Frame Data is the term commonly used in fighting game communities to refer to the numbers that describe the speed of moves. Frame data can be incredibly useful to plan combos, punishes, and pressure strings. While in ACS it is not as important as other fighting games because of how the mechanics work, it can still be useful.
How to Read Frame DataEdit
All moves involve an animation, and each image in the animation takes up a certain amount of time. In ACS, 100 frames of animation take up one second. All the parts of an attack are measured in frames.
Stages of a MoveEdit
All moves have 3 stages: Start-up, Active, and Recovery.
The start-up of a move refers to the beginning portion of an attack. The start-up has no hitbox that can damage an opponent. In most cases the start-up of a move is vulnerable to attacks. The shorter the start-up of a move, the faster it comes out. For example, Lloyd Irving's Kogahazan has a very small start-up of 4 frames, making it very fast and good for punishing your opponent. Even faster is his Chaos Blade, which has a start-up of zero. This means that the instant the command is inputed, a hitbox will appear and hit the opponent if they are in range. In other parts of the wiki, this is often referred to as the TTS, or Time to Start.
The active frames of a move refers to the portion of a move where there is a hitbox that can damage an enemy. The longer the active frames of a move, the more of a chance the attack has to hit. Frequently active frames will have gaps in between hitboxes appearing and disappearing, such as in an arte like Akisazame. These still are part of the active frames, but will be labeled in parantheses in the frame data. As a rule of thumb, these frames are often the least concerning in consiering the effectiveness of a move, but should still be glanced over in case of anything significant. For example, Shing Meteoryte's Ryuuseishou has a very long active portion; 35 frames, which is substantially larger than most moves, and makes it very useful for set-ups.
The recovery of a move refers to the ending portion of a move, after the move hitbox disappears. The longer the recovery of a move, the easier it is to punish. For example, Lloyd Irving's Shikousenpa has a very long recovery of 121 frames, which makes it very easy to hit Lloyd after it is used, even if the move hits in some situations. Most artes that are used in the air will have an infinite recovery until they reach the ground; if this is the case, the frame data in the spread sheet will be labeled as "L:x", with x being the amount of frames the character is stuck on the ground after landing. This is often refered to as the landing lag. In ACS, recovery can sometimes be changed depending on the amount of hits in a combo to prevent infinites. These will be noted in the Notes section.
On Block and On HitEdit
Also known as Block/Hit Advantage/Disadvantage. This data refers to how much sooner a character can move again after landing a move or having a move blocked. This is written as a positive or negative number. If the number is positive, then the user of the move after having the move hit or be blocked, will be able to move before the opponent, because they are stuck in hitstun or in blockstun. If the number is negative, then the user of the move after having the move hit or be blocked, will be able to move after the opponent, because their recovery is too long. The formula works like this:
Hitstun/Blockstun - (Last Active Hitbox's frames + Recovery frames - 1) = Hit/Block Advantage
The -1 accounts for the active frames hitting on their 1st frame, leaving the rest act as recovery.
Sometimes this data can vary depending on when a character is hit during the active frames. For example, if a move has 15 active frames, and the move connects at the 1st frames, the advantage would be less if the move hits on the 15th frame.
The Hit and Block Advantage refers to the move connecting on a standing opponent on the first frame.
How to use Frame DataEdit
The most common use of frame data is determining whether or not a move can be punished after it is blocked, or sometimes even if it connects. For example, Lloyd Irving's Shunjinken is -3 on block. This means that if the opponent blocks this move, they will be able to move 3 frames faster than Lloyd will be able to. In most situations, a block disadvantage so small will leave Lloyd safe and free from punish, but if a character has a move with a start-up of 3 or less, they will be able to punish it. For example, Rid Hershel 's Kyokkouheki has a start-up of 2 frames, meaing that if Rid blocks a Shunjinken from Lloyd, he will be able to retaliate with a properly timed Kyokkouheki, and there will be little Lloyd can do about it.
This concept can also be used in creating combos, creating pressure strings, and much more. Be creative.