AE: How to use normal attacks properly?


Hi, im new in fighting games (even if i would have started long time ago) and i started playing ssf4 ae.
I have a problem that seems to be a problem for many beginners, using to much special attacks. I tried to figure out why i do that and seems that is cause in someway i think, wrongly, that are safer for me. Playing and seeing that i m being highly punished for abusing specials i tried to play using more normals, poking and using combo but i cant. I don’t know how to reach my opponent and hit him without any consecuence and also for the few combo that i know, on cammy(the character i want to learn), even if in training mode i can make them, in a regular match i don’t know how to start. I watched some youtube tutorial like those from tbird and vesperarcade and i have read some guides in this forum and in sites like eventhubs, i also have watched matches to see how people play, from all this i learned a lot off stuff, and i am grateful to those who want help beginners, the problem is that i don’t know how to apply correctly what i’ve learned.
Can you guys give me some tips?


I kind of wish I hadn’t been lazy and finished the stuff I’m doing now back in February like I was supposed to, it may have helped you.
Its its a simple question but the answer can go pretty in depth, who do you use?


I’m using Cammy.


I would also like an answer for given question except for Ryu.


If no one else answers I’ll shoot both of you a reply, which may not be until after the Capcom Tournament this weekend.


That’s cool, better late than never! :smiley:

I also picked up Cammy by the way, just so you know.


Can I also get a reply as well?
Using Cammy too :smiley:


The main suggestion I would give, and one that someone told me which helped me out a lot, is not to view special attacks as “special” per se but to view them as an extension of your normals; if that makes any sense. It does something a normal cannot, although the main problem for beginners basically boils down to hermeneutics.

The easiest example I can give is the basic Ryu fireball. Often, because you have to do a command to input to execute it, newer players automatically put it on this pedistal over one-button normals. But try and change the way you think of it into a poke/normal which can reach a farther distance. Is it practical to try and do a crouching forward ( when the opponent is half a screen away… maybe not, but I can reach him with a fireball. By that some logic is it practical to try and hit the oppent with an uppercut when a crouching forward will do? Not really.

The same goes for Cammy, if your half a screen distance away the common thought may be to use Cannon Drill to get in, because it’s “special”. Yet, if you change your thought process that the special move is just a “normal” and nothing “special”, you have unlocked the rest of your buttons at your disposal and therefore more options, which may make you less inclined to spam it when going in. You could Cannon Drill to get in, but it’s really unsafe on block or can be reacted to from afar. However, if you walk in and throw out a crouching fierce (cr.hp) or standing roundhouse (, you would have successfully used your normals in a way which a “special” may not have done.

In short a special should be done when it is something a normal cannot and vice versa. It’s an extension, not a suppliment. A little wordy of an explanation but I hope it make some little sense.



thanks for the reply, some of the things you said were interesting. I have also another problem how to reach the opponent, safely, for poking or do combos on him. If i try jumping i know they have anti-airs and can punish me, if i try moving im unsafe while im doing this, in short how can i do to give, without problems, an hit, that could be the first of the combo for example, to the opponent.


You’re not actually unsafe on the ground it just seems like you are because you don’t know how to properly use your normals yet.


You need to do what’s called a “hit confirm”.

Fast normals like jabs are pretty safe to throw out, so you can try doing a series of jabs that will either get blocked and be safe, or you get a hit, and by your second or third hit you should notice or “confirm” that you got a hit. After this you can continue the combo by linking other normals or cancelling into a special. It’s pretty hard to do when you’re just starting out


Keep in mind there is not such thing as a “safe approach”, you cannot block while moving forward, in the air, or doing an attack. So, if you concern is getting hit out of the air or while moving it, try and think of strategies you can do which minimize the risk for what ever reward you want. Typically the higher to the risk the bigger the reward.

Fortunately for you, you main Cammy which in this case a lot of the game/set-ups come from a relatively safe approach in her dive kick (Cannon Strike) which has a lot of frame advantage on block. Although I may be getting ahead of myself and you. For the mean time, I would reccomend just walking forward to get it, because generally in the learning stages of the game has the least risk, if the opponent does something just hold back. A huge problem I has in my early going with this game was I would just jump roundhouse to get in; however, like you I kept getting anti-aired. This is a very common tactic and problem for this new to SF (and fighting games in general), because it’s so easy to hit confirm into something, ala the old school jumping roundhouse into crouching roundhouse for the hard knockdown.

If you are intent on jumping, try and think of jumping not just as a means of getting a hit but as a mean of closing the distance. Instead of thinking about jumping in so you can hit an opponent which you are in the air, try and place your jump so you can hit an opponent once you land. If you space the jump properly you should be able to land in a position which makes your opponent difficult to anti-air but puts you in a prime position to start poking with your normals. This is something I would reccomend practicing.

As for your combos… do what Uroboric said and practice, practice, pracitce on hit confirming off of airborne and ground normals.



The reason you’re probably having so much trouble getting in is because your opponent is doing a good job of keeping you out with his normals and pokes. He’s good at this because he’s played a lot more than you and has developed a higher sensitivity to the game. His reaction time is faster and he’s seen and played out the scenarios many times in his head so what you’re doing is more predictable to him. I don’t know if there is really an active way to obtain that sensitivity, it’s more about time. If you enjoy the game you’ll keep playing and little by little you’ll start looking for the right things to do.

Getting in is all about footsies - combining your mobility (i.e. walking) with mostly your normals. Most people, even novice players, can react to just about anything in training mode or even the cpu because it’s predictable. Playing footsies is all about keeping your opponent off balance and outsmarting him. You see this when your opponent keeps shuffling back and forth rather than staying still - he’s remaining unpredictable. You have to refine it to the micro game and decide “okay, is he going to walk forward, back, stay still, block or press a button?” Once you start picking apart his game at that level you can start to figure out which buttons will beat his buttons or move.

Footsies 101 for Cammy
A really important tool in Cammy’s arsenal and one of the first things you should learn is Cammy’s xx spiral arrow buffer. Press and cancel into spiral arrow as you would in a normal combo. If done correctly the spiral arrow will come out if the touches your opponent (whether it be on hit or block). If your doesn’t connect (meaning it whiffs) then spiral arrow won’t come out and you won’t get punished for a blocked spiral arrow. One of the basic ways to use this tool is to catch people walking forward, but first you have to have a good feel for the range on Start throwing out when you opponent is just out of range. If he decides to walk forward he will walk into which will automatically cancel into spiral arrow giving you a knock-down. You are in.

Remember a block will still cancel into spiral arrow making it unsafe which is why you generally want to throw it when they’re just out of range. Keep in mind if you start becoming predictable with this he can use one his buffered normals to beat yours. Every move has its uses and every move can be beat.

**< Ryu ***(added this for the Ryu player)
Substitute xx spiral arrow for xx hadouken. No knockdown but arguably his most used footsies. This move is safe on block so you don’t have to worry about hitting them while they’re blocking. This together with the fact that has pretty decent range means you use it a little differently from Cammy’s xx spiral arrow. A lot of the time Ryu will be at a distance where his can touch the opponent but the opponent’s move can not touch Ryu. This is where you want to throw the buffer out and catch them trying to do something. Ryu’s also has pretty fast start-up and recovery so it will beat a lot of your opponent’s moves and it’s hard to punish making it one of the safer pokes to throw out. This means in addition to catching people walking-forward, backward or standing-up you can also catch people pushing buttons.

While xx hadouken is safe on block it is NOT a true-blockstring at farther distances so people can use moves like shoryuken to beat it in-between. That’s why you see a lot of players switch between xx hadouken and by itself with no buffer. If you do xx hadouken everytime than your opponent could just dp everytime. If you’re trying to catch people walking in just outside max range like Cammy does with xx spiral arrow then I would throw out Ryu’s without the hadouken buffer. I believe xx hadouken doesn’t even combo at max range so even if they walked into you’d only get chip damage from the hadouken. The benefits of hadouken chip damage weighed against the risk of getting dp’ed are pretty thin. >

Still about being unpredictable and catching your man off-guard. Like I said, against the cpu everyone’s anti-air is on point. The reason you can’t jump-in on people is because your giving them plenty of time to see and react to it. You have to do it sparingly like everything else and only when they’re focused on another part of the game. This way they won’t have time to react to it because it’s unexpected. Boiled down it’s basically about switching from the ground game (footsies) and the air game (jump-ins). Start by playing the ground game with footsies like xx spiral arrow buffer. When you get the sense that your opponent might be too focused and worried about whether or not you’re going to throw that out then it is time to jump-in. He won’t be expecting it and will only have time to block (where you get a chance to start your block-string) or get hit (combo time). You’re in.

Last bit of advice is not to get frustrated. We’ve all been there and we’ve all put the time in. You don’t need to overdo it either, just learn to enjoy analyzing your matches and solving the game. Have fun and if you do get mad no problem, it just adds to the flavor.


[media=youtube]pt_Ei6DtetQ[/media] I went to youtube and typed , “cammy normals” this one was a few videos down the list.


Thanks guys, your comments are very helpful, now i have a more clear idea on this subject.


Watch this vid for some ideas:
[media=youtube]lz81hMjiwTQ[/media] xx hadouken is quite risky against good players. You actually have to condition them into believing that they shouldn’t try to punish you if you use it an unsafe distances, otherwise many players will focus dash through the fireball or reversal ultra/super/special before the fireball hits.



If you read the second paragraph on Ryu you would have seen that I mentioned xx hadouken is not a true blockstring at farther distances and switching between using hadouken and by itself (conditioning) was important because so. I also mentioned that if you didn’t do that than you would would to deal with the exact kind of punishes you talked about.