A connoisseur of fighting games - help with USF4


TL;DR - I want to help my friend improve his game. He spams crouching lights (throw teching) and DPs which I know is not pro play. But I don’t know how to punish him for this style of play because at a base level it shuts down walking in, throws, and jump ins. At range I could just spam fireballs but that’s boring to me and not teaching him why his up close habits are bad.

-The actual post-

Hello everyone!

I am seeking some advice with USF4. A short background so you can understand where I am coming from and my goals. I love fighting games and play a huge variety of them but lack any focus so I think that it would be most appropriate to say that I am a casual player with a solid understanding of mechanics. For perspective I bounce between 6th and 7th scout titles in UMVC3.

A friend of mine has recently decided he really wanted to focus on USF4, he’s been playing since launch, so I am at a bit of a gap as the SF4 series lacked flash that drew me into other games. So I am now rushing to catch up against him. We’ve played a few games and I am really enjoying USF4 but wanting to get better and wanting to challenge my opponent I am coming to you guys with some questions.

  1. Applying pressure. My friend says that I am really good at applying pressure against nonshoto characters (especially in the corner). Double overheads, crossups, throws and the like are things that I’ve learned in every other fighting game. What I have not learned to deal with are shoryukens. The degree to which this blows me up is insane. Put into perspective looking over my past 10 games with him almost 80% of ALL DAMAGE done to my character comes from his DPs and crouching attacks. Between breaking focus attacks (med dps), no air blocking, invincible start up and me not having 100% block strings (I’m working on this but timing is very different compared to other fighters I play which often have revolver/rapid/auto combo systems) I have no idea how I am supposed to keep pressure on a shoto. I’ve been trying to learn safe jumps as well but that’s also challenging right now.

  2. Dealing with light kick spam. I think this has a lot to do with the speed of USF4 for me but when I play blazblue etc an opponent spamming light kick at me is easy to deal with. In those games I often have attacks that out range it SIGNFICICANTLY and always trade in my favor, I can do short jumps/hops in KOFXIII and marvel lets you use assist to lock an opponent down so you can move in and do whatever mixups you like on them. USF4 doesn’t seem to have any great answers besides ‘learn to footsie like a boss’ (working on this, my friend and I think it might be my TV because we both play significantly better on other monitors but I don’t have the cash to replace that right now) or use fireballs which is a solution but does not play to my style or help teach him why this is a bad habit to help him up his game.

  3. Picking a Character. So with part 1 and 2 I am sure there are general system mechanics that might help improve my game but I know that its really going to break down to knowing my character in-depth. The catch is that I don’t have a character yet because I have not had time to learn all of the characters. So maybe you guys can point me in the right direction.

Things I dislike
Charge characters (I can do the moves just not a fan)
360/720 characters (the control I use makes it very challenging to pull these off)
Relying on ‘command mobility’ (makoto’s mobility sucks UNLESS you are dashing, or using a special move … this is basically the reason I hate charge characters as well)

Things I REALLY like
Offensive characters (would prefer to make my opponent guess rather than do the guessing)
A standing overhead
Heavy hitters with long reach

Things I appreciate but don’t feel that I NEED
A command grab
Target combos

Basically the hulk from UMVC3 was my favorite character, armored through peoples attacks making them afraid to hit buttons, had reach that rivaled ‘sword characters’ and could do massive damage even without assist and when the opponent was too scared to push buttons I could chuck them across the screen. This is followed closely by Harley Quinn from I:GAU. Oddly the character that gives my friend the most fits in our USF4 matches so far is when I play Guy. Again he cites that I have good corner pressure but I feel like I am loosing it every time he goes to Bison (his main) and Ken (his backup).

So far I’ve played
Gouken - he’s fun, need more time and to figure out how to AA and footsie
Guy - need to figure out how to AA with him and apply pressure to shotos where DP isn’t the answer
Hakan - I was terrible with him in every way
Juri - I do well with her vs the PC but my fireball game was not good vs actual opponents
Rose - again my fireball game is terrible
Vega - no DP, no projectile, his claw is vulnerable to being whiff punished, and I need to constantly stop moving to charge … I tried really hard to love him and I just found more problems as time went on

I’m thinking of trying Cody next.

I’ve completed about 50% of the trials just so I would have a rough idea of what each character had but the trials don’t cover all characters and the characters they cover don’t actually show all of their skill sets and many are outdated.

Help! please and thank you


Well, if you want to deal with crouch teching abusers, you have to tighten up your block strings so you will get a counterhit if he keeps trying to do so. Mixup the timing between normals in your blockstrings to catch him pressing a buttons and snag a nice counterhit for a high damaging combo.

To deal with your opponent DPing you between your blockstrings, I would drop by block strings on purpose and back off to bait him doing a DP and punish him for it so I can condition him that it’s not such a good idea to just throw that out.

As for picking a character, this may seem kinda bias by looking at my profile picture but try playing Sakura. She has everything you like that you listed. She is really really offensive to the point where you cannot press a button against her block strings. She does have a standing overhead and her crouching mk is really long and can cancel into shoryu that does really good damage. Pretty much all of her main normals are really good with a pretty far reach. She has an excellent footies game. The only learning curve is just practicing her combos since most of the really high damaging ones are one and two frame links.

I hopes this helps you out :slight_smile:


I’ll def try out Sakura, thank you for the suggestion. The prospect of learning 1 and 2 frame links is a bit intimidating right now because I don’t feel that I have the spare time to really dedicate to the lab. I know it’s something I can do just a bit of a time crunch at the moment.

Like I said without actually dedicating much time I’ve cleared over 50% of the trials, in UMVC3 I’ve cleared all trials but 3. Execution isn’t what scares me just the time required to learn it and apply it correctly.


There a very few true blockstrings in SFIV compared to other fighters. That is why he is easily able to DP you between your attacks. Implement the attack/defend/punish strategy.


  1. Do 2 crouching light punches (attack)
  2. Take a step back (defend)
  3. Confirm a move and react accordingly (punish)

So after step three:

  • if he does a DP, you will block and then you can punish.
  • if he tries a crouch tech, it will whiff then you can step in and throw him afterwards (works much better if you have a kara throw - experienced opponents will know how to deal with this)
  • if you hold back for sufficiently long, he might try a long range poke which you can whiff-punish, or if you see a jump you can anti-air him with ease

If he uses a delayed crouch tech, then in step three take a slight step back and then immediately poke again. You’ll avoid the reversal and either whiff-punish the crouch tech, or counter-hit it, depending on which moves/characters are involved.


pick Seth, he’ a beast