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.
Hit Box players are able to dash near-instantly. It is naturally quicker to tap the same direction twice with one finger, but there are additional arcade-button techniques that will lower your dash motion to as low as 3 frames! With that being said, let us not give our opponents any extra information we do not want them to have and speed up our inputs. Like all instant techniques, perfection takes practice and knowledge. But with your Hit Box you have the tools, and I am going to give you the knowledge. This is a guide on dashing on the Hit Box.
Dashing as We Know It
Forward Your dashes have already gotten a speed boost just by playing leverless, but no matter how fast your finger is you still have to raise it back off of the button and re-press it a second time. This method of input is too encumbering to be called an "instant" dash. We do not actually need to lift our finger off of the button at all. Let us get out of the button's way instead!
Instant Double Tap Dash
(button springs to Neutral)
Slide Index Finger through same direction
The Double Tap technique was originally used on joysticks for the attack buttons in combo links to help ensure that a button was not pressed too soon (or too late). But using the same Sanwa arcade buttons as our directions, this technique can be used for movement too!The reason this is so much faster than a "normal" dash is twofold:
1. We are using two fingers instead of one.
2. We are sliding through the button, not pressing it downward.
The entire process of lifting our finger upwards and re-pressing downwards is eliminated. Applying the Slide technique to your fingers helps ensure that your input speed will consistently be only touching the button for a smaller amount frames. With practice you can be on and off a button in 1 to 2 frames nearly every time.
The Middle Finger is recommended for leading the Double Tap equally on both left and right sides, however, even if this means slightly moving your hand left or right to either side. The reasoning is that it is uses the same hand gesture on both the Forward and Back Dash, as well as the fact that these are your most coordinated fingers.Despite moving your hand in this motion, why not just Double Tap with your Ring finger? Throughout my years of teaching and demonstrating at FGC events, I have learned that for most people Double Tapping from the Middle-to-Index Finger is the most natural method. To help explain, let us do a few little experiments:
1. Alternate your Middle Finger and Index Finger up and down opposite of each other; now similarly alternate your Ring and Middle Fingers up and down. Chances are your Middle + Index Fingers are much more independent of each other.
2. Take your left hand and roll your fingers across a table (like you are bored). Most likely your hand rolled from left -to-right; from Pinky to Index.
If both of these apply to you, your most natural hand motion is to lead with your Middle Finger first and then chasing behind with your Index Finger:
The last bit of advice for mastery is a small detail for your Index Finger. Watching the video again you will notice how I raise my Index to create more 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.
INSTANT SOCD DASH
SOCD Neutral - Slide through the opposite directional button (Forward + Back).
Forward - After sliding through, the Back button is naturally released from SOCD Neutral. The Forward button is still held to complete the dash on release.
After making sense of the motion, this is the theoretical strongest dash technique. By utilizing SOCD Neutral we can unlock a true Instant Dash.
When we hold Left + Right, they cancel each other out.Releasing the opposite (Back) direction from the SOCD Neutral position is what completes the dashing technique. The SOCD is no longer cleaning inputs and you are returned to holding a direction as normal! This gives us a clean Forward-Neutral-Forward dash input.
Forward -- SOCD Neutral -- Forward
Once mastered, this is a more consistent hand technique than Double Tapping. By holding the initial Forward direction, SOCD Neutral eliminates the speed required of the first finger finger, because if you linger too long both fingers might trip over the same button. No space for Neutral means no dash. The SOCD dash encourages your second finger to hit the very next frame since we are commanding Neutral as a button press, not a release from the button.
When sliding the opposite direction through the Back button (SOCD Neutral), returning to a Forward input happens immediately. The only timing here is how fast you were able to slide through the button.
It may seem awkward at first to coordinate this motion between your Ring and Index fingers, but it becomes thoughtless with experience. It will be safe and easy to finish your dash instantly in 3 to 5 frames (every time). Personally, I aim my dash timing for ~4 or 5 frames for safety so that if I get excited in a match, I will not accidentally fly too fast through the motion in 2 frames. Yes, you heard right: Your fingers can cleanly move faster than 60 fps!
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!
If you have any questions about Hit Box, please join our community on Discord and visit the #hit-box channel. In addition, be sure explore the "Hit Box" tag at the bottom of the post or go to our Hit Box Index for more How-To content.Happy Training,
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- HBDustin co-created the Hit Box controller with his brother Shawn and is currently acting as company president. He also creates educational content for you with love and has been the acting hands guy in Hit Box videos for the past decade.