All sorts of new


#1

A new challenger approaches!
Hey SRK, just my first post. Wanted to tell a bit about my Fighting Game background and wondering if I could get a few tips from those who can actually play

So I am new here. New to Fighting Games. I guess. Back when I was younger, I would get super frustrated at fighting games. I was a total button masher, and at times, I still do that (All the time)
I never got into SF or any other of the big games. I do play some SSB, and I can say that I have gotten quite good at it. But that isn’t anything like the fighting games we have here.
I didn’t have the drive to play MvC3 or SSF4, being SO bad at it. Watching some tourneys on Twitch rekindled my interest in fighting games. Then, while rediscovering a game I remembered seeing a couple of months ago, I picked up Skull Girls. Going through the tutorials, I improved greatly. Though I am still using a PS3 controller. Which brings me to my first question. Should I practice a lot with the pad before I get a stick, or would that create bad habits?

Second, I forget the timings to cancels with combos very quickly. After around an hour and a half, I finally got a long combo, for me, nearly perfect. I could go for 20+ in a row without failing. (The combo was all on the ground, HK into down, down/back, back into HK, into d,d/b,b into HK+MK.) But then I went on to the next combo, and when I had to finish with the one stated above, I couldn’t land it to save my life. Will being able to remember combos through muscle memory improve with time?

Last question. I think. Only in training can I block successfully, and press buttons accordingly. But when actually playing, things take over, I begin semi mashing, dunno what I am pressing. I end up using the same thing six or seven times before I hate myself for not being able to actually play after hours in training. I know that you need a LOT more practice, but I thought after 6-7 hours I could stop myself from derping while actually playing. I seem to not have the reflexes. In fact, my reflexes are kinda shotty to be serious. as is my on the fly decision making when playing these games. Like, really bad. Will they develop over time? Or do I actually need to have good reflexes to start off with?
Sorry for the long post, and all the unnecessary background info, but hey, gotta make it count.

tl;dr?
New to fighting games. Hi. Three questions, should I wait out for an arcade stick? Or continue with my pad?
Will my muscle memory improve? After being a masher, I feel I have made hard habits to break
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they had qualified builders. Will having pretty terrible reflexes and on the fly decision making make it nigh impossible to adjust to the quick pace of the game? I am slow


#2

Welcome aboard.

Most of these questions have been answered a million times. Here’s the quick version:

  • stick or pad is a personal preference
  • keep at it and your muscle memory will improve
  • find local players and play lots

#3

Question 1 has been answered pretty well; pad vs stick is personal preference. Even if you play to switch to stick from pad later, playing the game at all will help you learn fundamental skills like spacing, blocking, not mashing, etc.

Your muscle memory will improve with time, but there are some tricks to make it learn faster. In particular, if you get to the point listed above where you can do a combo (or even just a combo segment) “20+ in a row without failing”, do those 20 or so times and take a short 5-10 minute break to get the combo out of your conscious mind, then come back and get back up to the 20+ in a row point again. Repeat this process until you no longer drop the string when coming back to it after a break. Congratulations, it is now muscle memory. This works because clearing your head forces you to rely on muscle memory rather than on the “visualization” which most people create when doing something for the first time.

Slow down and think about what you’re doing; push buttons because they will do something beneficial to your situation (or what your situation appears to be). If you’re not sure about something, guess and try to learn from the results,** just remain aware of what you are doing** at least. As far as reacting to overheads and throw attempts while blocking goes, that is a skill which will come with time and effort. Don’t get too upset about losing either; there is usually more to learn from a loss than a win, and everybody fails hundreds of times before succeeding.