"Breaking in" to fighting games - Places to start


Hello FGC!
I’m trying to get into fighting games and the scene in general, but admitting that I’m complete rookie to the whole genre, I could definitely use some basic pointers about where and what to start with. Fighting games feel like a genre that jumping into can be unnerving at best, and straight up intimidating at worst, but it’s general skills are something I’d really like to learn, so I’d appreciate any tips to keep in mind to help break that intimidation-barrier.

Not to turn this into introduction-thread, but couple of lines will help to explain where I’m coming from.
I have good 15 years of experience with Playstation, so I’m definitely familiar with PS controller. Not as much with PC, I bought my first decent gaming PC last year, and playing with keyboard still needs perfecting.
About fighting games, I’ve played tons of Divekick, and I’m already grasping it’s meta-game pretty well. Besides that, I’ve played few hours of Skullgirls (PC) and P4Arena (PS3), and King Of Fighters XIII looks gorgeous, something I’m seriously thinking of buying. I guess I can see bit of anime-edge there, but defining element here is 2D-fighters. Also, my friend plays Smash on national level (even goes to some tournaments on States every now and then), and new Smash looks so good that I’m probably gonna jump on that wagon, but I guess the Smash-argument is still going on…?
About FGC itself, I know some of Spooky’s stuff, and I’m big fan of TheSw1tcher on Youtube, so I’m not complete stranger to some of FGC’s basic terms and goings-on.

Anyway, are there any basic pointers to help get started with? For example, is Steam good place to buy fighting games, or is console gaming generally preferred/suggested over PC with this genre? I know SFIV has huge community and is good place to start, but is that the best learning ground for both 3D and 2D fighters? That kind of stuff; where to start, with what console, what to consider while learning, and where to move on after learning basics.

…This post turned kinda long. Anyway, looking forward to learning about this genre!


Street Fighter has the largest player base out of any fighting game. The XBox 360 is the better console for it though (the controller…not so much), from what I understand. XBox Live also has more players than PSN, meanwhile SF4 on Steam seems to be suffering from some issues so I’d wait for that to get ironed out. I’m a KOF XIII player myself, so I’m naturally inclined to tell you pick up that game (on Steam since the netcode on console is terrible, get it on sale!).

Whatever you play though, ensure you get into the social side of things. Fighting games are best played, and you learn the most, when you can regularly play against people who are slightly better or worse than you. Too much worse, and you’ll either have to dumb down your play or stomp them. Too much higher, and you’ll be the one getting stomped before you can even figure out what happened. That means add to your contacts anyone who’s close to your level and not a douche. The absolute fastest (and personally fun) way to get better at fighters is to have a rival you can compete against regularly, assuming you’re both also trying to improve your abilities as well.

(Concerning SF4, UltraChenTV has a series called “First Attack” which is explicitly for teaching beginners. http://www.ultrachentv.com/shows/first-attack/ )

(Concerning KOF13, Juicebox does a series of videos that teach both how to play characters, and videos on how to play the game in general. https://www.youtube.com/user/JuiceboxAbel Also, the KOF XIII wiki here on SRK is actually pretty darn good, if a little outdated for certain things)

When you start out, just get familiar with the controls. Don’t worry about combos very much. Just get used to your character’s normals, their special moves. You’ll have to build up your execution to the point where you can do these moves without much conscious thought, if any at all, if you really want to get into the meat of the game. Take it into some matches against the CPU. It’ll let you get used to playing against a target that’s fighting back. Resist the natural urge to mash in panic that most people seem to get, think about what you’re doing. Things like anti-airing jumps, putting out pokes to maintain spacing, or punishing unsafe attacks. However, be careful not to let playing against the CPU make you develop bad habits like throwing out random super moves. When you play against people, don’t worry about winning too much. You’re still learning, and a lot of people out there have been playing for much, much longer than you. Consider other goals like “successfully anti-air an opponent in a real match” or “successfully tech a throw attempt.” As you get better, the wins will come naturally.

When you feel like you’re past that point of being an absolute beginner (can execute your specials reliably, you know your characters’ moves) then start checking out the character boards, or watching high level matches how your character is used. See what better players are doing, understand why they’re doing it, and work it into your own game. At that point, the only way to get better is to just hone your fundamentals, and get better at utilizing the knowledge you’ve accumulated.

I feel like playing around with the character first and then getting the knowledge is better, since if you get all the knowledge and then jump into the character, you’ll just have too much to think about floating in your head.

You should also the read the FAQs in the board for beginners.

Don’t worry about the fact that the guides are for SF. 2d fighting game fundamentals generally tend to carry over fairly well from one fighting game to another, meaning that it’ll be the game-specific mechanics you’ll have to wrap your mind around.


Xbox is a non-option for me right now, so sounds like I want to start with PC. Don’t know about SFIV right now, but I’m definitely getting KOF XIII before the end of sale. Besides that, I can see how good training mode Skullgirls has, so I guess I’lll be spending few dozen hours on those training modes.

Thanks for the tips and guides, I’m thinking they will help me get started.


I’m in the exact page right now. I’ve tried out Blazblue and 3S before but never went pass playing casually. I do watch FGC (mainly USFIV) streams often, majors, weeklies so I’m also familiar with some of the terminology. I did pick up Skullgirls and probably KOF when it goes on sale again (kind of bummed it wasn’t picked for community choice). I’ll be spending time in training mode in SG as well. Feel free to add me if you’d like, and like AirLancer said, I agree it’s best to get into the social side of fighting games.


Can’t tell if young or young in mind.

Either way the Xbox360 UStreet Fighter 4 has a pretty big player base. I myself like DOA5U a lot though not that many players left. If your serious of becoming a tournament player trying to make some money get Blaze Blue Chrono Phantasma. Everyone who has an Xbox 1 gets Killer Instinct 3 for free so I’d imagine it being very popular. Good luck and have fun.


Harsh, Tyran, but no offence intended or taken. What I basically tried to ask was whether PC is valid and/or recommended platform for fighting games or not, because with most titles I’m not sure. Haven’t really searched out that stuff because I’m not big fan of online gaming in most genres. I’m slowly but definitely starting to change that attitude, though.
Anyway, thanks for tips! I might buy Xbox 1 during this console generation.


PC doesn’t have as many players as Xbox360 does, but I wouldn’t say it isn’t a valid platform for fighting games. I have most/all of the PC fighting games and in some cases (KOF), the PC netcode outshines the console’s. I have no trouble finding matches in SF4 AE on PC.