Beginner Friendly character(s)

Hello, I just recently joined the forums today, and I also bought SSF4 yesterday. I do have experience with fighting games, but it was only BlazBlue. BlazBlue was the first fighting game I got serious with (learning combos, strategies, etc.) Street Fighter is a totally different ballgame when compared to BlazBlue the combos are really hard to do in Street Fighter, but I like the defensive play though. And I love how when you do pull of a combo it makes it really worth while.


I tried picking up Makoto because I liked her play style because she doesn’t have alot moves, but to me she doesn’t seem beginner friendly.

Can someone tell me some characters that are beginner friendly?

Also, will doing trials help me improve if I do rep’s on them? What are some good ways to get better in general (routines/etc)

Any of the shoto characters (Ryu, Ken, Sagat, Akuma, and to a degree Gouken) and certain charge characters (Balrog and Blanka). There are a few others but those are all great starters. The shotos, especially Ryu, are flexible so that you can learn just about every aspect of the game except for things that only apply to charge characters (i.e. maintaining a charge). I say especially Ryu as he has the best footsies in the game, and can go from playing very defensively to very offensively quickly, and has decent mixup.

Once you feel you’ve mastered Ryu you can try out Akuma for his mixup game if you want a more aggressive character that can zone very well too. Akuma has probably the best mixup in the game, but is not very beginner friendly as you need extremely good defense as well as extremely good offense to succeed, due to his low stamina.

Balrog is probably the most beginner friendly character. Also up there are Guile and Ryu. To get Ryu and Guile to a high level takes a lot more practice than with Balrog, but should be fine for learning the ropes, and which character you actually want to play.

This is, of course, just my opinion.

Balrog balrog balrog balrog

Balrog, Ken, Ryu, Blanka are generally considered very beginner friendly… sometimes Guile too…

Gonna say though, that if you like the way a character looks and feels, and/or the way they play ( or look like they will play when you watch a video of them ) sticking with them is probably your best choice.

Ryu/Ken and blanka. Easy.

If you like to play defensive i would highly recommend E.Honda or maybe Blanka but i personally find them less beginner friendly then a shoto character.

I would say the two best ways to get better are find someone to play with and spent a ton of time in training mode


Before you jump to conclusions and say “ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE SAYING BALROG, MUST BE GREAT!”, you have to consider Balrog has no crossup, and can be a bit of a pain as he is really most succesful when played offensively rather than defensively due to headbutt being a pretty shitty anti-air, and unfortunately as a beginner you’ll be initially inclined to play defensively, and it’s quite a bit harder to play him offensively unless you have good experience with charge characters.

That’s not meant to discourage you though, he’s a GREAT character and can be played defensively til you’re comfortable with him, it’s just that he’s not the end all be all of beginner characters.

But overall, Ryu, Blanka or Balrog are probably your best bets.

  • Ryu, as I said in my first post, will teach you literally ALL the fundamentals of the game except the technique of maintaining charges and mobility on a charge character, and when to let go of your charge, etc. Can be played both offensively and defensively, but really excels and using zoning and footsies to bait out mistakes and then punish them.

  • Blanka is a great beginner character as he has fantastic anti-air, great mix-up, and is overall a huge pain with his shenanigans, you can do REALLY well on him without using a single combo, and when you do pick up combos and get more in depth with him, he can even be played quite succesfully at a higher level. Can be played equally well turtling and playing offensively, so you can completely change your playstyle mid round to fuck with people even more.

  • Balrog will teach you a ton of fundamentals like Ryu will, you just won’t learn footsies and zoning as in depth as you would with Ryu, and you also will not learn how to properly use cross ups as Balrog really doesn’t have one. He can be played both defensively and offensively, but is far more succesful when played more on the offensive side, which is harder to learn to do than turtling.

What do you guys think of Juri as a starting character? I really enjoy her fighting style, and I’m wondering if I should continue to use her.

She’s not really that beginner friendly. Her style forces you to think ahead and requires good, consistent execution.

Alright, I’ll start small with either Ken or Balrog.

I’d recommend Balrog out of those 2. Ken kind of forces you to play rushdown to be succesful.

If you enjoy Juri, stick with her. It’ll be more frustrating then Ken or Balrog at first, but after you start to get the hang of her you’ll get better pretty quickly. Switching from a rushdown shoto like Ken or a charge character like Balrog to a heavy zoning character like Juri will be really tough if you want to do that in the long run. If you think you’ll go with Juri in the long run, start with her. That or start with an easier zoning character like Ryu or Sagat and work your way up.

I’ll try that out, most likely I’ll work my way up to Juri.

Balrog can absolutely turtle. C. HP should be your default AA as you learn. C. LP combos into everything. So, you can be offensive or defensive with Balrog. His more advanced stuff takes good timing, but you can absolutely play him as a beginner.

Honda and, to a lesser extent, Blanka are kind of shitty unless you can consistently piano into their mash moves. I think Balrog’s a better choice for a beginner who wants to play that style of charge character.

Dhalsim has a low execution barrier. You can do really well with him even if you can’t combo for shit and he doesn’t have any fancy FADC stuff to worry about. He’ll teach you how to zone, how to play defensively/reactively and how to win with basic pokes. He’ll also teach you to hate Abel and Rufus, which is something that everyone who plays this game learns eventually.

From an execution standpoint… Hawk and Dhalsim probably have the least stuff to learn.