Best way to teach a fighting game newbie basic inputs? (QCF, DP, QCB, etc.)


Hello. I have a friend who is sort of a newbie to fighting games. We’ll call him Ross.

In the past, Ross has played some DarkStalkers and some Marvel vs Capcom 2. He used to play Marvel 2 regularly in the past and could pull off special moves with Cyclops and Cable. He was pretty decent at the game.

He’s known for playing Smash, and a year ago I got him into Tatsunoko vs Capcom. He used the “Simple” control mode, but eventually realized that some characters simply don’t work and that he won’t get better using Simple mode. He attempted to learn standard controls, but got confused by the move list and reverted back to Simple.

It’s approaching Marvel vs Capcom 3, and I encouraged him to learn Normal control mode, partly because the game kind of discourages Simple control mode by leaving out some of the character’s moves.

In a facebook chat with him, I showed him this:

And he kinda freaked out. Then I told him that the left/right directions are reversed if you’re facing left. He said, “Yikes!” Currently I’m trying to help him recall his Marvel 2 days so he remembers the feel of standard fighting game inputs.

He knows what the inputs are like. He’s done them before, facing left AND right. He’s probably hasn’t been exposed to lists like the picture I posted above and the notation like QCF, DP, QCB, etc.

The problem here is that I’m in college, and Ross is back at home. I can’t always be physically present to teach him commands.

What’s the best thing to do for this situation? What games should he play and what characters should he use to familiarize himself with the inputs and Marvel engine?


Well the first step would be to explain QCF in actual notations so Down, DownForward, Forward once he gets the feel for how to actually do the motions things will be a lot easier for you.


Play some SSFIV. Go to training mode. Turn on the input display. Explain the moves(QCF/DP/QCB/360/720/charges etc…) have him do them & double check his inputs.


tell them down to foward.

down to back then kick

forward to down to forward then punch

that wording explains the motions anyone can understand.


Your goal as a teacher should be to eliminate yourself as a teacher, and to give him the tools to learn on his own. Don’t hold his hand.

And I don’t understand why he’s confused with inputs changing, that happens in Smash.


Well, if he’s been exposed to those fighting games, then he’s already somewhat a step ahead of people who haven’t touched them at all. The first thing I can say, as a fellow fighting game fan, is to not let the guy use Simple mode. If he’s serious about learning commands and things, he doesn’t even need to think about something that will let him have a shortcut for it. Get him in SSFIV and have him use Akuma and do all of his attacks from the P1 side. Then have him do them from the P2 side. From there, if he memorizes the moves for Akuma, all you have to say is “Do Akuma’s regular fireball motion” or “Do Akuma’s Red fireball motion” or “Do the hurricane kick motion”. And by then he’s familiar with how to do those special attacks, and he’ll remember how to do those moves by tying them in with attacks he’s used to doing.

When I was little and I was playing new fighting games, I referenced everything around Ryu’s moveset, Guile’s moveset, or Honda’s Hundred hand slap. I never knew “quarter circle forward”. I knew “Hadoken motion”. It’s pretty silly, but it’s easy enough.

  • Everything you’re asking is motor skills and muscle memory. Like learning anything new there will be a learning curve. It’s nothing that a day in training mode can’t cure. If he has any other reasons its probably just laziness. Quite frankly though, if he still has the desire to play, I say spark up a small competitive rivalry and bash the shit out of him with normal mode while he plays beginner mode. Then it will go one of two ways.

He will either start practicing normal mode so he can be more competitive and beat you or he will just quit out of frustration. If he chooses the ladder then so be it. I suck at FPS’ and I know it. No matter how fun they are you could’nt convince me to take it to a competitive level. That’s just how it goes.


If he can’t look at a picture of a quarter or half circle and understand it, give up.