Have you ever noticed how your character takes a little stutter step before a dash comes out? Your opponent did. When someone spies these movements before an animation begins, this is called "telegraphing." Opponents can see you "winding up" and anticipate a dash coming. In short, slow inputs let your opponent see what you are doing before it happens.
Inputting a dash on a traditional joystick lever or DPad will always have one small step before the move comes out. This amount of time between tapping Forward-Forward or Back-Back is the amount of extra frames given to your opponent to react to. And in a competitive environment every frame counts.
But if you are the proud owner of a Cross|Up... well, you don't have a traditional joystick! You have the power of both the Left Analog Stick and the DPad at the same time! This revolutionizes the traditional lever and what can be done to round out any weak points.
The extra white-rimmed directional buttons are Left, Down, and Right (top), and "Up" is near your thumb; aka, "the Jump Button."
Technically, we don't even need to use the lever. But what if we used both of lever + buttons together for movement to make our dashes perfect? Read on to learn how to erase your telegraphing and master the Cross|Up Instant Dash.
Dashing as We Know It
Directional buttons Left, Down, and Right are located up top. Even by using only the buttons themselves we can tap into a cleaner and speedier dash. After all, Sanwa arcade buttons only need to move millimeters to engage.
While you do not always hover your right hand up top with the directional buttons, undoubtedly there will be reactive times where you are not hovering directly above every button. Being aware of the three tiers of buttons comes naturally overtime.
The top row of directional buttons is relative to the middle row of Punch buttons, exactly the same way as the middle row is relative to the bottom row of Kick buttons. The new challenge is hitting buttons on the bottom row while you are hovering over directions at top. Luckily, as our hand reaches up, our thumb naturally moves up to the Kick row. You are well covered.
The idea is to not camp the top row, however. The Cross|Up is about giving you more options, not forcing a specific playstyle. Rather it aims to add the right amount of seasoning to what you are already cooking up. The directional buttons are there to help when you need them.
Double Tap Button Dash
Neutral - The button returns to Neutral.
Forward - Slide your Index Finger through same button.
If this is this only technique you learn on Cross|Up, you are already a stronger player.
The Double Tap technique was originally used on joysticks for attack buttons in combo links to help ensure that a button was not pressed too soon (or too late). Cross|Up has these same Sanwa arcade buttons as its directions, meaning this technique can now be used for movement too!
Sliding your Middle Finger first before your Index Finger is the preferred way to Double Tap. And watching the video again you will notice how I slightly raise my Index Finger to create artificial distance between the first and second hit. This helps measure out the timing physically to ensure your fingers do not get muddled up together! Remember: you need one frame of Neutral between the button hits.
Neutral - Let the stick snap back to Neutral.
Button Forward - Tap the Forward directional button with your right hand.
We have two hands; why don't we use them both? There is no reason to pick a favorite hand for dashing! By sharing the work between our left and right hands together, we are able to dash easily.
The best part about this technique is that it organically flows in your gameplay. The basic "intentions" are led with the joystick, while the directional button is added to perfect it. Lead with the joystick; help with the buttons.
A big note about releasing the joystick back to Neutral: On both sides I am hitting the lever with my thumb, not holding the lever. In slow motion it reveals that my thumb hits the lever and curves upward-and-away or passes through the lever. I'm getting out of the lever's way. If we were deliberately moving the lever back to Neutral by hand manually, it would take much more time and generally cause more problems than help. Rather, push through the stick and let the lever snap itself back!
INSTANT X|SOCD DASH
Lever Forward - Tilt and hold Forward.
X|SOCD Neutral - Slide through the opposite directional button with your right hand.
Lever Forward - The Back directional button is released while the Lever Forward is still being held to complete the dash.
After making sense of the motion, this is the strongest dash technique. By utilizing X|SOCD Neutral we can unlock a true Instant Dash.
When we hold Left + Right, they cancel each other out.
To make a Cross|SOCD (X|SOCD), one direction is the joystick and the other direction is a button (Analog + DPad).
Releasing the directional button is what completes the dashing technique. The X|SOCD is no longer cleaning both inputs to Neutral and is immediately returned to holding the stick as usual. This gives us a clean Forward-Neutral-Forward dash input.
Joystick -- Joystick + Button -- Joystick
Once mastered, this is extremely practical, effective, and becomes second nature. Overall, there is less risk than any other dash technique we have shown. The coordination between the left and right hands are minimal, and holding the lever eliminates the awkward timing of letting the lever return to center between hits.
It may seem awkward at first to coordinate this motion, but it becomes thoughtless with experience. It will feel like dashing is as easy on the lever as walking forward. It will be safe and easy to finish your dash instantly in 3 to 6 frames (every time). Personally, I aim my dash timing for ~4 or 5 frames for safety so that if I get too excited in a match, I will not accidentally fly through the motion too fast.
Opponents are not used to dashes coming instantly out of nowhere. They might not even realize why their reactions are "slow today." So practice up your favorite technique in this guide and show no mercy with your new superpower: the Instant Dash!Happy Training,