Completely new to fighting games.

I have absolutely no experience with fighting games besides Smash Bros. All I have for controllers are a keyboard and a usb SNES controller. I don’t want to spend money on a stick, but it seems like the only way people play. The only game I’ve tried on FightCade is jjban, but it isn’t like most other fighting games and I suck at it. I’m getting better with Iggy though…

Any advice?

There is this widespread misconception that you need to buy a stick to be able to play fighting games, and if that’s whats stopping you from playing then you dont need one. You can play using the keyboard or a console controller if you own one (I hear alot of praise when it comes to Xbone controllers because you can easily set them up, assuming you are using a PC).
Start out with controller and experiment with different fighting games, when you find one that you like the decision of switching to a stick should come down the road eventually.

Unless you plan on competing in tourneys in the near future. There’s no need for a stick. Just buy any controller that works for the platform you play on.

If you would rather play with a pad, I would check out tech talk for pad reviews.

Step one, don’t try to learn too much too quickly. The subject is huge and can feel overwhelming at first. It takes time to absorb and put into practice what you are learning. Step two don’t go out and buy every modern and classic fighting game available. FGC players are famous for praising a new game then dumping it a month later. Older FGC players also like to praise old games that are hard to find matches for. Step 3 Whatever your favorite fighting game ends up being, at least know how to play whatever the most modern version of Street Fighter is. No matter where you go you can always find someone who knows how to play street fighter. Step 4 Grab fighting games on clearance. Even if you don’t care for the game most games come with a tutorial mode or challenge mode to teach you combos. These can be a good thing to do if you find yourself burnt out or frustrated with your current favorite, plus the more you do with your controller of choice the better you will be at any game. Step 5 Don’t take any advise you get on these forums as Gospel. Almost no one who posts on SRK or other forums are top pros. put any advise you get to the test and discard what ever proves to be untrue for you. Step 6. There is no right way or wrong way to learn a game, character, ect. There is only what is true based on your learning habits, ability to learn, attention span, ect. Step 7 Don’t get discouraged by losing. You learn from losing. After reaching 500 matches played on Ultra Street Fighter 4 on PS4 I only had a 40% win rateand I bet once I get to 1000 macthes I will have a lower win rate :slight_smile:

I am pretty new to fighting games too. I used to play RTS games most of the time. I didn’t find sf4 that enjoyable but with sf5 I am trying to make it my main game. For the old timers here, am I right to think I have to put a tremendous amount of time into any fighting game to be able to enjoy it? How much time do I need to invest? Do I have to keep playing consistently or can I step away from the game for a few months and come straight back into it?

To be able to enjoy a fighter? No a lot of time isn’t needed to be put into it. Just 30 minutes to an hour in training will allow you to learn the basics of your character and get your execution decent enough to perform your characters moves. Then it becomes a matter of playing and gaining experience, learning from your wins and losses etc. That’s the main thing. When just picking up a fighter. Learning should be the main objective, not winning.

Now if you want to be able to hang with better more competitive players and what not. Then yeah you’re gonna have to put some time in. Like instead of just a 30min to an hour training to learn your character. You’ll have to do that a few times a week to master fundamentals, get consistent with your character and learn their more advanced strategies, and stay at that level. And depending on what level you’re trying to play at. If just casually, yeah you can stop playing for several months and then jump back into it. Just shake off the rust in training for a hour. But competitively. Nah you wont be able to just jump back in. The meta will have probably changed, your skills will have deteriorated etc. You’d have to get back in the groove by playing again and taking a few losses and learning from them to understand where the meta is now.

Since fighting games are entirely digitally controlled (meaning that characters don’t accelerate depending on how far you tilt the analog stick), you can use any controller you want. People just play on stick because that’s the tournament standard and most advanced techniques such as plinking are easier on stick.

You don’t need a stick. As long as the controller is quality and you’re willing to put in the work, any controller is fine. Some of the best players in the world play on pads, hell, Smug even plays on the usually reviled Xbox 360 pad. Luffy is a world class SF4 player, plays on a PS1 pad (yes, pre-Dualshock). One of the better Elphelt (GGXrd character) players in Japan is a pad player, and it’s a really hectic game and Elphelt a very hectic character. Yet he makes it work.

Just play what you’re comfy with. If the keyboard you have is a good mechanical one, it’s absolutely fine as a controller for fighting games. Even crappy keyboards can work for some less button press demanding games.

If you don’t like SF4, there’s no reason to play it. Find a game that feels fun to play and play that. ST (SF2) and the Alpha games should be good training for SFV and feel very different from 4.

No, you don’t have to put in a ton of time into a game to enjoy it. It’s true for some games in some sense - there’s games that need a lot of labwork and games that don’t need much at all - but the bottom line should always be “do I have fun playing this game?” If the answer is no, you should probably explore your options.

How long a break you can take and just come back depends, again, on the game. Some need a good amount of upkeep work, some don’t need much, and even then there’s a lot of variance within games based on the character you play. There’s no universal answer.

This. Play to learn, to do something better than you did yesterday or last week or last month, to solve a problem you couldn’t solve back then. The wins will come as a side effect.

What about SF4 didn’t you find enjoyable? If you’re getting ready for SF5, and you’re playing with friends, you should stick to omega mode. No hard knockdowns, same input buffer as 5 (makes combos easier), some characters are prototype versions of their 5 counterpart and generally they have more interesting options. But if you’re new to fighting games it’s pretty unlikely that the stuff you’re not enjoying are specific to SF4. Are you sure that it’s not just street fighter style 2d fighters that you’re not enjoying?

SF4 at basic level just isn’t fun for most people, SF4 makes certain things a chore such as combo’s, and move execution, Fighters are heavy strategy games with real time action and the fun part of those game is being presented with situation and finding the solution and executing them. Street fighter in theory is easy game because their not whole lot of situations and options to choose, how ever it counter balance this by making them hard even to do (maybe too hard,). Good portion of other fighters like Guilty Gear or most anime/ air dasher fighters make execution easy but solution little harder since player have to be extra considerate of their options and their opponents.

Sure, but those things are as much of a chore in any other SF game, which is why it’s weird to say that you want to play SF5 when you’re not enjoying SF4 at it’s most basic level. Lack of true blockstrings, a myriad of hard knockdowns with accompanying set plays (including unblockables), FA and FADC etc. are legit reasons to not like SF4 but none of those things have any meaning or impact if you’re completely new to fighting games. I’d understand if he was interested in GG or the VS. series or whatever and didn’t enjoy SF4, but if you’re barely even scratching the surface you’re not going to experience a whole lot of meaningful game play differences between street fighter games.

Sales say otherwise. Doubt people spend money on things thatmake them sad

Sales doesn’t mean anything, how would someone know it makes them sad before they buy it?

Disagree. Sales mean everything. If it wasn’t good, it wouldn’t sell. It’s not the 80’s when people blindly bought games with zero information. Most people that buy fighting games only play them for a 3-9 months anyway. I’m not talking about people here, I mean the general public.

I counter your point with the entire genre of country music.

Hahahaha, this.

Mediocre sells.
Otherwise shit like Titanic, Forest Gump or Avatar wouldn’t become huge box office successes and that is because the sad truth is that most people are mediocre themselves.

Not everybody will enjoy a David Lynch movie or stuff like Old Boy and the game industry works in the same way.

Shit like Hotline Miami will never sell as well and generate as much revenue like some run of the mill shooter like Call of Duty: Crap Ops, crappy sequels like Starcraft 2 outdo a perfect game like Brood War, we play SFIV instead of 3S or Super Turbo.

Not saying SFIV is shit, just saying that sales are no indicator on how good a game is, or rather how high its artistic value is.
A game selling well basically only means that it has some standard in quality.

Learning fighting games as a whole is always a very love it or hate it kind of experience. There’s a reason fighting games have and will always be a niche genre of games. They require practice before you can even play it at all the way it is designed to be played – at least now adays. That said, I think playing fighting games the way they used to be played, IE, just playing against the CPU and scrubby players and such is a perfectly valid way to get a loose handle on playing the game as a whole, and it’s generally less stressful. But let’s go over a few things first…

Input Method:

It’s true that most fighting game players use a stick, for various reasons, it is generally the better option in the long run, if you plan to play fighting games competitively. Simply put, they give you access to all of the buttons in a much more accessible way. However, learning a stick is like learning an instrument, it takes A LOT of time to get used to one, months in-fact, depending on the person. It’s for this reason, that is you plan to use a stick, starting off with one is the best option, because I’ve seen people break really bad when trying to learn a stick after they’ve been playing with a pad, because suddenly, they just took like 3,000 steps backwards in how well they can perform. Suddenly just doing a hadoken is near impossible.

Keyboards are most similar to arcade sticks or I guess most similar to a hitbox. Realistically, you could play at a high level on a keyboard pretty easily, it’s just awkward for most people.

Pads are the easiest way to go. Generally learning basic things like motions is much more forgiving on a pad, though you may not have the cleanest inputs around. I would say start with a pad, of whatever your choosing. I still use a pad for certain fighting games, and I just use my PS2 controller.


How do you enjoy fighting games? Do you like to do well and win, or do you like to just play the game and hit buttons? If you actually want to get good at fighting games and you take joy in doing well and knowing the game better than your opponent, then you obviously need to practice. If you just enjoy the simplicity of hitting buttons and seeing stuff happen, then you can probably enjoy fighting games without the commitment of practicing very much.

The biggest obstacle for fighting games has always been and should always be, the giant hurdle of learning the game(s). Learning your execution, learning your character, learning the mechanics of the game and how they function with one another. Learning fighting games takes years, literal years – if you plan to play them at a competitive level. Now, newer fighting games in particular are MUCH easier execution wise and even in terms of game depth, typically speaking, so practicing perfect execution isn’t quite as time consuming, but it’s still something you should do.

All fighting game practice starts with execution, if you can’t do the moves, you can’t play the character. Pick whatever game fancies your choosing and practice the motions for your character’s special/super moves on both sides every day until it’s consistent. It takes thousands upon thousands of times before something becomes muscle memory, so do keep that in mind when playing fighting games – you’re going to drop your inputs, it’ll always happen. What’s important is to make sure that when that muscle memory does cement into your brain, that it’s of a PROPER input. Clean inputs are a must, try and do your special moves with just the necessary inputs and nothing more.

Once you’ve got execution, you have to learn your character, and build fundamentals based on it. I recommend watching this series, even if the game is irrelevant right now, you can learn a lot about basics here…


Find a game:

Playing all the games at the start is probably a bit of an overload. Since you made this post, you probably had SOME game spark your interest in fighting games, so I would say pick whatever that is. If not, it’s sort of up to you on what type of fighting game you want to learn, it’s about what you like.
Some good/popular footsie fighters are:**

Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Street Fighter Alpha 2/3
Killer Instinct
Uniel (I feel like it’s more of a footsie fighter than an anime fighter, but that’s from having never played it personally. Though this game’s popularity fell off pretty fast.)

Some popular anime fighters:

Guilty Gear XX series
Guilty Gear Xrd series (newest)
Marvel vs Capcom 2/3
Melty Blood
Persona 4 Arena

Some popular Jojo’s fighters are:
Fuckin’ Jojo’s dude – hah! (No, don’t play that to start, heh heh.)

The main difference between a footsie fighter and an anime fighter is really about the pacing. Footsie fighters are generally much slower as far as what is happening on screen, and how versatile your character’s movement options are. That speed difference however isn’t really in the numbers, more in just the freedom of movement, it makes the game feel like a lot more is happening and could potentially be happening, as people are always moving and can strike from any position pretty quickly. There’s also a pretty big difference in terms of how zoning/footsies work in the games.


Don’t play to win, just play to play. Try and learn something through every match, be it with a player or CPU.

When you’re not playing and you want to learn a bit more about fighting games, their terminology, by all means just browse around on the internet, watch videos and what not, there’s a lot of info out there, it’s just kind of spread around. Even if you can’t understand exactly what might be going on if you watch some high level play of a game, you might get that spark in you that makes you say “I want to do that!”

Have fun:

Some people take fighting games too seriously and don’t even really seem like they’re having fun when they play. Ignore them. I have a smile on my face whenever I’m facing someone better or of equal skill to me in my game of choice (Third Strike), because I know I am going to learn something, and I know I’m going to have to be thinking, and adapting, and god damn it’s just so much fun. Fighting games at a high level are EXCEPTIONALLY fun and satisfying, even if you lose, you can look at the match and be like “That was a pretty epic looking match.”

I shouldn’t have said “sales mean everything”, but since determining which game is best is opinion based, sales is one of the better indicators (along with how many people are playing it). If enough people think it has “some standard in quality”, then it should be considered to be “good”.

Majority rules. If everyone you talk to today tells you that the sky is green, then the sky is green.