To P-link or not to P-link

So this is more like an ethic question more than anything else. I main Rufus and as you may know most of his BnB are just frame links. After a lot of training,  I kind of  got the timing for linking to St.Hp, and I manage to connect it fairly enough during combats, but I struggle with,, St.Hp link. A good friend told me to P-link in order to make links easier and so expend a lot less time in training mode, but I dunno if I should get used to that technique because I don't know if it is used in other fighting games.


Personally I didn't want to get used to SF4 short cuts because I wanted to build a good execution that could let me enjoy other fighting games as well. Is p-linking a common technique used out there? Is it better to p-link or just getting used to the timing of links?



created Feb 2 '11 @ 17:52 by:

Rep: 11

Responses (2 total)

sort by:

P-linking ("priority linking", "slding frame input") is something that is unique to the Street Fighter IV series; the input buffer for the game is lax compared to other games (in the series and not, take Street Fighter III: Third Strike, for example).

However, it's really in the way that they allow for this lax input buffer that is the key.  Instead registering two buttons hit together within a short amount of time, Street Fighter IV repeats the previous button entry if another is pressed in a short amount of time.  James Chen puts it very well in his "Plinking FAQ":

Street Fighter IV does this as well, but does it through different means. In older games, hitting the two buttons slightly off still resulted in a Throw because the game recognized both buttons as being pressed very recently. Street Fighter IV goes a different route and, instead of recognizing that the buttons were both just pressed recently, it repeats the previous button input on the next frame any time two buttons are pressed 1-frame apart. So if you hit Light Punch one frame before hitting Light Kick for your Throw, it will register Light Punch on the first frame and both Light Punch and Light Kick on the second frame. Why this change? I don't know, but my guess is that this technique produced more reliable results for online play.

This is where the "priority linking" name of p-linking comes into play.  In most Capcom games (from Capcom vs. SNK 2 on), when two buttons are pressed simultaneously, the button with the higher priority comes out (this is why if you map 3xP or 3xK to a button in the game and hit it, you get HP and HK respectively).  This is what makes p-linking work; if the first button press was higher priority than the second button press, and the first button press is repeated during the second button press, you essentially get the first button press repeated in quick succession.

Getting back to your question, yes, p-linking is specific to Street Fighter IV, however, I would strongly recommend against not learning it for fear of taking away from your ability to perform well in other fighting games. You state:

but I dunno if I should get used to that technique because I don't know if it is used in other fighting games.

If one was to reduce all the techniques used in playing fighting games to the set of common techniques, you wouldn't have a very, very limited set of techniques that would be able to help you, and you would not advance in any particular game at all. 

While it's true that p-linking is very specific in that it only applies to Street Fighter 4, there's no reason to not apply it; most fighting games are execution-heavy (Street Fighter 4 is one of the least execution heavy games out there) and being able to adapt your execution for specific game techniques will only make you more adaptable for those other games, not the other way around.


created Feb 3 '11 @ 15:20 by:

casperOne ♦
Rep: 2159

Thanks CasperOne!!, Your answer is very solid and very complete. I see your point about the fact that each game has it's own techniques and that there are just a few that can be considered as universal ones. So yes, there's not real reason for not mastering the P-link technique as well. Cheers and thanks again! - fleong Feb 4 '11 @ 11:00

@fleong: Not a problem, comprehensive answers is the name of the game here. =) Glad it could be of help, and by all means, ask away, the community is here to help! - casperOne ♦ Feb 4 '11 @ 14:54

If you want to help balance the reliance on P-Linking start playing some Super Turbo on GGPO. 

It helps you stay consitent with tight execution.

Just what I do anyways.


created Feb 8 '11 @ 5:52 by:

IMatt Orcutt
Rep: 71

Your response

You must be logged in to add a reply.