Coming from 3rd strike... need help with focus attack amongst other things

I’ve been playing 3rd strike for about 2 years now bu
t I’ve decided to take this game a bit more seriously. I’ve been playing online and it seems players there catch on that I don’t know hoe to real with focus. I’m so used to parrying that I always seem to get caught unawares whenever a character enteres the focus animation, and it usually ends up with me losing a good amount of life.

Would be great if someone could really explain how the focus attack itself works(I’m familiar with fadc and can do all that) and how to deal with the opponents focus attack.

Also, any tips for someone coming from 3rd strike would be great. I can already tell this game takes way more caution and patience.

I come from 3rd strike, but it isn’t an excuse for me to bad at this game.

I have learned to not even look at the game from a 3s perspective besides bringing the distance of my footsies along.

NOTHING from 3s applies to here besides the obvious fundamentals and YOMI.

You can’t jump in when you feel like doing some Rambo shit. It took a lot of getting used to, but I am still in the learning process as well.

From what I can gather (don’t flame me if I’m wrong) but I see people using the focus attacks when they see unsafe jumping attacks come their way and plan on punishing. Or baiting (with instant focus and dashing back). I don’t use it often.

Maybe I should use it more than I do now, but I just can’t apply it as well as others can. I also believe tthat certain characters rely on their focus attack more than others.
If you’re westcoast, hit me up and we can play together. In our own lobby. Just me and you. Man to man. No homo

focus attacks have armor, which didn’t exist on anything in 3s iirc. They absorb one hit worth of damage, so you don’t want to launch a heavy move into a guy when he’s using a FA. Most (every?) character has a move that breaks armor. depending on your character you can also ultra in response to a dumbly timed focus and there’s not a ton they can do to get out of it. You can also easily grab them or spam a good fast poke to interrupt it (the second hit will interrupt them and deal damage).

Coming from 3S, the hardest part for me was adapting to the pace. The game is so, so much slower than 3S and it takes a lot of getting used to. If you find yourself holding back and not in 100% rushdown mode that’s okay in this game, depending on your character.

i view sf4 almost as sf2. its very footsie and zoning intensive. because there is no parrying, the matches are typically slower paced with both players playing a defensive game while opening up when given the opportunity.

the focus attack and parry are like far cousins. the focus attack can be viewed as a remix of the parry. they both do something similar in concept but are used for vastly different reasons. u can focus normals, projectiles in order to gain position or retreat. or u can fadc specials in order to continue combos, or trap opponents (picture a classic ryu gameplay= keep away hadoken, shoryuken aa, hadoken fadc shoryuken aa trap).

the focus attack absorbs one hit, however certain special moves have armor breaking properties and can shatter your focus attack. if your opponent combos a 2 hit combo, it will shatter your focus. the focus attack is an attack, just with a system around it. the focus attack is built around 3 levels. [level 1] you can press it and have the attack come out normally. [level 2] u can hold it momentarily in order to absorb an attack with and crumples opponents if it counts as a counter hit. [level 3] u hold it for max length and it crumples opponents no matter what.

focus attacking should not be abused, however using it efficiently will level up your play. when faced against an opponent focus attacking, it IS possible to focus THEIR focus attack and counter hit. many shenanigans are used with the focus attack like charging a focus attack before an opponent stands up and back dashing baiting a reversal. or 2 opponents charging a focus attack at the same time playing a game of chicken to see who will quit first. or focusing a jump in attack and back dashing (not really a shenanigan).

Leveling up your footsie game will improve your game and help u incorporate focus attacks as a tool to use along side your pokes. its very common to see a very well placed focus attack absorb a hit, and counter-hit crumble an opponent leaving them open to a super/ultra/ or some other kind of punish. id highly recommend reading this link as it will improve your game tremendously.