A Counter Hit (カウンター Kauntaa?) refers to an attack landed when the opponent is in the process of starting up their attack.
Counter hits grant various bonuses depending on the game; in all appearances, they result in longer hitstun and more damage (only during said hit), as well as a slight frame advantage. Some attacks cannot be Counter Hit out of, due to invincibility in the move's startup frames. Most games have the word "counter" show on the screen when a counter hit is landed.
Street Fighter IV seriesEdit
If a Level 1 Focus Attack, which normally has no effect, strikes an attacking opponent, the counter hit will crumple them. Higher level Focus Attacks do not have this property, and are instead inherently able to crumple any opponent they hit. Unless specifically programmed to, light attacks tend to add +1 Frame advantage to the successful attack and adds +2 to mediums and heavys. Some attacks such as Dudley's Dart Shot do not get any benefits aside from extra damage from a successful counter hit.
If a Level 2 Super Charge is Dash Canceled, the next hit landed will automatically be a counter hit, which can activate counter hit side effects of normal, unique, and special attacks that have them (such as crumples, ground bounces, or stumbles).
Street Fighter V seriesEdit
In addition to regular counter hits, Street Fighter V adds a Crush Counter property that functions similarly to crumpling; if a Crush Counter occurs, the opponent is spun around, leaving them in a vulnerable state that grants a large window for follow-up attacks. Most invincible attacks such as Ex Kazekiri are programmed so if the user is hit during any part of the attack they get counter hit.
- Guile's Sonic Boom in Street Fighter IV was made count as Guile himself gets counter hit at any point of the attack (including Trades) even after the projectile comes out (I.E. recovery). This was done to encourage Guile opponents to trade hits with Guile as he will usually lose the exchange and as a balancing act as Guile himself is usually a low HP character and Sonic Boom is the fastest overall projectile in terms of Frames.