The behavior of short fatigue cracks under variable amplitude loading (VA) was investigated by FEM. The crack closure induced by the crack surface roughness was taken into consideration by using the contact between these crack surfaces. The effects of variable amplitude loading on the performance of short cracks are demonstrated with factors such as grain orientation and misorientation, crack length and the friction efficient between the contacted crack surfaces. Through the two indicators, crack tip opening displacement represented by "CTOD and "CTSD and the plastic strain range of crack tip, the characteristics of short cracks affected by loading blocks are discussed in detail. It is shown from the numerical results that the significance of the design of loading blocks in the fatigue experiments is evident and the performance of short cracks from the variable amplitude loading is more effective due to the closer to practice.