or any other game) and the movement system is designed to work in a different way. How that movement works is an important part of how defense integrates into the whole of the system.

    Before we start:

    This guide isn't intended to discuss the difference between linear, half-circular, or full-circular attacks. Suffice to say, some attacks can't be evaded (full-circular) or can only be evaded in one direction (half-circular). Those are tools your opponent has to punish specific reads on evade habits. However, the intent of this guide is to help players understand why linear attacks that they "stepped" might be hitting them. They are therefore beyond the scope of this particular discussion.

    Part 1 - The Three "Steps":

    In case you haven't figured it out yet, there are effectively 3 types of "step" in VF: step, evade, and offensive movement (OM).

    Step and evade both have the exact same input: tap either 8 or 2. The difference is that an evade only happens if your opponent was already in the startup frames of an attack when the input was received. This is why you can't immediately "evade" while at frame advantage. You can test this by setting the training dummy reaction to "Guard, Counterattack 1" (or 2 or 3). Attack the CPU with P (which is +2 on block) and then buffer a step of either 2 or 8. If you get this frame tight, the dummy will block the P and their counter attack will always hit you. This is because you started your step 2 frames before the dummy started counterattacking. The game checks your opponent's state as your step input starts up. It asks: are they doing an attack right now? If they are not, you will get a step, which fails to evade. These are also both referred to as "Defensive Movement" or DM, but for the purposes of this write-up I'm using "step" (failed DM) and "evade" (successful DM) as terminology to reduce ambiguity.

    Next, you can test the exact same settings but instead of doing P, step, do 2P, step. 2P is -5 on block. In this case, the dummy will start their counterattack 5 frames before you can act, so when the buffered step comes out, the game checks if the opponent is doing an attack (they are), and you will get an evade instead. This is also tricky because you have to let them finish whiffing before doing anything, or they'll realign. If you evade the first hit of a 3 hit string and press a button, they'll magically realign and counterhit you with the second hit.

    OM (85~P+K+G or 25~P+K+G) is strictly for positioning purposes. It does not have evasive properties, but it moves you a far distance around the opponent's axis (roughly 90 degrees). OM can be used for positioning after knockdowns, wall/ring edge positioning, and to start running sideturned offense on an opponent who freezes and stops pressing buttons.

    Part 2 - Step Cancelling and Movement:

    Now that we understand the circumstances under which a step becomes an evade, we can start talking about some other important differences between the two.

    You can cancel a step, but not an evade, into any kind of dash (66, 44, 33, 11), and vice versa. This is box-stepping, which is where you see players get space moving backwards with patterns like 44~2~44~8~44~2~44~8 etc. Also, because you can cancel 66 or 33 (but not 44 or 11) with G, this then opens up advanced option selects like EDCG (evade dash cancel guard) or ECDCG (evade crouch dash cancel guard). The in-game tutorial shows you this with either tutorial 19 or 20, I forget which. Because full circular attacks usually have a slower startup than quicker linear options, you can enter something like 8~66~G or 2~33~5G. If the opponent does a fast linear attack, you'll get an evade animation that will "eat" the 66~G or 33~5G input and instead dodge their attack. Again: this is because you can't cancel an evade. If they do a circular attack you will get the start of a step animation which will then be dash cancelled in a few frames into an immediate guard which can block the circular.

    Part 3 - More Defensive Option Selects with Step:

    Here are some final notes for players looking to apply the more advanced implications of this system to their defense.

    ETEG (evade throw escape guard) is another useful option select to learn, especially for situations from -6 to -11. This is where you buffer throw escape into a step input, and finish by holding G. e.g. 8~6P+G. While this is less common in VF since the changes to the throw system in VF5:FS, it is still an occasionally useful option because it will step linear attacks, break 1/3 of their throw options (remember: you cannot step a throw), and finish in a guard after the step if they hesitated or did a really delayed attack. And again - because you cannot cancel an evade, if they do a linear attack your step becomes an evade that "eats" the throw input, and you'll be free to do new inputs to attack from the opponent's side. Technically you could do an insane option select of something like 8~4P+G~335G to get an ETECDCG (evading throw escape crouch dash cancel guard). The system doesn't prevent players from doing this, but the physical limits on manual dexterity tend to get in the way here. It is something the system allows players to do, but I don't think any player can execute this option consistently.

    Part 4 - Feedback:

    I'd like to know if anyone found this useful! If you're a new player, did it help? Was anything worded in a confusing way?

    If you're a vet - did I get anything wrong? Is there anything I should have included? Remember - this isn't supposed to be an exhaustive resource on how the step system works in VF. My main objective is to help new and transplant players understand how and why the step system in VF is different from other games. I think many new players often get a feeling of "WTF?! I stepped that!" while playing. The goal here is to help them understand why and how they might have gotten hit, and how to adapt to the way VF's mechanics work. For a deeper system reference, I hope they'll check the wiki itself.

    Thanks to any and everyone who takes the time to check this out. I hope you find it helpful as you're trying to adapt to VF's rich and rewarding system of defensive options!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2021
  2. OldManMixah

    OldManMixah Member

    Is this pin worthy? Very nice write up.
    b4k4 likes this.
  3. Munk

    Munk Member

    I found this very enlightening and helpful. Thanks for writing all of that down, nice one!

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