Character Learning Curve Charts

I was thinking about how in SSF4 there is great balance between characters and yet the business of using each character to its full potential is something different altogether. Thus I cooked up a few learning curve charts that attempt to illustrate how hard it is to use that character effectively at first, and then the journey to use it at its optimum potential.

I’m not a statistician. The correct way to do this would be to analyze data from beginner players and data logs for thousands of players. No, I don’t have access to that information. This is just how it feels like for a average-talented guy who has been playing FGs for 20 years and SF4 for about 2 of them. No bigge here.

The time criteria are:

  1. Few days of game time
  2. Weeks of casual play
  3. Weeks of serious play
  4. Months of serious play
  5. 1 year or more of serious play

and the skill criteria are

  1. Incompetent.
  2. Average, dominates basic character mechanics
  3. Dominates singular character mechanics
  4. Is fully competent with the character’s capabilities
  5. Maximum character potential explored

And here it is :smiley: :

I’m working on a few more too for fun.

Add your own if you want at:

This is dope. I’d be interested in seeing the rest of the roster, as well as short descriptions on how you came by each of your calculations.

Also, think about uploading a blank, alternatively-colored chart for your peers to offer up their opinions. Cheers.

This, I was going to make one for Cody, where it starts of moderate and then spikes to insanity, but that’d just be work without a blank. :stuck_out_tongue:

As a Guile main I can see the reasoning behind his chart. For me he was a character that was easy to pick up and use at a basic level, but took a while to learn how to use his Sonic Boom along with his normals to play him somewhat effectively.

I like the idea, but my personal constructive opinion:

Make the chart stretch out to 10 on both axis. I just don’t think a 5 would be enough to show the full potential, and could potentially put off newer players to the character if the spike is so sharp suddenly. As far as the Y axis goes, I definitely don’t think every character would be a 5 in terms of skill require to max out the character’s potential. Not really 4 either, not 4.5 IMO, max potential Ryu is easier to attain than a max potential Cammy, Cody, or Seth.

I thought Cammy started at [0,5]

I thought of saying that but arguing that would generate a flame war here for sure, as there are countless examples of microcalibration required to apply pretty much every character at its highest level. So I decided to just skip that and equalize them at the top. The game is fairly balanced after all.

Great normals, good dp, fast, high damage and mostly safe. I’d say Cammy is not a character that puts you at a disadvantage up front. Those would be characters that require skill to even function at a most basic level: Viper, Gen, Hakan, and Makoto.

I’m not really sure about any of this. It kind of gives too little information for what you are trying to say. Plus of course it is all subjective.

And you have the whole “skill” thing. For example, are you talking about what the character is capable of on it’s own merit? Because some characters the difficulty is in matchups requiring character specific knowledge, some it is in execution, some it is in a mix of factors. Are you viewing this on the basis of a character performing all of their most difficult stuff all of the time or just overall? I mean Cody has a lot of 1F link stuff but he also has a lot of 2F and 3F links that he can get by on and succeed even at tournament level depending on how good at reading the opponent he is. Some characters the most important skill isn’t using your moves but knowing where you can stand to threaten to use your moves (Fei, Gief, ect.).

I kind of wish that there was a 3rd axis you could put “success” on. Because for example, early on you can get a ton of success with a character like Gief but then you start playing opponents who are stronger and your success level drops then you get better and your success level rises again. But some characters have a steady level of success as you grow. These aren’t even things entirely related to skill. Gief at mid skill level is just not as successful as gief at low skill level when compared to his peers.

Makoto’s should be upside down. The longer you play her the more you realize you don’t know anything because there is so much to know.

I can’t wait to see the Zangief chart. He’s a beast against newer players but Grapplers are always the characters people find the nastiest tech against. Zangief is a hard character to play if you want win a tournament since everyone knows their tricks and how to stay away from them.

The two axes are clearly stated and yeah they are subjective. This is meant to be taken with a spoonful of salt and I made it clear where I’m coming from too. The “skill” axis implies success also. It means the skill necessary to effectively use the character.

If you think Makoto’s should be upside down then you misunderstand the chart. It implies exactly that: to uncover her full potential it will take one or more years of training. There is no upper limit.


Do one for Balrog- I’m kinda interested to see what your opinion of his curve is. I think he is fairly easy to pick up, but a little harder to master because you rely so much on fundamentals, footsies, defense, AND rushdown to play him effectively.

My contention would be that it would be identical to Ryu`s.

Call me dumb but I don’t understand how the chart works

The horizontal axis details how long it takes to get good, and the vertical axis details how good you are.

So Viper for instance, takes a loong time to get good with. She is famous for leading pros to lose a ton of fights when first picking her up due to her critical timing requirements. That’s why only on the end of the horizontal axis ( 1 year or more or serious play) does she reach the top , off a long time at a lower skill level.

Ryu on the other hand, is easier to pick up, full of solid tools and with few weaknesses so he starts off more effective and is easier to learn all the way to his top potential. This is a smooth learning curve.

says the guy who plays nobody at their top potential. Im not getting on you in this thread because of anything personal, but really, your opinions on these characters are irrelevant, and you have demonstrated time and time again to barely understand how this game works.

In that case I think you should replace “skill” with something like “effectiveness” to cause less confusion.