Stun Gauge is a mechanic in Street Fighter V.
The stun gauge indicates how close the character is to being stunned and can be found at the top of the screen underneath the health bar. The stun gauge builds up when the opponent lands a successful attack or grab. Critical Arts normally do not inflict stun, but Ryu’s Denjin Hadoken is an exception. When the stun gauge becomes full, the character gets stunned and isn’t able to move, leaving them vulnerable for a maximum of four seconds.
The stun gauge will be able to fill up again after the character takes damage during the dizzy animation or if they break out of dizzy. If the character blocks an attack, the character will not build up stun, but the stun gauge will not drain either. If the player can avoid taking any damage, the stun gauge will eventually drain at a steady pace.
Just like with health, characters have different amounts of stun, ranging from 950-1075. The amount of stun a character has is relatively close to the amount of health they have, if not the same. This means it takes less effort to stun low-health characters (such as Cammy, Karin, Akuma) than high-health characters (such as Abigail, Zangief, Alex).
V-Reversals are a good way to remove pressure from the opponent and minimize the risk of being stunned. V-Reversals also remove a fixed amount of stun when activated.
After inflicting stun on the opponent, the player can use their time waiting for the opponent to stand up again by whiffing special moves to build meter. This is a tactic commonly used by professional players during tournaments.
Players can mash the attack buttons and move the stick around to recover from stun faster. It is possible to recover from stun in a just a second by doing this.
Forthcoming damage during a stun will always do less damage than usual as damage scaling will not reset until the end of the combo. Using full combos with EX moves to extend those combos may lead to undesirable damage. Consider resetting the opponent during the combo if possible/practical.
A few characters have moves that are interruptible in-between hits. For example, Akuma is vulnerable after blocking the first few hits of his EX Goshoryuken, not just after blocking the entire move. Blocking all of its hits gives Akuma enough time to slightly recover from stun, which means a lengthier punish is necessary to achieve stun thereby yielding less reward. However, punishing Akuma after blocking the first few hits can lead to stun much sooner, reducing the amount of damage scaling during the combo.
It is generally preferable to inflict stun with a move that deals a lot of damage in a single hit, like a heavy move or a grab. Performing a back throw to stun an opponent is useful as back throws deal a good amount of stun while also reducing the amount of damage scaling present in the follow up combo.
Players can use the visibility of the stun gauge to their strategic advantage. For example, a player may play more aggressively if their opponent is close to being stunned. Forcing a hyper-aggressive approach can lead to overextending and making punishable mistakes. But the same can be said about the player who is at risk of being stunned. Players may panic if they are in danger of being stunned and wake up with a reversal, whether that be an invincible move or a Critical Art. Even though it is an effective way of defusing the opponent’s offense, it leaves the user in a vulnerable state if it is blocked. Knowing this, players can bait out this type of panicked response and punish the opponent accordingly.
- Some moves do not inflict stun immediately, like Karin’s EX Mujin Kyaku which will only inflict stun damage on the last hit.
- Kolin is the only character capable of suspending an opponent's stun gauge until they are stunned with her V-Trigger I. However, that has since changed due to the introduction of her V-Trigger II, V-Skill II, and Gill.
- Since armor break moves can only inflict recoverable or chip damage on block, they do not inflict stun damage.
- It is possible to "unstun" with a specific bug.
- Although the stun gauge is usually assigned in relation to the HP of the character there are exceptions. Rufus had above average health (1050) and he had the same stun (950) as the low health Ibuki (900 HP)