By Eduardo Perez-Frangie of Evil Geniuses
I’ve been streaming Super Street Fighter 4 AE: 2012 for quite a while now and one of the questions that get asked a lot is “Eduardo, do you Plink?” or “What is Plink?” This post is to explain what Plinking is, why it’s important, and how to do it.
P-Linking is a technique used by many players to help land their hard combo (1-frame and 2-frame) links consistently in a match by taking advantage of the system that allows you to repeat a button input for 2 frames in a row. An easier explanation is that “P-Linking” adds an additional frame to the combo, making it easier to perform.
The term “Priority Linking” is used because of the nature of how Plinking works: the input you want repeated can be controlled knowing the “priority” of the buttons in Street Fighter IV. If you’ve ever played a Street Fighter game you will know that the buttons the game provides are three set of punches and three set of kicks ranging from low damage to high damage buttons, but their priority is simple: medium attacks have priority over light attacks, heavy/hard attacks have priority over both, and kicks have priority over punches. If you put it in notations it would look like this:
Plinking is done by doing a piano motion across two or more buttons exactly one-sixtieth (1/60) of a second, or one frame, apart. Stick players will have an easier time because of the way the buttons template while controller or pad players will have a more difficult time. The good thing is that it only works if a higher priority command is inputted first. If you use the training mode option of input display you can tell when you’ve done a successful/wrong P-Link. A successful P-Link of HK would look like this:
First input is on the bottom, so it shows Hard Kick immediately followed by Medium Kick + Hard Kick. This is how you know you’ve P-linked correctly.
If you get:
This means you hit the buttons too fast so that they’ve actually registered as one simultaneous input and you have to slow down your timing a bit. Another sign of wrong P-Link would be:
This tells you that you are pushing the buttons too slowly and that Medium Kick wasn’t quick enough to P-Link the Hard Kick. This means that you have to press the buttons quicker to adjust.
Ultimately, P-Linking is really important if you want to play Super Street Fighter 4 AE: 2012 because not only it will be easier to execute hard combos, but it opens the doors to play characters that aren’t used a lot because of the difficulty of their combos.