Option Selects in KI

They may not know the terminology but odds are they’re using them without knowing what they’re called. Here’s the most basic of basic examples i can think of. Do you hold block during your opponents combos to avoid getting reset either intentionally or by a dropped manual? Well that essentially is an option select, if your opponent doesn’t drop their combo nothing happens to you for holding block, but if they do drop it you get to block safely.
And the game can’t really tell you what your option selects are because they’re so wide and varied that it would need more than one lesson, plus the devs themselves probably don’t know which ones exist in their game so the lesson would be all like “this may or may not exist in this game” which would just be confusing.

I disagree on this point, because all they would need would be an explanation of what an option select is, and then have you do 1 as Jago when the opponent throws out different attacks or setups to show you the different results of doing basically the same thing…

Granted, I admit this may be harder if IG ever gets around to releasing character-specific dojo lessons, but that’s a far-off “maybe” for the time being, not an absolute.

They really are, the fact of whether or not they introduce this concept to you through Dojo mode or on the internet is irrelevant. It’s another facet of fighting games. If you look around and try to learn about fighting games beyond what any tutorial mode teaches you there’s lots to learn.[quote=“GalacticGeek, post:101, topic:8777”]
It’s only known to those who delve deep into the FG genre and who are willing to dedicate a significant amount of time into it. That is STILL in no uncertain terms, an unfair advantage.

I wouldn’t say significant amounts of time, but it’s all about identifying certain characteristics of moves, and knowing how they can interact with your opponent under different circumstances, which is an intuition that gets easier with time and practice.

Dude, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve only known about this a little over a day, and you’ve never probably even tried a slightly more advanced OS. I don’t think you’re in any position to call them OP, ask for them to be removed, or wave any kind of judgment upon them at this point.[quote=“GalacticGeek, post:101, topic:8777”]
The fact that KI took a lot of that and explained it with frame data, move properties, etc. is something that I have loved about KI - you KNOW what every move is capable of doing - it’s just a matter of applying it in different scenarios effectively - that’s where the mind games that make KI such a strong FG come in.

So you would rather the developers pretty much coach you through everything and leave you nothing to discover for yourself? No surprises? No being able to get the upper hand in a fight due to some special tech like grabbing chunks while it’s raining rocks and your opponent is in lockdown under hit or block stun? If you had never been shown that, and found that yourself, that would have been cheap?

Realistically, they aren’t going to tell you everything a character is capable of, and they SHOULDN’T. It’s up to you to tailor your own playstyle with any given character, which means diving into their data, their hitboxes, special properties, deep intricacies that separates pros from beginners. While it’s nice higher level players share their tech with us, in the end, you are owed NOTHING. The dojo makes the game approachable, but nothing more, and while exploring character specific battle plans is something we all have to go through, there’s no exceptions when it also comes to the general battle system mechanics either.

A nice sentiment, but even the devs sometimes don’t know what their characters are capable of, that’s why it’s up to you to develop a character’s true potential. That’s why there is the forums to convene and share these things with. Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a really good example of this, as there is so much tech, not just OSs to that game, it’s literally impossible to find all unique combinations of characters, tactics, assists, and patterns.

That’s where the skill gap comes in and basically a new player has to decide, am I gonna keep playing at the level I’m at, and casually enjoy this game, or am I gonna step up and become a better player by learning this game and taking on greater challenges? That’s what separates okay players from good ones…the ability to think a little more deeply with a little more passion than the next guy.


OSes where never a mechanic, they’re a side effect. A developer usually shouldn’t acknowledge their existence because if an OS ends up being OP they will just patch it, which they’ll have to think about first if they acknowledge it as a mechanic.

The one time I saw a developer acknowledge a side effect was when Capcom put 1 frame links on the trials of SF4. Links are usually side effects, the developer created a set of moves whose frame data is exactly 1 frame apart on hit (a +3 on hit punch that hits in frame 2 for example). To see Capcom shower the game with them and require all gamers to dominate them to be competitive was… Strange.

1 Like

Mechanic, side effect, whatever - that doesn’t matter. It’s the idea that it’s apparently common enough in many fighting games that I think it needs to be addressed to the public and made someone common knowledge, similar to many other things that are used (mechanic or otherwise). Also, I’m not suggesting that the devs explain everything, particularly individual option selects or setups - even I know that that would be a daunting task, which is why I also suggested earlier that they merely describe what it is and give an example of it - nothing more. That way, as someone has already said in the past - “it raises the floor, not the ceiling.” :wink:

I find it interesting how this thread lead to people complaining about option selects, yet when paul posted this thread with really strong option selects no one cared. The thread got buried and forgotten in like an hour.


Well, it kinda is already addressed. It’s completely understandable that you just now learned of exactly what OSes are but they are very often mentioned in any FG tutorial that covers something more than the absolute basics. I myself heard of them this way a long time ago.

I understand that you’re complaining about why the devs themselves don’t at least acknowledge that they do exist, maybe put it in a training mode. I don’t know the answer but my guess is that, as common as OSes are, they are technically a bug, so maybe the devs aren’t comfortable endorsing them in official channels. Just look how Capcom is now trying to remove most of them from SFV.

Well if they go the route of “combos” then I might give them a look.

I feel like you guys are overthinking option selects. TBH those are the last things that can affect any good game, as long as you have other qualities in your gameplan then you won’t be put under those situations.

I wouldn’t want option selects anywhere near tutorials for a fighting game or even really brought up at all for intermediate players. When learning fighting games option selects are one of the last things you should probably be worried about. Even bringing the idea of them up to somebody early in the game is only gonna cause confusion. You yourself are still wrapping your head completely around the idea of an OS and you’ve been playing for a while. Imagine trying to break them down for someone who doesn’t know how to input a quarter circle or what normals/special moves even are?

Teaching people to play fighting games is one of the most difficult and complicated things for both the teacher and person trying to learn. Option selects are part of the burden of knowledge we have to deal with as fighting game fans. Are genre is not easy to play, and that’s often the biggest barrier for entry. Trying to teach people to option select a run before they have the ability to input crawl is not the way to go.


Well… yes, of course? People who invest time to get better are going to learn things that make them better. I’m not too sure what’s “unfair” about that. I could go study a bunch of frame data and hitboxes and gain an advantage over people who don’t, too.

You don’t need to learn the term “option select” to enjoy KI. You’ve enjoyed it for 2 years without knowing even what they are (even though you have, no doubt, done some OSes in your play without knowing it). And as Sajam said, this type of thing does not belong in a Dojo mode instructed to try and get a new player’s feet wet in the genre.


Why would a develop even teach that??

Wow, this thread. :neutral_face:

I would like to see the Dojo get some of the way towards explaining option selects. I’ve wanted the game to teach basic notions of reactability*, yomi (attack-block-throw, on wakeup and out of blockstun), etc. for a while, and further developing that by adding lessons on things like late teching, maybe thwarting backdashes, etc, would allow players to get an introduction to the basic ideas behind option selects in a way that enriches a mind game that they’ve already had exposure to.

A lesson on late teching is pretty easy to come up with, too: have the dummy do a jump-in which the player is expected to block, followed up by a string of three frame traps, one of which is randomly switched out for a throw attempt. The string remains the same for each iteration of the drill (obviously with the exception of where the throw occurs), and the demonstration shows the player inputting LP+LK on each frame trap. The goal for the player is to successfully tech the random throw attempt 5 times without getting hit. Accompanying text explains the OS, explains that you can late tech every move here because you know what the string is, etc.

*Funny story: a lot of the tutorials I’ve taken in fighting games in the past were completed with a sense of guilt that I’d “cheesed” the system and not gained the intended skill, because I had completed the “counter that move with this move” lessons but, no matter how hard I tried, I hadn’t been able to do so on reaction. :sweat:


Wow this is ridiculous.

Some of you people could probably whoop my ■■■ backwards without trying and you don’t understand Option Selects.

Just be glad there’s no priority linking (to my knowledge). Plinking is the reason I decided SF4 was above my ability-effort ratio.

I think they won’t do this simply because just discovering that on your own makes its way more memorable and likely to keep up the good feeling you get when you play the game. Its not like you wouldn’t know what an option select is (unless you were a complete newbie), as an example I looked deeper into FGs when KI was announced and picked up USF4 to learn the mechanics. Watching those streams, not once did I get through a Top 8 without hearing the term Option Select so I went and looked it up. The same reasoning can be applied to most people, but it depends on how eager they might be to learn (I know friends whose eyes glaze over as soon as I say Openers)
It would be nice to have somewhere these were explained, but not to the extent of showing you one or two of each character, that should be up to you to find based on situation. But hey, that’s just me.

For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what this is/how to do it. I suspect Plinking is the keyword to make my brain shutdown temporarily.

Plinking isn’t a hard thing to do, but with the buffer windows KI has and the combo system in place, plinking isn’t really necessary and from the training lab stuff I’ve done, doesn’t seem to exist. I’ve done my best to try to use plinking in training, but either I generally get two distinct inputs or one combined input. Using Jago’s HP and MP and trying the technique, I usually get one HP followed by a single MP, or one HP + MP input. If plinking were possible, then I should be getting one HP followed by an HP + MP input, but that’s not the case. @Infilament, you’re probably in much better position to debunk this one, but I don’t think it works in KI.

They’ve also taken a few measures to try and reduce it in Street Fighter 5 I believe, the main one is making most combo links with no smaller than 3 frame gaps, and they’ve reduced the number of things you can do off of lights. But it was never anything I tested in the beta period. SF5 is more reliant on your mediums and heavies for good combo damage and opportunity.

Fundamentally, it’s little to difficult to understand, but to use it in practice is super easy. In KI however, it would be really unnecessary.

Yeah, I was mainly just using this as a reference point more than anything else.

I was just trying to put into perspective how weird it is that I understand OS and Plinking and people like GalacticGeek don’t, but they can eat me for breakfast in Killer Instinct.

There’s a difference between having the knowledge and being able to put it to good use, and not everyone learns at the same rate or in the same way. I’d say you’re doing fine. I had a few “running before walking” instances when I first started playing on a deeper level too. No loss is a total defeat if you can learn something from it.

Please don’t take it the wrong way but this is a very good example of why this kind of attitude isn’t healthy in a conversation. Both of you started the message by basically saying “oh you people…” and came with opposite opinions about OSes.

We are actually having a very healthy conversion here. Sure not everyone agrees but I can see we’re actually learning a lot about OSes and the overall nature of how a FG system mechanic can affect how it plays.

I think what I’m saying is is OK to disagree but not so OK to assume our way of thinking of inherently the correct one.

But it is ridiculous. In fact there are two things that are ridiculous.

First, and lightheartedly so, is the disparity I pointed out earlier. And believe me, I am ridiculing myself first, before anyone else.

The second point is not any laughing matter. To argue that Option Selects should be removed from this game is laughable. And I laugh. Because just like damage and frames are carefully balanced, so are ideas like Option Selects. These aren’t things that designers don’t think or worry about. Games before Killer Instinct have had Option Selects - and excellent use of them is often praised. To code this game, the designers made the decision to allow them. Their placement in the game, while abstract, is strategic. To reject strategy is folly.

And I’ll remind you, since whether Option Selects are a bug or design flaw is debated here, that the original “combo” in a fighting game was acknowledged as a bug.

Sorry if it’s not “healthy” discussion. But just like anyone in a Killer Instinct match, I am not holding anything back. Option Selects are in the game, they are here to be discovered, they are not being removed unless there is a massive overhaul of the mechanics of the game, and you should all be out there learning them for me since I don’t have time!! Play on for me!!

Furthermore, if anyone, Fnrslvr doesn’t deserve to be called out because he had a great idea about explaining it in the dojo for those that don’t understand or are having trouble with it.