Advice on Overcoming Newbie Hurdles...?

Greetings and salutations. I’ve been hanging around the Newbie Saikyo Dojo for some time now and have been contributing where I can. However, recently I’ve been trying to teach a good friend of mine the intricacies of SFIV… from scratch. He’s never touched a fighter before this one, and he’s now got perhaps a month or so of experience under his belt. It’s been difficult to say the least but I feel like I’m making definite progress. However, this brings me to the problems…

He’s making great headway when it comes to the elementary basics of the game: he knows his jabs from his fierces and his lows from his roundhouses. He understands how to throw, focus attack and taunt and he understands basic shoto commands (qcf’s, dp motions, qcb’s, etc.). He even gets how to do some Ultras (with about a 25% success rate in execution). The primary problem I’m encountering, however, is that he seems to become extraordinarily flustered and aggravated when things don’t go “right.” For example, playing arcade mode on the easiest setting he will become furious when a stage 4 Abel continuously command throws him after his blocked or whiffed hurricane kick. His low rate of success with Ultra execution plummets even lower when faced with stress, and he seems to quickly forget techniques I try to go over with him in Training Mode when it comes to real competition.

This is nothing new for him, of course - I’ve been playing games with him since we were in middle school, and he often gets hot-headed in any competitive game, from FPS’s to racers. Only problem being, I’ve never been trying to teach him another game at the same level as SFIV. It’s becoming increasing frustrating for me as I can’t seem to alleviate the stress being heaped upon his fledgling shoulders.

This brings me to the actual questions: does anyone have any advice for making the early training hurdles more fun and less stressful? It’s been so long since I’ve had to learn what he’s learning that I’ve forgotten how I overcame them myself… I know I was self-taught, having no friends who played fighters to the level I did, but I persevered and crammed out the combos and motions old-style (pre-SFIV shortcuts). And aside from straight up telling him to “practice”, which I do, and which I’m unsure he has actually taken to heart and done on his own free time, I feel I’m doing everything in my teaching power to aid him at this juncture. And I do feel he sincerely wants to learn the game, it’s simply a matter of overcoming the pressures of newbdom. So… any advice for making the learning / teaching process less of a hassle would be greatly appreciated.

tl;dr - Any advice how to make my easily frustrated newbie friend have more fun whilst learning beginner’s SFIV?

arcade mode is nothing but a ball of frustration for a new player, he should really be only playing with you or someone who knows that he is learning so that when he makes a mistake or misses an opportunity you can stop and say ‘see, you could have done X’

yeah the way I started out and learned was with friends, gaming evenings where we were like 4-5 people and just played, arcade rules. Unfortunately not everyone tagged along and now I only got 1 SF buddy left around here that’s at my level. Definitely play vs, all the time. No matter what level you’re at it’s never a good idea to play against the computer as you learn bad habits very easily and what you learn in the very beginning can be VERY hard to unlearn later. Best of luck to your buddy.

Just tell him to play zangief super scrub friendly to start with he should be able to beat about 90% of the people on xbl with just the PPP button.

Haha, yeah man those are funny. They never know what to do about delayed fireballs and safe demon flips. :smiley:

Only problem I’m encountering with this scenario is he’ll usually snap at me, saying “I WAS DOING X! IT WON’T WORK!” Every now and again he’s catching on and taking my advice to heart, but like I said he’s a bit of a hothead… he often complains and gets frustrated when an Ultra won’t come out and only infrequently understands that it’s not the game doing it wrong. :rofl:

I know this all makes him sound like a total scrub, but he’s really pretty cool… just gotta learn to take it in stride and keep learning.

Well, yes and no. As I said earlier I self-taught myself the art of fighting games, my first game taken in any level of seriousness being Capcom vs. SNK 2: EO for the Xbox. Sure, I played online a bit but the majority of my time was spent in arcade mode. Still learned technique, execution, basics, etc., and while it’s no substitute for a live opponent it can still be a feasible place to start. However, I understand that the A.I. in SFIV is unprecedentedly abysmal but my point is it’s still possible to learn some things so long as you don’t come to fully rely on them - with any luck, this is where I will come in, to lend my pseudo-knowledgeable insight.

Haha… he’s played a bit of Zangief, but I don’t think my friend would be too keen on spamming lariats all day. He’s picked up Ken as his starter (like so many before him…) and he’s doing fine with him so far. He is really excited about Super, though, and hopes to pick up Dudley. We’ll see how that goes. :smile:

Dan player here, and seriously I dominate lariat spammers online with I’ve gone entire matches, not rounds, using only that move and perfected PPP-happy Giefs. :rofl:

My advice would be to get rid of the teacher-student crap, and just have fun playing the game. Learning and growing have to come naturally, but at the core of any of that is enjoying playing the game for what it is. Once the game is fun, then the Ultra’s and other stuff will start coming, and the frustration won’t be as overwhelming. It sounds like in you zeal to have your friend play on the same level as you, you’re turning the whole experience into work for him, which I think is a big part of the problem. My experience has been most people don’t want to “practice” playing video game, they just want to play to relax and have a good time.

Ah well, just keep at it. If he’s got the drive for it he’ll catch on sooner or later. Gotta say I agree with AmishOpiate a bit. The teacher-student stuff will come in handy but not until he finds it genuinely fun and has put in a sufficient amount of hours. Which he already might have, I don’t know :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, it’s always fun with more people. I should start going around, ringing doorbells and spreading the word.
“Hi. I’m from Shoryuken’s witnesses. I’m here to spread the word of the Lord, Gouken.”
*runs away

Teach him how to do something like punish whiff SRKs(a specific combo or something) so every time someone whiffs an SRK he has something strong to hit them back with. That might give him some pay off and help him feel better.

Then when you’re fighting if you’re ever sitting on a huge ass life lead whiff an SRK on purpose so he can hit back and feel like he’s actually doing something.

Try this…

Play on or offline againts people or the computer togeather NOT againts eachother. It’s fustrating to play againts your best friend who you wup everytime but if you play togeather he may learn something. Start by setting the rounds to 3 if possible then start your matches computer or online. Let him play and when he loses his first round play the next one. If you win or lose give him back the controler. People are visual creatures, we learn a lot more by observing than being told, and it may spark curiosity and he may ask…“How did you do that?” or “how did you know when to do that?” This opens up the opporunity to teach him when he is not stressed, his curiosity is peeked and you are now invited to show him what you did. But make sure to lead by example. If you lose the round yourself, don’t complain or show bodylanguage of fustration (This is harder than it soudns because we are not always aware of how we look to other people when we react), just smile and give him the controler. Also don’t complain about the typical match ups. Like don’t say…“Oh man this guy picked Sagat…” or “This guy is a noob and spamming fireballs.” Lead by example and it may keep him from getting fustrated so fast.

Don’t be in a rush going online and playing againts the online warriors, your trying to get him to have fun while learning. It’s hard to have fun when someone is doing a Full EX bar FADC combo into an Ultra and taking 75% of your helath. There is always plenty of time to gain experience playing other people. Right now your goal is to make it fun for him.

Oh also don’t demonize noob tactics. Why? Because he’s a noob himself, demonizing noob tactics (OMG he’s spamming fireballs, he’s using Psycic DP ect.) will build up his ego and think he is better or beyond that. When facing opponents that use these tactics he’s gonna become excrutiatingly fustrated by it because he’s gonna refuse to play like that steepining his learning curve and making it harder to grasp the basics. As much as we on SRK demonize these tactics we all have done them before and is usually the first milestone we hit when learning any kind of fighting game. Remember the game must become fun first then focus on ironing out the kinks.

Hope this helps.

Don’t play Arcade. The game’s meant to be played with others.
Don’t play Online. Online is garbage.
Gatherings are best.

Right now, if you go to the Sheridon in Brookfield, you have about three hours or so left of the Midwest Gaming Classic. Take him and play casuals. My younger brother reminds me of your friend and my room mate signed us both up for the tourney. It renewed interest in the game for my bro, got him to see what was going wrong for him, and helped my with my plateau problem. My brother also gets hot headed, but not once while he was there did he flip out.

As for the whole, “I DID DO THAT, IT’S NOT WORKING!”… Yeah… Execution is a filthy whore. There’s nothing you can do for that, except acknowledge he tried to do it and encourage him to keep trying.

don’t focus on being a noob, top player or what have you. Every great player was a scrub @ one point, its a fact. Focus on getting better. When you combine that with time, its only natural that a player will become good. There are players in my area who focus on the wrong things. That guy is a scrub, how did he beat me? sometimes people get angry with themselves or with the game. How did I miss so many combo’s? the common element here is that your focus is being diverted by things that don’t matter.

*that guy is a scrub, how did he beat me? wrong focus.

that guy just beat me, why did I lose that round? proper focus.*

I’ve trained a few people and the person who learned the fastest was also very very focused. He never got mad, asked questions and ALWAYS improved himself.

getting good is a process, it takes time. During that time, you must remain objective and stay FOCUSED.

It sounds like you’re forcing an impressionable guy to do something he doesn’t enjoy. Your constant criticism is probably annoying him, but he doesn’t have the heart to tell you. Obsessive/controlling behavior and a lack of self awareness on your part mixed with a lack of confidence on his part has created what looks to be an uncomfortable mess. Let him play the way he wants to play.

Thanks for all the replies. For the sake of room, I won’t quote the whole posts as I reply.

@ AmishOpiate: I actually don’t try to be too much of a “teacher,” i.e. I’m not acting like an elitist prick and telling him he’s wrong. It’s more simply the fact that… I seriously outrank him in terms of skill, so my options are to 1) Beat him mercilessly and 2) Go easy for the most part and let him win some. Sure, with the first option he’ll “learn” the same way we all learn by being torn asunder by better players, but he won’t have any fun in doing so. With the latter, I still go full blast sometimes but mostly take it easy and try to help him out with tips and strategies he may not have thought about or even knew about.

@ grimhammer: He seems to be quite passionate, mostly due to hype for SSFIV. He’s really quite excited for that game and wants to get better before it comes out so he can stand at least a bit of a chance. Also, he’s coming with me to Midwest Championships and he wants to not be completely decimated in casuals. :smile:

@ Kelter Skelter: Appreciate the tip. I’ll try to whiff stuff on purpose more often. A lot of times when I feel like I’m playing too hard against him I’ll start doing stupid stuff in hopes he’ll beat it, i.e. trying to throw too much, not blocking the ultra when it finally comes out, etc., but I sometimes feel like it might piss him off if he catches on. It might be because I’m personally that way… if you’re playing me in something and start “going easy” it pisses me off because I don’t feel like I’ll improve vs. your lessened game. But I dunno if he feels different about it.

@ xShonuffx: That seems like some good advice, actually. I like the idea of trading off online play so that he can kinda learn a bit that way. Also, I tend to not “demonize” tactics unless it’s silly stuff he’s getting away with in Arcade simply because it’s Arcade, i.e. throwing over and over because the computer can’t figure out how to tech a throw on Easiest. :rofl: I dunno, I try to encourage him even when he’s DP spamming, simply because he’s actually executing DP’s consistently. Besides, how can you NOT have fun using Ken’s hp.dp over and over?

@ Hotashi and Deathbyspackle: I agree wholeheartedly, but unfortunately we both work pretty rough schedules so it’s hard to ever plan for events. He works third shift every weekend and I work whatever my job feels like scheduling me so just being able to hang out with one another is sometimes an ordeal. As I said earlier, he’ll be joining me for MWC in May and I hope it’ll encourage him to have more fun. And by that time Super will be out so I’ve got a good feeling. :smile:

@ shoultzula: Only problem with that is, his focus is only on me. He’s never played the game vs. anyone else besides me and Arcade mode, so he really doesn’t have a problem with blaming the other person, so to say. Not to say that’d be impossible for him to develop, but at this point it’s not an issue. However, what is an issue is when he gets frustrated over execution and the like. Perhaps I’ll take your advice to heart in that field and encourage him to, rather than get upset that something isn’t coming out, try to figure out -why- it isn’t coming out and what we can do to make it come out in the future. (lol that sentence got a little awkward)

@ Data Beast: No. The friend in question is someone whom I’ve known since middle school. We’ve been friends for nearly 10 years. Growing up, we always played games together, though mostly FPS’s - Counter-Strike, Unreal, Halo, etc. - and his drive to play Street Fighter is not forced by me. My devotion to the game has certainly edged him towards wanting to play, but it’s surely not something he despises doing. He wants to learn how to get better, and I’m teaching him things that will help him become a better player. None of this “obsessive/compulsive” business you’re going on about. Please don’t lambaste me over something you obviously fail to grasp.