I've read a faq on Double Tapping before, but I can't seem to do it right. Any help on how to actually do it?
I pretty much understand how to P-link, but I don't really know when to use it. Every time I try to use it I'm thinking too much about it and I get screwed up.
So what I really want to know (other than the execution of a double tap) is: When do I use these techniques? And are they a necessity to improving my game?
Responses (2 total)
In regards to double tapping, I've seen two different methods.
If you are familiar with pianoing/drumming in Street Fighter II (or any variant), then the concept is the same, except you use only two of your fingers, and only one button (that's essential, otherwise, you will get an EX move to come out if you are in a special move motion).
Typically, links involve a lot of light and medium (L and M) button moves. Because of this, when using a stick, your index and middle finger are going to be the fingers most active with these buttons (regardless of whether or not it is a punch or kick).
In the same way you would piano/drum all three buttons in SF2, you would use your index and middle finger to piano/drum the single button to try to increase your chances hitting the input at the right time.
P-linking is a separate technique which is typically used for the really difficult one-frame-links in the game. The concept here isn't to overload the input buffer with the same button input in one frame of animation, but rather, to get single button inputs across multiple frames of animation.
In comparing p-linking to double tapping, I would say it's like a machine gun vs a shotgun. With a machine gun, you are firing multiple bullets which have a limited radius of effect when aiming at the target (in this case, the frame that you need to get the input activated on to complete the link). With the machine gun, it's all about multiple attempts.
With the shotgun, you fire off one round, but that round has a greater area of effect than a single round from the machine gun.
Why it's all important
In Street Fighter 4, links are king, and one-frame links are incredibly important to virtually every character in the game.
The obvious advantage of links and one-frame links is that if you hit your opponent with them, you will have more opportunities to deal more damage; you are connecting moves which don't have a natural cancel. This allows you win the match/round/game/etc.
When a character blocks your links, many links are parts of true block strings, which has the secondary effect of helping to build up meter insanely fast. Most people overlook this aspect.
For example, with Ryu, building meter quickly is an essential part of his game. It's not uncommon to see Daigo reach full super meter in the first round. This gives him access to Ryu's super, which is by far, one of the most versatile (and dare I say best) in the game.
Sagat is another character where building meter is essential (and the cr.LK link is essential to building that as well). It's not because his super combo is so great (it isn't) but because it allows him to use his FADC on his Tiger Uppercut, which is incredibly deadly if he has his ultra combo. Even if he doesn't have ultra, following up with a FADCed uppercut with a F + HK does a ton of damage (although I wouldn't recommend wasting meter without having ultra unless absolutely necessary).
So even if there aren't EX/Super meter-specific advantages that your character has, on offense, it's especially important to be able to hit links to maximize damage (in the event you hit your opponent) or to build meter in the event that they block it, because every character in the game has an advantage when they build enough meter to FADC an attack.
Go into training mode and pick Sagat. you know when you've executed a clean double tap when you can do his fake kick (double tap standing HK) as seen here at 0:14:
I use double tapping for special moves only because of negative edge, and i use p-linking for 1 frame links.
P-linking is for executing difficult links. it is essentially the same motion as Ken's kara throw. go into training mode with ken and do his kara throw. now pick chun li in training mode and do this combo: c.lp > c.lp > c.lp > s.hp. the link between the last c.lp and the s.hp is a 1 frame link. so instead of pressing the hp button, you press hp + mp (hp must be inputed slightly before mp). this is the same speed and motion as ken's kara throw, except instead of pressing mk + lp + lk (mk slightly before), you are pressing hp + mp (hp slightly before).
if you did it right, you should see this in the input display
HP + MP
Correctly doing the p-link does not mean that you will be gauranteed the combo. if you cannot get the above to show in your input display, keep practicing the HP + MP motion alone without the combo.