Building... Fundamentals?

ATM, I’m a Street Fighter IV PC player. I currently main Balrog and my controller is… the keyboard!
I honestly don’t mind trying one of those fancy TE sticks yet being underage, it’s hard to convince your parents to pay for a 150 dollar controller. However, that’s not what’s I’m here for.

I can’t say I’m completely new to SFIV as I’ve been playing for at least 6 months (very rough guess, I have no idea) However, I do consider myself to still be a novice. I’m incapable of playing with anyone else

My question is: what are good ways to particularly get better at SF?

Or perhaps the question is: how do you properly navigate the SRK forums in order to find read-ups that I particularly could benefit from?

I’m not the greatest at self-educating myself but I’ve picked up some important info, such as Balrog’s Safe-Jumps, his mix-ups, how to juggle into his super/ultra,etc. Problem is that I’m not finding much… or I’m at least not at the higher level play that I’d wish to be.

More info? Sure!

I’m a SFIV PC Balrog player who’s currently hovering around 3300 BP. To me, that means NOTHING since 1) people fail to wakeup reversal DP… in SF4… I’ve attempted to play ST before so IK we are spoiled with SFIV’s huge reversal window. 2) That’s exclusively using Balrog, I find it hard to win with anyone else and 3) I speculate there are more skilled players in Player Match over Ranked Match. I just don’t win as much there.

From playing online I’ve learned a lot so far. I recall being a flowchart ken, put that past besides me. I know how to deal with flowchart kens online and I generally can adapt to playstyles well to win. I’ve learned how important rog’s normals are, some of his link combos, how to play offensively yet switch defensively when I have the life lead. I have some basic mixup knowledge, I’ve recently learned how useful dashing is to evade attacks (especially for grapplers like Abel).

I’ll get positive mail on the rare occasion, I’ve gotten a bit of hate mail.

One problem I have is that I’ll always seem to find a person who’s capable of beating me. However I can’t seem to adapt and find out what I’m doing wrong. It gets me frustrated… which defeats the purpose of me playing video games. I play to have fun. :smiley:

Second problem, I can’t win with any other character! It’s always been an odd problem I have… I’ve been trying to play with ryu but it doesn’t go so well. I’ve been trying to play patiently but it’s mostly an execution issue that I can’t seem to overcome. Against the dummy I can do basic c forward to fireball yet in a real match, it doesn’t come out! 0_o Yeah yeah FADC to ultra is easy, even on keyboard. Yet in a real match, I can’t react fast enough to execute it… or I execute it inproperly! I honestly can’t see how other players can do good with him. I try to emulate it some way or the other, but it doesn’t seem to work for me.

What’s weirder is that I play Sakura far better than I play Ryu. >.> My sakura isn’t too great, but it’s just easier to win with.

I’ve tried playing with another charge character like Bison, yet I’m either whiffing his normal attacks, jumping in too much, or just plain missing his links into knee press. Just doesn’t feel natural.

Every attempt I make at playing another character doesn’t go well and I end up switching back over to Balrog.

All I know is that I want to win. Balrog’s been doing that for me, yet I can’t seem to do that with the rest of the cast. Balrog is… boring me.

I don’t know how to improve, or where. Is there SF basics that apply to most characters that don’t apply to Rog? What is it

Is someone willing to help? If you are, I’d appreciate ANY input at all. :DDD

Does ANY of that make sense? I hope so. :confused:


PS I apologize for the wall of text. I tried my best to abridge it.

its obvious you have the potential…you do know we have an SF 4 forum and sub forums for specific characters…and dont feel bad about only being able to use balrog…because ive been playing fighters much longer than you and SF4 since it came out and when i play vega in SF4 im pro and know what im doing…but if you see me use anyone else even a shoto, i look like im retarded and random…even Pro players like Mike Ross stay 100% loyal to their chracter.

as for fundamentals you can transfer, to me thats more of learning how the system works,spacing…how your normals reach what has higher priority,Rog has some pretty good pokes, go to the sub forum of what character you want learn

whoever you pick see if they have good reach, what combos, what has priority. what to use for anti air. etc

dont mash. press a button for the move you want to do once, not 10 times

my advice to you ,watch a lot of top japanese balrog players,try to analyse how they punish,when and why they do it.

I’m just here to say…


Now, that I’ve that out of my system…

I agree with what others here have said.

You are too focused on winning, not improving. Forget W’s and L’s. You improve more in losses because you find out what you need to improve upon. There is a major difference between the two.

I’m not going to fully disagree with that, but a lot of it depends on the loss. If you get double perfected in a matchup you’re not familiar with, you’ll find a lot of issues (or one glaring one), but perhaps it doesn’t reflect on your ability as a whole.

I like to look for issues in wins. Unless you completely dismantled the opponent, you’re bound to find something.

The trick to analyzing yourself however is to find that sweet spot between overcritical (like myself) and undercritical.

I agree Private. However if you get hammered in a matchup you are unfamiliar with, I feel I can get much more out of that than a match up I am unfamiliar with and am able to win.

Just my two cents.

You know what. That comment no longer surprises me. 0_o I think I’ve heard it enough times from others. I’m not even trying… perhaps I’m more educated? who knows.

Honestly, that post was very rough, I just typed whatever came to mind and then deleted half of it. XD

That’s a good point you’ve made. In fact, that’s why I can’t get myself to use anyone else! I can’t stand seeing myself lose.

Hmm… I’ll keep it in mind next time I play.

Right now I’ve having issues of properly analyzing gameplay. It’s hard for me to browse through countless topics on SRK and to watch countless videos on youtube. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places, but I’ll try to be patient and see what I can get out of it.

Another note: I took a trip to Next Level today! :slight_smile:
Momentarily lost my watch, got to see a JTAG’d XB360 IRL, and I got very frustrated by missing headbutt to ultra every single time. >.>
I barely won any matches, but it was a good experience. Sanwa buttons are realllllly sensitive. It’s crazy.

If there’s one thing I’ve gotten out of it, it’s that I jump in more than I need to. I guess that’s what online play does to you. :confused:

A big TY to everyone who gave their input. :smiley:


I post the same message everytime I respond to a question in the Newbie section, but fuck it:

If you want to build fundamentals, start with Maj’s Footsies Handbook.

From my understanding, that’s a great idea.

Kinda the same. I always wanted to swap back to a different character. Cammy being the most since is very fast and cannon drill hits a lot of lamers who walk backwards. Just no point to without anti crouch. Even though I’m very good at making a lot of moves safe it’s pretty hard to do that with Cammy whiffing out a cannon spike or a deep cannon drill and no command attacks not to mention no projectile to spam to top it off. The dive kick is pretty cheap mixed with the grabs that require pressing at the same time, if it were easier to tech grabs then I would be able to beat any Cammy player.

Started using Makoto awhile back, very nice pokes, many command attacks, but is so stupid slow walking speed I can’t play proper footsies which no one else seems to be capable of, footsies isn’t the same as lamming. The command grab I don’t even use, just bull shit to help scrubs at the cost of making a very slow character.

When I use a projectile character, it’s very easy to lame them because it’s very easy to avoid a projectile at long range. Except Ken but he hardly has any pressure with projectiles so he has to chase often.

Doesn’t matter how good I get with a charge character, I just hate charging moves so there goes half the roster. I still swap characters time to time and I had the game for awhile. Come to think of it, SF4 is the only game where I truly couldn’t make up my mind and pick a main.

I’d just recommend a 360 controller, pretty sure you could use those on the PC. Balrog is pretty simple, has a lot of health, does a lot of damage per poke, for the most part blocks a lot due to charging and for the most part all moves are safe on block and has high priority when attacking. Bad side would be a crappy focus attack and requiring to charge moves.

Sakura has a safe chip damage spin kick move while Ryu doesn’t, even if you don’t know how to play that helps beginners out a bit more, kinda like Dan.

Balrog is a pretty good character to use for learning fundamentals. His set of normal moves and fast walk speed gives him a pretty good footsie game. His fast, long ranged sweep, standing hard kick and excellent crouching hard punch can also be used for to zone the opponent (keep them where you want them to be). If you want to improve your fundamentals, try playing without using special moves (except in combos), and without jumping (except on reaction to punish a mistake like a poorly spaced fireball or if you’ve dizzied the opponent). This should give you a better understanding of how the ground game works in SFIV, and how to control space effectively. As a beginner excercise, try this: Inch forward, toward the opponent. If they jump, anti-air with cr.hp. If they try to approach you, whiff a few safe normals to make them hesitate a bit, or even just check them with a sweep or standing hard kick. If you manage to force them into the corner, try to keep them there as long as possible by anti-airing their jump attempts, and annoying them with normals. Once they’re scared of moving or pressing buttons you can start applying a bit of pressure. This is a basic but effective strategy with Balrog. If you get beaten, try to understand if it was because you made a mistake and then try not to make that mistake again (eg. did you get baited into doing a sweep which was then punished? did you get baited into jumping when you shouldn’t have? did you miss an anti-air opportunity?), or if it was simply because of a lack of tools. If you consistently lose because you didn’t have enough tools, then you can be fairly confident that you have a good understand of the fundamentals (at least with Balrog) and can actually use them well in a match (provided of course that you were playing against good players).

Note that execution is also fundamental skill, and while you can improve it to a certain extent with Balrog, you’ll still be limited because his combos are relatively easy and he is a charge character which means you’ll lose out when it comes to learning the basics for motion characters.