What is a Mix-Up? | Fighting Games 101

What is a Mix-Up? | Fighting Games 101
Date Published: 19 February, 2020

Fighting games like many other genres in the video game space, use specific vocabulary and even some slang to identify certain aspects unique to the genre, and although I did cover some more popular and generic terms in Fighting Games 101 – FGC Terminology and Slang, it didn’t even scratch the surface of the FGC’s wide vocabulary.

One of the more commonly used terms in fighting games, are the two combined words, “Mix-Up”, and by definition it is known as a strategy or technique of making one’s attack difficult to predict. It is a strategy that primarily involves the use of low attacks, overhead attacks, throw attacks.

Fighting Games 101 - What is a Mix-Up WP 01
Vice (left) using her low attack in an attempt to mix-up Terry Bogard (right) in The King of Fighters XIII.

However, the definition of the term “Mix-Up” is a bit more modular depending on the specific type of game it is referred in. In 2-D fighting games generally, mix-ups can be applied with offensive strings which are continuous attacks that apply pressure, however, their unpredictable nature derives from the variance of high and low attacks, as well as the threat of a timely universal throw attack, or character specific command throws, which are uncontested upon hit.

In 3-D fighting games, a mix-up can come from an offensive string, however, due to the linear nature of offensive strings in 3-D fighting games, stagger offense mix-ups are more so commonly executed.

Fighting Games 101 - What is a Mix-Up WP 02
Bryan Fury (left) using his low attack in an attempt to mix-up Anna Williams (right) in Tekken 7.

Therefore, in contrast to the reliance of high speed, high volume offensive strings fighting game characters feature in 2-D fighting games, 3-D fighting game characters rely more so on an intermediate pace, with a selection of single attacks, with a high variance.

Lastly, a “Mix-Up”, unlike the term “50/50” is different in which a mix-up is reacted to and not so much guessed upon. Therefore, successful mix-ups are often unreactable due to their speed, variance, and volume. Whereas, predictable and linear mix-ups rarely achieve the same rate of success. 

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