Combo in THPS series refers to the act of linking tricks together (in a combination) to achieve higher scores or longer lines. A combo often includes many grinds and manuals to link together high scoring moves.
Each trick performed adds its value to the base score, with each further trick increasing the base score by the same amount as if the trick were to be performed on its own.
Each trick also adds to the multiplier. The first trick performed starts the chain with a 1x multiplier, with each further trick adding one to this multiplier. However if the same trick will be used in another combo, its score will degrade, which means a lower value will be added to the base score. For example Kickflip in THPS3 will degrade as follows: 100, 75, 50, 25, 10.
Rotations also add to multiplier; although this depends on the game. In the early games in the series, half a turn equalled 0.5x added to the multiplier. In later games, rotations only increase the score of the individual trick that it is applied to.
- Combo: kickflip + manual + 180 heelflip
- Assuming none of the tricks have been performed before, the kickflip and heelflip are both worth 100 points. The manual's score is defined by its time held, so for simplicity it is assumed that it is worth 50 points.
- Base score: 100 + 50 + 100 = 250
- Multiplier: 3.5x
- Score: 3.5x 250 = 875
Combo is an important part of the game and in fact the only way to achieve high scores. To complete goals, it is necessary to perform combos, either aiming for a high score, to hit a line, or to get from one location to another:
- High combo goals (THPS2 onwards) involve achieving a certain score in a single combo. Also extended to Sick combo goals later in the series.
- COMBO lines (THPS4 onwards) involve having to hit a certain line to collect the letters C-O-M-B-O in one combo. They usually follow a logical line involving grinds and jumps.
- Get there goals (THP8) do not necessarily require a combo to complete, but often must be completed in one combo to reach the 'sick' rating.
It is often necessary to perform high scoring combos to achieve the high scores and sick scores involved in the goals, especially in later games.
- Combo Mambo game type requires players to gain the highest combo to win the game.
- Finally, combo is the ultimate comparison factor between 2 players which may be compared either by highest score or length.