Introduction to Frame Data
Frames are a measure of time. Most fighting games in recent years, including Tekken 7, run at 60 frames per second. Frame data tells us the speed of moves in the game in various aspects: how long they take to hit the opponent, how much of an advantage/disadvantage the player gets after the move successfully connects/is blocked and much more.
When two players in a match are both moving around without using any attacks, they are in neutral frames, meaning neither player is at a frame advantage or disadvantage. When a move is used, the attacker will then be at plus (+) frames, neutral frames (0) or minus (-) frames depending on the move's properties.
Note: This guide was created during Season 1 of Tekken 7, so some frame data on this page may be outdated. However, info on general punishment guidelines has been updated for Season 4.
Every move in Tekken gives the player or their opponent an advantage on block, on hit and on counter hit (hitting the opponent while they are also attacking). These situations can be broken down into three forms: plus frames (frame advantage), neutral frames or minus frames (frame disadvantage).
A move that is plus on block means that after the move is blocked, the attacker will be at a frame advantage, meaning that any follow-up attacks will come out before the opponent's. Conversely, a move that is minus on block means that the opponent's follow-ups will come out before the attacker's, while a move that is neutral (or 0) on block means the attacker and opponent's follow-ups will come out at the same time. The same principles, further explained below, also apply to moves on hit and on counter hit.
Before illustrating these situations, it is worth knowing that in most cases, a character's fastest move is 10 frames (i10), meaning the move takes 10 frames (or one sixth of a second) to connect with the opponent. In Tekken 7, the exceptions to this rule are Master Raven and Ling Xiaoyu, whose fastest moves are i8, as well as Geese (i9) and Yoshimitsu (i6).
|Command (Heihachi)||Hit level||Start-up (speed)||On block|
|1, 2||h, h||i10||-1|
- Heihachi's 1 is +1 on block. This means that if blocked, any follow-up will come out 1 frame before Kazumi's (in this and the next 2 cases, both are following up with i10 jabs).
- Heihachi's 1, 2 is -1 on block. This means that if blocked, any follow-up will come out 1 frame after Kazumi's.
- Heihachi's 2 is 0 on block. This means that if blocked, any follow-up will trade with Kazumi's, so long as both moves have the same start-up (are as fast as each other).
Calculating start-up during frame advantage
Being plus does not guarantee that your follow-ups will connect before your opponent's, and being minus does not guarantee that your opponent's follow-ups will connect before yours. While your moves will come out sooner in plus frames and later in minus frames, the start-up (speed) of the moves ultimately determines who will get hit (if both you and your opponent attack).
|Command (Law)||Hit level||Start-up (speed)||On block|
- The start-up of Law's 4 is i11. Josie blocks his 1, leaving him at +1; his 4 will come out 1 frame sooner than Josie's 1 (i10), which means they will trade hits.
- The start-up of Law's 4 at +1 = i11 - 1 = i10.
- At +1, Law's 4 trades with Josie's 1.
- The start-up of Law's 3 is i12. Josie blocks his 1, leaving him at +1; his 3 will come out 1 frame sooner than Josie's 1, 2, 2 (i10), but Josie will still hit Law.
- The start-up of Law's 3 at +1 = i12 - 1 = i11.
- At +1, Law's 3 is still beaten by Josie's 1, 2, 2.
Earlier, we pointed out that for most characters, their fastest move is i10 (usually jabs and jab strings). This means that in most cases, a move that is -10 or less on block is unsafe, while a move that is -9 or more on block is safe (keep the aforementioned exceptions in the frame advantage section in mind as you continue to play the game).
All characters have moves that act as punishers at different frames on block; punishers that are i12 or slower generally deal a good chunk of damage, while most i15 and i16 punishers are usually launchers that can be followed up with a combo.
All characters also have while standing (WS) and full crouch (FC) punishers to punish low attacks. Most lows are punishable by i11 WS/FC punishers, while stagger lows are always launch punishable (WS/FC launchers vary in speed between characters, but generally come out at i14 to i18). Be sure to note the advantages and disadvantages of each character's punishers as you continue to play the game; some have better punishment than others, both at different frames and in general.
|Command||Hit level||Start-up (speed)||On block|
|b, f+1+2, 1+2, 2||m, m, m||i17||-15|
|Lili de Rochefort|
|1, 2||h, h||i10||-1|
- At -9 on block, Leo's u/f+3 is safe against Lili. Leo cannot be punished after the move is blocked.
- At -10 on block, Leo's SS 1+2 is unsafe and can be punished afterwards by an i10 move such as Lili's 1, 2.
- At -12 on block, Leo's 1+2 is unsafe and can be punished afterwards by any move i12 or quicker, such as Lili's 1+2.
- At -15 on block, Leo's b, f+1+2, 1+2, 2 is launch punishable. They can be punished afterwards by an i15 launcher, such as a hopkick like Lili's u/f+3.
- At -11 on block, Leo's d+4 is an unsafe low that can be punished by an i11 WS move, such as Lili's WS 4.
- At -31 on block, Leo's d/b+4 is a stagger low (blocking the move staggers Leo) that is extremely unsafe. They can be punished by a WS launcher, such as Lili's WS 2.
General punishment guidelines
In Tekken, there are multiple characters each with a vast number of moves, each one with their own unique properties, so one must be patient and inquisitive in learning how to deal with each individual character. However, there are certain general situations one will come across that can be dealt with in the same way, regardless of the opposing character. It is useful to familiarise yourself with these as you expand your knowledge on each character's frame data.
- Most lows in the game are -11 or less on block. Be sure to learn your character's i11 WS punish at the very least (WS 4 for most characters) and get that extra bit of damage whenever you block a low.
- In the example to the right, Master Raven uses her WS 4 to punish Paul's SS 3. However, that low is -13 on block; are there any other punishers she could've used in this situation? (Hover here for a hint)
- All stagger lows are launch punishable. If you happen to block a stagger low, make your opponent pay dearly by launching them and following up with a damaging combo; such lows are so unsafe they can even be punished by rage arts (all of which are i20, with some exceptions).
- Most hopkicks in the game are -13 on block. Don't let your opponent get away with them; find out your character's i10–13 punishers and take advantage of a blocked hopkick for some extra damage.
- In the example to the right, Miguel uses his 2, 1 to punish Claudio's hopkick (u/f+4). However, that punish has a start-up of i11; are there any other punishers he could've used in this situation? (Hover here for a hint)
- Most rage arts in the game are launch punishable mids that come out at i20. If you're not caught pressing buttons, block the rage art and finish off your opponent with a launcher followed by a combo.
- Eight characters in the game have rage arts with properties different to the usual:
- Hwoarang's rage art is a safe mid that cannot be punished. However, it can still be evaded.
- Lucky Chloe's rage art is a launch punishable low. Be sure to duck and float or jump and punish when you see it coming.
- Alisa, Anna, Jin and Steve's rage arts are safe highs that come out at i13. Be sure to duck and punish when you see them coming.
- Geese has 2 rage arts: the first (Rashomon) is an unblockable high that must be ducked and punished, while the second (Deadly Rave) is a launch punishable mid like most rage arts.
- Akuma's rage art comes out at i16 and consists of several unblockable mids. Be sure to jump (and punish) when you see it coming.
Frame data resources
If you would like to check out the frame data for a particular character, the feature was made available in-game as paid downloadable content for Season 3 of Tekken 7. However, if you'd prefer to look up frame data externally for free, we recommend visiting RBNorway.org, which has frame data for every character in Tekken 7 and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. If you'd like frame data on your phone, there are a number of apps available for Android and iOS: try looking up "tekken 7 frame data" on your favourite app store.