Getting better


Now I know you’ve all read this kinda stuff before, I’ve even gone as far as to read a couple articles like this myself but I’m really out of options here.

I’ve decided to get back into sfiv a couple of months back and that I was actually going to get good at it once and for all. I picked up Ryu so that I could practice all the basics, I’ve watched all the videos tutorials, read all the guides and I’ve been practicing consistently for more than a month now. Litteraly spending days trying to improve. On some occasions it seems like all the training is paying off. Beating B+ players and scrubs alike, pulling off my links and even an fadc here and there. But on most days…

On most days I can’t manage a basic hit confirm, my anti-airs don’t come out, I DP instead of fireball (or even a basic medium punch sometimes), I even drop cancels sometimes. Now I understand that there’s a learning curve but this is really getting to a point where I feel like I just won’t get any better. I even feel like I’m getting worst. Scratch that. I am getting worst. My win ratio has gone down drastically and my best friend whom I used to beat 50/50 beats me 8/10 now and he doesn’t play nearly as much as I do.

I’ve been trying to change my training methods a bit so that they might pay off a bit more and it seems like they kinda have but not nearly enough. Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been doing:

-Instead of spending hours in training mode I’ve decided to limit my time to 1 hour max before I hit online. I only practice a combo for about 10-20 minutes so that I don’t saturate myself. I try to do this every day. I practice basic combos and add a little more to them as I go.

-I decided to pick up another character for when I feel stuck with mine. I decided to go with Fei Long since I have a lot of difficulty doing Rekkas from the right side of the screen.

-I noticed the little yellow line around the enemy life bar for when I mess up my timing. It helps but I’m not sure I understand how it works exactly. Is that supposed to be your window into a link or do you have to wait until the bar reaches the end of the life bar to follow up?

-Spending more time actually playing instead of just training all the time.

-Setting up scenarios in training mode.

-Setting the dummy to Random so I can get better at hit confirming.

-Trying to remember to end my motion when I finish a combo.

-Getting better at reading my opponents. This has actually helped me beat some pretty high level players now and then. Especially considering my level. A lot of them seem to think that because my execution sucks I won’t be smart enough to bait their dps or grab them on wake up when they’re constantly blocking.

In spite of all this I still see my points dropping below 300 now and again. My Ryu who is C+ has about 1800 points which is quite embarrassing and I know enough about the game to know that most players I go against are not taking me seriously. I’ve been so dedicated in the past few weeks and it’s just not paying off. I don’t know if anyone has any tips or if I’m on the right track. Just a disclaimer, I play pad. I might invest in a stick at some point but that’s not going to happen before a little while.



There isn’t much life in SF4 anymore. And most of the mechanics don’t carry over to 5. So I would suggest dropping the game and starting fresh with 5.

However if you want to play then all you can do is practice practice practice. If you are seeing more results with one hour a day in training then keep with it. If you saw more results with longer training then go back to that. You will need to find what you learn better from.

I will spend upwards of three or four hours in the lab on a Saturday just grinding out specific things I want to try. If I can’t do a combo 100 times in a row I will keep trying. It is mind numbing but it’s how I like to train sometimes. When I pick up a new game or new character a common way I will practice is spaced repetition. Basically I will do one thing for a set amount of time, mentally concentrating on what I am doing, and if the link doesn’t work I will find where it does and try and practice that. Hitting the buttons at the same time every time is guaranteed to never work if it didn’t work the first time. I then take a set break period and do nothing that involves similar finger actions, EG: I wont text on my phone. I use that time to relax my hands and cool them down and break the mental link I have been setting up in the lab. Then when the break is over I will get back on the game and repeat what I did the first practice session. And then repeat the break. I can do this, including break times, for about 2 hours or so before I feel mentally fatigued. I like to do this after dinner so I have nothing to distract me and when I feel I am done I can go to bed. Sleeping helps the brain save what it has done over the day. And the spaced repetition process helps get it from short term to long term faster.

When I pick Injustice 2 up this Friday the schedule I have will be 15 minutes training spaced with 15 minutes break. For 2 hours, With an hour break. Then 20 minutes training with 15 minutes break for about 2 - 2 and a half hours, followed by an hour break. And then 20 minutes training with 10 minutes break. for another 3 hours or so. The first session will be BNB’s second session will be anti airs, zoning/anti zoning, wake up/oki game and pokes. And the third session will be to plan strategies and set ups. Then sleep. Saturday I will have some free lab time when I wake up for about 2 hours or so. Just going through the stuff I learned the day before. If something hasn’t stuck I will put it down in my note pad and set up a training schedule around it. Then have a morning sessions where I repeat the spaced repetition method. Take a few hours break for lunch and unwinding my brain. Then get back to it for the after noon before stopping for dinner and a few hours off. Then my night practice session will be a few more hours. Bed. Wake up Sunday and have a free session in the lab going over the same shit again and seeing what sticks and what doesn’t. Setting up a practice plan for the day. And repeat. By the end of that I will have a great grasp of my character and some BNB’s and how I can punish. And everything I need to know to play the character in a general situation. I will then do some online time in the evenings and find where the flaws are and What I struggle with and where I need to improve. The following weekend I will use that information and build a training plan. As I go along I will find gimmicks for specific opponent or set ups off random stray hits.

As far as training processors go, this technique has helped all my mates learn things quicker and make recalling it easier. As far as what to practice,
that is all up to you. And learn the lab settings you can mess with. Once you can do your combo it is more beneficial to learn to hit confirm it. after that setting the dummy to reversal or other such actions helps you find when you are safe or not and can lead you to building better combos or learning how to stay safe after a typically non safe situation.


I just went down the dark path and reunited with Adon. I used to main him back in Super and he just fits like a glove. For some reason I can get Ryu’s links 10 out of 10 in training and I still drop them in battle. With Adon I can pretty much link anything into a cancel while in battle even if my ratio isn’t as good in training. I guess it’s just a timing thing. His fadc into Ultra is a little harder but whatever. I just played 5 matches with him and they’re all victories. Thanks for the tips!


Best of luck.