Character of a game that is best mastered.


Press the buttons quickly and repeatedly.


The ratio of strength between two characters, defining the advantage or disadvantage against an opponent. 2:8 = Match-up totally at a disadvantage. 5:5 = Balanced match-up. 8:2 = Match-up at a total advantage.


This mode is a mechanic present in The King Of Fighters 2002, it is a mode that the player can enter, or activate. It costs an energy bar to activate, which is done by pressing BC. When the player does this, their character will do a starting pose, and then start flashing. During this time, a blue gauge will appear above the power gauge, and will start to slowly decrease. Once empty, MAX Mode will stop. Once activated, it is possible to cancel normal moves, Command Attacks and special moves into special moves or even a few Command Attacks. It is possible to cancel what normally are not cancelable, into safe moves, uppercuts and other types of moves to surprise the attacker, attack or defend, or create complex offensive sequences. For combos, it is also used to create some that would not be possible in normal mode, such as repeating a special move by cancelling it with another, then cancelling that other one to repeat the first, thus creating a semi-infinite (it remains limited by the gauge that decreases a little more with each cancel). Some attacks can only be cancelled at the beginning of a combo/attack sequence, not in the middle of it.
Also, to allow the player to activate MAX Mode dynamically, there is a feature called Quick MAX Mode Activation, used by pressing BC when one of your attacks hits or is blocked. This activation, however, costs two power gauges instead of one. However, when activated in this way, MAX Mode cancels the animation of any normal move or Command Attack, also eliminating the starting animation of MAX Mode. The player can attack the opponent instantly after pressing BC, having the absolute freedom to continue moving and take any action of their choice, be it advancing, dodging, retreating, jumping, continuing the combo etc.
During MAX Mode, the character's attack power drops and only Desperation Moves inflict a normal amount of damage. In addition, the power gauges do not fill up during MAX Mode, but the player can cast DMs without paying their cost. He can also cast a SDM (Super Desperation Move) for only one bar of the power gauge. If his life bar is low (below 1/3), he can also use his Hidden SDM, at the same cost as a normal SDM. In all these cases, using a (HS/S)DM immediately ends MAX Mode.


An attack made on the opponent's readiness, so that it is in an active frame at the time the character is regaining control. When this is the case, the opponent cannot attack directly because he is under active attack.


An old courtesy tactic that appeared when Street Fighter II started to become popular. In a match between two players, the winner of the first round would let the other player win the second round. This "Mercy" round not only gave the outclassed player the opportunity to play a little longer, but also to practice certain moves or combos (in the beginning SF II was mainly played on arcade terminals, so restarting a game cost money).  The term Mercy was first officially used in Mortal Kombat 3, when instead of finishing off an opponent, players could also give their opponent a small portion of their life back. An Animality could only be performed after a Mercy, so it was a form of humiliation. Today this practice is still done among friends, but not at all in competition, where it is judged as intentional underperformance, also called sandbagging (referring to the fact of voluntarily serving as a punching bag) and can lead to disqualification.


Commonly referred to as the Super Meter or just Super. Refers to the secondary bar that does not represent the player's life, and which fills up during a match whether by dealing damage, taking hits, sometimes even both over time under certain conditions. It is usually located at the bottom of the screen, and games often have different systems, even different names: Hyper Level in Marvel Vs Capcom, Combo Bar in Street Fighter 3, Tension Gauge in Guilty Gear, Heat Gauge in BlazBlue. This bar is used to launch Super, i.e. powerful moves costing all or part of the accumulated resources. Many fighting games have a specific system allowing to improve some moves of a character, at the cost of a part of this bar (but less expensive than a Super).


Refers to the energy gained when an attack is used. The filling of the Super bar usually depends on the move used and whether it was blocked or opened the opponent's guard.


Term used in Tag Battle games like DBFZ. The mid is the second character in a team, usually with a good assist and usually used to stall opposing aggression. There are many different types of mid, and it is impossible to say what type of character should be used, except that he should have an assist that helps the point.


Medium range attacks, reaching the middle of the screen.


A mid-air attack is an attack carried out in the air.


Average character, in the middle of the tier list.


Reading and anticipating the opponent's game. The Mind Game refers to the use of psychology to optimise one's chances of victory. A good part of the Mind Game consists of dissecting the opponent's game, in order to prepare an effective strategy to counter him, and thus anticipate his actions. This includes conditioning (getting the opponent used to using a specific move, since when the opponent counters that move, they counter it in turn), setting a very fast pace of play and then slowing it down abruptly (and vice versa).


Feel the phone calls.


Combines with Frame Advantages. The "Minus" is that the defender's are less numerous than the attacker's.


A match in which both opponents play the same character.


Not to be confused with cross-up. Mix-up is a strategy or technique for making a player's attacks more difficult to predict. In 2D games, this usually includes using low attacks, overheads, holds and any other kind of moves that require a different response from the opponent in order not to be cashed in. The greater the variety and complexity of ways to protect yourself, the shorter the reaction time needed to counter them, and the more effective the mix-up. When used in a pressing phase, mix-ups can allow a player to connect a combo, or to put the opponent on the ground to continue pressing if the latter cannot guess how to react to avoid the attack, counter it or simply block it. Some mix-ups are so effective that it is often considered impossible to defend against them, except by luck, or with perfect knowledge of your opponent's play. In this case, mix-ups are sometimes called resets. It can also refer to a strategy of poses or stances that have multiple moves with different attack properties depending on the stance used, such as Lei Wulong's kung fu animals in the Tekken series or Guy's Bushinryu in the Street Fighter series.


Term for the list of moves a character can make.