Sometimes I feel like the way framedata works is just as abstract and random as this video about plumbuses. Anyways, lets start from the beginning.
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What is Framedata Anyways?
When people talk about framedata, they are generally talking about a specific set of properties associated with a attack in a fighting game. Knowledge of these properties can be used to understand how fast a move is, what combos after said move, and how safe the attacker is when the move is blocked. This data is essentially what dictates the flow of the game.
Startup – How many frames does the attack take to become active
Active – How many frames does the attack remain active
Recovery – How many frames until the character can move or block after the move is over.
Hitstun – How many frames is the opponent stunned when the attack hits
Blockstun – How many frames is the opponent stunned when the attack is blocked.
To give an example of a situation where framedata is effective, lets say you are playing SF5, and its a mirror match; Ryu vs Ryu, the classic matchup. You opponent keeps doing st.MP followed by st.MP, hadouken on block. You keep feeling like you have to just sit back and watch it happen, as pushing any button just ends up with you being counterhit by the second st.MP.
Ryu’s st.MP is +1 on block. It has a 5 frame startup. This means that you have a 4 frame gap to do a move before the second st.MP hits. Using a list of framedata allows you to come to this conclusion, and then look for 4 frame or less moves to counter your opponents simple blockstring.