Best ways to level up / getting out of scrubdom...very frustrated

Sorry but i’m going to rant for a bit…but this is something that’s been bothering me for quite a bit and i don’t see much progress being made…I just had another really frustrating 3 hour session on MK9. Lost like 20+ games in a row… =( Goddamn it I hate it when i go on a losing streak.

Wanted to ask some of you guys on any recommendations on how to level up my game. (just in the fundamentals, not game specific) I’m no stranger to fighting games but it feels like even after like playing for a decade and hundreds of different games i’m still a total scrub! I mean i think i have a pretty solid idea of footsies, space control, and other foundation theories. But for some reasons from time to time i still lose way too much.

Sometimes i even lose to friends that barely play the game and that really ticks me off. Like half way through the match they’d ask on how to do things and how the system works, and then proceed to whoop me even harder. (this happens with many games that I play, VF5, KOF, SSFIV, MK9, occasionally MVC3)

I’m thinking there must be something fundamentally wrong with the way I play. Bad habits? slow reaction? What can I do to improve my game?! I’m not even asking to get to a “high level” play. i just want to get competive and not lose to people who have barely played the game! damn it this is so frustrating.

I’ve read the whole thing from Sirin and various articles on the mentality of winning, various game mechanic strategies. I watch streams/videos regularly and play onine quite a bit (around an hour a day, nearly every day) But I just don’t seem to be able to apply my knowledge in the matches!

Thus far i’ve tried going into training mode and really practicing the combos / tools / different situations, picked my main characters and tried to understand their advantageous zones, various tools (AA/pressure/wakeup/meaty/anti-pressure). I thought I’ve got the game figured out, but i still lose the majority of my fights… Any help would be greatly appreciated! I need to figure out how to get out of scrubdom!

Get on GGPO and play Vampire Savior, but that’s just my opinion of course.

Just got done playing one of the best players in the world. I could hang with him and beat all but his main.

Very rewarding journey to this point, and I can still see how I can improve.

GGPO is your answer still, even if vampire Savior doesn’t do it for you.

Good luck!

Hm. not a bad idea. GGPO people are super good. what game would you say is better to train your fundamentals besides Vampire Savior? how about Super turbo? I feel that as a KOF play it gives me a whole lot of terrible habits that screws up my game for everything else(jump in/hyperhops)…should i just drop KOF altogether? or it is just me?

Play what you like~!

Personally, I love how fast you have to process information, and how you must understand and be able to utilize your entire tool set to even be able to touch a skilled player in vamp sav.

The mix-ups, the situational awarness, the execution, the spacing, the tom foolary. Vampire Savior has it all, and if you can compete in that game, I feel you can compete in any 1 vs 1 fighting game.

I dont personally play any of the old street fighter games, but you could surely benefit from playing good players in any of them.

Honestly, I play JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Vampire Savior only =(. But I love the crazy depth that both games offer.

Awesome that’s great to know! I’ll give vampire savior a shot! time to do some research & then hit up GGPO! I’ve actually always wanted to play Jo Jo’s too! What’s your GGPO tag? Mine is Noodlz. Would love to get some training with ya sometime.

I go by roadapple, look forward to seeing you around!

Recording videos of yourself and trying to understand why you are losing can help some.

Play people better than you.


Thanks but i don’t have a $1000 bucks to spare at the moment, lol. Yeah i should definitely record my matches. If i recorded a couple of matches and posted it here, would any of you guys mind taking a look and giving me some tips / insight as to what i’m doing wrong? Or is there a proper place to go for that?

I hope you don’t take this as an discouragement but no matter what anyone suggest it still falls upon your effort, you can have the most match up knowledge or know all the techniques and even know how to execute them but if this formula isn’t working than its back to the drawing board. Its great that you can humble yourself and learned. But in all honesty I think your at a point where you knew to figure yourself out as player and your own advantages. Because we can’t do it for you.

like some one had said maybe you should watch match video of your own and experiment. If recall you said you played KOF alot. I recommend your research start from their. KOF to me is very difficult so if you can manage that than hopefully everything else follow suites.

Ah. makes sense. I’ve been experimenting today based on the advice and i think i’m starting to see some of the problems that I have. Yeah I used to play KOF alot, and though it’s a complex system/game with somewhat difficult executions, there’s a lot of things that are easy to do and kinda give me bad habits. (Easy block-on reactions, relatively safe jump in options w/ hop/hyperhops). Thanks for al the advice and i’m going to keep experimenting

Don’t bother playing other games to get better at another game, that’s silly and poor advice. Keep playing whatever you want to get better at.

I’m going to give you a list of general advice on how to improve in general, since I haven’t seen you play and can’t tell you exactly what you need to improve.

[]Focus on a single game, if you want to get better at that game keep playing it until your general match skills improve.
]Work on one character at a time. If you stretch the amount of effort you are putting into the game over a number of characters you will end up with a number of mediocre ones instead of at least one strong character. There is a reason that the majority of terrible players list a million characters in their SRK signatures.
[]Play people who are better than you (in person), ask them what you are doing wrong and what you are weaker at after you play.
]Don’t get frustrated. Stay calm and think.
[]Work on hitconfirms and execution. You can never be good enough at converting pokes into damage.
]Record your matches. Make a list of your habits, and what you just plain suck at. Avoid repeating your habits and work on your weaknesses.

Play against the person you are playing against, not against “what they should be doing”.

For instance in most FG’s you shouldn’t jump around like a monkey for the whole match, which is why in match videos you see people throwing out close range fireballs. If your opponent does in fact jump around like a monkey for the whole match, you can’t throw close range fireballs.

If your opponent just jumps non-stop, you beat him from anti-airing him over and over. This is the easiest example I can give you, but there are plenty of things bad players will do that you can win by punishing.

If your friends are just mashing buttons all the time, then you can just meaty them over and over. If they are mashing reversals you can go near them and just block and punish.

Try to actually figure out what the people you are playing against are doing wrong and beat them based on that, don’t try to emulate the same things you’re seeing in tournament videos until you’re actually playing against people who are near to that level.

  1. Don’t take online play seriously. It is the poorest way possible to improve without a solid netcode. Sounds like you do a fair amount of training mode (you have your fundamentals) and you drop things / can’t react to things because of lag.

  2. When you acknowledge 1); you can start playing for setups / okizeme online rather than playing to win. Online is good for testing matchups or setups you have tried in training mode.

  3. You want to be competitive?
    Regional matchmaking. I don’t think there is a difference between ‘competitive’ and ‘high-level’. By playing competitive, you will get to a high level, because you will be in the environment that levels you up so much faster than trying to play against silly online tactics.

It sounds like you’re doing well to get better, but staying at home can only get you so far. I would also agree with others about playing other games (such as on GGPO) to get better at another; it isn’t that simple and doesn’t eliminate the main problem (your opponent’s level).

1: Know how to press buttons. Even a trained monkey can learn this over time.

2: Think like a pro, evolve beyond a monkey. Few are capable of that.

I try to take online seriously, not giving a damn about others but its how I have fun by kicking the most ass. Lag pisses me off like no other. If anything PSN being hacked is a blessing for certain people so they have time to practice constantly in training mode so they would stand a chance to those who are infinitely better.

I play games a lot, really good at it, I wouldn’t mind helping you with pro tips when PSN comes back on.

Hmm a couple things come to mind. Since you are talking about different games, understand you may have a (undiscovered) style you prefer to play. I didn’t realize I had a street fighter frame of mind until I tried MvC2. Holy crap am I awful at the entire Marvel series, but I’m much better in Street Fighter. I prefer slower, more methodical fighting games. I’m avg with the MK series (that damn block button).

Just a few tips for all fighting games in general.

  1. Its way easier to win if you understand the character your opponent picks. Know what moves they have and how they use them (ie know the matchup)
  2. If possible, know your opponent and learn their tendencies. Are they defensive, moderate, or a rushdown style?
  3. Learn the types of moves you like. I have a friend that basically can play any fighting game character than has a dive kick and an instant-overhead or equivalent. That style just flows for him. Me, I like grapplers - and games that aren’t grappler friendly are hard for me to play (Like MvC3!)
  4. Maximize damage. Practice baiting people, and the best punishes for each situation. SF4 example. You’re playing against a shoto and they whiff a SRK. If you’re Gief, don’t settle for a lariat - make sure you get that hp.SPD!

this one is important
5) Don’t press any buttons that you don’t need (unless its a block button).

Hahah was that guy being serious when he asked for $1000 for some advice on a video game? I hope not… I know times are hard, but damn that was just funny (in a sad desperate kind of way).

If you’re losing to your “friends” who don’t even know how to play the game. then you have problems with your “defence”… maybe you’re not blocking properly. Don’t always open up your defence after you take the first few hits? You need to read your opponent, is he someone which will continue attacking endlessly? If he is then spend some time blocking all of his attacks and then counter with something big like a reversal/super etc. You see you might need to demoralize him a bit and make him realise he can’t do damage without thinking about what he’s doing. Once he realises “hey wait a second I can’t win by just going 100% offence”… you install some doubt and he starts to mash less giving you more time to work on offence. The most important thing though is definitely blocking, no new players should be able to beat you if you’re experienced player and have good blocking - so concentrate on that.

4 things that have helped me get a lil better, #1 practice via imagination, your brain can’t tell the difference between what you do and what you imagine yourself doing. I used this method when I was a completive skateboarder, when I was a touring bass guitar player, and use it now with body building and fighting games. When I was learning a new trick or a new bass line i would imagine myself doing it when I had spare moments thru the day (waiting in line, eating, cuddling with the wife/girlfriend, ect) same now with lifting or fighting games. #2 build ur dexterity with your fingers when you are not playing a game. Drum your fingers on the table or your leg as if you were using your arcade stick, or learn to play guitar left handed as this will increase the speed and dexterity of your fingers. #3 record urself then make notes on what you are doing wrong, then post these notes where u can see them while you play online. My two biggest flaws I noticed was that I was terrible at blocking low, and I often didn’t combo when I connected with a crouching medium kick (Juri) once I noticed this I quickly went up a grade w/ her on SSF4. #4 once every few months take a break from fighting games. Stay away for a whole week and give your mind some time to recharge and to think about how you play.

Thanks guys! These are some AWESOME advices you guys are giving.

@ Coran

  • That bit about practicing hit confirms is definitely something i need practice on

-I think you’re definitely right about playing a single game. I just love fighters so i end up playing a bunch. As of right now i steadily play SSFIV, KOF 2k2, MK9, MVC3, and Virtua Fighter Five. I’ve actually dropped some games too (Tekken 6, Soul calibur 4, blazblue CS(i might pick this back up though…)). it’s so hard to focus just on one game though =(

-As for the characters i actually choose up to 3 characters at most in a game, so i should be ok in that department.

@ Systran

  • you’re right on! i think that’s a huge problem for me that i didn’t realize. i kept thinking about learning from the tournament / high level plays, instead of simply playing against the player and what they’re doing wrong!

@ azproc

  • yeah i def need to get out of the house and maybe hit up wednesday night fights here in LA sometime

@ inthelight blue- yeah man that’d be awesome! I’mma try to get my PS3 fixed soon (BD dead) so i can play u online. if you have XBL that would work even better (i’m on a lot)

@ robotron - actually i’m much better at air dash fighters / offensive games. hence KOF & blazblue are my best games (i actually never lose to any of my friends playing blazblue =P). which leads me to Kara’s point

@ Kara - this is probably the single biggest problem i have. defense. of all the games i play i’m the worst at street fighter, because i have tendency to block late and air blocking (KOF and blazblue have very easy block on reaction and even reward last minute blocking).

It totally does not fly in SF. KOF/BB also focuses on using faster/priority moves/strings as “defense” because you can counter an opponent’s move with faster/more priority move even if it’s used later. Terrible habits to have in SF / other grounded games. the focus on hop/hyper hop offenses make me want to jump all the time too which is terrible…I’m definitely going to focus on improving my blocking game

@ahdonye - that’s a super interesting point. imagining totally makes sense, i do that already for making music, just apply it to fighting games =P i actually play guitar imma give that a try! do you mean to strum with my left and hold the neck with my right? I actually already do the notes thing, lol. it definitely helps.