Combo is an inescapable (by blocking or any other way) by opponent sequence of moves with very few exceptions, allowing relatively weak moves by themselves deal huge damage and/or give much better advantage on connect.
In Tekken 7 combos are mostly based on air combos, a.k.a juggles, nevertheless thare are on land combos although much rarer and most of the time as parts of strings. There are also fake combos based on the in-game counter, which isn't accurate.
A typical combo follows this flow chart: launcher - 3-5 mid-air hits - screw - ender
Optionally there may be one or several combo hits on land before the launch, in the end or at any point opponent might hit the wall, allowing for the wall combo, if wall is breakable, it allows for a break, which allows for post-break follow-up. Floor break placement in a combo depends on the character and the base combo.
In practice mode game will often say a thing is a combo even if it truly isn't, or not say if something is a combo if it truly is. The former is based on the way game handles recovery frames, to avoid being misdirected the dummy (cpu opponent) is set Action 2 - Full Guard. The latter does actually tell information about the combo, as according to the game combo might be finished, but according to what actions are available to the opponent, combo might continue with reset counters and damage scaling.
On land combos
On land combos, more commonly known as natural combos are inescapable sequences of moves with the opponent staying on the ground the whole time. All hits receive 100% scaling and do not add up to any of the counters that affect the gameplay. A typical example of a natural combo are the jab strings on almost every character, notable being Mishima 1,1,2, which is not just fully guaranteed after the first hit, it's also very confirmable.
Often strings being natural depends on the counter hit, and often it's confirmable as well. Example: Zafina d+4,3
Sometimes (very rarely) moves leave opponent at +10 or better, not +10g, which means one string can lead to another without cancelling. This happens very rarely, example: Lei fn1 on a crouched opponent is +11 and it comboes into the jab strings
When opponent is backturned some strings become fully natural, allowing for very big damage
Launcher and Juggle
Launcher is a move that puts opponent into the white airborne state, allowing for mid-air hits. Most of the time it specifically refers to the moves that allow for a screw afterwards in some way. Otherwise, often it goes as just a knockdown with a guaranteed follow-up or a mini-combo. Launcher doesn't add to midair counter.
Launchers are divided into several categories:
- Normal launch - puts them in the air for the standard BnB combo to work.
- High launch - puts them very high in the air potentially allowing for a better damage combo, and a high wall splat.
- Crumple stun - makes the opponent crumple, often not allowing for the BnB combo, but potentially allowing for a slow high damage first hit in the combo.
- Instant screw - Makes the opponent instantly go into the tail spin animation, wasting the screw.
- Double hit - in some strings the move before last briefly puts opponent into the white airborne state, and the last hit visually looks like the launcher. Nevertheless, the last hit of the string is the first airborne hit, and adds to the counter, requiring to shorten the combo.
- Backturn launch - flips opponent so their head is towards the player, and requires much more inconsistent or just weaker combo to work on most characters, it also limits some moves from their extensions. BT launch also happens when a normal launcher connects on a BT opponent
Juggle is the sequence of mid-air hits in a combo, in Tekken combo and juggle are often interchangeable. Every hit in a Juggle adds to invisible to the player mid-air hit counter, increasing the pushback any given move does. The pushback mostly doesn't depend the move itself, thus often while looking for new combos people specifically look for the mid-air count. If the current best damage combo has 6 air hits, and the new one has 5, that means it's likely possible to squeeze in another hit to optimize damage, and it's very unlikely to get to 7 on that character. Also on breaks since the players get to a set distance, there might be specific combos for example for "less than 5 mid-air hits in a combo" and "5 or more hits in a combo", or "only works if exactly 2 air hits before wall break"
Scaling for the mid-air combo decreases each hit, also depending on the counter:
70% > 50% > 40% > 30% > 30% >… Game might show 30% as 28% or close to it, that is just a rounding error.
Screw and Ender
Without screw combos would end after 4-5 hits, and not allow for very long wall carry (look Tekken 5). if a move with a screw property hits an airborne opponent, the opponent is set into a tail spin animation (mid-air count pushback also applied), and opponent stays in that animation for much longer than they would stay airborne otherwise.
Some screw moves reallign opponent, which is helpful in backturn combos, it's mostly one hit screws.
Usually screw happens very late into the combo, as mid-air pushback with the tailspin animation combined allow for the most carry possible, thus the ender after is either 1 or 2 hit string mostly aimed to carry. Sometimes the combo ender has a spike quickly into a grounded hit.
There is only one screw available to any given combo. Some Rage Drives put opponent into the animation similar to screw, yet it isn't, it's often called blue screw, specifically because it doesn't spend the screw.
Wall splat, slump, and resplat
When an airborne opponent hits the wall, when a knockdown move has a specific kind of animation and hits near wall, when a move with ballerina spin hits near wall, the opponent gets into the wall splat. Wall splat allows for several (2-4) hits with opponent slowly going down. Wall splat also has a counter for the total wall hits, with each hit opponent slumps down more and more quickly. Each wall hit adds up to the mid-air hit counter as well, and the damage scaling is the same, but on top of base scaling there is also an 80% scaling
70% > 50% > 40% > 30% > 30% >… becomes 56% > 40% > 32% > 24% > 24% >…
The initial wall splat doesn't add to the wall hit counter, thus if you're able to get the opponent away from the wall and hit the wall again - you are still able to do the same wall combo. When that happens it's called resplat.
Wall slump is a unique part of a combo, it always scales 50%. It doesn't add to the wall hit counter. If the move that hits in a wall slump has a break property - it can't break. It can resplat and thus some characters' wall combos deal so much damage and have so many hits because of the wall slump mechanic. Wall slump also accures after a wall break.
Wall splats are sometimes divided into:
- Normal splat - allows for BnB wall combo
- High splat - allows for an extra hit in the BnB combo
- Low splat - doesn't allow for the full wall combo, doesn't allow wall slump properly.
Depending on the character splats may be subdivided into more categories.
After a floor break often you can use an extra move to resplat the opponent, that's an extension of other information on the page, and isn't specifically a mechanic.
Balcony break occurs when a wall break move hits the opponent at the wall, mostly in combos, but not in wall slumps or grounded. When activated the player and the opponent are put at the same perpendicular to the broken wall coordinate as the opponent was before the break, at a set distance from each other, with a set amount of frame advantage no matter the combo beforehand, and always realligned to be perpendicular to the broken wall. The opponent after balcony break is slightly higher than after a typical launcher, sometimes allowing for a better damage hit.
Wall break occurs under the same circumstances as the balcony break, but the important distinction is that it doesn't reallign the characters, the advantage after is based on the move that broke the wall, and it's possible to hit a wall slump hit directly after the break. It also doesn't change the stage, but rather increases it.
Floor break occurs when a spike type move hits an airborne opponent on a breakable floor, some moves do not require opponent to be airborne. Upon break two players are moved to the next floor, and opponent ground bounces with their head towards the player, the exact advantage depends on the move that broke the floor.
All the breaks do add to the mid-air hit counter, addition to the wall hit counter depends on the move, sometimes one move can count as multiple wall hits. The scaling is the same across all breaks, 70% on top of all hits except wall slumps, wall slumps will always have 45% after a break.
50% > 36% > 28% > 21% > 21% >…
For any given combo only one floor break is available. Multiple wall/balcony breaks are available, yet you can't break floor after a wall/balcony was broken. After the second break scaling is applied again, making it around 14% for each hit (most hits will already do 1-2 damage at that point, so rounding errors are big, wall slumps do 39%)
Grounded hit, relaunch, and guaranteed follow-up
After some knockdown moves, or after spike moves, opponent can't techroll, allowing for a guaranteed hit, even though opponent is technically in control. That isn't the only way a grounded hit can occur, that one doesn't add up to the combo counter, and allows on some characters with quick 2 hit moves to relaunch the opponent, resetting all counters and scaling. Some Rage Drives and some knockdown moves just have so much frame advantage, and they still put the opponent into the grounded state, that if you do relaunch from there, all counters do still exist.
The scaling on all gronded hits is 80%, it gets affected by the breaks by 30% making it 56%.
Grounded hit refers to any 80% scaling hit, guaranteed follow up most of the time refers to what is guaranteed and inescapable, but isn't a combo.
Akuma, Eliza, and Geese
2D characters have their own scaling based on the games they come from.