In fighting games, a Groove is a setting which changes the mechanics of the character in play according to several rules. These settings aim to direct the gameplay of a character by giving the player a framework to structure the character's gameplay around.
These settings usually alter basic mechanics such as dodges and rolls. However, in some cases, the properties of certain moves will be significantly altered and in extreme cases, moves may only be identical in name and nature.
Most games are single groove, in that their basic mechanics are fixed for all gameplay. However, selected games, such as Capcom vs SNK, have multiple grooves, of which any one can be applied to any character.
Many of these grooves may emulate a certain style of gameplay from a certain game, allowing players familiar with that game to choose a similar control scheme in games supporting a similar groove.
Grooves in M.U.G.E.N
Thanks to the ingenuity of character creators, grooves have been successfully ported to M.U.G.E.N in some characters. These are normally activated via palette tracking or a separate CNS file that is used for settings and variable control.
Characters with groove support may take their grooves from games with a single groove and combine them with other such grooves to make a multi-groove character.
Some character creators, most notably Don Drago, create characters that are not perfectly source accurate, but instead use their favoured combination of mechanics. They can then consider that combination as part of their personal groove.
List of games with multiple grooves
- The King of Fighters' 97 and The King of Fighters' 98 (Advanced and Extra)
- Capcom vs SNK series
- Melty Blood ("Moons")
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 ("-ism's")
- The Last Blade series
List of creators who have personal grooves
- Don Drago (Drago Groove)
- Seravy (A Touhou inspired card system)