As a player how do you make yourself less predictable?


I feel like being easily read is one of the reason I lose a lot. I really feel like I’m being too predictable when I play. I feel like I develop this sort of auto pilot and I just start playing in patterns. I told a guy GG and that I thought his Guile was good and that I knew I would lose because he was platinum. He replied with “Rank means nothing. Stop being so predictable, but GG anyway”

His message kinda left me salty not because I lost, but because what he said was true and it sort of got under my skin. At the same time being mad about it doesn’t really help anything. What can I do to change this? Also has anybody had this same problem when developing as a player? If so, how did you overcome it?


Just be less predictabo :expressionless:


I just add one step at a time. People always punish X? Start doing Y every second time. That gets predictable? Start doing Z every third time. Now obviously this is greatly simplified and happens over the course of lots of matches (curse you muscle memory), but that’s the basic principle. I find trying to be truly random just leads to me doing dumb shit and mashing buttons, so I go for patterns and hope my opponent doesn’t figure it out. If he does, I change up the pattern slightly. Then again, I have a crazy brain that requires order, so I have to structure it somehow or I will drop my combos and my reactions will be delayed because I actually need to think about what I’m doing as I’m doing it.

I would recommend just trying one new thing every time someone figures you out. They break all your throws? Start throwing out Crush Counters. Your cross-ups get blocked? Make them more ambiguous or start mixing in other offense. I once fought a Vega who would to nothing but cross-up wall dives. Not only was it easy to just anti-air the guy, but since I knew he would always go for the cross-up, I would always be able to block it even if I wasn’t able to anti-air for some reason. The one time he got me was with his super, and that’s because I had been conditioned to expect the cross-up, so I was blocking in the wrong direction.


It’s a weird thing tbh. I’ve found the main thing that works for me is to switch between being predictable and random. Like if you can convince yourself you’re about to do something, but then change your mind at the last second and do something else, it really confuses people. You could even triple guess yourself (as in consider something, reconsider it and then go back to the original idea), but be careful how much you do that. Your opponent, if he’s any good will most likely take advantage of that pretty quickly.

The simplest answer though, is to just learn more mixups. Atleast 3-4 for every situation. Also, vary the timing too.


Trap them, condition people into thinking you’re going to do ____ in certain situations, know how they respond to it and do something else instead to punish that. If you know you’re predictable, use your predictability to your own advantage.


This is the fun part of fighting games man. The chess match. Like most have already said, just mix up your attacks. Watch other people play and see what is commonly done with the character you use. What you see is what everyone else is seeing. Learn to not do things that predictable way. Good luck man and keep fighting on!


When I autopilot, it is because I am trying too hard to think and kinda get stuck not thinking. I had to learn to get out of my way, if that makes sense.


Predictability usually boils down to one of the following things (or a mix of them): you react the same way in a given situation virtually every time said situation shows up, or you’re telegraphing what you’re intending to do.

If it’s the former, it usually indicates a lack of understanding of all your options in a given situation. Examples of this is if you, say, go for the same meaty normal on knockdown and always go for the throw if the normal is blocked, or you always mash jab at the same point in blockstrings, or you always throw a set amount of fireballs from a certain range, etc. A good opponent will spot these weaknesses and make you pay for them, so it’s often easy to get said weaknesses exposed. However, you often need some creative thinking and understanding to actually remedy the problem even if you know that you have a weakness. This is where it’s often useful to sit down and look at what options other players are using in said situation, try to figure out why they’re working (or not), and then try to apply them.

As for telegraphing, it essentially means you act in a certain way that makes it easy for your opponent to figure out what your follow-up will be. There are a lot of situations where this happens, but in particular two examples are very common:

  • the first is someone who, after having been pressured, jumps backwards and throws a fireball right after landing. They’ve just created space and are eager to do something to take control of the game back; however, the jump has given away that they want to do, which is to throw a fireball. This allows their opponent to plan ahead, look for the fireball, and punish with an anti-fireball move or even a jump-in.
  • The second is the player who goes for a high-low-mixup, but consistently stands further away when doing overheads compared to when they’re doing lows. This is because they don’t want to risk getting wake-up thrown out of their slow-startup by their opponent. While this isn’t a bad play, it makes the overhead easier to see coming and react to.

Sometimes you just have a habit that your opponent notices and then exploit. To take me as an example: I remember a time when several opponents consistently managed to jump at me at the exact times I wasn’t ready for said jumps (if several people do something like that to you, it always indicates a hole in your game) and ended up blocking instead of AA-ing, giving them pressure. It turns out I always got jumped in on when I was walking forward to poke them, which showed them that I wasn’t ready to AA. Once I realized why they were reading me, I adjusted by using said walk forward as a way to bait them into jumping at me, taking advantage of them again. Again, for me it was both a lack of understanding of the situation, and the fact that I was telegraphing my intentions. Full credit to my opponents for taking advantage of that.

If you want another example, here’s a video of some dude named Daigo getting horribly punished because his opponent figured out that he was constantly throwing fireballs as a response to his s.HK and c.HK, and took advantage of it in almost every possible way. Even top players make these mistakes, they just make sure to remedy them, or even use them as baits.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:


Another piece of advice about predictability is it can sometimes go hand in hand with hardheaded/stubbornness:

A pattern we’ve all seen good players use and win with is the “spam” pattern. Where they use one poke or fireball or whatever shifting the timing and ranging of said poke, and using that in and of itself to win. It’s I. The above vid of daigo using his fireballs to control shit and set stuff up with his fireball.

Well lesser players see that kind of spam and try to apply it to different things like, tick throws, or jumpins or blockstrings or whatever, and when they get hit out of these things, instead of telling themselves to completely change it up to something different, they instead try to only change up either the setup, or the followup… Thinking that the problem isn’t in their own predictability, but in the pattern that they are usings predictability. So they continue to use the pattern while being stubborn and trying to make it work like simply making better decisions about when to use the pattern is the answer.

An obvious example would be like tick throws or blockstrings. If you always go for cr.lp into a throw, or cr.lp into a frame trap… Well your mixup options might be “50/50” and slightly unpredictable if you mix them up well. But your MIXUP is predictable as hell. Now your opponent can simply try to deny you the setup for the mixup, rather than defend the mixup itself.

And that because you are being predictable about wanting to do that mixup. But lest say that you don’t really care about doing that particular mixup but instead just want to keep away all day… Chances are it will then be easier to just go for the tick throw mixup since your opponent will be looking for you to run away rather than try to get in.

In other words, what you WANT to do, makes you predictable in many respects. Same goes for just doing what comes up… Chances are that you don’t know exactly what will come next from yourself, but that you’ve already got some pre canned easy to do reaction to certain things that you are looking for. We call these things “tendencies”

As an example, I’ve noticed that many ryu players uppercut better from certain positions, and worse from others. The best positions are probably while ducking or walking forward, the worst position is probably while walking backward… Walking backward and then uppercutting a jumpin requires a lot of joystick manipulation in a small amount of time. So… I have a tendency to look for and read when ryu p,ayers will be pressing backwards and I tend to jump most at those times… It’s great against ryus that don’t figure it out, but against those that do it becomes a liability for me cause they’ve noticed my tendency. At which point I have to either start to mix it up more with a better ground assault, or simply abandon the pattern all together.

Stubbornness though would have me beleive that my tactic wasn’t bad, just that I used it at the wrong time, not understanding that no, that’s not what happened, my opponent just figured it out and now has a read on me.


think of the smartest thing you can do in this situation

then do the opposite of that

boom, done


Try making yourself harder to read, make it look like your going to do A but don’t, increase your footsie game go I pull back try have them attack you but you know your about to block then use a fast frame move or a crush counter but change it up make them play your game.
If you are playing a rush down apply pressure to them but you do need to have a strong fotsie game.
But when you win round one doing combo string 1 round 2 do things a little different never do things over and over unless that’s part of your plan.


This game is a lot of give and take. Luckily, no characters are in the game that can one touch kill you, so you have a few chances to make a mistake in this game (I’d say about 2 combos to stun, but if you can manage your stun meter or can maneuver out of position for combo punishes you’ll get more mistakes). So what you do if you start your gameplan up. Keep that gameplan up until your opponent recognizes what your follow up is going to be. Then when it is punished once or twice, switch to a different option (preferably one that will punish whatever your opponent switched up to). Then keep this switching up through out the match. Hopefully you finish playing your opponent before you run out of all your options to choose from, but then again if you have enough options once you’ve established the number of them your opponent is left guessing.


You don’t necessarily ever have to be too unpredictable. If you’re getting read like a book, just go on the defensive and shift momentum back in your favor by reacting and punishing. But generally too be predictable is just common sense. Establish patterns then break them.

Maybe you’re focusing too much on what you’re doing. Instead try to crack them open like an egg. Don’t worry too much about what you’re doing all the time


Simple. In the middle of the match, you throw everything in your mind away and start anew, as if you’re encountering your opponent for the first time again.

To renew applies when we are fighting with the enemy, and an entangled spirit arises where there is no possible resolution. We must abandon our efforts, think of the situation in a fresh spirit then win in the new rhythm. To renew, when we are deadlocked with the enemy, means that without changing our circumstance we change our spirit and win through a different technique.

-Miyamoto Musashi, “Book of Five Rings”, “The Fire Scroll”.


i feel like this is the wrong mindset to have

rather than make it hard for the opponent to predict what you’re going to do, why not predict what the opponent is going to do and do the thing that beats that?


Be aware of how your actions will prompt your opponent to react. For example you might be able to get away with a block string followed by a forward dash into throw, but after that first time it’s way harder to pull off since your opponent will be able to answer the forward dash easier by virtue of looking for it.

Also, another way to become less predictable is to always be thinking critically, if you’re anticipating what your opponent is going to do based on his movement (always pay attention to how your opponent is moving), conditioning, spacing ect then you will automatically be less predictable since you’re really just trying to implement a counter gameplan instead of executing your own. This is the time to find openings or holes in your opponents offense/defense.