Is combo breaking too easy?

Particularly concerning auto-doubles and manual aspects of combos in higher-level play. As far as I’m aware all ADs except Lights are considered to be very consistently react-able at this point in the game’s life, and all manuals (even Lights IIRC) are react-able as well though probably not easily.

Could the difficulty balance of breakability in the combo system be improved? Just curious about what people think of this.

EDIT: Looked up the old conversation where I thought people talked about manuals being react-able and it was actually about auto-doubles. As others have pointed out manuals are not generally react-able.

no it’s fine. it gives a all players a chance, but the best players who can read opponents have the advantage. it creates a great mental tug of war.


Any ease of breaking combos is countered (literally in this case) by Counter Breakers. Sure there are a lot of things that are fairly easy to break with practice, but once someone knows what you know how to consistently they could just as easily throw in a Counter Breaker and make you eat a free 40-70% damage.

So just knowing how to break combos is good, but you still need to learn when to break combos and when to let things rock. Because you might have shown you like breaking certain things, and your opponent may go for a Counter Breaker, meaning if you don’t attempt a break at all YOU get to punish THEM.

It’s easy to pick up, yes, but hard to truly master.


At higher level play the fact that basically 90% of everything is reactable is a good thing because people are constantly playing the breaker mind games rather than hoping for lucky lock outs. If I know you can consistently break medium auto doubles then that simply opens up the option for me to counter break on mediums rather than the obvious heavy bait.

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Combo breakers are performed pressing 2 buttons at the same time, so yeah, they are easy to perform

Now seriously, breaking is “easy” at some point, but is also easy to counter break.

The mind games revolving this is this game real juice


Agreed. Sometimes you get burned, but the counter breaker isn’t something you should be afraid of using. If you are getting broken the first chance you give an opponent, you need to put a counter breaker in there. And unless they are good at punishing a missed counter breaker, you shouldn’t stop using it.

Virtually all medium AD’s and above are reactable, and many medium and heavy linkers are as well. Only player I know to consistently reaction break light AD’s is Nicky, though most of us can do it if we’re looking for the light.

Very few manuals are breakable on reaction, though there are notable exceptions (Gargos HP, Cinder crossfire, certain target combo strings). When you see a manual break, even at high level, it’s almost always a guess.

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“Everything is easy to react to” is actually kind of a misnomer, because I still see the game’s best players guessing and locking out on heavy auto-doubles.

Heavy and medium ADs are reactable, and I’d say most heavy linkers are reactable, even if you aren’t really looking for them. You can react to light ADs if you’re really paying attention (but you won’t always be, and it takes away from your ability to react to other stuff). And I’d say light linkers are impossible and medium linkers are either baaaarely reactable or impossible, depending on the character.

Manuals are never breakable on reaction, unless it’s a very slow heavy button which is uncommon to use anyway.

But despite all this, I still see a large portion of good players guess > 50% of the time they choose to break (and often choose to not break a combo at all), and even let “obvious” heavy linkers and stuff go by unchecked. Why? Because breaking is actually pretty hard, the consequences for being wrong are serious, and there are multiple ways to handle people who like to break a lot (including counter breakers, resets, delayed doubles/linkers, etc).


no because of counter breakers, feels just right

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Yep… Pretty Much.

The Difficulty of Combo Breaking is Entirely Player Dependent. Only Capcom would make Combo Breaker’s Just Frames… and maybe ArcSys too.

Pressing two buttons of the same stregnth instead of doing a command of a different strength (KI1) or a command + the opposite strength (KI2) seems lot easier if you ask me. A penalty for breaking wrong un those games tho, would have killed very fast since the damage was bigger.

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I was playing a multi-pro star Rash last night, and I saw exactly this. Unlike many of the people who I randomly run into that attempt to break everything, he would let certain combos slide, especially once his bar was close to the end. To attempt a break would have insured his loss. As I didn’t have enough meter to kill him, he let the combo go and almost came back for a victory.

Even though he still lost, his level-headed thinking was right on the spot.

All too often and with most people I play against in Ranked I see a LOT of reaction breaking, versus smart breaking.


-shrug- Reaction breaking can be smart breaking, provided the opponent is too afraid to counter break. I’m of the mind that there’s no reason eat damage if there isn’t a compelling case the opponent is willing to stop your breaks. I let very few combos slide until my opponent proves that he’s willing to gamble to stop me.


Honestly I feel they nailed the combo breaker system perfectly in KI3. Yes the breakers are easy, but with counters being just as easy and having a pretty severe punishment for getting a breaker wrong in the form of lockouts, I’d say the risk vs reward aspect of it is pretty well balanced.


I think if I were to redesign the system from scratch, I would probably take 80-90% of the breaker ideas from modern KI without any tweaks. They did a pretty good job with the risk/reward, including on things like damage from hard-to-break combos compared to damage from counter break combos, etc. It would be hard to reproduce this feel if you threw the whole system out and tried to come up with a brand new one, I feel. (Especially since the system has been tuned over several years of testing now, and they ultimately made some big mistakes in their first try at it during S1)

I’d probably end up tweaking things like making it easier to see if you’re doing a linker or an auto-double (via some special visual/audio cues), and I would probably make the reactable doubles/linkers slightly harder to break (by a few frames only).