Canceling is a generic, unofficial name given to a myriad of techniques which use well-timed command inputs to shorten or bypass certain animations in order to attack or act faster than would normally be allowed. Advanced players exploit these techniques in order to raise the Style Rank quickly, kill enemies faster, or even reach elevated areas. Every Devil May Cry game to date has had some form of canceling available to players.
Slash Cancel is a technique that appears in Devil May Cry. It allows the player to interrupt the sheathing animation of Dante's sword combos by rotating the left analog stick, effectively reducing the delay between consecutive combos.
Taunt Cancel is a technique in Devil May Cry by which the player can receive the DT-regen effect of Taunting without having to wait for the entire animation to finish. Just before taunting, press and hold the analog stick to either the left or the right. Dante will then move before the taunt animation finishes, but after his devil trigger gauge fills.
Block Cancel is a popular technique in Devil May Cry 3 and less used in DMC4. With the usage of Royalguard, the player can achieve supersonic attack speeds, by using the Block just before the attack finishes, effectively removing unnecessary animation frames. This grants insane DPS and great Stylish points, even by using one attack.
Jump Cancel is a technique that appears in every Devil May Cry game. It allows the player to interrupt virtually any of the protagonists' technique by leaping off the enemy at the exact frame in which they touch their foes, usually by using the Enemy Step or Leap abilities.
Shot Cancel is a technique that appears in every Devil May Cry game. It allows the player to increase the firing speed of firearms with long reload times by either performing an action, quickly switching to and firing a faster firearm like the Ebony & Ivory, or even performing a different gun technique with the same gun.