A Throw (sometimes called a Grab) is a common attack in fighting games. The execution varies by game, but the most common executions are as follows:
- ( or ) + ( , , or ) (All Street Fighter games prior to Street Fighter III: Third Strike)
- + or ++ (Street Fighter III: Third Strike & later games)
- ( or ) + ( or ) (The King of Fighters)
Advantages of Throws
Although throws must be done at close range in order to connect, the main advantage that these attacks have is that they cannot be blocked. However, in most cases, they cannot hit opponents that are already in hitstun or blockstun from a prior attack, making them unusable in the middle of combos (exceptions to this rule do exist, such as Blazblue). While throws cannot be used in the middle of a combo, most games allow throws to be used to start a combo, albeit with an increased damage penalty. Another limitation is that most throws, with the exception of air throws, cannot hit an airborne opponent. Some games will also allow the grabbed opponent to escape the throw by performing a Throw Tech under certain conditions.
Occasionally, throws come in two variants - forward and reverse throws. The first keeps the opponent on the same side of screen as before the throw, the latter switches sides with the opponents under the throw. This is most noticeable in The King of Fighters series - throws are forward throws and throws are reverse throws.
In addition to the standard throw, some characters possess specials or supers that have the same properties as throws, which are sometimes known as Command Grabs or Command Throws. Grappler-type characters usually have movelists that consist primarily of Command Grab attacks, such as Zangief. Command Grabs usually have unique properties that set them aside from regular throws, and sport some of the highest damage outputs of moves in fighting games. The tradeoff, however, is that their command inputs tend to be more difficult and complex, ranging from and to .
360 and 720 Motions
As previously mentioned, most grappler type characters utilize and motions for their command grabs, commonly known as 360 and 720 motions, respectively. Players new to grappler characters or fighting games in general will often find it difficult to perform these commands as they involve the direction, so often times they will find themselves jumping instead of performing the grab. However, there are ways around this.
- motions are unique compared to standard motions such as or in that they can be started from any of the 4 cardinal directions ( , , , or ). Additionally, most games do not distinguish between and motions, so long as a complete rotation is performed, clockwise or counterclockwise motions do not matter, so these two directional inputs should be treated as identical.
- For motions, some games, notably Capcom games, do not require each of the motions to be in the same direction. For instance, will still register as a command.
- It is a common misconception that and motions require the player to perform a full 360 or 720 motion, but this is not the case. Most games will register a 270 degree motion as a full 360 motion, while a 540 motion is sufficient for a 720 motion. For instance, will register as a motion, allowing one to perform the input just before a jump can occur. For 720 motions, only one and a half complete rotations are necessary (for instance, will register as a motion).
- Because instances of jumping can sometimes be unavoidable, especially when performing a 720 motion, one of the best ways is to buffer the command during another action. Some of the most common ways to do this are:
- During an empty jump. While in midair, perform the or motion before landing, and complete the input just as the character lands, the character will immediately perform the grab as soon as they land.
- During a forward dash. Games that have forward dashes such as Street Fighter often don't allow jumping during the dash, so a or motion can be performed during this time, with the input being completed as the character leaves the dash in order to perform the grab.
- During another attack. While the character is performing an attack, the or motion can be buffered toward the end, so that they go into the grab after they leave the attack. Do note however that if the attack makes contact with the opponent, the opponent will be immune to the grab move until they leave their hitstate, so you may have to adjust your timing of the inputs to compensate. See the section "Tick Throws" below for more information on this.
Although throws themselves cannot be used as part of a combo in most games, they can be set up in situations known as Tick Throws. This technique involves tricking your opponent into getting thrown, such as dropping a combo or blockstring, and throwing the opponent as they are still expecting to block. This technique could also involve the use of a move with a low amount of recovery frames of hit/blockstun, and then having the throw connect at the first possible moment they leave hit/blockstun. The latter method, however, requires knowledge of the character's Frame Data of their moves in order to best utilize tick throws.