Explanation of "footsies"?


I’m actually fairly decent at 3d fighters, and I’ve been trying to get into the realm of the 2d side of things. One thing that I feel that I’m lacking is some of the important fundamentals, such as “footsies”.

Could anyone explain exactly what “footsies” are and how one works on them?



Pretty good comprehensive guide to footsies and its various aspect. A lot of good reading here and video examples.


For other inquiries, please feel free to visit this thread:


Oh wow. Thanks!


Here’s a guide to go with the one eltrouble posted, puts footsies in more concrete terms.


Footsies vary between players and opponents so much that it’s always been considered very hard to put a straight up definition of it’s objective. Sonic Hurricane link above, which I’ve read before, did the best job of it I’ve seen.


Footsies refers to the neutral game (when nobody is jumping or being knocked down) and the variety of options you have during this state.
It includes a huge variety of maneuvers and mind games, like poking, corner pressure and whiff punishing etc.
Some people will probably disagree with me but I consider zoning a part of footsies as well.

Like a lot of people mentioned read through the SoniceHurricane article.
It covers footsies and its intricacies very well and is a must-read for everyone who wants to get better at Street Fighter or fighting games in general.


I tend to separate the two, because footsies generally happens at a range where both players are close enough to be able to attack each other. Zoning is the opposite of that. Zoning is the idea that you don’t ever want your opponent in range unless you want them to be there. You throw out a fireball, see what their response is, and you counter it or reset the situation.

ChrisG is a prime example of zoning in a new-school game. You just throw shit on screen in order to control your opponent’s mobility options.


Footsies explained in simple terms

Senior Footsies


And Daigo is a perfect example on how to use fireballs in footsies in order to dare people to jump at you or discourage them from moving forward, more like a poking tool but zoning the opponent into a specific distance nevertheless.


That stops being footsies, you said it your self

Moment you start with Fireballs the Footsie game ended and you shift into ZONE play.
Don’t get me wrong its a perfectly legitimate strategy in Footsies, but the tactic there is you ended Footsies by put the other player on the offensive.


He is. I never said that fireballs are SOLELY used for zoning purposes. They can be used for both, but there is a clear distinction in its use depending on the range, situation, and game type.


Footsies = character spacing and the risk/reward for all your options involving said spacing plus the location of you and your opponent on the stage.

Practice by going into training mode and recording what you would like to beat, then you practice beating those options at different spacings with the various attacks your character can perform. Finding out all the optimal distances from your oppoent and areas on the stage is what you practice so that when you play you have an optimal change of beating what your opponent does. Staying in optimal areas is good footsies meaning you play with less risk skewing risk/reward in your favor making your victory all the more guaranteed. Playing good footsies in Street Fighter is the battle for spacing between two players…


you can think of it as a rock paper scissors relationship. this thread was made by a 3S player but it applies to every ground based fighter.

Check the link for info and accompanying illustration, but here’s an excerpt that explains the RPS relationship:

Also realize that while this forms the basis of footsies, every game has a variation on system mechanics or what is strong in neutral that modifies the ground game and changes decision making and how it is played.

in SF2 zoning is quite powerful so fireballs feature more prominently in the ground game. also walk speed is fast and throws are zero frame startup, meaning the penalty for doing nothing is more severe than in other games

in SF3 parries can be buffered in specific situations of the footsie battle, so what might be at first glance a guaranteed safe attack move can potentially be parried and punished. an example of this is someone walks into max distance low forward range, presses down, and punishes the parried low forward with a super.

in SF4 focus attacks can be used to discourage single hit space control normals. walk speed is relatively slow and the tech window is relatively large, meaning the penalty for not hitting buttons is not as severe as other games. because it’s harder to break down defense in SF4, it is comparatively harder to force people to whiff normals and then punish those whiffs.


To add another example, KOF13 has extremely fast horizontal movement so limb reach is less important, and has the option of really low jumps, or hops, which turns ordinary jump attacks into really good as long pokes, and enables standard jumpin mixups of high/low/throw, so it’s a game where you see a lot of hyperactive movement and a ton of placed moves, where people jump a lot, and where spacing, while super important, is a bit more gross instead of pixel-perfect. It’s more about air to air angles and which ground/neutral game option you choose (jab>hop>sweep>jab) while being in the generally correct spot.


I agree with Art on this one