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reversal, sometimes informally referred to as a "wake-up", is a technique in the Street Fighter series and other fighting games, where a player performs a counterattack, often immediately after receiving an attack.


Reversals are performed by inputting the desired attack (anything from a special attack to a Super/Ultra Combo) so that it is performed the very moment the player recovers. This can only occur in the following situations:

  • Getting up or quick standing after knockdown. The term "wake-up" refers specifically to this kind of reversal.
  • Exiting the blocking or hit stunned state.
  • Landing after being hit in mid-air by non-knockdown attacks.
  • Exiting the stunned state.

The window for performing reversals is generally small, and opponents will often try to attack a downed player the moment they get up. As such, reversals are best performed with moves that possess invincibility frames, such as the Shoryuken.

In order to perform a reversal with a charge motion move, such as the Flash Kick, after a quick stand, the quick stand must be performed by quickly tapping buttons instead of moving the joystick, so as not to interrupt the charging.

In some games, as well as some outside of the Street Fighter series, properly-performed reversals will be registered by the game itself as a mechanic which may grant certain bonuses to the user (via extra points or extra meter).

Street Fighter Alpha 3Edit

Certain special moves in Street Fighter Alpha 3 can only be performed as reversals. Examples include Chun-Li's Tenshokyaku in X-ISM and Balrog's Buffalo Head.

Street Fighter IV seriesEdit

In addition to providing a slightly larger window for reversals, the games also grant reversal attacks Armor Breaking properties. This works well if the opponent attempts to follow up with a charged Focus Attack, for example.

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