Are some characters better suited to players with certain strengths/weaknesses?

for example:

my reflexes are pretty bad (about 0.22 milliseconds on the typical flash reaction test). this makes it difficult for me to play footsies - i’d have trouble punishing whiffed sweeps, teching throws, and hit confirming.

if i were playing 3S, i would probably avoid the shotos. i might try Dudley, since he has laggy hit confirms (LK MK, HK xx ducking, etc). more importantly, the game’s designers know that Dudley has a weak ground game, so they try to balance his design out by giving him strengths in other areas (e.g. huge damage).

if i had poor manual dexterity, i would probably avoid characters with DPs and intricate move motions (e.g. raging storm) and stick to charge characters. i realized this when starting to play HF, and stuck to Guile.

if you could hold several threads of thought in your head together and had decent execution, you could probably do very well with Urien’s charge partitioning.


are certain characters better suited to players with good reflexes? execution? patience/concentration? intuition (ability to read your opponent)? ability to mix it up?

or are they really just about the same? are these differences really just to make interaction between characters more interesting (e.g. Twelve’s air game vs Chun’s ground game)?

I think there’s definitely characters better suited to certain strengths/weaknesses, and it’s a factor I think a lot of people don’t consider enough when thinking about matchups, tiers etc (e.g. the idea that Yun is the best character in 3S may be true from a theoretical standpoint where all players are identical, but that doesn’t mean he’s the best character for everybody - even assuming all players are equally skilled where “skill” is the sum of all their strengths, they can be strong in different areas.). Clearly some characters are going to work better for you if you have better reactions, some if you can focus on doing several things at once, etc.

However, one shouldn’t discount skill in a certain area being important just because it’s not as important for one character as for another. To continue your Dudley example, while it’s perhaps true that you don’t need as good reactions as with other characters, having good reactions is still going to improve your game, just not as substantially as it would with Ken. I think most skills used in SF are universal - differences between characters are a matter of to what degree they’re useful.

definitely… for example - as a Dudley player, there are two good reasons to play as Ken:

  • to understand firsthand how Ken players approach a match. this would help me against Ken in the future, and highlight gaps in Dudley’s overall effectiveness.
  • to round off my skill set. this is hardly a good example, but i could probably do obscene things with Dudley (and any character) if i learned to hit confirm low forward while playing Ken. more realistically, my awareness of zoning would probably improve thanks to Ken’s strong mid/close range arsenal.

meanwhile i’d bring the mixup game i developed with Dudley to the table. i’d be aware which moves to look out for against a rising Urien, the best way to “dance” on a fallen opponent to bait DP, how often to block/throw/overhead, etc.

i’m having trouble thinking of which characters compliment which strengths/weaknesses in a player though. one blatant example could be Daigo’s Ken - he reads his opponents very well and has tight execution, so that fierce psychic DP does a bit for him.

edit: changed “to understand firsthand what Ken players approach a match” to “to understand firsthand how Ken players approach a match”

Everybody can look good in Tekken 5 using Christie.You push two buttons and she’s spinnin and fluppin her ass off.

I sometimes find that to be bad way to read into things as well. Like I’ve seen people who like to play grapplers go from one game to the next and try to learn the grapplers (just for example, any character archetype could be put in there) and sometimes they’d be astonished to find while they were good with grapplers in one game, they may do better with a poking character in another.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up!

i choose characters that don’t require great reaction times for a reason

grapplers need a huge amount of skill in ground game actually. James Chen said once that controlling the ground was all he aimed for with Gief… SPDs were just icing on the cake.

like who?

Obviously there are limits, but, for example, in 3S Chun Li is considered by far the easiest of the CYK tier to play effectively. Also, taking the initiative with trap and rushdown play can allow a player to substitute timing and sophistication for reaction times.

Wait, that’s bad? Oh fuck me.

EDIT: And I believe Henaki’s a Urien player

dhalsim is good for turtlers

i avoid any character that requires hitconfirms generally (like ken in 3s)

yep, urien requires very little reaction time when simply throwing out attacks, aegis does all the work for me. it’s also why i’m fucking horrible at fpses

to elaborate i’m bad at being creative and reacting, i’m much more thought out and premeditated, and over thinking is pretty much my greatest strength. not to say i can’t do things like hitconfirm attacks, but i’m much worse at it than most people are so i like to avoid those situations entirely if i can. playing a character that does not use any of my weakpoints makes me a better player.

Well, I always like characters that can rush opponents down without much risk. Ken’s always dome the job for me in 3S, as has Terry in KOF (at least, until they turned him into MOTW Terry, when I now have to use Kim and K’ for offense and Terry for zoning).

If you want to add dimension to your argument, why not choose characters based on personality?

I for one choose grapplers/ turtle type characters.

Reasons being


  1. I enjoy the feeling of landing a powerful throws on someone
  2. The damage said throws do can turn a match especially if mastered.
  3. Grapplers tend to be larger characters and I like the physical presence they have on the screen, the exude a dominance which can intimidate opponents.
  4. Their style of play is different, they rely on throws for their damage not combos so your opponent has to adapt their game to accomodate this playstyle. This often reveals who are the weaker players and you can dominate on their inexperience.
  5. I like working for my wins, you get more respect winning with characters which aren’t top teir.


  1. By nature I am defensive, so I enjoy playing a character which reflects my personality.
  2. Counter-attacking is something I do well with, I can usually read opponents effectively and can predict attack patterns early.
  3. They tend to rely on fewer moves to win, which makes my play style simplier and creates less confusion.
  4. Playing turtle frustrates your opponents into making mistakes out of sheer frustration as they cannot break your defence, allowing you to capitalise on the mistake.
  5. I like parrying.

I feel a persons personality is reflected in the way they play a character and the reasons for choosing them. Certain characters have things which appeal to certain players e.g. whether it be design, storyline, a cool move, gender, cyborg etc. People choose characters which relate to who they are, their cuurent interests and where they are in life.
I immediately chose Hugo because of the babe he had with him, I thought she was hot, I didn’t realise he was a grappler at first, that was just a bonus. I chose Q because of the way he dressed, he covered up and it showed that he had something to hide. His character is shrouded in mystery, that appeals to me as I tend to be a conservative person. I could easily turtle with Q, he fittted my character profile and his character in general appealed to me. I play Alex because I think he has an excellent character design, the fact he was a powerhouse/grappler was just a bonus.

I feel this is a valid argument to toss into the mix, or atleast something to be aware of.

Depends on the game:
In KOF I go for characters that can keep pressuring the opponent such as Terry (except in XI)and K’. I did use grapplers for a while,too.

In 3S I pick Ken when I want to rush down and Ryu for a more cautious approach.

In Tekken I go for Lei for his complicated movements and awesome style.

In Soul Calibur 3 I pick Siegried for his range and stances.

So all in all I don’t have a certain playstyle. I just go for characters that work for me in that particular game.

Of course! Cyclops in MvC2 is better suited for a player with no talent at all…

seriously, looking at myself:

cammy/chun in xvsf
chun in a2
v-gief in a3
hugo/elena in 3s
blanka in HF
deejay in ST

the thing is that footsies is the foundation to every street fighter game ever made/play. it’s always been that way and it always will be. fighting games are about control, and the secret to winning a game is to be in control of your opponent, there is no better way to keep control than to control space.

so regardless of what game your playing, whether it’s tick throwing and shenanigans in HF where you control the close space with your uppercut baits and non throw reversible grabs (you can throw opponent, he can’t throw you) to the behaviour of your opponent by controlling where and when you jump at him; to counter poke baiting of cvs2, to the parry baiting, throw baiting and mixups of 3s.

every game is about space and footsies. that’s what skill is, controlling space. the best player will always be the one who controls his and his opponents space the best.

Unfortunately I’m the type of player who finds a character style and has a hard time budging from that character style between games. I know I would probably be a better player if I tried to branch out, but I often times just force myself to learn that character than trying to pick up and play another one.

i can’t disagree that SF is largely about controlling space, but i can’t say that’s all it is. controlling space isn’t necessarily restricted to footsies either.

  • Yun’s ground game is nothing special, but he’s up there with Ken and Chun (who control space very well).
  • CE Bison is great, but his cross-up psycho crusher BS has more to do with guessing right than ‘controlling’ anything.
  • Twelve is very strong in the air, with little in the way of footsies. wouldn’t going by that logic imply that the designers intended him to suck? i’s say he controls space to a degree, but more of that space happens to be in the air than on the ground.
  • Dudley absolutely sucks at controlling space, but it’s your ass when he gets in.

I can’t do ShortX2 or JabX2 into Super to save my soul. I like using charge chars because of thier easy motions n junk. I’ve only barley started geting into grapplers like Geif and Hugo…360’s are HARD. :wasted:

It all boils down to preference. Its not like a passive quiet person is likely a turtle, while a hyperactive dude is offense minded.

It also depends on the game or character,…In 3s pokes are king, but in EX2 Plus pokers tend to be countered by excel. It pays more to be a turtle in EX2 plus. At least thats from my own experience. I stand corrected.