Fundamental problems


Hello, new here. This is the only place i could think of to come for help.

Ok, I play smash 4, but hopefully that won’t be a problem…I got a few problems.

First, I get disappointed too easily. I very recently learned that I should constantly think about what me and my opponent are doing. Look for habits(his and mine), choose my moves with purpose, etc. But even now, i’m upset by my inabilities. Even though I know there’s no need to be, and that i will fail a lot anyway, and that i’m just trying to improve. I still get severely disappointed, for losing, or not doing specific things right. It’s not super uncommon for me to shut down and/or want to cry (it’s ridiculous)

Do I get like that during tournaments? Well I used to, but not anymore because I can’t attend them. This is my second problem. In my current situation it is impossible to make it to tournaments or even meet up with other competitive players, i’m too far away from everything. So what can I do by myself aside from playing online?

So I know how I should think when playing, there are no cheap moves/characters, don’t auto-pilot, look for habits, use strategies, adapt, spacing, zoning, mindgames, all that. But I Can Not do it. I easily fall for people standing and spamming an attack in place, I spam grab if I miss a grab(don’t even understand why), I constantly do unsafe moves on shield/block, and neutral is and has always been a mystery to me. There are many more and I know I have these problems but I have so much trouble changing them, it just doesn’t happen. Even when I tried sf4 and persona 4 I’m sure i had these problems. I even played against someone in sf4 who didn’t play at all while I had been practicing combos and learning about all this meta stuff and I lost. I gave up on the game after that, just like I gave up Smash a while back because I was losing badly to someone who had been playing for a month while I had been playing for half a year or so. Why can’t I stop myself from doing the things I know I shouldn’t do? How do I do the things I should? and how do I learn something as perplexing as the neutral? I have Learned about all these things but that doesn’t seem to matter. I can’t adapt, can’t change, can’t improve. What do i do

extra background. i started playing competitively first in 2013 with melee. I have been to quite a few tournaments for melee and smash 4. i stopped playing in 2015 because of the above story and doing poorly/not doing better at tournaments but am becoming interested again. so i am not new to competitive level play by any means. i have read the domination justin wong playing to win(will re-read them, was a long time ago), seen all kinds of videos and learned other things as well. but still have these problems. I know it’s a lot but I would really appreciate any help i can get. thanks


It’s okay to be disappointed with losing. In fact, it’s a good thing. But you should know that you can learn a lot from losing. Think of every loss as another ‘experience’ notch on your belt.

Do you ever watch your own replays? This is a good aid to stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t do. When you take a step back and watch your own replays, you will get a different perspective of the match.

Another thing you can do is to play a match and just keep saying to yourself “I don’t care if I win or lose, I am going to play a match and not do that stupid thing that I always do”. If you keep doing this, it should naturally diminish from your game plan. It may take a while, but it’s worth it.

Losing to a lesser experienced opponent is extremely frustrating, but it happens to everyone. In your case, you might be putting the cart before the horse. You might assume that because you have more “textbook knowledge” about a game, that you should automatically beat someone who doesn’t play that game. It’s possible that you’re thinking too much or trying to do too much and not focusing on fundamentals.

“Why can’t I stop myself from doing the things I know I shouldn’t do?” - It’s common. You are still in a beginner state despite playing since 2013. Write it down the stuff you shouldn’t do on paper with a sharpie and stick it to your TV if you have to.

“How do I do the things I should?” - Focus on stopping the bad habits before this. When you stop doing the bad things, it will force you to learn how to play with the good things.

“how do I learn something as perplexing as the neutral?” - Lots and lots of practice. There is no singular answer to playing neutral and it’s not something that can be learned from reading or watching. Reading and watching can push you in the right direction, but it’s not something that can be necessarily learned unless you play a lot.

“I can’t adapt, can’t change, can’t improve.” - Yes, you can!


I personally think the competitive aspect should come organically, meaning you’ve learned your game and leveled up out of a love for the genre and learning experience, and so competing in tournaments just seems like the logical next step. Start with a hardcore competitive mentality can lead to a lot of disappointment. I believe this is a common trap people fall into these days with there being so many outlets for competitive play and discussion. People watch tournaments, read books and articles on the tournament scene and players, and they see loads of guides on technical stuff that they really need to graduate to in order to use it effectively. And it doesn’t help that chat and comment sections are full of condescending, supposedly high-level players who make it seem like everyone is better than you.

There is this misconception out there that you’re supposed to be really good at fighters, and if you’re not to the definition of “good” that people seem to use, then you don’t deserve any respect. This attitude is apparent in other communities as well, but I feel like with fighters it is the most ridiculous because you can spend years with the genre and barely be competent enough to not make really dumb decisions in most matches, or even do a clutch BnB under stress. Personally, I think if you stick with the genre for years and are trying to improve while always getting your ass kicked, then you deserve respect. Trust me when I say that most supposedly hardcore gamers will not do that.


thinks evolution, that helped a little. and that’s an interesting observation in the first paragraph. that’s how i started actually, because of evo 2013, i picked up the game just to be able to play competitively. but i really love it, have always played it for fun most my life. the smash community is real nice, and i haven’t really seen much elitism or anything, but i’m that person to myself. i would always be afraid to ask the good players if i could play friendlies with them, cause i wasn’t good enough to play with them. i shouldn’t waste their time is what i thought.

thanks for the advice greenwood, will do! i try to single out specific things but it’s hard to remember when the situation comes up. will probably try the paper on tv lol.

thanks guys, will try my best


Have you tried playing long sets with friends you met online?
How do you feel when playing with people that you know?
Have you tried casual matches?


if i find a random i like online (no lag, right skill level) i’ll play as long as they want to. usually lasting 30 min-half an hour. i like it cause i get a lot of time to figure out habits or attempt to learn a new matchup.

playing with people i know is cool cause we’ll be more open to talk to each other. when i was able to play with the top players in my area online and otherwise, i would learn so much from them.

i play for fun with my friends and stuff. using different characters or what not


This really pisses me off.

I’ve seen comments like “If you can’t combo in SFV, then you should just quit playing fighting games” or “I’m terrible at SFV, I’m stuck in Platinum” or “If you pick Bison, you can spam Devil’s Reverse all day and beat Silver’s and Gold’s easily.”

None of those comments are true at all. @Crawfish I don’t have any Smash equivalent quotes, but I think you get the idea. Don’t get too discouraged if you read something like what I wrote above. It’s likely coming from someone who is a douche or someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.


What I mean is: Do you get frustrated playing with friends?

I used to improve very quickly in Tekken 3 when I was playing sets with a friend of mine the entire night and shit, and didn’t get mad the same way I would when I play ranked online nowadays.
Same with battle lobbies. I’m really motivated and put a lot of energy into winning, but I don’t get nervous and think about something outside of the game like in ranked.


yea i get frustrated :frowning:


You have to stop holding these games in such high regard if that makes sense. It’s just a game. If you lose no one is going to kill you, you’re not gonna be set on fire. In SF5, even players at Platinum level can be beaten by a Silver in a battle lounge. The people you play online are learning the game just like you are. Stop giving them so much respect and don’t be scared. Have fun with the game above all else and like has already been said, learn from your losses.


Again, you give the most idiotic advice. This seems to be your go-to line. It’s your job to let new players know that they won’t die IRL if they lose in a video game. Brilliant stuff.

Has anyone ever thought someone was going to murder them if they failed at a video game? Because you seem to think everyone in the Newbie Dojo thinks that they have hit on them if they don’t play well.

Nobody is going to kill him. Great. This pearl of wisdom will definitely help his game.


well it’s just a little exaggeration he uses to get the point across. for what it’s worth,i didn’t think it was bad advice. he only means well, i’m sure.


I think it varies from person to person. Some get motivated by losses. Some just feel like shit and stop trying, because what’s the point if I’m not winning? The most important thing is finding a way to cope with losing that works for you. For me personally, it’s being able to laugh about how shit I am. I’ve even made .gifs of me fucking up spectacularly so others can share a laugh about it. I don’t think there’s any one piece of advice anyone can give that applies equally to everyone, because it depends on your personality and how you cope with setbacks. Maybe thinking of it as just a game will help, or maybe it will give you an excuse to not even try. Maybe setting goals for yourself will help you push through, or maybe it will make you bummed out if you fail. It’s mostly about knowing yourself and what works for you, but in general I’d say to try to focus on the positives. Sure, correcting the stuff you do wrong is a good thing too, but it might be helpful to try to think of it as “the next time I’m going to do X” rather than “next time I’m not going to do Y”, because the former will be a positive thing when you get it right, while the latter will be a negative experience every time you don’t. It’s a trick they use in cognitive behavioral therapy to help people with depression and anxiety to help patients cope with negative thinking. So instead of focusing on every time you fuck things up, try to count every time you do it right.




Read Daigos book. I plan on doing it soon. One thing that stands out in what he has written is that he was training to hard to win at one point and he was getting really unhealthy. So he had to change his mindset. Right at the time he made a little break through. And what he walked away from it all with, was an understanding that winning isn’t what he was training to do. He was training to see results and get better. Winning was just the effect that training for improvement caused. Play to get better. When you get better you will naturally win more.