Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite: Basic controls and techniques the game doesn't tell you

Looking to get started in your Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite professional career? No better place to begin than the basics. Unfortunately, MVCI’s tutorial does a very bad job of teaching you those basics. So here are MVCI’s essential controls and systems, along with some advanced movement and attack techniques that utilize them. Be sure to study up on these before heading into battle.

Controller Scheme

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite uses a six button controller scheme that is more similar to Marvel vs. Capcom 2 than Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Each player has four attack buttons, a light and heavy punch and a light and heavy kick. It also has a button for tagging and a button for activating their infinity stone’s infinity surge.

Basic Movement and Blocking

Character movement is handled as it is in most 2D fighters. Simply press the joystick in the direction you want to move to walk in that direction. To block mid and high attacks hold the joystick away from your opponent. To block mid and low attacks, hold the joystick down and away. To block while jumping, hold the joystick away or up and away from the opponent while in the air. Note that there is a small window during your jump activation and during your landing animation where you cannot block.

Advancing Guard (AKA Push-blocking)

Pressing two buttons at the same time while blocking causes you to use the advancing guard. This pushes the opponent away and negates a small bit of chip damage. It also can be used to reflect projectiles with good timing.

Dashing, Air Dashing, and Instant Air Dashing

Double tapping forward or back will make you character dash in that direction. Dashes, for the most part, can be canceled by any attack or a crouch. Double tapping a direction in the air will cause your character to air dash if they are able to. Air dashing characters can also instant air-dash by pressing up-forward (or back) followed by forward (or back) to dash as close to the ground as possible.

Dashing can also be done by holding forward or back and pressing two punch buttons at the same time. Similarly, instant air dashing can be performed by jumping up-forward or up-back and then pressing forward or back a second time. You can also do this by jumping and then pressing two punch buttons but some characters have a minimum dash height, so you might whiff and get an attack instead. Some characters also have multi-direction air dashes, which can be utilized by pressing any direction and two punches at the same time.

Aerial Action Limit

Most characters with special aerial actions, such as an air-dash, can only do so a limited amount of times before landing again. This is called the character’s aerial action limit and it varies from character to character.

Flight

Some characters are capable of flight. Initiating flight counts as a special move and follows special move canceling rules. While flying, characters are allowed freedom of movement for a limited time. In addition, their aerial action limit is removed or greatly increased. This is what allows certain flight capable characters to perform combos that rapidly chain heavy attacks together. They fly, perform a heavy attack, air dash, perform a heavy attack, air dash again, and so on. Certain attacks will automatically cancel a character’s flight, usually an aerial heavy kick, but this too differs from character to character.

Wave Dashing

Dashes only travel for a set distance. So to cover ground quickly, a technique called wave dashing is used. To wave dash, cancel your ground dash into a crouch. Then, cancel your crouch into another dash. Repeat this over and over again to chain dashes into each other and cover a lot of ground.

Triangle Jumping

Characters with an eight way air-dashes can also use a “triangle jump” to move quickly. This involves jumping forward and then immediately canceling that jump into a down-forward dash. Then, after landing, repeat the process. While triangle jumping, characters can perform quick overhead attacks mixed in with lows after their approach.

Super Jumping

Pressing down and then up (or up-forward/up-back) in quick succession causes your character to super jump. This makes you jump much higher than normal and gives you a degree of control over your aerial motion. Characters will auto correct their orientation during a super jump but will not during a normal jump.

Short Hop

To short hop first perform a super jump and then hold down. This keeps your character low to the ground but allows you to cover a lot of horizontal distance. In addition, this counts as a super jump allowing you to auto correct when crossing over the opponent, which makes for some easy cross-up opportunities.

Combo Strings

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite uses a chain combo system that allows normals to cancel into each other. Normals cancel into each other in the pattern of LP-LK-HP-HK. In the air, characters can press LP and LK twice in a single combo string. You can skip any part of the combo string but you cannot move backwards in the string.

Command Normals

Most characters in MVCI have special command normals that are triggered by holding a direction and pressing an attack button. In general, these command normals are treated like normal attacks for the purposes of combos except they can combo out of normal attacks of the same strength. These rules also differ from character to character, however.

Special and Super Canceling

Any normal can be canceled into a special or super move. All special moves can be canceled into super moves. Super moves cannot be canceled by anything other than a tag.

Special and Super Move Motions

Special and super move motions have been vastly simplified in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. With very few exceptions, all special moves are either quarter circle forward, quarter circle back, or double tap down motions with a button. Supers are the same but with two buttons.

Dash Canceling

Many moves can be or dash or air-dash canceled on hit or block. This is what allows characters to perform complicated aerial combos consisting mostly of heavies and special moves. It’s also what aggressive characters to mount pressure even after being blocked.

Jump Canceling

Certain moves can be cut short by a jump. These moves vary from character to character although every character can jump cancel their universal launcher. Jump canceling certain moves into air-dashes is a good way to keep pressure on a blocking opponent.

Universal Launcher

Every character has a launcher universally mapped to crouching heavy punch. All launchers can be jump canceled. Jump canceling a launcher will automatically cause you to super-jump. Launchers can also naturally cancel from any other normal but are still counted as a normal themselves and can be special and super canceled normally. This allows you to put a launcher at the end of any hit-string. If you have auto-jump turned on your character will automatically jump-cancel their launchers. Holding down or canceling the launcher into a special or super move will prevent this from happening.

Universal Spike

Every character has a universal spike mapped to jumping heavy kick. This will cause a ground bounce when used for the first time in any combo and a knockdown any time afterward. Some characters have more than one spike, usually mapped to an aerial command normal.

Universal OTG

In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite any move can OTG (on-the-ground, or hitting someone while they are down) provided that it overlaps an opponent who is lying on the ground. You only get one OTG per combo. If you are having a hard time finding a move that OTGs, try crouching light or heavy kick. So far it appears as if these two moves work for every character.

Damage Scaling

In MVCI each subsequent move in a combo does less and less damage. When crafting combos you want to put your most damaging moves first. We will go into this more in-depth in a separate combo guide.

Hit-stun Scaling

In MVCI each subsequent move traps your opponent in less and less hit-stun. When crafting combos you want to put moves that generate the least hit-stun early in the combo and moves that generate more hit-stun or special hit-states later in the combo. We will go into this more in-depth in a separate combo guide.

Hit-States

Certain moves will wall-bounce, ground-bounce, stagger, or freeze the opponent. For the most part, you can only put the opponent in these special hit-states once per combo. We will go into these states in further depth in our upcoming combo guide.

Auto Combo

Tapping light punch repeatedly will cause your character to combo a short hit string into a launcher. They will then automatically jump and perform a short hit string into a spike. These combos do little damage but are good for players that are just starting out. They can be turned off in the controller settings menu.

Rapid Fire Jabs

Most characters’ jabs cancel into themselves. This way you can mash on jab to get a hit-confirm. Note, the more jab hits you include in the combo, the more damage and hit-stun will scale (this only works if you turn auto-combo off).

Quick Supers

Pressing heavy punch and heavy kick at the same time triggers your character’s quick super. This is always a level one super. Note, when the opponent begins a super your inputs are normally frozen, however this is not the case with quick supers. Mashing the quick super command will make you perform your quick super on the first frame after the super flash.

Active Switch (AKA Tag)

Tagging in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite can be done any time in the middle of any move. You can tag multiple times in one combo, however each time your tagged partner comes in a bit further away from the opponent. In addition, there is a short cool-down period between tags that prevents rapid swapping in and out, and your character is slightly vulnerable after tagging out and can be hit if not defended by your new point character.

Tag Attack

If your partner contacts the opponent while tagging in, it will count as an attack and put them into hit-stun. Wait for this tag attack in order to have the best chance of continuing your combos. This only works if you hold no direction while tagging your partner in.

Counter Switch

By holding the tag button while being comboed by the opponent, you can spend two stocks of meter to call in your partner and attempt to escape the combo. Your partner can immediately move and attempt to attack the opponent to prevent further damage.

Infinity Surge

Pressing the infinity surge button uses your equipped stone’s infinity surge. It counts as a special move and follows all canceling rules for specials.

Infinity Storm

Pressing the surge and tag buttons at the same time will activate your equipped stone’s infinity storm, provided your infinity meter is at least half full.

Free Level 3 Super

Pressing the surge and tag buttons at the same time while in an infinity storm will automatically execute your character’s level three super and end the storm.

Throws

To throw the opponent press forward or back and heavy punch while in throw range. Throws can be done in the air and activate in one frame. You can only throw characters in neutral or blocking states. Attempting to throw

Throw Techs

To escape a throw, simply enter the throw command within the first few frames of being thrown.

Make sure to come back for the next installment of our beginner’s guide when we tackle infinity stones and combo creation.

Projectile Durability

Each projectile in the game has a number of durability points. Clashing with another projectile removes a durability point. Projectiles of the same durability cancel each other out while projectiles with higher durability will blast through projectiles with lower durability.

Character Traits

Many characters in MVCI have special character traits. The Hulk, for example, can use a wall jump to move clear across the screen. X can throw two projectiles at a time, with the second being a powered-up version. Arthur can jump cancel  his projectile attacks. Zero can hold a button to charge his hyper zero buster and use his charge to modify his special moves. These traits vary from character to character and are, unfortunately, not always mentioned in the command list.

For more on Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, read our full review