A question about footsies


I’ve been playing SF4 for about a year and a half now and I’m fairly decentish okay but I’ve just passed around 1100 pp without having any knowledge of footsies (which really tells you about the unimportance of points) but reading guides on multiple characters and learning their buttons I ask this. Outside of combos why do I need six buttons when I have 1 that basically does everything? Take dictator for example St.rh is a godlike button that is fast and the longest range normal he has outside of obviously sweep, It anti-airs and is great in footsies so why do I see bisons fucking around with st.mk and st.mp when I can just tape down my rh? Now a not so extreme but still good example is Ryu’s low forward and Vega’s Cr.mp.

tldr why do I need six buttons in footsies when I can use one if its good enough.


Footsies can be seen as a more analogue version of rock-paper-scissors. Every move has a counter to it, which in turn has a counter and so on and so on…
Different moves cover different angles and have different uses depending on that angle + active frames, reach, recovery etc. If you only use st.rh you’re going to get punished for being predictable.

And remember that there is a lot more to footsies than just walking back and forth and pressing good buttons.
The ‘analogue’ aspect of footsies comes from the fact that it’s more about highly variable maneuvers than strictly-set moves. The idea is to gauge what your opponent is thinking and act accordingly.
This is the reason footsies are without a doubt the most interesting aspect of the game.

Check out the footsies handbook if you haven’t already.


When i played AE Bison, st.MK was without a doubt my main tool in the neutral game, especially when advancing. Unlike his slide and roundhouse, it’s relatively safe to throw out and, depending on range, can recover up to 7 frames faster than a roundhouse.
With footsies, its not just how quickly you fire it out, and you cant assume you’re going to connect all the time, so recovery needs to be weighed in too.
You still need to keep a HK loaded for the anti airs though, but use it much more sparingly. Even though it’s great, you want to save it for when they’re jumping in; you don’t have a lot of AA options as Bison, so making a point of them, when you have the chance to AA with them, gives the illusion that you do.
st.MP is more prominent now thanks to the ultra changes, it now also has a 6f startup but is special cancelable, so would be an option I’d use on the back foot, with a charge at the ready.
Don’t play Bison anymore, but against one, I’m still watching for MK over anything.


OP is right though, if your one button is good enough - keep on using it. You’d only start using the other five buttons when your opponent can get around the one.


When you find a situation st. rh doesn’t cover or cover as well as another button of course.


This is actually a good point in a way. If something works, abuse it. However, if you get blown up for using St. RH too much you potentially lose a round. For example, a Dudley whiff punishes it with St. RH xx EX Machine Gun Blow into Ultra. By that time you’re more than likely in the corner or close to it and down a lot more on life than you were before. If you expect the whiff punish, then you can use a different button that’s harder to whiff punish and bait the St. RH or get into a range where Dudley can’t do that (be it closer or farther away).