Learn Footsies to Make Your Ground Game Not Suck

MajMaj CvS2 Combo CollectorJoined: Posts: 2,073
UPDATE: The Footsies Handbook index now contains summaries and links to every chapter. So this project is completed for the time being, but i'll continue writing startegy articles every Saturday about different topics.


When i first found the tournament scene back in CvS1 days, i remember it took me a very long time to understand what people like Valle and Choi were doing on the ground to control the match. At first sight it seems like a bunch of normal moves and pokes, but there's a purpose behind them.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by SoCal footsies when i was learning. Not everyone has the luxury of living in a fighting game hotspot, so i've been writing these articles to give everyone the same head start that i had. If you want to compete at tournament level, you absolutely need to know this stuff. You don't have to use it but you have to be aware it exists.

Now that i've written five or six of these, i figured i'd mention them here. If you aren't already using these tactics, i really think they'll help improve your game overnight. First off, here's a primer explaining the concept:

What Are Footsies?

If you already know what the term means, feel free to skip that one and get right down to practical applications. Each of these articles covers three or four specific tactics which you can integrate into your gameplan to make it a little more solid:

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 1 - Footsies 101
Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 2 - jab/short feints
Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 3 - how to use the corner
Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 4 - baiting supers
Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 5 - jumping without dying

These usually take over 10 hours to write simply because good examples are hard to come by, but i'll keep it going every Saturday for as long as i can. I hope you guys find them useful and thanks for reading.
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Comments

  • NDRWPNDYNDRWPNDY ALLCAPS Joined: Posts: 707
    Thanks a lot, Maj!
  • Hanzo_HasashiHanzo_Hasashi Primal Rage rules Joined: Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Awesome article Maj, as always.
  • AhDee1023AhDee1023 Joined: Posts: 210
    Thank you very much Maj! This is very helpful!
  • Kanta-KunKanta-Kun Magnudisto... BLAAAAAAAST Joined: Posts: 5,545
    I read this the other day. most valuable lesson: Hide behind a table.
    "I think the game should punch you in the face every time you pick Nova." -ShadyK
  • Kuma OniKuma Oni Scrubby Adrian Joined: Posts: 1,558
    Wow I wish work was over so I could read these! Already recommended for an article though... god like post dude, just god like.
    MvC3! Because SF4 wasn't quite easy enough for you...
  • TuboWareTuboWare Mouth of the Midwest Joined: Posts: 2,100 mod
    Awesome articles. Very helpful.
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  • DevilJin 01DevilJin 01 Ibuki and Juri BUFFZ Joined: Posts: 52,299 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Most of the random people at the Magfest game convention I went to could have used this. :lol:

    Kunoichi is always in V Trigger

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  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    Wow this is very helpful, thanks a lot :)

    I always get anxious and try to jump over my opponent when in a fireball battle or when he's running away and then I get punished for doing so.
  • SaintMoSaintMo Bye Rep Joined: Posts: 185
    Great read and watch!
  • AzuroAzuro C L E B O Y Z Joined: Posts: 1,132
    This just made me want to play SFIV again...lol.
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  • floydedfloyded Joined: Posts: 55
    great articles. i definitely benefitted greatly from it. thanks and keep up the good work!
  • sh1ftysh1fty TheUberCast.com ! Joined: Posts: 325
    This stuff is great!

    Obviously..
    Avatar by Pasqual <3

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  • sparkmandrillsparkmandrill Joined: Posts: 32
    all hail maj
  • RaunwynnRaunwynn No scare Gouken Joined: Posts: 1,212
    that was a good read.
  • NyoronoruNyoronoru Vocaloid DLC Joined: Posts: 1,647
    10/10 for good explanation and sourcing.
    Life is too short to waste not trying your best!
  • EveryFlowerFlowEveryFlowerFlow You Want Pain? Aegis Reflector Joined: Posts: 3,779
    I Nominated. Everyone else should do the same.
    I make Jazz-Hop/Soul-Hop: http://releases.prosodij.co.uk
  • ShogunFlowShogunFlow Stream Warrior Joined: Posts: 801
    Excellent read. I was about to go to sleep last night and I was up all night reading this. It definitely helps me understand the different psychological fundamentals of SF, which I find applicable in just about any SF games.
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  • Kuma OniKuma Oni Scrubby Adrian Joined: Posts: 1,558
    Yeah, I'm glad you got on the front page bro. You deserve it.
    MvC3! Because SF4 wasn't quite easy enough for you...
  • crazecraze I'm a family man now! Joined: Posts: 514
    I Nominated. Everyone else should do the same.

    done!
    peace
    love
    insanity
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Whoa, so that's how the new SRK works, huh? That's cool. Thank you sirs.

    edit: Hm, that was weird - i didn't have a Contrib medal until i made this post, then it showed up as soon as the page loaded.
  • Smoothjazz101Smoothjazz101 Joined: Posts: 1,480
    This will probably take me years to implement all this shit, thanks for showing the way to higher play Maj :)
  • Jay WangJay Wang FrameDatas! Joined: Posts: 665
    Maj,

    Your hard work on these articles is appreciated!!!

    I've been around SRK and SF for a very long time and I still find these to be useful!

    thanks!
    - JayWang

    Don't Eat The Yellow Snow!
  • Jonathan IngramJonathan Ingram Joined: Posts: 189
    One of the most informative articles I've ever read on this site.
    Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus HD Remix Lead Designer
  • VernonVernon Destroy what destroys you Joined: Posts: 93 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    That's very interesting, nice job!
    2X FOREVER
  • Mr.anj3L0616Mr.anj3L0616 Back in New York Joined: Posts: 127
    Amazing article. It improved my footsies a lot. thanks maj.
    Gamertag: MashGrabTuesday
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  • prorookprorook Joined: Posts: 475
    I always thought footsies meant "spam the shit out of c.mk"
    who knew?
    kaybar akayaye ky-jelly
  • LaneLane down for 3rd strikue frinedlies Joined: Posts: 3,326
    Most of the random people at the Magfest game convention I went to could have used this. :lol:

    lol, you're so mean.

    Also, these articles helped me a whole bunch as a player. Especially the sweep one. I was trying to figure out why people were so good at baiting that shit from me, cuz it fucks me up so much. Its so elusive, but it works so well.
    btw 3s didn't die. The old guys that run evo and all the other tournaments forced it into retirement because it couldn't turn up a nice enough profit for their mcribs and abercrombie jackets.
    -dander
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Here's the next chapter in the series. Since we've already covered numerous ways to control the game from just outside your opponent's poke range, this part explores a few tactics you can use when you find yourself right next to someone.

    Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 6

    Hopefully Element 18 is clear now you have a sense of how footsies ought to be played. Obviously you're not supposed to guess uppercuts left and right. But if you know what's coming, there's no reason not to let them know how predictable they're being once every few rounds or so. Also this article gave me an excuse to talk about the concept of "tactics" versus "gimmicks" which i've been meaning to discuss for a while now. Hopefully you guys find some of these pointers useful.
  • rick_derrisrick_derris Registered Bruiser Joined: Posts: 849
    You rule Maj. Capcom should hire you to write their strategy guides.
    I suck at SF4, for I let the combo video maker in me take over when I fight and I do very impractical combos. I can't play serious... Never will. :)
  • LollaffLollaff Joined: Posts: 217
    I was wondering if any Dhalsim players much better than myself could point out any tactics with regards to footsies, as our normals are quite different from most other characters. Specific examples would be great. Some of the stuff I might be doing without actually knowing that it's regarded as footsie play.
  • JammyBooJammyBoo I am Shiva. Joined: Posts: 151
    I was wondering if any Dhalsim players much better than myself could point out any tactics with regards to footsies, as our normals are quite different from most other characters. Specific examples would be great. Some of the stuff I might be doing without actually knowing that it's regarded as footsie play.
    I've found that after a st.mk hit people love to like, jump or try to hit you or something so you can usually get away with pressing it again (I once hit 5 on the run). With Sim you really want to to be poking at them at all times, hp, mp, lk, mk. Against some players you'll find that as you keep them out with all your long range normals they'll start throwing out reversals (random SRKs and the like) I think that kinda ties in with footsies, almost like mindfucking your opp into whiffing a normal, but on a larger scale.

    I think the only difference between Sims footsies and other peoples is that Sim can do it from almost full screen.
  • DHEvilDHEvil Joined: Posts: 2,365
    Very good stuff. Some of the newer players should definately take a look through this. Very informative and whilst I don't expect these articles to make a scrub into a pro, it will plant that seed of "Hey, maybe there's more to this than d+RH and DPMFP?". That's the first step to future greatness. There should be more stuff like this.
    BUHSSA WUHF!!
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    I was wondering if any Dhalsim players much better than myself could point out any tactics with regards to footsies, as our normals are quite different from most other characters.
    Dhalsim's problem is his walk speed sucks and all of his normals are slow. His biggest advantage is range. So usually you want to be far away from them where you're way more effective than they are. So in most matchups Dhalsim doesn't have a great reason to walk into footsies range. Though if you're there, the one cool thing you can do is use MK drills like divekicks to counter low kicks. Depends on the game though. It doesn't work so well in SF4 cuz drills recover way too slowly.
  • JazzJazz Pagua Sonfa Joined: Posts: 3,087
    how is this not stickied?

    very nice as always maj
    I think some ppl should join the madden community
  • AnnihilationscapeAnnihilationscape The World Warrior Joined: Posts: 714
    Terrific articles, Maj. These are helping me a lot, and I'm sharing them with my friends who are either newer to SF or just need to step their game up.
    "Your moves are weak and your style is a joke! What were you thinking?!"
    - Ken Masters
  • dogfacedogface Peke Suto Joined: Posts: 1,241
    Maj, if we lived in Gotham City, Batman would have you on his team.
  • LaneLane down for 3rd strikue frinedlies Joined: Posts: 3,326
    can you teach me how to play footsies with a girl?
    btw 3s didn't die. The old guys that run evo and all the other tournaments forced it into retirement because it couldn't turn up a nice enough profit for their mcribs and abercrombie jackets.
    -dander
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    TY for this awesome post and the time put forth to find the examples. They really have helped a lot. <3 guy love... ....
  • JDH the AuditorJDH the Auditor Airthrow Manwhore Joined: Posts: 614
    I started doing a lot better in my problem matches when I finally made spacing my #1 priority in the match.

    Lately my motto is: Spacing is EVERYTHING.
    MVC3: Dante Viper Amaterasu
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  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    This one's kind of a mix of different tricks which'll help make you a little tougher to beat.

    Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 7

    Even though it's only explained briefly, Element 22 is a big one. It'll seem pretty straightforward once you read it, but a lot of players don't know about this and it's very useful.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    These are great articles, and I thank you very much for the hard work you have put in it. I am especially glad that you have added video examples because the concepts are very difficult for many to understand and to pick up on. There's lots of info here that all of us can learn from.
  • LBLB HyungOppa Joined: Posts: 1,760 mod
    btw maj, this is exactly what i was hoping to do, and you did it much better than what i had imagined. good job!!! i love these and keep them coming.
    Ryu only! Gold league for now and I stream my matches at twitch.tv/hyunglee/. Hope to get ranked (top1000) soon!
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Really? For a particular game or just in general?
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Thought i'd write up a basic overview on hopkicks, because they're important to the landscape of footsies even though only a few characters have them.

    Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 8

    Anyone who's been following this article series should understand immediately how buff a good hopkick can be. If you got 'em, use 'em. If you don't, figure out a way to deal with 'em.
  • FulaaniFulaani Of terrorist descent Joined: Posts: 2,555
    awesome as always maj.
    zoning took an indefinite hiatus
  • staticjackstaticjack Joined: Posts: 20
    Agreed...... Good Stuff 4 sure!!!!
  • JazzJazz Pagua Sonfa Joined: Posts: 3,087
    maj...

    GDLK

    seriously i feel smarter after reading these in rapid succession. This kind of knowledge and display trains players how to analyze and read a match more efficiently.

    carry on sir.

    whats interesting is that there are a few of these tricks and elements that players do unconsciously, but its interesting to see the psychology behind these tactics and this is really a good way for some players (esp intermediate level players budding into advanced play) to really step up their game behind the scenes.
    I think some ppl should join the madden community
  • Ink-Ink- Rapper James Joined: Posts: 156
    Maj, if we lived in Gotham City, Batman would have you on his team.

    Batman couldn't have said it better himself, anyways amazing thread.
  • berserkotaku45berserkotaku45 winter is coming Joined: Posts: 1,333
    very very good stuff, just reading it makes me feel like a better player now lets see if i can put it in my game
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Even though jumping is absolutely a part of footsies, i've been a little hesitant to talk about it because i believe the ground game has to come first. But crossups are a major part of offensive footsies so i think this is a good time to look into reliable ways of setting them up.

    Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 9

    Hopefully everything's explained clearly but i added a few notes at the end too.
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