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Chun-Li Street Fighter 3 Third Strike Strategy Guide and Moves

Guide last updated on
August 16, 2011 at 10:19 p.m. PDT

Chun-Li: Street Fighter 3 Third Strike Character Guide

Character Overview

Known in some circles as "The Bee-otch!" because of how frustrating she is to play against. Chun Li has been regarded as top tier character for a long time in Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, but recently she's overtaken Yun for the top spot overall in most player's minds.

Chun Li is a defensive God. Her moves are damaging and she has one of the best Super Arts in the game, and multiple ways to combo into it.

Her moves are quick, have great priority and do nice damage, so she wins out on a lot of poke situations. She has a devastating punishing game when she has one fully charged Super meter. Making a single mistake against her can cost the other fighter almost half of their live.

Chun Li's dashes are fast and she has some great mix ups after landing a Super Art II (Super Lighting Legs). Her regular throw is strong, and her Kara Throws are excellent, giving her a lot of deceptive range to play with.

Chun Li's biggest problem is Yun. It's the only match where she's at a disadvantage and Yun is probably the most popular character in the game, so if you decide to play her, this is a match up you're going to want to study — a lot.

Her few weaknesses include a lousy anti air game against some characters, and not many ways to punish the other player for mistakes — until she gets a Super meter going. But make no mistake, she's one heck of a fighter.

+ One of the best Supers in the game. Super Lightning Legs (Super Art II: Houyoku-Sen).
+ Exceptional poke attacks.
+ Outstanding defensive game.
+ Great Kara Throws and her regular throw is nice as well.
+ Good foot speed and her moves come out very quickly.
+ In the tier rankings, she has an advantage against every character in the game, besides Yun.
+ Tiny hit box when crouching, means she can duck under some moves that would hit other characters.

- Yun's Dive Kick.
- Her combos aren't that good unless she's got a Super charged up.
- Doesn't have much in the way of offense. Her game is based on counters and punishing.
- Weak anti air game.
- She's a very popular character, so most players know her tricks.
- Has a big hit box when she's falling, making her easier than most to juggle.

Kara Throws

Chun Li has two very effective ways to do a Kara Throw in Third Strike. From a short distance outside of her normal throw range, Hard Kick then the throw command works best. From further out, you'll want to stick with Medium Kick then the throw command.

Both the Medium and Hard Kick Kara throws are very good and if you plan on playing Chun Li at a high level, so it's important to learn how to use them.

Not only can you threaten with your Crouching Medium Kick into SA2 from a little ways out, but also you can make your enemy fear a Kara Throw from this distance, putting them in a, "pick your poison," situation.

Buffering and Masking Chun Li's Lightning Legs

Top Chun Li players will 'buffer' her Lightning Legs so they're prepared to throw them out at the drop of a hat. To execute her Lightning Legs, you need to press a Kick button 5 times, fairly quickly. On the 5th press, she'll start hammering away with her leg.

This is good to know because Chun Li can use her Lightning Legs as a counter against people who parry some of her pokes.

The idea here is to have your Lightning Legs ready so that if one of your pokes is parried, it only takes a button press to activate your Legs.

But if you're standing there spamming random kicks, it isn't going to be too hard for the other fighter to guess you're attempting to do your Lightning Legs.

So you can 'mask' your Kick presses behind another move. For example, with Chun, if you do a Back + Hard Punch command, and then quickly press a Kick button 4 times before the animation is finished, you'll have your Lightning Legs buffered.

Now if they parry your Back + Hard Punch attack, and you can instantly go into your Legs to beat them back. And if they block or do something else, you can react to that accordingly.

This is a great technique, because it makes your opponent much more leery of parrying your random pokes — and Chun Li's pokes are one of her biggest strengths — so having the freedom to do these without having too much fear of being parried is very helpful.

Note: You'll need fast fingers and a lot of practice to get this down.

Post mix up after a Super Art II (Super Lightning Legs, SA2)

After landing one of the best Supers in the game, Chun Li's Super Art II, she can do a Super Jump Cancel, which is accomplished by doing the Super Jump command right after the last hit of her SA2 lands.

This allows Chun Li to juggle her opponent as they're falling down, and can set up some nasty situations for them. Here's a few tricks you can pull off.

Juggle with Jumping Light Kick: One of the more popular options because this 'resets' your opponent and instead of being knocked down, they'll land on their feet with you right next to them. From this spot, you have some good options open to you. You can pause for a moment and throw them, do a Crouching Medium Kick and Cancel into another SA2, which will likely kill them, dash under as they're falling and either throw or attempt to set up a combo, or several other tricks.

Juggle while jumping with Back + Hard Punch 2x: If you just want to get as much damage as possible out of this situation, juggle your falling opponent with this. While this will also 'reset' them, you'll be too far away to immediately follow up with anything unless they're in the corner. Still, you're fairly close so you can walk or dash forward and get in range to threaten them again very quickly.

Juggle with Jumping Hard Kick: Unlike most of attacks Chun can juggle with after an SA2, this will knock them down, and won't perform a 'reset'. Damage is good too.

Juggle with Toe Tap (Down + Medium Kick) 2x: Depending on the character you're facing, you might be able to perform a Toe Tap after your SA2. If you catch them twice with this it scores a knockdown.

Against other characters you can do one Toe Top and follow up with a Hard Kick (and some other moves), which if it catches them will perform a 'reset'.

This option is handy because you can trick your opponent into thinking you may 'reset' them and instead do a knockdown or vice versa.

Special Moves

A (2) next to an arrow means to hold the joystick in that direction for 2 seconds to 'charge' the move.

With moves that charge by holding back or down, you can use the diagonal positions to charge up as well. For example, if you're holding back, you can jump backwards or block low and still maintain your charge.

Joystick Joystick Joystick (Press Kick Button Rapidly)
Lightning Leg Kicks (Hyakuretsu Kyaku)
Lightning Legs are a very situational move in this game. They work pretty well to stuff parry attempts, and because Chun Li has a ton of great pokes, this ends up being a useful move. The section above on "Buffering and Masking Chun Li's Lightning Legs" explains how to use this strategy.

Chun's Lightning Legs take a decent amount of skill to parry, so you can use these to pressure your opponent and take off a solid bit of chip (block) damage in the process.

Used on their own though, this move is easy to counter, so be careful when and how you throw these out there in a match.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
Fireball (Kikouken)
As with most Fireballs in Third Strike, it's pretty much useless as a projectile, even more so than other characters because this thing has very limited range. The Light version travels about 3/4ths screen's distance, and Hard Punch goes about as far as Dan's Fireball in other Street Fighter games.

But this attack works well from close range because you can Cancel into her Kikouken after executing a poke move and sometimes score a two-hit combo, or use it to hit-confirm into a Super Art if you're close enough.

You're probably not going to use Chun's Fireball a lot, but it does come in handy some times to throw off the timing of someone attempting a parry or for her combos.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
Overhead Flip Kick (Hazan Shuu)
Must be blocked high. A solid high/low mix up attack, because you can Cancel into it from Chun's Crouching Medium Kick. Don't get predictable with this though, because if your opponent gets wise, they'll start to parry and punish it.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
Spinning Bird Kick
Chun Li flips upside down and spins with her legs out. Not too many uses for this move, really only handy in combos when you don't have Super meter to play with, as the damage is solid.

You can be punished if it's blocked and it's not too difficult to hit her out of it. You'll rarely use this in matches.

Joystick Joystick Joystick (In the air)
Air Throw

Joystick (When near wall in the air)
Wall Jump
Works the same as it has in past Street Fighter games.

Joystick Joystick Joystick (In the air)
Toe Tap
Using this move will probably get you punished, with an exception being if you want to juggle the other player after landing your Super Art II.

EX Moves

Joystick Joystick Joystick (Press Two Kick Buttons Rapidly)
EX-Lightning Leg Kicks (Hyakuretsu Kyaku)
These knock down, and do roughly the same damage as Chun's normal Lightning Legs.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
EX-Fireball (Kikouken)
This does more damage than the regular version, and the projectile travels indefinitely until it either hits or goes off the screen. Works alright in some combos, but considering what you could be spending your Super meter on, you probably won't find too much use for this.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
EX-Overhead Flip Kick (Hazan Shuu)
Like the normal version, this must be blocked high, but this version knocks down and does more damage.

Instead of arcing forward while jumping, this causes Chun to fly straight up and come down with her leg.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
EX-Spinning Bird Kick
A handy, "Get the heck of me!" attack. It has a few frames of invulnerability, starts up very quickly, plus does good damage. It's also extremely difficult to parry. Best used as a getting up move.

Out of all of Chun Li's EX moves, this is the one you'll be using the most.

Super Arts

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
SA1: Super Fireball (Kikou-Shou) • 1 stock, 2.2 EX moves
This isn't a bad Super. It only has one stock, and doesn't give Chun Li much for EX moves, but it charges up quickly, is damaging and you can combo into it easily. Plus it's a good anti air weapon.

This is best used in when your opponent is against a corner. That way all 20 hits of the special are able to land. When done anywhere else the opponent gets sent backwards missing around 2-3 hits.

The biggest problem with this Super is that her Super Lightning Legs (SA2) are just much better, so while you can use this effectively, most players feel this is definitely inferior to SA2.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
SA2: Super Lightning Legs (Houyoku-Sen) • 2 stocks, 5.2 EX moves
The Super Art to select, period. It takes off a ton of life, it's wicked easy to combo into and punish with, plus you get two stocks and a lot of EX meter to play with. Plus it has some invincibility properties, so it will travel through projectiles.

Also after you land it, you can Cancel the last hit with a Super Jump and juggle the other fighter for another hit or two, plus set up some 'reset' mind games. Also if you think your opponent may parry it, try throwing a Fireball before you execute this. The Fireball in the middle makes the parry timing more difficult.

The biggest problem with this Super is it takes awhile to get one stock fully charged, but if it were easier, Chun Li would be down right unfair.

Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick Joystick
SA3: Super Overhead Kick (Tensei-Ranka) • 3 stocks, 5.4 EX moves
Some heavily defensive Chun players like this Super Art, since it provides them with a good anti air attack — and anti air is one of Chun Li's biggest weaknesses. BUT that benefit seems to be far outweighed by just how good her Super Art 2 is.

Also, this thing has pitiful range, even though the damage is solid. Definitely the least popular of her three Supers and — in most player's minds — her worst.


• Important note •
Chun Li can Cancel some of her normal moves into her Specials and Super Arts. The more common normals used to do this are Back + Hard Punch, Crouching Medium Kick, Crouching Hard Punch, Standing Medium Punch and Back + Medium Punch. You can also Cancel into her Super Art 2 from Close Standing Hard Kick if you use the Super Jump Cancel trick.

This gives her some other options for adding variety to her attacks. So mix and match these normals with her combos below, depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Jumping Hard Kick, Back + Hard Punch, Cancel into Fireball
One of the few combos Chun Li can do without a Super meter, although the range and speed of her Fireball mean you have to be very close to land all three hits.

Crouching Medium Kick, Cancel into Lightning Legs
Works well for spacing, even if it's blocked.

Jumping Hard Kick, Crouching Hard Punch, Cancel into Medium Spinning Bird Kick
Chun Li's most damaging combo without using her Super bar, solid.


Jumping Hard Kick, Crouching Hard Punch, Cancel into EX-Spinning Bird Kick
The EX-Spinning Bird Kick does a bit more damage than the regular version.

Crouching Medium Kick, Cancel into EX-Lightning Legs
Use this combo if you need to score a knock down.

Back + Medium Punch, Cancel into an EX-Fireball
This will let you eke out a bit of extra damage than doing just a regular fireball at the end. Very situational combo.

Super Art Combos

You won't find every possible combo for Chun Li here, but you will find most of her core combos that you should know. Again, you can sub in several of her other normal attacks instead of the ones listed below.

SA1: Super Fireball (Kikou-Shou) Combos

Jump in with Hard Kick, Crouching Hard Punch, Cancel into SA1
Good damage on this, but try to catch your opponent in the corner so your Super Fireball scores more hits.

Back + Hard Punch, Cancel into Fireball, Cancel into SA1
Good way to confirm you've hit before launching into your Super.

SA2: Super Lightning Legs (Houyoku-Sen) Combos

Crouching Medium Kick, Cancel into SA2, Super Jump Cancel and jump to juggle your opponent with Back + Hard Punch 2x
A simple, but VERY effective combo. This is the main way you'll punish your opponent and you can also hit-confirm it after the Crouching Medium Kick, but you need very, very good timing to do so.

You can swap out the Crouching Medium Kick for Chun Li's Back + Hard Punch or several of her other normal attacks.

When you Super Jump Cancel on the final hit of her SA2, you can juggle your opponent with several moves which puts Chun in a great position after wards. For more information on this technique, see the "Post mix up after a Super Art II" section above.

Crouching Medium Kick, Cancel into a Fireball, Cancel into SA2
An easier way to hit confirm into Chun's SA2, but you have to be fairly close for it to combo. The Fireball also works well to throw off the timing of would-be parriers.

Down-Forward + Hard Kick, SA2
The Reverse Flip Kick hits your opponent's backside when done from the right range, be sure to SA2 as soon as you land though, or it won't combo.

SA3: Super Overhead Kick (Tensei-Ranka) Combos

Back + Hard Punch, Cancel into SA3
Actually does pretty good damage, but not much range on this.

(Opponent in corner) Back + Medium Punch, Cancel into Fireball, Cancel into SA3
A bit easier to hit confirm with this combo than the one listed above, if your enemy is cornered.

Heavy contributions to the Combo section by TJ369.

Normal Moves

This is not a full list of all of Chun Li's normal moves, just some noteworthy ones.

Joystick Joystick Joystick
Crouching Medium Kick
Probably Chun Li's best normal move. Can be hit-confirmed into her Super Art II, good range and speed too.

Joystick Joystick Joystick
Back + Hard Punch
One of Chun Li's best pokes, and you can hit-confirm with it into her Super Lightning Legs (SA2). Has great priority, so it will beat out a lot of other character's normal attacks. Speed and damage on this are also good, but it doesn't have much range.

Hard Punch
Just a damn nasty attack. Great range, speed and power. Another one of her best pokes.

Joystick Joystick Joystick
Down-Forward + Hard Kick
Chun Li will attempt to jump past her opponent and kick them in the back of the head. If this lands, you should be able to combo into another attack after wards.

Joystick Joystick Joystick
Crouching Medium Punch
While this move looks a bit weird at first, it hits low and it has more range than any of Chun Li's other crouching attacks, including Crouching Medium Kick. The trade off is it cannot be Canceled.

Color guide

Colors requiring more than one button can be unlocked by beating the game with this character.

Chun Li's color guide

Contributions to this guide by TJ369, Nydrin, Lostintheflurry and Blue Lightning.


abbas said on May 7, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.


darkspirit138 said on August 28, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.

Interesting how she was regarded as the best in SFIII and now she is regarded as one of the, if not the, best in SSFIV. They obviously love her and her finely crafted legs.


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