A few noob questions


Hi :slight_smile:

I’ve only been playing 2 days…just started practicing linking and I’m blown away by how PERFECT your timing has to be. So I was wondering if people actually do perfect this art or if I should settle with only being able to pull it off 3 out of 5 tries? I’m currently working on what I’ve been told is the bread and butter of Ryu:

cr.LK, cr.LP, Link cr.MP xx H Hadouken (I’m unsure of what xx is supposed to mean?)

I can pull it off half the time now but at this point it feels like you’re screwing yourself attempting it without getting it right every time. Also I noticed there can be absolutely no distance between you and the other guy to land the cr. MP in this combo. Also, does having a fightstick make linking combos any easier? Anyone want to offer some tips or pointers?

I’d upload a video of a match I just had but “youtube service is not available”. I have a match where i got a 2500pp player down to half his hp all 3 rounds (losing each one) and I feel like i’ve hit a skill ceiling. I can do every one of my main’s moves from both sides pretty easily now. I’m ok at blocking unless the enemy mixes a good low/high combo. I can juke people out with different speed fireballs 2-3 consecutive hurricane kicks and rarely shoryuken jump attacks. I don’t know any combos or even if that’s what i should be working on next. This is all I’ve got up my sleeve, what should i work on next?

I was told to start learning with ryu…i prefer akuma even though I’m no better with him. At what point will i know I’m ready to move on to a more “advanced” character?

Any guides or videos you wanna link are most welcome. Thanks for your time, and sorry for not having a video, I tried 3 times with no luck :confused:


First off, the “art” you’re speaking of for hitting combos, you should have this nearly 100%. Think about it this way, would you ever want to drop or miss your combo? If you do, then fighting games is something you shouldn’t be pursuing. It is just like anything you do. If you want to be a basketball player, would you only want 3 out of 5 of your shots to go in or always have it 5 out of 5? It’s the same mentality here. Always practice to make sure you get your timing right.

The “xx” part of the combo you listed means to cancel the button before into the move. For the combo you posted, it says cr.MP xx H Hadouken. That means as soon as you throw out your cr.MP, cancel it immediately into the move, a heavy Hadouken.

Spacing is insanely important for combos and just in the game in general. Not just SF4, but all fighting games. Certain combos are spacing and character specific so knowing what combos work on who and where is important. Having a fighting stick based on the idea of making combos easier or not depends on the person. Honestly, use what is the most comfortable to you. I grew up playing Marvel back in the arcades so I have to play any Marvel game on a arcade stick. For all other fighting games, I play them either on a PS2 pad or on keyboard. It is really just preference. There are some helpful things about playing on a fightstick or pad too though. Like an example would be that plinking is a lot easier to do on a fightstick (at least for me and I would say most would agree too). Plinking is a technique where you can hit tigher/stricter links much easier. It consists of you drumming through two buttons to ensure links come out easier.

The way I see it, if you hit a ceiling, that is a good thing. That means you can get better. Watching your own matches is probably the most important thing. Watch what you’re doing and what decisions to make and figure out why you did it and why it made you win or lose. Blocking is important, definitely. Rather than just saying blocking, I would rather say improve your defense in general. It is not just about blocking but evading as well. This all ties to defense. Backdashing is a great tool to dodge and get out of situations. The thing is, relying on anything can be a bad thing too. Backdashing is like a double edged sword in this sense. There are option selects/setups that make backdashing useless.

Combos you should be working on are damaging combos and situational combos. The trial combos are good building blocks for your in-game combos. FADC combos are also important because they are probably the most reliable way to link your Ultra’s into your combos. Rather than just practicing combos, practice your neutral game/fundamentals. Practice things such as your spacing, footsies and tendencies. Jumping is one of the worst things you can do in SF4 because you know; you can’t block in the air. This is why dragon punch moves are so dominating in this game.

Ryu is probably one of the best characters to start out with because he is pretty much the full package to learning the game. You learn the projectile game, spacing and you have a DP and so on… You’ll know when you should be move on. If you solidify your neutral game, that is when you should start moving on to another character. Since you now know your basics like spacing, zoning and so on, you can bring those same teachings to other characters. After you get your neutral and fundamentals down, it is up to you to find what character/style that fits your gameplay.


Thanks a lot for the info. I quit on ryu, akuma is more fun. I personally prefer these kinds of characters…like oni, sakura, ken…etc all the others seem too bizarre. In your personal opinion which of these type fighters would you say is the most entertaining (yet not too technical) for a noob to play?


All those characters are fine to be honest for a beginner, they all teach you the core mechanics of USFIV anyway. They are all fun. Few names to go with those characters you might want to look up to get an idea of what they can do and how they can be played:
Akuma: Tokido, Infiltration, Eita
Ken: Momochi, Michael Tan, Chris(WNF regular)
Oni: Wao, Overmostheads, Sanford Kelly
Sakura: Uryo, Juso, Danhiru, Alex Meyers

Ken and Akuma are probably the least technical if you play them on a basic level. You can get ALOT more technical with almost any character, depends on the player. Sakura in general requires alot of links but again you don’t have to play he rlike that at the basic level either. Oni has a bit of a learning curve and requires some key fundamentals to push his good stuff, but it all doesn’t matter as you won’t use any of it when you are just starting out.


Just a warning from a fellow player just starting out as well, Akuma can be a bit frustrating to play with his low health pool. Since a person is just learning the in and outs of the game, you leave yourself open to stuff. One good combo from someone leaves you in a bad position. I started out playing Akuma but have since switched to someone with a better health pool till I’ve got things some what figured out.


I too started with Akuma, as a beginner his low health pool sucks balls, as you often aren’t good enough to take advantage of the reasons why Akuma’s health is so low.


Yeah, I just got my first arcade stick today and am pretty much relearning everything as though I’ve never played the game before. I’ve gotten so comfortable with shoto(?) characters that attempting to play anything else makes me pretty uncomfortable. I’m kinda bummed I started out with Akuma because his kit feels so…free? Trying to play with just about any other character I’ve tried (not too many) makes me feel like a bird without wings not having air hadoken.

What other characters can you think of that have a large kit? Ibuki seems like a lot of fun but feels too advanced for me.

Are there any bad play habits I need to avoid?

I noticed a lot of pro players don’t use the 3k 3p macro buttons? Is it just inefficient to reach over with your pinky or something? Or is hitting all 3 punches or kicks without mistake effortless enough they don’t need them?

Any tips on quickly transitioning from pad to stick? And any bad gameplay habits to avoid now that I’m reteaching myself?

Funny note…I can’t help but type as if i’m hitting arcade buttons haha…


Gouken’s got diagonal fireballs, kinda like air fireballs but they punish jumps, not the ground. He’s also got a demon flip, so he’s kind of like a beefier Akuma. His BnB combos are easy to do, as well, and do a crap load of damage.

Speaking from experience, I can tell you that learning to wake up properly is the best habit to learn. Not mashing SRK on wakeup is super hard, but you must persevere.

Faster to hit all 3 punches/kicks, also some sticks are 6 button, cause 8 button is dick, while 6 is tits. also some pros map their buttons so select is next to lp for plinking purposes.

There’s no such thing as a “quick” transition, just mess around in training mode and matches until it feels right. This could take anywhere from a week to a month, it just depends on you as a player. Only bad habit I can think of is riding the gate of the stick, which is when you press the shaft against the gate. This is too much outward movement and inefficient, so just move the stick till it clicks.


Fullscreen. Random. Neckbreakers.