Ken is a loose cannon but one of the most talented fighters in Street Fighter IV and also a student of Gouken, like Ryu. Ken has never learned the total self discipline and focus that would allow him to become the fighter he could be and is usually more involved with his life away from martial arts.
Many gamers will find Ken to be similar to Ryu and since they have many of the same attacks and are delivered with the same techniques this is definitely true. There are differences that make Ken capable of playing an aggressive inside game and he can fake out his opponent using a feint with a Thunder Kick and then move into a throw or different attack. Use Ken’s EX Hadoken to beat most opponents in long range projectile battles and his EX Shoryuken to defend against flying attacks while delivering good damage to the attacker. Move in close to use Ken’s Super and Ultra Combos, as they do excellent damage, and you can combo into his Ultra Combo from his Super Combo if your opponent is pinned in a corner.
Street Fighter IV implements six attack buttons in the game; Light Punch, Medium Punch, and Heavy Punch (LP, MP, HP) and Light Kick, Medium Kick, and Heavy Kick (LK, MK, HK). The lighter attacks are executed faster but require the attacker to be closer to the opponent to execute properly. Heavy attacks have a greater range and do more damage than light attacks.
Special Attacks are the fighters' main abilities; the individual moves that are their signature and indicate their fighting style. This guide will use P for punch or K for kick when talking about special attacks, and PP and KK when an attack calls for you to press the button twice.
You can execute throws by tapping LP + LK while close to an opponent, pressing the left or right directions on the control pad controls the direction of your throw. You can also counter throws by tapping LP + LK as an attacker tries to throw you, which will result in both attacks being cancelled.
Focus Attacks are a new element to Street Fighter IV that are executed by pressing MP + MK during combat. Focus Attacks are both offensive and defensive techniques depending on the situation. Hold MP + MK to charge up an attack, you can absorb one attack while in this stance and releasing the button will unleash a counter attack on your opponent. Otherwise, your fighter will unleash an unblockable attack after a few seconds. Focus Attacks with the Armor Breaking ability, as well as throws, will bypass the Focus stance.
The Focus Attack is also useful to perform the advanced fighting technique Focus dash cancelling. This requires good timing to execute, but with practice you can cancel out your attack animation and move into a forward dash that will allow you to execute a Super or Ultra Combo. To execute a Focus dash cancel after beginning a special attack tap MP + MK and then right, right on the directional pad.
EX Attacks are special attacks that are executed by pressing two punch or kick buttons instead of one. EX attacks do more damage than their normal counterparts and are usually faster in execution, and will deplete one bar on your Super Combo Gauge.
Super Combo Gauge/Super Combos is the four bar gauge that fills up as you fight and are successful with your attacks, it will be emptied when you perform a Super Combo.
Revenge Meter/Ultra Combos is the opposite of the Super Combo Gauge, this meter fills as you take damage, and does not carry over to the next round of fighting. Once your fighter has received a certain amount of damage the Revenge Meter will be released.
Note: The input directions (arrows) used for attacks and special moves in this guide assumes your character is facing to the right. If you’re facing to the left, reverse the left/right directional commands listed in this attacks guide. Also, when you see a directional command preceded by the word “hold”, this means you should hold the specified direction for around two seconds before continuing the rest of the commands.
Shoulder Throw – Normal Throw – right + LP + LK
Hell Wheel – Normal Throw – left + LP + LK
Inazuma Kick – Unique Attack –left + MK
Forward Step Kick – Unique Attack – right + MK
Thunder Kick – Unique Attack – right + HK (hold HK to feint and then attack)
Hadoken – Special Move – down, down/right, right + P
EX Hadoken – down, down/right, right + P + P
Shoryuken – Special Move – right, down, down/right, right + P
EX Shoryuken – right, down, down/right, right + PP
Tatsumaki Senpukyaku – Special Move – down, down/left, left + K
EX Tatsumaki Senpukyaku – down, down/left, left + KK (Armor Break)
Airborne Tatsumaki Senpuyaku – Special Move – down, down/left, left + K (in air)
EX Airborne Tatsumaki Senpuyaku – down, down/left, left + KK (in air)
Shoryureppa – Super Combo – down, down/right, right, down, down/right, right + P
Shinryuken – Ultra Combo – down, down/right, right, down, down/right, right + PPP