At my breaking point with this game... (sf4)


sup guys. so i’ve had this game since vanilla was first released and i just can’t seem to get comfortable with it. i’m a huge 3rd strike fan and sf fan in general but this entry in the series is kinda killing my desire to play the game. i’m almost at my breaking point but i dont want to give up on the game…not to mention the xbox live sf4 community in my experience so far has been… less than helpful to say the least. i’m kinda hoping someone can help me understand this game a little more as i am strongly considering putting this game down for good.

i’m not quite sure why i havnt been able to adapt to this game but i can give some examples of things i dont really understand.

cross-ups. notoriously bad with cross-up attacks. i dont understand how to defend them, counter or avoid them. this is also a problem for me in umvc3 but for some reason not so much a problem for me in kof13.any help would be appreciated.

combos- one of my fav thing about fighters is combos but i just cannot understand the timing for them in this game and i wont lie, i get extremely frustrated with how important jabs are in this game and the fact that i feel i just get opened up constantly with them. i dont understand the priority they have and i dont understand their properties (offensive and defensive)

execution- this is kinda the least of my problems but its still significant. i play on a madcatz te stick (the mvc3 one) and my execution is pretty bad. this and mvc are the first games ive played exclusively on stick and i kinda chalk it up to that. im a tekken player and ive always preferred pad. i have an arcade stick i built a few years ago and i actually do way better with my execution on it but it has american parts. i find it easier to play on a bat top. problem is, american parts are shitty and are already starting to wear on the controller i built, which is why i got the te stick. i like my te but i cannot consistently execute anything with i .im also really uncomfortable on the 1p side on stick.

and lastly…the community- i came into marvel, mk9, blazeblu and virtua fighter expecting to learn and make friends in the community the same way i always did in the arcades with tekken, soul calibur, kof,the alphas, etc but i find the sf4 community to not only be unfriendly in general but moreover arrogant and unhelpful. i’m not good at this game and i know it and i always, after a loss, attempt to try and get some help. im not the type to get into the scrub mentality and start blaming others for my losses. thats illogical. i do however ask questions and try and see how to improve to which i usually will get " scrub, lol" or my favorite…no response at all.

i usually would not put something out like this but i figured i would give one last attempt at trying to get help with this game. i really want to be competitive at it and while i kinda don’t like the game right now, its probably because i dont understand it. like i said any help would be appreciated. sorry for the book.


My XBL tag is paqman3d, add me and I’ll see what I can do to help.


1.Cross ups: Generally, if you get knocked down, they’re going to try to cross you up on wake up. I literally just learned how to defend this crap while playing a really cheap Ibuki: just block the opposite way you’re standing. It’ll auto correct. Once I did this the Ibuki player had no idea what to do. I still lost, lol, but it was worth it to learn that trick.

  1. Spend time in trials to get the timing down on combos. They don’t make much sense, but generally you have to hit the next button before the current button you hit finishes it’s animation. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty stupid that you have to sit there and watch frames, but once you get the timing down you’ll be okay. Like, for instance, say you need to do light punch followed by medium punch. LP has a fast animation – so halfway through it you need to press MP for it to register. This is where it helps to have a six button controller like the PDP versus or an arcade stick. Doing these things are possible on default pad, but not the easiest things in the world. If you wait until the animation is finished, you’re not going to get a combo.

Also, when you train, put input display on and if a move isn’t coming out, look and see why.

  1. Dude, I suck on arcade stick. I’m a pad player (Tekken guy, too), so adjusting to a stick is damn near impossible. Like I mentioned, try the PDP Versus. It’s $20 and gives you arcade stick accuracy on a pad that’s more familiar. I bought a stick thinking it’d open up my world. It didn’t, it made me suck 10x worse at SF4. If you suck at it, put it down for awhile, get the PDP, and live in training mode for 2 days. It’s worth a try, and just remember that stick isn’t for everyone. Just because you see tournament players use one doesn’t mean you have to.

  2. Don’t worry, most people on XBL are idiots. I use T. Hawk and get tons of hate mail about it. I play AE on both XBL and PSN, and I can tell you that more sore losers inhabit XBL. There are plenty of people willing to help and train with you. This time last year I couldn’t even get over 1,000PP. A year later I’m at 2,000PP. That’s a legit increase in my skill level. It takes time, but if you stick with it, study things, and practice, you WILL get better and you WILL be competitve.


really appreciate the time as i know that was a lot of shit to read. lol. i actually have a bunch of pads, my fav being the sf4 mad catz controller with the saturn layout but i do wanna try with the stick for a little longer. with that in mind though i will look into the pad you talked about. my motivation for stick just came from my love of arcade culture and the fact that i kinda collect them. i will absolutely take your advice on the practice and trial modes. i can pull a lot of that stuff off but its kinda robotic for me in trial mode and i come away not really learning too much. i learn best in game but i will utilize the practice options more.

thanx for the cross up lesson too by the way. that will really help me.

my live name is LBZ TheProdigy and my psn is LBZ-TheProdigy. i will def add you and again, i really do appreciate the time you took to read this. i will be in touch.

Hoping i can get some tips from a stick player also on my execution problems.

srk s are a real chore for me on 1p side and supers from 1p are almost impossible right now. 2p side is fine for the most part so if any stick players out there can maybe suggest an exercise or something i would appreciate it.


You have to know what moves with which characters crossup. Some are really ambiguous, but others are very easy to see. Make sure you always block high too.

Links are very important in this game. For linking things that aren’t jabs or shorts, look up plinking, and force yourself to learn it in training mode. Jabs are very good in this game because they are fast, and for a lot of characters they can lead to a combo (i.e. Fei Long’s cr.jab, st.jab, cr.jab xx rekkas)or an untechable knockdown (Ryu’s cr.jab, cr.jab, st.jab, sweep link)

Execution is everything in any fighting game. If you drop combos or links when you get opportunities, you are giving away free damage and opening yourself up. Grinding out combos in training mode is helpful because it causes you to be less spastic during a match.

The SF4 community is shit, and my only advice to you is to start posting on the character forum of your choice and look for information before you ask any questions. Asking someone online for advice is laughable because they will give you the typical online player response (scrub) or they won’t know how to answer your question.

Good luck dude!


As far as the stick goes, did you ever consider changing the gate? The default one is square and I had a ton of trouble using it. I tried for about two weeks to readjust and it just wouldn’t happen. I had trouble doing BASIC moves. I bought an octogate for $10 to swap in the stick (quick install) and it made a big difference. I still suck using a stick in comparison to pad, but it’s usable now. I care more about ease of use versus being an arcade purist, because I love my stick – it’s a cool way to show your love for fighters, but it’d take me 2 years, maybe more, to get to the level I’m at now.

The PDP versus is a great product, I even read some reviews from pure stick users saying it’s the best pad they’ve used. The buttons are on microswitches, too, so the responsiveness is amazing. The Mad Catz Fightpad doesn’t feature this. The joystick emulates an arcade joystick quite nicely, as well. I’m going to pick up another for my 360 (so my gf can play) and one for my PS3. But yeah, they’re $20 at Gamestop. Pick one up.

Trial and practice modes aren’t something I used until I got my stick and PDP. It is robotic and boring, but you’ve GOT to fit in some lab time a few minutes before you or after you play a session. My execution is still a tad off on the PDP, but I’m lightyears better than I was when I bought it because I spent time in those modes getting timing correct and building muscle memory. I also try to fit in a run through Arcade mode on the hardest difficulty every few days. I agree, learning through live matches is good, but if you want to get your basics sharper, use trial and training.


haha this is by far the most help i’ve received with this game since i’ve been playing it. thanx guys. good games with you paq and like i said, please feel free to pick the matches we had today apart. im fine with constructive criticism. good t. hawk by the way! im gonna look into that pdp controller. can i just ask for it as a “pdp controller” or is there another name for it?

lol paq just saw my propensity to instictually block low and get punished for it. i will definitely take that into consideration.

execution is going to be a matter of me either finding a happy medium with stick or going back to pad …and of course time. i get that.

i will absolutely take what you said about the xbl community to heart.



I’m also a tekken player and I had a lot of difficulty getting into Sf at first.Theres a lot of resources tho, check the stickied topics in this forum.

1)With crossups and attacks in general ( for the most part…) U just have to block in relation to where the opponent is…so if they try to crossup u, block the opposite direction. Tbh tho, a lot of it is being able to identify the moves ( Ryu Jumping medium kick for instance) and acting accordingly. That’ll come with experience however.

  1. Paqman explained it well, just learn the difference between chaining and linking. Chaining is cancelling the animation of a normal before it finishes and linking after. So I main Akuma, Crouching light punch, crouching light punch, medium punch xx hado is one of the main links, U are chaining the first two ( so u can press them a lot faster because ur cancelling the light punches into eachother) and then linking the medium punch once the animation of the second Lp finishes. Hit up training mode and put on autoblock, you’ll get it. This might also help: Basic Video Tutorial/Guide for Total Beginners for SSF4

  2. Stick…for a long time the bane of my existence. I got caught up in the hype as well, more so for Tekken tho ( Mishimas and wavedashing) and bought one, couldnt use it for the longest time…until recently and with the encouragement of a guy i met in an endless lobby in SF…I just unplugged my pad and just went all in. Its frustrating tho, the trick is to stick with it no matter what ( even if u get beat by the most ridiculous bs ever). That being said, its not for everyone…i feel my movement has suffered ( still only been a cpl weeks tho) and I still play tekken with the pad…so bare that in mind. Its not a prerequisite for being good at any game, dont let anyone tell u otherwise - there are advantages tho.

  3. Yeah, a lot of people are pricks online in general, dont let it bother u. There are some cool folks about, ive met a few randomly online. Hit up your character forums tho. Also offline is where its at…I dont even bother with Tekken online anymore - at Uni there were 6 or so of us that played offline everyday.

As for stick tips, Im still learning myself…just practice what ur having trouble with…do 30 DPs, 30 fireballs, 30 whatever from one side if u mess up start again and repeat.


This is the PDP pad

It’s listed as $40, but it’s $20 at Gamestop on both systems last I checked. Well worth the price.

I kind of gave up on learning the stick. It was a nice $180 experiment, however lol. Plus, it looks nice on my shelf. I know one day I’ll eventually pick it up and be god like on it – it’s the sword in the stone. I’m not ready for it yet LOL. But good execution doesn’t happen over night. I like Hawk because he doesn’t need complex inputs. I got sick of messing up stuff with Sagat for months and found Hawk to be harder to win with, but easier to use. It’s all about finding a character that works for you input wise. I can’t use Guile to save my life and the dude only has two moves lol. Try trials with everyone and try to get to at least level 13 or 15 with them. That’d give you a good idea on how well you can use them.

As far as our few matches go, you’ve got to learn to keep T. Hawk out of your face by any means possible. If you’re going to be in my grill, you’ve got to stick and move, because after I see two punches hit me, I’m going for a command grab in anticipation that you drop your combo. Do a few jabs, then jump up or jump backwards. However, then you have to anticipate my Tomahawk Buster, or worse, my Raging Slash. Backdashing works better in those situations because you’ll escape my range. Then again, once I notice that I’ll just pressure you with Condor Spires to regain spacing control lol. In that case, you’re going to have to confuse me lmao.


First off yes the street fighter community can be a pack of pricks, but it’s a case of every rose has it thorns. If you’re looking for positive responses ask your questions on your character in their respective threads. I swear we’re pretty much a family in the Makoto forums, not so sure about other characters though.

Now on to more about what you asked. If you want to get better at this game you have to treat every match as a learning experience. Don’t just go into the match thinking I have to beat this guy. Think about everything you did right and more importantly what you did wrong.

Let’s take a look at cross ups. First note not every jump in move can cross you up, this is your first step to blocking them. Recognize what move for each character has the potential to cross you up. If a Ryu knocks you down and he jumps at you with LK he’s obviously trying to cross you up, using how ambiguous it looks to his advantage. Identify when they want to cross you up and block according.

Okay combos, I’m not going to lie I myself hate these frame tight links SF is made of. But a tip to doing them is hitting the buttons to the proper rhythm. That may or may not make sense but it would be easier to show you in person, so bare with me. As for jabs, they may seem like they have high priority because of their speed but they’re open to counter hits. If some guy is pressuring you with jab pressure, try throwing out a crouching strong to get the counter hit. But pick your spot wisely because they maybe trying to frame trap you.

Execution I really can’t give any type of advice besides practice makes perfect. Oh yeah and SF4 does have short cuts down forward, down forward + punch equals dragon punch. For becoming competitive at this game you have to dedicate the time, and make sure that dedicated time is being used wisely. Don’t just lose and take nothing away from it because you learn a lot more from losing then winning. Other then that find a good training partner and grind it out. Playing in a large lobby is a hindrance. Having one on one grind sessions get’s you way more experience then waiting in line in a lobby, or playing people that will do anything to win in ranked.

Also if you have the opportunity to play offline opponents take it. People are a lot more friendly in person since they don’t have the anonymity of online to be a douche. If that’s not an option stick with online just build your friend list with people you like to play. Well hope I was able to help some. I was in the same boat as you not to long ago before the game started to make more sense and I was able to get some what better. I’m not exceptional by any means at this game but I went from being a 1000pp player to about a 2000pp player in six months. That’s nothing to most people but it was an accomplishment for me considering I don’t come from a fighting game background. I had only gotten into fighting games with the release of SSF4, so I’m not even an 09er.

By the way what character are you using? I can’t really play anyone other then Makoto and Honda, but I have a general idea of what every character wants to do in a match so I maybe able to help there.

If you want you can add me my GT is HsienkosHelper, I’m pretty rusty at SF since all I’ve been playing is marvel recently but I’m down for some games if you want.


OP: I felt the same way as you. In fact, I’ve felt the same way as you many times. I’ve been playing since Vanilla, but only recently (~6 months ago) started playing competitively. Don’t get discouraged. There are a lot of really nice people out there. If I had an Xbox, I’d train with you for sure. I’ll echo what everyone else is saying; character sub-forums are a great place to learn about a specific character. If you played 3s with no problems and you’re having execution problems in IV…something is up. SSFIV has much more forgiving execution than third strike. I’m going to guess that it is related to the fact that you’re trying to use a stick. If you need a good reason to stick with pad, look at Wolfkrone…plays on a pad and just recently won NEC. Do it if it works for you.

As far as link/chain combos go, let’s assume that you just hit your cr.:lp: (with any character, this is just a thought exercise). You go to press your second cr.:lp:. One of three things will happen when you press that button: either the move won’t come out at all (as in, your character won’t perform the animation) - this means that you pressed the button too early; the move will come out and hit - obviously, you did it right if that combo counter goes up; or, lastly, the move will come out but get blocked - this means that you performed the input too late. Familiarize yourself with frame data. Some links allow only a one-frame window for the input. Others allow a much longer time. Don’t beat yourself up for not hitting 1-frames. No bullshit, they take a lot of practice to hit consistently. Another point on link/chains: as another poster said, a link is when the first move finishes completely and THEN you input the second, whereas a chain is cancelling an animation while it’s happening for the next move - this can only be done with certain moves into certain other moves. Some “normals” (regular attacks, punches, kicks, etc.) can be canceled into “specials” (hadouken, shoryuken, etc.). However, you cannot cancel a canceled move into a special! For instance, let’s consider Ryu. He can cancel cr.:lp: into another cr.:lp: as well as into srk. If you do cr.:lp: xx (xx means cancelled into) SRK, you will have no problems. Problems arise if you try to do cr.:lp: xx cr.:lp: xx SRK. You will notice that no matter how many times you do it, it won’t work. It IS a combo though. You need to perform cr.:lp:, (comma denoting a link) cr:lp: xx SRK. You need to let the full animation of the first jab finish before inputting the second.

Well, you wrote a book, and I gave you a book right back. Good luck, friend!

EDIT: also, get the idea of move “priority” out of your heard. Learn frame data and learn about hitboxes. It’ll make a lot more sense.


You had SF4 give or take around 5 years and consider yourself a beginner still? Try out each character and see which one you like the most, the worst thing you can do is play the same people constantly. Add some people from the top leaderboards, I did that often.


Nothing wrong with that mentality or attitude. Even if there was, SF4 came out in Japanese arcades in 2008; it’s only existed for three years. Stop trolling. OP’s looking for help and advice, not to be mocked by the likes of you. Is it any wonder why he/she feels like

? Stop making the rest of us look like jerks =(


this feedback is awesome. thanx so much guys.


yeah those matches actually really helped me. i didn’t really understand the distance commands throws really had until those games before. i ate like 8 of them but i did start to space a little more. i was like panicking when you kept hitting me out of that third cr. jab, but i did start to at least worry about it, which isnt something i would have done before. i hope we can play more!


yeah i dig that mentality in terms of stick. if it proves to be something i’m not good at i will put it down. i want to stick with it though. as bad as i am now i’m leaps and bounds better than i was when i started about 8 months ago so im opened to seeing it out a little longer. sf4 will be a better test of that ability than mvc3 is (which is what i have played primarily since i started on stick). also, i definitely have those moments where i’m thinkin " fuck man, if i was on a pad i dont think i would have dropped that" but i also find sticks to be fun to play with in general. we’ll see what happens.

in terms of execution, i am admittedly lazy at this game but its isn’t really because i don’t want to practice but more because i didn’t really know how to use the practice mode in the right way. i messed around before with it in a more practical way as per this thread and i already am beginning to see things in a different way.

as for the exercises you suggested, i am definitely going to use the off-time i have to practice inputs. 30 dps, etc.i’ll let you know how my progress goes. def a good idea.


i’m going to go into the dudley forums for sure. the use of the word family sold me.

with the crossups you pretty much explained my problem in the way i understand the most for my skill level right now. i’m definitely going to think about this more. admittedly, recognizing moves is kinda hard in this game for me right now but i feel that will become more clear with more games.

i am glad you agree with the large lobby theory. i do learn from watching the matches but i also forget what i did wrong in that time and when its time for me to play again i am thinking more about the last match i saw. when i can play continuously i can recognize things a little quicker. i think for now i need that more so i totally agree with you and i try to avoid large rooms.

i’m going to add you right after i finish these responses. i play dudley by the way. i fell in love in 3rd strike. i also like gouken alot.


yeah i can see why you would say something is up if i’m having execution problems transitioning from 3rd strike to 4. i played on pad primarily in 3rd strike. only times i had played on stick was when i was at ctf. part of the problem is the stick. i’m learning slowly though. that being said, i do have a weird problem with the timing of things though. i kinda felt lost with dudley at first in ssf4 because of the mechanical differences from 3s to 4. things are familiar but not really the same. i think the familiarity will come with practice.

you hit the execution right on the head i think. when i played paq before, he kept command throwing me out of the panicked cr. jabs i would throw out. i started to understand a little more after a while.

move priority…i cling to this theory because of the other games i play. i will absolutely try and curb that. thanx, i hadn’t thought of that.

haha my bad for making the community look like jerks. i think i was just trying to get help in the wrong place. :stuck_out_tongue:


yeah after all this time unfortunately i still consider myself a beginner. i just never really got the game for whatever reason but thats being corrected now with all the help you guys are giving me. :slight_smile:

im going to take to heart all the advice i’ve gathered from you guys here and apply it. please feel free to add me if you are on live or psn. thanx for not making me feel like a “noob”( god i hate that fuckin expression) and just being cool.


I have no idea what you guys are talking about.
I…just play and enjoy the game


ive played fighting games since the arcade days and really got back into it wtih sf4 but i stick to the newb area because i just cant really play them on a tournament level. there are a lot people like us scrubs can improve on tho. i think one issue many of us come accross on tho is if we pound street fighter day in and day out we’ll get awesome and great at it. i just dont think thats the case after a certain point because i myself found i ended up roboting everything and not really thinking good in a match.

i think the best way is to play the game to have fun and try to have your brain wired and thinking in a puzzle solving way reading then opponent when playing. i also sort of play fighting games now as liek a side dish to what i normally play like SWTOR, batman, gears or skyrim, i like variety a lot. game to have fun and not to be the best because like everything else in life, no matter how good you get at something, there is always someone else that can do it better. :slight_smile:


Dudley’s really hard to use and he sucks and to win you need to play like a little bitch and or get lucky. I think he fits into ssf4 the worst of any of the 3rd strike cast. I would want to drop sf4 of Dudley was my main too after a few years. I don’t see how playing him could be fun. Try switching chars and learning from scratch. There no one able to compete with Dudley at a high level Maybe marn but that’s inspirte of him. so I consider playing him a waste of time. Try ibuki or boxer.


yeah i see how hard he is to use but i’m going to stick with him. i find him to be alot of fun to play with.


Like Justin Wong recently said the more you like your character the better you will do over all. Hell I started out with Makoto in super where she was arguably bottom three. Combine that with me being new to the game at the time, you can imagine how many L’s I stacked up. It didn’t bother me though because I thought the character was just so cool. Even in marvel I use Hsien-ko who most people agree is the worst character in the game. If you like Dudley I see no reason not to stick with him. People always respect a character loyalist.


yeah. in all the games i play i go for the character i like the design and overall style for. i’m historically kind of a low tier hero.

tekken-lei wulong

soul calibur-cervantes

mvc- skrull deadpool sentinel (maybe not low tier but still kind of an unusual team)

virtua fighter- lei fei

lol you get the idea.


Ah, you got me all wrong! That was directed at reebok…perhaps I’m getting the wrong impression, but his post felt like it was mocking you. “Oh, you’ve been playing SF for five years and you’re still bad? God, you should kill yourself.” was the vibe I was getting. I feel no hate from you, OP.


I main Chun-Li. She’s solid upper-mid/mid-tier (according to most). I am in the process of switching my main to Hakan (one of the worst characters in the game according to many). I am doing so because I don’t really like Chun. I don’t like her play style. Find someone that you like to play, win or lose. Character loyalty is important, and you’re definitely going to learn more sticking with one character than if you try to learn six, or if you pick one up for a couple of months and then change, etc. etc. However, if you’re getting into it and starting to level up and find that Dudley just isn’t the character for you, don’t hesitate to explore other characters. In the meantime though stick with Duds if you like him.