What is a Lag Tactic?

– A lag tactic is an abusable almost strategy that is strong when used in net play.

Lag tactics are really dirty cause it goes against the rules of the way the game will behave if you were playing without anything lag at all aka playing offline.

Its very important to be able to decipher between what is a lag tactic when you are a competitive player. If you are traveling to tournaments you don’t want to be practicing by using or fighting against lag tactics since they won’t work against a seasoned player that has a lot of offline experience. Also you are wasting your time using lag tactics. In the long run you won’t improve as a player. You may accumulate points online because you are taking advantage of your environment but it won’t help you win or place top at a major tournament.

– Every fighting game has different lag tactics depending on the engine. In most 2D games you will have a lot of trouble anti airing people in the most common connection which is about 3-4 bars. So jumping becomes very powerful online. In 3D fighting games as well as games that use the overhead/low blocking mechanic you will have a hard time blocking mix ups even when you guess right. Slower mix ups will behave the same fast mix ups offline. It also becomes a lot harder to punish unsafe maneuvers online so players can play very crazy and never get punished for their bad habits.

Essential tactics that you must learn to reach a higher level offline but are difficult to learn online.

Walk forward and blocking
– This is useful against projectile characters. Most of the time you will try to walk forward and block a fireball only to get hit because of timing which forces you to block way ahead of time on a guess rather than on reaction. Making it harder to control space.

Anti Airing
– Because of online delay, it is hard to anti air jump ins on reaction. When you watch an offline competitive match. When you see an opponent jump they get reversed at almost the last possible second when they jump. Because of the delay people decide to just block the jump in attack because the anti air will come out late or not at all and you get hit for a big combo.

Whiff Punishing

– When someone misses an attack and you try to hit them in their recovery frames. This tactic is essential in offline competitive play. Online its harder to do because how when you see they whiffed and you go to attack your attack comes out too late and they are already recovered. T Hawk players love whiffing condor spire online and then going for EX condor spire or a command grab to grab a limb. Offline however this doesn’t work or isn’t as effective.

Frame trapping:
– Using the frame data of your attacks that give you frame advantage so you can follow up with a frame tight poke that can’t be reversed out of. For example you will see a lot of people mash a reversal through a frame trap that you thought was tight enough to bypass the reversal input. Unfortunately because of online timing your frame trap wasn’t tight enough and they were able to squeeze their reversal through.

To combat against this of course developers can just make better netcodes. In my opinion the game right now with the absolute best netcode is Killer Instinct. Honorable mentions are Blaz Blue, Soul Calibur 5 and Tekken Tag 2.

What you yourself can do is test your strategies offline especially in practice mode to see how effective they are as well as testing your opponents strategies on yourself and make sure they are legit.

Keep in mind a lot of characters online may seem like they aren’t that good online and vice versa. On the flip side characters offline will be terrible online but dominant offline. Examples being:

SF: Blanka (Really good online but offline struggles)

Injustice: Sinestro (Really good online but offline hes solid but is nowhere near as good as he is online)

Mortal Kombat: Johnny Cage/Sonya (these characters are broken online but offline still very solid. Sonya is top tier on and offline)

I hope you all check and double check your strategies so you can level up faster! Keep playing and hope to see you at the next event! 🙂

When I get a new capture card (mine is currently broken) I will give visual examples of lag tactics that we all come across.