How combo and damage scaling works in Street Fighter IV

Guide last updated on
May 9, 2009 at 7:43 p.m. PDT

How combo and damage scaling works in Street Fighter IV

Combo Damage Scaling

After a certain number of hits all of the combos in Street Fighter IV start taking off less damage. It breaks down this way.

  • 100% damage for first and second hits of a combo.
  • 80% damage for third hit.
  • 70% damage for fourth hit.
  • 60% damage for fifth hit.
  • 50% damage for sixth hit.
  • 40% damage for seventh hit.
  • 30% damage for eighth hit.
  • 20% damage for ninth hit.

And each hit beyond the ninth drops the damage by an additional 10%.

In real world terms, that means if you do a three-hit combo with Akuma which ends in a Fireball, instead of it doing it's normal 60 damage, it will do 20% less, i.e. 48 damage.

To use a larger combo as an example with Akuma, jumping in with Hard Kick, then two Crouching Light Punches, followed by a Crouching Medium Kick into a Fireball which is a 5-hit combo will do 239 damage total, although when you do each of these moves individually they would take off 290 damage.

Here's what's going on with Akuma's damage.

Damage for each individual attack
Jumping Hard Kick - 100
Crouching Light Punch - 30
Crouching Light Punch - 30
Crouching Medium Kick - 70
Hard Punch Fireball - 60
Total Damage: 290
Damage for moves performed in a combo
1st hit: Jumping Hard Kick - 100
2nd hit: Crouching Light Punch - 30
3rd hit: Crouching Light Punch - 24
4th hit: Crouching Medium Kick - 49
5th hit: Hard Punch Fireball - 36
Total Damage: 239

How specific moves affect combo damage scaling

Some moves have different properties when the game decides how it's going to scale your damage during a combo.

  • Ultras and Focus Attacks that land count as two moves.
  • Supers, EX-Moves and Throws count as one move.
  • Moves like E. Honda's Hundred Hand Slap count as one move even if they hit multiple times.
  • Attacks like Chun Li's Jumping Hard Punch that hit twice count as two moves. The rule of thumb is that if a move requires an extra player input to hit with it, it's going to count as a second attack.
  • Focus Attack Dash Cancels and Moves that do no damage do not count against you.

Kind of confusing? Here are some examples...

Ultras: An Ultra counts as two moves for the purposes of damage reduction. For example, if you do a Jumping Hard Kick with Ryu, then a Light Punch Shoryuken, Focus Attack Dash Cancel, and then juggle with the Ultra, the Ultra will do 70% of its normal damage, because it's technically the 4th move that's landing, but the Jumping Hard Kick and Shoryuken won't have any damage reduction because they're the 1st and 2nd moves.

A Focus Attack Dash Cancel doesn't count against you because it doesn't actually hit your opponent.

EX-Moves: Akuma's EX-Hurricane Kick hits multiple times, but it still only counts as one move for purposes of damage scaling.

Damage reduction for injured fighters

The more injuries a fighter sustains, the less damage they're going to take. Damage scaling for injured fighters works as follows.

  • At 51% health or higher there is no damage scaling.
  • 50% health damage scaling is 95%.
  • 25% health damage scaling is 90%.
  • 15% health damage scaling is 75%.

This means if a character has 25% of their health, they will take 10% less damage from every move done to them.

Other Notes

• Counter Hits take off 25% more life and add additional hit stun.
• Stun damage is reduced the exact same way in combos as health damage, but the amount of life you have does not affect it.
• How much Super meter you gain is also reduced in the same way combos are for damage.
• Scaling always rounds up and it rounds each hit individually, which is handy when you want to calculate the damage of combos without actually executing them in the game.

Contributions to this guide by Genotox, Buktooth, Yeb and Face.


YAYIAMLEET said on April 24, 2010 at 5:23 p.m.

"The wombo, the combo"

Profound_sadness said on May 30, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.

@ everyone bitching about this system:


mach1545 said on July 6, 2010 at 8:18 a.m.

I think the scaling's decent, but I'd like it better if it were toned down a bit...

Meteo2 said on November 30, 2010 at 8:34 p.m.

The phrase "And each hit beyond the ninth drops the damage by an additional 10%" is misleading/incorrect. After testing, my understanding is that at the tenth scaled hit and EVERY hit beyond, the damage is reduced to 10% rounded up (for each hit of a single attack), and it isn't reduced further. This caused me much frustration in the past when trying to work out long combos on paper before testing.

oghaggard said on July 18, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.

I really hate the damage reduction in SFIV. It's one thing SFXT did right, no 50, 25, 15% markers for damage reduction, just straight-up damage... too bad they won't be correcting this poor design choice for Ultra SFIV (most likely).

Spabobin said on July 22, 2013 at 9:43 p.m.

@ #5 Damage scaling is even more severe in SFxT because combos tend to be much longer. That more than balances out the lack of damage reduction based on health (and I haven't tested it out, so as far as I know SFxT could have the damage reduction for low health characters as well).

But it really doesn't matter, you can just pretend each character has slightly more health than what is listed, so basically Ryu might have closer to 1050 health instead of 1000, and so forth. Can you actually give a legitimate reason for this being a bad design choice? It's not like it unbalances things in any way.

NotTellingYou said on August 19, 2014 at 5:48 p.m.

I didn't know about this. Thanks eventhubs

sergio_reyes_ said on November 24, 2014 at 9:36 p.m.

Need attack much, more faster , training kick punch attack , practice, combo need a goog skill

handa711 said on December 31, 2014 at 10:21 p.m.

So the 10th hit do 0 damage?


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