The King of Fighters XIII

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The King of Fighters XIII

KOF XIII marks the conclusion of the "Ash Saga", the third story arc of KOF centered around the characteristically ambiguous Ash Crimson. Mechanically, XIII returns to an established system that resembles KOF 2002 Unlimited Match more-so than the questionable KOF XII. The Critical Counter, Deadlock (clash), and Guard Attack mechanics of XII were abandoned for the new Hyper Drive System, plus the addition of EX specials and Desperation Moves, including "level 3" Neo Max DMs. Character Teams have been brought back into the game's story, while XIII features a larger character roster of high resolution sprites. Unlike most other KOF games, the console release of XIII features not only more characters and stages, but a complete character and system rebalance.

Understanding Fundamentals

To get you off to a running start, we're preparing a video series overview of the mechanics in The King of Fighters XIII. These videos will quickly show you how KOF XIII is different from previous iterations in the series.

A quick textual overview of XIII can be read below:

For those new to the KOF series and wanting to better understand how the game varies from Street Fighter, check out the Beginner's Incomplete Guide to KOF below and brush up on the fundamentals of the game. In spite of its name, you'll see some advanced tactics.

Some common button configurations used in this game.


KOFXIII-Kyo select face.pngKOFXIII-Benimaru select face.pngKOFXIII-Daimon select face.png KOFXIII-Terry select face.pngKOFXIII-Andy select face.pngKOFXIII-Joe select face.png KOFXIII-Billy select face.pngKOFXIII-Ash select face.pngKOFXIII-Saiki select face.png KOFXIII-EX Iori select face.pngKOFXIII-EX Kyo select face.pngKOFXIII-Mr. Karate select face.png KOFXIII-Ryo select face.pngKOFXIII-Robert select face.pngKOFXIII-Takuma select face.png KOFXIII-Iori select face.pngKOFXIII-Mature select face.pngKOFXIII-Vice select face.png KOFXIII-Boss Saiki select face.png
KOFXIII-Elisabeth select face.pngKOFXIII-Duo Lon select face.pngKOFXIII-Shen select face.png KOFXIII-Kim select face.pngKOFXIII-Hwa Jai select face.pngKOFXIII-Raiden select face.png KOFXIII-Mai select face.pngKOFXIII-King select face.pngKOFXIII-Yuri select face.png KOFXIII-K' select face.pngKOFXIII-Kula select face.pngKOFXIII-Maxima select face.png KOFXIII-Athena select face.pngKOFXIII-Kensou select face.pngKOFXIII-Chin select face.png KOFXIII-Ralf select face.pngKOFXIII-Clark select face.pngKOFXIII-Leona select face.png KOFXIII-Dark Ash select face.png
Japan Team Fatal Fury Team Single Entry DLC Art of Fighting Team Yagami Team Boss
Elisabeth Team Kim Team Women Fighters Team K' Team Psycho Soldier Team Ikari Warriors Team

Frame Data

Incomplete list of character frame data.

  • While this is only partially completed, it covers the startup speed and recovery on block. Original source.


Throughout the guide there will be a lot of jargon thrown around and, unless you know what these terms are referring to, it might be difficult to understand some of the more complex lingo and slang used. For example, what is an Anywhere Juggle? What do we mean when we use the word "frames?" So before we begin, please take some time to look over the glossary to familiarize yourself with some of these terms so the rest of the guide will make more sense.

Game Elements

In every Fighting Game, there are the basic, common factors that exist. Life Meters exist in just about every Fighting Game, as do Timers, for example. This section discusses these standard rules that affect the outcome of the battle.

Game Systems Details

This section of the Hyper Guide goes in-depth into the system mechanics of The King of Fighters XIII. Visit the Table of Contents below to read about the game's System Info to get a better grasp of the technical side of The King Of Fighters XIII. All the intricacies of the game are digested into basic explanations while the more intimate "Strategy Corners" go in full coverage of advanced specifics.

Strategy & Tactics

Combo Guide

This section of the guide will discuss the whys and whens and whats and hows of combos. If you are looking for some combos for your characters, check the individual character pages for good combos for your character. However, if you are looking for how to create combos, build combos, and techniques into how to perform combos, this is the section for you. You'll learn why things work sometimes and then don't work other times. You'll learn some interesting techniques and shortcuts to performing combos. So click on the links below to learn all you can about combos.

KOF XIII Advice Articles

  • Kyo Comparison
    • Compares strengths and weaknesses of Kyo and NESTS Kyo.
  • Applying Close Range Pressure
    • Explains how close range offense works in KOF and includes a video tutorial.
  • On Team Selection and Order
    • Explains how newer players should pick their initial team, stop worrying, and keep playing.
  • On Learning Characters
    • Lists out the criteria a player should look into while learning a new character.
  • Benimaru Matchup Strategies
    • Helps players fight against Benimaru, while also providing Benimaru players with info on what not to do.
  • King Matchup Strategies
    • A guide for dealing with King's zoning and special game.
  • Andy Matchup Strategies
    • Another guide for fighting Andy and punishing his attacks and abusing his weaknesses.
  • The King of Details #1: Fuzzy Guarding
    • Part of Phoenix's detail-heavy articles, the first discusses how to properly apply a defensive fuzzy guard technique to help against high/low/throw mixups from hops.
  • The King of Details #2: Throws
    • Part two of Phoenix guide walks through throw invuln, alternate guarding, and teching.
  • The King of Details #3: Buffering Tricks
    • The third installment covers techniques for making execution easier, such as holding down a button to make performing specials and DMs much easier.
  • Hitstun and Blockstun Miniguide
    • This guide covers basic strategies and guidelines, such as canceling into specials or command normal to lessen a player's negative advantage during blockstrings.
  • The King of Details #4: Whiff Canceling
    • Though many of the applications of whiff canceling aren't as useful in KOFXIII, the basic premise of whiffing normals into specials can have huge implications for characters that can stick out a buff poke such as a sweep, and then follow up with a generally safe special that may even control a different portion of the screen.
  • The King of Details #5: Counterhits
    • Counterhits can only occur under special conditions in KOF, and they can lead into combos or heavier damage at minimum.

Additional Fighting Game Resources

Fun Stuff

Game Revisions

External Links


  • #SNKPlaymore @ - The place to discuss KOF and SNK games.
  • Any questions can be directed toward the SRK forum, and you can contact @UraSparkster for questions

Game Navigation

EX Iori
EX Kyo
Mr. Karate
Duo Lon
Hwa Jai
Saiki (Boss)
Dark Ash