Breaking down characters


I am looking for input as to how I should go about this. I hear Gootecks once talking about making a list of what are each characters options from which distances. Anyone else got tips for this? There is no wrong answer here of course. I am just looking for input and new ways to train when not playing against someone.


This would probably go over better in a specific characters’ forum, likely in their match up thread. You will not find this information compiled together any where, at least not for every character. I mean, this kind of thing isn’t just character specific, but match up specific as well. Pick one character to go about doing this to first.


You would have to do this for all characters and all their match-ups, thats 625 possibilities. Then you can start with the different situations in all those.
Kinda crazy.


The funny thing is, for the elite players like Daigo, Mago, Iyo, they probably know all the correct spacing, timing and match up pro and cons instinctively because they played so much kinda like elite musicians who can play any music without looking at music sheets, they just know.

In order to achieve that level of mastery, hours and hours of practice is required. Unless Video Gaming is your profession, I doubt most of us can ever achieve those kind of mastery. So knowing this, just play the best you can and have fun… Don’t take it too serious unless you are willing to put the time required and actually want to make a living from it…


I am not looking for character specific things here. I mean in general when you are trying to figure out how to counter a certain character, how do you go about doing so?

What do you look for to exploit? What if there isn’t anything to exploit? Hos do you go about finding what that character can do against your character. General information.


All matchup dependant. Some characters can pass fireballs on reaction, some have trouble doing it. Some characters don’t want to play footsies if the opponent’s footsies are gonna get beat out 80% of the time. Is the player special happy or do they try and close the distance as quick as possible? Blah blah blah blah…

Too much stuff.


A better way I found to learn about specific match up is to find a player who’s really knowledgeable about his/her own character and play tons of game with him/her and while you guys playing, chat at the same time to each other.

So find someone here who’s willing to play lots of friendlies with you with a microphone and start to play and chat away about your game play and the specific match ups.

Or the best way is to find a local arcade scene with bunch of cool cats who are willing to tell you what you did right or wrong.


Ok, but how do you tell if that character is allowed to go through fireballs on reaction? How do you know if you have a footsie advantage? Reading the player is not a part of this. This is for players like me who aren’t on that level yet. I don’t know the game well enough to win just by reading players. People still do things I simply do not know how to get around.


Let’s take Chun-Li vs Ryu. If Ryu jumps at Chun, there are a number of ways Chun can react. Depending on the timing and the distance of the jump, Chun’s options will range from S.MK, C.RH, C.MP, EX SBK, just block, backdash, or FA backdash (in general, there are more). Every option Chun chooses leads to a new set of consequences - if she does C.RH and it works, she gets the knockdown. If she does C.MP and it works, Ryu is on the ground in front of her - what to do next? If she tries to backdash, what if Ryu does EX Shoryu or Tatsu? What if the AA doesn’t work? What if Ryu has enough meter for DP FADC ultra? Do I really want to risk letting him in? How much lifebar do I have to spare?

Even if I sit here and type all that out, there is NO WAY you’d be able to read it and then start applying it in matches. And this is just one character in one situation.

It just takes experience. You have to recognize what is going on and then just know what to do and what that will lead to. The more you play, the more you will figure it out - as long as you actively think about what’s going on in the match, and not just push buttons and hope things work out in your favor.

This also becomes another argument against the idea of counter-characters.


As has been said earlier, different characters have different ways of countering things, and can counter some things more easily than others. Depending on the character, you’ll use different moves to counter jumpins, for instance.

If you’re new enough that (like I was) you don’t know what the heck all the different characters can do, pick a main you feel comfortable with, and THEN poke around the matchup threads for tactics and responses to the other characters’ moves.

I will give you this tip, from a relative-noob to someone who’s starting down the same path: The first character you should learn to counter is Ryu. The second is Sagat. Third is Akuma. Fourth, Bison/Blanka/Balrog(boxer). If you’re trying to play the game online, these are the characters you’re going to meet the most.

Also, when it comes to picking your main, some characters are more dependent on knowing your opponent than others. Good examples are Gouken and Abel: They’re both pretty powerful characters, but their learning curves are way higher than, say, any of the shotos or Rufus (my main).


I’ve been working on something like this for a little bit but not quite got anything finished.


Yeah Yeah … But you forgot something that can’t be sheeted.
Guess Game etc .

So even if you have every little detail of the game printed inside your memory.You won’t always win .

You need what i call the total package .

There’s also something we call reflex … You know that signal sent into your nervous system.Think about baseball player … That ball will reach you under .3 second and you need to take a decision under that time.When he’s about to throw the ball you take yer decision and when you hit the ball it’s reflex.Because the mili sec he throw the ball you can’t think or blink your eyes or you will miss it.

I know because my reflex completly stink but what save me often it’s my strong guessing game.

90% of the time i can counter a jump-in not because of my reflex but because i know it’s coming.My reflex are simply too slow.I simply can’t do a combo on demand when i hit someone . Because my reaction time’s too slow.

If i don’t guess it … 95 % of the time i need to block it . .If i try to counter it , it’s might be to late and leave me wide open.

Daigo prob got the full package.Good guessing game … Above average reflex . Just ONE frame in sf4 make a difference … That frame can mean a counter or a combo.

Good execution and good knowledge of the match - up.
Also just watch his frigging hand on the controller.It’s like playing a sweeping solo on a gaming pad.

I don’t buy this crap that everyone can become the best.
Everyone’s different and some ppl are simply stronger/Faster than you .