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Heat is a resource granted to all characters at the start of each round which can be spent by the usage of Heat-related mechanics. During Heat:

  • All attacks deal chip damage on block.
  • Certain characters may gain new moves.
  • Some moves gain extra properties, either strengthening it at the cost of consuming some of the Heat gauge or having a unique property that replenishes the Heat gauge when performed.
  • The Heat gauge steadily depletes until it is entirely consumed, rendering it unavailable for the rest of the round.

Mechanically speaking, there are two ways to activate Heat (Heat Burst and Heat Engagers) and two ways to spend it (Heat Smash and Heat Dash).

Activating Heat

Heat Burst

Done by inputting 2+3 or the Heat macro button without having previously activated Heat in the round. It is a large, fast, tracking mid strike that has the armor of a powercrush while also having armor breaking properties.

Unlike other Heat moves that tend to be highly character-specific, Heat Bursts are all i16, +1 on block and +2 on hit, with only a minor range difference between characters.

Heat Bursts consume a small amount of Heat on activation, giving you less of the bar to work with than a Heat Engager, and also do not grant back recoverable health. They can also be canceled by inputting a backdash (b,b) during the animation, leaving you in some recovery that is punishable at closer ranges.

A Heat Burst's damage cannot cause a KO.

Heat Engager

Done by landing specific attacks that are unique to each character. A Heat Engager can be anything from a poke to a punisher to a powercrush, and a character's available Engagers can help to define their playstyle.

Heat Engagers are always +17 on hit and put opponents into a forced guard state. Attacks can also still wallsplat and balcony break if the move has such properties, even after Heat is triggered, allowing for potential follow-ups into Heat Smash or Heat Dash.

Upon landing a Heat Engager, the character gains back a portion of their recoverable health.

Consuming Heat

Heat Smash

Done with the same input as Heat Burst. A Heat Smash is a powerful attack that consumes your remaining Heat gauge to maintain plus frames, break armor, or mix the opponent up if your character has a Heat Smash' that is a low.

Mid Heat Smashes are plus on block and have varying startups and tracking, while low ones are typically unsafe and potentially punishable. Though most characters only have a single Heat Smash, characters with stances sometimes have a unique extra one performed from said stance.

Heat Smashes heavily scale down in damage quite heavily if used during a combo and thus not preferred to end combos with over Heat Dash.

Heat Dash

When a Heat Engager is used while already in Heat and forward is held as the move connects with the opponent, your remaining Heat gauge is consumed and a Heat Dash is performed. This has ample utility in both pressure and combos, as it forces plus frames on block and unique combo extensions on hit. It also recovers 6 pts of the player's recoverable life on hit, and 3 pts on block.

Throws that are Heat Engagers cannot be used to Heat Dash. The frame data of each Heat Dash varies on hit, but on block they are universally +5g.

Extra Heat Smash Data

Startup speed

i10: Jack-8
i12: Zafina
i13: Jun, Kuma
i14: Law
i15: Azucena, Jin, Dragunov, Panda, Leroy, Xiaoyu
i16: Asuka, Bryan, Leo, Nina, Shaheen, Steve
i17: King, Hwoarang
i18: Claudio, Kazuya, Lars, Paul, Yoshimitsu, Devil Jin, Raven
i20: Alisa, Feng, Lee, Victor
i21: Reina
i23: Lili

Low Heat Smashes on block

Claudio: -14
Jun (Genjutsu): -14
Kazuya: -14
Lee: -15
Leo (KNK): -13
Paul: -12
Reina (Heaven's Wrath): -17
Victor: -15
Zafina (Scarecrow): -14
Shaheen (Stealth Step): -14
Lili BT: -8 (recovers BT)

Frame Data

Credit to @Foxhoundfl for compiling the following information:

Character Startup Frames Hit Level Tip Range Damage Frames on Block Stance Transition Forced Stance Properties
Jack i10 H,M,M 2.6 52 -9
Balcony Break
Zafina i12 H, SM 2.4 51 +3
Balcony Break
Jun i13 M 3.2 50 -6
Balcony Break
Kuma i13 M,M 3.1 51 +10g
Balcony Break
Law i14 Mid 2.7 50 +11 DSS Forced
Balcony Break
Azucena i15 M,H,M 2.6 53 +6 LIB Forced
Balcony Break
Dragunov i15 M,M,M 2.7 50 +6
Balcony Break
Jin i15 M,H,M 3.1 57 +3 FC Choice
Jin 2+3,4 i15 M,H,M 3.1 48 +9
Balcony Break
Leroy i15 M 2.8 50 +6 HRM Forced
Balcony Break
Panda i15 M,M 2.5 44 +7 ROL +6, HBS +11g Choice
Floor Break
Xiaoyu i15 M 2.6 50 +5 BT +9 Choice
Balcony Break
Xiaoyu (BT) i15 M 2.1 51 +4 HYP +19g Choice Leaves Opponent Standing
Bryan i16 All Mid 2.1 55 +15g
Floor Break
Asuka i16 All Mid 2.9 50 +10g
Floor Break
Steve i16 All Mid 2.7 45 +8 LNH Forced
Floor Break
Leo i16 M,M,H 2.6 50 +8 FC +16g Choice
Balcony Break
Lili (BT) i16 L,M,M,M 2.4 39 -8 BT Forced
Nina i16 M,H,H,H,H,M 3 52 +5 FC +7 Choice
Floor Break
Shaheen i16 M,M 2.7 50 +6 SNK Forced Forces Crouch
Steve (PAB) i16 All Mid 2.5 45 +8 LNH Forced
Floor Break
Hwoarang i17 M,M,H 2.6 51 +11g RFS Forced
Balcony Break
King i17 M,M 3.3 60 +12g JGR Forced
Floor Break
Lars i18 M,M 3.1 55 +8 DEN +10 Choice
Floor Break
Kazuya i18 L,M,M,M 2.5 43 -14
Floor Break
Claudio i18 L,M 2 40 -14
Balcony Break
Paul i18 L,M,M Point Blank 40 -12
Balcony Break
Raven i18 All Mid 3.1 55 +14g SZN Forced
Balcony Break
Reina (WRA) i18 L,M,M 2.5 40 -17
Floor Break
Yoshi i18 M,M,M,M 2.8 51 +4 DGF +10g Choice
Balcony Break
Devil Jin i18-28f M,H 4.5 52 +11g CRO Forced
Balcony Break
Zafina (SCR) i19 L,M 2.5 30+Combo -14 Launches
Alisa i20 All Mid 3.4 50 +8 BOT +10g Choice
Balcony Break
Devil Jin (CRO) i20 H (!) Point Blank 39 Unblockable
Feng i20 All Mid 3.4 48 +7 STC +12g Choice
Balcony Break
Jun (GEN) i20 L,M 2.5 42 -14
Balcony Break
Lee i20 L,M 2.5 37 -15
Balcony Break
Leo (KNK) i20 L,M,M Point Blank 35 -13
Balcony Break
Victor i20 L,M 2.3 39 -15
Balcony Break
Shaheen (SNK) i20 L,M,M Point Blank 40 -14
Balcony Break
Reina i21 M,M 3.5 50 +8 WRA Forced
Balcony Break
Lili i23 H,H,M,M 3.1 55 +9 BT Forced