Autopiloting and bad habits


I’ve recently started playing SSF4 and I’ve noticed something about how I play. I tend to do stupid things, and then I tend to do them over and over again. Even if I notice after getting punished for the third time or not responding adequately for the fourth time, I still lapse and do it all the time. It’s like I’m just not able to adapt to the game.

I was just curious about people’s experience with autopiloting. Is it something you get rid of over time? Is it something you slowly lose as you become more comfortable with the game? Is constant awareness something you have to work on?

In general, what do you guys have to share about autopiloting?


For me this was true. There were certain situations that occured in matches in which I found myself to usually decide terribly wrong based on my intuition. So I trained myself to react right in those situation by focussing on doing it right. If you can keep that up, after some time the “right” behavior will become a habit.
In general finding the right balance between thinking about your moves (slow) and reacting intuitively (fast) is the key. That way you are also able to change your strategy depending on your opponents playstyle and habits.


Sadly I am a repeat offender of allowing my bad habits to take over and auto-piloting. I’ve managed to come to a point where I’ve seen the difference between that and actually focusing. Now I need to work on making the latter my “habit”.


Self awareness is key here. While you are watching your opponent you need to keep an eye on yourself as well. Assuming all things are equal I follow a 2 pattern approach. In that I mean, I will not perform the same attack pattern more then twice in a row. Anything more then twice is asking for punishment if the opponent is strong and able to adept quickly.


IMO opinion thats what street fighter is about: Figuring out your tendencies and adjusting your play accordingly.

First things first, now you are at least noticing these things.

Now, the trick is to notice while you are playing and making the quick adjustment then.

I am by no means an expert and this is my approach so far.


The thing is, I feel like most of you are speaking from the perspective of someone who can change what they do in the middle of a match, but either forgets to or makes bad decisions. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t played a lot of games yet, but I can’t adapt even if I’m aware of what I’m doing wrong.

For example:

I literally spent the last match I played before I made this thread thinking to myself, “DON’T THROW OUT SWEEPS HE’LL JUST FOCUS AND PUNISH DON’T SWEEP DON’T SWEEP” only to sweep a second later. I think I let this happen 3-4 times in the same round, and the only reason it didn’t happen more is because I got KO’ed. I knew it was unsafe, and I knew he was punishing it, but I immediately pressed the button without thinking about it.

That’s why I’m just wondering if it’s something you just force yourself to learn. I might just try to play a bunch of games where I won’t let myself press a button until I think about it and, basically, sandbag online.


you should be able to ween yourself over time. You know what you’re doing wrong. You just have to try harder to not do it.


Everyone makes mistakes even the best players. You have to be willing and ready to move on from your mistakes.

When I start a match, I think about the character I’m playing against and i try to think about all of their character specific traits. Best wake up options, safe/punishable pokes. Stuff like that. Once I can keep In their options in mind, I can play accordingly.

Theory Fighter 4 for me. (at it’s most elemental level of course!)


I hear you on this one. I’m a Chun Li player, and her cr.roundhouse is awesome so I tend to throw it out a lot. Competent opponents catch onto this and focus me to death. In order to kill this habit I’ve started doing something that tends to make me lose a lot but I’m feeling it will pay off in the end. I try to second guess my button press. It gets me blown up because either my opponent caught onto my hesitation and took advantage of it or I just get lost in my thoughts. The upside to this though is that it gets me thinking about my actions and seeing the importance of having a battle plan. At the end of the day it’s another form of training mode I believe. I have to train my brain not to make my hands just push buttons. Another “exercise”, if you will, is to defend as much as possible during any given match. Not just hold block but be mindful of all of my opponents options. It helps getting comfortable with holding block and looking for an opening.


One of the best ways to break habits is to make goals out of it.

Go to casual sessions without the goal of winning, but instead not doing something all day, regardless of the outcome. For example, I used to mash crouch tech waaaay too liberally. I’d get raped for free against people who were on point with frame traps. So I spent two weeks at casuals not mashing tech. Sure, I got thrown a lot more for a while, but I got counter hit a lot less immediately.

You can also use this strategy to create good habits as well as bad. Forget winning for a week or two. Just try to improve one element of your game.


Same here with Chun, I abuse the cr. roundhouse way to much. I joke with my friends I should just disconnect the wires going to the button.

If I’m playing endless against someone thats cool, I’ll just tell them straight out that I’m going to keep doing it until its beaten out of me. Its helping.


its MUSCLE MEMORY. if you’re truly trying to improve then you will correct this. on ST when i 1st got back into fighting games via GGPO (after YEARS away) i always loved spamming guiles double sweep cause the 2nd one always caught people(my buddies in real life). well guess what? i had never experienced the devasting level the players on GGPO were on, i got destoyed, the sweep got blown up every time. i told myself a million times no more sweeps, but i kept doing it. you want to know why? MUSCLE MEMORY. it was all i knew. if all one knows is mashing DPs, he can try to stop, but in the heat of battle, those dps will be mashed. old habits die hard! i felt so dejected i didnt play for a few days, but when i went back, out of no where, it wasnt a concious choice, but i started using guiles crouch medium kick, no more double sweeps in sight. it took those few days for it to no longer be muscle memory. if your a novice like i was, you will not improve on the fly. you wil have to go away, let the loses / mistakes settle in, and you will notice small improvements every time you come back. its like lifting weights, the effects dont kick in on the same day, it takes a day or 2.

also take into account these players beating you have years or 100s of hours of experience on you. you will improve slowly, but not enough to challenge them. dont feel dejected. good players know how to make lesser players make mistakes. thats ok, it happens even at the top level. what you should look out for is if your play is improving. if it is, then youre on the right track. just remember its a long and very slow road.

dont do too much at once. dont worry about reading your opponents just yet. worry about yourself. learn the basics, become solid, get rid of your bad tendencies, learn frame data to help you understand your normals, know their ranges. dont do all of this at once, take it step by step. when you become solid, and your level has risen significantly, you will unknowingly start to watch and read your opponents and their tendencies during match. or just do things like, he has 2 bars for FADC ultra, let me safe jump and do nothing, just so he burns his 2 bars, or goes for his reversal(burning 1 bar). a beginner can never pick these things up even if they are told too. improve 1st, then everything will fall into place because your understanding of the game is no longer than of a novice.