I am very new to fighting games, and still haven’t played much of any game in the genre. Regardless of my lack of experience, however, it seems like an important part of improving at anything competitive is regularly playing long sessions in which you can openly talk to your opponent about why they made a certain decision, how they beat you in a certain instance, why they got beat by you, etc. It seems like the ease of doing this with an experienced offline player is perhaps the biggest part of why people tend to write off online matches as an inferior way to learn how to play fighting games.
With this said, what is the best way one can at least get a similar experience to this online (if there is one)? I have experimented with playing ranked matches in Street Fighter V, mostly because this was the fastest way to play somebody with a good connection. A problem that came with playing ranked, however, is that it was best of one games and I either got matched with somebody as new as me that I just beat by anti-airing and stupidly mashing sweep or I played somebody obviously better than me who just wiped the floor with me and left. The battle lounge was a bit of an improvement, but communication was very difficult and often times the good players who can probably properly punish me and out-think me kicked me or just left after a game.
I think the ideal sort of place for improvement online would be a smaller community that has a chat room, with newer and older players alike. When things are more personal and like a community, I would think people are generally more honest and more willing to help because they have a bit of a reputation. It seems like Fightcade could be a very good resource because of the easy in-game chat and the smaller community of players, but obviously Street Fighter V’s matchmaking and lounge system have countless players and on top of this it can be hard to find somebody who knows what they’re doing.
This post was sort of all over the place, so I’ll recap:
It seems like the best way to improve at a fighting game is through regular, communicative practice sessions with people better than you. It seems like although this is somewhat feasible in an older or smaller game due to the smaller online communities, Street Fighter V is almost too big for this to happen right now. Should I just try to learn the game the best I can and try to up my rank until I’m fighting people who know what they’re doing and then friend them to hopefully get longer practice sessions? Are there small online communities for this game that I’m just not aware of? Or perhaps learning how to play a fighting game online just doesn’t happen through communicative practice sessions and it would be better to either just go offline or develop my game play alone through watching footage and thinking through problems solo?