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[Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike] Ryu Guide (RY)

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This will be a developing guide to Ryu in 3rd Strike. None of the information here will be made redundant as a result of your low or high skill level. This is a curated list of information, but in all honesty, these are just the basics. Solidifying these will carry you to the higher level. I won't cover situational things like what spacings and heights to do EX Tatsu meaty to follow up with EX DP or whatever. Let's begin.


Cancellable chains, normals and specials will be in green font. Links will be in red. More info on these buttons is available in Game Restaurant and Baston, both of which are linked in the next segment.




Your frame data and animations can be found here:


As usual, I have linked ESN first (refer to for context). It isn't in any order of value, just the chronological manner that I prefer to take when consulting frame data.




Ryu has some unique buttons and chains. Let's explore:




Cr.LK x3*

Cr.LK > Cr.LP Cr.LK*

Cr.LP > Cr.LK*

Fa.HP > Fa.HK


*These chains will not work on some characters, and on others it might only work if they are already crouching since crouching characters have wider hurtboxes in 3rd Strike. Lab and experiment.




F.HP* - Links into SA2 and EX DP

F.MP - Links to SA1


*F.HP is not readily used. Situational and mostly disrespectful when used on purpose.




Ryu has less hitconfirms than Ken but his are still deadly and are often used differently to Ken's. That being said, his combo game - when used to punish - is extremely powerful and does good stun.


Cl.MP > Tatsu (all)

Cl.MP > Fireball (all)

Cl.MP > DP (all)

Cl.MP > LK Donkey Kick [henceforth referred to as "DK" 🐵]

Fa.MP > EX Fireball*

Cl.HP > Fireball (all)**

Cl.HP > Tatsu (all)**

Cl.HP > DP (all)**

Cl.HP > LK DK**

Cl.HP > MK DK**

Cl.HP > EX DK**


Cr.MK > Tatsu (all)

Cr.MK > Fireball (all)

Cr.MK > DP (all)




*Links, and usually only on crouching opponents at certain ranges.


**All these combos apply to Cr.HP and Cl.MK as well.


You may have noticed that I omitted combos into super. This is because more of Ryu's supers are viable than Ken or Chun Li's in previous guides, so I'll go into detail on how to go into super in those sections. That way you can determine what super fits your playstyle without having to scroll around. The combos listed above are for use no matter what super you use and are essential to playing him no matter the win condition you want. See you down the line!




Cr.MP > Cr.MP

Cl.MP > fa.MP

Cr.LK > Cr.MK*


*Great for gathering information on opponent habits. Not the best to try to hit confirm into super or specials with. Very tough!


Ryu's frametraps work similar to Ken's. He can use the info he gets to confirm into specials, and if you're using SA1, he has that option too. SA2 is a bit more spacing dependent. but we'll get to that later. These are the most basic frametraps, so get exploring!




Ryu's punishes are just his normal combos listed above. It should be noted that because meterless Tatsu goes over most characters when crouching, whiff punishing crouching normals or comboing into characters whose recovery animations have them crouching will lead to you going over them. Here we see Kuni getting a successful Cr.MK > Tatsu, immediately followed by him failing the next one and going over Ibuki:



Here is a clip where the alternative Tatsu whiff happens, and he goes all the way over Makoto:


Either of these will get you punished, sent further into the corner, lose stage control and momentum, or all of the above.


It's important to recognise when the right time to do what is. Usually this means going for DP right after a parry, or fishing for a whiff punish with Cr.HP > EX DK for optimal damage. Of course, EX Fireball is also an option. EX Tatsu also mitigates the problem of going over people, but because it is stationary, you need to account for the range.


Ryu's punish game keeps you engaged because you need to decide between meter gain, meter expenditure, okizeme and stun output. Ryu excels in all these areas, and knowing what option is most optimal in the moment is crucial to punishing optimally for you.




Because Ryu has so many useful specials, I thought it best to highlight them and talk a little about each one, metered and meterless. All the information here is stuff you'll intuitively internalise after one or two games with the character, but for the sake of thoroughness, let's take a closer look at what makes Ryu such a hard hitting Shoto.



All of his meterless fireballs combo the same, from all the same buttons. They make the opponent jumpy, are wildly punishable on block and are easily red parried because they are all timed the same and are all single hitting moves. His metered fireball is incredible. It even links from Fa.MP on crouchers. It's fast, hard to punish safe on most characters in most cases and needs to be red parried on the second hit to be made really punishable, which is tough. It almost always knocks down (there are some cases where it just grazes opponents, like a point blank crouching Chun Li), gives good oki if you choose to follow up with overbearing pressure and has quicker startup than his other fireballs.



LK Tatsu has the fastest startup. It has decent oki where you can choose to be a little risky and dash 3 times to get up in the opponent's face (assuming their wake-up speed is about average) or you can dash twice to get some spacing and control the stage after all that corner carry.

MK Tatsu is a bit slower, but still combos from everything that LK Tatsu combos from. The corner carry is a bit higher, and the oki is easier to work with; it cuts a dash out of the process. It gives a lot more meter and does the same stun damage.

HK Tatsu combos from the same normals as the other two. It has just a smidge more corner carry than MK Tatsu and builds the same amount of meter, which is great. It also has the easiest oki to work with, cutting out another dash to get up close oki, along with more damage.

EX Tatsu juggles, is multihitting, does decent chip and will avoid throws on frame 7 onwards (according to ESN). It does expend meter for pretty terrible oki, though (assuming you're midscreen. In the corner, it's great for oki).



The only active differences between his meterless DPs are height, damage and recovery, all of which are tied to the strength of the special. The passive differences like oki and meter build are different. HP DP has the worst oki, while MP DP and LP DP have similar oki. That being said, HP DP does give you stage control if your strategy is not to be on top of the opponent 24/7, which is a good idea in 3rd Strike. They all also give the same meter.

EX DP comes out the fastest at 2 frames instead of 3 like the rest. It is also invulnerable to moves that are of strength lower than EX. It is also unthrowable on the first frame like the rest of them. It hits twice on the way up, so it is much better for anti-airs than the rest of them, although it is almost just as easily beaten by inputting just one more parry. That doesn't make it any easier to deal with in the grand scheme of things. Despite the meter expenditure and average oki, this is a very powerful option.


Donkey Kick

This move has the worst oki out of any of the specials and enders when used meterless. You cannot combo into the HK DK from anything except after an SA2 lands, so the damage will also be lower. That being said, MK DK does the same amount of stun as an HP DP, and EX DK does even more stun than both of those because you can follow up with another special; Tatsu or DP. This also gives you a choice between what to go with for oki, damage and stun, and we can see that this is where Ryu's ability as a freeflow character really shines. In conclusion, EX DK gives us high damage, good oki, and great stun.

All the meterless DKs differ in startup, range, damage, stun and distance launched, but it's all fullscreen anyway.


DK hits crouching opponents, so instead of ending with a metered fireball or risking missing a DP as an ender, you can go with the high stun and damage alternative of DK, which also has more corner carry. Use this when Tatsu won't work because the opponent is crouching. If your opponent is someone like Hugo who will get hit by Tatsu both crouching and standing, you can opt to go with any option, but typically, stick to DK for crouching opponents.




Ryu is a high damage, high stun, strong fundamentals character. His kara throw (F.MP ~ LP + LK) gives him just that extra bit of range to make you afraid to block, and then he goes in on the opponent with strong frametraps, good punish capabilities and a higher-than-average amount of freedom to express the player's style.


Speaking of that freedom, it's aided in large part by his ability to make all three of his supers fairly dangerous. It's no secret that Denjin is the strongest, but that doesn't mean that Denjin has to be the strongest for you. In other words, playing Denjin in a way that doesn't suit your style will have you losing more than if you went with a different super.


Use his Cr.MK to space, but beware of option parries. An often underrated part of his game is Cl.MK and Fa.MK. Both of these standing normals are incredibly strong; Fa.MK high profiles lows on half of Ryu's body and is a great poke with decent priority and startup, while Cl.MK can be cancelled from, hitconfirmed and used to set up frametraps and tick throws.


His target combo is useful as an anti-air but is not all that effective as it will usually whiff over crouching opponents. His Cr.HP, however, does not suffer the same issues. It goes well with EX DK because it hits crouchers, combos into high damage and will even outpoke/whiff punish really low normals. Not only is Cr.HP decently fast with high priority, it also beats some normals that are incredibly dangerous to contest when playing the low game. Meter management is the key to this character. Remember where you are and what you can do with what resources you have.



This section will go over the strengths and weaknesses of each super, as well as how to use them, hopefully with examples.



Easy, consistent and trusted, Shinkuu Hadouken is your basic fireball super. To note, you can even get a DK or Tatsu follow up in the corner after landing this from a Cr.MK in the corner, but that's just a fun little fact to play around with. Really with this super, you want to be consistent with your parries (however consistent you can be), strong with your punishes and confident in your hit confirms. It should be noted that there are times where it won't be fast enough to combo, such as after Cl.HP > Fireball anywhere outside of the corner on some standing, normal width characters. Knowing this, you want to be careful when and how you let this rip, as it is good damage with great corner carry.  Here is Vanao using SA1 in a really threatening way:




ShinSho is his most damaging super but doesn't connect from most normals at range. It's also harder to hitconfirm, so there's not enough high level footage to go off of like with Denjin or Shinkuu. You might want to stay away from this, but if the HK DK or Tatsu follow ups interest you, this might be your super. It's fun, can be stylish and a bit of a putrid gimmick to remind your opponent of over and over.



The big daddy. This thing is unblockable, can be charged to different levels based on how fast you spin the stick and has setplay associated with it so that it's very hard to escape. Different characters require different setplay because of different quickrise speeds, but generally speaking, the best plays are to go for Fireball and cancel that into super. The spacing and/or timing of this is crucial because the you need to cancel into super before the fireball connects with the opponent so that you lock them into blockstun before you fire off the super. This way they have to red parry to even have a hope of escaping unblockable hell, which is very difficult. Alternatively, you can alter your timings to beat their parry buffer windows and get potentially more stun and damage. Here we see Kuni using this principle to his advantage:



Overall, this is a very solid and tricky super to escape while being relatively easy to understand for the amount of reward it gets you. It makes getting knockdowns with Ryu terrifying for your opponent and locking them into conservative play will enable you to enforce your gameplan even more. Very deadly.




Ryu is very strong. He has high damage, high stun output, a lot of freedom to combo with and a slew of knockdowns to build strong oki mental games over. I think with Ryu, my favorite way to play is be really laid back and to let my opponent dig themselves into a position where they need me to make a gamble. That's when I start putting on slow pressure to scare them into committing to a decision that can get them knocked down and Denjined.


I'll link some videos to strong Ryu play below. A few people to watch are Daisuke, Vanao, Kuni, Ruu, Aruka, and Takaoman. Here is my favorite:



This is one of Frankie BFG's videos on Vanao, an incredible Denjin and Shinkuu player:



Please post questions so I can attempt to answer them, both here and in


I will edit this as more suggestions come in and as I get less tired over the course of the weeks and months. Thank you for your patience.

Edited by Dayaan
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13 hours ago, DoctaMario said:

I actually thought about picking him up after I ditched Remy. By that point I wasn't really playing anymore but it might be fun to pick it back up.

As I type I'm currently playing Denjin vs some Dudley and winning 13-0. This character is super fun. Hop back in!

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4 hours ago, DoctaMario said:

Maybe we could try getting some games in in the next week or so. Where are you located?

MN. Hit me up any time! I'm Dayaan#5912 on Discord. I don't use MS as often as that, so you can hit me up there or set a time with me here so that I see it and tag you at the right time.

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10 hours ago, Dayaan said:

MN. Hit me up any time! I'm Dayaan#5912 on Discord. I don't use MS as often as that, so you can hit me up there or set a time with me here so that I see it and tag you at the right time.

Good deal. Man I play through some arcade mode yesterday and I suck hard at this game now. Gonna be some interesting sets 🤣

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