You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Zangief Ultra Street Fighter 4 Moves, Combos, Strategy Guide

Guide last updated on
June 2, 2014 at 9:09 p.m. PDT

Zangief Ultra Street Fighter 4 Character Guide

Character Overview

Zangief is one of the best characters in Street Fighter 4. He has arguably the top Ultra move in the game and his attacks pack a wallop. He also has the highest stamina and stun ratings, meaning he can take more of a beating than anyone else.

All of this power comes at a price though. Gief is slow and doesn't have much mobility. He also can't do much damage unless he's close up, so you'll have to get used to people constantly running away from you because you're really only effective up close.

Regardless, Zangief has the tools to be an absolute nightmare for some characters, even though a few matches against heavily defensive characters are very difficult for him to win.

But with enough patience and some perseverance you can break down almost any defense. This guy is an excellent fighter.

Special Moves

To execute the Spinning Piledriver (360 motion) you must hit 6 points on the joystick, you do not have to do a true 360 motion, 225 degrees will work — and you can start from any direction. This is different from other Street Fighter games where doing a Spinning Piledriver usually required hitting 7 points on the joystick.

The same practice applies to the 720 motion for Super/Ultra moves. This time you have to hit 13 points on the joystick, completing a 540 degree motion to execute the move.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (360 motion)
Spinning Piledriver
The ultimate command grab. If you're close to the other player, this is a huge threat as the range is terrific and the damage is awesome. This move is one of the biggest reasons Zangief is such a great character in this game.

You can set this up from a variety of ways. After a jump in attack, a Crouching Light Punch or pretty much any time you're in range you should be looking for a way to land this, or at least make the other player feel like you're a threat to do so, and then punish them for attempting to avoid it.

The Light Punch Spinning Piledriver has the most range, but does the least damage. Hard Punch does the most damage, but has the least range.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
Banishing Flat (Green Glove)
This launches Gief forward while he does an attack with his hand. Not the best of moves, although the EX version is very good.

This leaves you fairly open to punishment if blocked and it's not too difficult to see coming and get swept out of it or knocked back if you're not careful.

But this negates projectiles if your hand touches them while you're launching yourself forward, and if can be handy to quickly advance if you can catch your enemy off guard, which will put you in better range for your other attacks.

Joystick or Joystick
Double Lariat (Quick Double Lariat with Kicks)
This move is insanely good, Zangief spins around with his arms out going through most projectiles and a lot of attacks. Also works well as an anti air move, especially as you're getting up, which makes it really difficult for anyone to actually jump in at Gief.

After you swing around a few times, it's pretty easy to counter this move by hitting Gief's foot area, so you cannot just spam these all day against good players.

When this connects it knocks down your opponent which helps you set up your Spinning Piledriver or other nasty tactics.

The Kick Lariat doesn't last as long, which can help you avoid sweeps and moves that would normally hit you out of your Punch Lariat.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (360 motion)
Flying Powerbomb (Running Grab and Slam)
Zangief runs across the screen and if he touches his opponent he'll grab them and slam them into the ground.

While Zangief moves at a pretty decent speed once he gets going, he unfortunately has to wave his hands in the air like a lunatic before he actually starts moving, which will tip off most players on what you're about to try.

Not the greatest of attacks because it's usually too easy to sniff out and counter, but on occasion you might be able to land this in a match. The EX version on the other hand is definitely better.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
(When close, 360 motion)
Atomic Suplex
An alternative command grab to Zangief's Spinning Piledriver. This doesn't have as much range as your SPD, but it outdamages all but the Hard Punch version of that move.

EX Moves

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (360 motion)
EX-Spinning Piledriver
High priority grab. Pretty much any move your opponent throws out there, if you do this command and time it correctly, it should grab your enemy before their attack can hit you.

Also when you land this, your opponent will be on the ground for a second longer than if you connected with a normal Spinning Piledriver, giving you a bit more time to set something else up. A very wicked move.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
EX-Banishing Flat (Green Glove)
Another great move for Gief. It's invincible while it's starting up, so you can use it to blow through attacks that would normally stop you, plus it knocks down when it hits, which lets you set up your offense.

Like your normal Banishing Flat though, if this is blocked it's not difficult to punish, so you can't randomly throw these out there and hope for the best.

You can also juggle the other player with this move and it has a slightly faster start up time than the regular versions, helping you to cover ground even faster.

Chances are, you'll spend more Super meter on this EX move than any other.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (360 motion)
EX-Flying Powerbomb (Running Grab and Slam)
Gives this attack Super Armor letting you absorb a single attack while you're running towards your enemy. While the regular version is difficult to land, having Super Armor can make a big difference if helping this connect.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
(When close, 360 motion)
EX-Atomic Suplex
EX-Atomic Suplex does a bit more damage than the regular attacks.

Super and Ultra Moves

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (720 motion)
Super — Final Atomic Buster
A really good command grab with nice damage, but your Ultra is a bit better because it lets you save your Super meter for EX moves, plus it does more damage.

Having both your Super and your Ultra at your disposal is nice though, two big time damage grabs make you very formidable.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick (720 motion)
Ultra 1 — Ultimate Atomic Buster
Hands down one of the best Ultra moves in the game, some would argue the best. It has a very short start up time and it's highly damaging.

It's very demoralizing to other players to beat Gief down for the majority of the match only to have him land one of these and even up the score, or possibly even win the round.

Although the command for this can be a challenge to pull off in a tight situation, you can set this up a variety of ways like doing an empty jump (jumping in without pressing an attack button) or trying to execute it on wake up, as you're getting off the ground.

This is an insanely good Ultra move, but remember that most players are highly familiar with it and they'll be looking for you to try and land it through the match, so mix up your game a bit and don't get too predictable with setting this up, or you'll be grabbing air.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
(In the air, 720 motion)
Ultra 2 — Siberian Blizzard
This is an air-to-air throw that won't grab grounded opponents, but it can be used to grab someone performing a Dragon Punch or any move where their feet leave the ground or simply someone trying to jump away from you.

Early reports have pegged this as a very good Ultra move and coupled with his Ultra 1, you should see players switching back and forth between them in Super Street Fighter 4, depending on the match up.

Several players have said it's possible Focus Attack Dash Cancel your Lariat and then grab your opponent with this move.


Crouching Light Punch 3x, Standing Medium Punch
On taller characters, use Standing Light Punch 3x instead.

Crouching Light Kick 2x, Standing Medium Punch, Standing Light Kick, Cancel into EX-Green Glove

Lariat, juggle with EX-Green Glove

Crouching Light Kick 4x, Cancel into EX-Green Glove

Jumping Hard Kick, Crouching Light Kick, Cancel into Lariat
You need to be very close for the Lariat to combo.

Cross up with Down + Hard Punch in the air, Crouching Light Kick 4x, EX-Green Glove

Jumping Hard Kick, Crouching Light Kick 2x, Cancel into EX-Green Glove

Level 3 Focus Attack, Crouching Light Kick 2x, Standing Medium Punch, Crouching Light Kick, Cancel into EX-Green Glove

Unique Attacks

Joystick Joystick Joystick (In the air)
Flying Body Attack

Joystick Joystick Joystick (In the air)
Double Knee Drop

Joystick Joystick Joystick
Long Kick

Joystick Joystick Joystick or Joystick (In the air)

Other Resources

Contributions to this guide by UltraDavid and SFilp.


capdmc said on March 14, 2010 at 8:35 p.m.

I want to add some tips to guess comments. You DO NOT NEED to excecute the movement right after another movement to make it work. If you are doing another movement in my case it does not matter what rotation I use as soon as I do it quick enough. e.g. if you are executing a green glove just do a quick rotation 540 of the stick and the SPD or the ultra will be performed anyway. The problem is when you are not doing anything. Let us think about the big shoryuken from Ken, then you get cover and outstand the hit. If you catch Ken with a spinning piledriver at the moment he is going down you will grab him without any possible defense. Then you stand up, walk to Ken and then execute the spinning piledriver or the ultra in the way guess said. the point is not hitting any jumping point in the first movement of the stick, but going down. Same if you are going back while your opponent is coming to you and then he is in range for an spinning piledriver, then you will do the movement in the following way: b, db, d, df, f,uf, u, ub, b and Gief will not jump. In any case the circle have to be quick enogh to avoid Gief to jump.

My personal experience. Hope this helps.

pablo said on March 15, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.

#270 Nice I'll try this today!

CCCP said on March 19, 2010 at 2:58 a.m.

In Soviet Russia, Lariat SPAMS YOU!!!

pablo said on April 7, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.

Dudes you need to see this Zangief song

dequann said on April 21, 2010 at 5:02 a.m.

any one know any good moves to buffer zangiefs ultra

WorstGiefEVER said on April 23, 2010 at 3:50 a.m.



whiff green hand

standing hard kick over crouched opponent


crouching MK as opponent is getting up

harder ones are things like crouching LK

chickenwings said on April 23, 2010 at 5:35 p.m.


That was so retarded, that it was good LOL.

dequann said on May 3, 2010 at 7:44 a.m.

anyone like ultra 2

Arsenal said on May 3, 2010 at 10:24 p.m.

For anyone that wonders, Zangief is still the strongest character in Super Street Fighter 4. I did a move by move comparison of Zangief vs T. Hawk and Gief is stronger on most of the moves. It took a while, but I did all the punches and kicks, all the special moves, and the Super/Ultras.

Zangief T. Hawk
Total Standing Damage 515 485
Total Crouch Damage 470 470
Total Jump Damage 510 525
Total Grapple Damage 490 460
Strongest Special Move 240 230
Super 450 430
Ultra 1 520 510
Ultra 2 450 450

pablo said on May 7, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.

Yo! Zangiefs what do you think of Gief on SSFIV? I feel is a little bit faster but you all know lariat is not the lariat it used to be. Just got the game yesterday and could only hit 1 Siberian Blizzard I also tried to Focus then Siberian Blizzard but It just wont grab the opponent from the ground ( I saw this on a video it actually grabbed it) will keep on playing and post how to effectively use Siberian.

NRR said on May 28, 2010 at midnight

I posted something similar to this on the Siberian Blizzard setup video post, but I'll post it here as well.

Zangief's Ultra II can be launched from the ground by doing a 1080 spin on the arcade stick. Unless hit DIRECTLY on the top of his head, it will connect against anything where his opponent's are not on the ground.

For example: Ibuki's overhead kick, Chun-Li's crossover kick/backflip light kick, Guile's upside down kick/hovering long kick/hovering knee kick, Abel's wheel kick, Dhalsim's yoga teleport/yoga mummy etc. I've grabbed people from the ground while doing these attacks and it will connect every time. That being said, the amount of screen he covers is extremely limited compared to launching it in the air and this tactic is brutally punishable if he whiffs.

I'm still working to perfect this strat because it requires absolute perfect timing, but once you land one of these from the ground your opponent will play it safe for the rest of the game! =)

NRR said on May 28, 2010 at 12:07 a.m.


For clarification (and after looking them up), these are the exact attacks you can ground launch against I mentioned in my previous post:

Ibuki: Overhead hammer kick (F + MK), Jumping splits kick (F + HK)
Chun-Li: Flip cross-up kick (DF + HK), Rear spin kick (DF + LK)
Guile: Knee bazooka (F/B + LK), Rolling sobat (F/B + MK), Reverse spin kick (F/B + HK)

pablo said on June 3, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.

Thanks NRR!

NRR said on June 6, 2010 at 8:32 p.m.


So I've been toying around with Siberian Blizzard a lot more and have had some interesting discoveries.

*Siberian Blizzard will NOT grab Makoto after she launches her focus attack. Her feet aren't on the ground, but the game must be convinced they are.

*A stationary EX air Hurricane Kick will put someone out of range of Siberian Blizzard. I launched it and my opponent (as Ryu) jumped and did an EX kick above me and wasn't grabbed. However he didn't hit me.

*Adon can be grabbed while doing a ground launched Jaguar Kick, however timing is extremely crucial since he's not in the air for very long. Similarly, you can grab him while doing a Jaguar Tooth but you have to wait until AFTER he leaves the wall, again timing is extremely crucial there.

If I had a method of recording this stuff, I'd post it in an instant for all the Gief enthusiasts out there... But I promise this stuff is legit. Once you learn how to launch Siberian Blizzard, you'll NEVER pick the Ultimate Atomic Buster again. After you've proven to your opponent Ultra II will come out if their feet aren't on the ground, Gief gets a free pass while in the air.

mach1545 said on June 11, 2010 at 8:35 p.m.

This guy ruins me. I have the hardest time fighting Zangief compared to the rest of the cast... but I guess it's my own fault for making costly mistakes and taking too many risks. Honestly, I'd rather fight Sagat!

RidingTheHorse said on June 14, 2010 at 12:01 p.m.

NRR, how are you launching this from the ground? Are you doing it on wakeup? I only got it to launch after a taunt, I was just amamzed it worked. Tried to get it to come out after a but can't get it in fast enough. Will try again.

NRR said on June 14, 2010 at 2:11 p.m.

@ RidingTheHorse

Launching Siberian Blizzard on wakeup is definitely the easist execution, but there are a number of ways to launch: after a dash, after standing HK, or after practically any of Zangief's attacks. After a FADC folling a blocked Banishing flat, I dashed forward and managed to catch my opponent during a jumping retreat. Essentially the more creative you are with Ultra II execution, the more often you'll connect it.

The trick I've discovered to ground launching involves a 1080 (4 full rotation) spin on the arcade/analogue stick. The principle behind this is to intentionally whif a 720 grab forcing Zangief into a jump and by spinning the stick an additional 2 times, Ultra II will activate immediately after leaving the ground.

*Siberian Blizzard Connection Update*
*Vega (Dictator) cannot be grabbed while performing either the regular or EX scisscor kick. I haven't had a chance to try it against the Knee Press Nightmare or Psycho Crusher yet, however you can grab him directly after launching the Psycho Punisher (if you ground launch).

RidingTheHorse said on June 14, 2010 at 6:03 p.m.

Thanks NRR.

I switched to U2 after talking to a friend an catch Rog with the U2 and a Bison a few times. Gief's ground game is press well covered so the option of grabbing someone out of the air is just too good to pass up.

Will definite work on that U2 ground launch. I've only done it in training but I only use it now so I've forcing myself to get used to it. REALLY want to see if I can get it from a c.MK. I like to train my opponents to jump after it and if I could get the U2 to connect after it would just be crazy good.

Morgan24 said on July 1, 2010 at 1:37 p.m.

I need some advice, I am trying to find a main character worth keeping. I recently started playing Zangief, but I need some solid tips against certain characers. Ryu is the first the majority of the time I take damage against Ryu is when he is jumping in with a kick, I believe its j. HK. I lariat at the perfect time, but I don't even get the trade. Just wondering is their another anti-air move that I can use to destroy people with? or do I just need to work on my spacing? Other one is Sagat. What is the best way to work into Sagat.

NRR said on July 6, 2010 at 2:04 a.m.

@ Morgan24

The problem with those 2 characters is their unfair zoning game against Zangief. Ryu doesn't seem like he has that advantage, but most of his regular attacks can zone Zangief pretty effectively.

To deal with Ryu's jumping game you have a few options:
1) Dash back and catch him with a LP SPD (Spinning Pile Driver). Any other strength will whiff.
2) Focus break and absorb the first hit, dash back and EX Banishing Flat if he tries to do pretty much anything.
3) Block the air kick and grab immediately after he hits the ground. Timing is crucial here since you only have a couple frames to grab him. ALWAYS LP SPD this one, MP and HP are too slow.
4) If he's far enough away you can simply hit him with a standing HK, that works very well for anti-air.
5) Block the air kick and while blocking input the atomic power bomb command, this will only work if he jumps in REALLY close to you.

Strictly using the lariat in that situation will make the Ryu player constantly try that approach on you since it makes Zangief so vulnerable, so you have to mix it up. In general you should be avoiding the lariat unless you have plenty of room to whiff it for meter, or are trying to catch the counter attack.

Against Sagat my only suggestion is to be patient. Since most Sagat players are only capable of spamming F.HK, Tiger Shots and Uppercuts, you have to watch their pattern. If he does a high Tiger Shot, do a C.MK under it to gain ground. If he threatens with the lame HK or F.HK, do the long trip. You can also catch him with a J.HP, but that's a much riskier approach. Once you're in range to hit him, standing MP is your best friend. It will hit him through either standing or crouching tiger shots, through the HK and even through non-EX Tiger Knees (timing is difficult there though and you'll eat a hit). Otherwise you need to work on your patience and your zoning game.

Hope this was helpful.

RedCycloneFTW said on July 10, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.

Hi I just bought this game on July 6 for my birth day and its freaking awesome. Zangief is really freaking amazing and is a power house. He can pull of all those freaking grabs like no ones business he is the man. I use too play Tekken 6 and took me a long time too learn and remember all my fave characters moves and there juggles. Not to mention there 10 hit's but god damn this game. I just picked it up glanced at Zangief's command list and too my suprise was pulling of combos in just 10mins. But both of the games are bad ass but F@#k zangiefs he is awesome he can just do banishing flat followed by his Ultra or knock the guy down follow it with a focus attack and then Ultra really bad ass stuff rite there Zangief's the man. Also this site was really helpful helped me pull of zangiefs moves more fluently that and a Mad Catz SSF4 fight pad LOL

SF4junkie said on August 17, 2010 at 3 a.m.

Anyone wanna play random vs random?

PSN: OoDemonSeedoO
XBL: GotDemonSeed

SF4junkie said on August 17, 2010 at 10:58 p.m.

Bring back Gief's air dash throw from Alpha!

SF4junkie said on August 28, 2010 at 3:22 a.m.

and his air throw from Super Street Fighter 2!!?!?

Ryu_Apprentice said on September 10, 2010 at 4:12 a.m.

here is a clip showing how input leniency applys to gief's moves

ArchitectModder_Moss said on September 16, 2010 at 3:17 p.m.

Nothing I haven't seen before.... Ultra 2 they should make it so you can Lariat FADC dash ultra2 it should be able to connect. I wish capcom, let us Giefs be able to execute that but they decided not to make it be able to connect.

kewlname said on September 20, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.

Don't run... you look like a coward even if you do win. The only reason to run is if you don't know how to stop the Z Man. For all you turtles and spammers out there, you are just making me angry, and you don't wanna see me when I'm angry. Points are just hollow if you get them by running away and you don't actually learn how to defend yourself and fight like a man. You are just supporting your weakness... oh yeah and I will catch you regardless and punish you. To all the people out there willing to stand and fight, much respect to you and I will never complain if I get beat, at least you earned it.

0 said on September 21, 2010 at 6:43 p.m.

This has worked for me a million times online..... if you land the regular green glove, most players will NEVER see an SPD right after. i took down a T.Hawk user by doing that 3 times. its pretty embarrassing when you take out T.Hawk's humongous health in roughly 30 seconds. Zangief rules.

pablo said on October 14, 2010 at 12:19 p.m.

Yo Zangiefs! How would you rather play Gief in a tournament stick or pad? I currently use pad since I dont have a stick but I rather play on a stick than a pad, I notice that on a Pad nobody will hear you if you are planning on doing a 720 motion so I guess thats a point to the pad, what do you guys think?

Morgan24 said on October 18, 2010 at 5:29 a.m.

The pad is a little better in my opinion I know one of the best Zangeif players uses the ps3 controller I use the madkatz pad seems to work pretty good for me. The pad is fairly small and is easy to pull off 720s. I think if u are used to the stick then.keep with it.

pablo said on October 22, 2010 at 4:35 p.m.

Zangiefs! just came with a new Way to place ultra 1 in your face: Flying Body Attack + Crouching Light Punch 2x + Crouching Light Kick + FADC + Ultra 1

This is not expected by anybody sinc Zangief doesnt really do FADC, it works best if the oponet blocks the whole string, I have not seen anybody doing this but it works great =)

chrisconway82 said on November 18, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.

Good tip for fireball characters bullying Zangief. Put on Ultra 2 against them. Build meter and when opponent throws fireball, jump towards them. Buffer ultra and complete input as you TOUCH the ground. Now, if opponent jumps in ,they'll get nailed. Why? From the ground, zangief floats up a little and grabs all incoming jumpers. Great way to stylishly take out fireballers.

PwnDizzle0 said on May 30, 2011 at 11:42 a.m.

Dude Zangief is too BEAST!!!

tphxacesilver said on August 1, 2011 at 4:38 p.m.

They need to make zangief's light green hand safe on hit and/or block

KarmicPJ_Junior said on August 21, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.

There are some Gief users that complain about players running away from them. And it's true. But understand that that is the only way to beat Zangief, we gotta keep our distance. From up close with 3 or 4 of his grabs we are dead! while we have to use pokes that only takes away like 6% of your life. So basically we gotta poke around 20 times!! for you to be dead due to ur increased health. So do you think it seems fair to us? Specially players who don't have fireballs like Gen.
So please stop complaining. Its clear on top, they named him one of the best characters, the best Ultras, The largest amount of defense, the most damaging attacks, including normals, in the game. What else do you want?! So just stop complaining!

I main Gen

Alann said on October 1, 2011 at 1:34 a.m.

How to launch ultra 2 right after light green glove?
I tried but turned out to be ex Running Grab?

rocky2822 said on October 13, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.

zangief s t best compared to ken,ryu,ibuki

SamuraiGhost63 said on June 4, 2012 at 11:46 p.m.

Zangief is the best ever!! #GrapplersRunThis

Gairak said on August 31, 2013 at 9:43 p.m.


This may be old but I want to share this.

I use SSFIVAE ver2012 PC Edition. A regular Gamepad (Anlix).

I use the left stick to move and I manage to do Ultra II from the ground after most movements, except Jab punch and soft kick.

I mean I had grabber anything the is airborne (blanka charges, All hurracaines) I do this...hard punch (any move that took some frames to get out of it. then starting up you do the 720 and then

RyokaGT said on September 15, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.

this is my fight-online against a Sagat - my advice , be patient ::D

IMX said on April 29, 2014 at 6:09 p.m.

My YouTube account
I main Gief, so please like, comment and subscribe


Post a comment

You're not logged in, you must Login to your account to post a comment.

If you do not have an account, you need to Register to comment. It's a free and quick process.

You're not logged in, you must Login to your account to post a comment.

If you do not have an account, you need to Register to comment. It's a free and quick process.

Live Streams
Name  Viewers 
D1MX 445
atratus 143
FinestKO 109
greentekken 67
Game-Specific News
Follow & Search EventHubs
RSS Twitter Facebook

          Submit News | Advertise | About | Privacy Policy
Capcom Pro Tour     Major League Gaming (MLG)