How landing recovery on jumping works

I thought I knew how this worked before, but after talking with some people, I decided to do some training mode testing and it turns out I was a bit wrong. So I thought I would document my findings here in case people want to know more about this.

All jumps have 4 frames of landing recovery. If you attack with a normal in the air, you are locked in to this 4 frames of landing recovery, no matter what you do. You can take no actions of any kind until the 4 frames are completed. Some air special moves have longer air recovery (for example, Hisako’s air ORZ has 6 landing frames), but there is no air move that has fewer than 4.

Okay, but what happens if you empty jump (jump without attacking in the air)?

In these cases, you can cancel these landing frames with any action (except dashing, for some reason – you must always undergo the 4 frames of recovery before you can dash). I think most people knew that you could cancel landing into block or another jump, simply by holding the direction, but it turns out you can also cancel your landing into normals or specials.

Here’s where it’s a little weird though. If you try to attack right as you land but end up pressing the button a few frames before you land, KI will apply the input buffer to this attack (this is true for both normals and specials). The attack will still come out, but the buffer will execute the move only after the 4f of recovery have passed. If, however, you press the button exactly during the 4f of recovery, you will immediately cancel it into a normal or special move.

So, landing recovery is cancelable into anything (except dashes), as long as your input is registered exactly during the landing frames. For jumping and blocking, this is easy, because holding a direction effectively duplicates the input every frame, so it’s guaranteed to work. For normals and specials, you must pick off the 4 frame window. If you’re early, you’ll be forced to suffer the 4 frames of landing recovery before the attack will come out – you can think of this as you’re actually attacking in the air, even though you land during startup of your air attack. The game then forces you to wait the 4f (because you took an air action), then applies the buffer to your button press to give you a ground action.

I don’t think this has any real implications for changing your strategy in a match, but now you know exactly how the system works so you can explain things that maybe happened to you during a match a little better.