What is everyone’s definition of mashing in fighting games?

I ask because I got into a debate with some other fellow members of the community after someone said I do a lot of mashing; joking aside, they clarified by pointing out that I’m hitting buttons when I’m not suppose to for example getting counter hit because I tried to do something during someone’s + frames.

Does this really mean I’m mashing though or is there a deeper meaning behind it that players don’t take into consideration?

Fundamentals of fighting games tells us that we should respect our opponents plus frames and do our best to block whatever is coming next, however at the same time it’s impossible to know what the other player is thinking therefore taking risks comes into play. My argument is that sure you are plus here but I want to take a risk and push a button with the mentality that either you’re going to try and reset me, drop your combo, or go for a mixup with the assumption I will block and respect the plus frames.

With this in mind lets say I do make a good read and interrupt my opponent’s reset into overhead by hitting throw or jab in between his plus frames, all that’s going through his mind is “hes mashing!”, but what they failed to realize was that I wasn’t just hitting buttons while you’re plus because I’m bad, it’s because I was hoping that you would do something I wanted you to do.

What about conditioning? Well what about it? Conditioning is a placebo in fighting games. You can make me block low 50 times in a row but does that necessarily mean I will still get hit by your overhead or your command grab? You can think that all you want but at the end of the day I’m still going to do what I think is best for any given situation not what you want me to think; hence why you just got thrown out of your overhead.

I dunno, I just feel like people tend to forget what fighting games are about because they get so caught up in the sciencey technical aspects of them. If every single fighting game player had the best fundamentals that would make for a very boring fighting game to watch because no one would ever get opened up and every match would be a time out.

Sitting on the sidelines in stream chats and in the audience at live events, it’s much easier to sit back and criticize and judge every single thing a player does but you also have no idea what goings on in the hot heat. So the next time you see Necalli EX DP through Laura’s + frames don’t just go “Hes Mashing!”



It’s kinda weird to hear you speaking as an advocate for risk-taking, tbh, given your previous statements about risk with regards to combos. Not that you’re wrong here, of course!

That being said, “mashing” is a pretty common english slang counterpart to the concept of “abare”–it may not always be derogatory. You may even hear it given as advice! For example, due to the extremely quick (3F) startup of sol’s 5K, someone might say that it can be good to mash out 5K when blocking a loose string.

So, I don’t think it’s wrong to say that a player that successfully (or unsuccessfully) pokes out of loose pressure frequently does a lot of mashing. That being said, it’s probably less likely to result in hurt feelings if you just say they poke out of pressure rather than using slang–ultimately it means the same thing, but it sounds a lot nicer.


Mashing, to me, is simply pressing buttons without any real forethought. Did you do it automatically out of bad muscle-memory, for example, or was there a thoughtful purpose for doing it prior to its execution?


I think that the people that dog the button masher have forgotten what it was like to be new to fighting games. Everyone started out as a masher, and if they tell ya otherwise they’re lying. Your absolutely right is impossible to know what the other guy its thinking. Your supposed to be able to identify and differentiate between lights mediums and heavies just by how jago swings his blade. But when your character does the same ol’ crap at every strength, the level of cognition involved would rob the game of any fun, it becomes all focus and concentration. Some of it will come instinctively, but that will take time, even then your fighting your own impulse of doing what you know our believe will work. There will always be risk involved, you will need to change tactics pending on the combatant, and the risk of failure will always exist. So I’d say just do what works best for you.

To me, true mashing comes from inexperience or desperation. If someone doesn’t know what they’re doing, they’ll just push buttons and hope something happens. If they’re panicked, they’ll be trying everything they can to just get something, anything they can.

Anything else can usually be equated to general poor decision making or because something allows for it. If you try to challenge someone who’s plus, and you know they are, that’s dumb. Doing something like Wulf’s rabid doubles or trying to get out a juggle or counter break as fast as you can is usually pretty deliberate and (no matter how furiously you input it) calculated.

I think high level players that yell out “he is mashing” is really trying to say " Im mad because Im not winning and things arent going my way…whaaahhh!!!"

And low level mashing is just that, mashing buttons hoping you win with no thought about what your consequences are.


In your situation, you are not mashing, you are just not respecting plus frames. Hypothetically speaking, you could jab a single time frame-perfectly and still get the same results as mashing jab in this situation.

“Pressing Buttons” is the term i associate with not respecting that your opponent has an advantage.

“Button Mashing” is when you aren’t confident in your execution / timing with a move, so you just perform it as many times as possible around the time that you think you should. (it can happen from anger, too.)

A “Button Masher” WOULD DO something like mash jab while blocking… because they dont understand that its possible to end a blockstring and still be plus. They think mashing jab will punish whatever move you end with, because most OTHER button mashers tend to end block strings with a negative move.

When a button masher tries this against a GOOD player who stays plus at the end of strings, it creates a situation that looks exactly like the one you described. Someone who “presses buttons” can sometimes look like a “button masher” even if they really arent.

I consider that I play mashing buttons in neutral since I dont have the precision that a pro player has for frame data and stuff, so maybe the statement “mashing dp” applies on me.

Now when I play UMvC3 I mash during the combo. I dont know why, I just feel that I may miss the input the first time so I want to make sure (I am a pad player by the way)

The mainstream meaning of “mashing” in my opinion is that you can win matches by pressing a button more times that your opponent, which is nonsense, we know that top players are really careful on the buttons they press and when,

Now let’s consider somebody from outside the FGC bubble watching a tournament. The noise they hear is player MASHING buttons, they dont know why but they hear that, so the easy conclusion is “they are mashing to win”.

We as player need to understand that we live in a FGC bubble where we understand what we are doing, or at least we know what is happening.

It would also be unfair to say that top players in CoD win by camping when I dont actually know what is happening in the game.

I’m not averse to risk, I simply evaluate it differently than most.

I took someone calling me a masher or say that I’m mashing pretty harshly, it means they think less of me as a player or think I don’t fully understand what’s going on given the situation I described in the OP. Though I’m sure the common definition of the term is to describe a toddler randomly hitting buttons on a stick.

To me mashers are people that just press buttons.

Something like this:

Pretty much this. To mash is to press a button (or another input, like a DP) rapidly during an opponents pressure w/ the goal of poking into a gap that is otherwise too difficult to time manually - we are usually talking about a gap of 3-7f. If you wanna hit that window reliably, you’re not gonna risk timing a single press, you’re gonna rapid-fire thru the blockstun (or flipout, or knockdown, or whatever).

If you design pressure strings w/ gaps larger than 7f… well, that’s a whole 'nother discussion.

Now, the idea of mashing non-invincible buttons in plus frames… those are pretty niche scenarios wherein otherwise you’d be in a force-guess situation (otherwise why risk it when you can just react to the hypothetical overhead?).

In short:
Mash [x] = Abare = strategem
Masher = Scrub = insult
Mash =/= Masher

I’ve always looked at Button Mashing as hitting buttons with the hopes of making something happen, versus pressing specific buttons to make something happen.

Then again, I get called a Button Masher all the time, or scrub, or nood, because I use Sadira. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think this chart fairly accurately sums up how much you can trust the average FG player:

Less flippantly, I agree with @DEClimax. “Mashing” isn’t an inherently bad or scrubby thing to do - context matters. Against Kim doing MP dragon katas, mashing out DP is almost certainly the correct choice the first time she does it to you. Given her options out of that string, she’s almost guaranteed to NOT drop it into a block, and DP’ing her in the face is a great way to suggest to her that maybe she should avoid doing that particular string and its follow-ups. Similarly, my suggestion to many to Hisako players is that they should train themselves to “mash” counter in certain situation - either they can’t cancel into it there and they get hit, or they get their counter into full combo punish. There are certain things that mashing beats clean; context matters for whether it’s a “good” or “bad” decision.

On the conditioning piece, to condition someone isn’t to suggest that they will always do what you want or are conditioning them to do. It is never certain. But it exists all the same (people react to stimuli), and the human element involved is just a part of what makes FG’s fun. Some people are easier or harder to “teach” to be sure, but that itself is also a data point to be exploited.


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Now now. Play nice everyone.

Mashing (Insult): Randomly pushing buttons on your controller, usually while hoping that something happens. Usually if you do this you are considered “bad” at the game.

Mashing (Tech): To rapidly push buttons while being pressured so you can, hopefully, poke into a very small gap to stop them.

Laughing (Action): What I’m doing in response to the last few comments in this thread.

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I agreed with this, however the argument I’ve seen from people using this situation as an example would be why would you mash out dp here on the first one? Wouldn’t you want to see what my tendencies are first? The first time they do dragon kata would be the best opportunity to DP through it because it creates a mind game later on in the match. More than likely unless you’ve played against this particular opponent multiple times you never know to expect DP through that move the first time you do it to them.

< shrug > Why would I wait? Unless your tendency is MP kata->block, then my DP will beat whatever you try (so I don’t have to hold the mixup), I can see what you tried as my DP hits you in the face (so I have an idea of what mixups you might like/prefer anyway), and I teach the valuable lesson that I won’t just hold your frame traps. I can’t think of a compelling reason at all to wait here, unless you have prior experience with the opponent that suggests he will do a MP kata into nothing. There’s a lot of upside to shutting down a frame trap with something unsafe the first time they try it - not least of which that you’ve now planted the seed of “this guy’s a nut, I have to respect him.”.

EDIT: I see that you added to your original post, answering the question that had been posed. Long story short, I agree with your reasoning there.