Tekken Tag Tournament 2/System/Sidestep and Sidewalking
Movement and Defense
This series of lessons is aimed to introduce all possible commands you can do with the directional pad/stick, show practical and creative uses of such commands, and introduce fundamental aspects of movement and defense.
- Walking, Crouching and Blocking
- Jumps and Hops
- Forward Dash and Running
- Sidestepping and Sidewalking
- Backdash Cancelling
- Crouch Dashes and Sways
- Backflips and Wall Jumps
- The Idea of Spacing
Sidestepping and Sidewalking
- To introduce Sidestepping and Sidewalking and its uses
- To introduce Homing/Tracking moves
- To introduce Sidestep Cancelling
We've discussed the basic movements of walking, jumping and crouching and their characteristics, including dodging and blocking some attacks. Usually, this movement is enough for 2D fighters to live through the next round. Well, this is not the case in Tekken. In a typical match, much of your fighting happens too close and you can only block or duck for some time. There are no fireballs to throw out for zoning, and usually, your character is not blessed with moves that back your opponent away. The good thing is, Sidestepping and Sidewalking allows you to actually move laterally to your opponent, giving you a different way to dodge an opponent's attacks.
As one of the added features introduced in Tekken 3, Sidestepping (abbreviated as SS) fully makes use of the 3D environment by allowing you to move laterally. It allows you to dodge any linear attack, no matter if it's high, mid or low. You can do this by tapping "u" or "d", depending on whether you want to move to the background or the foreground. This will make you move laterally with the speed of a dash.
(Note: tapping a directional input is different to holding a directional input. It will give you different moves.)
The good thing about Sidestepping is that it not only dodges linear attacks but, when done correctly, it'll move your character to face your opponent's side, where he can't block. You can utilize this opportunity to do a heavy-hitting launcher or use a quick damaging throw. This is what's so appealing of sidestepping, that as long as you can time it right, it will lead you to a great offense.
Yes, sidestepping is good, but sometimes we are too greedy for damage. Sometimes, we want to snag more damage when your opponent foolishly throws linear strings every single time. Yes, sidestepping has its limitations, that's why we're gonna use sidewalking.
Sidewalking (abbreviated as SW), can be done by tap-n-holding "u~U" or "d~D", just the same way you do a forward dash. Just like sidestepping, sidewalking uses the 3D fighting plane by moving laterally, but what it does different from sidestepping is it allows you to walk continuously as long as you hold the direction, just like the forward and backward walk. While Sidestepping is useful, it still only covers a short distance, and this limitation may place you in a position where you can still be hit by a series of strikes (called strings). But sidewalking, when used correctly, allows you to move to safer positions you can't get from a sidestep, letting the opponent foolishly continue attacking at empty space. Sidewalking can reach farther from the side or even at the back of your opponent, where everything you do can be guaranteed (except when your opponents can do something when backturned).
Homing Moves & SS canceling
Yes, sidestepping and sidewalking gives you a really good edge for evasion, but each one can still be countered. There are things called homing moves, which are used to keep you from sidestepping/sidewalking. Usually, these attacks look like they slice horizontally and will "track" you as long as you are in range. As of Tekken 6, they added a new white trail to homing moves to easily distinguish them. And most of the time, these moves hurt, as they either deal a lot of damage or, in some cases, start a combo.
For some sidestep-happy people, Sidestep Canceling comes in handy. You can tap "f" or "b" to cancel a sidestep, just like how you do crouch canceling. Though not foolproof, SS canceling helps you return to standing status quicker, making it possible to block homing moves, and do standing moves after a SS quicker. Also, just like crouch canceling, SS canceling is used for combos, mostly when your opponent becomes slightly off axis (making standard combos miss). SS cancelling is a good asset, so practice it!