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Street Fighter X Tekken mechanics and gameplay

Guide last updated on
March 5, 2012 at 6:08 p.m. PST

The systems and mechanics of Street Fighter X Tekken

General Overview
Street Fighter X Tekken is a game similar in structure to Street Fighter 4 and Tekken Tag Tournament. Tactics are melded from both games to create the 2v2 battle system.

Unlike other team games the moment one of your characters goes down the round is over. It's important to manage the life bars of each character separately rather than acting as if they were one collective life bar.

Most of the techniques listed below function as counters to opponent strategies, so it's good to commit them all to memory if you ever get stuck in a bad situation.

Techniques, Universal Options and Mechanics
Dashing or Backdashing
Dashing in Street Fighter X Tekken can be done to close the distance or chase an opponent after a knockdown. They're generally slow across the board so it's not a good idea to dash in crazily.

Backdashes are fully invulnerable on startup for a very brief period of time. This is good for avoiding wakeup situations where you're under a lot of pressure. There are several advanced techniques to catch invincible backdashes as proven by Street Fighter 4 so it's best to keep an eye on how the opponent attacks on wakeup.

Tag, Switch, Tag Cancel, Switch Cancel
Hitting these two buttons at the same time when in a neutral position switches your point and backup character. While your point character is invincible upon posing to switch, the backup character can be struck the moment they step on screen.

Switching your point character out safely allows them to regain "grey life" while the character is waiting in the wings. If however your backup character had grey life before the switch they will lose it all upon tag-in.

If you hit these buttons during the active period of a normal or special move then your point character will flash and the backup character will tag in during the move. This is called a Tag Cancel and costs one stock of the Cross Gauge to use.

Tag Cancels are useful for combo extension or for safe tagging provided that whatever move you used lasts long enough to act as a cover. Switching characters in via tag cancels does not allow you to retain grey life for your backup character, however.

Cross Cancel, Alpha Counter, Crossover Counter, Blowback
This button combination will only activate a Cross Cancel if you are in blockstun. It also costs one meter of the Cross Gauge to use.

Using this will initiate an EX move that is fully invincible and will knock the opponent out of their blockstring. If you keep getting pressured with long strings by the opponent this is an easy way to turn the tables against them.

or Chain Combo ending in  or
Launchers and Cross Rush
Striking both Hard Attacks will launch your opponent into the air similar in style to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Launchers are lower-body invincible for a large amount of time and they automatically trigger a tag-in from your partner if they land.

You can also chain into launchers within a combo as shown above (These are not lower-body invincible). This is an easy way to guarantee a safe tag-in though it limits the combo options when your partner comes in.

Something of note is that it's possible to do Cross Rush starting from both a Light and Medium Attack but it is not possible to Cross Rush from a single Hard Attack.

Launchers are extremely unsafe if blocked regardless of which method of launching you rely on. While the blockstun and pushback is massive an experienced player will always be able to punish a guarded Launcher.

(Special Move Command)
Special Move and EX Move Charging
Every character in Street Fighter X Tekken has a single special move where they can hold down the button to charge it up.

If you fully charge the special move in question you'll get a Super Art without having to spend any meter. It takes a large amount of time to charge to that point though. You can use Tag Cancels to buy yourself time to get off this fully charged bonus.

If you charge it up to the point where you see the flash of a lightning bolt and release the button you'll get an EX version of the special move without having to spend meter.

You can dash or backdash out of the charging animation for the special move at any time. If you wait for the lightning bolt flash animation and then dash to cancel the charging you'll actually store a Counter property on your next normal or special move. This is important as this opens up a ton of combo opportunities and extra juggle options. If you whiff the normal/special move or it's blocked you'll lose the Counter property.

This charging technique also works for EX moves. Charged EX moves will charge to Super state much faster than their regular counterparts. It also won't consume EX meter until the move is released.

Dash-canceling a chargeable special move has interesting ramifications on offense and defense in Street Fighter X Tekken. An easy example is canceling out of an unsafe normal into a special move charge, dash canceling immediately and attacking the opponent.

(Example Motion featuring Ryu)
Super Arts
Super Art inputs differ depending on the character but all of them cost 2 Cross Gauge bars to use. Some Supers are invincible and others are not. What makes Supers stand out though are their damage and the fact that you can cancel a chain combo into them.

This makes confirming into a Super Art rather easy since chains give you lots of time to consider the option of using them. Inputs for Supers tend to be on the easy side so there's not much room for error should you need to pull one off.

Cross Art
Cross Arts are very similar to Super Arts in terms of how you combo into them but they have a bit more purpose to them other than damage. For starters, a Cross Art consumes all three stocks in the Cross Gauge.

Cross Arts also remove all recoverable life from an opponent so if the character being hit has "grey life" of any kind they will lose all of it. Another important fact is that a Cross Art also acts as a safe tag for your partner in case you need to switch out.

Team order is a consideration for the Cross Art as well. Some characters do more of less damage depending on if you have them on point or the backup position when you perform a Cross Art.

The best way to think of a Cross Art is a Tag and a Super Art combined. All characters have the same universal Cross Art input.

Cross Assault
Cross Assault activation requires all three stocks of the Cross Gauge. This brings out your partner onto the screen for a dual battle.

Once both of your characters are on-screen, one is controlled by the CPU (or a second player) while you control the point character. This allows you to set up very difficult to block situations, multi-crossups and other tricks.

Once Cross Assault begins your Cross Gauge begins to act as a timer. Once you run entirely out of Cross Gauge your partner will return to their off-screen position. Cross Assault doesn't last for very long (5 seconds) so take advantage of it while you can.

You can only activate Pandora Mode if you have less than 25% of your lifebar on the point character. Once activated you sacrifice your point character to allow your backup character to tag in while in Pandora status.

The moment the character exits the Pandora cinematic a timer starts that lasts around 8 seconds. During these 8 seconds you have an unlimited amount of Super meter at your disposal along with a damage boost to all of your moves.

Should you fail to KO the opponent before the timer runs out you will automatically lose. Activating Pandora also does not give you any extra health, so you'll have to be careful if your backup character has low life.

Given the extreme risk and lack of time to use the Pandora Mode, it's recommended to try to activate it mid-combo for the sole purpose of winning a round. Should you activate it without any sort of set-up, it is very easy for an opponent to run away from.

Contributions to this guide by RebornOdin.


hokuwokk said on March 5, 2012 at 8:54 p.m.

This is awesome.Just what I needed .

RebornOdin said on March 5, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.

Catalyst, fix Cross Assault section, paragraph 2. There are no unblockables in Street Fighter X Tekken.


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