King of Fighters XV | Input Buffers and Shortcuts Guide

I’ve played some KOF XIV but I was unaware of these shortcuts and buffers until I started playing XV. Hello my name is Spider Monkey. First of all I’m pretty much of a beginner in this game myself.

I am making this guide for beginners like myself, because the game does not have a tutorial about these things even though these come out to be incredibly handy and important. If any experienced player has something to add or a correction to make, feel free to leave a comment and I will update this guide.

Input Buffers & Shortcuts for Beginners in King of Fighters XV

A few important shortcuts to aid your gameplay:

Input Shortcuts

There are several shortcuts for inputs and ways to combine multiple inputs in this game. I will provide you with some examples here:

Half Circle Tricks

The motion will look somewhat like this in the move list for HCF:
← ↙ ↓ ↘ →
However the game is pretty lenient when it comes to this movement and it doesn’t need the diagonals to register it. So you can turn:
← ↙ ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)
← ↓ →
or more usefully
← ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)

With this info you can now apply it to the most common super motion you’ll use in the game which is QCB, HCF (or reverse):

↓ ↙ ← ← ↙ ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)
turns into
↓ ↙ ← ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)

Combining the inputs

If you play Street Fighter this shouldn’t be unfamiliar territory for you. When you do a special move and want to cancel it into a super, you can basically use the input of the special as part of the super input too. To make it readily more understandable here’s a simple one:

You want to cancel a QCF special into a QCF,QCF super.
↓ ↘ → + (Attack button) , ↓ ↘ → ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)

Now let’s break it down. You already did the first QCF motion for the super by doing the special. Therefore you only need to do one more QCF after the special in this manner:

↓ ↘ → + (Attack button) , ↓ ↘ → + (Attack button)

Now you might ask “what’s the point of doing this?”. The above example is pretty basic stuff, that doesn’t usually need a shortcut like this. However taking advantage of this trick will let you do cancels that would normally be very difficult or nigh impossible.

Let’s have a look at Blue Mary’s Trial #5 or rather one specific part of it:

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You want to cancel her vertical arrow special into her super. If you know this move, then you will also know that there is only a very short window to cancel it, immediately at the startup. Pulling off that super input without any shortcut will be next to impossible in that timeframe.

If we utilize our knowledge of half circle shortcuts and what I just demonstrated to you, we can do this cancel in this way:

→ ↓ ↘ → + (Light kick) , ↓ ↙ ← (Light punch)

Much easier, right? Every character will have their own neat little trick like this, so I encourage you to experiment with them yourself. The trials will almost always force you to do shortcuts like this, because the cancels will be too difficult to pull off otherwise (at least for me…).

Input Buffers Or The “Hold Trick”

In KOF there is a large buffer window for special inputs and super inputs. What does this mean and how do you apply it? It means that you don’t need perfect timing to cancel into specials/super or like, say, do a DP on wakeup.

If you do the input and hold the button, the game will “store” this input for you for the buffer time window. And the move will come out in the earliest frame possible.

  • This is incredibly useful for super cancels and climax cancels. Also for chaining specials into each other in combos where the timing is very tight.
  • You could add 2146 motion shortcut in order to do a DP. This is particularly efficient if you need to combo DP into 2141236p.
  • You only need 2146P into 236P to combo instead of doing full motion. 

That’s it! For now at least… I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. As I already stated above if you have anything to add here feel free to leave a comment, I’ll credit you of course.

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Last Updated on May 24, 2022

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