Choosing my Main


I picked up SSFIV AE on PC last week, and the most difficult part of this initial stage for me is not gritting my teeth and improving my skills, but deciding which character to commit to. I took some expert advice and am learning Ryu first, but I’m probably not going to end up with him, much as I like him. I’ve always liked Chun-Li, and I’ve gotten my only two online victories so far with her, but I keep hearing that she’s not competitively viable. I’ve also gravitated towards Makoto, as she is sensibly dressed and doesn’t make me feel creepy when I play her, and I like her aggressive style. I’m just not sure she’s going to pan out for me in the long run.

How exactly does one choose which characters to focus on?


As someone who just re-installed SSFIV AE PC (so many shorthands!), I’m in a very similar situation. All I can say, is (I, personally) feel that you should try each character at least once. Either going through arcade, goofing off with a friend or taking it online. Give everyone a run for a few matches if you can put aesthetics aside. If not, just keep with the characters that work for you, and are tasteful. :slight_smile:

It’s gonna take time. Just feel free to experiment, and it will all fall into place.


Gen just won EVO, and Hakan was played in Top 8. Don’t listen to people about not competitively viable.

As for picking a character, watch streams and take note of character’s playstyles and find one you think you like. Then play them for a while see how it works out. Watch what the pros do with a character you are interested in, because chances are they are using them near the character’s fullest potential. YogaFlame24 has a p good library of top players using pretty much every character on his Youtube account if a character you are thinking about is rare on stream or tournament archives.


Play each character (either in casuals against friends of relative skill, trials, or arcade mode), find a style/character that fits you, hit that character’s subforum, grind, become a "_____"main and live your life.

Usually the quickest/easiest way to achieve a main.


Yeah don’t worry about the not-tourney-worthy thing yet. Especially when you’re starting out and not aiming too high to win Evo or a major (and even then, low and mid tiers did pretty well at the last Evo as Exodus mentioned).

That being said, Chun is a little hard as a starting character. The basics are simple enough, but it gets trickier once you get to see her limitations compared to the higher tiered characters. Makoto isn’t a bad choice.

So yes, shop around a little more, and stick to who you like for now. If it’s for online and with your friends and local comp, that should be good enough for now. Find a character or two, and get good with them.


I would add that if you want to get good at Street Fighter long term, make sure you learn a fundamentals based character with decent footsies. If you want to improve faster, possibly choose less powerful fundamentalists that will make you lose at first and work harder for your wins (eg. Rose, Chun li) think of it like wearing a weight belt :stuck_out_tongue: Having the advantage of power and wins is not a strength for the beginner. Have humility and claw your way to improvement tooth and nail and you will end up better than others.
Imo for learning’s sake: Shotos are a good choice except for Oni and avoid Viper, fuerte, seth, ibuki, hakan, cammy, t.hawk, zangief, blanka and claw. There are various reasons why… Some are purely because your opponents will act a certain way against you (eg. gief, hawk etc) that will not necessarily round out your training for the future.


Chun Li is a great choice and if you like her i’d say stick with her. It doesn’t matter if she has weaknesses, you will improve faster with her and in the future you will be able to learn new characters with much less work. Also I tend to think it’s a good idea to have minimum 2 or 3 favourite characters you play even if one is your ‘main’.


pretty much this

if you like chun then play her, but in the moment you feel that she´s not good you can do 2 basic things: a) pick another character there are 39 and 5 more coming or b) ask, lurk, read, train no matter who is your choice you need to practice every character in the game has problems and to overcome them you just need skill, dedication, patience, etc. but for the love of god do not dare to whine about your choice is just lame.


Cammy is pretty cute and has a nice butt.


What TRUEB7UE said. Just take all the characters you’re fond of in the slightest, play with each of them mildly, and settle on the one that suits you best. I’m usually drawn to a character by their design and stay for their playstyle.

And unless you’re using Hercule in DBZBT3, don’t worry about viable this or viable that. Use who you want to use and show people you can body them all the same. Besides, SSFIV is fairly balanced anyway.


Rose’s is better though and that’s just science.


dubble poste


I suggest starting with Ryu since he can do everything and finding what your favorite aspect is. Zoning? Footsies? Ticking into grabs or frame traps? When you have a better idea of what you like you can look for characters who excel at that.


I agree with everything you’ve said above, however… If I might add an extra caveat? Footsies are easily the most important aspect of this game, anyone who says otherwise is not correctly playing Street Fighter. However, if you find solace in one of the characters that Jazz has listed above, don’t fret! They too can play footsies just like any Shoto, perhaps not as conventionally but fine nonetheless! I personally believe that when you find a character you stick with them, thick and thin, and learn the game through their eyes/options. I play Ibuki, a character notorious for vortexing, however I choose to play a more footsies-heavy Ibuki purely because I like cleaner play! Can I vortex someone pretty hard? Yeah if they’re being annoying or I need to clench a victory, sure but I won’t opt to it as soon as I get the first knockdown. Am I a great Ibuki? No, I am still growing and learning every day (I unfortunately don’t have all the time to dedicate to my training as I’d like), but by keeping my mind engaged and my footsies active I am preventing myself from becoming an autopilot Ibuki.

The best advise I can give when first starting a character is to learn their neutral game. You need to be able to understand what your pokes are, how far your limbs go, and what specials you can use to pressure your opponent (thank you based Killian and your Domination 101) and after all of that find out how your neutral game stacks against the other 38 (soon to be 43) killers in the roster. THEN get into the nitty gritty of that character’s playstyle, and keep an idea of what your options are at all times. Don’t become an autopilot player, footsies keep your brain engaged and your yomi on point.


You missed Gen on the list. If Viper is there, he should be on it too. He’s really hard for a new player, so people should think twice before getting on the Xian bandwagon right away. lol


Find a character you like enough to push to their limits. From what you said, try Chun or Makoto.


I totally agree with Trueb7ue on all points. There are definitely characters in my avoid list that have good footsies and are awesome characters but there’s some reason or another for each that I wouldn’t recommend a beginner start there.

PS. I LOVE watching Ibukis that can happily play the neutral game and footsies, it’s part of what I think makes Sako’s great! :slight_smile:

4neqs, Viper isn’t on that list for her difficulty but for her weak neutral game and reliance on ‘gimmicks’ in her ambiguous burn kick. She just doesn’t teach a beginner enough that is transferrable to other characters and general SF play in my opinion. For a dedicated beginner i think character complexity is up to them as long as it’s fun hence Gen is fine and Viper probably would be too if she had better normals.

I may as well clarify why I think the others aren’t good beginner teachers:
Oni, Viper: ‘Gimmick’ reliance, weak neutral game
Fuerte, Seth: 50/50 guessing game style
Cammy: too strong and has a flow chart style that can be relied on as a crutch at low and medium levels of play.
T.hawk, Zangief, Blanka, Hakan and Claw: Mainly that they are unorthodox styles and rely on either command grabs or ‘gimmicks’ and the way your opponents play against you will not be very similar if you choose a fundamentalist character later on.
Ibuki: Vortex should be near the last element of gameplay a beginner learns but ibuki tends to lean towards strong vortex focus upfront. Even if you focus on her pokes and footsies, the temptation of her super strong mixups and ambiguous kunai crossup tools will be a big advantage. Imo beginners need to learn the hard way to create success from nothing before they do it from setups etc

That’s just my 2c… it may be wrong and if you love any character a lot, by all means play them! Just consider learning a fundamental character on the side…


You should play as Gen. That character just won Evo. You gotta play as someone who wins tournaments.


From my experience as competitive CoD and MK9 and Injustice, I’ve learned to just use what you like. CoD, I used weapons I like and I found myself beating people using more powerful weapons. MK I’ve always used Liu Kang cuz I’ve always liked him since the first and I find it easy for me to learn him…Injustice was Batman cuz Batman is my favorite DC character. Don’t listen to anyone else, their opinion doesn’t matter…pick who you like, when I get SSF4 I’m going to use Vega lol i don’t even know if he’s relevent I just thought he was cool when I was a kid lol the point is, your love for a character translates into love for a game which translate into success. Use who you like, find out how to dominate with them and dominate. Best of luck, bud!


People who think Chun is bad are probably trying to play her as a zoner. She sucks at zoning in this game (and fireball zoning is lackluster in this game in general). She’s good. Not the best but good, and really excels at punishing an opponent’s mistakes.