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The King of Fighters XIV/Ryo Sakazaki

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(*) = EX OK

(!) = MAX OK


Kyokugenryu Sanren Geki - close / +

Tomoe Nage - close / +

Command Normals

Hyouchuu Wari - +

Jyoudan Uke - +

Gedan Uke - +

Special Moves

Kohou - + / *

Ko-Ou Ken - + / *

Hien Shippuu Kyaku - + / *

Zanrestuken - + / *

Super Special Moves

Haoh Shoukou Ken - + /  ! / *

Ryuuko Ranbu - , + / ! / *

Climax Desperation Move

Shin • Tenchi Haoh Ken - +

Quick Combo Reference

Quick Combo Reference

Notation Key

st. - Standing | cr. - Crouching | j. - Jumping | qc - Quarter-Circle | hc - Half-Circle | f - Forward | b - Back | d - Down | u - Up | ~charge~ - Charge Input, the directions in which the charge is held and released in are specified prior to the "button".

0 Meter

Low, Anywhere
Low, Corner

cl.D xx qcf+C = 151 dmg
cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+C = 163 dmg
cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+A, st.D = 222 dmg

1 Meter

Low, Anywhere

cl.D xx f+A, [BC] st.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C = 407 dmg [1000]
cr.B, cr.B, st.B, [BC] cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C = 331 dmg [1000]
cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D, qcf+AC, hcb+D, cr.C xx f,b,f+AC, dp+C = 488 dmg [1000]

2 Meters


cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx hcb+BD, dp+C, [SC] qcb,hcf+A/C = 523 dmg [1000]
cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C, [SC] qcb,hcf+A/C = 568 dmg [1250]
st.D xx f+A, [BC] st.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+D, dp+A, [SC] qcb,hcf+A/C = 601 dmg [1000]

Gameplay Overview

Ryo Sakazaki, much like the likes of Terry Bogard and Kyo Kusanagi, is one of SNK's most well-known protagonists and has been known as a KOF mainstay ever since the beginning; '94. As usual, Ryo essentially functions as a sort of "moving fortress", this much is clear due to how a large amount of his tools place emphasis on a more defensive method of approaching until some sort of close-range pressure or dominance is established against the opponent. Once one of the aforementioned close-range advantages is established Ryo is capable of using his abilities to their fullest, such "abilities" consist of a fairly notable cross-up, fast normals, many methods in which he can use to apply safe block-pressure with, and an effective albeit simplistic high-low mix-up game can all work in tandem to place Ryo within very advantageous situations. Due to how much of what makes Ryo "truly" potent relies on him being within close proximity of the opponent along with a somewhat slow walk and run speed makes it so that a large portion of playing the character to any effective extent consists of efficiently approaching. Successful approaches typically consist of controlling space with Ko-Ou Ken (which is still "viable" despite its notable downgrade in comparison to interpretations of the move present within games which released prior to XIV), mixing the use of running, walking, hopping and jumping appropriately, and potentially most importantly, using Ryo's unique Parry command-normals to circumvent any potential attempts to halt your approach that the opponent throws at you. Despite Ryo's approach-based downsides, if used effectively Ryo is capable of posing quite a threat to the vast majority (if not the entirety) of XIV's cast.




  • st. A: Ryo quickly sticks his arm out in front of him at a very slightly raised angle, making this move function quite nicely as a way in which to stop hop-pressure with. Asides from this purpose st. A is a fairly ineffective button in which most will not find large usage for.
  • st. B: Ryo quickly sticks his foot outwards, this attack tends to work most effectively as a quick poke in which stuffs out counter-poking attempts from the opposition. While this move does have its uses, its fairly short range does restrict it from being as applicable as st. B's in which other characters have, such as Mai or K'.
  • st. C: A fairly slow and yet lengthy punch, it finds its usage largely in whiff punishing due to how it is easily comboed off of with the use of MAX mode.
  • st. D: A shadow of its former self, Ryo performs a somewhat slow upwards roundhouse kick. While this move isn't as useful as it has been in previous titles, it still functions fantastically as a preemptive anti-air due to its large vertical hitbox. It will whiff on grounded opponents at farther distances, but will hit both crouching and standing opponents if they are in close proximity to Ryo whilst he is using the attack.


  • cl. A: While it does differ in terms of animation, it does resemble Far st. A quite greatly in actual utility. Asides from this, it is a rather unimpressive normal in which doesn't serve much purpose asides from anti-airing.
  • cl. B: Very similar to that of his Far st. B, this move serves most effectively as a form of block-pressure. This move also happens to be capable of linking into cr. C, making it powerful for hit-confirming into damaging combos with.
  • cl. C: Ryo swiftly punches the gut of his opponent. This move serves most greatly as a combo-extender from the likes of a jump-in, as it is both special and command normal cancelable. Furthermore, if in close proximity with the opponent, its fairly fast start-up speed along with its decent vertical hitbox makes it so that it can be used to stuff potential hops and jumps.
  • cl. D: Much like the far version of this move, this move pales in comparison to versions of it in which have appeared in previous titles. But also much like the far version of this move, it manages to still be quite useful despite this. It comes out quickly, is special and command normal cancelable, and does a good bit of a damage for a normal. Due to this along with its fairly decent range, one may find the most use for it in the middle of combos.


  • cr. A: Similar to the likes of Iori or Terry's cr. A, this is a quick, special and chain cancelable normal in which can augment Ryo's block-based pressure game. While not as important as the likes of cr. B or C, this move's fast start-up and recovery time can make it useful to attempt to incorporate this into one's Ryo pressure.
  • cr. B: A quick, non-special cancelable low, this move becomes quite important in Ryo's arsenal due to what it can lead into. Much like in previous titles, one can link a cr. C after the usage of this move if close enough to the opponent, allowing for damaging MAX mode combos to stem from the successful use of this button.
  • cr. C: Simply put, this is one of Ryo's best overall attacks. It is special cancelable, works fantastically as an anti-air, and most importantly, comes out in an impressive 3-frames. Due to this, one could very easily build frame-traps around the usage of this move after a Ko-Ou Ken. While this move is indeed fantastic, it does suffer from very seriously lacking horizontal range, making it susceptible to whiff punishing if baited appropriately.
  • cr. D: A lengthy and quick sweep, when used in conjunction with Ryo's low Parry, this move becomes an incredible poking tool. One can very easily begin to establish dominance over the footsies game simply by using this move and proceeding to whiff-cancel it into his low Parry, but one must keep in mind that this move leaves Ryo incredibly open to jump-based attacks and approach. If suspected, Ryo could easily lose much of his health to a short-hopping opponent while using this move, making it important to learn when and when not to incorporate it into Ryo's pressure and mid-range game.


  • j. A: A fairly lackluster normal, this move finds usage in attempting to defeat opponents in the air as it both comes out quickly and at an angle in which is perfect for hitting others at similar heights.
  • j. B: This functions as one of the few cross-ups in the game, clearly making it important for one to implement into their Ryo's gameplan in order to strengthen the potency of their mix-up game.
  • j. C: In a very similar fashion to other characters, this move lacks the range and speed of Ryo's j. D, but makes up for it in angle, functioning most greatly as a way to preemptively stuff hops or jumps.
  • j. D: Ryo quickly kicks away from himself, making this move function as his go-to jump-in button. It is quick, lengthy, and as most would expect, inflicts enough hit and blockstun to easily continue into a combo or higher amounts of block-pressure given the situation.


  • st. CD: An incredibly swift and powerful strike, what this move lacks in range, it makes up for it greatly within its incredibly quick start-up time and command normal cancelability. Due to this, Ryo is very capable of using this move to begin block-strings with, prevent whiff-punishing, and whiff-punish effectively himself.
  • j. CD: Ryo, somewhat slowly, swings his arm downwards underneath himself. While this move lacks the versatility of more notable j. CDs (Terry and Kula's immediately come to mind) it does however manage to be quite great at punishing approaches towards Ryo, making it most potent when used while either neutral jumping or jumping away from the opponent.


Kyokugenryu Sanren Geki - (b/f+C) close

  • Ryo essentially forcefully "sets" the opponent into a standing position before proceeding to punch the opponent twice within the chest area, causing the opponent to crumple and be placed into a hard-knockdown state. Due to this along with how Ryo fully recovers from the throw whilst the opponent is still falling to the ground allows for Ryo to incorporate Safe-Jumps and effective positioning-based mix-ups after the use of this throw.

Tomoe Nage - (b/f+D) close

  • After grabbing the opponent, Ryo rolls backwards and while doing so kicks the opponent in the direction in which he is rolling in, sending the opponent a fair bit of distance away of Ryo's current location. Due to how far the opponent is sent by this throw, it can function quite effectively for positioning the opponent near the corner which is behind Ryo. Unlike the Kyokugenryu Sanren Geki, this throw does NOT apply a Hard-Knockdown effect to the opponent, making it a bit more limited in its utility than the aforementioned alternate throw.

Command Moves

Hyouchuu Wari - (f+A)

  • This move functions as Ryo's dedicated Overhead, as it consists of Ryo "chopping" directly in front of him in a fairly swift manner (that is despite its slight start-up animation). Being one of the only "completely" aggressive tools within Ryo's moveset, this move will typically be used in mix-up based situations which lead to some form of MAX mode combo, or to extend and/or hit-confirm st.D and st.C into MAX mode combos due to how it can be canceled into. Much like other Overheads this move lacks cancelability regardless of whether or not it was canceled into from a normal, it also happens to lose its overhead property when canceled into. Despite these fairly detrimental qualities, this move will almost definitely be a large part of most Ryos' mix-up game due to what can be achieved from successfully hitting one with it.

Jyoudan Uke - (f+B)

  • Ryo quickly pushes his palm in front of him, functioning as a "Parry" of sorts if an attack comes into contact with his hand. After a very small amount of start-up, this move has a unique Parry effect applied to it, allowing for one to Special or Super cancel this move assuming that it has successfully parried an enemy attack. This Parry will only nullify High and Mid attacks, meaning that knowing when and when not to use this version of the Parry over Ryo's other variant could spell the difference between victory and defeat.

Gedan Uke - (df+B)

  • Ryo swiftly leans forward and proceeds to place his palm in front of his feet, Parrying any Low or Mid attacks in which come into contact with him. Functions in a very akin fashion to the previous parry, but possesses less recovery lag and happens to move Ryo slightly forward. Due to this and how one can cancel into this move, it functions quite nicely as a way to continue applying pressure after a whiffed or blocked CD, Sweep, or any other cancelable normal.

Special Moves

Kohou - (dp+A/C)

  • If you've ever seen a Dragon Punch, you have seen this move. The Kouhou is quite likely the best DP in the entire game, as not only do all 3 versions have some form of invincibility (although the Light version can be beaten with proper Meaty timing), all 3 come out in 4-Frames, allowing them to beat all sorts of wake-up set-ups. However, keep in mind that there do exist characters in XIV which have Safe-Jumps capable of essentially ignoring these wake-up options, and when coupled with how they are all entirely punishable on both block and whiff, one must use them with caution.
  • After hitting a Light Kouhou, it is usually possible for Ryo to follow up with either a Crouching A or B, this is important due not only to how it slightly damages the opponent but how it allows for some form of reset afterwards, ultimately emphasizing Ryo's scary High/Low game.

EX: An almost entirely invincible version of the Kouhou which almost travels the entire vertical length of the screen. Due to how this move can be linked into a combo from a Light Kouhou, this move is best utilized as a combo ender which doesn't elicit the usage of a DM.

Ko-Ou Ken - (qcf+A/C)

  • One of Ryo's signature moves, he quickly pushes a ki-enveloped arm forward, resulting in a fireball-esque extension extending from said arm. While significantly weakened from previous versions of the move, Ko-Ou Ken remains as a decent poke which main strength lies both in how active the fireball hitbox is and how safe on block it can be, allowing for frame-traps when used close enough to the opponent (or in the corner).
  • As previously mentioned this move can function as a frame-trap starter when in the corner, and when properly used, can lead to even more High/Low mix-ups from this move based on how one follows-up with it after using it in a block string.

EX: Comes out very quickly while moving Ryo forward, thus giving this move much greater range than either other version of the move. Launches upwards on hit, allowing for one to follow-up with EX Hien Shippu Kyaku and a Heav Hien Shippu Kyaku when in the corner and thus extends combos, making it a go-to extender from MAX conversions. Another interesting property of this move lies in just how safe on block it is, as it is so plus that one can force opponents into block "loops" that can easily lead to Guard Crushes when Ryo is played on Anchor. The only way to consistently escape these set-ups is with spending meter to use some form of Guard Cancel, allowing for the Ryo to attempt to predict such a movement and to punish accordingly.

Hien Shippuu Kyaku - (hcb+B/D)

  • Ryo lunges in the air and performs either 1 or 2 kicks depending on the strength of the kick used. While not as useful in terms of utility compared to Robert’s Hien Shippu Kyaku, it’s still a vital move in terms of combo utility. The B version is the go to move from a low hit confirm into jab, and the D version leads to very good damage in the corner. It should be noted though that the D version will whiff on crouching opponents.
  • In the corner, the B version will be primarily used after landing a light Ko-Ou Ken, and the D version allows for a light Kohou follow up into a cr. B/cr. A reset.

EX: The EX version also primarily functions more as a combo starter or combo filler. It comes out quick, launches the opponent for further combo potential, and unlike the D version, will not whiff on crouching opponents. This move will primarily be used after landing an EX Ko-Ou Ken or as a starter to go into level 2 super assuming you have Ryo on point.

Zanrestuken - (fbf+A/C)

  • In a flurry of punches, Ryo will either send the opponent across the stage or launch them up for a follow up of his choice depending on the strength of the button used. There’s not much to say about the A version since it’s overshadowed by better moves in terms of overall utility and combo use. The same applies for the C version.
  • The C version does give the best meterless damage midscreen since it grants a B Hien Shippuu Kyaku follow up and a C Kouhou follow up in the corner. However, it does have a bad tendency to whiff after canceling from a heavy close normal so once again, there are better consistent options to use for combos.

EX: Unlike the A and C versions, the EX version is actually one you’ll end up using a lot in the corner. It also launches the opponent in the air allowing for a C Kouhou follow up (corner only), but what makes it special is its “anywhere juggle” property which allows it to combo after things that don’t normally allow combos such as a stand normal reset or a non counter hit j. CD. This alone makes it a great combo filler.

Super Special Moves

Haoh Shoukou Ken - (f~hcf+A/C)

  • Ryo throws a giant projectile made of ki. Think of it as Ryu’s shinku hadoken. The A version travels slower while the C version travels faster therefore making it great for eating up a projectile and hitting the opponent on a read. The varying speeds can make it tricky for the opponent attempting to roll this super. It also offer the best damage if you’re looking to end a combo with a 1 bar super. Granted, that bar should already be spent on going into max mode.

Max: Functions the same as his regular super except it does more damage and travels at the same speed, if not slightly faster than the C version. Once again, it’s great for eating up projectiles to catch the opponent on a read, but its lack of varying speeds makes it very easy for the opponent to roll through. It also lacks use in combos since his other level 2 super is far better.

Ryuuko Ranbu - (qcf~hcb+A/C)

  • This is his signature ranbu super where he lunges towards the opponent and performs a sequence of attacks ending in a Kouhou. Not much else to say aside that it has great range but no invincibility and is beat by his Haoh Shoukou Ken in terms of damage.

Max: Unlike the regular Ryuuko Ranbu, this super is incredible. It travels full screen, has many invincibility frames from its very start up, and has amazing damage ending with an unscaled 100 damage. With 2 bars, Ryo becomes very dangerous as one touch will lead into big damage and can also threaten any projectile attempts. Overall, a must use super if the meter is available.

Climax Super Special Moves

Shin • Tenchi Haoh Ken - (qcfx2+AC)

  • Ichigeki….Hissatsu! Ryo delivers a devastating single strike punch that sends the opponent flying across the stage and wall splatting. Like many climax supers in the game, this one also possesses invincibility frames and can deal great damage. However, in long combos it’s preferable to end in his level 2 ranbu instead of his climax as in most cases his level 2 ranbu will nearly equal or surpass its damage. Yes, it’s that good.


  • As noted earlier, Ryo’s EX Zanrestuken allows for a C Kouhou follow up in the corner, however it tends to whiff on many characters. As of now, it whiffs on Alice, Athena, Chang, Chin, Choi, Gang-Il, Joe, Kensou, Kim, King, Kula, Leona, Meitenkun, Mian, Mui Mui, Nakoruru, Ramon, Ryo, Sylvie, Tung, Whip, Yuri, and Zarina. Yep.
  • Max mode combos can be started from many options, such as cl.D/C xx f+A [BC]; cr.B, cr.B, st.B [BC]; far C [BC]; cr.B, cr.C [BC] etc. Most combo damage values are for cl.D xx f+A for consistency in comparing combo damage.


Rush Auto Combo

Meterless: description here

1 Meter: description here

EX: description here

0 meter


  • cr.B, cl.B xx f,b,f+A (176 dmg)
  • cr.B, cr.C xx dp+C (208 dmg)
  • cl.D xx qcf+C (151 dmg)

Corner only

  • cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+A, hcb+B (196 dmg)
  • cl.C/cr.C/cl.D xx qcf+C, cr.C xx df+B (214 dmg)
  • cl.D xx hcb+D, dp+A (236 dmg, 240 if replacing dp+A with cr.C xx df+B)

( ^^^ Does not work on crouching opponents )

  • st.CD xx df+B (miss), hcb+D, dp+A (239 dmg)
  • st.CD xx df+B (miss), cr.C, qcf+C, hcb+B (259 dmg)

1 meter


  • cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+C, [SC] f,hcf+C (333 dmg)
  • cr.B, cr.B, st.B, [BC] cl.C/cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C (339 dmg) { 1000 }
  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C (407 dmg) { 1000 }
  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+AC (422 dmg) { 1250 }
  • st.CD, f,hcf+C (245 dmg)

Corner only

  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx qcf+AC, hcb+D, cr.C, f,b,f+AC, dp+C (488 dmg) { 1000 }

2 meters


  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D/cl.C xx hcb+BD, dp+C, [SC] qcf,hcb+AC (523 dmg) { 1000 }
  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D/cl.C xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+C, [SC] qcf,hcb+AC (578 dmg) { 1250 }
  • st.CD, qcf,hcb+AC (352 dmg)


  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D/cl.C xx qcf+AC, hcb+D, dp+A, [SC] qcf+hcb+AC (601 dmg) { 1000 }
  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D/cl.C xx qcf+AC, hcb+BD, dp+A, cr.A, [BC] f,b,f+AC, dp+AC (473 dmg) { 1000 }

3 meters


  • cl.D xx qcf+C, [SC] f,hcf+C, [AC] qcf,hcb+AC (608 dmg)
  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D xx hcb+BD, dp+C [CC] qcf,qcf+AC (571 dmg)


  • cl.D xx f+A, [BC] cl.D, qcf+AC, hcb+D, dp+A, cr.A, [BC] f,b,f+AC, dp+C, [SC] qcf,hcb+AC (676 dmg) { 1000 }

4 meters

  • cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+C [SC] f,hcf+P [CC] qcfx2+AC (693 dmg)

5 meters

  • cr.B, cr.C xx qcf+C [SC] f,hcf+AC [CC] qcfx2+AC (795 dmg)


Frame Data

Ryo KOFXIV Frama Data Link


KoF XIV: Ryo Beginner Breakdown {{#ev:youtube|QuqcmjLjtKs}}

Ryo Slow Motion Hitboxes {{#ev:youtube|D_acfht_WFk}}

External Links

Discussion Threads

Discuss at Dream Cancel

The King of Fighters XIV

NotationFrame DataMovementDefensive SystemsOffensive SystemsThe Power Gauge


AliceAndy BogardAngelAntonovAthena AsamiyaBandeiras HattoriBenimaruBilly KaneBlue MaryChang KoehanChin GentsaiChoi BoungeClarkGang-IlGeese HowardGoro DaimonHeidernHeinIori YagamiJoe HigashiK'Kim KaphwanKing of DinosaursKingKukriKula DiamondKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernLove HeartLuongMai ShiranuiMatureMaximaMeitenkunMianMui MuiNajdNakoruruNelsonOswaldRalf JonesRamonRobert GarciaRock HowardRyo SakazakiShun'eiSie KensouSylvie Paula PaulaTerry BogardTung Fu RueVanessaVerseViceWhipXanaduYamazakiYuri SakazakiZarina